The Greek Disease:

I caught the disease that Seneca warned us all about, you know the one he called "The Greek Disease."

In around 49 AD a Roman stoic philosopher, writer, essayist and playwright by the name of Lucius Annaeus Seneca or Seneca the Younger but simply known by his mononym as Seneca, wrote in his De Brevitate Vitae, "on The Brevity of Life," that there was amongst Romans this Disease of the Greeks.

I caught it years ago, exactly when I cannot remember, many have asked me if I've sought help. Some, well really, it's more like many, have asked inquisitively: "Is there a cure for it?" While others have claimed saying: "There's no cure for it, you don't have to believe us, just go and seek Seneca and you shall find."

I was and still am flattered by their concern, so I did and now, well I agree and disagree with Seneca and that's probably why I still have "The Greek Disease," called The Iliad, The Odyssey and for that matter all things Homer.

In Senecas De Brevitate Vitae, "on The Brevity of Life." My take on what he wrote,

Now then, this disease, that is and has for some time now been amongst us, came to us via Greece, 'tis not a pestilent disease, and one shan't die from it, not in the physical sense but rather, one could say, in the mental sense because its symptoms are of a languid nature, it arrived to us via Greek scholars, with those two stories that most of us know and thankfully, as it seems, we here have not succumbed to its affliction, as others unfortunately for them have, for we know them well and sadly some of us have them in family.

Seneca, in original Latin,

Nam de illis nemo dubitabit quin operose nihil agant, qui litterarum inutilium studiis detinentur, quae iam apud Romanos quoque, magna manus est. Graecorum iste morbus fuit, quaerere quem numerum Ulixes remigum habuisset, prior scripta esset Ilias an Odyssia, praeterea an eiusdem esset auctoris, alia deinceps huius notae, quae siue contineas nihil tacitam conscientiam iuuant, siue proferas non doctior uidearis sed molestior.

My translation,

For on one will doubt that they do nothing operose, who occupy themselves with the study of useless literature, which is already a great gang amongst the Romans also. Of the Greeks this disease was, to inquire of what number of Odysseus rowing men he would have had, whether the Iliad or Odyssey was written first, whether by the same author, still others after these noted, which if you memorize them, it does nothing to help the silent conscience, and if you utter them, you are not seen as more learned, but more tiresome.