Busybodies or busy bodies? Plutarch’s De curiositate and Gellius
- περὶ πολυπραγμοσύνης,
- difficulty of translation from the Greek
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Plutarch’s treatise Περὶ πολυπραγμοσύνης aims to overcome the impulse to meddle in other people’s business accompanied by envy and malevolence. Gellius translates its title with circumlocutions describing πολυπραγμοσύνη as relentless activity, closer to a virtue than to a vice. He tries to correct the misunderstanding by referring to excessive and useless activism rather than to a faulty psychological actitude, as it is in Plutarch: an instance of the difficulty of translating Greek terms into Latin.