Eudocia 1067 part 19


5. In appearance he resembles an old man somewhat, with something about him of the thinker or pedagogue. His eyes are intent, his brow neither haughty nor beetling, like that of a man who suspects his fellows. His expression is frank, marked with a suitable gravity. There is nothing hurried about his gait, nothing of disorder: On the other hand, he is neither slow-moving nor indolent. A musician, who from the nature of his vocation must understand the regulated succession of notes, would praise his movements. His voice, too, is both harmonious and rhythmical, without a suggestion of harshness or impetuosity, clear and distinct.

6. There are many things that can be said or done to take the heart out of a man, or to provoke him to some course of action: but Michael keeps his head. He is neither dispirited by the one, nor exasperated by the other. He has a most pleasant laugh, weeps in the most piteous manner imaginable, very rarely becomes angry, and generally is in better humour than ever afterwards. Not having made a special study of legal matters, he takes a broad view of their interpretation, and passes judgment rather in accordance with the spirit than with the letter of the law.

Slightest hint of any impropriety

He is very prone to blush, but there is never in his conduct the slightest hint of any impropriety. Although he is a clever ball-player, his enthusiasm is reserved for one ball only — the heavenly sphere, for he is well aware that the course of life, and all its changes, depend on the throw of a dicecube, and that it is a cube — the geometric cube**286 — that Plato attributes to the earth. In the chase he takes pleasure, but only provided that he sees the quarry escape unharmed, and if the huntsman gets near it, he is worried and refuses to watch.

7. The magnificent apparel of an emperor holds no particular charm for him: he prefers to crown his head, not so much with material diadems, as with unseen virtues. And not every word that is whispered in his ears affects him deeply: harmful remarks, stories that usually inflict pain, he ignores altogether: others, which ordinarily produce most pleasure in the hearer, he erases completely from his mind. For inspiration he looks to his father, and although in most things he surpasses him, he professes that he is in every way his inferior.

Read More about War with the Scyths part 9


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