Interesting answers to interesting questions

In the life of Alexander the great as narrated by Plutarch, he [Plutarch] tells of a scene between Alexander and some Indian philosophers whom he asks each a question and promises to kill any whom he thinks not pertinent to be put to the sword and had one of them as judge. It must be assumed that he was pleased with their answers because he rewarded all of them with presents and let them go.

I will list the questions and their answers.

Q: Who are the most numerous, the dead or the living

A: The living, because those who are dead are not all.

Q: Between the earth and the sea which produced the largest beast

A: The earth for the sea is but a part of it

Q: Which is the cunningest of beasts

A: That which men have not yet found out

Q: What argument was used to Sabbas to persuade him to revolt

A: That he should either live or die nobly

Q: Which was the eldest, day or night

A: Day was the eldest, by one day at least

Q: What should a man do to be extremely beloved

A: He must be very powerful without making himself too much feared

Q: How might a man become a god

A: By doing that which was impossible for men to do

Q: Between life and death, which is stronger

A: Life is stronger than death because it supports many miseries

Q: How long is it decent for a man to live

A: Till death appeared more desirable than life


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

32 thoughts on “Interesting answers to interesting questions

  1. Good post. Alexander was called Great for a reason. He was as wise as he was powerful, at least Plutarch thought so. I tend to agree with him.


  2. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Excellent job, my Nairobi brother! An inspiring and thought-provoking choice. Thank you! Unfortunately, not all humans are as wise as Alexander. Much love and naked hugs from my homeland! πŸ™‚


  3. john zande says:

    Q: Which was the eldest, day or night
    A: Day was the eldest, by one day at least

    But does not a day begin with dawn, lighting the dark? He deserved to die for that one πŸ˜‰


  4. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Interesting observations!

    Why is it, you suppose, that these guys – Alexander, Darius – always call themselves, “the Great”? Somewhere, you have to think, there MUST be a ruler who is modest enough to be perfectly satisfied with “What’s-his-name, the Mediocre” – or “What’s-his-name, the Not-Too-Shabby” —


  5. Mordanicus says:

    >>Q: Who are the most numerous, the dead or the living

    Over 50 billion people* have lived over time, slightly less than 7,5 billion are alive today.

    *Some estimates go up to 100 billion.


  6. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Sorry about the word, “deady” – I had written, “the dead already have ceased to be,” then realized I didn’t need the word, “already,” and believed I had deleted it all – didn’t see the “y” until a split second after I had hit “Post”! Some days you’re the pigeon, some days, the statue.


  7. Sonel says:

    Such a clever and interesting post! Thanks Mak! πŸ˜€


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