The philosopher Philo of Alexandria, in the second book of his treatise On Dreams (II.18.123), relates a story about a despotic governor of Egypt. “It is only a very short time ago,” he says, “that I knew a man of very high rank, one who was prefect and governor of Egypt, who, after he had taken it in his head to change our national institutions and customs…was compelling us to obey him, and to do other things contrary to our established custom.”Continue reading
Ibn Zafar’s well of wisdom provides us with another fable to ponder. How the reader relates it to his or her own life experience, or to the world’s current events, will be up to him or her to decide. While the narrative below is my own, I have also included some of Ibn Zafar’s quotes (as translated by J. Kechichian and R. Dekmejian–with minor variations by me–in their excellent edition of the Sulwan Al-Muta’) as they appear at relevant points in the story.