Cicero De Oratore 3.211

On the Orator

Everything rests with the face, and the face in turn is under the power of the eyes; and therefore the oldest of our countrymen showed more judgment in not applauding even Roscius himself to any great degree when he performed in a mask; for all the powers of action proceed from the mind, and the countenance is the image of the mind, and the eyes are its interpreters. This, indeed, is the only part of the body that can effectually display as infinite a number of expressions and changes, as there is of emotions in the soul; nor can any speaker produce the same effect with his eyes shut, as with them open. Theophrastus indeed has told us, that a certain Tauriscus used to say, that a player who pronounced his part gazing on any particular object was like one who turned his back on the audience.

Matthew 6:22

New Testament

22The eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

 Notes and References

"... Eyes were one of the keys to reading a person’s character (pseudo-Aristotle, Physiognomonica). Parsons (2006:76–81) draws attention to eyes in the physiognomic traditions. The eye is central in physiognomic thinking. Pseudo-Aristotle writes no less than eighteen times in his treatise that eyes are distinguishing markers of various character types. Polemo (Physiognomonica 1.20) devotes almost one-third of his work to the topic of the eye ... Cicero comments on the relationship between the eye and moral character: ‘She [nature] has formed his features as to portray therein the character that lies deep within him’ (De Legibus 1.26–27) and ‘For every action derives from the soul, and countenance is the image of the soul, and the eyes its chief indicators’ ..."

Viljoen, Francois P. A Contextualized Reading of Matthew 6:22-23: Your Eye is the Lamp of Your Body (pp. 1-9) HTS Theological Studies, Vol. 61, No. 1, 2009

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