αἵ νύ ποθ᾽ Ἡσίοδον καλὴν ἐδίδαξαν ἀοιδήν,
ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ᾽ Ἑλικῶνος ὕπο ζαθέοιο.
τόνδε δέ με πρώτιστα θεαὶ πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπον,
 Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδες, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο:
ποιμένες ἄγραυλοι, κάκ᾽ ἐλέγχεα, γαστέρες οἶον,
ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα,
ἴδμεν δ᾽, εὖτ᾽ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι.
they taught Hesiod glorious song
while he was shepherding his lambs under holy
and this word first the goddesses said to me—
 the Muses of Olympus,
daughters of Zeus who holds the aegis:
“Shepherds of the wilderness, wretched
things of shame, mere bellies,
we know how to speak many false things as though
they were true;
but we know, when we will, to utter true things.”
Hesiod. The Homeric Hymns and Homerica
with an English
Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Theogony. Cambridge, MA., Harvard
University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.
Τάδε μὲν Περσῶν τῶν οἰχομένων
Ἑλλάδ᾽ ἐς αἶαν πιστὰ καλεῖται,
καὶ τῶν ἀφνεῶν καὶ πολυχρύσων
ἑδράνων φύλακες, κατὰ πρεσβείαν
5οὓς αὐτὸς ἄναξ Ξέρξης βασιλεὺς
εἵλετο χώρας ἐφορεύειν.
ἀμφὶ δὲ νόστῳ τῷ βασιλείῳ
καὶ πολυχρύσου στρατιᾶς ἤδη
10κακόμαντις ἄγαν ὀρσολοπεῖται
πᾶσα γὰρ ἰσχὺς Ἀσιατογενὴς
ᾤχωκε, νέον δ᾽ ἄνδρα βαΰζει,
κοὔτε τις ἄγγελος οὔτε τις ἱππεὺς
15ἄστυ τὸ Περσῶν ἀφικνεῖται:
ἄστυ τὸ Περσῶν ἀφικνεῖται:
οἵτε τὸ Σούσων ἠδ᾽ Ἀγβατάνων
καὶ τὸ παλαιὸν Κίσσιον ἕρκος
προλιπόντες ἔβαν, τοὶ μὲν ἐφ᾽ ἵππων.
a band of Elders, guardians of the Persian Empire
 Here we are, the faithful Council of the Persians,
who have gone to the
land of Hellas,
we who serve as warders of the royal abode,
bountiful store of gold,
 we whom Xerxes, our King, Darius' royal son,
himself selected, by virtue of our rank and years,
to be the guardians of his
Yet as regards the return of our King
and of his host,
richly decked out in gold,
 the soul within my breast is distressed and
For the whole populace of the Asian nation
has come and
murmurs against its youthful King,
nor does any courier or
at the city of the Persians,
who left behind them the walled defence
of Susa and Agbatana
and Cissa's ancient ramparts, and went forth,
some on horseback, some in galleys,
others on foot  presenting a dense
array of war.
ὦ γῆς ἁπάσης Ἀσιάδος πολίσματα,
250ὦ Περσὶς αἶα καὶ πολὺς πλούτου λιμήν,
ὡς ἐν μιᾷ πληγῇ κατέφθαρται πολὺς
ὄλβος, τὸ Περσῶν δ᾽ ἄνθος οἴχεται πεσόν.
ὤμοι, κακὸν μὲν πρῶτον ἀγγέλλειν κακά:
ὅμως δ᾽ ἀνάγκη πᾶν ἀναπτύξαι πάθος,
255Πέρσαι: στρατὸς γὰρ πᾶς ὄλωλε βαρβάρων.
O cities of all the land of Asia,
 O realm of Persia, and bounteous haven of wealth, at a
plenteous prosperity has been shattered, and the flower
Persians has fallen and perished!
Ah, it is a terrible task
to be the first to
deliver news of disaster.
And yet, Persians, I must relate the entirety of the
 —the whole barbarian host is lost.
βασίλεια γύναι, πρέσβος Πέρσαις,
σύ τε πέμπε χοὰς θαλάμους ὑπὸ γῆς,
625ἡμεῖς θ᾽ ὕμνοις αἰτησόμεθα
εὔφρονας εἶναι κατὰ γαίας.
ἀλλά, χθόνιοι δαίμονες ἁγνοί,
Γῆ τε καὶ Ἑρμῆ, βασιλεῦ τ᾽ ἐνέρων,
630πέμψατ᾽ ἔνερθεν ψυχὴν ἐς φῶς:
εἰ γάρ τι κακῶν ἄκος οἶδε πλέον,
μόνος ἂν θνητῶν πέρας εἴποι.
Royal lady, august queen of the
libations down to the chambers of the earth,
we, in solemn chant, beseech the guides
of the dead
beneath the earth to be gracious to our prayers.
O holy divinities of the
Hermes, and you, Lord of the dead,
up to the light the spirit from below;
beyond our prayers, he knows any
for our distress, he alone of mortals
how to bring it to accomplishment.
SEVEN AGAINST THEBES
καὶ νῦν μὲν ἐς τόδ᾽ ἦμαρ εὖ ῥέπει θεός:
χρόνον γὰρ ἤδη τόνδε πυργηρουμένοις
καλῶς τὰ πλείω πόλεμος ἐκ θεῶν κυρεῖ.
νῦν δ᾽ ὡς ὁ μάντις φησίν, οἰωνῶν βοτήρ,
25ἐν ὠσὶ νωμῶν καὶ φρεσίν, πυρὸς δίχα,
χρηστηρίους ὄρνιθας ἀψευδεῖ τέχνῃ:
οὗτος τοιῶνδε δεσπότης μαντευμάτων
λέγει μεγίστην προσβολὴν Ἀχαιίδα
νυκτηγορεῖσθαι κἀπιβουλεύσειν πόλει.
citizens of Thebes. Enter Eteocles with attendants.
And so, until today, God has been
for though we have long been under siege,
the war has gone well for the most part through the gods'
But now, as the seer, the herdsman of birds, informs us,
 using his ears and his mind to understand
with unerring skill the
prophetic birds unaided
by sacrificial fire—he, master of such prophecy,
that the greatest Argive attack
planned in night assembly
and that they will make plans to capture our city.
Ἐτεόκλεες, φέριστε Καδμείων ἄναξ,
40ἥκω σαφῆ τἀκεῖθεν ἐκ στρατοῦ φέρων,
αὐτὸς κατόπτης δ᾽ εἴμ᾽ ἐγὼ τῶν πραγμάτων:
Eteocles, mighty prince of the Cadmeans,
 I have
returned with a sure report of the army outside the
I myself am an eyewitness
of their actions.
θρέομαι φοβερὰ μεγάλ᾽ ἄχη:
μεθεῖται στρατός: στρατόπεδον λιπὼν
80ῥεῖ πολὺς ὅδε λεὼς πρόδρομος ἱππότας:
αἰθερία κόνις με πείθει φανεῖσ᾽,
ἄναυδος σαφὴς ἔτυμος ἄγγελος.
τὶ χρίμπτει βοάν: ποτᾶται, βρέμει δ᾽
85ἀμαχέτου δίκαν ὕδατος ὀροτύπου.
I wail loud cries of sorrow.
is let loose! Leaving camp,
—look!—the mounted throng floods swiftly ahead.
whirling in the air tells me this is so
message is speechless, yet clear and true.
And now the
plains of my native land under
of hooves send a roar to my ears; the sound flies
rumbles like a resistless torrent crashing down a mountainside.
τοιαῦτ᾽ ἐπεύχου μὴ φιλοστόνως θεοῖς,
μηδ᾽ ἐν ματαίοις κἀγρίοις ποιφύγμασιν:
οὐ γάρ τι μᾶλλον μὴ φύγῃς τὸ μόρσιμον.
ἐγὼ δέ γ᾽ ἄνδρας ἓξ ἐμοὶ σὺν ἑβδόμῳ
ἀντηρέτας ἐχθροῖσι τὸν μέγαν τρόπον
285εἰς ἑπτατειχεῖς ἐξόδους τάξω μολών,
πρὶν ἀγγέλους σπερχνούς τε καὶ ταχυρρόθους
λόγους ἱκέσθαι καὶ φλέγειν χρείας ὕπο.
 Make this kind of prayer to the gods,
without your previous lamentation,
nor with wild and useless panting;
for you will not escape your destiny any the more.
As for me, I will go station six men,
with me as the seventh, as champions
to oppose the enemy in proud fashion
 at the seven exits in the wall,
even before speedy
messengers or swift-rushing reports
arrive and inflame us with
ὅ τοι κατόπτης, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ, στρατοῦ
370πευθώ τιν᾽ ἡμῖν, ὦ φίλαι, νέαν φέρει,
σπουδῇ διώκων πομπίμους χνόας ποδῶν.
καὶ μὴν ἄναξ ὅδ᾽ αὐτὸς Οἰδίπου τόκος
εἰς ἀρτίκολλον ἀγγέλου λόγον μαθεῖν:
σπουδὴ δὲ καὶ τοῦδ᾽ οὐκ ἀπαρτίζει πόδα.
375λέγοιμ᾽ ἂν εἰδὼς εὖ τὰ τῶν ἐναντίων,
ὥς τ᾽ ἐν πύλαις ἕκαστος εἴληχεν πάλον.
The Scout is seen approaching from
one side; Eteocles
from the other.
Leader of the First Half-Chorus
The scout, I believe,  is bringing some fresh news of the army to us, my
of his legs are hastily speeding as they carry him on his mission.
Leader of the Second Half-Chorus
And, indeed, here is our lord himself, the son of Oedipus, at the right
to hear the messenger's
report. Haste makes his stride uneven, too.
 It is with certain knowledge that I will give my account of the
how each man according to lot has been posted at the gates.
δοκοῦντα καὶ δόξαντ᾽ ἀπαγγέλλειν με χρὴ
δήμου προβούλοις τῆσδε Καδμείας πόλεως:
Enter a Herald.
It is my duty to announce the
will and decrees of the council
of the people of this our Cadmean city.
θεοὺς μὲν αἰτῶ τῶνδ᾽ ἀπαλλαγὴν πόνων
φρουρᾶς ἐτείας μῆκος, ἣν κοιμώμενος
στέγαις Ἀτρειδῶν ἄγκαθεν, κυνὸς δίκην,
ἄστρων κάτοιδα νυκτέρων ὁμήγυριν,
5καὶ τοὺς φέροντας χεῖμα καὶ θέρος βροτοῖς
λαμπροὺς δυνάστας, ἐμπρέποντας αἰθέρι
ἀστέρας, ὅταν φθίνωσιν, ἀντολάς τε τῶν.
καὶ νῦν φυλάσσω λαμπάδος τό σύμβολον,
αὐγὴν πυρὸς φέρουσαν ἐκ Τροίας φάτιν
10ἁλώσιμόν τε βάξιν: ὧδε γὰρ κρατεῖ
γυναικὸς ἀνδρόβουλον ἐλπίζον κέαρ.
εὖτ᾽ ἂν δὲ νυκτίπλαγκτον ἔνδροσόν τ᾽ ἔχω
εὐνὴν ὀνείροις οὐκ ἐπισκοπουμένην
ἐμήν: φόβος γὰρ ἀνθ᾽ ὕπνου παραστατεῖ,
15τὸ μὴ βεβαίως βλέφαρα συμβαλεῖν ὕπνῳ:
ὅταν δ᾽ ἀείδειν ἢ μινύρεσθαι δοκῶ,
ὕπνου τόδ᾽ ἀντίμολπον ἐντέμνων ἄκος,
κλαίω τότ᾽ οἴκου τοῦδε συμφορὰν στένων
οὐχ ὡς τὰ πρόσθ᾽ ἄριστα διαπονουμένου.
20νῦν δ᾽ εὐτυχὴς γένοιτ᾽ ἀπαλλαγὴ πόνων
εὐαγγέλου φανέντος ὀρφναίου πυρός.
ὦ χαῖρε λαμπτὴρ νυκτός, ἡμερήσιον
φάος πιφαύσκων καὶ χορῶν κατάστασιν
πολλῶν ἐν Ἄργει, τῆσδε συμφορᾶς χάριν.
Ἀγαμέμνονος γυναικὶ σημαίνω τορῶς
εὐνῆς ἐπαντείλασαν ὡς τάχος δόμοις
ὀλολυγμὸν εὐφημοῦντα τῇδε λαμπάδι
ἐπορθιάζειν, εἴπερ Ἰλίου πόλις
30ἑάλωκεν, ὡς ὁ φρυκτὸς ἀγγέλλων πρέπει:
αὐτός τ᾽ ἔγωγε φροίμιον χορεύσομαι.
τὰ δεσποτῶν γὰρ εὖ πεσόντα θήσομαι
τρὶς ἓξ βαλούσης τῆσδέ μοι φρυκτωρίας.
γένοιτο δ᾽ οὖν μολόντος εὐφιλῆ χέρα
35ἄνακτος οἴκων τῇδε βαστάσαι χερί.
τὰ δ᾽ ἄλλα σιγῶ: βοῦς ἐπὶ γλώσσῃ μέγας
βέβηκεν: οἶκος δ᾽ αὐτός, εἰ φθογγὴν λάβοι,
σαφέστατ᾽ ἂν λέξειεν: ὡς ἑκὼν ἐγὼ
μαθοῦσιν αὐδῶ κοὐ μαθοῦσι λήθομαι.
 Release from this weary task of mine
has been my
plea to the gods throughout this long year's watch,
lying upon the palace roof of the Atreidae,
bent arm, like a dog, I have learned to know well
gathering of the night's stars, those radiant
conspicuous in the firmament,
bringers of winter and summer to mankind
[the constellations, when they rise
So now I am still watching for the signal-flame,
gleaming fire that is to bring news
from Troy and
tidings of its capture. For thus commands my queen,
passionate heart and man in strength of purpose.
whenever I make here my bed, restless and dank
and unvisited by dreams—for instead of sleep fear stands ever by my
that I cannot close my eyelids fast in sleep
whenever I care to sing or hum （and
an antidote of song to ward off drowsiness）,
tears start forth, as I bewail the fortunes of this house of ours,
for the best as in days gone by.
tonight may there come a happy release from my weary task!
fire with its glad tidings flash through the gloom!
signal fire suddenly flashes out
you blaze in the night, a light as if of day,
harbinger of many a choral dance in Argos in thanksgiving
for this glad
 Hallo! Hallo! To Agamemnon's queen
I thus cry
aloud the signal to rise from
quickly as she can to lift up in her palace halls
a shout of joy
in welcome of this fire, if the city of Ilium
is taken, as this beacon unmistakably
And I will
make an overture with a dance upon my own account;
lord's lucky roll I shall count to my own score,
this beacon has thrown me triple six.
Ah well, may the master of the house come home and may
clasp his welcome hand in mine! For the rest I stay silent;
a great ox
stands upon my tongue1—yet the
but speak, might tell a plain enough tale;
my part, by my own choice I have words
who know, and to those who do not know, I've lost
He descends by an inner stairway; attendants
kindle fires at the altars placed in front of the palace.
proverbial expression （of
uncertain origin） for enforced silence; cf. fr. 176,
“A key stands guard upon my tongue.”
ἡμεῖς δ᾽ ἀτίται σαρκὶ παλαιᾷ
τῆς τότ᾽ ἀρωγῆς ὑπολειφθέντες
75ἰσόπαιδα νέμοντες ἐπὶ σκήπτροις.
ὅ τε γὰρ νεαρὸς μυελὸς στέρνων
ἰσόπρεσβυς, Ἄρης δ᾽ οὐκ ἔνι χώρᾳ,
τό θ᾽ ὑπέργηρων φυλλάδος ἤδη
80κατακαρφομένης τρίποδας μὲν ὁδοὺς
στείχει, παιδὸς δ᾽ οὐδὲν ἀρείων
ὄναρ ἡμερόφαντον ἀλαίνει.
σὺ δέ, Τυνδάρεω
θύγατερ, βασίλεια Κλυταιμήστρα,
85τί χρέος; τί νέον; τί δ᾽ ἐπαισθομένη,
πειθοῖ περίπεμπτα θυοσκεῖς;
πάντων δὲ θεῶν τῶν ἀστυνόμων,
90τῶν τ᾽ οὐρανίων τῶν τ᾽ ἀγοραίων,
βωμοὶ δώροισι φλέγονται:
ἄλλη δ᾽ ἄλλοθεν οὐρανομήκης
φαρμασσομένη χρίματος ἁγνοῦ
95μαλακαῖς ἀδόλοισι παρηγορίαις,
πελάνῳ μυχόθεν βασιλείῳ.
τούτων λέξασ᾽ ὅ τι καὶ δυνατὸν
τῆς θυμοβόρου φρένα λύπης.
καὶ θέμις αἰνεῖν,
παιών τε γενοῦ τῆσδε μερίμνης,
100ἣ νῦν τοτὲ μὲν κακόφρων τελέθει,
τοτὲ δ᾽ ἐκ θυσιῶν ἀγανὴ φαίνουσ᾽
ἐλπὶς ἀμύνει φροντίδ᾽ ἄπληστον
But we, incapable of service by reason
of our aged frame,
discarded from that martial mustering of long ago, wait here at home,
supporting on our canes a strength like a child's.
For just as the vigor of
youth, leaping up within the breast, is like that of old age,
since the war-god
is not in his place; so extreme age, its leaves
 already withering, goes
its way on triple feet, and, no better than a child, wanders,
a dream that is
dreamed by day
But, O daughter of Tyndareos, Queen
What news do you have?
On what intelligence and
convinced by what
do you send about your
messengers to command sacrifice?
For all the gods
our city worships, the gods supreme, the gods below,
 the gods of the
heavens and of the marketplace, have their altars ablaze with
here, now there, the flames rise high as heaven, yielding
 to the soft and
guileless persuasion of holy ointment, the sacrificial oil itself
the inner chambers of the palace. Of all this declare whatever you can
and be a healer of my uneasy heart.
 This now at one moment bodes
ill, while then again hope,
shining with kindly light from the sacrifices,
off the biting care of the sorrow that gnaws my heart.
ἥκω σεβίζων σόν, Κλυταιμήστρα, κράτος:
δίκη γάρ ἐστι φωτὸς ἀρχηγοῦ τίειν
260γυναῖκ᾽ ἐρημωθέντος ἄρσενος θρόνου.
σὺ δ᾽ εἴ τι κεδνὸν εἴτε μὴ πεπυσμένη
εὐαγγέλοισιν ἐλπίσιν θυηπολεῖς,
κλύοιμ᾽ ἂν εὔφρων: οὐδὲ σιγώσῃ φθόνος.
εὐάγγελος μέν, ὥσπερ ἡ παροιμία,
265ἕως γένοιτο μητρὸς εὐφρόνης πάρα.
πεύσῃ δὲ χάρμα μεῖζον ἐλπίδος κλύειν:
Πριάμου γὰρ ᾑρήκασιν Ἀργεῖοι πόλιν.
πῶς φής; πέφευγε τοὔπος ἐξ ἀπιστίας.
Τροίαν Ἀχαιῶν οὖσαν: ἦ τορῶς λέγω;
270χαρά μ᾽ ὑφέρπει δάκρυον ἐκκαλουμένη.
εὖ γὰρ φρονοῦντος ὄμμα σοῦ κατηγορεῖ.
τί γὰρ τὸ πιστόν; ἔστι τῶνδέ σοι τέκμαρ;
ἔστιν: τί δ᾽ οὐχί; μὴ δολώσαντος θεοῦ.
πότερα δ᾽ ὀνείρων φάσματ᾽ εὐπιθῆ σέβεις;
275οὐ δόξαν ἂν λάβοιμι βριζούσης φρενός.
ἀλλ᾽ ἦ σ᾽ ἐπίανέν τις ἄπτερος φάτις;
παιδὸς νέας ὣς κάρτ᾽ ἐμωμήσω φρένας.
ποίου χρόνου δὲ καὶ πεπόρθηται πόλις;
τῆς νῦν τεκούσης φῶς τόδ᾽ εὐφρόνης λέγω.
280καὶ τίς τόδ᾽ ἐξίκοιτ᾽ ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;
Ἥφαιστος Ἴδης λαμπρὸν ἐκπέμπων σέλας.
φρυκτὸς δὲ φρυκτὸν δεῦρ᾽ ἀπ᾽ ἀγγάρου πυρὸς
ἔπεμπεν: Ἴδη μὲν πρὸς Ἑρμαῖον λέπας
Λήμνου: μέγαν δὲ πανὸν ἐκ νήσου τρίτον
285Ἀθῷον αἶπος Ζηνὸς ἐξεδέξατο,
ὑπερτελής τε, πόντον ὥστε νωτίσαι,
ἰσχὺς πορευτοῦ λαμπάδος πρὸς ἡδονὴν
†πεύκη τὸ χρυσοφεγγές, ὥς τις ἥλιος,
σέλας παραγγείλασα Μακίστου σκοπαῖς:
290ὁ δ᾽ οὔτι μέλλων οὐδ᾽ ἀφρασμόνως ὕπνῳ
νικώμενος παρῆκεν ἀγγέλου μέρος:
ἑκὰς δὲ φρυκτοῦ φῶς ἐπ᾽ Εὐρίπου ῥοὰς
Μεσσαπίου φύλαξι σημαίνει μολόν.
οἱ δ᾽ ἀντέλαμψαν καὶ παρήγγειλαν πρόσω
295γραίας ἐρείκης θωμὸν ἅψαντες πυρί.
σθένουσα λαμπὰς δ᾽ οὐδέπω μαυρουμένη,
ὑπερθοροῦσα πεδίον Ἀσωποῦ, δίκην
φαιδρᾶς σελήνης, πρὸς Κιθαιρῶνος λέπας
ἤγειρεν ἄλλην ἐκδοχὴν πομποῦ πυρός.
300φάος δὲ τηλέπομπον οὐκ ἠναίνετο
φρουρὰ πλέον καίουσα τῶν εἰρημένων:
λίμνην δ᾽ ὑπὲρ Γοργῶπιν ἔσκηψεν φάος:
ὄρος τ᾽ ἐπ᾽ Αἰγίπλαγκτον ἐξικνούμενον
ὤτρυνε θεσμὸν μὴ χρονίζεσθαι πυρός.
305πέμπουσι δ᾽ ἀνδαίοντες ἀφθόνῳ μένει
φλογὸς μέγαν πώγωνα, καὶ Σαρωνικοῦ
πορθμοῦ κάτοπτον πρῶν᾽ ὑπερβάλλειν πρόσω
φλέγουσαν: ἔστ᾽ ἔσκηψεν εὖτ᾽ ἀφίκετο
Ἀραχναῖον αἶπος, ἀστυγείτονας σκοπάς:
310κἄπειτ᾽ Ἀτρειδῶν ἐς τόδε σκήπτει στέγος
φάος τόδ᾽ οὐκ ἄπαππον Ἰδαίου πυρός.
τοιοίδε τοί μοι λαμπαδηφόρων νόμοι,
ἄλλος παρ᾽ ἄλλου διαδοχαῖς πληρούμενοι:
νικᾷ δ᾽ ὁ πρῶτος καὶ τελευταῖος δραμών.
315τέκμαρ τοιοῦτον σύμβολόν τέ σοι λέγω
ἀνδρὸς παραγγείλαντος ἐκ Τροίας ἐμοί.
θεοῖς μὲν αὖθις, ὦ γύναι, προσεύξομαι.
λόγους δ᾽ ἀκοῦσαι τούσδε κἀποθαυμάσαι
διηνεκῶς θέλοιμ᾽ ἂν ὡς λέγοις πάλιν.
come, Clytaemestra, in obedience to your royal authority;
for it is fitting to
do homage to the consort of a sovereign prince
her husband's throne is empty.
the news you have heard is good or ill,
and you do
make sacrifice with hopes that herald
I wish to
hear; yet, if you would keep silence, I make no complaint.
of gladness, with the proverb,
Dawn be born from her mother Night!
hear joyful news surpassing all your hopes
have taken Priam's town!
What have you said? The meaning of your words has escaped me,
incredible they seemed.
I said that Troy is in the hands of the Achaeans. Is my
 Joy steals over me, and it challenges my tears.
Sure enough, for your eye betrays your loyal heart.
What then is the proof? Have you evidence of this?
I have, indeed; unless some god has played me false.
Do you believe the persuasive visions of dreams?
 I would not heed the fancies of a slumbering brain.
But can it be some pleasing rumor that has fed your hopes?
Truly you scorn my understanding as if it were a child's.
But at what time was the city destroyed?
In the night, I say, that has but now given birth to this day here.
 And what messenger could reach
here with such speed?
from Ida speeding forth his brilliant blaze. Beacon passed
beacon on to
us by courier-flame:
Ida, to the Hermaean crag in Lemnos; to the mighty blaze upon the
summit of Athos sacred to Zeus; and, soaring
high aloft so as to leap across the sea,
the flame, travelling joyously onward
in its strength
* the pinewood torch, its golden-beamed light, as another sun, passing the
message on to the watchtowers of Macistus.
delaying not nor carelessly overcome by sleep, did not neglect his part as
Far over Euripus' stream came the beacon-light and
to the watchmen on Messapion. They, kindling a heap of
withered heather, lit up their
answering blaze and sped the
flame, now gathering strength and in no way dimmed, like a radiant moon
overleaped the plain of Asopus
to Cithaeron's ridges, and roused another relay
of missive fire.
did the warders there disdain the far-flung light, but made a blaze
Across Gorgopus' water shot the light, reached the mount
of Aegiplanctus, and urged the ordinance of fire to make no delay.
Kindling high with unstinted force a mighty beard of flame, they sped
forward so that,
as it blazed, it passed even the headland that looks upon the
Saronic gulf; until it swooped down
when it reached the lookout, near to our
city, upon the peak of Arachnaeus; and
upon this roof of the Atreidae it leapt, this very fire not undescended
the Idaean flame.
Such are the torch-bearers I have arranged, completing the
course in succession
one to the other; and the victor is he who ran both first
is the kind of proof and token I give you, the message of my husband from Troy to me.
Lady, my prayers of thanksgiving to the gods I will offer soon. But
would like to hear
and satisfy my wonder at your tale straight through to the
end, so may you tell it yet again.
light kindled on Mt. Ida is
conceived as starting first and finishing last; the light from
as starting last and finishing first.
475πυρὸς δ᾽ ὑπ᾽ εὐαγγέλου
πόλιν διήκει θοὰ
βάξις: εἰ δ᾽ ἐτήτυμος,
τίς οἶδεν, ἤ τι θεῖόν ἐστί πῃ ψύθος.—
τίς ὧδε παιδνὸς ἢ φρενῶν κεκομμένος,
νέοις πυρωθέντα καρδίαν ἔπειτ᾽
ἀλλαγᾷ λόγου καμεῖν;—
ἐν γυναικὸς αἰχμᾷ πρέπει
πρὸ τοῦ φανέντος χάριν ξυναινέσαι.—
485πιθανὸς ἄγαν ὁ θῆλυς ὅρος ἐπινέμεται
ταχύπορος: ἀλλὰ ταχύμορον
γυναικογήρυτον ὄλλυται κλέος.—
 Heralded by a beacon of good
report has spread throughout the town.
it is true, or some deception of the gods, who knows?
Who is so childish or so bereft of sense,
he has let his heart be fired by
of a beacon
fire, to despair if the story changes?
It is just like a woman's eager nature to yield assent
news before yet the truth is clear.
 Too credulous, a woman's mind
open to quick encroachment;
to perish is rumor spread by a woman.
ἀνωλόλυξα μὲν πάλαι χαρᾶς ὕπο,
ὅτ᾽ ἦλθ᾽ ὁ πρῶτος νύχιος ἄγγελος πυρός,
φράζων ἅλωσιν Ἰλίου τ᾽ ἀνάστασιν.
590καί τίς μ᾽ ἐνίπτων εἶπε,
πεισθεῖσα Τροίαν νῦν πεπορθῆσθαι δοκεῖς;
ἦ κάρτα πρὸς γυναικὸς αἴρεσθαι κέαρ.’
λόγοις τοιούτοις πλαγκτὸς οὖσ᾽ ἐφαινόμην.
ὅμως δ᾽ ἔθυον, καὶ γυναικείῳ νόμῳ
595ὀλολυγμὸν ἄλλος ἄλλοθεν κατὰ πτόλιν
ἔλασκον εὐφημοῦντες ἐν θεῶν ἕδραις
θυηφάγον κοιμῶντες εὐώδη φλόγα.
I raised a shout of triumph in my joy
long before this,
first flaming messenger arrived by night,
that Ilium was captured and overthrown.
there were some who chided me and said:
“Are you so
convinced by beacon-fires as to think
that Troy has now been sacked? Truly,
it is just
woman to be elated in heart.” By such taunts I was made
to seem as if
my wits were wandering. Nevertheless I still held on
sacrifice, and throughout all the quarters of the city,
to their womanly custom,
raised a shout of happy praise while
in the shrines of the gods they
lulled to rest
the fragrant spice-fed flame.
πῶς γὰρ λέγεις χειμῶνα ναυτικῷ στρατῷ
635ἐλθεῖν τελευτῆσαί τε δαιμόνων κότῳ;
εὔφημον ἦμαρ οὐ πρέπει κακαγγέλῳ
γλώσσῃ μιαίνειν: χωρὶς ἡ τιμὴ θεῶν.
ὅταν δ᾽ ἀπευκτὰ πήματ᾽ ἄγγελος πόλει
στυγνῷ προσώπῳ πτωσίμου στρατοῦ φέρῃ,
640πόλει μὲν ἕλκος ἓν τὸ δήμιον τυχεῖν,
πολλοὺς δὲ πολλῶν ἐξαγισθέντας δόμων
ἄνδρας διπλῇ μάστιγι, τὴν Ἄρης φιλεῖ,
δίλογχον ἄτην, φοινίαν ξυνωρίδα:
τοιῶνδε μέντοι πημάτων σεσαγμένον
645πρέπει λέγειν παιᾶνα τόνδ᾽ Ἐρινύων.
σωτηρίων δὲ πραγμάτων εὐάγγελον
ἥκοντα πρὸς χαίρουσαν εὐεστοῖ πόλιν,
πῶς κεδνὰ τοῖς κακοῖσι συμμείξω, λέγων
χειμῶν᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς οὐκ ἀμήνιτον θεῶν;
650ξυνώμοσαν γάρ, ὄντες ἔχθιστοι τὸ πρίν,
πῦρ καὶ θάλασσα, καὶ τὰ πίστ᾽ ἐδειξάτην
φθείροντε τὸν δύστηνον Ἀργείων στρατόν.
ἐν νυκτὶ δυσκύμαντα δ᾽ ὠρώρει κακά.
ναῦς γὰρ πρὸς ἀλλήλαισι Θρῄκιαι πνοαὶ
655ἤρεικον: αἱ δὲ κεροτυπούμεναι βίᾳ
χειμῶνι τυφῶ σὺν ζάλῃ τ᾽ ὀμβροκτύπῳ
ᾤχοντ᾽ ἄφαντοι ποιμένος κακοῦ στρόβῳ.
ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἀνῆλθε λαμπρὸν ἡλίου φάος,
ὁρῶμεν ἀνθοῦν πέλαγος Αἰγαῖον νεκροῖς
660ἀνδρῶν Ἀχαιῶν ναυτικοῖς τ᾽ ἐρειπίοις.
ἡμᾶς γε μὲν δὴ ναῦν τ᾽ ἀκήρατον σκάφος
ἤτοι τις ἐξέκλεψεν ἢ 'ξῃτήσατο
θεός τις, οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, οἴακος θιγών.
τύχη δὲ σωτὴρ ναῦν θέλουσ᾽ ἐφέζετο,
665ὡς μήτ᾽ ἐν ὅρμῳ κύματος ζάλην ἔχειν
μήτ᾽ ἐξοκεῖλαι πρὸς κραταίλεων χθόνα.
ἔπειτα δ᾽ Ἅιδην πόντιον πεφευγότες,
λευκὸν κατ᾽ ἦμαρ, οὐ πεποιθότες τύχῃ,
ἐβουκολοῦμεν φροντίσιν νέον πάθος,
670στρατοῦ καμόντος καὶ κακῶς σποδουμένου.
καὶ νῦν ἐκείνων εἴ τίς ἐστιν ἐμπνέων,
λέγουσιν ἡμᾶς ὡς ὀλωλότας, τί μή;
ἡμεῖς τ᾽ ἐκείνους ταὔτ᾽ ἔχειν δοξάζομεν.
γένοιτο δ᾽ ὡς ἄριστα. Μενέλεων γὰρ οὖν
675πρῶτόν τε καὶ μάλιστα προσδόκα μολεῖν.
εἰ γοῦν τις ἀκτὶς ἡλίου νιν ἱστορεῖ
καὶ ζῶντα καὶ βλέποντα, μηχαναῖς Διός,
οὔπω θέλοντος ἐξαναλῶσαι γένος,
ἐλπίς τις αὐτὸν πρὸς δόμους ἥξειν πάλιν.
680τοσαῦτ᾽ ἀκούσας ἴσθι τἀληθῆ κλύων.
How then do you say  rose the storm
by the wrath of the gods upon the naval host and passed
An auspicious day one should not mar
with a tale of misfortune
—the honor due to the gods keeps them apart.1
When a messenger with
gloomy countenance reports
to a people
dire disaster of its army's rout—
 one common wound inflicted on the
while from many a home many a victim is devoted to death
by the two-handled whip beloved of Ares, destruction
a gory pair—when, I say, he is packed with woes like this,
 he should sing the triumph-song of the Avenging
But when one comes with
glad news of deliverance to a city
in its happiness—how
shall I mix fair with foul in telling
of the storm,
not unprovoked by the gods' wrath, that broke upon the
 For fire and sea, beforehand bitterest of
foes, swore alliance
and as proof destroyed the unhappy Argive army.
In the night-time arose the mischief from the cruel swells. Beneath
from Thrace ship dashed against ship;
 and they, gored violently by the furious hurricane and
rush of pelting rain,
were swept out of sight by the whirling gust of an evil
But when the radiant light of the sun rose we beheld
the Aegean flowering with corpses
 of Achaean men and wreckage of ships. Ourselves,
and our ship, its hull unshattered, some power, divine not
human, preserved by stealth or intercession,
laying hand upon its helm; and
Savior Fortune chose to sit aboard our craft
 so that it should neither take in the swelling surf at
nor drive upon a rock-bound coast. Then, having escaped
death upon the deep,
in the clear bright day, scarce crediting our fortune, we
brooded in anxious thought over our late mischance,
 our fleet distressed and sorely buffeted. So now, if
any of them still draw the breath of life,
they speak of us as lost—and why
should they not? We think the same of them.
But may all turn out for the best! For
 first and foremost expect him to return. At least if
some beam of the sun finds him alive and well,
by the design of Zeus, who has
not yet decided utterly to destroy the race,
there is some hope that he will
come home again.
 Hearing so much, be assured that you hear the truth.
the Olympian gods belong tales of good, to the Erinyes （l. 645）
belong tales of misfortune. Some
interpret the passage to mean that the honour
due to the gods is to be kept
apart from pollution through the recital of ills.
“evil shepherd” is the storm that drives the ships, like sheep, from
ἥκω μὲν οὐκ ἄκλητος, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπάγγελος:
νέαν φάτιν δὲ πεύθομαι λέγειν τινὰς
840ξένους μολόντας οὐδαμῶς ἐφίμερον,
μόρον δ᾽ Ὀρέστου. καὶ τόδ᾽ ἀμφέρειν δόμοις
γένοιτ᾽ ἂν ἄχθος δειματοσταγὲς φόνῳ
τῷ πρόσθεν ἑλκαίνουσι καὶ δεδηγμένοις.
πῶς ταῦτ᾽ ἀληθῆ καὶ βλέποντα δοξάσω;
845ἢ πρὸς γυναικῶν δειματούμενοι λόγοι
πεδάρσιοι θρῴσκουσι, θνῄσκοντες μάτην;
τί τῶνδ᾽ ἂν εἴποις ὥστε δηλῶσαι φρενί;
ἠκούσαμεν μέν, πυνθάνου δὲ τῶν ξένων
ἔσω παρελθών. οὐδὲν ἀγγέλων σθένος
850ὡς αὐτὸν αὐτῶν ἄνδρα πεύθεσθαι πάρα.
ἰδεῖν ἐλέγξαι τ᾽ αὖ θέλω τὸν ἄγγελον,
εἴτ᾽ αὐτὸς ἦν θνῄσκοντος ἐγγύθεν παρών,
εἴτ᾽ ἐξ ἀμαυρᾶς κληδόνος λέγει μαθών.
οὔτοι φρέν᾽ ἂν κλέψειεν ὠμματωμένην.
come not unasked but summoned by a
startling news told by some strangers who have arrived,
from welcome:  —that Orestes is dead.
To lay this
too upon our house would be a fearful burden
when it is
still festering and galled by the wound inflicted
earlier murder. How can I believe this tale is the living truth?
Or is it
merely a panic-stricken report spread by women
leaps up to die away in nothingness?
you tell me of this to make it plain to my mind?
the tale, it is true. But go inside and inquire of the
certainty of a messenger's report is nothing compared
own interrogation of the man himself. 
I wish to see the messenger and put him to
the test again
himself was present at the death or merely
from vague reports what he has heard.
No! Be sure he cannot deceive a mind with eyes open.
σέβου, προσεύχου, θῶπτε τὸν κρατοῦντ᾽ ἀεί.
ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ἔλασσον Ζηνὸς ἢ μηδὲν μέλει.
δράτω, κρατείτω τόνδε τὸν βραχὺν χρόνον,
940ὅπως θέλει: δαρὸν γὰρ οὐκ ἄρξει θεοῖς.
ἀλλ᾽ εἰσορῶ γὰρ τόνδε τὸν Διὸς τρόχιν,
τὸν τοῦ τυράννου τοῦ νέου διάκονον:
πάντως τι καινὸν ἀγγελῶν ἐλήλυθεν.
Worship, adore, and fawn upon whoever is your lord.
Zeus I care less than nothing. Let him do his will,
hold his power  for his little day—
will not bear sway over the gods for long.
for over there I see his messenger,
of our new lord and master.
he has come to announce some news.
σὲ τὸν σοφιστήν, τὸν πικρῶς ὑπέρπικρον,
945τὸν ἐξαμαρτόντ᾽ εἰς θεοὺς ἐφημέροις
πορόντα τιμάς, τὸν πυρὸς κλέπτην λέγω:
πατὴρ ἄνωγέ σ᾽ οὕστινας κομπεῖς γάμους
αὐδᾶν, πρὸς ὧν ἐκεῖνος ἐκπίπτει κράτους.
καὶ ταῦτα μέντοι μηδὲν αἰνικτηρίως,
950ἀλλ᾽ αὔθ᾽ ἕκαστα φράζε: μηδέ μοι διπλᾶς
ὁδούς, Προμηθεῦ, προσβάλῃς: ὁρᾷς δ᾽ ὅτι
Ζεὺς τοῖς τοιούτοις οὐχὶ μαλθακίζεται.
σεμνόστομός γε καὶ φρονήματος πλέως
ὁ μῦθός ἐστιν, ὡς θεῶν ὑπηρέτου.
955νέον νέοι κρατεῖτε καὶ δοκεῖτε δὴ
ναίειν ἀπενθῆ πέργαμ᾽: οὐκ ἐκ τῶνδ᾽ ἐγὼ
δισσοὺς τυράννους ἐκπεσόντας ᾐσθόμην;
τρίτον δὲ τὸν νῦν κοιρανοῦντ᾽ ἐπόψομαι
αἴσχιστα καὶ τάχιστα. μή τί σοι δοκῶ
960ταρβεῖν ὑποπτήσσειν τε τε τοὺς νέους θεούς;
πολλοῦ γε καὶ τοῦ παντὸς ἐλλείπω. σὺ δὲ
κέλευθον ἥνπερ ἦλθες ἐγκόνει πάλιν:
πεύσῃ γὰρ οὐδὲν ὧν ἀνιστορεῖς ἐμέ.
To you, the clever and crafty, bitter
beyond all bitterness,
 who has
sinned against the gods in bestowing honors upon creatures of a day
thief of fire, I speak. The Father commands that you tell what marriage
whereby he is to be hurled from power—and this, mark well, set forth
in no riddling fashion,
 but point by point, as the case exactly stands;
and do not impose upon me a double journey,
Prometheus—you see Zeus is not
appeased by dealings such as yours.
Bravely spoken, in truth, and swollen
with pride is your speech, as befits a
minion of the gods.
 Young you are, as young your power, and you think
indeed that you inhabit heights
beyond the reach of grief. Have I not seen two
sovereigns cast out from these heights?
A third, the present lord, I shall live
to see cast out in ruin most shameful and most swift. Do you think
quail, perhaps, and cower before these upstart gods? Far from it—no,
But scurry back the way you came; for you shall learn nothing about
you question me.
τοιοῖσδε μέντοι καὶ πρὶν αὐθαδίσμασιν
965ἐς τάσδε σαυτὸν πημονὰς καθώρμισας.
τῆς σῆς λατρείας τὴν ἐμὴν δυσπραξίαν,
σαφῶς ἐπίστασ᾽, οὐκ ἂν ἀλλάξαιμ᾽ ἐγώ.
κρεῖσσον γὰρ οἶμαι τῇδε λατρεύειν πέτρᾳ
ἢ πατρὶ φῦναι Ζηνὶ πιστὸν ἄγγελον.
970οὕτως ὑβρίζειν τοὺς ὑβρίζοντας χρεών.
χλιδᾶν ἔοικας τοῖς παροῦσι πράγμασι.
χλιδῶ; χλιδῶντας ὧδε τοὺς ἐμοὺς ἐγὼ
ἐχθροὺς ἴδοιμι: καὶ σὲ δ᾽ ἐν τούτοις λέγω.
ἦ κἀμὲ γάρ τι συμφοραῖς ἐπαιτιᾷ;
975ἁπλῷ λόγῳ τοὺς πάντας ἐχθαίρω θεούς,
ὅσοι παθόντες εὖ κακοῦσί μ᾽ ἐκδίκως.
κλύω σ᾽ ἐγὼ μεμηνότ᾽ οὐ σμικρὰν νόσον.
νοσοῖμ᾽ ἄν, εἰ νόσημα τοὺς ἐχθροὺς στυγεῖν.
εἴης φορητὸς οὐκ ἄν, εἰ πράσσοις καλῶς.
980ὤμοι; τόδε Ζεὺς τοὔπος οὐκ ἐπίσταται.
ἀλλ᾽ ἐκδιδάσκει πάνθ᾽ ὁ γηράσκων χρόνος.
καὶ μὴν σύ γ᾽ οὔπω σωφρονεῖν ἐπίστασαι.
σὲ γὰρ προσηύδων οὐκ ἂν ὄνθ᾽ ὑπηρέτην.
ἐρεῖν ἔοικας οὐδὲν ὧν χρῄζει πατήρ.
985καὶ μὴν ὀφείλων γ᾽ ἂν τίνοιμ᾽ αὐτῷ χάριν.
ἐκερτόμησας δῆθεν ὡς παῖδ᾽ ὄντα με.
οὐ γὰρ σὺ παῖς τε κἄτι τοῦδ᾽ ἀνούστερος
εἰ προσδοκᾷς ἐμοῦ τι πεύσεσθαι πάρα;
οὐκ ἔστιν αἴκισμ᾽ οὐδὲ μηχάνημ᾽ ὅτῳ
990προτρέψεταί με Ζεὺς γεγωνῆσαι τάδε,
πρὶν ἂν χαλασθῇ δεσμὰ λυμαντήρια.
πρὸς ταῦτα ῥιπτέσθω μὲν αἰθαλοῦσσα φλόξ,
λευκοπτέρῳ δὲ νιφάδι καὶ βροντήμασι
χθονίοις κυκάτω πάντα καὶ ταρασσέτω.
995γνάμψει γὰρ οὐδὲν τῶνδέ μ᾽ ὥστε καὶ φράσαι
πρὸς οὗ χρεών νιν ἐκπεσεῖν τυραννίδος.
ὅρα νυν εἴ σοι ταῦτ᾽ ἀρωγὰ φαίνεται.
ὦπται πάλαι δὴ καὶ βεβούλευται τάδε.
τόλμησον, ὦ μάταιε, τόλμησόν ποτε
1000πρὸς τὰς παρούσας πημονὰς ὀρθῶς φρονεῖν,
ὀχλεῖς μάτην με κῦμ᾽ ὅπως παρηγορῶν.
εἰσελθέτω σε μήποθ᾽ ὡς ἐγὼ Διὸς
γνώμην φοβηθεὶς θηλύνους γενήσομαι,
καὶ λιπαρήσω τὸν μέγα στυγούμενον
1005γυναικομίμοις ὑπτιάσμασιν χερῶν
λῦσαί με δεσμῶν τῶνδε: τοῦ παντὸς δέω.
Yet it was by such proud wilfulness before, too,  that you brought
yourself to this harbor of distress.
For your servitude, rest assured, I'd not barter my hard lot, not I.
Better, no doubt, to serve
this rock than be the trusted messenger of Father
 Such is the proper style for the insolent to offer insult.
I think you revel in your present plight.
I revel? Oh, I wish that I might see my enemies revelling in this way!
too, I count among them.
What! You blame me in some way for your calamities?
 In one word, I hate all the gods that received good at my hands
ill requite me wrongfully.
Your words declare you stricken with no slight madness.
Mad I may be—if it is madness to loathe one's enemies.
You would be unbearable if you were prosperous.
“Alas”? That is a word
unknown to Zeus.
But ever-ageing Time
teaches all things.
Yes, but you at least have not yet learned to keep a sober mind.
Or else I would not have addressed you, an underling.
It seems you will answer nothing that the Father demands.
 Yes, truly, I am his debtor and I should repay favor to him.
You taunt me as though, indeed, I were a child.
And are you not a child and even more witless than a child if you
learn anything from me? There is no torment or device by which
 Zeus shall
induce me to utter this until these injurious fetters are loosed.
So then, let
his blazing lightning be hurled, and with the white wings of the snow
thunders of earthquake let him confound the reeling world.
 For nothing of
this shall bend my will even to tell at whose hands
he is fated to be hurled
from his sovereignty.
Look now whether this course seems to profit you.
Long ago has this my course been foreseen and resolved.
Bend your will, perverse fool, oh bend your will at last
 to wisdom in
face of your present sufferings.
In vain you trouble me, as though it were a wave you try to persuade.
think that, through terror at the will of Zeus,
I shall become womanish and,
with hands upturned, aping woman's ways
 shall importune my greatly
hated enemy to release me from these bonds.
I am far, far from that.
λέγων ἔοικα πολλὰ καὶ μάτην ἐρεῖν:
τέγγῃ γὰρ οὐδὲν οὐδὲ μαλθάσσῃ λιταῖς
ἐμαῖς: δακὼν δὲ στόμιον ὡς νεοζυγὴς
1010πῶλος βιάζῃ καὶ πρὸς ἡνίας μάχῃ.
ἀτὰρ σφοδρύνῃ γ᾽ ἀσθενεῖ σοφίσματι:
αὐθαδία γὰρ τῷ φρονοῦντι μὴ καλῶς
αὐτὴ καθ᾽ αὑτὴν οὐδενὸς μεῖζον σθένει.
σκέψαι δ᾽, ἐὰν μὴ τοῖς ἐμοῖς πεισθῇς λόγοις,
1015οἷός σε χειμὼν καὶ κακῶν τρικυμία
ἔπεισ᾽ ἄφυκτος : πρῶτα μὲν γὰρ ὀκρίδα
φάραγγα βροντῇ καὶ κεραυνίᾳ φλογὶ
πατὴρ σπαράξει τήνδε, καὶ κρύψει δέμας
τὸ σόν, πετραία δ᾽ ἀγκάλη σε βαστάσει.
1020μακρὸν δὲ μῆκος ἐκτελευτήσας χρόνου
ἄψορρον ἥξεις εἰς φάος: Διὸς δέ τοί
πτηνὸς κύων, δαφοινὸς αἰετός, λάβρως
διαρταμήσει σώματος μέγα ῥάκος,
ἄκλητος ἕρπων δαιταλεὺς πανήμερος,
1025κελαινόβρωτον δ᾽ ἧπαρ ἐκθοινήσεται.
τοιοῦδε μόχθου τέρμα μή τι προσδόκα,
πρὶν ἂν θεῶν τις διάδοχος τῶν σῶν πόνων
φανῇ, θελήσῃ τ᾽ εἰς ἀναύγητον μολεῖν
Ἅιδην κνεφαῖά τ᾽ ἀμφὶ Ταρτάρου βάθη.
πρὸς ταῦτα βούλευ᾽: ὡς ὅδ᾽ οὐ πεπλασμένος
ὁ κόμπος, ἀλλὰ καὶ λίαν εἰρημένος :
ψευδηγορεῖν γὰρ οὐκ ἐπίσταται στόμα
τὸ Δῖον, ἀλλὰ πᾶν ἔπος τελεῖ: σὺ δὲ
πάπταινε καὶ φρόντιζε, μηδ᾽ αὐθαδίαν
1035εὐβουλίας ἀμείνον᾽ ἡγήσῃ ποτέ.
ἡμῖν μὲν Ἑρμῆς οὐκ ἄκαιρα φαίνεται
λέγειν. ἄνωγε γάρ σε τὴν αὐθαδίαν
μεθέντ᾽ ἐρευνᾶν τὴν σοφὴν εὐβουλίαν.
πιθοῦ: σοφῷ γὰρ αἰσχρὸν ἐξαμαρτάνειν.
I think that by speaking
much I will only speak in vain; for you are not
soothed nor are you softened by my entreaties. You take the bit in your
like a new-harnessed
 colt and struggle against the reins. Yet it is a
paltry device that prompts your vehemence,
for in the foolish-minded
self-will of itself avails less than anything at all. But if you will
won to belief by my words,  think of what a tempest and a
of woe shall break upon you past escape.
First, the Father will shatter this
jagged cliff with thunder and lightning-flame, and will entomb your
while the rock shall still hold you clasped in its embrace.  But
have completed a long stretch of time,
you shall come back again to the light. Then
indeed the winged hound of Zeus, the ravening eagle,
coming an unbidden
banqueter the whole day long, with savage appetite shall tear your body
into great rents and feast his fill  upon your liver until it
is black with gnawing.
Look for no term of this your agony until some god shall
appear to take upon himself your woes
and of his own free will descend into the
sunless realm of Death and the dark deeps of Tartarus.
 Therefore be advised, since this is no counterfeited
vaunting but utter truth; for the
mouth of Zeus
does not know how to utter
falsehood, but will bring to pass every word. May you consider
and never deem  stubbornness better than wise counsel.
To us, at least, Hermes seems not to speak untimely; for he bids you to
aside your stubbornness
and seek the good counsel of wisdom. Be advised! It is
shameful for the wise to persist in error.
1040εἰδότι τοί μοι τάσδ᾽ ἀγγελίας
ὅδ᾽ ἐθώυξεν: πάσχειν δὲ κακῶς
ἐχθρὸν ὑπ᾽ ἐχθρῶν οὐδὲν ἀεικές.
πρὸς ταῦτ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐμοὶ ῥιπτέσθω μὲν
πυρὸς ἀμφήκης βόστρυχος, αἰθὴρ δ᾽
1045ἐρεθιζέσθω βροντῇ σφακέλῳ τ᾽
ἀγρίων ἀνέμων: χθόνα δ᾽ ἐκ πυθμένων
αὐταῖς ῥίζαις πνεῦμα κραδαίνοι,
κῦμα δὲ πόντου τραχεῖ ῥοθίῳ
συγχώσειεν τῶν οὐρανίων
1050ἄστρων διόδους: εἴς τε κελαινὸν
Τάρταρον ἄρδην ῥίψειε δέμας
τοὐμὸν ἀνάγκης στερραῖς δίναις:
πάντως ἐμέ γ᾽ οὐ θανατώσει.
τοιάδε μέντοι τῶν φρενοπλήκτων
1055βουλεύματ᾽ ἔπη τ᾽ ἔστιν ἀκοῦσαι.
τί γὰρ ἐλλείπει μὴ οὐ παραπαίειν
ἡ τοῦδ᾽ εὐχή; τί χαλᾷ μανιῶν;
ἀλλ᾽ οὖν ὑμεῖς γ᾽ αἱ πημοσύναις
συγκάμνουσαι ταῖς τοῦδε τόπων
1060μετά ποι χωρεῖτ᾽ ἐκ τῶνδε θοῶς,
μὴ φρένας ὑμῶν ἠλιθιώσῃ
βροντῆς μύκημ᾽ ἀτέραμνον.
ἄλλο τι φώνει καὶ παραμυθοῦ μ᾽
ὅ τι καὶ πείσεις: οὐ γὰρ δή που
1065τοῦτό γε τλητὸν παρέσυρας ἔπος.
πῶς με κελεύεις κακότητ᾽ ἀσκεῖν;
μετὰ τοῦδ᾽ ὅ τι χρὴ πάσχειν ἐθέλω:
τοὺς προδότας γὰρ μισεῖν ἔμαθον,
κοὐκ ἔστι νόσος
1070τῆσδ᾽ ἥντιν᾽ ἀπέπτυσα μᾶλλον.
ἀλλ᾽ οὖν μέμνησθ᾽ ἁγὼ προλέγω
μηδὲ πρὸς ἄτης θηραθεῖσαι
μέμψησθε τύχην, μηδέ ποτ᾽ εἴπηθ᾽
ὡς Ζεὺς ὑμᾶς εἰς ἀπρόοπτον
1075πῆμ᾽ εἰσέβαλεν: μὴ δῆτ᾽ αὐταὶ δ᾽
ὑμᾶς αὐτάς. εἰδυῖαι γὰρ
κοὐκ ἐξαίφνης οὐδὲ λαθραίως
εἰς ἀπέρατον δίκτυον ἄτης
ἐμπλεχθήσεσθ᾽ ὑπ᾽ ἀνοίας.
 No news to me, in truth, is the
message this fellow has proclaimed so
Yet for enemy to suffer
ill from enemy is no disgrace. Therefore let
the lightning's forked
curl be cast upon my head and let the sky  be
convulsed with thunder and
the wrack of savage winds; let the hurricane shake
the earth from its rooted base,
and let the waves of the sea mingle with their
savage surge the courses
 of the stars in heaven; and let him lift me on
high and hurl me down to black
Tartarus with the swirling floods of stern
Necessity: do what he will, me he shall never bring to death.
Such indeed are the thoughts and the words  one hears from men
does his prayer fall short of raving? Where does he abate his frenzy?
all events, may you who sympathize with his anguish,
 withdraw in haste
from this spot so that the relentless roar of the thunder does not stun
Use some other strain and urge me to some other course in which you are
to convince me.
This utterance  in
your flood of speech is, I think, past
How do you charge me to practise baseness? With him I am content
to suffer any fate;
for I have learned to detest traitors, and there is no pest
 I abhor more than this.
Well then, bear my warning in memory and do not blame your fortune when
caught in the toils of calamity; nor ever say that it was Zeus who cast
 into suffering unforeseen. Not so, but blame yourselves. For well
and not suddenly or
secretly shall you be entangled in the
net of calamity by reason
of your folly.
1080καὶ μὴν ἔργῳ κοὐκέτι μύθῳ
βρυχία δ᾽ ἠχὼ παραμυκᾶται
βροντῆς, ἕλικες δ᾽ ἐκλάμπουσι
στεροπῆς ζάπυροι, στρόμβοι δὲ κόνιν
1085εἱλίσσουσι: σκιρτᾷ δ᾽ ἀνέμων
πνεύματα πάντων εἰς ἄλληλα
στάσιν ἀντίπνουν ἀποδεικνύμενα:
ξυντετάρακται δ᾽ αἰθὴρ πόντῳ.
τοιάδ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐμοὶ ῥιπὴ Διόθεν
1090τεύχουσα φόβον στείχει φανερῶς.
ὦ μητρὸς ἐμῆς σέβας, ὦ πάντων
αἰθὴρ κοινὸν φάος εἱλίσσων,
ἐσορᾷς μ᾽ ὡς ἔκδικα πάσχω.
 Indeed, now it has passed from
word to deed—the earth rocks,
thunder-peal from the depths rolls roaring past me;
the fiery wreathed
lightning-flashes flare forth, and whirlwinds toss the
 swirling dust;
the blasts of all the winds leap forth and set in hostile
array their embattled
strife; the sky is confounded with the deep.
Behold, this stormy turmoil
advances against me visibly,
 sent by Zeus to frighten me. O holy mother
O you firmament that revolves the common light of all, you see
Amid thunder and lightning Prometheus vanishes from sight;
him disappear the daughters of Oceanus
οὐκ οἶδ᾽: ἐκεῖ γὰρ οὔτε του γενῇδος ἦν
250πλῆγμ᾽, οὐ δικέλλης ἐκβολή. στύφλος δὲ γῆ
καὶ χέρσος, ἀρρὼξ οὐδ᾽ ἐπημαξευμένη
τροχοῖσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄσημος οὑργάτης τις ἦν.
ὅπως δ᾽ ὁ πρῶτος ἡμὶν ἡμεροσκόπος
δείκνυσι, πᾶσι θαῦμα δυσχερὲς παρῆν.
255ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἠφάνιστο, τυμβήρης μὲν οὔ,
λεπτὴ δ᾽, ἄγος φεύγοντος ὥς, ἐπῆν κόνις
σημεῖα δ᾽ οὔτε θηρὸς οὔτε του κυνῶν
ἐλθόντος, οὐ σπάσαντος ἐξεφαίνετο.
λόγοι δ᾽ ἐν ἀλλήλοισιν ἐρρόθουν κακοί,
260φύλαξ ἐλέγχων φύλακα, κἂν ἐγίγνετο
πληγὴ τελευτῶσ᾽, οὐδ᾽ ὁ κωλύσων παρῆν.
εἷς γάρ τις ἦν ἕκαστος οὑξειργασμένος,
κοὐδεὶς ἐναργής, ἀλλ᾽ ἔφευγε μὴ εἰδέναι.
ἦμεν δ᾽ ἑτοῖμοι καὶ μύδρους αἴρειν χεροῖν
265καὶ πῦρ διέρπειν καὶ θεοὺς ὁρκωμοτεῖν,
τὸ μήτε δρᾶσαι μήτε τῳ ξυνειδέναι
τὸ πρᾶγμα βουλεύσαντι μηδ᾽ εἰργασμένῳ.
τέλος δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ οὐδὲν ἦν ἐρευνῶσιν πλέον,
λέγει τις εἷς, ὃ πάντας ἐς πέδον κάρα
270νεῦσαι φόβῳ προὔτρεψεν: οὐ γὰρ εἴχομεν
οὔτ᾽ ἀντιφωνεῖν οὔθ᾽ ὅπως δρῶντες καλῶς
πράξαιμεν. ἦν δ᾽ ὁ μῦθος ὡς ἀνοιστέον
σοὶ τοὔργον εἴη τοῦτο κοὐχὶ κρυπτέον.
καὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἐνίκα, κἀμὲ τὸν δυσδαίμονα
275πάλος καθαιρεῖ τοῦτο τἀγαθὸν λαβεῖν.
πάρειμι δ᾽ ἄκων οὐχ ἑκοῦσιν, οἶδ᾽ ὅτι:
στέργει γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄγγελον κακῶν ἐπῶν
I do not know. For there was no scar
of a pickax to be seen there,
earth thrown up by a mattock. The ground was hard and dry,
unbroken, not rolled
over by wheels. The doer was someone who left no trace.
When the first
day-watchman showed it to us, a discomforting amazement fell on us all.
The dead man was veiled from us—not shut within a tomb, but a light
was on him, as if put there by the hand of one who shunned a curse.
sign was visible that any beast of prey or any dog had approached or
evil words flew thick and loud among us,  guard accusing guard.
even have come to blows in the end, nor was there anyone there to
every man was the culprit, and no one was plainly guilty, while all
knowledge of the act.
We were ready to take red-hot iron in our hands,  to
walk through fire and to swear oaths
by the gods that we had neither done the
deed, nor shared knowledge of the planning or the doing.
At last, when our investigating
got us nowhere, someone spoke up and made us all bend our faces
 in fear
towards the earth. For we did not know how we could argue with him, nor
if we did what he said. His argument was that the deed must be
reported to you and not hidden.
This view prevailed, and so it was that 
the lot doomed miserable me to win this prize.
So here I stand, as unwelcome to
you as I am unwilling, I well know.
For no man delights in the
bearer of bad
ἄνδρες φίλοι, τὸ πρῶτον ἀγγεῖλαι θέλω:
720Τεῦκρος πάρεστιν ἄρτι Μυσίων ἀπὸ
κρημνῶν: μέσον δὲ προσμολὼν στρατήγιον
κυδάζεται τοῖς πᾶσιν Ἀργείοις ὁμοῦ.
στείχοντα γὰρ πρόσωθεν αὐτὸν ἐν κύκλῳ
μαθόντες ἀμφέστησαν, εἶτ᾽ ὀνείδεσιν
725ἤρασσον ἔνθεν κἄνθεν οὔτις ἔσθ᾽ ὃς οὔ,
τὸν τοῦ μανέντος κἀπιβουλευτοῦ στρατοῦ
ξύναιμον ἀποκαλοῦντες, ὡς οὐκ ἀρκέσοι
τὸ μὴ οὐ πέτροισι πᾶς καταξανθεὶς θανεῖν:
ὥστ᾽ εἰς τοσοῦτον ἦλθον ὥστε καὶ χεροῖν
730κολεῶν ἐρυστὰ διεπεραιώθη ξίφη.
λήγει δ᾽ ἔρις δραμοῦσα τοῦ προσωτάτω
ἀνδρῶν γερόντων ἐν ξυναλλαγῇ λόγου.
ἀλλ᾽ ἡμὶν Αἴας ποῦ 'στιν, ὡς φράσω τάδε;
τοῖς κυρίοις γὰρ πάντα χρὴ δηλοῦν λόγον.
Friends, my first news is
this:  Teucer has just now returned from the
He has come to the generals' quarters mid-camp, and is being
shouted at by all the Greeks at once.
Recognizing him from a distance as he
approached, they gathered around him
 and then pelted him with jeers from
every side—no one held back—calling him “the brother of the maniac,
plotter against the army,” and saying that he would not be able to
entirely losing flesh and life before their flying stones.
In this way they had
come to the point where swords  had been plucked from sheaths and
drawn in their hands.
But then the conflict, when it had nearly run its full
course, was halted by the conciliatory words of the elders.
But where shall I
find Ajax, to tell him this? To our
lord I must tell all.
Iphigenia in Tauris (Ancient
ἐν Ταύροις, Iphigeneia
en Taurois) is a drama by the playwright Euripides,
written between 414 BC and 412 BC.
It has much in common with another of Euripides's plays, Helen, as
well as the lost play Andromeda, and is often described as a romance,
a melodrama, a tragi-comedy or an escape play.
Although the play is generally known in English as Iphigenia
in Tauris, this is, strictly speaking, the Latin title of the play
(corresponding to the Greek Ἰφιγένεια ἐν Ταύροις),
the meaning of which is Iphigenia
among the Taurians. There is
no such place as Tauris in Euripides' play, although Goethe, in
his play Iphigenie auf Tauris
(on which Gluck's
en Tauride is
based), took there to be such a place.
before the time period covered by the play, the young princess Iphigeneia narrowly
by sacrifice at the hands of her
Agamemnon. (See plot of Iphigeneia at
Aulis.) At the last moment
the goddessArtemis, to whom
the sacrifice was to be made, intervened and replaced Iphigeneia on the
with a deer,
saving the girl and sweeping her off to the land of the Taurians.
She has since been made a priestess at the temple of Artemis in Tauris,
position in which she has the gruesome task
of ritually sacrificing
foreigners who land on King Thoas's shores.
Iphigeneia hates her forced religious servitude and is
desperate to contact her family in Greece. She wants
to inform them that, thanks
to the miraculous swap performed by Artemis, she is
still alive and wants to return to her homeland, leaving the role of
priestess to someone else.
Furthermore, she has had a prophetic dream about her
younger brother Orestes and believes that he is dead.
Meanwhile, Orestes has killed his mother Clytemnestra to
avenge his father Agamemnon with assistance from his
becomes haunted by the Erinyes for committing the crime and
periodic fits of madness. He is told by Apollo to go
be brought to trial (as portrayed
in Eumenides by Aeschylus).
Although the trial ends in his favour, the Erinyes continue to haunt
Apollo sends him to steal a sacred statue of Artemis to bring back to
that he may be set free.
represents the front of the temple
of Artemis in the land of the Taurians (modern Crimea). The
altar is in the center.
The play begins with Iphigenia reflecting
on her brother's death. She recounts her "sacrifice" at the hands
and how she was saved by Artemis and made priestess in this temple. She
a dream in which the structure of her family's house crashed down in
leaving only a single column. She interprets this dream to mean
that Orestes is
Orestes and Pylades enter,
having just arrived in this land. Orestes was sent
by Apollo to
retrieve the image of Artemis from the temple,
and Pylades has accompanied him.
Orestes explains that he has avenged Agamemnon's death by
killing Clytaemnestra and Aegisthus.
The two decide to hide and make a plan to retrieve the idol without
captured. They know that the Taurians sacrifice Hellene blood in their
Orestes and Pylades exit. Iphigenia enters and discusses her sad
life with the chorus, composed of captive Greek maidens, attendants of
She believes that her father's bloodline has ended with the death of
A herdsman enters and explains to
Iphigenia that he has
captured two Hellenes and that Iphigenia should make ready the lustral
and the rites of consecration.
The herdsman heard one called Pylades by the
other, but did not hear the name of the other. Iphigenia tells the
bring the strangers to the temple,
and says that she will prepare to sacrifice
them. The herdsman leaves to fetch the strangers. Iphigenia explains
was tricked into going to Aulis,
through the treachery of Odysseus. She
was told that she was being married to Achilles, but upon arriving in
she discovered that she was going to be sacrificed by Agamemnon.
presides over the sacrifices of any Hellene trespassers in the land of
Taurians, to avenge the crimes against her.
Pylades enter in bonds. Iphigenia demands that the prisoners'
loosened, because they are hallowed.
The attendants to Iphigenia leave to
prepare for the sacrifice. Iphigenia asks Orestes his origins, but
refuses to tell Iphigenia his name.
Iphigenia finds out which of the two is
Pylades and that they are from Argos. Iphigenia asks Orestes many
especially of Greeks who fought in Troy.
She asks if Helen has returned home to
the house of Menelaus, and of the fates of Calchas, Odysseus, Achilles,
Orestes informs Iphigenia that Agamemnon is dead, but that his son
lives. Upon hearing this, Iphigenia decides that she wants one of the
to return a letter to Argos,
and that she will only sacrifice one of them.
Orestes demands that he be sacrificed, and that Pylades be sent home
letter, because Orestes
brought Pylades on this trip, and it would not be right
for Pylades to die while Orestes lives.
Pylades promises to deliver the letter
unless his boat is
shipwrecked and the letter is lost. Iphigenia then recites the letter
Pylades so that, if it is lost, he can still relay the message.
She that was sacrificed in Aulis send
Iphigenia, still alive, though dead to those at Argos. Fetch me back to
my brother, before I die.
Rescue me from this barbarian land, free me from this
slaughterous priesthood, in which it is my office to kill strangers.
shall become a curse upon your house,
Orestes. Goddess Artemis saved me and
substituted a deer, which my father sacrificed believing he was
sharp blade into me. Then she brought me to stay in this land.
recitation, Orestes asks Pylades what he should do, having realized
that he was
standing in front of his sister.
reveals his identity to Iphigenia, who demands proof. First,
recounts how Iphigenia embroidered the scene of the quarrel
between Atreus and Thyestes on
a fine web.
Orestes also spoke of Pelops’ ancient spear, which he brandished in
his hands when he killed Oenomaus and won Hippodamia, the maid of Pisa,
was hidden away in Iphigenia’s
maiden chamber. This is evidence enough for
Iphigenia, who embraces Orestes. Orestes explains that he has come to
by the bidding of Phoebus’s oracle, and that if he is successful,
finally be free of the haunting Erinyes.
Pylades, and Iphigenia plan an escape whereby Iphigenia will claim that
strangers need to be cleansed in order to be sacrificed and will take
where their ship is anchored. Additionally, Iphigenia will
the statue that Orestes was sent to retrieve. Orestes and Pylades exit
temple. Thoas, king of the Taurians,
enters and asks whether or not the first
rites have been performed over the strangers. Iphigenia has just
statue from the temple and explains that when the strangers
were brought in
front of the statue, the statue turned and closed its eyes. Iphigenia
interprets it thus to Thoas: The strangers arrived with the blood of
their hands and they must be cleansed.
Also, the statue must be cleansed.
Iphigenia explains that she would like to clean the strangers and the
the sea, to make for a purer sacrifice.
Thoas agrees that this must be done,
and suspects nothing. Iphigenia tells Thoas that he must remain at the
and cleanse the hall with torches, and that she may take a long time.
exit the stage.
enters, shouting that the strangers have escaped. Thoas enters
temple, asking what all the noise is about.
The messenger explains Iphigenia’s
lies and that the strangers fought some of the natives, then escaped on
Hellene ship with the priestess and the statue.
Thoas calls upon the citizens
of his land to run along the shore and catch the
ship. Athena enters
and explains to Thoas that he shouldn’t be angry.
She addresses Iphigenia,
telling her to be priestess at the sacred terraces of Brauron, and she
Orestes that she is saving him again. Thoas heeds Athena’s words,
whoever hears the words of the gods and heeds them not is out of his
Wright, M. (2005). Euripides'
Escape-Tragedies: A Study
of Helen, Andromeda, and Iphigenia among the Taurians. Oxford University Press. pp. 7–14. .
H.D.F. (1966). Greek
Tragedy. Routledge. pp. 311–329.
Parker, L.P.E. (2016) Iphigenia in Tauris. Oxford. p.
lxxii n. 143. See, moreover, the review of Parker's edition by M.
in Acta Classica 59 (2016) p. 228.
Euripides. Iphigenia Among the Taurians. Trans.
Moses Hadas and John McLean. New York: Bantam Dell, 2006. Print. Pages
Wright, M. (2005). Euripides' Escape-Tragedies: A Study
of Helen, Andromeda, and Iphigenia among the Taurians. Oxford University Press. pp. 43–51.
Jack Lindsay (1963). Daily Life in
F. Muller. p. 183.
Psaumis of Camarina Chariot Race 452 B. C.
ἐλατὴρ ὑπέρτατε βροντᾶς ἀκαμαντόποδος Ζεῦ: τεαὶ γὰρ ὧραι
ὑπὸ ποικιλοφόρμιγγος ἀοιδᾶς ἑλισσόμεναί μ᾽ ἔπεμψαν
ὑψηλοτάτων μάρτυρ᾽ ἀέθλων.
ξείνων δ᾽ εὖ πρασσόντων ἔσαναν αὐτίκ᾽ ἀγγελίαν
5ποτὶ γλυκεῖαν ἐσλοί.
 ἀλλ᾽, ὦ Κρόνου παῖ, ὃς Αἴτναν ἔχεις,
ἶπον ἀνεμόεσσαν ἑκατογκεφάλα Τυφῶνος ὀβρίμου,
Χαρίτων ἕκατι τόνδε κῶμον,
10χρονιώτατον φάος εὐρυσθενέων ἀρετᾶν. Ψαύμιος γὰρ ἵκει
 ὀχέων, ὅς, ἐλαίᾳ στεφανωθεὶς Πισάτιδι, κῦδος ὄρσαι
σπεύδει Καμαρίνᾳ. θεὸς εὔφρων
εἴη λοιπαῖς εὐχαῖς: ἐπεί νιν αἰνέω μάλα μὲν
τροφαῖς ἑτοῖμον ἵππων,
15χαίροντά τε ξενίαις πανδόκοις
καὶ πρὸς ἁσυχίαν φιλόπολιν καθαρᾷ γνώμᾳ τετραμμένον.
οὐ ψεύδεϊ τέγξω λόγον:
 διάπειρά τοι βροτῶν ἔλεγχος:
ἅπερ Κλυμένοιο παῖδα
ἔλυσεν ἐξ ἀτιμίας.
χαλκέοισι δ᾽ ἐν ἔντεσι νικῶν δρόμον
ἔειπεν Ὑψιπυλείᾳ μετὰ στέφανον ἰών:
‘ οὗτος ἐγὼ ταχυτᾶτι:
25χεῖρες δὲ καὶ ἦτορ ἴσον.
 φύονται δὲ καὶ νέοις ἐν ἀνδράσιν
πολιαὶ θαμὰ καὶ παρὰ τὸν ἁλικίας
of the thundercloud with untiring feet, highest Zeus!
whirling to the embroidered notes of the lyre's song,
sent me as a
witness of the most lofty games. When friends are successful, the noble
on  the sweet
announcement. Son of
Cronus, you who hold Aetna,
weight on terrible hundred-headed Typhon, receive, for
the sake of the Graces,
this Olympic victory-procession,  this most
enduring light of widely powerful excellence.
For the procession comes
in honor of Psaumis' chariot; Psaumis, who, crowned with
of Pisa, hurries to rouse glory for Camarina.
the god be gracious to his future prayers,
since I praise a man who is
most eager in the raising of horses,  who rejoices in being
to all guests, and whose pure thoughts are turned towards
city-loving peace. I will not stain
my words with lies. Perseverance is
what puts men to the test, and what saved the son of
Clymenus  from
the contempt of the Lemnian women. He won the foot race
armor, and said to Hypsipyle as he went to take the garland: “Such is
 and I have hands and heart to match. Even on young
men gray hair often grows,
even before the expected age.
Hagesias of Syracuse Mule Car Race 472 or 468 B.C.
 εἰ δ᾽ ἐτύμως ὑπὸ Κυλλάνας ὅροις, Ἁγησία, μάτρωες ἄνδρες
ναιετάοντες ἐδώρησαν θεῶν κάρυκα λιταῖς θυσίαις
πολλὰ δὴ πολλαῖσιν Ἑρμᾶν εὐσεβέως, ὃς ἀγῶνας ἔχει μοῖράν τ᾽ ἀέθλων
80Ἀρκαδίαν τ᾽ εὐάνορα τιμᾷ: κεῖνος, ὦ παῖ Σωστράτου,
σὺν βαρυγδούπῳ πατρὶ κραίνει σέθεν εὐτυχίαν.
 δόξαν ἔχω τιν᾽ ἐπὶ γλώσσᾳ ἀκόνας λιγυρᾶς,
ἅ μ᾽ ἐθέλοντα προσέρπει καλλιρόοισι πνοαῖς:
ματρομάτωρ ἐμὰ Στυμφαλίς, εὐανθὴς Μετώπα,
85πλάξιππον ἃ Θήβαν ἔτικτεν, τᾶς ἐρατεινὸν ὕδωρ
πίομαι, ἀνδράσιν αἰχματαῖσι πλέκων
ποικίλον ὕμνον. ὄτρυνον νῦν ἑταίρους,
 Αἰνέα, πρῶτον μὲν Ἥραν Παρθενίαν κελαδῆσαι,
γνῶναί τ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽, ἀρχαῖον ὄνειδος ἀλαθέσιν
90λόγοις εἰ φεύγομεν, Βοιωτίαν ὗν. ἐσσὶ γὰρ ἄγγελος ὀρθός,
ἠϋκόμων σκυτάλα Μοισᾶν, γλυκὺς κρατὴρ ἀγαφθέγκτων ἀοιδᾶν:
if, Hagesias, it is true that the men on your mother's side, living
the boundaries of Cyllene, piously gave many gifts, with prayers
to the herald of the gods, Hermes,
who rules over games and the dispensation of contests,
honors Arcadia, the home of fine men, it is that god, son of
who with his loud-thundering father fulfills your good fortune. I think
I have on my tongue
a shrill whetstone, which steals over me (and I am
willing) with fair-flowing breaths.
My mother's mother was the nymph of
Stymphalus, blossoming Metopa, 
who bore horse-driving Thebe, whose
delicious water I drink, while I weave my embroidered
song for heroic
spearmen. Now rouse your companions, Aeneas, first to shout the praises
of Hera Parthenia, and then to know whether we have truly escaped the
reproach  of men's speech, “Boeotian pig.” For you are a faithful herald,
a message-stick of the lovely-haired Muses, a sweet mixing-bowl of
For Alcimedon of Aegina Boys's Wrestling 460 B.C.
Ἑρμᾶ δὲ θυγατρὸς ἀκούσαις Ἰφίων
Ἀγγελίας, ἐνέποι κεν Καλλιμάχῳ λιπαρὸν
κόσμον Ὀλυμπίᾳ, ὅν σφι Ζεὺς γένει
 ὤπασεν. ἐσλὰ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐσλοῖς
85ἔργ᾽ ἐθέλοι δόμεν, ὀξείας δὲ νόσους ἀπαλάλκοι.
εὔχομαι ἀμφὶ καλῶν μοίρᾳ Νέμεσιν διχόβουλον μὴ θέμεν:
ἀλλ᾽ ἀπήμαντον ἄγων βίοτον
αὐτούς τ᾽ ἀέξοι καὶ πόλιν.
Having heard the voice of Hermes' daughter, Angelia,
Iphion might tell Callimachus of the splendid adornment at Olympia,
which Zeus gave to their race. May
he be willing to grant noble deeds upon noble  deeds,
and to ward
off bitter diseases. I pray that, for the share of fine things allotted
Zeus may not cause the mind of Nemesis to waver; rather, may
he grant a painless life,
and thus give new growth to themselves and
Epharmostus of Opus Wrestling-Match 466 B.C.
ἐγὼ δέ τοι φίλαν πόλιν
μαλεραῖς ἐπιφλέγων ἀοιδαῖς,
καὶ ἀγάνορος ἵππου
θᾶσσον καὶ ναὸς ὑποπτέρου παντᾷ
25ἀγγελίαν πέμψω ταύταν,
εἰ σύν τινι μοιριδίῳ παλάμᾳ
 ἐξαίρετον Χαρίτων νέμομαι κᾶπον:
κεῖναι γὰρ ὤπασαν τὰ τέρπν᾽: ἀγαθοὶ δὲ καὶ σοφοὶ κατὰ δαίμον᾽ ἄνδρες
lighting up that dear city with fiery songs, and more swiftly
than a spirited horse or a winged ship  I will send that message everywhere,
so surely as I, by some destined skill, am cultivating the exquisite
garden of the Graces;
for they are the givers of delight, but men
become brave and skillful by divine will.
: For Asopichus of Orchomenus Boys' Foot Race ?488
λαχοῖσαι, αἵτε ναίετε καλλίπωλον ἕδραν,
ὦ λιπαρᾶς ἀοίδιμοι βασίλειαι
Χάριτες Ὀρχομενοῦ, παλαιγόνων Μινυᾶν ἐπίσκοποι,
5κλῦτ᾽, ἐπεὶ εὔχομαι. σὺν γὰρ ὔμμιν τὰ τερπνὰ καὶ
τὰ γλυκέ᾽ ἄνεται πάντα βροτοῖς,
 εἰ σοφός, εἰ καλός, εἴ τις ἀγλαὸς ἀνήρ.
οὐδὲ γὰρ θεοὶ σεμνᾶν Χαρίτων ἄτερ
κοιρανέοισιν χοροὺς οὔτε δαῖτας: ἀλλὰ πάντων ταμίαι
10ἔργων ἐν οὐρανῷ, χρυσότοξον θέμεναι παρὰ
Πύθιον Ἀπόλλωνα θρόνους,
ἀέναον σέβοντι πατρὸς Ὀλυμπίοιο τιμάν.
ὦ πότνι᾽ Ἀγλαΐα
 φιλησίμολπέ τ᾽ Εὐφροσύνα, θεῶν κρατίστου
15παῖδες, ἐπακοοῖτε νῦν, Θαλία τε
ἐρασίμολπε, ἰδοῖσα τόνδε κῶμον ἐπ᾽ εὐμενεῖ τύχᾳ
κοῦφα βιβῶντα: Λυδῷ γὰρ Ἀσώπιχον τρόπῳ
ἔν τε μελέταις ἀείδων ἔμολον,
οὕνεκ᾽ Ὀλυμπιόνικος ἁ Μινυεία
20σεῦ ἕκατι. μελανοτειχέα νῦν δόμον
 Φερσεφόνας ἔλθ᾽, Ἀχοῖ, πατρὶ κλυτὰν φέροισ᾽ ἀγγελίαν,
Κλεόδαμον ὄφρ᾽ ἰδοῖσ᾽, υἱὸν εἴπῃς ὅτι οἱ νέαν
κόλποις παρ᾽ εὐδόξοις Πίσας
ἐστεφάνωσε κυδίμων ἀέθλων πτεροῖσι χαίταν.
who have your home by the waters of Cephisus, who dwell in the town
beautiful horses: songful queens, Graces of splendid Orchomenus,
of the ancient race of Minyans,  hear me; I am praying.
For with your help
all delightful and sweet things are accomplished for
mortals, if any man is skillful, or beautiful, or splendid.
the gods arrange dances or feasts without the holy Graces, who oversee
 that is done in heaven; with their thrones set beside
Pythian Apollo of the golden bow,
they worship the everlasting honor of
the Olympian father. Lady Aglaia, and Euphrosyne, lover of dance and
daughters of the strongest god,  listen now; and you, Thalia,
passionate for dance and song,
having looked with favor on this victory
procession, stepping lightly in honor of gracious fortune.
For I have come to sing of Asopichus in Lydian melodies and chosen
because the Minyan land is victorious at Olympia,  thanks to you.
Now go, Echo, to the dark-walled home of Persephone and bring the glorious message
his father; when you see Cleodamus, tell him that his son, by the
famous valley of Pisa,
has wreathed his youthful hair with the wings of
the renowned games.
For Hieron of Aetna Chariot Race 470 B.C.
εἴη, Ζεῦ, τὶν εἴη ἁνδάνειν,
30ὃς τοῦτ᾽ ἐφέπεις ὄρος, εὐκάρποιο γαίας μέτωπον, τοῦ μὲν ἐπωνυμίαν
κλεινὸς οἰκιστὴρ ἐκύδανεν πόλιν
 γείτονα, Πυθιάδος δ᾽ ἐν δρόμῳ κάρυξ ἀνέειπέ νιν ἀγγέλλων Ἱέρωνος ὑπὲρ καλλινίκου
ἅρμασι. ναυσιφορήτοις δ᾽ ἀνδράσι πρώτα χάρις
ἐς πλόον ἀρχομένοις πομπαῖον ἐλθεῖν οὖρον: ἐοικότα γὰρ
35καὶ τελευτᾷ φερτέρου νόστου τυχεῖν. ὁ δὲ λόγος
 ταύταις ἐπὶ συντυχίαις δόξαν φέρει
λοιπὸν ἔσσεσθαι στεφάνοισί νιν ἵπποις τε κλυτὰν
καὶ σὺν εὐφώνοις θαλίαις ὀνυμαστάν.
Λύκιε καὶ Δάλου ἀνάσσων Φοῖβε, Παρνασσοῦ τε κράναν Κασταλίαν φιλέων,
40ἐθελήσαις ταῦτα νόῳ τιθέμεν εὔανδρόν τε χώραν.
that we may be pleasing to you, Zeus,  you who frequent this
this brow of the fruitful earth, whose namesake city near at
hand was glorified by its
renowned founder, when the herald at the
Pythian racecourse proclaimed the
name of Aetna,
announcing Hieron's triumph with the chariot. For
seafaring men, the first blessing at the outset
of their voyage is a
favorable wind; for then it is likely that  at the end as well they
a more prosperous homecoming. And that saying, in these
brings the belief that from now on this city
will be renowned for garlands and horses,
and its name will be spoken
amid harmonious festivities.Phoebus, lord
of Lycia and Delos,
you who love the Castalian spring of Parnassus,  may
you willingly put these
wishes in your thoughts, and make this a land of fine men.
Hieron of Syrakuse Charriot Race ?470 or 468
μεγαλοπόλιες ὦ Συράκοσαι, βαθυπολέμου
τέμενος Ἄρεος, ἀνδρῶν ἵππων τε σιδαροχαρμᾶν δαιμόνιαι τροφοί,
ὔμμιν τόδε τᾶν λιπαρᾶν ἀπὸ Θηβᾶν φέρων
μέλος ἔρχομαι ἀγγελίαν τετραορίας ἐλελίχθονος,
5εὐάρματος Ἱέρων ἐν ᾇ κρατέων
 τηλαυγέσιν ἀνέδησεν Ὀρτυγίαν στεφάνοις,
ποταμίας ἕδος Ἀρτέμιδος, ἇς οὐκ ἄτερ
κείνας ἀγαναῖσιν ἐν χερσὶ ποικιλανίους ἐδάμασσε πώλους.
ἐπὶ γὰρ ἰοχέαιρα παρθένος χερὶ διδύμᾳ
10 ὅ τ᾽ ἐναγώνιος Ἑρμᾶς αἰγλᾶντα τίθησι κόσμον, ξεστὸν ὅταν δίφρον
ἔν θ᾽ ἅρματα πεισιχάλινα καταζευγνύῃ
σθένος ἵππιον, ὀρσοτρίαιναν εὐρυβίαν καλέων θεόν.
ἄλλοις δέ τις ἐτέλεσσεν ἄλλος ἀνὴρ
εὐαχέα βασιλεῦσιν ὕμνον, ἄποιν᾽ ἀρετᾶς
city of Syracuse! Sacred precinct of Ares, plunged deep in war!
χρὴ δὲ κατ᾽ αὐτὸν αἰεὶ παντὸς ὁρᾶν μέτρον.
Divine nurse of men and horses who rejoice in steel! For you I come from splendid Thebes
bringing this song, a message of
the earth-shaking four-horse race 
in which Hieron with his fine
chariot won the victory, and so crowned Ortygia
garlands—Ortygia, home of Artemis the river-goddess: not without her
help did Hieron
master with his gentle hands the horses with
For the virgin goddess who
showers arrows  and Hermes the god of contests present the
reins to him with both hands when he yokes the strength of his horses
to the polished car,
to the chariot that obeys the bit, and calls on
the wide-ruling god who wields the trident.
Other kings have other men
to pay them the tribute of melodious song, the recompense for
35εὐναὶ δὲ παράτροποι ἐς κακότατ᾽ ἀθρόαν
ἔβαλον: ποτὶ καὶ τὸν ἵκοντ᾽: ἐπεὶ νεφέλᾳ παρελέξατο,
ψεῦδος γλυκὺ μεθέπων, ἄϊδρις ἀνήρ:
 εἶδος γὰρ ὑπεροχωτάτᾳ πρέπεν οὐρανιᾶν
θυγατέρι Κρόνου: ἅντε δόλον αὐτῷ θέσαν
40Ζηνὸς παλάμαι, καλὸν πῆμα. τὸν δὲ τετράκναμον ἔπραξε δεσμόν,
ἑὸν ὄλεθρον ὅγ᾽: ἐν δ᾽ ἀφύκτοισι γυιοπέδαις πεσὼν τὰν πολύκοινον ἀνδέξατ᾽ ἀγγελίαν.
ἄνευ οἱ Χαρίτων τέκεν γόνον ὑπερφίαλον,
 μόνα καὶ μόνον, οὔτ᾽ ἐν ἀνδράσι γερασφόρον οὔτ᾽ ἐν θεῶν νόμοις:
τὸν ὀνύμαξε τράφοισα Κένταυρον, ὃς
45ἵπποισι Μαγνητίδεσσι ἐμίγνυτ᾽ ἐν Παλίου
σφυροῖς, ἐκ δ᾽ ἐγένοντο στρατὸς
ὁμοῖοι τοκεῦσι, τὰ ματρόθεν μὲν κάτω, τὰ δ᾽ ὕπερθε πατρός.
 θεὸς ἅπαν ἐπὶ ἐλπίδεσσι τέκμαρ ἀνύεται,
50θεός, ὃ καὶ πτερόεντ᾽ αἰετὸν κίχε, καὶ θαλασσαῖον παραμείβεται
δελφῖνα, καὶ ὑψιφρόνων τιν᾽ ἔκαμψε βροτῶν,
ἑτέροισι δὲ κῦδος ἀγήραον παρέδωκ᾽. ἐμὲ δὲ χρεὼν
φεύγειν δάκος ἀδινὸν κακαγοριᾶν.
man must always measure all things according to his own place.
Unnatural lust throws men into dense trouble; it befell even him, since
the man in his ignorance
chased a sweet fake and
lay with a cloud, for its form was like the supreme celestial goddess,
the daughter of Cronus. The
hands of Zeus set it as a trap for him,  a beautiful misery.
brought upon himself the four-spoked fetter, his own ruin. He fell into
and received the message
that warns the whole world. She
bore to him, without the blessing of the Graces,
offspring—there was never a mother or a son like this—honored neither
nor by the laws of the gods. She raised him and named him
Centaurus,  and he mated
with the Magnesian mares in the foothills
of Pelion, and from them was born a marvelous horde,
both its parents: like the mother below, the father above.
accomplish everything according to their wishes;  the gods,
overtake even the flying eagle and outstrip the dolphin in the sea,
bend down many a man who is overly ambitious, while to others they give
For my part, I must avoid the aggressive bite of
slander. For I have seen, long before me, 
often in a helpless state, fattening himself with strong words and
Pythian 4: For Arcesilas of Cyrene Chariot Race 462 B.C.
γνῶθι νῦν τὰν Οἰδιπόδα σοφίαν. εἰ γάρ τις ὄζους ὀξυτόμῳ πελέκει
 ἐξερείψειεν μεγάλας δρυός, αἰσχύνοι δέ οἱ θαητὸν εἶδος:
265καὶ φθινόκαρπος ἐοῖσα διδοῖ ψᾶφον περ᾽ αὐτᾶς,
εἴ ποτε χειμέριον πῦρ ἐξίκηται λοίσθιον:
ἢ σὺν ὀρθαῖς κιόνεσσιν δεσποσύναισιν ἐρειδομένα
μόχθον ἄλλοις ἀμφέπει δύστανον ἐν τείχεσιν,
ἑὸν ἐρημώσαισα χῶρον.
270 ἐσσὶ δ᾽ ἰατὴρ ἐπικαιρότατος, Παιάν τέ σοι τιμᾷ φάος:
χρὴ μαλακὰν χέρα προσβάλλοντα τρώμαν ἕλκεος ἀμφιπολεῖν.
ῥᾴδιον μὲν γὰρ πόλιν σεῖσαι καὶ ἀφαυροτέροις:
ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ χώρας αὖτις ἕσσαι δυσπαλὲς δὴ γίγνεται, ἐξαπίνας
εἰ μὴ θεὸς ἁγεμόνεσσι κυβερνατὴρ γένηται.
275 τὶν δὲ τούτων ἐξυφαίνονται χάριτες.
τλᾶθι τᾶς εὐδαίμονος ἀμφὶ Κυράνας θέμεν σπουδὰν ἅπασαν.
τῶν δ᾽ Ὁμήρου καὶ τόδε συνθέμενος
ῥῆμα πόρσυν᾽: ἄγγελον ἐσλὸν ἔφα τιμὰν μεγίσταν πράγματι παντὶ φέρειν:
αὔξεται καὶ Μοῖσα δι᾽ ἀγγελίας ὀρθᾶς. ἐπέγνω μὲν Κυράνα
280καὶ τὸ κλεεννότατον μέγαρον Βάττου δικαιᾶν
 Δαμοφίλου πραπίδων. κεῖνος γὰρ ἐν παισὶν νέος,
ἐν δὲ βουλαῖς πρέσβυς ἐγκύρσαις ἑκατονταετεῖ βιοτᾷ,
ὀρφανίζει μὲν κακὰν γλῶσσαν φαεννᾶς ὀπός,
ἔμαθε δ᾽ ὑβρίζοντα μισεῖν,
285οὐκ ἐρίζων ἀντία τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς,
οὐδὲ μακύνων τέλος οὐδέν. ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς πρὸς ἀνθρώπων βραχὺ μέτρον ἔχει.
 εὖ νιν ἔγνωκεν: θεράπων δέ οἱ, οὐ δράστας ὀπαδεῖ. φαντὶ δ᾽ ἔμμεν
τοῦτ᾽ ἀνιαρότατον, καλὰ γιγνώσκοντ᾽ ἀνάγκᾳ
ἐκτὸς ἔχειν πόδα. καὶ μὰν κεῖνος Ἄτλας οὐρανῷ
290 προσπαλαίει νῦν γε πατρῴας ἀπὸ γᾶς ἀπό τε κτεάνων:
λῦσε δὲ Ζεὺς ἄφθιτος Τιτᾶνας. ἐν δὲ χρόνῳ
μεταβολαὶ λήξαντος οὔρου
ἱστίων. ἀλλ᾽ εὔχεται οὐλομέναν νοῦσον διαντλήσαις ποτὲ
οἶκον ἰδεῖν, ἐπ᾽ Ἀπόλλωνός τε κράνᾳ συμποσίας ἐφέπων
295θυμὸν ἐκδόσθαι πρὸς ἥβαν πολλάκις, ἔν τε σοφοῖς
δαιδαλέαν φόρμιγγα βαστάζων πολίταις ἡσυχίᾳ θιγέμεν,
 μήτ᾽ ὦν τινι πῆμα πορών, ἀπαθὴς δ᾽ αὐτὸς πρὸς ἀστῶν.
καί κε μυθήσαιθ᾽ ὁποίαν, Ἀρκεσίλα,
εὗρε παγὰν ἀμβροσίων ἐπέων, πρόσφατον Θήβᾳ ξενωθείς.
learn the skill of Oedipus: if a man, with a sharp-cutting axe, cuts
from a great oak, and spoils its marvellous beauty, 
even with its fruit destroyed it votes for its own worth,
if it comes
at last to the winter fire; or if it is placed with upright columns
belonging to a ruler,
performing a slavish service among foreign walls,
having deserted its native place.
 But you are a most opportune
healer, and Apollo Paean honors your light.
One must apply a gentle
hand to tend a sore wound: it is easy even for weak men to shake a city
to its foundations,
but to set it in its place again is indeed a
difficult struggle, unless a god suddenly comes to guide its rulers.
These blessings are woven out for you: be bold, and apply all
earnestness for the sake of fortunate Cyrene.
Of the sayings of Homer, take to heart and heed this one: “a noble messenger,”
he said, “brings the greatest honor to every business.” Even the Muse
is exalted by a
 and the most renowned hall of Battus recognized the just mind of
young man among boys, and in counsels like an elder who
has lived a hundred years,
he robs the evil tongue of its brash voice,
and he has learned to hate the arrogant; 
he does not struggle
against good men, or postpone any decisive action, for the right moment
has a brief measure in the eyes of men. He recognizes it well, and he
serves it as an attendant, not a slave.
But they say that this is the
most grievous thing of all, to recognize what is good and to be
from it by compulsion. And truly he, like Atlas,  now
strains against the weight of the sky,
far from his ancestral land and
his possessions. But immortal Zeus freed the Titans; and in time,
the wind ceases, there are changes of sails. But he prays that at some
time, when he has
drained to the dregs his cup of ruinous affliction,
he will see his home, and, joining the symposium
near the spring of
Apollo,  yield his spirit often to the joys of youth, and attain
holding the well-made lyre among his skillful fellow citizens,
bringing no pain to anyone,
and himself unharmed by his townsmen. Then
he would tell you, Arcesilas,
what a fountain of immortal song he
found, when he was recently entertained by his host at Thebes.
τὴν δ᾽ αὖτε προσέειπε Ποσειδάων ἐνοσίχθων:
‘Ἶρι θεὰ μάλα τοῦτο ἔπος κατὰ μοῖραν ἔειπες:
‘ἐσθλὸν καὶ τὸ τέτυκται ὅτ᾽ ἄγγελος αἴσιμα εἰδῇ.
ἀλλὰ τόδ᾽ αἰνὸν ἄχος κραδίην καὶ θυμὸν ἱκάνει
ὁππότ᾽ ἂν ἰσόμορον καὶ ὁμῇ πεπρωμένον αἴσῃ
210νεικείειν ἐθέλῃσι χολωτοῖσιν ἐπέεσσιν.
ἀλλ᾽ ἤτοι νῦν μέν κε νεμεσσηθεὶς ὑποείξω:
ἄλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, καὶ ἀπειλήσω τό γε θυμῷ:
αἴ κεν ἄνευ ἐμέθεν καὶ Ἀθηναίης ἀγελείης
Ἥρης Ἑρμείω τε καὶ Ἡφαίστοιο ἄνακτος
215Ἰλίου αἰπεινῆς πεφιδήσεται, οὐδ᾽ ἐθελήσει
ἐκπέρσαι, δοῦναι δὲ μέγα κράτος Ἀργείοισιν,
ἴστω τοῦθ᾽ ὅτι νῶϊν ἀνήκεστος χόλος ἔσται.
 Then answered
her again Poseidon, the Shaker of Earth:“Goddess Iris, this word
of thine is right fitly spoken; and a good thing verily is this, when a messenger hath an understanding heart.
But herein dread grief cometh upon my heart and soul, whenso any is
minded to upbraid with angry words
 one of like portion with
himself, to whom fate hath decreed an equal share. Howbeit for this
present will I yield,
despite mine indignation; yet another thing will
I tell thee, and make this threat in my wrath: if in despite of me,
of Athene, driver of the spoil,  and of Hera, and Hermes, and lord
he shall spare steep Ilios, and shall be minded not to lay
it waste, neither to give great might to the Argives,
let him know
this, that between us twain shall be wrath that naught can appease.”
saying, the Shaker of Earth left the host of the Achaeans, and fared to
the sea and plunged therein;
and the Achaean warriors missed him sore.
Pythian 8: For
Aristomenes of Aegina Wrestling 446 B.C.
ὧδ᾽ εἶπε μαρναμένων:
‘ φυᾷ τὸ γενναῖον ἐπιπρέπει
45ἐκ πατέρων παισὶ λῆμα. θαέομαι σαφὲς
δράκοντα ποικίλον αἰθᾶς Ἀλκμᾶν᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀσπίδος
νωμῶντα πρῶτον ἐν Κάδμου πύλαις.
ὁ δὲ καμὼν προτέρᾳ πάθᾳ
 νῦν ἀρείονος ἐνέχεται
Ἄδραστος ἥρως: τὸ δὲ οἴκοθεν
ἀντία πράξει. μοῦνος γὰρ ἐκ Δαναῶν στρατοῦ
θανόντος ὀστέα λέξαις υἱοῦ, τύχᾳ θεῶν
ἀφίξεται λαῷ σὺν ἀβλαβεῖ
55Ἄβαντος εὐρυχόρους ἀγυιάς.’ τοιαῦτα μὲν
ἐφθέγξατ᾽ Ἀμφιάρηος. χαίρων δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς
 Ἀλκμᾶνα στεφάνοισι βάλλω, ῥαίνω δὲ καὶ ὕμνῳ,
γείτων ὅτι μοι καὶ κτεάνων φύλαξ ἐμῶν
ὑπάντασεν ἰόντι γᾶς ὀμφαλὸν παρ᾽ ἀοίδιμον,
60μαντευμάτων τ᾽ ἐφάψατο συγγόνοισι τέχναις.
he spoke, while they were fighting: “By nature the genuine spirit of
the fathers 
is conspicuous in the sons. I clearly see Alcmaeon,
wielding a dappled serpent on his blazing shield,
the first at the
gates of Cadmus. And he who suffered in the earlier disaster, the hero
now has the tidings of a better  bird of omen.
But at home his luck will be the opposite.
For he alone of the Danaan
army will gather the bones of his dead son, by the fortune sent
the gods, and come with his people unharmed  to the spacious
streets of Argos,
the city of Abas.” So spoke Amphiaraus. And I myself
rejoice as I fling garlands over Alcmaeon and sprinkle
him with song,
because this hero is my neighbor and guardian of my possessions, and he
when I was going to the songful navel of the earth,  and he
touched on prophecies with his inborn arts.
And you, Apollo, shooting
from afar, you who govern the glorious temple, hospitable to all,
the hollows of Pytho, there you granted the greatest of joys. 
in your festival at home, you brought him a coveted gift for
Lord, I pray that with a willing mind I may observe a
certain harmony on every step of my way.
Nemean 5: For Pytheas
of Aegina Boys' Pancratium ?483 B. C.
οὐκ ἀνδριαντοποιός εἰμ᾽, ὥστ᾽ ἐλινύσοντα ἐργάζεσθαι ἀγάλματ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτᾶς βαθμίδος
ἑσταότ᾽: ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ πάσας ὁλκάδος ἔν τ᾽ ἀκάτῳ, γλυκεῖ᾽ ἀοιδά,
στεῖχ᾽ ἀπ᾽ Αἰγίνας, διαγγέλλοισ᾽, ὅτι
Λάμπωνος υἱὸς Πυθέας εὐρυσθενὴς
5νίκη Νεμείοις παγκρατίου στέφανον,
 οὔπω γένυσι φαίνων τέρειναν ματέρ᾽ οἰνάνθας ὀπώραν,
ἐκ δὲ Κρόνου καὶ Ζηνὸς ἥρωας αἰχματὰς φυτευθέντας καὶ ἀπὸ χρυσεᾶν Νηρηΐδων
Αἰακίδας ἐγέραιρεν ματρόπολίν τε, φίλαν ξένων ἄρουραν:
τάν ποτ᾽ εὔανδρόν τε καὶ ναυσικλυτὰν
10θέσσαντο πὰρ βωμὸν πατέρος Ἑλλανίου
 στάντες, πίτναν τ᾽ εἰς αἰθέρα χεῖρας ἁμᾷ
Ἐνδαΐδος ἀριγνῶτες υἱοὶ καὶ βία Φώκου κρέοντος,
ὁ τᾶς θεοῦ, ὃν Ψαμάθεια τίκτ᾽ ἐπὶ ῥηγμῖνι πόντου.
αἰδέομαι μέγα εἰπεῖν ἐν δίκᾳ τε μὴ κεκινδυνευμένον,
15πῶς δὴ λίπον εὐκλέα νᾶσον, καὶ τίς ἄνδρας ἀλκίμους
 δαίμων ἀπ᾽ Οἰνώνας ἔλασεν. στάσομαι: οὔ τοι ἅπασα κερδίων
φαίνοισα πρόσωπον ἀλάθει᾽ ἀτρεκής:
καὶ τὸ σιγᾶν πολλάκις ἐστὶ σοφώτατον ἀνθρώπῳ νοῆσαι.
εἰ δ᾽ ὄλβον ἢ χειρῶν βίαν ἢ σιδαρίταν ἐπαινῆσαι πόλεμον δεδόκηται, μακρά μοι
20αὐτόθεν ἅλμαθ᾽ ὑποσκάπτοι τις: ἔχω γονάτων ἐλαφρὸν ὁρμάν:
 καὶ πέραν πόντοιο πάλλοντ᾽ αἰετοί.
πρόφρων δὲ καὶ κείνοις ἄειδ᾽ ἐν Παλίῳ
Μοισᾶν ὁ κάλλιστος χορός, ἐν δὲ μέσαις
φόρμιγγ᾽ Ἀπόλλων ἑπτάγλωσσον χρυσέῳ πλάκτρῳ διώκων
25ἁγεῖτο παντοίων νόμων: αἱ δὲ πρώτιστον μὲν ὕμνησαν Διὸς ἀρχόμεναι σεμνὰν Θέτιν
Πηλέα θ᾽, ὥς τέ νιν ἁβρὰ Κρηθεῒς Ἱππολύτα δόλῳ πεδᾶσαι
 ἤθελε ξυνᾶνα Μαγνήτων σκοπὸν
πείσαισ᾽ ἀκοίταν ποικίλοις βουλεύμασιν,
ψεύσταν δὲ ποιητὸν συνέπαξε λόγον,
30ὡς ἆρα νυμφείας ἐπείρα κεῖνος ἐν λέκτροις Ἀκάστου
am not a sculptor, to make statues that stand motionless on the same
pedestal. Sweet song,
go on every merchant-ship and rowboat that leaves
Aegina, and announce that
Lampon's powerful son Pytheas 
won the victory garland for the
pancratium at the Nemean games, a boy whose cheeks do not yet show the
season that is mother to the dark blossom. He has brought honor
to the Aeacids, the heroic spearmen descended
from Cronus and Zeus and
the golden Nereids, and to his mother city, a land friendly to guests.
Once by the altar of father Zeus Hellenius the illustrious sons of
Endais and the strong, mighty Phocus
stood and prayed, stretching their
hands to the sky, that the city would one day be famous for men and
Phocus was the son of the goddess Psamatheia; he was born by the
shore of the sea. Reverence
restrains me from speaking of an enormous
and unjust venture,  how indeed they left the glorious island,
what divine power drove the brave men from Oenone.
I will stop: it is
not always beneficial for the precise truth to show her face, and
silence is often the wisest thing for a man to heed.
if it is resolved to praise wealth, or the strength of hands, or iron
let someone mark off a long jump for me from this point. I
have a light spring in my knees,
and eagles swoop over the sea. The
most beautiful chorus of Muses sang gladly for the Aeacids
Pelion, and among them Apollo, sweeping the seven-tongued lyre with a
golden plectrum, 
led all types of strains. And the Muses began
with a prelude to Zeus, then sang first of divine Thetis and of Peleus;
how Hippolyte, the opulent daughter of Cretheus, wanted to trap him
With elaborate planning she persuaded her husband, the
watcher of the Magnesians,
to be a partner in her plot, and she forged
a false story led all types of strains.
that Peleus had made an
attempt on her in Acastus' own bed.
(Transl. Diane Arnson Svarlien)
mythology, Ion (/ˈaɪ.ɒn/; Ancient
Greek: Ἴων, Íon, gen.: Ἴωνος, Íonos, "going") was
the illegitimate child of Creüsa,
daughter of Erechtheus and
wife of Xuthus.
conceived Ion with Apollo then she abandoned the child. Apollo
asked Hermes to
take Ion from his cradle. Ion was saved (and raised) by a priestess of
the Delphic Oracle.
Later, Xuthus was informed by the
oracle that the first person he met when leaving the oracle would be
and this person was Ion. He interpreted it to mean that he had fathered
when, in fact, Apollo was giving him Ion as an adoptive son. Creusa was
planning on killing Ion due to her jealousy that Xuthus had a son while
At the same time, Ion was planning on doing harm to Creusa. In
the end, Creusa found out that Ion was her child, and only Xuthus'
child. This is the story told in the tragedy Ion by Euripides.
In the other accounts, Ion was the
founder of Helike (the
in Achaea. Ion was the son of Xuthus (rather
than Apollo) who was brought to the area during the reign of king Selinus.
He married the girl named Helike who succeeded to the
built the city of Eliki after the name of his wife, and made it the
the kingdom. Later he took
an expedition against Eleusis (now
Elefsina) with the help of the Athenian and
in the battle he was killed near Eleusis.
Ion was also believed to have founded
a primary tribe of
Greece, the Ionians.
He has often been identified with the Javan mentioned
in the Hebrew Bible.
earlier Greek form of the name was *Ἰάϝων
"Iáwōn", which, with the loss of the digamma, later became
plural Iáones, as seen in epic poetry. In
addition, Dionysius Periegetes ver. 416
river in Arcadia called Iaon.
This river Iaon is further alluded to in Hesiod's Hymns
Callimachus, Hymn to Jupiter 22. This river has also been connected to
earlier forms of the name.
1. Hesiod, Catalogue
of Women fr.
Geoffrey William (General Editor) (1994). The International
Encyclopedia: Volume Two: Fully Revised: E-J: Javan. Grand Rapids,
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 971. ISBN 0-8028-3782-4.
English-Greek Dictionary, 1910, p. 1014
4. Hesiod, Catalogue of Women fr.
10(a).23. ("Ἰάονά τε κλυ]τόπωλ[ο]ν")
("Ἔνθα δὲ Βοιωτοὶ καὶ Ἰάονες ἑλκεχίτωνες"), mentioned in Israel
Hellas (1995) by John Pairman Brown, p. 82.
Early Ionians by George Huxley (1966), p. 166.
Ion (/ˈaɪɒn/; Ancient
Greek: Ἴων, Iōn) is an ancient Greek play
by Euripides, thought to be written between 414
and 412 BC. It follows the orphan Ion in
the discovery of his origins.
Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus,
was a noble native of Athens.
The god Apollo raped
her in a cave; there she gave birth to his son and intended to kill him
exposure. She keeps all this a secret. Many years later she was near
the end of
child bearing age, and had so far been unable to have a child with her
Xuthus, a Thessalian and son of Aeolus. So they traveled to Delphi
to seek a
sign from the oracles.
the temple of Apollo at Delphi, Hermes recalls
the time when Creusa, the
daughter of Erectheus,
was raped by Apollo in a cave at
Long Rocks under the Acropolis. Creusa secretly gave birth to a
whom she left in a basket, along with some trinkets, expecting that he
devoured by beasts. Apollo sent Hermes to bring the boy to Delphi where
grown up as an attendant at the temple. Creusa, meanwhile, was married
son of Aeolus,
the son of Zeus.
Xuthus won Creusa by assisting the Athenians in a war against the
and Creusa have come to Delphi to ask if they can have children. Hermes
that Apollo will give the boy, soon to be named Ion, to Xuthus who will
him home to Athens where he will be recognized by his mother.
Hermes steps into a wooded grove when
Ion arrives to begin
his morning chores. As Ion sweeps the steps of the temple with a broom
laurel, he sings the praise of the god who is like a father to him. His
reveries are disturbed by birds which he shoos away with his arrows,
without a twinge of regret.
consisting of Athenian maidens, arrives at
the temple and marvels at the stonework depicting ancient legends. They
identify themselves to Ion as servants of the Athenian rulers and soon
their mistress arriving at the temple doors.
introduces herself to Ion as the daughter of Erectheus. Ion is
impressed, as he is familiar with the old stories about her family.
casual mention of Long Rocks startles Creusa but she reveals nothing of
past. She tells him that she has married a foreigner, Xuthus, who won
her as a
prize for helping the Athenians in battle. They are here to ask about
children. Ion introduces himself as an orphan slave who was brought up
priestess of Apollo. When Creusa asks if he has ever tried to find his
he says he has no token of her. Moved by the thought of his mother,
tells Ion that she has come in advance of her husband to question the
behalf of "a friend" who had a child by Apollo, which she abandoned.
has come, she tells him, to ask the god if her friend's child is still
would be about your age now, she tells him. Ion warns her to abandon
inquiry, saying that no one would dare accuse the god of such a deed in
temple. Seeing Xuthus approaching, Creusa asks Ion to reveal nothing of
conversation. Xuthus arrives and expresses confidence that he will
news from the oracle. He sends Creusa with laurel branches to make the
of the external altars, and goes into the sanctuary. After they both
questions how the gods, who punish evildoing among mortals, can engage
abusive behavior themselves. Before going off to finish his chores, he
indignantly advises the gods not to rape young women just because they
While Xuthus is inside, the Chorus of
prays to Athena and Artemis, recalling the joys of fertility and
children. Recalling the story of the daughters of Cecrops and Aglauros,
conclude that children born of mortals by gods are fated for ill
as Xuthus emerges from the inner sanctuary. He calls the young
"my boy" and rushes to embrace him. Ion is wary and at one point he
even draws his bow. Xuthus explains that the god told him that the
he encountered when he came out of the shrine would be his son. When
questions who his mother might be, Xuthus says that perhaps she was
met at a Bacchic festival. Ion accepts Xuthus as his father, but thinks
wistfully of the mother he longs to meet. Creusa's servants wish that
mistress could share in the happiness. Xuthus proposes that Ion come
Athens with him, but the young man is reluctant to take on the role of
"the bastard son of an imported father." He compares the happiness of
kings to an outward façade of prosperity masking fear and
suspicion within. When
he says that he would prefer to remain a temple attendant, Xuthus
the conversation with "Enough of that. You must learn to be happy."
Ion will come back with him as a house guest. When the time is right,
arrange for Ion to be his heir. As he leaves to offer sacrifice, he
boy Ion because he met him 'coming out' and tells him to arrange for a
to celebrate his departure from Delphi. He enjoins the chorus to reveal
of what has happened. Ion reluctantly agrees to go to Athens, but he
meet his unknown mother and fears he will not be well received.
of Creusa's maids, suspecting treachery, pray for the death of Xuthus
whom they consider interlopers.
Creusa returns to the temple gate
accompanied by her
father's elderly tutor. Sensing that something is amiss, Creusa presses
maids to tell what they know. They reveal that Apollo gave Ion to
Xuthus as a
son while she will remain childless. The old tutor speculates that
discovered that Creusa was barren, sired the child by a slave and gave
him to a
Delphian to raise. The old man tells Creusa that she must not allow the
child of a foreigner to inherit the throne. Instead, she must kill her
and his son to prevent further treachery. He volunteers to help her.
servants pledge their support.
With her hopes in the god completely
dashed, Creusa finally
reveals what Apollo did to her, in a sung monody.
describes how he came upon her as she was gathering flowers — a shining
grabbed her by the wrists and dragged her into a cave as she screamed
mother. She gave birth to a child and left him in the cave in the hope
god would save him. Now she realizes that Apollo has completely
and their son.
The tutor encourages her to avenge
herself by torching
Apollo's temple, but she refuses. When she also refuses to kill her
the tutor suggests that she kill the young man. Creusa agrees, telling
she has two drops of the Gorgon's
blood which Erichthonius received from Athena. One
drop kills and the other cures. She gives the deadly drop to the tutor
poison Ion during his farewell banquet, then they go their separate
prays for the plot's success, fearing that if it fails, Creusa will
own life before allowing a foreigner to take over Athenian rule. They
condemn the ingratitude of Apollo who gave preference to Xuthus over
the Chorus' song, a messenger arrives, announcing that the plot has
tells them (in a typically Euripidean messenger speech) that a Delphian
searching for Creusa to stone her to death. He says that Xuthus
Ion to host a banquet under a tent, while he went off to offer
messenger describes the banquet tent, in a detailed ekphrasis.
messenger then reports how the plan went awry. Ingratiating himself
crowd, the old tutor took on the role of wine steward and slipped the
into Ion's cup as planned; but just as they were about to drink,
an ill-omened remark and Ion called on the company to pour out their
a flock of doves drank the spilled wine, all survived except the dove
drank the wine intended for Ion. The bird died in torment, revealing
Ion grabbed the old tutor, found the vial and forced a confession from
he successfully brought a charge of murder against Creusa at a hastily
assembled court of Delphian leaders. Now the entire city is searching
The Chorus sings a song anticipating
their death at the
hands of the Delphian mob.
Creusa then enters, saying that she is
pursued by the
Delphian mob. On the advice of her servants, she seeks sanctuary at the
of Apollo, just as Ion arrives with sword in hand. Each accuse the
treachery. He says that she tried to murder him; she says that he tried
overturn the house of her fathers.
rails against the
laws that protect convicted assassins, the Pythian priestess emerges from the temple. Advising
Ion to go to Athens with his father, she shows him the basket he was
found in. She
has kept it secret all these years, but now that Ion's father has been
revealed, she can give it to him to help in the search for his mother.
to travel all of Asia and Europe to search for her. She advises him to
his search in Delphi. As he peers into the basket, Ion marvels at the
it shows no sign of age or decay. Recognizing the basket, Creusa knows
immediately that Ion is her son. She leaves the altar to embrace him
the risk of her life. When she announces that she is his mother, Ion
her of lying. In an attempt to discredit her, he challenges her to name
in the basket. There is an unfinished weaving with a Gorgon in the
fringed with serpents like an aegis; a pair of golden serpents in
Erichthonius, fashioned into a necklace; and a wreath of olive branches
ought to still be green. Convinced, Ion flies to Creusa's welcoming
arms — her
long dead son has been returned alive.
her son and heir, Creusa expresses her joy. There is no more
chance than this, Ion tells her, than to discover that you are my
mother. I am
childless no longer, she tells him. When Ion questions her about his
Creusa tells him with some embarrassment that he is the son of Apollo
she reluctantly abandoned him in a deserted cave to be the prey of
they celebrate their change of fortune, Ion takes her aside to ask if
she conceived him with a mortal father and made up the story about
all, Apollo said that Xuthus was his father.
that only Apollo can tell him for certain who his father is, Ion starts
the sanctuary to confront the god, but he is stopped by the appearance
goddess Athena on the roof of the temple (an
instance of deus
ex machina). Athena
explains that Apollo thought it best not to show himself in person lest
blamed for what happened, but sent Athena in his place to tell Ion that
Ion's father and Creusa is his mother. Athena tells Ion that Apollo
them together on purpose, to provide Ion with a proper place in a noble
had planned for Ion to discover the truth after he went to Athens, but
the plot was discovered, he decided to reveal the secret here to
of them from killing the other. Athena then tells Creusa to establish
the ancient Athenian throne where he will be famous throughout Hellas.
his half brothers will establish the Ionian, Dorian and Achaean races.
the goddess concludes, has managed all things well. As she leaves,
orders them not to tell Xuthus but to let him think that Ion is his son.
The testimony of the goddess convinces
Ion, who affirms that
Apollo is his father and Creusa his mother. For her part, Creusa swears
she will now praise Apollo because he gave her son back. The gods may
to action, Athena observes, but in the end they show their strength.
Although Ion is
not among Euripides' most revered plays, some critics have cited its
unconventionality in the context of Greek tragedy. In The
Quarterly, Spencer Cole defended another scholar's argument that the
"self-referential to a degree unparalleled anywhere else in Euripides,"
and wrote that Ion was the work in which the tragedian's will
innovate was most evident.
Spencer (May 2008). "Annotated Innovation in Euripides'
"Ion"". The Classical Quarterly. Cambridge University
Press. 58 (1): 313–315.
Works related to Ion at
Greek Wikisource has
original text related to this article: Ἴων
ἀλλ᾽ ἐκπαύσω γὰρ μόχθους
χρυσέων δ᾽ ἐκ τευχέων ῥίψω
150νοτερὸν ὕδωρ βάλλων,
ὅσιος ἀπ᾽ εὐνᾶς ὤν.
εἴθ᾽ οὕτως αἰεὶ Φοίβῳ
λατρεύων μὴ παυσαίμαν,
ἢ παυσαίμαν ἀγαθᾷ μοίρᾳ.
φοιτῶσ᾽ ἤδη λείπουσίν τε
155πτανοὶ Παρνασοῦ κοίτας:
αὐδῶ μὴ χρίμπτειν θριγκοῖς
μηδ᾽ ἐς χρυσήρεις οἴκους —
μάρψω σ᾽ αὖ τόξοις, ὦ Ζηνὸς
κῆρυξ, ὀρνίθων γαμφηλαῖς
ὅδε πρὸς θυμέλας ἄλλος ἐρέσσει
κύκνος. οὐκ ἄλλᾳ
φοινικοφαῆ πόδα κινήσεις;
οὐδέν σ᾽ ἁ φόρμιγξ ἁ Φοίβου
165σύμμολπος τόξων ῥύσαιτ᾽ ἄν.
λίμνας ἐπίβα τᾶς Δηλιάδος:
αἱμάξεις, εἰ μὴ πείσῃ,
τὰς καλλιφθόγγους ᾠδάς.
τίς ὅδ᾽ ὀρνίθων καινὸς προσέβα;
μῶν ὑπὸ θριγκοὺς εὐναίας
καρφυρὰς θήσων τέκνοις;
ψαλμοί σ᾽ εἴρξουσιν τόξων.
οὐ πείσῃ; χωρῶν δίναις
175ταῖς Ἀλφειοῦ παιδούργει,
ἢ νάπος Ἴσθμιον,
ὡς ἀναθήματα μὴ βλάπτηται
ναοί θ᾽ οἱ Φοίβου ...
κτείνειν δ᾽ ὑμᾶς αἰδοῦμαι
180τοὺς θεῶν ἀγγέλλοντας φήμας
θνατοῖς: οἷς δ᾽ ἔγκειμαι μόχθοις,
Φοίβῳ δουλεύσω, κοὐ λήξω
τοὺς βόσκοντας θεραπεύων.
But I will cease from labor
 with the laurel branch and I wil hurl from golden
vases Gaia's fountain,
which Castalia's eddies pour out, casting out the moist
 since I am chaste. May I never cease to serve Phoebus
in this manner;
or, if I do, may it be with good fortune. Ah, ah! Already the
birds of Parnassus have left their nests,
 and come here. I forbid you to approach the walls and
the golden house.
I will reach you with my bow, herald of Zeus, though you
 with your beak the strength of all other birds. Here
comes another, a swan, to the rim of the temple.
Move your crimson foot
elsewhere! Phoebus' lyre, that sings with you,
 would not protect you from my bow. Alter your wings'
course; go to the Delian lake;
if you do not obey, you will steep your lovely
melody in blood.
 Ah, ah! what is this new bird that approaches; you
will not place under the cornice
a straw-built nest for your children, will
you? My singing bow will keep you off. Will you not obey?
 Go away and bring up your offspring by the eddies of
Alpheus, or go to the Isthmian grove,
so that the offerings, and the temple of
Phoebus, are not harmed. . . .
yet I am ashamed to kill you,
 for to mortals you
bear the messages of the gods
I will be subject to
Phoebus in my appointed tasks, and I will never cease
service to those who nourish me.
O unhappy in my fate, I have received, I have suffered an unbearable
 I am wholly ruined.
Alas! A piercing grief has struck me in my heart.
Do not groan yet.
But the mourning is already here.
 Until we learn—
πρὶν ἂν μάθωμεν —
What message for me?
ἀγγελίαν τίνα μοι;
If the master has a share in this same fate, or you alone are
εἰ ταὐτὰ πράσσων δεσπότης τῆς συμφορᾶς
κοινωνός ἐστιν, ἢ μόνη σὺ δυστυχεῖς.
λαβοῦσα τόνδε παῖδα Κεκροπίαν χθόνα
χώρει, Κρέουσα, κἀς θρόνους τυραννικοὺς
ἵδρυσον. ἐκ γὰρ τῶν Ἐρεχθέως γεγὼς
δίκαιος ἄρχειν τῆς γ᾽ ἐμῆς ὅδε χθονός,
1575ἔσται τ᾽ ἀν᾽ Ἑλλάδ᾽ εὐκλεής. οἱ τοῦδε γὰρ
παῖδες γενόμενοι τέσσαρες ῥίζης μιᾶς
ἐπώνυμοι γῆς κἀπιφυλίου χθονὸς
λαῶν ἔσονται, σκόπελον οἳ ναίουσ᾽ ἐμόν.
Γελέων μὲν ἔσται πρῶτος: εἶτα δεύτερος
1580Ὅπλητες Ἀργαδῆς τ᾽, ἐμῆς τ᾽ ἀπ᾽ αἰγίδος
ἔμφυλον ἕξουσ᾽ Αἰγικορῆς. οἱ τῶνδε δ᾽ αὖ
παῖδες γενόμενοι σὺν χρόνῳ πεπρωμένῳ
Κυκλάδας ἐποικήσουσι νησαίας πόλεις
χέρσους τε παράλους, ὃ σθένος τἠμῇ χθονὶ
1585δίδωσιν: ἀντίπορθμα δ᾽ ἠπείροιν δυοῖν
πεδία κατοικήσουσιν, Ἀσιάδος τε γῆς
Εὐρωπίας τε: τοῦδε δ᾽ ὀνόματος χάριν
Ἴωνες ὀνομασθέντες ἕξουσιν κλέος.
Ξούθῳ δὲ καὶ σοὶ γίγνεται κοινὸν γένος,
1590Δῶρος μέν, ἔνθεν Δωρὶς ὑμνηθήσεται
πόλις κατ᾽ αἶαν Πελοπίαν: ὁ δεύτερος
Ἀχαιός, ὃς γῆς παραλίας Ῥίου πέλας
τύραννος ἔσται, κἀπισημανθήσεται
κείνου κεκλῆσθαι λαὸς ὄνομ᾽ ἐπώνυμος.
1595καλῶς δ᾽ Ἀπόλλων πάντ᾽ ἔπραξε: πρῶτα μὲν
ἄνοσον λοχεύει σ᾽, ὥστε μὴ γνῶναι φίλους:
ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἔτικτες τόνδε παῖδα κἀπέθου
ἐν σπαργάνοισιν, ἁρπάσαντ᾽ ἐς ἀγκάλας
Ἑρμῆν κελεύει δεῦρο πορθμεῦσαι βρέφος,
1600ἔθρεψέ τ᾽ οὐδ᾽ εἴασεν ἐκπνεῦσαι βίον.
νῦν οὖν σιώπα, παῖς ὅδ᾽ ὡς πέφυκε σός,
ἵν᾽ ἡ δόκησις Ξοῦθον ἡδέως ἔχῃ,
σύ τ᾽ αὖ τὰ σαυτῆς ἀγάθ᾽ ἔχουσ᾽ ἴῃς, γύναι.
καὶ χαίρετ᾽: ἐκ γὰρ τῆσδ᾽ ἀναψυχῆς πόνων
1605εὐδαίμον᾽ ὑμῖν πότμον ἐξαγγέλλομαι.
Creusa, take your son and go to the
land of Cecrops; set him
on the royal throne.
For he was born from Erechtheus and is fit to rule
 and he will be famous throughout Hellas. He will have four
sons, from one stock,
will gave names to the land and the tribes of people
who inhabit it. Geleon
will be the first; then second . . .
 Hopletes and Argades, and the
Aegicores will have a tribal name from my aegis.
Their sons in turn, at the
appointed time, will settle in the island cities of the Cyclades,
and the lands along the shore, which
strength to my land;
 they will colonize the plains of the two
mainlands, Asia and Europe, on opposite sides;
the name of Ionians,
in homage to this boy's name. You and Xuthus will have children
 Dorus, from whom the Dorian state will be celebrated
throughout the land of Pelops.
The second son, Achaeus, will be king of the
shore land near Rhion;
and a people called after him will be marked out
having his name.
 Apollo has done all things well: first, he had you give
birth without pain,
so that your family would not know about it; when
and put him in his clothes, he ordered Hermes
to take up the baby in
his arms and bring him here;
 he nurtured him, and did not allow him to
Now do not reveal that he is your son, so that Xuthus may have his
and you too may go forth with your blessings, lady.
farewell; from this relief from ills
 I announce
prosperous fortune for
ὦ Διὸς Παλλὰς μεγίστου θύγατερ, οὐκ ἀπιστίᾳ
σοὺς λόγους ἐδεξάμεσθα: πείθομαι δ᾽ εἶναι πατρὸς
Λοξίου καὶ τῆσδε.
— καὶ πρὶν τοῦτο δ᾽ οὐκ ἄπιστον ἦν.
τἀμὰ νῦν ἄκουσον: αἰνῶ Φοῖβον οὐκ αἰνοῦσα πρίν,
1610οὕνεχ᾽ οὗ ποτ᾽ ἠμέλησε παιδὸς ἀποδίδωσί μοι.
αἵδε δ᾽ εὐωποὶ πύλαι μοι καὶ θεοῦ χρηστήρια,
δυσμενῆ πάροιθεν ὄντα. νῦν δὲ καὶ ῥόπτρων χέρας
ἡδέως ἐκκρημνάμεσθα καὶ προσεννέπω πύλας.
ᾔνεσ᾽ οὕνεκ᾽ εὐλογεῖς θεὸν μεταβαλοῦσ᾽: ἀεὶ γὰρ οὖν
1615χρόνια μὲν τὰ τῶν θεῶν πως, ἐς τέλος δ᾽ οὐκ ἀσθενῆ.
ὦ τέκνον, στείχωμεν οἴκους.
στείχεθ᾽, ἕψομαι δ᾽ ἐγώ.
ἀξία γ᾽ ἡμῶν ὁδουρός.
καὶ φιλοῦσά γε πτόλιν.
ἐς θρόνους δ᾽ ἵζου παλαιούς.
ἄξιον τὸ κτῆμά μοι.
ὦ Διὸς Λητοῦς τ᾽ Ἄπολλον, χαῖρ᾽: ὅτῳ δ᾽ ἐλαύνεται
1620συμφοραῖς οἶκος, σέβοντα δαίμονας θαρσεῖν χρεών:
ἐς τέλος γὰρ οἱ μὲν ἐσθλοὶ τυγχάνουσιν ἀξίων,
οἱ κακοὶ δ᾽, ὥσπερ πεφύκασ᾽, οὔποτ᾽ εὖ πράξειαν ἄν.
O Pallas, daughter of all-powerful Zeus! not with distrust shall we
your words; I am convinced that
Phoebus is my father and she is my mother.—and
that I did not doubt before.
Hear now my words also; I praise Phoebus, whom I did not praise before;
because he gives back to me the child that he once neglected.
These gates are
lovely to my eyes, and the oracles of the god, which were hostile
now I gladly cling to the handle of the door and address the gates.
I am glad that you have changed your mind and praise the god; for
the gifts of Heaven are somehow slow, but at the end they are not weak.
My son, let us go home.
Go; I will escort you.
A worthy guide for us.
And friendly to the city.
Sit on the ancient throne.
A worthy possession for me. Ion, Creusa and Athena leave the stage.
O son of Leto and Zeus, Apollo, hail! The one whose house is striken
misfortune must have courage and honor the gods; for, at the end,
obtain what they have deserved, but the bad by nature can never fare
τὸν Ἴωνα χαίρειν. πόθεν τὰ νῦν ἡμῖν ἐπιδεδήμηκας; ἢ οἴκοθεν ἐξ Ἐφέσου;
οὐδαμῶς, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἀλλ᾽ ἐξ Ἐπιδαύρου ἐκ τῶν Ἀσκληπιείων.
μῶν καὶ ῥαψῳδῶν ἀγῶνα τιθέασιν τῷ θεῷ οἱ Ἐπιδαύριοι;
πάνυ γε, καὶ τῆς ἄλλης γε μουσικῆς.
τί οὖν; ἠγωνίζου τι ἡμῖν; καὶ πῶς τι ἠγωνίσω;
τὰ πρῶτα τῶν ἄθλων ἠνεγκάμεθα, ὦ Σώκρατες.
εὖ λέγεις: ἄγε δὴ ὅπως καὶ τὰ Παναθήναια νικήσομεν.
ἀλλ᾽ ἔσται ταῦτα, ἐὰν θεὸς ἐθέλῃ.
καὶ μὴν πολλάκις γε ἐζήλωσα ὑμᾶς τοὺς ῥαψῳδούς, ὦ Ἴων, τῆς τέχνης:
τὸ γὰρ ἅμα μὲν τὸ σῶμα κεκοσμῆσθαιἀεὶ πρέπον ὑμῶν
εἶναι τῇ τέχνῃ καὶ ὡς καλλίστοις φαίνεσθαι, ἅμα δὲ ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι ἔν
τε ἄλλοις ποιηταῖςδιατρίβειν πολλοῖς καὶ ἀγαθοῖς
καὶ δὴ καὶ μάλιστα ἐν Ὁμήρῳ, τῷ ἀρίστῳ καὶ θειοτάτῳ τῶν ποιητῶν,
καὶ τὴντούτου διάνοιαν
ἐκμανθάνειν, μὴ μόνον τὰ ἔπη,
ζηλωτόν ἐστιν. οὐ γὰρ ἂν γένοιτό
ποτε ἀγαθὸς ῥαψῳδός, εἰ μὴ συνείη τὰλεγόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ ποιητοῦ.
τὸν γὰρ ῥαψῳδὸν ἑρμηνέα δεῖ τοῦ ποιητοῦ τῆς διανοίας
γίγνεσθαι τοῖς ἀκούουσι: τοῦτο δὲ καλῶς ποιεῖν μὴ γιγνώσκοντα ὅτι λέγει ὁ ποιητὴς ἀδύνατον.
ταῦτα οὖν πάντα ἄξια ζηλοῦσθαι.
ἀληθῆ λέγεις, ὦ Σώκρατες: ἐμοὶ γοῦν τοῦτο πλεῖστον ἔργον παρέσχεν τῆς τέχνης,
καὶ οἶμαι κάλλισταἀνθρώπων λέγειν περὶ Ὁμήρου, ὡς οὔτε Μητρόδωρος ὁ
οὔτε Στησίμβροτος ὁ Θάσιος οὔτε Γλαύκων οὔτε ἄλλος οὐδεὶς
γενομένωνἔσχεν εἰπεῖν οὕτω πολλὰς καὶ καλὰς διανοίας περὶ Ὁμήρου ὅσας ἐγώ.
εὖ λέγεις, ὦ Ἴων: δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι οὐ φθονήσεις μοι ἐπιδεῖξαι.
καὶ μὴν ἄξιόν γε ἀκοῦσαι, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὡς εὖ κεκόσμηκα
τὸν Ὅμηρον: ὥστε οἶμαι ὑπὸ Ὁμηριδῶν ἄξιος εἶναιχρυσῷ στεφάνῳ στεφανωθῆναι.
καὶ μὴν ἐγὼ ἔτι ποιήσομαι σχολὴν ἀκροάσασθαί
σου, νῦν δέ μοι τοσόνδε ἀπόκριναι: πότερον περὶ Ὁμήρου
μόνον δεινὸς εἶ ἢ καὶ περὶ Ἡσιόδου καὶ
οὐδαμῶς, ἀλλὰ περὶ Ὁμήρου μόνον: ἱκανὸν γάρ μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι.
ἔστι δὲ περὶ ὅτου Ὅμηρός τε καὶ Ἡσίοδος ταὐτὰ λέγετον;
οἶμαι ἔγωγε καὶ πολλά.
πότερον οὖν περὶ τούτων κάλλιον ἂν ἐξηγήσαιο ἃ Ὅμηρος λέγει ἢ ἃ Ἡσίοδος;
ὁμοίως ἂν περί γε τούτων, ὦ
Σώκρατες, περὶ ὧν ταὐτὰ λέγουσιν.
τί δὲ ὧν πέρι μὴ ταὐτὰ λέγουσιν; οἷον περὶ μαντικῆς λέγει τι Ὅμηρός τε καὶ Ἡσίοδος.
τί οὖν; ὅσα τε ὁμοίως καὶ ὅσα διαφόρως περὶ μαντικῆς λέγετον
τὼ ποιητὰ τούτω, πότερον σὺ κάλλιον ἂνἐξηγήσαιο ἢ τῶν μάντεών τις τῶν ἀγαθῶν;
εἰ δὲ σὺ ἦσθα μάντις, οὐκ, εἴπερ περὶ τῶν ὁμοίως λεγομένων οἷός
τ᾽ ἦσθα ἐξηγήσασθαι, καὶ περὶ τῶν διαφόρωςλεγομένων ἠπίστω ἂν ἐξηγεῖσθαι;
τί οὖν ποτε περὶ μὲν Ὁμήρου δεινὸς εἶ, περὶ δὲ Ἡσιόδου οὔ, οὐδὲ τῶν ἄλλων ποιητῶν; ἢ Ὅμηρος
περὶ ἄλλωντινῶν λέγει ἢ ὧνπερ σύμπαντες οἱ ἄλλοι ποιηταί; οὐ περὶ πολέμου τε τὰ πολλὰ διελήλυθεν
καὶ περὶ ὁμιλιῶνπρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀνθρώπων ἀγαθῶν
τε καὶ κακῶν καὶ ἰδιωτῶν καὶ δημιουργῶν,
καὶ περὶ θεῶν πρὸς ἀλλήλουςκαὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους ὁμιλούντων,
ὡς ὁμιλοῦσι, καὶ περὶ τῶν οὐρανίων
παθημάτων καὶ περὶ τῶν ἐν Ἅιδου, καὶγενέσεις καὶ θεῶν
καὶ ἡρώων; οὐ ταῦτά ἐστι περὶ ὧν Ὅμηρος τὴν ποίησιν πεποίηκεν;
ἀληθῆ λέγεις, ὦ Σώκρατες.
τί δὲ οἱ ἄλλοι ποιηταί; οὐ περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν τούτων;
ναί, ἀλλ᾽, ὦ Σώκρατες, οὐχ ὁμοίως πεποιήκασι καὶ Ὅμηρος.
τί μήν; κάκιον;
Ὅμηρος δὲ ἄμεινον;
ἄμεινον μέντοι νὴ Δία.
οὐκοῦν, ὦ φίλη κεφαλὴ Ἴων, ὅταν περὶ ἀριθμοῦ πολλῶν λεγόντων εἷς τις ἄριστα λέγῃ, γνώσεται δήπου τις
τὸν εὖ λέγοντα;
πότερον οὖν ὁ αὐτὸς ὅσπερ καὶ τοὺς κακῶς λέγοντας, ἢ ἄλλος;
ὁ αὐτὸς δήπου.
οὐκοῦν ὁ τὴν ἀριθμητικὴν τέχνην ἔχων οὗτός ἐστιν;
τί δ᾽; ὅταν πολλῶν λεγόντων περὶ ὑγιεινῶν σιτίων ὁποῖά ἐστιν, εἷς τις ἄριστα λέγῃ,
πότερον ἕτερος μέν τις τὸνἄριστα λέγοντα γνώσεται ὅτι ἄριστα λέγει, ἕτερος δὲ τὸν κάκιον ὅτι κάκιον, ἢ ὁ αὐτός;
δῆλον δήπου, ὁ αὐτός.
τίς οὗτος; τί ὄνομα αὐτῷ;
οὐκοῦν ἐν κεφαλαίῳ λέγομεν ὡς ὁ αὐτὸς γνώσεται ἀεί, περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν πολλῶν λεγόντων,
ὅστις τε εὖ λέγει καὶ ὅστις κακῶς:
ἢ εἰ μὴ γνώσεται τὸν κακῶς λέγοντα, δῆλον ὅτι οὐδὲ τὸν εὖ, περί γετοῦ αὐτοῦ.
οὐκοῦν ὁ αὐτὸς γίγνεται δεινὸς περὶ ἀμφοτέρων;
οὐκοῦν σὺ φῂς καὶ Ὅμηρον καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ποιητάς, ἐν οἷς καὶ Ἡσίοδος
καὶ Ἀρχίλοχός ἐστιν, περί γε τῶναὐτῶν λέγειν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ὁμοίως, ἀλλὰ τὸν μὲν εὖ γε, τοὺς δὲ χεῖρον;
καὶ ἀληθῆ λέγω.
οὐκοῦν, εἴπερ τὸν εὖ λέγοντα γιγνώσκεις,
καὶ τοὺς χεῖρον λέγοντας γιγνώσκοις ἂν ὅτι χεῖρον λέγουσιν.
οὐκοῦν, ὦ βέλτιστε, ὁμοίως τὸν Ἴωνα λέγοντες περὶ Ὁμήρου τε δεινὸν
εἶναι καὶ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων ποιητῶν οὐχἁμαρτησόμεθα,
ἐπειδή γε αὐτὸς ὁμολογῇ τὸν αὐτὸν ἔσεσθαι κριτὴν ἱκανὸν πάντων
ὅσοι ἂν περὶ τῶν αὐτῶνλέγωσι, τοὺς δὲ ποιητὰς σχεδὸν ἅπαντας τὰ αὐτὰ ποιεῖν.
τί οὖν ποτε τὸ αἴτιον, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὅτι ἐγώ, ὅταν μέν τις
περὶ ἄλλου του ποιητοῦ διαλέγηται, οὔτε προσέχω
τὸν νοῦν ἀδυνατῶ τε καὶ ὁτιοῦν συμβαλέσθαι λόγου ἄξιον, ἀλλ᾽ ἀτεχνῶς νυστάζω,
ἐπειδὰν δέ τις περὶὉμήρου μνησθῇ, εὐθύς τε ἐγρήγορα
καὶ προσέχω τὸν νοῦν καὶ εὐπορῶ ὅτι λέγω;
οὐ χαλεπὸν τοῦτό γε εἰκάσαι, ὦ ἑταῖρε, ἀλλὰ παντὶ δῆλον
ὅτι τέχνῃ καὶ ἐπιστήμῃ περὶ Ὁμήρου λέγεινἀδύνατος εἶ:
εἰ γὰρ τέχνῃ οἷός τε ἦσθα, καὶ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων
ποιητῶν ἁπάντων λέγειν οἷός τ᾽ ἂν ἦσθα: ποιητικὴγάρ πού ἐστιν τὸ ὅλον. ἢ οὔ;
οὐκοῦν ἐπειδὰν λάβῃ τις καὶ ἄλλην τέχνην ἡντινοῦν ὅλην, ὁ αὐτὸς τρόπος
τῆς σκέψεως ἔσται περὶ ἁπασῶντῶν τεχνῶν; πῶς τοῦτο λέγω, δέῃ τί μου ἀκοῦσαι, ὦ Ἴων;
ναὶ μὰ τὸν Δία, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἔγωγε: χαίρω γὰρ ἀκούων ὑμῶν τῶν σοφῶν.
βουλοίμην ἄν σε ἀληθῆ λέγειν, ὦ Ἴων: ἀλλὰ σοφοὶ μέν πού ἐστε
ὑμεῖς οἱ ῥαψῳδοὶ καὶ ὑποκριταὶ καὶ ὧν ὑμεῖςᾁδετε τὰ ποιήματα, ἐγὼ δὲ οὐδὲν ἄλλο ἢ τἀληθῆ λέγω,
οἷον εἰκὸς ἰδιώτην ἄνθρωπον. ἐπεὶ καὶ περὶ τούτου οὗ νῦν ἠρόμην σε,
ὡς φαῦλον καὶ ἰδιωτικόνἐστι καὶ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς γνῶναι ὃ ἔλεγον,
τὴν αὐτὴν εἶναι σκέψιν, ἐπειδάν τις ὅλην τέχνην λάβῃ.
λάβωμεν γὰρτῷ λόγῳ: γραφικὴ γάρ τίς ἐστι τέχνη τὸ ὅλον;
οὐκοῦν καὶ γραφῆς πολλοὶ καὶ εἰσὶ καὶ γεγόνασιν ἀγαθοὶ καὶ φαῦλοι;
ἤδη οὖν τινα εἶδες ὅστις περὶ μὲν Πολυγνώτου τοῦ Ἀγλαοφῶντος
δεινός ἐστιν ἀποφαίνειν ἃ εὖ τε γράφει καὶ ἃμή, περὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων γραφέων
ἀδύνατος; καὶ ἐπειδὰν μέν τις τὰ τῶν ἄλλων ζωγράφων ἔργα ἐπιδεικνύῃ,
νυστάζει τε καὶ ἀπορεῖ καὶ οὐκἔχει ὅτι συμβάληται,
ἐπειδὰν δὲ περὶ Πολυγνώτου ἢ ἄλλου ὅτου βούλει τῶν γραφέων ἑνὸς μόνου
δέῃἀποφήνασθαι γνώμην, ἐγρήγορέν τε καὶ προσέχει τὸν νοῦν καὶ εὐπορεῖ ὅτι εἴπῃ;
οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία, οὐ δῆτα.
τί δέ; ἐν ἀνδριαντοποιίᾳ ἤδη τιν᾽ εἶδες ὅστις περὶ μὲν Δαιδάλου τοῦ Μητίονος
ἢ Ἐπειοῦ τοῦ Πανοπέως
ἢ Θεοδώρου τοῦ Σαμίου ἢ ἄλλου τινὸς ἀνδριαντοποιοῦ ἑνὸς πέρι δεινός ἐστινἐξηγεῖσθαι
ἃ εὖ πεποίηκεν, ἐν δὲ τοῖς τῶν ἄλλων ἀνδριαντοποιῶν ἔργοις
ἀπορεῖ τε καὶ νυστάζει, οὐκ ἔχων ὅτιεἴπῃ;
οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία, οὐδὲ τοῦτον ἑώρακα.
ἀλλὰ μήν, ὥς γ᾽ ἐγὼ οἶμαι, οὐδ᾽ ἐν αὐλήσει γε οὐδὲ ἐν κιθαρίσει
οὐδὲ ἐν κιθαρῳδίᾳ οὐδὲ ἐν ῥαψῳδίᾳοὐδεπώποτ᾽
εἶδες ἄνδρα ὅστις περὶ μὲν Ὀλύμπου δεινός ἐστιν
ἐξηγεῖσθαι ἢ περὶ Θαμύρου ἢ περὶ
ἢ περὶ Φημίου τοῦ Ἰθακησίου ῥαψῳδοῦ,
περὶ δὲ Ἴωνος τοῦ Ἐφεσίου ῥαψῳδοῦ ἀπορεῖ καὶ οὐκἔχει συμβαλέσθαι ἅ τε εὖ ῥαψῳδεῖ καὶ ἃ μή.
οὐκ ἔχω σοι περὶ τούτου ἀντιλέγειν, ὦ Σώκρατες: ἀλλ᾽ ἐκεῖνο ἐμαυτῷ σύνοιδα, ὅτι περὶ Ὁμήρου κάλλιστ᾽ἀνθρώπων
λέγω καὶ εὐπορῶ καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι πάντες μέ φασιν εὖ λέγειν,
περὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων οὔ. καίτοι ὅρα τοῦτο τίἔστιν
καὶ ὁρῶ, ὦ Ἴων, καὶ ἔρχομαί γέ σοι ἀποφανούμενος
ὅ μοι δοκεῖ τοῦτο εἶναι. ἔστι γὰρ τοῦτο τέχνη μὲν οὐκ ὂν παρὰ
σοὶ περὶ Ὁμήρου εὖ λέγειν, ὃ νυνδὴ
θεία δὲ δύναμις ἥ σε κινεῖ, ὥσπερ ἐν τῇ λίθῳ ἣν
Εὐριπίδης μὲν Μαγνῆτιν ὠνόμασεν, οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ
Ἡρακλείαν. καὶ γὰρ αὕτη ἡ λίθος
οὐ μόνον αὐτοὺς τοὺς δακτυλίους
ἄγει τοὺς σιδηροῦς, ἀλλὰ καὶ δύναμινἐντίθησι τοῖς δακτυλίοις
ὥστ᾽ αὖ δύνασθαι ταὐτὸν τοῦτο ποιεῖν ὅπερ ἡ λίθος, ἄλλους
ὥστ᾽ ἐνίοτε ὁρμαθὸς μακρὸς
πάνυ σιδηρίων καὶ δακτυλίων ἐξ ἀλλήλων ἤρτηται:
πᾶσιδὲ τούτοις ἐξ ἐκείνης
τῆς λίθου ἡ δύναμις ἀνήρτηται. οὕτω δὲ καὶ ἡ Μοῦσα ἐνθέους μὲν ποιεῖ αὐτή,
διὰ δὲ τῶνἐνθέων τούτων ἄλλων ἐνθουσιαζόντων ὁρμαθὸς ἐξαρτᾶται.
πάντες γὰρ οἵ τε τῶν ἐπῶν ποιηταὶ οἱ ἀγαθοὶ οὐκἐκ τέχνης ἀλλ᾽ ἔνθεοι ὄντες
καὶ κατεχόμενοι πάντα ταῦτα τὰ καλὰ λέγουσι ποιήματα,
καὶ οἱ μελοποιοὶ οἱἀγαθοὶ ὡσαύτως, ὥσπερ οἱ κορυβαντιῶντε
οὐκ ἔμφρονες ὄντες ὀρχοῦνται,
οὕτω καὶ οἱ μελοποιοὶ οὐκ ἔμφρονες
ὄντες τὰ καλὰ μέλη ταῦταποιοῦσιν,
ἀλλ᾽ ἐπειδὰν ἐμβῶσιν εἰς τὴν ἁρμονίαν καὶ εἰς τὸν ῥυθμόν,
βακχεύουσι καὶ κατεχόμενοι, ὥσπερ αἱβάκχαι ἀρύονται ἐκ τῶν ποταμῶν μέλι καὶ γάλα κατεχόμεναι,
ἔμφρονες δὲ οὖσαι οὔ, καὶ τῶν μελοποιῶν ἡψυχὴ τοῦτο ἐργάζεται,
ὅπερ αὐτοὶ λέγουσι. λέγουσι γὰρ δήπουθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς οἱ ποιηταὶ ὅτι
ἀπὸ κρηνῶν μελιρρύτων
ἐκ Μουσῶν κήπων τινῶν καὶ ναπῶν δρεπόμενοι τὰ μέλη
ἡμῖν φέρουσιν ὥσπεραἱ μέλιτται, καὶ αὐτοὶ οὕτω πετόμενοι: καὶ ἀληθῆ λέγουσι.
κοῦφον γὰρ χρῆμα ποιητής ἐστιν καὶ πτηνὸν καὶἱερόν, καὶ οὐ πρότερον οἷός
τε ποιεῖν πρὶν ἂν ἔνθεός τε γένηται καὶ ἔκφρων καὶ ὁ νοῦς μηκέτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐνῇ: ἕωςδ᾽ ἂν τουτὶ ἔχῃ τὸ κτῆμα,
ἀδύνατος πᾶς ποιεῖν ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν καὶ χρησμῳδεῖν.
ἅτε οὖν οὐ τέχνῃ ποιοῦντεςκαὶ πολλὰ λέγοντες καὶ καλὰ περὶ
ὥσπερ σὺ περὶ Ὁμήρου, ἀλλὰ θείᾳ μοίρᾳ, τοῦτο μόνον οἷός
τε ἕκαστος ποιεῖν καλῶςἐφ᾽ ὃ ἡ Μοῦσα αὐτὸν ὥρμησεν,
ὁ μὲν διθυράμβους, ὁ δὲ ἐγκώμια, ὁ δὲ ὑπορχήματα, ὁ δ᾽ ἔπη, ὁ δ᾽ ἰάμβους:
τὰ δ᾽ἄλλα φαῦλος αὐτῶν ἕκαστός ἐστιν. οὐ γὰρ τέχνῃ ταῦτα λέγουσιν
ἀλλὰ θείᾳ δυνάμει, ἐπεί, εἰ περὶ ἑνὸς τέχνῃκαλῶς ἠπίσταντο λέγειν,
κἂν περὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων: διὰ ταῦτα δὲ ὁ θεὸς ἐξαιρούμενος
τούτων τὸν νοῦντούτοις χρῆται ὑπηρέταις καὶ
τοῖς χρησμῳδοῖς καὶ τοῖς μάντεσι τοῖς θείοις, ἵνα ἡμεῖς οἱ ἀκούοντες
εἰδῶμεν ὅτι οὐχ οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ταῦταλέγοντες οὕτω πολλοῦ ἄξια, οἷς νοῦς μὴ πάρεστιν,
ἀλλ᾽ ὁ θεὸς αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ λέγων, διὰ τούτων δὲ φθέγγεταιπρὸς ἡμᾶς.
μέγιστον δὲ τεκμήριον τῷ λόγῳ Τύννιχος ὁ Χαλκιδεύς, ὃς ἄλλο μὲν οὐδὲν πώποτε ἐποίησε
ποίημαὅτου τις ἂν ἀξιώσειεν μνησθῆναι, τὸν δὲ παίωνα ὃν πάντες ᾁδουσι,
σχεδόν τι πάντων μελῶν κάλλιστον, ἀτεχνῶς, ὅπερ αὐτὸς λέγει
‘εὕρημά τι Μοισᾶν.’ ἐν τούτῳ γὰρ δὴ μάλιστά μοι δοκεῖ ὁ θεὸς ἐνδείξασθαι ἡμῖν,
ἵνα μὴ διστάζωμεν, ὅτιοὐκ ἀνθρώπινά ἐστιν
τὰ καλὰ ταῦτα ποιήματα οὐδὲ ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ θεῖα καὶ θεῶν, οἱ δὲ ποιηταὶ οὐδὲν
ἀλλ᾽ἢ ἑρμηνῆς εἰσιν τῶν θεῶν, κατεχόμενοι ἐξ ὅτου
ἂν ἕκαστος κατέχηται. ταῦτα ἐνδεικνύμενος
ὁ θεὸς ἐξεπίτηδεςδιὰ τοῦ φαυλοτάτου
ποιητοῦ τὸ κάλλιστον μέλος ᾖσεν: ἢ οὐ δοκῶ σοι ἀληθῆ λέγειν, ὦ Ἴων;
ναὶ μὰ τὸν Δία, ἔμοιγε: ἅπτει γάρ πώς μου τοῖς λόγοις τῆς ψυχῆς, ὦ Σώκρατες,
καί μοι δοκοῦσι θείᾳ μοίρᾳ ἡμῖνπαρὰ τῶν
θεῶν ταῦτα οἱ ἀγαθοὶ ποιηταὶ ἑρμηνεύειν.
οὐκοῦν ὑμεῖς αὖ οἱ ῥαψῳδοὶ τὰ τῶν ποιητῶν ἑρμηνεύετε;
καὶ τοῦτο ἀληθὲς λέγεις.
οὐκοῦν ἑρμηνέων ἑρμηνῆς γίγνεσθε;
ἔχε δή μοι τόδε εἰπέ, ὦ Ἴων, καὶ μὴ ἀποκρύψῃ ὅτι ἄν σε ἔρωμαι: ὅταν εὖ εἴπῃς
ἔπη καὶ ἐκπλήξῃς μάλιστα τοὺςθεωμένους,
ἢ τὸν Ὀδυσσέα ὅταν ἐπὶ τὸν οὐδὸν ἐφαλλόμενον ᾁδῃς, ἐκφανῆ γιγνόμενον
τοῖς μνηστῆρσι καὶἐκχέοντα τοὺς ὀιστοὺς πρὸ τῶν ποδῶν,
ἢ Ἀχιλλέα ἐπὶ τὸν Ἕκτορα ὁρμῶντα, ἢ καὶ τῶν περὶ Ἀνδρομάχηνἐλεινῶν τι
ἢ περὶ Ἑκάβην ἢ περὶ Πρίαμον, τότε πότερον ἔμφρων εἶ ἢ ἔξω
σαυτοῦ γίγνῃ καὶ παρὰ τοῖς πράγμασιν οἴεταί σου εἶναι
ἡ ψυχὴ οἷς λέγεις ἐνθουσιάζουσα, ἢ ἐν Ἰθάκῃοὖσιν ἢ ἐν Τροίᾳ
ἢ ὅπως ἂν καὶ τὰ ἔπη ἔχῃ;
ὡς ἐναργές μοι τοῦτο, ὦ Σώκρατες, τὸ τεκμήριον εἶπες: οὐ γάρ σε
ἀποκρυψάμενος ἐρῶ. ἐγὼ γὰρ ὅταν ἐλεινόντι λέγω,
δακρύων ἐμπίμπλανταί μου οἱ ὀφθαλμοί: ὅταν τε φοβερὸν ἢ δεινόν,
ὀρθαὶ αἱ τρίχες ἵστανται ὑπὸφόβου καὶ ἡ καρδία πηδᾷ.
τί οὖν; φῶμεν, ὦ Ἴων, ἔμφρονα εἶναι τότε τοῦτον τὸν ἄνθρωπον,
ὃς ἂν κεκοσμημένος ἐσθῆτι ποικίλῃ καὶχρυσοῖσι
στεφάνοις κλάῃ τ᾽ ἐν θυσίαις καὶ ἑορταῖς, μηδὲν ἀπολωλεκὼς τούτων,
ἢ φοβῆται πλέον ἢ ἐνδισμυρίοις ἀνθρώποις
ἑστηκὼς φιλίοις, μηδενὸς ἀποδύοντος μηδὲ ἀδικοῦντος;
οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία, οὐ πάνυ, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὥς γε τἀληθὲς εἰρῆσθαι.
οἶσθα οὖν ὅτι καὶ τῶν θεατῶν τοὺς πολλοὺς ταὐτὰ ταῦτα ὑμεῖς ἐργάζεσθε;
καὶ μάλα καλῶς οἶδα: καθορῶ γὰρ ἑκάστοτε αὐτοὺς ἄνωθεν ἀπὸ τοῦ βήματος κλάοντάς
τε καὶ δεινὸνἐμβλέποντας καὶ συνθαμβοῦντας τοῖς λεγομένοις.
δεῖ γάρ με καὶ σφόδρ᾽ αὐτοῖς τὸν νοῦν προσέχειν:
ὡς ἐὰνμὲν κλάοντας αὐτοὺς καθίσω, αὐτὸς γελάσομαι
ἀργύριον λαμβάνων, ἐὰν δὲ γελῶντας, αὐτὸς κλαύσομαιἀργύριον ἀπολλύς.
οἶσθα οὖν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ θεατὴς τῶν δακτυλίων ὁ ἔσχατος, ὧν ἐγὼ ἔλεγον
ὑπὸ τῆς Ἡρακλειώτιδος λίθουἀπ᾽ ἀλλήλων τὴν δύναμιν λαμβάνειν; ὁ δὲ μέσος σὺ ὁ
ῥαψῳδὸς καὶ ὑποκριτής, ὁ δὲ πρῶτος αὐτὸς ὁ ποιητής: ὁ δὲ θεὸς διὰ πάντων τούτων ἕλκει
τὴν ψυχὴνὅποι ἂν βούληται τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἀνακρεμαννὺς
ἐξ ἀλλήλων τὴν δύναμιν. καὶ ὥσπερ ἐκ τῆς λίθου
ἐκείνηςὁρμαθὸς πάμπολυς ἐξήρτηται χορευτῶν τε καὶ διδασκάλων
καὶ ὑποδιδασκάλων, ἐκ πλαγίου ἐξηρτημένων τῶντῆς Μούσης
ἐκκρεμαμένων δακτυλίων. καὶ ὁ μὲν τῶν ποιητῶν ἐξ ἄλλης
Μούσης, ὁ δὲ ἐξ ἄλλης ἐξήρτηται—ὀνομάζομεν δὲ αὐτὸ κατέχεται, τὸ δέ
ἐστι παραπλήσιον: ἔχεται γάρ—ἐκ δὲ τούτων τῶν πρώτων δακτυλίων,
τῶν ποιητῶν, ἄλλοι ἐξ ἄλλου αὖἠρτημένοι εἰσὶ καὶ ἐνθουσιάζουσιν, οἱ μὲν ἐξ Ὀρφέως,
οἱ δὲ ἐκ Μουσαίου: οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ ἐξ Ὁμήρου κατέχονταίτε καὶ ἔχονται. ὧν σύ, ὦ Ἴων, εἷς εἶ
καὶ κατέχῃ ἐξ Ὁμήρου, καὶ ἐπειδὰν μέν τις ἄλλου του ποιητοῦ ᾁδῃ,
καθεύδεις τε καὶ ἀπορεῖς ὅτι λέγῃς, ἐπειδὰν δὲ τούτου
τοῦ ποιητοῦ φθέγξηταί τις μέλος, εὐθὺς ἐγρήγορας
καὶὀρχεῖταί σου ἡ ψυχὴ καὶ εὐπορεῖς ὅτι
λέγῃς: οὐ γὰρ τέχνῃ οὐδ᾽ ἐπιστήμῃ περὶ Ὁμήρου λέγεις ἃ λέγεις,
ἀλλὰ θείᾳ μοίρᾳ καὶ κατοκωχῇ, ὥσπεροἱ κορυβαντιῶντες
ἐκείνου μόνου αἰσθάνονται τοῦ μέλους ὀξέως ὃ ἂν ᾖ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐξ
ὅτου ἂν κατέχωνται, καὶεἰς ἐκεῖνο τὸ μέλος καὶ σχημάτων καὶ ῥημάτων εὐποροῦσι,
τῶν δὲ ἄλλων οὐ φροντίζουσιν: οὕτω καὶ σύ, ὦ Ἴων,
περὶ μὲν Ὁμήρου ὅταν τις μνησθῇ, εὐπορεῖς, περὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων ἀπορεῖς:
τούτου δ᾽ ἐστὶ τὸ αἴτιον, ὅ μ᾽ ἐρωτᾷς, δι᾽
ὅτι σὺ περὶ μὲν Ὁμήρου εὐπορεῖς,
περὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων οὔ, ὅτι οὐτέχνῃ ἀλλὰ
θείᾳ μοίρᾳ Ὁμήρου δεινὸς εἶ ἐπαινέτης.
σὺ μὲν εὖ λέγεις, ὦ Σώκρατες: θαυμάζοιμι μεντἂν εἰ οὕτως εὖ εἴποις,
ὥστε με ἀναπεῖσαι ὡς ἐγὼ κατεχόμενοςκαὶ μαινόμενος
Ὅμηρον ἐπαινῶ. οἶμαι δὲ οὐδ᾽ ἂν σοὶ δόξαιμι,
εἴ μου ἀκούσαις λέγοντος περὶ Ὁμήρου.
καὶ μὴν ἐθέλω γε ἀκοῦσαι, οὐ μέντοι πρότερον
[536ε] πρὶν ἄν μοι ἀποκρίνῃ τόδε:
ὧν Ὅμηρος λέγει περὶ τίνος εὖ λέγεις; οὐ γὰρ δήπου περὶ ἁπάντων γε.
εὖ ἴσθι, ὦ Σώκρατες, περὶ οὐδενὸς ὅτου οὔ.
οὐ δήπου καὶ περὶ τούτων ὧν σὺ μὲν τυγχάνεις οὐκ εἰδώς, Ὅμηρος δὲ λέγει.
καὶ ταῦτα ποῖά ἐστιν ἃ Ὅμηρος μὲν λέγει, ἐγὼ δὲ οὐκ οἶδα;
οὐ καὶ περὶ τεχνῶν μέντοι λέγει πολλαχοῦ Ὅμηρος καὶ πολλά;
οἷον καὶ περὶ ἡνιοχείας—ἐὰν μνησθῶ τὰ ἔπη, ἐγώ σοι φράσω.
ἀλλ᾽ ἐγὼ ἐρῶ: ἐγὼ γὰρ μέμνημαι.
εἰπὲ δή μοι ἃ λέγει Νέστωρ Ἀντιλόχῳ τῷ ὑεῖ, παραινῶν
εὐλαβηθῆναι περὶ τὴν καμπὴν ἐν τῇ ἱπποδρομίᾳ τῇ ἐπὶΠατρόκλῳ.
“κλινθῆναι δέ, φησί, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐυξέστῳ ἐνὶ δίφρῳ”
Hom. Il. 23.335
“ἦκ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ τοῖιν: ἀτὰρ τὸν δεξιὸν ἵππον
κένσαι ὁμοκλήσας, εἶξαί τέ οἱ ἡνία χερσίν.
ἐν νύσσῃ δέ τοι ἵππος ἀριστερὸς ἐγχριμφθήτω,
ὡς ἄν τοι πλήμνη γε δοάσσεται ἄκρον ἱκέσθαι
κύκλου ποιητοῖο: λίθου δ᾽ ἀλέασθαι ἐπαυρεῖν.”
ἀρκεῖ. ταῦτα δή, ὦ Ἴων, τὰ ἔπη εἴτε ὀρθῶς λέγει Ὅμηρος εἴτε μή,
πότερος ἂν γνοίη ἄμεινον, ἰατρὸς ἢ ἡνίοχος;
πότερον ὅτι τέχνην ταύτην ἔχει ἢ κατ᾽ ἄλλο τι;
οὔκ, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι τέχνην.
οὐκοῦν ἑκάστῃ τῶν τεχνῶν ἀποδέδοταί τι ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἔργον οἵᾳ τε
εἶναι γιγνώσκειν; οὐ γάρ που ἃκυβερνητικῇ γιγνώσκομεν, γνωσόμεθα καὶ ἰατρικῇ.
οὐδέ γε ἃ ἰατρικῇ, ταῦτα καὶ τεκτονικῇ.
οὐκοῦν οὕτω καὶ κατὰ πασῶν τῶν τεχνῶν, ἃ τῇ ἑτέρᾳ τέχνῃ γιγνώσκομεν,
οὐ γνωσόμεθα τῇ ἑτέρᾳ;
τόδε δέ μοιπρότερον τούτου ἀπόκριναι: τὴν μὲν ἑτέραν
φῂς εἶναί τινα τέχνην, τὴν δ᾽ ἑτέραν;
ἆρα ὥσπερ ἐγὼ τεκμαιρόμενος, ὅταν ἡ μὲν ἑτέρων πραγμάτων ᾖ ἐπιστήμη,
ἡ δ᾽ ἑτέρων, οὕτω καλῶ τὴν μὲνἄλλην, τὴν δὲ ἄλλην
[537ε] τέχνην, οὕτω καὶ σύ;
εἰ γάρ που τῶν αὐτῶν πραγμάτων ἐπιστήμη εἴη τις, τί ἂν τὴν μὲν ἑτέραν φαῖμεν εἶναι,
τὴν δ᾽ ἑτέραν, ὁπότε γεταὐτὰ εἴη εἰδέναι ἀπ᾽ ἀμφοτέρων;
ὥσπερ ἐγώ τε γιγνώσκω ὅτι πέντε εἰσὶν οὗτοι οἱ δάκτυλοι, καὶ σύ, ὥσπερἐγώ,
περὶ τούτων ταὐτὰ γιγνώσκεις: καὶ εἴ σε ἐγὼ ἐροίμην εἰ τῇ αὐτῇ τέχνῃ
γιγνώσκομεν τῇ ἀριθμητικῇ τὰαὐτὰ ἐγώ
τε καὶ σὺ ἢ ἄλλῃ, φαίης ἂν δήπου τῇ αὐτῇ.
ὃ τοίνυν ἄρτι ἔμελλον ἐρήσεσθαί σε, νυνὶ εἰπέ,
εἰ κατὰ πασῶν τῶν τεχνῶν οὕτω σοι δοκεῖ,
τῇ μὲν αὐτῇ τέχνῃτὰ αὐτὰ ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι γιγνώσκειν,
τῇ δ᾽ ἑτέρᾳ μὴ τὰ αὐτά, ἀλλ᾽ εἴπερ ἄλλη ἐστίν,
ἀναγκαῖον καὶ ἕτεραγιγνώσκειν.
οὕτω μοι δοκεῖ, ὦ Σώκρατες.
οὐκοῦν ὅστις ἂν μὴ ἔχῃ τινὰ τέχνην, ταύτης τῆς τέχνης τὰ λεγόμενα
ἢ πραττόμενα καλῶς γιγνώσκειν οὐχ οἷόςτ᾽ ἔσται;
πότερον οὖν περὶ τῶν ἐπῶν ὧν εἶπες, εἴτε καλῶς λέγει
Ὅμηρος εἴτε μή, σὺ κάλλιον γνώσῃ ἢ ἡνίοχος;
Ῥαψῳδὸς γάρ που εἶ ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ἡνίοχος.
ἡ δὲ ῥαψῳδικὴ τέχνη ἑτέρα ἐστὶ τῆς ἡνιοχικῆς;
εἰ ἄρα ἑτέρα, περὶ ἑτέρων καὶ ἐπιστήμη πραγμάτων ἐστίν.
τί δὲ δὴ ὅταν Ὅμηρος λέγῃ ὡς τετρωμένῳ τῷ Μαχάονι
Ἑκαμήδη ἡ Νέστορος παλλακὴ κυκεῶνα πίνειν
δίδωσι; καὶ λέγει πως οὕτως—
“οἴνῳ πραμνείῳ, φησίν, ἐπὶ δ᾽ αἴγειον κνῆ τυρὸν
κνήστι χαλκείῃ: παρὰ δὲ κρόμυον ποτῷ ὄψον:
”Hom. Il. 11.639-40
ταῦτα εἴτε ὀρθῶς λέγει Ὅμηρος εἴτε μή, πότερον
ἰατρικῆς ἐστι διαγνῶναι καλῶς ἢῥαψῳδικῆς;
τί δέ, ὅταν λέγῃ Ὅμηρος—
“ἡ δὲ μολυβδαίνῃ ἰκέλη ἐς βυσσὸν ἵκανεν,
ἥ τε κατ᾽ ἀγραύλοιο βοὸς κέρας ἐμμεμαυῖα
ἔρχεται ὠμηστῇσι μετ᾽ ἰχθύσι πῆμα φέρουσα:
”Hom. Il. 24.80-82
ταῦτα πότερον φῶμεν ἁλιευτικῆς εἶναι τέχνης μᾶλλον
κρῖναι ἢ ῥαψῳδικῆς, ἅττα λέγεικαὶ εἴτε καλῶς εἴτε μή;
δῆλον δή, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὅτι ἁλιευτικῆς.
σκέψαι δή, σοῦ ἐρομένου, εἰ ἔροιό με:
τοίνυν, ὦ Σώκρατες, τούτων τῶν τεχνῶν ἐν Ὁμήρῳ
εὑρίσκεις ἃ προσήκει ἑκάστῃ διακρίνειν,
ἴθι μοιἔξευρε καὶ τὰ τοῦ μάντεώς τε καὶ μαντικῆς,
ποῖά ἐστιν ἃ προσήκει αὐτῷ οἵῳ τ᾽ εἶναι διαγιγνώσκειν,
εἴτε εὖ εἴτεκακῶς πεποίηται’
— σκέψαι ὡς ῥᾳδίως τε καὶ ἀληθῆ ἐγώ σοι ἀποκρινοῦμαι.
πολλαχοῦ μὲν γὰρ καὶ ἐνὈδυσσείᾳ λέγει,
οἷον καὶ ἃ ὁ τῶν Μελαμποδιδῶν λέγει μάντις
πρὸς τοὺς μνηστῆρας, Θεοκλύμενος—
“δαιμόνιοι, τί κακὸν τόδε πάσχετε; νυκτὶ μὲν ὑμέων
εἰλύαται κεφαλαί τε πρόσωπά τε νέρθε τε γυῖα,
οἰμωγὴ δὲ δέδηε, δεδάκρυνται δὲ παρειαί:
εἰδώλων τε πλέον πρόθυρον, πλείη δὲ καὶ αὐλὴ
ἱεμένων ἔρεβόσδε ὑπὸ ζόφον: ἠέλιος δὲ
”Hom. Od. 20.351-57
“οὐρανοῦ ἐξαπόλωλε, κακὴ δ᾽ ἐπιδέδρομεν ἀχλύς:
” πολλαχοῦ δὲ καὶ ἐν Ἰλιάδι, οἷον καὶ ἐπὶ τειχομαχίᾳ: λέγει γὰρ καὶ ἐνταῦθα --
“ὄρνις γάρ σφιν ἐπῆλθε περησέμεναι μεμαῶσιν,
αἰετὸς ὑψιπέτης, ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ λαὸν ἐέργων,”
“φοινήεντα δράκοντα φέρων ὀνύχεσσι πέλωρον,
ζῷον, ἔτ᾽ ἀσπαίροντα: καὶ οὔπω λήθετο χάρμης.
κόψε γὰρ αὐτὸν ἔχοντα κατὰ στῆθος παρὰ δειρὴν
ἰδνωθεὶς ὀπίσω, ὁ δ᾽ ἀπὸ ἕθεν ἧκε χαμᾶζε
ἀλγήσας ὀδύνῃσι, μέσῳ δ᾽ ἐνὶ κάββαλ᾽ ὁμίλῳ:”
“αὐτὸς δὲ κλάγξας πέτετο πνοιῇς ἀνέμοιο.”
ταῦτα φήσω καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα τῷ μάντει προσήκειν καὶ σκοπεῖν καὶ κρίνειν.
ἀληθῆ γε σὺ λέγων, ὦ Σώκρατες.
καὶ σύ γε, ὦ Ἴων, ἀληθῆ ταῦτα λέγεις. ἴθι δὴ καὶ σὺ ἐμοί, ὥσπερ ἐγὼ σοὶ ἐξέλεξα καὶ
ἐξ Ὀδυσσείας καὶ ἐξ
Ἰλιάδος ὁποῖα τοῦ μάντεώς ἐστι καὶ ὁποῖα τοῦ ἰατροῦ καὶ
ὁποῖα τοῦ ἁλιέως, οὕτω καὶ σὺ ἐμοὶ ἔκλεξον, ἐπειδὴ καὶ ἐμπειρότερος εἶ ἐμοῦ τῶν Ὁμήρου,
ὁποῖα τοῦῥαψῳδοῦ ἐστιν, ὦ Ἴων, καὶ τῆς τέχνης τῆς ῥαψῳδικῆς, ἃ τῷ ῥαψῳδῷ προσήκει
καὶ σκοπεῖσθαι καὶ διακρίνεινπαρὰ τοὺς ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους.
ἐγὼ μέν φημι, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἅπαντα.
οὐ σύ γε φῄς, ὦ Ἴων, ἅπαντα: ἢ οὕτως ἐπιλήσμων εἶ;
καίτοι οὐκ ἂν πρέποι γε ἐπιλήσμονα εἶναι ῥαψῳδὸν
τί δὲ δὴ ἐπιλανθάνομαι;
οὐ μέμνησαι ὅτι ἔφησθα τὴν ῥαψῳδικὴν τέχνην ἑτέραν εἶναι τῆς ἡνιοχικῆς;
οὐκοῦν καὶ ἑτέραν οὖσαν ἕτερα γνώσεσθαι ὡμολόγεις;
οὐκ ἄρα πάντα γε γνώσεται ἡ ῥαψῳδικὴ κατὰ τὸν σὸν λόγον οὐδὲ ὁ ῥαψῳδός.
πλήν γε ἴσως τὰ τοιαῦτα, ὦ Σώκρατες.
τὰ τοιαῦτα δὲ λέγεις πλὴν τὰ τῶν ἄλλων τεχνῶν σχεδόν τι:
ἀλλὰ ποῖα δὴ γνώσεται, ἐπειδὴ οὐχ ἅπαντα;
ἃ πρέπει, οἶμαι ἔγωγε, ἀνδρὶ εἰπεῖν καὶ ὁποῖα γυναικί, καὶ ὁποῖα
δούλῳ καὶ ὁποῖα ἐλευθέρῳ, καὶ ὁποῖαἀρχομένῳ καὶ ὁποῖα ἄρχοντι.
ἆρα ὁποῖα ἄρχοντι, λέγεις, ἐν θαλάττῃ χειμαζομένου πλοίου
πρέπει εἰπεῖν, ὁ ῥαψῳδὸς γνώσεται κάλλιον ἢ ὁκυβερνήτης;
οὔκ, ἀλλὰ ὁ κυβερνήτης τοῦτό γε.
ἀλλ᾽ ὁποῖα ἄρχοντι κάμνοντος πρέπει εἰπεῖν, ὁ ῥαψῳδὸς γνώσεται κάλλιον ἢ ὁ ἰατρός;
ἀλλ᾽ οἷα δούλῳ πρέπει, λέγεις;
οἷον βουκόλῳ λέγεις δούλῳ ἃ πρέπει εἰπεῖν ἀγριαινουσῶν
βοῶν παραμυθουμένῳ, ὁ ῥαψῳδὸς γνώσεται ἀλλ᾽οὐχ ὁ βουκόλος;
ἀλλ᾽ οἷα γυναικὶ πρέποντά ἐστιν εἰπεῖν ταλασιουργῷ περὶ ἐρίων
ἀλλ᾽ οἷα ἀνδρὶ πρέπει εἰπεῖν γνώσεται στρατηγῷ στρατιώταις παραινοῦντι;
ναί, τὰ τοιαῦτα γνώσεται ὁ ῥαψῳδός.
τί δέ; ἡ ῥαψῳδικὴ τέχνη στρατηγική ἐστιν;
Γνοίην γοῦν ἂν ἔγωγε οἷα στρατηγὸν πρέπει εἰπεῖν.
ἴσως γὰρ εἶ καὶ στρατηγικός, ὦ Ἴων. καὶ γὰρ εἰ ἐτύγχανες
ἱππικὸς ὢν ἅμα καὶ κιθαριστικός, ἔγνως ἂν ἵππους
εὖ καὶ κακῶς ἱππαζομένους: ἀλλ᾽ εἴ σ᾽ ἐγὼ ἠρόμην:
‘ποτέρᾳ δὴ τέχνῃ, ὦ Ἴων,
γιγνώσκεις τοὺς εὖἱππαζομένους ἵππους; ᾗ ἱππεὺς εἶ ἢ ᾗ κιθαριστής;’ τί ἄν μοι ἀπεκρίνω;
ἧι ἱππεύς, ἔγωγ᾽ ἄν.
οὐκοῦν εἰ καὶ τοὺς εὖ κιθαρίζοντας διεγίγνωσκες, ὡμολόγεις ἄν,
ᾗ κιθαριστὴς εἶ, ταύτῃ διαγιγνώσκειν, ἀλλ᾽οὐχ ᾗ ἱππεύς.
ἐπειδὴ δὲ τὰ στρατιωτικὰ γιγνώσκεις, πότερον ᾗ στρατηγικὸς εἶ γιγνώσκεις ἢ ᾗ ῥαψῳδὸς ἀγαθός;
οὐδὲν ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ διαφέρειν.
πῶς; οὐδὲν λέγεις διαφέρειν; μίαν λέγεις τέχνην εἶναι τὴν ῥαψῳδικὴν καὶ τὴν στρατηγικὴν ἢ δύο;
μία ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ.
ὅστις ἄρα ἀγαθὸς ῥαψῳδός ἐστιν, οὗτος καὶ ἀγαθὸς στρατηγὸς τυγχάνει ὤν;
μάλιστα, ὦ Σώκρατες.
οὐκοῦν καὶ ὅστις ἀγαθὸς στρατηγὸς τυγχάνει ὤν, ἀγαθὸς καὶ ῥαψῳδός ἐστιν.
οὐκ αὖ μοι δοκεῖ τοῦτο.
ἀλλ᾽ ἐκεῖνο μὴν δοκεῖ σοι, ὅστις γε ἀγαθὸς
ῥαψῳδός, καὶ στρατηγὸς ἀγαθὸς εἶναι;
οὐκοῦν σὺ τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἄριστος ῥαψῳδὸς εἶ;
πολύ γε, ὦ Σώκρατες.
ἦ καὶ στρατηγός, ὦ Ἴων, τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἄριστος εἶ;
εὖ ἴσθι, ὦ Σώκρατες: καὶ ταῦτά γε ἐκ τῶν Ὁμήρου μαθών.
τί δή ποτ᾽ οὖν πρὸς τῶν θεῶν, ὦ Ἴων, ἀμφότερα ἄριστος ὢν τῶν Ἑλλήνων,
καὶ στρατηγὸς καὶ ῥαψῳδός, ῥαψῳδεῖς μὲν περιιὼν τοῖς Ἕλλησι, στρατηγεῖς δ᾽ οὔ; ἢ
ῥαψῳδοῦ μὲν δοκεῖ σοι χρυσῷ στεφάνῳ ἐστεφανωμένου
πολλὴ χρεία εἶναι τοῖς Ἕλλησι, στρατηγοῦ δὲοὐδεμία;
ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἡμετέρα, ὦ Σώκρατες, πόλις ἄρχεται ὑπὸ ὑμῶν καὶ στρατηγεῖται καὶ οὐδὲν δεῖται στρατηγοῦ,
ἡ δὲὑμετέρα καὶ ἡ Λακεδαιμονίων οὐκ ἄν με ἕλοιτο στρατηγόν: αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴεσθε ἱκανοὶ εἶναι.
ὦ βέλτιστε Ἴων, Ἀπολλόδωρον οὐ γιγνώσκεις τὸν Κυζικηνόν;
ὃν Ἀθηναῖοι πολλάκις ἑαυτῶν στρατηγὸν ᾕρηνται
ξένον ὄντα: καὶ Φανοσθένη τὸν Ἄνδριον καὶ Ἡρακλείδην τὸν Κλαζομένιον, οὓς ἥδε ἡ πόλις ξένουςὄντας,
ἐνδειξαμένους ὅτι ἄξιοι λόγου εἰσί, καὶ εἰς στρατηγίας καὶ εἰς τὰς ἄλλας ἀρχὰς
ἄγει: Ἴωνα δ᾽ ἄρα τὸνἘφέσιον οὐχ αἱρήσεται
στρατηγὸν καὶ τιμήσει, ἐὰν δοκῇ ἄξιος λόγου εἶναι; τί δέ;
οὐκ Ἀθηναῖοι μέν ἐστε οἱἘφέσιοι τὸ ἀρχαῖον, καὶ ἡ Ἔφεσος
οὐδεμιᾶς ἐλάττων πόλεως;
ἀλλὰ γὰρ σύ, ὦ Ἴων, εἰ μὲν ἀληθῆ λέγεις ὡς τέχνῃ καὶ ἐπιστήμῃ οἷός τε εἶὍμηρον ἐπαινεῖν, ἀδικεῖς, ὅστις
ἐμοὶ ὑποσχόμενος ὡς πολλὰ καὶ καλὰ περὶ Ὁμήρου ἐπίστασαι καὶ φάσκωνἐπιδείξειν,
ἐξαπατᾷς με καὶ πολλοῦ δεῖς ἐπιδεῖξαι, ὅς γε οὐδὲ ἅττα ἐστὶ
ταῦτα περὶ ὧν δεινὸς εἶ ἐθέλεις εἰπεῖν, πάλαι ἐμοῦ λιπαροῦντος,
ἀλλὰ ἀτεχνῶς ὥσπερ ὁ Πρωτεὺς παντοδαπὸς γίγνῃ στρεφόμενος ἄνω καὶ κάτω,
ἕωςτελευτῶν διαφυγών με στρατηγὸς ἀνεφάνης,
ἵνα μὴ ἐπιδείξῃς ὡς δεινὸς εἶ τὴν περὶ Ὁμήρου σοφίαν. εἰ μὲν οὖν τεχνικὸς ὤν, ὅπερ νυνδὴ ἔλεγον,
περὶὉμήρου ὑποσχόμενος ἐπιδείξειν ἐξαπατᾷς με, ἄδικος εἶ:
εἰ δὲ μὴ τεχνικὸς εἶ, ἀλλὰ θείᾳ μοίρᾳ κατεχόμενος
ἐξὉμήρου μηδὲν εἰδὼς πολλὰ καὶ καλὰ λέγεις περὶ τοῦ ποιητοῦ,
ὥσπερ ἐγὼ εἶπον περὶ σοῦ, οὐδὲν ἀδικεῖς.
ἑλοῦοὖν πότερα βούλει νομίζεσθαι ὑπὸ ἡμῶν ἄδικος ἀνὴρ εἶναι ἢ θεῖος.
πολὺ διαφέρει, ὦ Σώκρατες: πολὺ γὰρ κάλλιον τὸ θεῖον νομίζεσθαι.
τοῦτο τοίνυν τὸ κάλλιον ὑπάρχει σοι παρ᾽ ἡμῖν, ὦ Ἴων, θεῖον εἶναι καὶ μὴ τεχνικὸν περὶ Ὁμήρου ἐπαινέτην.
Welcome, Ion. Where have you come from now, to pay us this visit? From
your home in Ephesus?
No, no, Socrates; from Epidaurus and the festival there of
Do you mean to say that the Epidaurians honor the god with a contest of
Certainly, and of music  in general.
1 “Music” with
the Greeks included poetry.
Why then, you were competing in some contest, were you? And how went
We carried off the first prize, Socrates.
Well done: so now, mind that we win too at the Panathenaea.
Athenian festival of the Great Panathenaea was held every fourth year,
and the Small Panathenaea probably every year, about July.
Why, so we shall, God willing.
must say I have often envied you rhapsodes, Ion, for your art: for
that it is fitting to your art that your person should be
and that you should look as handsome as possible, the necessity of
being conversant with a number of good poets,
and especially with Homer, the best and divinest poet of all, and of
his thought and not merely learning off his words, is a matter for
envy; since a man can never be a good rhapsode
without understanding what the poet says. For the rhapsode ought to make
interpreter of the poet's thought to his audience;
and to do this properly without knowing what the poet means is
impossible. So one cannot but envy all this.
you say is true, Socrates: I at any rate have found this the most
laborious part of my art;
and I consider I speak about Homer better
than anybody, for neither
Metrodorus  of Lampsacus, nor Stesimbrotus  of Thasos,
nor any one that the world has ever seen, had so many and such fine
comments to offer on Homer as I have.
That is good news, Ion; for obviously you will not grudge me an
exhibition of them.
And indeed it is worth hearing, Socrates, how well I have embellished
so that I think I deserve to be crowned with a golden crown by the
friend of the philosopher Anaxagoras who wrote allegorical
interpretations of Homer in the first part of the fifth century B.C.
2 A rhapsode, interpreter of Homer, and
historian who lived in the time of Cimon and Pericles.
3 Perhaps the Homeric commentator mentioned by
Aristotle, Poet. 25. 16.
4 There was a society or clan
in Chios called Homeridae (“sons of Homer”), but the name
seems to be used here and elsewhere
in Plato for any persons specially devoted to
Homer's poetry. See Jebb, Homer, p. 78.
Yes, and I must find myself leisure some time to listen to you;
but for the moment, please answer this little question: are you skilled
in Homer only, or in Hesiod and Archilochus as well?
No, no, only in Homer; for that seems to me quite enough.
And is there anything on which Homer and Hesiod both say the same?
Yes, I think there are many such cases.
Then in those cases would you expound better what Homer says than what
I should do it equally well in those cases, Socrates, where they say
what of those where they do not say the same? For example, about the
on which both Homer and Hesiod say something.
then, would you, or one of the good seers, expound better what these
two poets say,
not only alike but differently, about the seer's art?
One of the seers.
if you were a seer, would you not, with an ability to expound what they
say in agreement,
know also how to expound the points on which they
Then how is it that you are skilled in Homer,
and not in Hesiod or the other poets? Does Homer speak of any
other than the very things that all the other poets speak of?
he not described war for the most part, and the mutual intercourse of
good and bad, lay and professional, and the ways of the gods
their intercourse with each other and with men, and happenings
heavens and in the underworld, and origins of gods and heroes?
Are not these the subjects of Homer's poetry?
What you say is true, Socrates.
And what of the other poets? Do they not treat of the same things?
Yes; but, Socrates, not on Homer's level.
What, in a worse way?
And Homer in a better?
Better indeed, I assure you.
Well now, Ion, dear soul; when several people are talking about number,
and one of them speaks better than the rest, I suppose there is some
one who will distinguish the good speaker?
And will this some one be the same as he who can distinguish the bad
speakers, or different?
The same, I suppose.
And he will be the man who has the art of numeration?
And again, when several are talking about what kinds of foods are
wholesome, and one of them speaks
better than the rest, will it be for two different persons to
distinguish the superiority of the best speaker
and the inferiority of a worse one, or for the same?
Obviously, I should say, for the same.
Who is he? What is his name?
so we may state, in general terms, that the same person will always
given the same subject and several persons talking about
both who speaks well and who badly: otherwise, if he is not going to
distinguish the bad speaker,
clearly he will not distinguish the good one either, where the subject
is the same.
That is so.
And the same man is found to be skilled in both?
And you say that Homer and the other poets, among whom are Hesiod
and Archilochus, all speak about the same things,
only not similarly; but the one does it well, and the rest worse?
Yes, and what I say is true.
And since you distinguish the good speaker,
you could distinguish also the inferiority of the worse speakers.
So it would seem.
Then, my excellent friend, we shall not be wrong in saying that our Ion
is equally skilled in Homer
and in the other poets, seeing that you yourself admit that the same
man will be a competent judge
of all who speak on the same things, and that practically all the poets
treat of the same things.
what can be the reason, Socrates, why I pay no attention when somebody
any other poet, and am unable to offer any remark at all of
but simply drop into a doze,
whereas if anyone mentions something connected
with Homer I wake up at
once and attend and have plenty to say?
That is not difficult to guess, my good friend; anyone can see that you
are unable to speak on Homer with art and knowledge.
if you could do it with art, you could speak on all the other poets as
since there is an art of poetry, I take it, as a whole, is there
when one has acquired any other art whatever as a whole, the same
principle of inquiry holds through all the arts?
Do you require some
explanation from me, Ion, of what I mean by this?
Yes, upon my word, Socrates, I do; for I enjoy listening to you wise
I only wish you were right there, Ion: but surely it is you rhapsodes
and the men whose poems you chant, who are wise; whereas I speak
but the plain truth, as a simple layman might.
For in regard to this question I asked you just now, observe what a
trifling commonplace it was that
I uttered—a thing that any man might know—namely, that when one has
acquired a whole art the inquiry is the same.
Let us just think it out thus: there is an art of painting as a whole?
And there are and have been many painters, good and bad?
Now have you ever found anybody who is skilled in pointing out the
successes and failures among the works of Polygnotus 
son of Aglaophon, but unable to do so with the works of the other
celebrated painter who came from Thasos and adorned public
buildings in Athens about 470 B.C. Cf. Gorg. 488 B.
who, when the works of the other painters are exhibited, drops into a
and is at a loss, and has no remark to offer; but when he has to
upon Polygnotus or any other painter you please, and on that one
only, wakes up and attends and has plenty to say?
No, on my honor, I certainly have not.
again, in sculpture, have you ever found anyone who is skilled in
the successes of Daedalus  son of Metion, or Epeius 
son of Panopeus,
to legend, the first sculptor:
cf. Euthyphro 11, Meno 97 D.
2 The maker of the wooden horse
at Troy (Homer, Od. 8.493).
Theodorus  of Samos, or any other single sculptor, but in face
the works of the other sculptors is at a loss and dozes, having nothing
No, on my honor, I have not found such a man as that either.
further, I expect you have also failed to find one in fluting or
harping or minstrelsy or rhapsodizing who is skilled in expounding the
art of Olympus 
metal-worker (Herodot. 1. 51, 3. 41).
2 One of the mythical inventors of music:
cf. Symp. 215 E.
Thamyras,  or Orpheus,  or Phemius, the rhapsode
but is at a loss
and has no remark to offer on the successes or
failures in rhapsody of Ion of Ephesus.
1 A Thracian
2 A Thracian Bard.
3 The minstrel who was forced to sing to the
suitors of Penelope (Od 1. 154, 22. 330).
cannot gainsay you on that, Socrates: but of one thing I am conscious
that I excel all men in speaking on Homer and have plenty to
and everyone else says that I do it well; but on the others I am not a
good speaker. Yet now, observe what that means.
I do observe it, Ion, and
I am going to point out to you
I take it to mean. For, as I was saying just now, this is not an art in
whereby you speak well on Homer, but a divine power,
which moves you like that
in the stone which Euripides named a magnet, 
referring to Magnesia in Caria, south of which was one
of the many
Heraclea. Μαγνῆτις λίθος occurs in a fragment of
most people call “Heraclea stone.” For this stone not only
attracts iron rings,
but also imparts to them a
power whereby they in turn are able to do the very same thing as the
attract other rings; so that sometimes there is formed quite a long
chain of bits of iron and rings,
suspended one from another; and they
all depend for this power on that one stone.
the same manner also the Muse inspires men herself, and then by means
of these inspired
persons the inspiration spreads to others, and holds
them in a connected chain.
all the good epic poets utter all those fine poems not from art, but
inspired and possessed, and the good lyric poets likewise;
just as the Corybantian
 worshippers do not dance when in their senses,
Corybantes were priests of Cybele or Rhea, mother of Zeus and other
Olympian gods, and she was worshipped with wild music and frenzied
like the bacchic revels
or orgies of women in honor of Dionysus, carried away the participants
despite and beyond themselves. Cf. Eurip. Bacchae.
the lyric poets do not indite those fine songs in their senses,
when they have started on the melody and rhythm they begin to be
frantic, and it is under possession—
as the bacchants are possessed, and
not in their senses,
they draw honey and milk from the rivers—that the soul of the lyric
poets does the same thing,
by their own report. For the poets tell us,
that the songs they bring
us are the sweets they cull from honey-dropping founts
in certain gardens and
glades of the Muses—like the bees, and winging the air as these do.
beginning of this comparison appears in Aristophanes' praise of the
Phrynichus—“he sipped the fruits of ambrosial lays,
ever bringing away sweet song.” Aristoph. Birds 750f.
what they tell is true. For a poet is a light and winged and sacred
and is unable ever to indite until he has been inspired and put
out of his senses,
his mind is no longer in him: every man, whilst he retains possession
of that, is powerless to indite a verse or chant an oracle.
Seeing then that it is not
by art that they compose and utter so many fine things about the deeds
as you do about Homer—but
by a divine dispensation, each is able only to compose that to which
the Muse has stirred him,
man dithyrambs, another laudatory odes, another dance-songs, another
epic or else iambic verse; but each is at fault in any other kind.
not by art do they utter these things, but by divine influence; since,
if they had fully learnt by art to speak on one kind of theme, they
would know how to speak on all.
for this reason God takes away the mind of these men and uses them as
his ministers, just as he does soothsayers and godly seers,
order that we who hear them may know that it is not they who utter
these words of great price, when they are out of their wits,
that it is God himself who speaks and addresses us through them.
convincing proof of what I say is the case of Tynnichus, the
had never composed a single poem in his life that could deserve any
mention, and then produced the paean  which is in everyone's mouth,
almost the finest song we
have, simply—as he says himself—“an invention of the Muses.” For the
god, as it seems to me,
1 Nothing else
is known of this poet.
2 A hymn in honor of a god, usually Apollo.
intended him to be a sign
to us that we should not waver or doubt that these fine poems are not
human or the work of men,
divine and the work of gods; and that the poets are merely the
interpreters of the gods, according as each is possessed by one of the
To show this forth, the
god of set purpose sang the finest of songs through the meanest of
or do you not think my
statement true, Ion?
Yes, upon my word, I do:
for you somehow touch my soul with your words, Socrates,
and I believe it is by divine dispensation that good poets interpret to
us these utterances of the gods.
And you rhapsodes, for your part, interpret the utterances of the poets?
Again your words are true.
And so you act as interpreters of interpreters?
now and tell me, Ion, without reserve what I may choose to ask you:
when you give a good recitation and specially thrill your audience,
with the lay of Odysseus  leaping forth on to the threshold,
revealing himself to the suitors and pouring out the arrows before his
feet, or of Achilles 
dashing at Hector, or some part of the sad story of Andromache  or
of Hecuba, or of Priam,  are
you then in your senses,
or are you carried out of
yourself, and does your soul in an ecstasy suppose
1 Od. 22.2ff.
2 Il. 22.312ff.
3 Il. 6.370-502; 22.437-515.
4 Il. 22.430-36; 24.747-59.
5 Il. 22.408-28; 24.144-717.
herself to be among the
scenes you are describing, whether they be in Ithaca, or
in Troy, or as the poems may chance to place them?
How vivid to me, Socrates, is this part of your proof! For I will tell
you without reserve: when I relate a tale of woe,
my eyes are filled with tears; and when it is of fear or awe, my hair
stands on end with terror, and my heart leaps.
now, are we to say, Ion, that such a person is in his senses at that
moment,—when in all the adornment of elegant attire and golden crowns
he weeps at sacrifice or festival, having been despoiled of none of his
finery; or shows fear as he stands before more
than twenty thousand friendly people, none of whom is stripping or
No, on my word, not at all, Socrates, to tell the strict truth.
And are you aware that you rhapsodes produce these same effects on most
of the spectators also?
very fully aware: for I look down upon them from the platform and see
them at such moments crying and turning awestruck eyes
upon me and yielding to the amazement of my tale. For I have to pay the
closest attention to them; since, if I set them crying,
I shall laugh myself because of the money I take, but if they laugh, I
myself shall cry because of the money I lose.
are you aware that your spectator is the last of the rings which I
spoke of as receiving
from each other the power transmitted from the
the rhapsode and actor, are the middle ring; the poet himself is the
first; but it is the god
who through the whole series draws the souls
he pleases, making the power of one depend on the other. And, just as
from the magnet,
there is a mighty chain of choric performers and
under-masters suspended by side-connections from the rings that hang
down from the Muse.
One poet is suspended from one Muse, another from
word we use for it is “possessed,” but it is much the same thing, for
he is held.
And from these first rings—the poets—are suspended various
which are thus inspired,
some by Orpheus and others by Musaeus ; but the majority are
possessed and held by Homer.
whom you, Ion, are one, and are possessed by Homer; and so, when anyone
the work of another poet, you go to sleep and are at a loss
what to say;
but when some one utters a
strain of your poet, you wake up at once, and your soul dances,
legendary bard to whom certain oracular verses were ascribed.
and you have plenty to
say: for it is not by art or knowledge about Homer that you say what
you say, but by divine dispensation
possession; just as the Corybantian worshippers are keenly sensible of
strain alone which belongs to the god whose possession is on them,
have plenty of gestures and phrases for that tune, but do not heed any
And so you, Ion, when the subject of Homer is mentioned, h
ave plenty to say, but
nothing on any of the others. And when you ask me the reason
you can speak at large on Homer but not on the rest, I tell you it is
because your skill in praising Homer comes not by art, but by divine
spoken, I grant you, Socrates; but still I shall be surprised if you
can speak well enough to convince me that I am possessed
and mad when I praise Homer. Nor can I think you would believe it of me
yourself, if you heard me speaking about him.
I declare I am quite willing to hear you, but not until
you have first answered me this: on what thing in Homer's story do you
speak well? Not on all of them, I presume.
I assure you, Socrates, on all without a single exception.
Not, of course, including those things of which you have in fact no
knowledge, but which Homer tells.
And what sort of things are they, which Homer tells, but of which I
have no knowledge?
does not Homer speak a good deal about arts, in a good many places?
instance, about chariot-driving: if I can recall the lines, I will
quote them to you.
No, I will recite them, for I can remember.
me then what Nestor says to his son Antilochus, advising him to be
careful about the turning-post in the horse-race in honor of Patroclus.
“Bend thyself in the polished car slightly to the left of them; and
call to the right-hand horse”
one of the two white stones, set up at each end of the course, which
had been mentioned six lines before.
“and goad him on, while your hand slackens his reins.
And at the post let your left-hand horse swerve close,
so that the nave of the well-wrought wheel
ay seem to come up to the edge of the stone,
which yet avoid to touch.”
Hom. Il. 23.335 ff.
Enough. Now, Ion, will a doctor or a charioteer be the better judge
whether Homer speaks correctly or not in these lines?
A charioteer, of course.
Because he has this art, or for some other reason?
No, because it is his art.
And to every art has been apportioned by God a power of knowing a
For I take it that what we know by the art of piloting we cannot also
know by that of medicine.
No, to be sure.
And what we know by medicine, we cannot by carpentry also?
And this rule holds for all the arts, that what we know by one of them
we cannot know by another?
But before you answer that, just tell me this: do you agree that one
art is of one sort, and another of another?
you argue this as I do, and call one art different from another when
one is a knowledge
of one kind of thing, and another a knowledge of
I suppose, if it were a knowledge of the same things—how could we say
that one was different
from another, when both could give us the same
Just as I know that there are five of these
fingers, and you equally know the same fact about them; and if I should
ask you whether
both you and I know this same fact by
the same art of numeration, or by different arts,
you would reply, I
presume, that it was by the same?
tell me now, what I was just going to ask you, whether you think this
for all the arts—that by the same art we must know the same
and by a different art things that are not the same; but if the art is
the things we know by it must be different also.
I think it is so, Socrates.
Then he who has not a particular art will be incapable of knowing
aright the words or works of that art?
Then will you or a charioteer be the better judge of whether Homer
speaks well or not in the lines that you quoted?
Because, I suppose, you are a rhapsode and not a charioteer.
And the rhapsode's art is different from the charioteer's?
Then if it is different, it is also a knowledge of different things.
Now, what of the passage where Homer tells how Hecamede,
Nestor's concubine, gives the wounded Machaon a posset? His words are
something like this:
Pramneian wine it was, and therein she grated cheese of goat's milk
with a grater of bronze; and thereby an onion as a relish for drink.”
Hom. Il. 11.639-40 
quotation, as Plato indicates, is not accurate. Machaon was the son of
Asclepius and physician
to the Greeks at Troy. Nothing is
known of “Pramneian wine,” except that it was “thick and nutritious”
Is it for the doctor's or the
rhapsode's art to discern aright whether Homer speaks correctly here or
For the doctor's.
Well now, when Homer says:
she passed to the bottom like a plummet which, set on a horn from an ox
of the field, goes in haste to bring mischief among the ravenous
Hom. Il. 24.80-82.
nature of this device is still in dispute. Plutarch (De sollertia
animal. 977) supports Aristotle's view that the
horn acted as a sheath
to protect the line from being bitten through by the fish.
we to say it is for the fisherman's or for the rhapsode's art to decide
what he means by this, and whether it is rightly or wrongly spoken?[538e]
Clearly, Socrates, for the fisherman's art.
Then please observe: suppose you were questioning me and should ask:
therefore, Socrates, you find it is for these several arts to appraise
the passages of Homer that belong to each, be so good as to make out
also that are for the seer and the seer's art, and show me the sort of
passages that come under his ability to distinguish whether they are
well or ill done”;
observe how easily and truly I
shall answer you. For he has many passages, both in the Odyssey,
instance the words of Theoclymenus, the seer of the line of Melampus,
to the suitors:
“Hapless men, what bane is
this afflicts you? Your heads and faces and limbs below are shrouded in
night, and wailing is enkindled,
and cheeks are wet
with tears: of ghosts the porch is full, and the court full of them
also, hastening hell-wards 'neath the gloom: and the sun is
perished out of heaven, and an evil mist is spread abroad;
”Hom. Od. 20.351-57 
the ancestor of Theoclymenus (cf. Hom. Od. 15.225-56), was
have been the first mortal who possessed the gift of prophecy.
and there are many passages in the Iliad also, as in the
fight at the rampart, where he says:
“For as they were eager to pass over, a bird had crossed them, an eagle
of lofty flight,
pressing the host at the left hand,”
bearing a blood-red monster of a snake, alive and still struggling; nor
had it yet unlearnt the lust of battle. For bending back it
its captor on the breast by the neck, and the bird in the bitterness of
it away to the ground, and dropped it down in the midst of
“and then with a cry flew off on the wafting winds.”
Hom. Il. 12.200-7
This passage, and others of the sort,
are those that I should say the seer has to examine and judge.
And you speak the truth, Socrates.
so do you, Ion, in saying that. Now you must do as I did, and in return
for my picking out from
the Odyssey and the Iliad the kinds of passage
that belong severally to the seer,
the doctor, and the fisherman, you have now to pick out for me—since
you are so much more versed in Homer than I—
kinds which belong to the rhapsode, Ion, and the rhapsode's art, and
which he should
be able to consider and distinguish beyond the rest of
What I say, Socrates, is—“all passages.”
Surely you do not say “all,” Ion! Can you be so forgetful? And yet
forgetfulness would ill become a rhapsode.
Why, how am I forgetting?
Do you not remember that you said that the art of the rhapsode was
different from that of the charioteer?
And you also admitted that, being different, it would know different
Then by your own account the rhapsode's art cannot know everything, nor
the rhapsode either.
Let us say, everything except those instances, Socrates.
“those instances” you imply the subjects of practically all the other
arts. Well, as he does not know all of them, which kinds will he know?
things, I imagine, that it befits a man to say, and the sort of thing
that a woman should say;
the sort for a slave and the sort for a
freeman; and the sort for a subject or for a ruler.
you mean that the rhapsode will know better than the pilot what sort of
thing a ruler of a storm-tossed vessel at sea should say?
No, the pilot knows better in that case.
Well, will the rhapsode know better than the doctor what sort of thing
a ruler of a sick man should say?
Not in that case either.
But he will know the sort
for a slave, you say?
instance, if the slave is a cowherd, you say the rhapsode will know
other should say to pacify his cows when they get fierce, but
the cowherd will not?
That is not so.
Well, the sort of thing that a woman ought to say—a
spinning-woman—about the working of wool?
But he will know what a man should say, when he is a general exhorting
Yes, that sort of thing the rhapsode will know.
Well, but is the art of
the rhapsode the art of the general?
I, at any rate, should know what a general ought to say.
Yes, since I daresay you are good at generalship also, Ion. For in
fact, if you happened to have skill in
horsemanship as well as in the lyre, you would know when horses were
well or ill managed:
if I asked you, “By which art is it, Ion, that you know that horses are
being well managed,
by your skill as a horseman, or as a player of the
lyre?” what would your answer be?
I should say, by my skill as a horseman.
if again you were distinguishing the good lyre-players, you would admit
distinguished by your skill in the lyre, and not by your skill
as a horseman.
And when you judge of military matters, do you judge as having skill in
generalship, or as a good rhapsode?
To my mind, there is no difference.
What, no difference, do you say? Do you mean that the art of the
rhapsode and the general is one, not two?
It is one, to my mind.
So that anyone who is a good rhapsode is also, in fact, a good general?
And again, anyone who happens to be a good general is also a good
No there I do not agree.
But still you agree that anyone who is a good rhapsode
is also a good general?
To be sure.
And you are the best rhapsode in Greece?
Far the best, Socrates.
Are you also, Ion, the best general in Greece?
Be sure of it, Socrates and that I owe to my study of Homer.
how, in Heaven's name, can it be, Ion, that you, who are both the best
and the best rhapsode in Greece, go about performing as a
rhapsode to the Greeks, but not as a general?
do you suppose that the Greeks feel a great need of a rhapsode in the
glory of his golden crown, but of a general none at all?
It is because my city, Socrates, is under the rule
and generalship of your people, and is not in want of a general;
whilst you and Sparta would not choose me as a general, since
you think you manage well enough for yourselves.
My excellent Ion, you are acquainted with Apollodorus 
of Cyzicus, are you not?
What might he be?
A man whom the Athenians have often chosen as their general, though a
2 Nothing else is known of this general.
[541d] and Phanosthenes 
of Andros, and Heracleides  of Clazomenae,
whom my city invests with the high command and other
although they are foreigners, because they have proved themselves to be
And will she not choose Ion of Ephesusas her general,
honor him, if he shows himself competent? Why, you Ephesians are by
origin Athenians, are you not, and Ephesus is inferior to
the Thurian admiral Dorieus, 407 B. C.
2 Nothing else is known of this general.
3 Androclus of Attica founded Ephesus as the
Ionian city known to the Greeks of Plato's time.
in fact, Ion, if you are right in saying it is by art and knowledge
that you are able to praise Homer, you are playing me false:
have professed to me that you know any amount of fine things about
Homer, and you promise to display them; but you are only deceiving me,
and so far from displaying the subjects of your skill, you decline even
to tell me what they are, for all my entreaties.
You are a perfect Proteus in the way you take on every kind of shape,
twisting about this way and that, until at last you
elude my grasp in the guise of a general, so as to avoid displaying
in Homeric lore. Now if you are an artist and, as I was saying just
now, you only promised me a display about Homer
to deceive me, you are playing me false; whilst if you are no artist,
but speak fully and finely about Homer, as I said you did,
without any knowledge but
by a divine dispensation which causes you to be
possessed by the poet, you play quite fair.
Choose therefore which of
the two you prefer us to call you, dishonest or divine.
The difference is great, Socrates; for it is far nobler to be called
Then you may count on this nobler title in our minds, Ion, of being a
divine and not an artistic praiser of Homer.
(Transl. W.R.M. Lamb)
πολέμου καὶ μάχης φασὶ χρῆναι, ὦ Σώκρατες, οὕτω μεταλαγχάνειν.
ἀλλ᾽ ἦ, τὸ λεγόμενον, κατόπιν ἑορτῆς ἥκομεν καὶ ὑστεροῦμεν;
καὶ μάλα γε ἀστείας ἑορτῆς: πολλὰ γὰρ καὶ καλὰ Γοργίας ἡμῖν ὀλίγον πρότερον ἐπεδείξατο.
τούτων μέντοι, ὦ Καλλίκλεις, αἴτιος Χαιρεφῶν ὅδε, ἐν ἀγορᾷ ἀναγκάσας ἡμᾶς διατρῖψαι.
οὐδὲν πρᾶγμα, ὦ Σώκρατες: ἐγὼ γὰρ καὶ ἰάσομαι. φίλος γάρ μοι Γοργίας, ὥστ᾽ ἐπιδείξεται ἡμῖν, εἰ μὲν δοκεῖ, νῦν, ἐὰν δὲ βούλῃ, εἰς αὖθις.
τί δέ, ὦ Χαιρεφῶν; ἐπιθυμεῖ Σωκράτης ἀκοῦσαι Γοργίου;
ἐπ᾽ αὐτό γέ τοι τοῦτο πάρεσμεν.
οὐκοῦν ὅταν βούλησθε παρ᾽ ἐμὲ ἥκειν οἴκαδε: παρ᾽ ἐμοὶ γὰρ Γοργίας καταλύει καὶ ἐπιδείξεται ὑμῖν.
εὖ λέγεις, ὦ Καλλίκλεις. ἀλλ᾽ ἆρα ἐθελήσειεν ἂν
[447ξ] ἡμῖν διαλεχθῆναι; βούλομαι γὰρ πυθέσθαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ τίς ἡ δύναμις τῆς τέχνης τοῦ ἀνδρός,
καὶ τί ἐστινὃ ἐπαγγέλλεταί τε καὶ διδάσκει: τὴν δὲ ἄλλην ἐπίδειξιν εἰς αὖθις, ὥσπερ σὺ λέγεις, ποιησάσθω.
οὐδὲν οἷον τὸ αὐτὸν ἐρωτᾶν, ὦ Σώκρατες. καὶ γὰρ αὐτῷ ἓν τοῦτ᾽ ἦν τῆς ἐπιδείξεως:
ἐκέλευε γοῦν νυνδὴἐρωτᾶν ὅτι τις βούλοιτο τῶν ἔνδον ὄντων, καὶ πρὸς ἅπαντα ἔφη ἀποκρινεῖσθαι.
ἦ καλῶς λέγεις. ὦ Χαιρεφῶν, ἐροῦ αὐτόν.
ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ ἐτύγχανεν ὢν ὑποδημάτων δημιουργός, ἀπεκρίνατο ἂν δήπου σοι ὅτι σκυτοτόμος: ἢ οὐ μανθάνειςὡς λέγω;
μανθάνω καὶ ἐρήσομαι. εἰπέ μοι, ὦ Γοργία, ἀληθῆ λέγει Καλλικλῆς ὅδε ὅτι ἐπαγγέλλῃ ἀποκρίνεσθαι ὅτι ἄν τίςσε ἐρωτᾷ;
ἀληθῆ, ὦ Χαιρεφῶν: καὶ γὰρ νυνδὴ αὐτὰ ταῦτα ἐπηγγελλόμην, καὶ λέγω ὅτι οὐδείς μέ πω ἠρώτηκε καινὸνοὐδὲν πολλῶν ἐτῶν.
ἦ που ἄρα ῥᾳδίως ἀποκρινῇ, ὦ Γοργία.
πάρεστι τούτου πεῖραν, ὦ Χαιρεφῶν, λαμβάνειν.
νὴ Δία: ἂν δέ γε βούλῃ, ὦ Χαιρεφῶν, ἐμοῦ. Γοργίας μὲν γὰρ καὶ ἀπειρηκέναι μοι δοκεῖ: πολλὰ γὰρ ἄρτιδιελήλυθεν.
τί δέ, ὦ Πῶλε; οἴει σὺ κάλλιον ἂν Γοργίου ἀποκρίνασθαι;
[485α] ὅπου δ᾽ ἂν φαῦλος ᾖ, ἐντεῦθεν φεύγει καὶ λοιδορεῖ τοῦτο,
τὸ δ᾽ ἕτερον ἐπαινεῖ, εὐνοίᾳ τῇ ἑαυτοῦ, ἡγούμενος οὕτως αὐτὸς ἑαυτὸν ἐπαινεῖν.
ἀλλ᾽ οἶμαι τὸ ὀρθότατόν ἐστιν ἀμφοτέρων μετασχεῖν.
φιλοσοφίαςμὲν ὅσον παιδείας χάριν καλὸν μετέχειν,
καὶ οὐκ αἰσχρὸν μειρακίῳ ὄντι φιλοσοφεῖν:
ἐπειδὰν δὲ ἤδηπρεσβύτερος ὢν ἄνθρωπος ἔτι φιλοσοφῇ, καταγέλαστον, ὦ Σώκρατες, τὸ χρῆμα γίγνεται, καὶ ἔγωγε
[485β] ὁμοιότατον πάσχω πρὸς τοὺς φιλοσοφοῦντας ὥσπερ
πρὸς τοὺς ψελλιζομένους καὶ παίζοντας. ὅταν μὲνγὰρ παιδίον ἴδω,
ᾧ ἔτι προσήκει διαλέγεσθαι οὕτω, ψελλιζόμενον καὶ παῖζον,
χαίρω τε καὶ χαρίεν μοι φαίνεταικαὶ ἐλευθέριον καὶ πρέπον
τῇ τοῦ παιδίου ἡλικίᾳ, ὅταν δὲ σαφῶς διαλεγομένου παιδαρίου ἀκούσω,
πικρόν τίμοι δοκεῖ χρῆμα εἶναι καὶ ἀνιᾷ μου τὰ ὦτα
καί μοι δοκεῖ δουλοπρεπές τι εἶναι: ὅταν δὲ
[485ξ] ἀνδρὸς ἀκούσῃ τις ψελλιζομένου ἢ παίζοντα ὁρᾷ,
καταγέλαστον φαίνεται καὶ ἄνανδρον καὶ πληγῶνἄξιον.
ταὐτὸν οὖν ἔγωγε τοῦτο πάσχω καὶ πρὸς τοὺς φιλοσοφοῦντας.
παρὰ νέῳ μὲν γὰρ μειρακίῳ ὁρῶνφιλοσοφίαν ἄγαμαι,
καὶ πρέπειν μοι δοκεῖ, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι ἐλεύθερόν τινα εἶναι
τοῦτον τὸν ἄνθρωπον, τὸν δὲ μὴφιλοσοφοῦντα ἀνελεύθερον
καὶ οὐδέποτε οὐδενὸς ἀξιώσοντα ἑαυτὸν οὔτε καλοῦ οὔτε γενναίου
ὅταν δὲ δὴ πρεσβύτερον ἴδω ἔτι φιλοσοφοῦντα καὶ μὴ ἀπαλλαττόμενον,
πληγῶν μοι δοκεῖἤδη δεῖσθαι, ὦ Σώκρατες, οὗτος ὁ ἀνήρ.
ὃ γὰρ νυν
δὴ ἔλεγον, ὑπάρχει τούτῳ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ,
κἂν πάνυ εὐφυὴς ᾖ, ἀνάνδρῳ γενέσθαι φεύγοντι
τὰ μέσα τῆς πόλεως καὶ τὰς ἀγοράς,
ἐν αἷς ἔφη ὁ ποιητὴς
τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀριπρεπεῖς
καταδεδυκότι δὲ τὸν λοιπὸν βίον βιῶναι μετὰ μειρακίων ἐν γωνίᾳ τριῶν ἢ
[485ε] τεττάρων ψιθυρίζοντα, ἐλεύθερον δὲ καὶ μέγα
καὶ ἱκανὸν μηδέποτε φθέγξασθαι.
ἐγὼ δέ, ὦ Σώκρατες, πρὸς σὲ ἐπιεικῶς ἔχω φιλικῶς:
κινδυνεύω οὖν πεπονθέναι νῦν ὅπερ ὁ Ζῆθος πρὸς τὸν Ἀμφίονα ὁ Εὐριπίδου,
οὗπερ ἐμνήσθην. καὶ γὰρ ἐμοὶ τοιαῦτ᾽ ἄττα ἐπέρχεται πρὸς σὲ λέγειν,
οἷάπερ ἐκεῖνος πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφόν, ὅτι‘ἀμελεῖς, ὦ Σώκρατες,
ὧν δεῖ σε ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, καὶ φύσιν ψυχῆς ὧδε γενναίαν μειρακιώδει ’
To join in a fight or a fray, as the saying is, Socrates, you have
time well enough.
Do you mean, according to the proverb, we have come too late for a
Yes, a most elegant feast; for Gorgias gave us a fine and varied
display but a
But indeed, Callicles, it is Chaerephon here who must take the blame
[447b] he forced us to spend our time
in the market-place.
No matter, Socrates I will take the curing of it too for Gorgias is a
so that he will give us a display now, if you think fit, or if
prefer, on another occasion.
What, Chaerephon? Has Socrates a desire to hear Gorgias?
Yes, it is for that very purpose we are here.
Then whenever you have a mind to pay me a call—Gorgias is staying with
he will give you a display.
Thank you, Callicles: but would he consent
[447c] to discuss with us? For I want
to find out from the
man what is the function of his art, and what it is that he professes
As for the rest of his performance, he must give it us, as you
suggest, on another occasion.
The best way is to ask our friend himself, Socrates: for indeed that
was one of
the features of his performance.
Why, only this moment he was pressing
whatever questions anyone in the house might like to ask, and saying he
answer them all.
What a good idea! Ask him, Chaerephon.
What am I to ask?
What he is.
How do you mean?
Just as, if he chanced to be in the shoe-making business, his answer
been, I presume, “a shoemaker.” Now, don't you see my meaning?
I see, and will ask him. Tell me, Gorgias, is Callicles here correct in
that you profess to answer any
questions one may ask you?
He is, Chaerephon; indeed, I was just now making this very profession, and I
may add that nobody has asked me anything new for many years now.
So I presume you will easily answer, Gorgias.
You are free to make trial of that, Chaerephon.
Yes, to be sure; and, if you like, Chaerephon, of me. For I think
be quite tired out, after the long discourse he has just delivered.
Why, Polus, do you suppose you could answer more excellently than
whereas that in which he is weak he shuns and vilifies;
other he praises, in kindness to himself, thinking in this way to
most proper course, I consider, is to take a share of both.
It is a
fine thing to partake of philosophy just for the sake of education,
and it is
no disgrace for a lad to follow it: but when a man already advancing in
continues in its pursuit, the affair, Socrates, becomes ridiculous;
and for my
part I have much the same feeling
towards students af philosophy as towards those who lisp or play
For when I
see a little child, to whom it is still natural to talk in that way,
playing some trick, I enjoy it, and it strikes me as pretty and
to the infant's age; whereas if I hear a small child talk distinctly,
I find it a
disagreeable thing, and it offends my ears and seems
to me more
befitting a slave. But when one hears a grown man lisp,
[485c] or sees him play tricks, it
strikes one as something
ridiculous and unmanly,
that deserves a whipping. Just the same, then, is my feeling
towards the followers of philosophy.
For when I see philosophy in a young lad I
approve of it;
it suitable, and I regard him as a person of liberal mind:
who does not follow it I account illiberal
likely to expect of himself any fine or generous action.
[485d] But when I see an elderly man still going on with
philosophy and not getting rid of it, that is the gentleman, Socrates,
think in need of a whipping.
For as I
said just now, this person, however well endowed he may be, is bound to
unmanly through shunning the centers and marts of the city, in which,
poet (Homer Il. IX, 441) said,
“men get them
note and glory”;
cower down and spend the rest of his days whispering
in a corner with three or four lads, and never utter anything free or
Homer, Il. IX
ὣς ἔφαθ᾽, οἳ δ᾽ ἄρα πάντες ἀκὴν ἐγένοντο σιωπῇ
μῦθον ἀγασσάμενοι: μάλα γὰρ κρατερῶς ἀπέειπεν:
ὀψὲ δὲ δὴ μετέειπε γέρων ἱππηλάτα Φοῖνιξ
δάκρυ᾽ ἀναπρήσας: περὶ γὰρ δίε νηυσὶν Ἀχαιῶν:
‘εἰ μὲν δὴ νόστόν γε μετὰ φρεσὶ φαίδιμ᾽ Ἀχιλλεῦ
435βάλλεαι, οὐδέ τι πάμπαν ἀμύνειν νηυσὶ θοῇσι
πῦρ ἐθέλεις ἀΐδηλον, ἐπεὶ χόλος ἔμπεσε θυμῷ,
πῶς ἂν ἔπειτ᾽ ἀπὸ σεῖο φίλον τέκος αὖθι λιποίμην
οἶος; σοὶ δέ μ᾽ ἔπεμπε γέρων ἱππηλάτα Πηλεὺς
ἤματι τῷ ὅτε σ᾽ ἐκ Φθίης Ἀγαμέμνονι πέμπε
440νήπιον οὔ πω εἰδόθ᾽ ὁμοιΐου πολέμοιο
οὐδ᾽ ἀγορέων, ἵνα τ᾽ ἄνδρες ἀριπρεπέες τελέθουσι.
τοὔνεκά με προέηκε διδασκέμεναι τάδε πάντα,
μύθων τε ῥητῆρ᾽ ἔμεναι πρηκτῆρά τε ἔργων.
ὡς ἂν ἔπειτ᾽ ἀπὸ σεῖο φίλον τέκος οὐκ ἐθέλοιμι
445λείπεσθ᾽, οὐδ᾽ εἴ κέν μοι ὑποσταίη θεὸς αὐτὸς
γῆρας ἀποξύσας θήσειν νέον ἡβώοντα,
οἷον ὅτε πρῶτον λίπον Ἑλλάδα καλλιγύναικα
φεύγων νείκεα πατρὸς Ἀμύντορος Ὀρμενίδαο,
ὅς μοι παλλακίδος περιχώσατο καλλικόμοιο,
450τὴν αὐτὸς φιλέεσκεν, ἀτιμάζεσκε δ᾽ ἄκοιτιν
μητέρ᾽ ἐμήν: ἣ δ᾽ αἰὲν ἐμὲ λισσέσκετο γούνων
παλλακίδι προμιγῆναι, ἵν᾽ ἐχθήρειε γέροντα.
It was to thee that
the old horseman Peleus sent me on the day when he sent thee to
forth from Phthia, 
a mere child, knowing
naught as yet of evil war,
neither of gatherings wherein men wax preeminent.
For this cause sent he me to
instruct thee in all these things, to be both a speaker of words and a
Wherefore, dear child, I am not minded hereafter  to be
left alone without thee, nay, not though a god himself should pledge
strip from me my old age and render me strong in youth as in the day
I left Hellas, the home of fair women, fleeing from strife
with my father
Amyntor, son of Ormenus; for he waxed grievously wroth against me by
his fair-haired concubine, 
whom himself he ever cherished, and scorned
his wife, my mother. So she besought me by my knees continually,
dalliance with that other first myself, that the old man might be
her eyes. ”
[485e] Now I, Socrates, am quite
fairly friendly to you, and
so I feel very much at this moment as Zethus did, whom I have mentioned,
towards Amphion in Euripides. Indeed I am prompted to
address you in the same
sort of words as he did his brother:
neglect, Socrates, what you ought to mind; you distort with a kind of
travesty a soul of such noble nature;
L. WHEELER: STRATAGEM AND THE VOCABULARY OF MILITARY TRICKERY
Leiden: E.J. Brill 1988, 38-40
stratagemic vocabulary could borrow from the language of sophists and
philosophers, such as sophia,
techne, and phronesis, as well as panourgia from the theater, a term
from the arena of sport would not be
peculiar, especially since the language of war and sport often
Indeed Onasander compares the general besieging a city to a good
feints at many points must conceal his real point of attack. (60) Palaisma,
originally a "fall" in a wrestling match, of which the "third
fall" (triton palaisma),
signifying the end of the bout, became a
metaphor for the end of a series or some crowning achievemetns, (61)
refer to the trick of a wrestler resulting in an opponent's fall and
metaphorical use as a legal trick of the courtroom, a rhetorical trick,
or a tricky
person. (62). Furthermore, palaisma
could appear as stratagem, for which
conceptual precedents in mythology, if not the word itself, can be
crafty Autolycus was such an champion at the sport that he taught
wrestle, and Odysseus' bag of trics included the wiles of the wring.
Plutarch equates stratagema
and palaisma, when the
Spartan king Agesilaus
repeats a stratagem succesfully. Similarly, Julian in listing
brilliants acts of generalship against Magnentius hails his final feat
ingenuity as the "third fall" (triton
words, such as tolma
(boldness) or epibole
(design, enterprise, assault), although appearing occasionally for
or with a rusé connotation, do not merit discussion: their
occurrence in this
sense is too infrequent. (65) Of greater significance, however, are pseudos
(lie) and its adjective pseudes
(false). Certainly lying to the enemy or to
one's own forces can be a stratagem (cf. Xen., Mem. 4.2.15-17), but Greeks
much preferred to use apate
rather than pseudos. In fact
the two words, as
noted earlier, are closely linked (cf. Suda s.v. pseústhenta): pseudos is
the objective aspect of the subjective process of apate, and if apate's
tone is neutral, much the same applies to pseudos and pseudes. In archaic Greek
thought the opposite of pseudes
is not alethes (true) but apseudes (not
false, without deceit), and the antonym of aletheia (truth) is lethe
falls into the same context of deceit and delusion as dolos, metis, and apate, none of which precisely
"lie." Its meaing is either "something which seeks to
deceive" or "something" without fulfillment or
realization." (66). Thus Diodorus' description of a stratagem by
Agathocles in 310 B.C. (20.17.5): "miscalculating by the deception of a
stratagem" (to pseudei tou
strategématos paralogísthentes). Indeed
one scholar argues that except for some individual forms, such as the
verb pseudein in the aorist
aspect of the middle voice, Greek has no clear
expression for "lie" or "to lie". Pseudos,
verbal forms with pseud-
indicate only that something false has been started,
done, or implied without regarding the intent for truth or falsehood.
Furthermore, the pseudos group engendered a rich
family of words for stratagem, best seen in
an anecdote on the Athenian commander Iphicrates recorded by Polyenus:
train his soldiers in various ways, contriving feigned reenforcements,
ambushes, false betrayals, sham desertions, feigned
attacks, and false panics,
so that if at any time something like that occurred, they might not in
be surprised. (68)
Xenophon's pseudangeliai (false reports: Mag.eq. 5.8) and pseudopyra (deceiving
campfires) found in the Suda
(s.v.) supplement Polyaenus' list. For the
moment judgement is reserved on whether these words should be
technical terms, since apart from pseudangelia
and its cognate pseudangelos
(false messenger) they appear only in Xenophon, Polyaenus, Julius
Pollus, the Suda, and other
Byzantine sources. The problem will be addressed below.
Conceivably, the list of "pseudo-words" founds in the Suda could
reflect a rhetorical handbook or lexicon callelld "On the False" (Perí
pseúdous), although by no means are all such words
these terms is slight. Xenophon (Mag.eq.
5, 8-9) instructs his cavalry
commander to terrify the enemy with feigned ambushes, feigned
and false reports, all of which he views as forms of apate. His Anabasis provides an example of pseudenedra: the rearguard of
foraging party foraging
party from Xenophon's Greek forces at Trapezus pretends very
set an ambush against hostile Pontic tribesmen harassing the party's
thereby permitting the bulk of the group to negotiate the difficult
from the mountains into the city. (70) The word pseudoboethia, found only in
Xenophon and Polaenus, probably refers to the stratagem often found in
sources, whereby a commander arranges for a detachment of soldiers or
to appear in the enemy's rear before or during battle and to sound
to stir up a dust cloud to create the impression of approaching
may be similar: feigning an attack at one point and striking at
In contrast, pseudangelia has Homeric roots
through pseudangelos: Zeus in
tells the messenger-god Iris no to be a pseudangelos. From Homer the word
passed to Athenian comedy of the fifth century B.C. and Aristotle cites
of unknown author and date entitled Odysseus
the False Messenger. (72). The
function of pseudangelos or pseudangelia, which first appears
is basically identical to that of pseudoprodosia
of false information or luring the enemy into a trap or false move. The
Parthians made certain that Antony's army retreating from media in 36
received only false reports (pseudangeliai)
about areas where food and water
were available, while Hannibal employed a false traitor (pseudoprodotes) to
lure the Romans into an ambush at Herdonia in 212 B.C. (or 210 B.C.)
contrived the sham desertion (pseudoautomolia)
of 500 Numidians at Cannae in
216 B.C. to attack the Roman rear after the battle began. (73)
67. See Rudolf
Schottlaender, "Die Lüge in der Ethik der
Philosophie," in Otto lipmann / Paul Plaut,
Lüge in psychologischer, philosophischer, juristischer,
pädagogischer, historischer, soziologischer, sprach- und
und entwicklungsgeschichtlicher Betrachtung (Leipzig 1927) 99,
3.9.32: Iphikrátes poikilos
egumnaze tous stratiotas mechanómenos
pseudoboetheias, pseudenéndras, pseudoprodosías,
pseudopaniká, hinaa ei pote kai toiouton ti génoito,
78, n. 122.
70 Xen., Anab
5.2.28; Poll. Onom. 1.173; Suda s.v. pseudenédra, citing Xenophon.
71 Xen. Mag.
eq. 5.8; Polyaenus 3.9.32; Front., Strat. 2.4.1-3, 5-6, 20; 3.9.3,
Liv. 7.14.6-15.8; Onas. 22.2
72 Il 15.159;
Ar., Av. 1340; Arist. Poet. 16.10 cf. Plut. Mor. 987C.
73 Pseuangelia: Xen., Mag.eq. 5.8; Dio 49.28.4; pseudoprodosia / pseudoprodotes
ἣ μὲν ἄρ᾽ ὣς εἰποῦσα πάλιν κίε πότνια Ἥρη,
150ἕζετο δ᾽ εἰνὶ θρόνῳ: τὼ δ᾽ ἀΐξαντε πετέσθην.
Ἴδην δ᾽ ἵκανον πολυπίδακα μητέρα θηρῶν,
εὗρον δ᾽ εὐρύοπα Κρονίδην ἀνὰ Γαργάρῳ ἄκρῳ
ἥμενον: ἀμφὶ δέ μιν θυόεν νέφος ἐστεφάνωτο.
τὼ δὲ πάροιθ᾽ ἐλθόντε Διὸς νεφεληγερέταο
155στήτην: οὐδέ σφωϊν ἰδὼν ἐχολώσατο θυμῷ,
ὅττί οἱ ὦκ᾽ ἐπέεσσι φίλης ἀλόχοιο πιθέσθην.
Ἶριν δὲ προτέρην ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα:
‘βάσκ᾽ ἴθι Ἶρι ταχεῖα, Ποσειδάωνι ἄνακτι
πάντα τάδ᾽ ἀγγεῖλαι, μὴ δὲ ψευδάγγελος εἶναι.
160παυσάμενόν μιν ἄνωχθι μάχης ἠδὲ πτολέμοιο
ἔρχεσθαι μετὰ φῦλα θεῶν ἢ εἰς ἅλα δῖαν.
εἰ δέ μοι οὐκ ἐπέεσσ᾽ ἐπιπείσεται, ἀλλ᾽ ἀλογήσει,
φραζέσθω δὴ ἔπειτα κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμὸν
μή μ᾽ οὐδὲ κρατερός περ ἐὼν ἐπιόντα ταλάσσῃ
165μεῖναι, ἐπεί εὑ φημὶ βίῃ πολὺ φέρτερος εἶναι
καὶ γενεῇ πρότερος: τοῦ δ᾽ οὐκ ὄθεται φίλον ἦτορ
ἶσον ἐμοὶ φάσθαι, τόν τε στυγέουσι καὶ ἄλλοι.
When she had
thus spoken queenly Hera returned again
Arist. Poet. 16.10
 and sate her down upon her
throne; and the twain sprang up and sped forth upon their way.
many-fountained Ida they came, mother of wild beasts, and found Zeus,
voice is borne afar, seated on topmost Gargarus; and about him a
The twain then came before the face of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer,
 and at sight of them his heart waxed nowise wroth, for that they
speedily obeyed the words of his dear wife.
And to Iris first he spake
words: “Up, go, swift Iris; unto the lord Poseidon
bear thou all these
and see thou tell him true.
 Bid him cease from war and battle, and go to
join the tribes of gods,
or into the bright sea. And if so be he will not obey
my words, but shall set them at naught,
let him bethink him then in mind and
heart, lest, how strong soever he be,
he have no hardihood to abide my
 for I avow me to be better far than he in might, and the elder
Yet his heart counteth it but a little thing to declare himself the
of me of whom even the other gods are adread.”
[1455α] ὥσπερ ἡ ἐν Κυπρίοις τοῖς Δικαιογένους, ἰδὼν γὰρ τὴν γραφὴν ἔκλαυσεν,
καὶ ἡ ἐν Ἀλκίνου ἀπολόγῳ, ἀκούων γὰρ τοῦ κιθαριστοῦ καὶ μνησθεὶς ἐδάκρυσεν,
ὅθεν ἀνεγνωρίσθησαν. τετάρτη δὲ ἡ ἐκ συλλογισμοῦ, οἷονἐν Χοηφόροις,
 ὅτι ὅμοιός τις ἐλήλυθεν, ὅμοιος δὲ οὐθεὶς ἀλλ᾽ ἢ Ὀρέστης, οὗτος ἄρα ἐλήλυθεν.
καὶ ἡ Πολυίδουτοῦ σοφιστοῦ περὶ τῆς Ἰφιγενείας: εἰκὸς γὰρ ἔφη τὸν Ὀρέστην συλλογίσασθαι
ὅτι ἥ τ᾽ ἀδελφὴ ἐτύθη καὶ αὐτῷσυμβαίνει θύεσθαι. καὶ ἐν τῷ Θεοδέκτου Τυδεῖ, ὅτι ἐλθὼν ὡς εὑρήσων τὸν υἱὸν αὐτὸς
 ἀπόλλυται. καὶ ἡ ἐντοῖς Φινείδαις: ἰδοῦσαι γὰρ τὸν τόπον συνελογίσαντο τὴν εἱμαρμένην
ὅτι ἐν τούτῳ εἵμαρτο ἀποθανεῖν αὐταῖς, καὶ γὰρ ἐξετέθησαν ἐνταῦθα. ἔστιν δέ τις καὶ συνθετὴ
ἐκ παραλογισμοῦ τοῦ θεάτρου, οἷον ἐν τῷ Ὀδυσσεῖ τῷ
ψευδαγγέλῳ: τὸ μὲν γὰρ τὸ τόξον ἐντείνειν, ἄλλον δὲ
[14α] μηδένα, πεποιημένον ὑπὸ τοῦ ποιητοῦ καὶ ὑπόθεσις,
[14β] καὶ εἴ γε τὸ τόξον ἔφη γνώσεσθαι ὃ οὐχ ἑωράκει:
 τὸ δὲ ὡς δι᾽ ἐκείνου ἀναγνωριοῦντος διὰ τούτουποιῆσαι παραλογισμός.
πασῶν δὲ βελτίστη ἀναγνώρισις ἡ ἐξ αὐτῶν τῶν πραγμάτων, τῆς ἐκπλήξεως γιγνομένης
δι᾽ εἰκότων, οἷον ἐν τῷΣοφοκλέους Οἰδίποδι καὶ τῇ Ἰφιγενείᾳ: εἰκὸς γὰρ βούλεσθαι ἐπιθεῖναι γράμματα. αἱ γὰρ τοιαῦται μόναι
 ἄνευτῶν πεποιημένων σημείων καὶ περιδεραίων. δεύτεραι δὲ αἱ ἐκ συλλογισμοῦ.
[1455a]  An
example of this is the scene in the Cyprians by Dicaeogenes;
seeing the picture he burst into tears 1:
and again in the "Tale of Alcinous," 2 hearing
the minstrel he remembered and burst into tears; and thus they were
The fourth kind results from an inference; for instance, in
the Choephoroe "Someone
like me has come;
but nobody is like me except Orestes; therefore he has
come." And there is Polyidus's 3 idea
for it is likely enough that Orestes should make an inference
that, whereas his sister was sacrificed,
here is the same thing happening to
him. And in Theodectes' Tydeus that "having come to find a
he is perishing himself." And the scene in the Phineidae, where on
seeing the spot the women inferred their fate,
that they were meant to die
there for it was there that they had been exposed. 4
There is also a
kind of fictitious discovery which depends on a false inference on the
the audience, for instance in Odysseus
the False Messenger, he said he
the bow, which as a matter of fact he had not seen, but to
assume that he really
would reveal himself by this means is a false inference. 5
returning to Salamis in disguise and seeing a portrait of his
father Telamon, burst into tears and was thus discovered.
So, too, in The
Two Gentlemen of Verona Julia is discovered because she
hearing Valentine offer Sylvia to his rival.
Sophist who either wrote an Iphigeneia with this denouement
probably suggested in a work of criticism (cf. Aristot. Poet.
17.6) that Orestes on being led to his fate
should speculate aloud upon the odd coincidence that both he and his
should be sacrificed, thus revealing his identity to Iphigeneia. Like
critics, Polyidos would have been a poor dramatist. There is an example
form of discovery in the French opera Coeur de Lion, where the old
says "goddam" and is thus discovered to be an Englishman.
these cases the inference was presumably uttered aloud and hence the
of the speakers discovered. Nothing else is known of these plays.
text is obscure, and our ignorance of the play or rhapsody adds to the
darkness, but the reference may be to the ruse, common in detective
misleading the audience by false clues in order to make the final
POLITICS V, 1313 ff
αἱ δὲ τυραννίδες σῴζονται κατὰ δύο τρόπους τοὺς ἐναντιωτάτους,
 ὧν ἅτερός ἐστιν ὁ παραδεδομένος καὶ καθ᾽ ὃν
διοικοῦσινοἱ πλεῖστοι τῶν τυράννων τὴν ἀρχήν.
τούτων δὲ τὰ πολλά φασι καταστῆσαι Περίανδρον τὸν Κορίνθιον:
πολλὰ δὲ καὶ παρὰ τῆςΠερσῶν ἀρχῆς ἔστι τοιαῦτα λαβεῖν.
ἔστι δὲ τά τε πάλαι λεχθέντα πρὸς σωτηρίαν, ὡς οἷόν τε,
 τῆς τυραννίδος, τὸ τοὺςὑπερέχοντας κολούειν καὶ τοὺς φρονηματίας ἀναιρεῖν,
καὶ μήτε συσσίτια ἐᾶν μήτε ἑταιρίαν μήτε παιδείαν μήτε ἄλλο μηθὲντοιοῦτον,
[1313β] ἀλλὰ πάντα φυλάττειν ὅθεν εἴωθε γίγνεσθαι δύο, φρόνημά τε καὶ πίστις,
καὶ μήτε σχολὰς μήτε ἄλλους συλλόγουςἐπιτρέπειν γίγνεσθαι σχολαστικούς,
καὶ πάντα ποιεῖν ἐξ ὧν ὅτι μάλιστα
 ἀγνῶτες ἀλλήλοις ἔσονται πάντες （ἡ γὰρ γνῶσιςπίστιν ποιεῖ μᾶλλον πρὸς ἀλλήλους）:
καὶ τὸ τοὺς ἐπιδημοῦντας αἰεὶ φανεροὺς εἶναι καὶ διατρίβειν περὶ θύρας
（οὕτω γὰρ ἂνἥκιστα λανθάνοιεν τί πράττουσι, καὶ φρονεῖν ἂν ἐθίζοιντο μικρὸν αἰεὶ δουλεύοντες）:
καὶ τἆλλα ὅσα τοιαῦτα Περσικὰ
 καὶ βάρβαρα τυραννικά ἐστιν （πάντα γὰρ ταὐτὸν δύναται）:
καὶ τὸ μὴ λανθάνειν πειρᾶσθαι ὅσα τυγχάνει τις
λέγων ἢ πράττωντῶν ἀρχομένων, ἀλλ᾽ εἶναι κατασκόπους,
οἷον περὶ Συρακούσας αἱ ποταγωγίδες καλούμεναι, καὶ οὓς ὠτακουστὰς ἐξέπεμπεν
ὅπου τις εἴη συνουσία καὶ σύλλογος
 （παρρησιάζονταί τε γὰρ ἧττον, φοβούμενοι
τοὺς τοιούτους, κἂνπαρρησιάζωνται, λανθάνουσιν ἧττον）:
καὶ τὸ διαβάλλειν ἀλλήλοις καὶ συγκρούειν καὶ φίλους φίλοις καὶ τὸν δῆμον τοῖς
γνωρίμοις καὶ τοὺς πλουσίους ἑαυτοῖς.
καὶ τὸ πένητας ποιεῖν τοὺς ἀρχομένους τυραννικόν, ὅπως μήτε φυλακὴ
 τρέφηταικαὶ πρὸς τῷ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ὄντες ἄσχολοι ὦσιν ἐπιβουλεύειν.
παράδειγμα δὲ τούτου αἵ τε πυραμίδες αἱ περὶ Αἴγυπτον
καὶ τὰἀναθήματα τῶν Κυψελιδῶν καὶ τοῦ Ὀλυμπίου ἡ οἰκοδόμησις ὑπὸ τῶν Πεισιστρατιδῶν,
καὶ τῶν περὶ Σάμον ἔργα Πολυκράτεια（πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα
 δύναται ταὐτόν, ἀσχολίαν καὶ πενίαν τῶν ἀρχομένων）:
καὶ ἡ εἰσφορὰ τῶν τελῶν, οἷον ἐν
（ἐν πέντε γὰρ ἔτεσιν ἐπὶ Διονυσίου τὴν οὐσίαν ἅπασαν εἰσενηνοχέναι συνέβαινεν）.
ἔστι δὲ καὶ πολεμοποιὸς ὁτύραννος, ὅπως δὴ ἄσχολοί τε ὦσι καὶ ἡγεμόνος ἐν χρείᾳ διατελῶσιν ὄντες. καὶ ἡ
 μὲν βασιλεία σῴζεται διὰ τῶν φίλων, τυραννικὸν δὲ τὸ μάλιστ᾽ ἀπιστεῖν τοῖς φίλοις,
ὡς βουλομένων μὲν πάντων δυναμένων δὲ μάλιστα τούτων.
καὶ τὰ περὶ τὴν δημοκρατίαν δὲ γιγνόμενα τὴν τελευταίαν τυραννικὰ πάντα,
γυναικοκρατία τε περὶ τὰς οἰκίας, ἵν᾽ἐξαγγέλλωσι κατὰ τῶν
 ἀνδρῶν, καὶ δούλων ἄνεσις διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν: οὔτε γὰρ ἐπιβουλεύουσιν
οἱ δοῦλοι καὶ αἱγυναῖκες τοῖς τυράννοις, εὐημεροῦντάς
τε ἀναγκαῖον εὔνους εἶναι καὶ ταῖς τυραννίσι καὶ ταῖς δημοκρατίαις:
καὶ γὰρ ὁ δῆμοςεἶναι βούλεται μόναρχος. διὸ καὶ ὁ κόλαξ παρ᾽ ἀμφοτέροις ἔντιμος, παρὰ
 μὲν τοῖς δήμοις ὁ δημαγωγός （ἔστι γὰρ ὁ
δημαγωγὸς τοῦ δήμου κόλαξ）,
παρὰ δὲ τοῖς τυράννοις οἱ ταπεινῶς ὁμιλοῦντες, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἔργον κολακείας.
 Tyrannies on
the other hand are preserved in two extremely opposite ways.
One of these is the traditional way and the one in which most tyrants
administer their office.
Most of these ordinary safeguards of tyranny
are said to have been instituted by Periander of Corinth,
and also many
such devices may be borrowed from the Persian empire. These are both
mentioned some time back to secure the safety of a tyranny
as far as possible—the lopping off
of outstanding men and the
destruction of the proud,—and also the prohibition of common meals
club-fellowship and education and all other things of this nature
 in fact the close watch upon all things that usually engender the two emotions of pride and confidence,
and the prevention of the formation of study-circles and other
conferences for debate, and the employment of
every means that will make people as much as possible unknown to one
another （for familiarity increases
and for the people in the city to be always visible and to hang about
the palace-gates （
thus there would be least concealment about what they are doing, and
they would get into a habit
of being humble from always acting in a
and all the other similar devices of Persian and barbarian tyranny （for all have the
and to try not to be uninformed about any chance utterances or actions
of any of the subjects, but to have spies like the women called
at Syracuse and the ‘sharp-ears’ that used to be sent
out by Hiero wherever there was any gathering or conference （for
when men are afraid of spies of this sort they keep a check on their
tongues, and if they do speak freely are less likely not to be found out);
and to set men at variance with one another and cause quarrels
friend and friend and between the people and the notables and among the
rich. And it is a device of tyranny
to make the subjects poor, so that
a guard   may not be kept, and also that the people being busy
their daily affairs may not have leisure to plot against their
ruler. Instances of this are the pyramids in Egypt
the votive offerings of the Cypselids, and the building of the
temple of Olympian Zeus by the Pisistratidae 
and of the temples
at Samos, works of Polycrates  （for all these undertakings
produce the same effect,
constant occupation and poverty among the subject people）; and the levying of taxes,
as at Syracuse
in the reign of Dionysius  the result of taxation used to be that in
five years men
had contributed the whole of their substance）.
Also the tyrant is a stirrer-up of war,
with the deliberate purpose of
keeping the people busy and also of making them
constantly in need of a
leader. Also whereas friends are a means of security to royalty,
a mark of a tyrant to be extremely distrustful of his friends, on the
while all have the wish, these chiefly have the power.
things that occur in connection with the final form of democracy 
are all favorable to tyranny—
dominance of women in the homes, in order that they may carry abroad
reports against the men, a
lack of discipline among the slaves, for the same reason; for slaves
and women do not plot against tyrants,
and also, if they prosper under
tyrannies, must feel well-disposed to them, and to democracies as well （
for the common people also wishes to be sole ruler）. Hence also the
flatterer is in honor with both—
with democracies the demagogue （for the demagogue is a
flatterer of the people）,
and with the tyrants those who associate with them humbly, which is the
task of flattery.
phrases cover Plato's gatherings in the Academy, Aristotle's in the
Peripatos of the Lyceum, and other meetings for the intellectual use of
leisure in gymnasia, palaestrae and leschae.
2 Apparently this means a citizen force side by side with the
a variant gives ‘in order that the （tyrant's） guard may
3 Cypselus and his son Periander （1310b 29 n., 1284a 26 n.)
dedicated a colossal statue of Zeus at Olympia and other
monuments there and at Delphi.
4 Pisistratus is said to have begun the temple of Olympian Zeus
at Athens, not finished till the time of Hadrian.
5 Tyrant of Samos, d. 522 B.C.
6 See 1259a 28 n.
7 Cf. 1309b 27 ff.
(transl. H. Rackham)cf. Siam Lewis: News and Society in the Greek Polis.
London, 1996, p. 12-13 (See below)
[359β] ἀγαθόν, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἀρρωστίᾳ τοῦ ἀδικεῖν τιμώμενον: ἐπεὶ τὸν δυνάμενον αὐτὸ ποιεῖν καὶ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἄνδραοὐδ᾽ ἂν ἑνί ποτε συνθέσθαι
τὸ μήτε ἀδικεῖν μήτε ἀδικεῖσθαι: μαίνεσθαι γὰρ ἄν. ἡ μὲν οὖν δὴ φύσις δικαιοσύνης, ὦ Σώκρατες, αὕτη τε καὶ τοιαύτη, καὶ ἐξ ὧν πέφυκε τοιαῦτα, ὡς ὁ λόγος.
ὡς δὲ καὶ οἱ ἐπιτηδεύοντες ἀδυναμίᾳ τοῦ ἀδικεῖν ἄκοντες αὐτὸ ἐπιτηδεύουσι, μάλιστ᾽ ἂν αἰσθοίμεθα, εἰ τοιόνδεποιήσαιμεν
[359b] not as a real good, but as a
thing honored in the
lack of vigor to do injustice, since anyone who had the power to do it
in reality 'a man' would never make a compact with anybody either
to wrong nor
to be wronged; for he would be mad.
The nature, then, of justice is this and
such as this, Socrates, and such are the conditions in which it
according to the theory.
“But as for the second point, that
those who practise it do
so unwillingly and from want of power to commit injustice
—we shall be most
likely to apprehend that if we entertain some such supposition as this
[359ξ] τῇ διανοίᾳ: δόντες ἐξουσίαν ἑκατέρῳ ποιεῖν ὅτι ἂν βούληται, τῷ τε δικαίῳ καὶ τῷ ἀδίκῳ, εἶτ᾽ἐπακολουθήσαιμεν
θεώμενοι ποῖ ἡ ἐπιθυμία ἑκάτερον ἄξει. ἐπ᾽ αὐτοφώρῳ οὖν λάβοιμεν ἂν τὸν δίκαιον τῷἀδίκῳ εἰς ταὐτὸν ἰόντα διὰ τὴν πλεονεξίαν,
ὃ πᾶσα φύσις διώκειν πέφυκεν ὡς ἀγαθόν, νόμῳ δὲ βίᾳ παράγεταιἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ ἴσου τιμήν. εἴη δ᾽ ἂν ἡ ἐξουσία ἣν λέγω τοιάδε μάλιστα, εἰ αὐτοῖς γένοιτο οἵαν
[359c] if we grant to each, the just
and the unjust, licence
and power to do whatever he pleases, and then accompany them in
see whither his desire will conduct each. We should then catch the just
the very act of resorting to the same conduct as the unjust man
because of the
self-advantage which every creature by its nature pursues as a good,
the convention of law1 it
is forcibly diverted to paying honor to 'equality.'
licence that I mean would be most nearly such as would result from
them to have the power
antithesis of φύσις and νόμος, nature and law, custom or convention, is a
of both Greek rhetoric and Greek ethics.
Cf. the Chicago dissertation of John Walter
Use of φύσις in Fifth Century Greek Literature, ch.
x. p. 68. Cf.
Herodotus iii. 38, Pindar,
quoted by Plato, Gorgias 484 B, Laws 690
B, 715 A; Euripides or Critias, Frag. of Sisyphus,
ff., Plato Protagoras 337 D,
Gorgias 483 E, Laws 889
C and 890 D. It was misused by ancient as it is by modern radicals. Cf.
interpretation of the Timaeus, A.J.P. vol. ix. p. 405.
The ingenuity of
modern philologians has tried to classify the Greek sophists as
partisans of νόμος or φύσις. It cannot be done.
Cf. my unsigned review of Alfred
Benn in the New York Nation, July 20, 1899, p. 57.
2 Cf. Gorgias 508
[359δ] ποτέ φασιν δύναμιν τῷ Γύγου τοῦ Λυδοῦ προγόνῳ γενέσθαι. εἶναι μὲν γὰρ αὐτὸν ποιμένα θητεύονταπαρὰ τῷ τότε
Λυδίας ἄρχοντι, ὄμβρου δὲ πολλοῦ γενομένου καὶ σεισμοῦ ῥαγῆναί τι τῆς γῆς καὶ γενέσθαι χάσμακατὰ τὸν τόπον ᾗ ἔνεμεν.
ἰδόντα δὲ καὶ θαυμάσαντα καταβῆναι καὶ ἰδεῖν ἄλλα τε δὴ ἃ μυθολογοῦσιν θαυμαστὰκαὶ ἵππον χαλκοῦν, κοῖλον, θυρίδας ἔχοντα,
καθ᾽ ἃς ἐγκύψαντα ἰδεῖν ἐνόντα νεκρόν, ὡς φαίνεσθαι μείζω ἢ κατ᾽ἄνθρωπον, τοῦτον δὲ ἄλλο μὲν οὐδέν, περὶ δὲ
[359d] which men say once came to the
ancestor of Gyges the
relate that he was a shepherd in the service of the ruler at that time
and that after a great deluge of rain and an
earthquake the ground opened and a chasm appeared in the place where he
pasturing; and they say that he saw
and wondered and went down into the chasm;
and the story goes that he beheld other marvels there and a hollow
with little doors,
and that he peeped in and saw a corpse within, as it seemed,
of more than mortal stature,
manuscripts and Proclus. There are many emendations which the curious
in Adam's first
appendix to the book. Herodotus i. 8-13 tells a similar but not
identical story of Gyges himself, in which the magic ring and many
of Plato's tale are lacking. On the whole legend cf. the study of Kirby
Smith, A.J.P. vol. xxiii. pp. 261-282, 361-387, and Frazer's Paus. iii. p. 417.
[359ε] τῇ χειρὶ χρυσοῦν δακτύλιον ὄντα περιελόμενον ἐκβῆναι. συλλόγου δὲ γενομένου τοῖς ποιμέσιν εἰωθότος,
ἵν᾽ ἐξαγγέλλοιεν κατὰ μῆνα τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ περὶ τὰ ποίμνια, ἀφικέσθαι καὶ ἐκεῖνον ἔχοντα τὸν δακτύλιον: καθήμενον οὖν μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων
τυχεῖν τὴν σφενδόνην τοῦ δακτυλίου περιαγαγόντα πρὸς ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὸ εἴσωτῆς χειρός, τούτου δὲ γενομένου
[359e] and that there was nothing else
but a gold ring on
its hand, which he took off and went forth. And when the shepherds held
customary assembly to make their
monthly report to the king about the flocks,
he also attended wearing the ring. So as he sat there it chanced
that he turned
the collet of the ring towards himself, towards the inner part of his
when this took place they say that he became invisible1
H.G. Wells'The Invisible Man rests on a similar fancy. Cf. also
fancies of Aristophanes Birds 785 ff.
[360α] ἀφανῆ αὐτὸν γενέσθαι τοῖς παρακαθημένοις, καὶ διαλέγεσθαι ὡς περὶ οἰχομένου. καὶ τὸν θαυμάζειν τεκαὶ πάλιν ἐπιψηλαφῶντα τὸν δακτύλιον στρέψαι
ἔξω τὴν σφενδόνην, καὶ στρέψαντα φανερὸν γενέσθαι. καὶτοῦτο ἐννοήσαντα ἀποπειρᾶσθαι τοῦ δακτυλίου εἰ ταύτην ἔχοι τὴν δύναμιν,
καὶ αὐτῷ οὕτω συμβαίνειν, στρέφοντι μὲν εἴσω τὴν σφενδόνην ἀδήλῳ γίγνεσθαι, ἔξω δὲ δήλῳ: αἰσθόμενον δὲ εὐθὺς διαπράξασθαι
τῶν ἀγγέλων γενέσθαι τῶν παρὰ τὸν βασιλέα, ἐλθόντα
[360a] to those who sat by him and
they spoke of him as
absent and that he was amazed, and again fumbling with the ring turned
outwards and so became visible. On noting this he experimented with the
ring to see if it possessed this virtue, and he found the result to be
when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, and when
visible; and becoming aware of this,
he immediately managed things so that
became one of the messengers
[360β] δὲ καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ μοιχεύσαντα, μετ᾽ ἐκείνης ἐπιθέμενον τῷ βασιλεῖ ἀποκτεῖναι καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴνοὕτω κατασχεῖν.
εἰ οὖν δύο τοιούτω δακτυλίω γενοίσθην, καὶ τὸν μὲν ὁ δίκαιος περιθεῖτο, τὸν δὲ ὁ ἄδικος,
οὐδεὶςἂν γένοιτο, ὡς δόξειεν, οὕτως ἀδαμάντινος,
ὃς ἂν μείνειεν ἐν τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ τολμήσειεν ἀπέχεσθαι τῶν
ἀλλοτρίων καὶ μὴ ἅπτεσθαι,
ἐξὸν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐκ τῆς ἀγορᾶς ἀδεῶς ὅτι βούλοιτο λαμβάνειν,
[360b] who went up to the king, and on
coming there he
seduced the king's wife and with her aid set upon the king and slew him
possessed his kingdom.
If now there should be two such rings, and the just man
should put on one and the unjust the other, no one could be found, it
seem, of such adamantine1
as to persevere in justice and endure to refrain his hands from the
of others and not touch them,
though he might with impunity take what he wished
even from the marketplace,
word is used of the firmness of moral faith in Gorgias 509 A
and Republic 618 E.
[360ξ] καὶ εἰσιόντι εἰς τὰς οἰκίας συγγίγνεσθαι ὅτῳ βούλοιτο, καὶ ἀποκτεινύναι καὶ ἐκ δεσμῶν λύειν οὕστιναςβούλοιτο, καὶ τἆλλα πράττειν
ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἰσόθεον ὄντα. οὕτω δὲ δρῶν οὐδὲν ἂν διάφορον τοῦ ἑτέρουποιοῖ, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ ταὔτ᾽ ἂν ἴοιεν ἀμφότεροι. καίτοι μέγα τοῦτο
τεκμήριον ἂν φαίη τις ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἑκὼν δίκαιος ἀλλ᾽ἀναγκαζόμενος, ὡς οὐκ ἀγαθοῦ ἰδίᾳ ὄντος,
ἐπεὶ ὅπου γ᾽ ἂν οἴηται ἕκαστος οἷός τε ἔσεσθαι ἀδικεῖν, ἀδικεῖν.
λυσιτελεῖν γὰρ δὴ οἴεται πᾶς ἀνὴρ πολὺ
[360c] and enter into houses and lie
with whom he pleased,
and slay and loose from bonds whomsoever he would,
and in all other things
conduct himself among mankind as the equal of a god.1 And
in so acting he would do no differently from the other man,
but both would
pursue the same course. And yet this is a great proof, one might argue,
one is just of his own will but only from constraint, in the belief
not his personal good, inasmuch as every man, when he supposes
himself to have the power to do wrong, does wrong.
The word is a leit-motif anticipating Plato's rebuke
of the tragedians for their praises of the tyraant. Cf. 568 A-B.
It does not,
as Adam suggests, foreshadow Plato's attack on the popular theology.
[360δ] μᾶλλον ἰδίᾳ τὴν ἀδικίαν τῆς δικαιοσύνης, ἀληθῆ οἰόμενος, ὡς φήσει ὁ περὶ τοῦ τοιούτου λόγου λέγων: ἐπεὶ εἴ τις τοιαύτης
ἐξουσίας ἐπιλαβόμενος μηδέν ποτε ἐθέλοι ἀδικῆσαι μηδὲ ἅψαιτο τῶν ἀλλοτρίων, ἀθλιώτατος μὲν ἂν δόξειεν εἶναι τοῖς αἰσθανομένοις καὶ ἀνοητότατος,
ἐπαινοῖεν δ᾽ ἂν αὐτὸν ἀλλήλων ἐναντίον
ἐξαπατῶντες ἀλλήλους διὰ τὸν τοῦ ἀδικεῖσθαι φόβον. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν δὴ οὕτω.
[360d] For that there is far more
profit for him personally
in injustice than in justice is what every man believes, and believes
the proponent of this theory will maintain.
For if anyone who had got such a
licence within his grasp should refuse to do any wrong or lay his hands
others' possessions, he would be regarded as most pitiable1 and
a great fool by all who took note of it,2 though
they would praise him3 before
one another's faces, deceiving one another because of their fear of
injustice. So much for this point.
344 A, Gorgias 492 B.
2 αἰσθανομένοις suggests
men of discernment who are not
taken in by phrases, “the knowing ones.” Cf. Protagoras 317
Aristophanes Clouds 1241τοῖς εἰδόσιν.
3 Cf. Gorgias 483
B, 492 A, Protagoras 327 B, Aristotle Rhet. ii. 23.
περὶ ἕκαστον ταύτας τινὰς τρεῖς τέχνας εἶναι, χρησομένην, ποιήσουσαν, μιμησομένην;
οὐκοῦν ἀρετὴ καὶ κάλλος καὶ ὀρθότης ἑκάστου σκεύους καὶ ζῴου καὶ πράξεως οὐ πρὸς ἄλλο
τι ἢ τὴν χρείανἐστίν, πρὸς ἣν ἂν ἕκαστον ᾖ πεποιημένον ἢ πεφυκός;
πολλὴ ἄρα ἀνάγκη τὸν χρώμενον ἑκάστῳ ἐμπειρότατόν τε εἶναι καὶ ἄγγελον γίγνεσθαι τῷ ποιητῇ
οἷα ἀγαθὰ ἢκακὰ ποιεῖ ἐν τῇ χρείᾳ ᾧ χρῆται: οἷον αὐλητής που αὐλοποιῷ
the same holds true of everything?” “What do you mean?” “That
some three arts concerned with everything,
the user's art,1 the
maker's, and the imitator's.” “Yes.” “Now do not the excellence, the
the rightness2 of
living thing, and action refer solely to the use3 for
which each is made or by nature adapted?” “That is so.” “It quite
then, that the user of anything is the one who knows most of it by
experience, and that he reports to
the good or bad effects in use of
the thing he uses.
the idea that the user knows best see Cratyl. 390
B, Euthydem. 289
B, Phaedr. 274 E. Zeller, Aristotle(Eng.) ii. p. 247,
this “pertinent observation” to Aristotle. Cf.
Aristot.Pol. 1277 b 30 αὐλητὴς ὁ χρώμενος.
See 1282 a 21, 1289 a 17. Coleridge, Table
Talk: “In general those who do things for others know more about
those for whom they are done.
A groom knows more about horses than his master.”
But Hazlitt disagrees with Plato's view.
in Laws 669 A-B, Plato says that the competent judge of a
work of art
must know three things, first, what it is, second, that it is true and
and third, that it is good.
the reference of beauty to use see Hipp. Maj. 295 C ff.
[601ε] ἐξαγγέλλει περὶ τῶν αὐλῶν, οἳ ἂν ὑπηρετῶσιν ἐν τῷ αὐλεῖν, καὶ ἐπιτάξει οἵους δεῖ ποιεῖν, ὁ δ᾽ ὑπηρετήσει.
πῶς δ᾽ οὔ;
οὐκοῦν ὁ μὲν εἰδὼς ἐξαγγέλλει περὶ χρηστῶν καὶ πονηρῶν αὐλῶν, ὁ δὲ πιστεύων ποιήσει;
τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἄρα σκεύους ὁ μὲν ποιητὴς πίστιν ὀρθὴν ἕξει περὶ κάλλους τε καὶ πονηρίας, συνὼν τῷ εἰδότι καὶἀναγκαζόμενος
[601e] As, for example, the
flute-player reports to the
flute-maker which flutes respond and serve rightly in flute-playing,
order the kind that must be made, and the other will obey and serve
course.” “The one, then, possessing knowledge,
reports about the goodness or
the badness of the flutes, and the other, believing, will make them.”
“Then in respect of the same implement the maker will have right belief
its excellence and defects from association
with the man who knows and being
compelled to listen to him,
1 πίστιν ὀρθήν is used because of πιστεύων above. It is a slightly derogatory
of δόξαν ὀρθήν below, 602 A. Cf. 511 E.
[602α] ἀκούειν παρὰ τοῦ εἰδότος, ὁ δὲ χρώμενος ἐπιστήμην.
ὁ δὲ μιμητὴς πότερον ἐκ τοῦ χρῆσθαι ἐπιστήμην ἕξει περὶ ὧν ἂν γράφῃ,
εἴτε καλὰ καὶ ὀρθὰ εἴτε μή, ἢ δόξανὀρθὴν διὰ τὸ ἐξ ἀνάγκης συνεῖναι τῷ εἰδότι καὶ ἐπιτάττεσθαι οἷα χρὴ γράφειν;
οὔτε ἄρα εἴσεται οὔτε ὀρθὰ δοξάσει ὁ μιμητὴς περὶ ὧν ἂν μιμῆται πρὸς κάλλος ἢ πονηρίαν.
χαρίεις ἂν εἴη ὁ ἐν τῇ ποιήσει μιμητικὸς πρὸς σοφίαν περὶ ὧν ἂν ποιῇ.
[602a] but the user will have true
“And will the imitator from experience or use have knowledge whether
are or are not beautiful and right, or will he, from compulsory
association with the man who knows and taking orders from him for the
making of them, have right opinion1?”
“Neither.” “Then the imitator will neither know nor opine rightly
the beauty or the badness of his imitations.” “It seems not.” “Most
the state of mind of the poetical imitator in respect of true wisdom
about his creations.” “Not at all.”
does not contradict book V. 477-478. For right opinion and knowledge
cf. 430 B
and What Plato Said, p. 517, on Meno 98 A-B.
2 χαρίεις is ironical like χαριέντως in 426 A and καλόν in Theaet. 183 A, but Glaucon
answer takes it seriously.
λέγοις ἄν, ἔφη, ὡς οὐ πολλὰ ἄλλ᾽ ἥδιον ἀκούοντι.
ἀλλ᾽ οὐ μέντοι σοι, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, Ἀλκίνου γε ἀπόλογον ἐρῶ, ἀλλ᾽ ἀλκίμου μὲν ἀνδρός,
Ἠρὸς τοῦ Ἀρμενίου, τὸγένος Παμφύλου:
ὅς ποτε ἐν πολέμῳ τελευτήσας, ἀναιρεθέντων δεκαταίων τῶν νεκρῶν ἤδη διεφθαρμένων, ὑγιὴς μὲν ἀνῃρέθη, κομισθεὶς δ᾽ οἴκαδε
μέλλων θάπτεσθαι δωδεκαταῖος ἐπὶ τῇ πυρᾷ κείμενος ἀνεβίω, ἀναβιοὺςδ᾽ ἔλεγεν ἃ ἐκεῖ ἴδοι. ἔφη δέ, ἐπειδὴ οὗ ἐκβῆναι, τὴν ψυχὴν πορεύεσθαι
[614ξ] μετὰ πολλῶν, καὶ ἀφικνεῖσθαι σφᾶς εἰς τόπον τινὰ δαιμόνιον, ἐν ᾧ τῆς τε γῆς δύ᾽ εἶναι χάσματα
ἐχομένωἀλλήλοιν καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ αὖ ἐν τῷ ἄνω ἄλλα καταντικρύ. δικαστὰς δὲ μεταξὺ τούτων καθῆσθαι,
οὕς, ἐπειδὴδιαδικάσειαν, τοὺς μὲν δικαίους κελεύειν πορεύεσθαι τὴν εἰς δεξιάν τε καὶ ἄνω διὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, σημεῖαπεριάψαντας
τῶν δεδικασμένων ἐν τῷ πρόσθεν, τοὺς δὲ ἀδίκους τὴν εἰς ἀριστεράν τε καὶ κάτω, ἔχοντας καὶτούτους ἐν τῷ ὄπισθεν σημεῖα πάντων ὧν
[614δ] ἔπραξαν. ἑαυτοῦ δὲ προσελθόντος εἰπεῖν ὅτι δέοι αὐτὸν ἄγγελον ἀνθρώποις γενέσθαι τῶν ἐκεῖ καὶδιακελεύοιντό οἱ ἀκούειν
τε καὶ θεᾶσθαι πάντα τὰ ἐν τῷ τόπῳ. ὁρᾶν δὴ ταύτῃ μὲν καθ᾽ ἑκάτερον τὸ χάσμα τοῦοὐρανοῦ τε καὶ τῆς γῆς ἀπιούσας τὰς ψυχάς,
ἐπειδὴ αὐταῖς δικασθείη, κατὰ δὲ τὼ ἑτέρω ἐκ μὲν τοῦ ἀνιέναι ἐκτῆς γῆς μεστὰς αὐχμοῦ τε καὶ κόνεως, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταβαίνειν ἑτέρας ἐκ τοῦ
[614ε] οὐρανοῦ καθαράς. καὶ τὰς ἀεὶ ἀφικνουμένας ὥσπερ ἐκ πολλῆς πορείας φαίνεσθαι ἥκειν, καὶ ἁσμένας εἰςτὸν λειμῶνα ἀπιούσας
οἷον ἐν πανηγύρει κατασκηνᾶσθαι, καὶ ἀσπάζεσθαί τε ἀλλήλας ὅσαι γνώριμαι, καὶπυνθάνεσθαι τάς τε ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἡκούσας παρὰ
τῶν ἑτέρων τὰ ἐκεῖ καὶ τὰς ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ τὰ παρ᾽ ἐκείναις. διηγεῖσθαι δὲ ἀλλήλαις τὰς
[615α] μὲν ὀδυρομένας τε καὶ κλαούσας, ἀναμιμνῃσκομένας ὅσα τε καὶ οἷα πάθοιεν καὶ ἴδοιεν ἐν τῇ ὑπὸ γῆςπορείᾳ—εἶναι δὲ τὴν πορείαν χιλιέτη—τὰς δ᾽ αὖ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ
εὐπαθείας διηγεῖσθαι καὶ θέας ἀμηχάνους τὸκάλλος. τὰ μὲν οὖν πολλά, ὦ Γλαύκων, πολλοῦ χρόνου διηγήσασθαι: τὸ δ᾽ οὖν κεφάλαιον ἔφη τόδε εἶναι,
ὅσαπώποτέ τινα ἠδίκησαν καὶ ὅσους ἕκαστοι, ὑπὲρ ἁπάντων δίκην δεδωκέναι ἐν μέρει, ὑπὲρ ἑκάστου δεκάκις—τοῦτο δ᾽ εἶναι κατὰ ἑκατονταετηρίδα
[614b] “since there are not many
things to which I would
more gladly listen.” “It is not, let me
tell you,” said I, “the tale1 to
Alcinous told2 that
I shall unfold, but the tale of a
warrior bold,3 Er,
the son of Armenius, by race a
once upon a time was slain in battle,
and when the corpses were taken up on the tenth day already decayed,
intact, and having been brought home, at the moment
of his funeral, on the
twelfth day5 as
he lay upon the pyre, revived,6 and
after coming to life related what, he said, he had seen in the world
said that when his soul7 went
forth from his body he journeyed with a great company
Proclus, In Remp.,Kroll ii. 96 ff., Macrob. in Somnium
2. The Epicurean Colotes highly disapproved
of Plato's method of putting his
beliefs in this form. See Chassang, Histoire du roman, p. 15.
also Dieterich, Nekyia, pp. 114 ff., and Adam ad loc.
2 Odyssey ix.-xii.
The term also became proverbial for a lengthy tale. See K.
Tümpel, Ἀλκίνου ἀπό λογος, Philologus 52. 523 ff.
puns on the name Alcinous. For other puns on proper names see on 580 B.
Arthur Platt, “Plato's Republic, 614 B,” CIass. Review, 1911,
For the ἀλλὰ μέν without a corresponding δέ he compares Aristoph.Acharn. 428 οὐ Βελλεροφόντης: ἀλλὰκἀκεῖνος μὲν ἦ χωλός . .
.(which Blaydes changed to ἀλλὰ μήν), Odyssey xv. 405
and Eryxias 308 B.
we might say, “of the tribe of Everyman.” For the question of his
Platt, loc. cit.
Browne, Urn Burial, ch. iii., “Plato's historian of the other
lies twelve days incorrupted, while his soul was viewing the large
See also Rohde, Psyche ii.6 pp. 92-93.
of persons restored to life are fairly common in ancient literature.
Eurydice and Alcestis in Greek mythology, in the Old Testament the son
widow revived by Elijah (1Kings xvii. 17 ff. Cf. 2Kings iv.
and xiii. 21), in the New Testament the daughter of Jairus
(Matt. ix. 23
f.), the son of the widow of
Nain (Luke vii. 11 ff.), and
Lazarus(John xi.). but none of these recount their adventures. Cf.
also Luke xvi. 31 “If they hear not Moses and the prophets
will they be
persuaded through one rose from the dead.” But in that very
parable Lazarus is shown in Abraham's bosom and the rich man in
further, Proclus, In Remp.ii
pp. 113-116, Rohde, Psyche ii.6 p.
the indirect reflexive cf. p. 507, note f, on 617
[614c] and that they came to a
mysterious region1 where
there were two openings side by side in the earth, and above and over
them in the
heaven two others, and that judges were sitting2 between
these, and that after every judgement they bade the righteous journey
right and upwards through
the heaven with tokens attached3 to
them in front of the judgement passed upon them, and the unjust to take
road to the left4 and
downward, they too wearing behind signs
the description of the place of judgement cf. also Gorg. 524
Cf. Phaedo 107 D, 113 D, where there is no description but
that the souls are brought to a place and judged. On the topography
of the myth in general cf. Bréhier, La Philos. de
Plot. pp. 28-29:
“Voyez, par exemple, la manière dont Numénius . . .
interprète le mythe du Xe
livre de Ia République, et comment il précise,
avec Ia lourdeur d'un théologien,
les traits que la poésie de Platon avait abandonnés
à l'imagination du lecteur.
Le lieu du jugement devient le centre du monde; le ciel
platonicien devient Ia
sphère des fixes; le ‘lieu sonterrain’ où sont punies les
âmes, ce sont les
la ‘bouche du ciel,’ par laquelle les âmes descendront à
naissance, est le tropique du Cancer; et c'est par le Capricorne
2 Cf. Gorg. 523
E f., 524 E-525 B, 526 B-C.
3 Gorg. 526
4 Cf. Gorg. 525
A-B, 526 B. For “right” and “left” cf. the story of the last
judgement, Matt. xxv. 33-34 and 41.
[614d] of all that had befallen them,
and that when he
himself drew near they told him that
he must be the messenger1 to
mankind to tell them of that other world,2 and
they charged him to give ear and to observe everything in the place.
And so he
said that here he saw, by each opening of heaven and earth, the souls
judgement had been passed upon them, while, by the other pair of
openings, there came up from the one in the earth souls full of squalor
dust, and from the second there
came down from heaven a second procession of
souls clean and pure,
the rich man's request that a messenger be sent to his
brethren, Luke xvi. 27-31.
2 ἐκεῖ: so in 330 D, 365 A, 498
C, Phaedo 61 E, 64 A,
67 B, 68 E, Apol. 40 E, 41 C, Crito 54
B, Symp. 192 E. In 500 D and Phaedr. 250 A
it refers to the
world of the ideas, in 516 C and 520 C to the world of the cave.
[614e] and that those which arrived
from time to time appeared
to have come as it were from a long journey and gladly departed to the
as at a festival,3 and
acquaintances greeted one another, and those which came from the earth
questioned the others
about conditions up yonder, and those from heaven asked
how it fared with those others. And they told their stories to one
1 Cf. Gorg. 524
621 A, 610 E, and John i. 14ἐσκήνωσεν.
wailing as they recalled how many and how dreadful things they had
seen in their journey beneath the earth1—it
lasted a thousand years2—
while those from heaven related their delights
and visions of a beauty beyond words. To tell it all, Glaucon,
take all our time, but the sum, he said, was this.
For all the wrongs they had
ever done to anyone and all whom they had severally wronged they had
penalty in turn tenfold for each,
and the measure of this was by periods of a
hundred years each,3
1 Cf. Phaedr. 256
D, Epist. vii. 335 B-C.
2 Phaedr. 249
A, Virgil, Aen. vi. 748.
ideal Hindu length of life is said to be 100 years.
[619α] δεῖ ταύτην τὴν δόξαν ἔχοντα εἰς Ἅιδου ἰέναι, ὅπως ἂν ᾖ καὶ ἐκεῖ ἀνέκπληκτος ὑπὸ πλούτων τε καὶ τῶντοιούτων κακῶν, καὶ μὴ ἐμπεσὼν εἰς τυραννίδας
καὶ ἄλλας τοιαύτας πράξεις πολλὰ μὲν ἐργάσηται καὶἀνήκεστα κακά, ἔτι δὲ αὐτὸς μείζω πάθῃ, ἀλλὰ γνῷ τὸν μέσον ἀεὶ τῶν τοιούτων βίον αἱρεῖσθαι καὶ φεύγειν
ὑπερβάλλοντα ἑκατέρωσε καὶ ἐν τῷδε τῷ βίῳ κατὰ τὸ δυνατὸν καὶ ἐν παντὶ τῷ ἔπειτα: οὕτω γὰρ
[619β] εὐδαιμονέστατος γίγνεται ἄνθρωπος.
καὶ δὴ οὖν καὶ τότε ὁ ἐκεῖθεν ἄγγελος ἤγγελλε τὸν μὲν προφήτην οὕτως εἰπεῖν:
‘καὶ τελευταίῳ ἐπιόντι, ξὺν νῷἑλομένῳ,
συντόνως ζῶντι κεῖται βίος ἀγαπητός, οὐ κακός.
μήτε ὁ ἄρχων αἱρέσεως ἀμελείτω μήτε ὁ τελευτῶνἀθυμείτω.’
εἰπόντος δὲ ταῦτα τὸν πρῶτον λαχόντα ἔφη εὐθὺς ἐπιόντα τὴν μεγίστην τυραννίδα ἑλέσθαι, καὶ ὑπὸ
τε καὶ λαιμαργίας οὐ πάντα ἱκανῶς ἀνασκεψάμενον ἑλέσθαι, ἀλλ᾽
[619ξ] αὐτὸν λαθεῖν ἐνοῦσαν εἱμαρμένην παίδων αὑτοῦ βρώσεις καὶ ἄλλα κακά: ἐπειδὴ δὲ κατὰ σχολὴν
κόπτεσθαί τε καὶ ὀδύρεσθαι τὴν αἵρεσιν, οὐκ ἐμμένοντα τοῖς προρρηθεῖσιν ὑπὸ τοῦ προφήτου: οὐγὰρ ἑαυτὸν αἰτιᾶσθαι
τῶν κακῶν, ἀλλὰ τύχην τε καὶ δαίμονας καὶ πάντα μᾶλλον ἀνθ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ.
εἶναι δὲ αὐτὸν τῶν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἡκόντων, ἐν τεταγμένῃ πολιτείᾳ ἐν τῷ προτέρῳ βίῳ βεβιωκότα, ἔθει
[619δ] ἄνευ φιλοσοφίας ἀρετῆς μετειληφότα. ὡς δὲ καὶ εἰπεῖν, οὐκ ἐλάττους εἶναι ἐν τοῖς τοιούτοιςἁλισκομένους τοὺς ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἥκοντας,
ἅτε πόνων ἀγυμνάστους: τῶν δ᾽ ἐκ τῆς γῆς τοὺς πολλούς,
ἅτεαὐτούς τε πεπονηκότας ἄλλους τε ἑωρακότας, οὐκ ἐξ ἐπιδρομῆς τὰς αἱρέσεις ποιεῖσθαι. διὸ δὴ καὶ μεταβολὴντῶν κακῶν καὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν
ταῖς πολλαῖς τῶν ψυχῶν γίγνεσθαι καὶ διὰ τὴν τοῦ κλήρου τύχην: ἐπεὶ εἴ τις ἀεί, ὁπότε εἰς τὸν ἐνθάδε βίον ἀφικνοῖτο, ὑγιῶς φιλοσοφοῖ
[619ε] καὶ ὁ κλῆρος αὐτῷ τῆς αἱρέσεως μὴ ἐν τελευταίοις πίπτοι, κινδυνεύει ἐκ τῶν ἐκεῖθεν ἀπαγγελλομένων οὐμόνον
ἐνθάδε εὐδαιμονεῖν ἄν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἐνθένδε ἐκεῖσε καὶ δεῦρο πάλιν πορείαν οὐκ ἂν χθονίαν καὶ
ἀλλὰ λείαν τε καὶ οὐρανίαν.
ταύτην γὰρ δὴ ἔφη τὴν θέαν ἀξίαν εἶναι ἰδεῖν, ὡς ἕκασται
[620α] αἱ ψυχαὶ ᾑροῦντο τοὺς βίους: ἐλεινήν τε γὰρ ἰδεῖν εἶναι καὶ γελοίαν καὶ θαυμασίαν. κατὰ συνήθειαν γὰρτοῦ προτέρου βίου τὰ πολλὰ αἱρεῖσθαι.
ἰδεῖν μὲν γὰρ ψυχὴν ἔφη τήν ποτε Ὀρφέως γενομένην κύκνου βίοναἱρουμένην, μίσει τοῦ γυναικείου γένους διὰ τὸν ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνων θάνατον οὐκ ἐθέλουσαν
ἐν γυναικὶ γεννηθεῖσανγενέσθαι: ἰδεῖν δὲ τὴν Θαμύρου ἀηδόνος ἑλομένην: ἰδεῖν δὲ καὶ κύκνον μεταβάλλοντα εἰς ἀνθρωπίνου βίουαἵρεσιν, καὶ ἄλλα ζῷα μουσικὰ ὡσαύτως
[620β] εἰκοστὴν δὲ λαχοῦσαν ψυχὴν ἑλέσθαι λέοντος βίον: εἶναι δὲ τὴν Αἴαντος τοῦ Τελαμωνίου,
φεύγουσανἄνθρωπον γενέσθαι, μεμνημένην τῆς τῶν ὅπλων κρίσεως. τὴν δ᾽ ἐπὶ τούτῳ Ἀγαμέμνονος:
ἔχθρᾳ δὲ καὶ ταύτηντοῦ ἀνθρωπίνου γένους διὰ τὰ πάθη ἀετοῦ διαλλάξαι βίον. ἐν μέσοις δὲ λαχοῦσαν τὴν Ἀταλάντης ψυχήν,
κατιδοῦσαν μεγάλας τιμὰς ἀθλητοῦ ἀνδρός, οὐ δύνασθαι παρελθεῖν, ἀλλὰ λαβεῖν. μετὰ
[620ξ] δὲ ταύτην ἰδεῖν τὴν Ἐπειοῦ τοῦ Πανοπέως εἰς τεχνικῆς γυναικὸς ἰοῦσαν φύσιν: πόρρω δ᾽ ἐν ὑστάτοις ἰδεῖντὴν τοῦ γελωτοποιοῦ
Θερσίτου πίθηκον ἐνδυομένην. κατὰ τύχην δὲ τὴν Ὀδυσσέως λαχοῦσαν πασῶν ὑστάτηναἱρησομένην ἰέναι, μνήμῃ δὲ τῶν προτέρων
πόνων φιλοτιμίας λελωφηκυῖαν ζητεῖν περιιοῦσαν χρόνον πολὺνβίον ἀνδρὸς ἰδιώτου ἀπράγμονος, καὶ μόγις εὑρεῖν κείμενόν που καὶ παρημελημένον
[620δ] ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων, καὶ εἰπεῖν ἰδοῦσαν ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἂν ἔπραξεν καὶ πρώτη λαχοῦσα, καὶ ἁσμένην ἑλέσθαι. καὶἐκ τῶν ἄλλων δὴ θηρίων
ὡσαύτως εἰς ἀνθρώπους ἰέναι καὶ εἰς ἄλληλα, τὰ μὲν ἄδικα εἰς τὰ ἄγρια, τὰ δὲ δίκαιαεἰς τὰ ἥμερα μεταβάλλοντα, καὶ πάσας μείξεις μείγνυσθαι.
ἐπειδὴ δ᾽ οὖν πάσας τὰς ψυχὰς τοὺς βίους ᾑρῆσθαι, ὥσπερ ἔλαχον ἐν τάξει προσιέναι πρὸς τὴν Λάχεσιν: ἐκείνην δ᾽ ἑκάστῳ ὃν εἵλετο δαίμονα, τοῦτον φύλακα συμπέμπειν
[620ε] τοῦ βίου καὶ ἀποπληρωτὴν τῶν αἱρεθέντων. ὃν πρῶτον μὲν ἄγειν αὐτὴν πρὸς τὴν Κλωθὼ ὑπὸ τὴν ἐκείνηςχεῖρά τε καὶ
ἐπιστροφὴν τῆς τοῦ ἀτράκτου δίνης, κυροῦντα ἣν λαχὼν εἵλετο μοῖραν: ταύτης δ᾽ ἐφαψάμενοναὖθις ἐπὶ τὴν τῆς Ἀτρόπου ἄγειν νῆσιν,
ἀμετάστροφα τὰ ἐπικλωσθέντα ποιοῦντα: ἐντεῦθεν δὲ δὴ ἀμεταστρεπτὶὑπὸ τὸν τῆς
[621α] ἀνάγκης ἰέναι θρόνον, καὶ δι᾽ ἐκείνου διεξελθόντα, ἐπειδὴ καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι διῆλθον, πορεύεσθαι ἅπαντας εἰςτὸ τῆς Λήθης πεδίον διὰ καύματός τε καὶ πνίγους δεινοῦ:
καὶ γὰρ εἶναι αὐτὸ κενὸν δένδρων τε καὶ ὅσα γῆ φύει. σκηνᾶσθαι οὖν σφᾶς ἤδη ἑσπέρας γιγνομένης παρὰ τὸν Ἀμέλητα ποταμόν, οὗ τὸ ὕδωρ ἀγγεῖον οὐδὲν στέγειν.
μέτρον μὲν οὖν τι τοῦ ὕδατος πᾶσιν ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι πιεῖν, τοὺς δὲ φρονήσει μὴ σῳζομένους πλέον πίνειν τοῦμέτρου: τὸν δὲ ἀεὶ πιόντα
[621β] πάντων ἐπιλανθάνεσθαι. ἐπειδὴ δὲ κοιμηθῆναι καὶ μέσας νύκτας γενέσθαι, βροντήν τε καὶ σεισμὸνγενέσθαι,
καὶ ἐντεῦθεν ἐξαπίνης ἄλλον ἄλλῃ φέρεσθαι ἄνω εἰς τὴν γένεσιν, ᾁττοντας ὥσπερ ἀστέρας. αὐτὸς δὲτοῦ μὲν ὕδατος
κωλυθῆναι πιεῖν: ὅπῃ μέντοι καὶ ὅπως εἰς τὸ σῶμα ἀφίκοιτο, οὐκ εἰδέναι, ἀλλ᾽ ἐξαίφνης
ἀναβλέψας ἰδεῖν ἕωθεν αὑτὸν κείμενον ἐπὶ τῇ πυρᾷ.
καὶ οὕτως, ὦ Γλαύκων, μῦθος ἐσώθη καὶ οὐκ ἀπώλετο,
[621ξ] καὶ ἡμᾶς ἂν σώσειεν, ἂν πειθώμεθα αὐτῷ, καὶ τὸν τῆς Λήθης ποταμὸν εὖ διαβησόμεθα καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν οὐμιανθησόμεθα. ἀλλ᾽ ἂν ἐμοὶ
πειθώμεθα, νομίζοντες ἀθάνατον ψυχὴν καὶ δυνατὴν πάντα μὲν κακὰ ἀνέχεσθαι, πάντα δὲ ἀγαθά, τῆς ἄνω ὁδοῦ ἀεὶ ἑξόμεθα καὶ δικαιοσύνην
μετὰ φρονήσεως παντὶ τρόπῳ ἐπιτηδεύσομεν, ἵνακαὶ ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς φίλοι ὦμεν καὶ τοῖς θεοῖς, αὐτοῦ τε μένοντες ἐνθάδε, καὶ ἐπειδὰν τὰ ἆθλα
[621δ] αὐτῆς κομιζώμεθα, ὥσπερ οἱ νικηφόροι περιαγειρόμενοι, καὶ ἐνθάδε καὶ ἐν τῇ χιλιέτει πορείᾳ, ἣν
διεληλύθαμεν, εὖ πράττωμεν.
[619a] both for life and death. And a
man must take with him
to the house of death an adamantine1 faith
in this, that even there he may be undazzled2
riches and similar trumpery, and may not precipitate himself into
similar doings and so work many evils past cure and suffer still
but may know how always to choose in such things the life that is
seated in the mean3 and
shun the excess in either direction,
both in this world so far as may be and in
all the life to come;
1 See Unity
of Plato's Thought, p. 25, Laws 661-662, and for the
B, Gorg. 509 A.
anticipation of the Aristotelian doctrine, Eth. Nic. 1106 b 6
Cf. What Plato Said, p. 629, on Laws 691 C.
[619b] for this is the greatest
happiness for man.
“And at that time also the messenger
from that other world
reported that the prophet spoke thus:
‘Even for him who comes forward last, if
he make his choice wisely and live strenuously, there is reserved an
life, no evil one.
Let not the foremost in the choice be heedless nor the last
When the prophet had thus spoken he said that the drawer of
the first lot at once sprang to seize the greatest tyranny,1
that in his folly and greed he chose it
Isoc.Epist. vi. 12 Xen.Hiero 7. 2ὅμως προπετῶς φέρεσθε εἰς αὐτήν.
[619c] without sufficient examination,
and failed to observe
that it involved the fate of eating his own children, and other
that when he inspected it at leisure he beat his breast and bewailed
choice, not abiding by the forewarning of the prophet.
For he did not blame
his woes, but fortune and the gods and anything except himself. He was
those who had come
down from heaven, a
man who had lived in a well-ordered
polity in his former existence,
1 Cf. What
Plato Said, p. 532, on Phaedo 90 D.
[619d] participating in virtue by habit1 and
not by philosophy; and one may perhaps say that a majority of those who
caught were of the company
that had come from heaven, inasmuch as they were
unexercised in suffering. But the most of those who came up from the
since they had themselves
suffered and seen the sufferings of others, did not
make their choice precipitately. For which reason also there was an
of good and evil for most of the souls,
as well as because of the chances of
the lot. Yet if at each return to the life of this world
1 Phaedo 82
[619e] a man loved wisdom sanely, and
the lot of his choice
did not fall out among the last, we may venture to affirm,
from what was
reported thence, that not only will he be happy here but that
the path of his
journey thither and the return to this world will not be
underground and rough
but smooth and through the heavens. For he said that it was a sight
to observe how the several souls selected their lives.
[620a] He said it was a strange,
pitiful, and ridiculous
spectacle, as the choice was determined for the most part by the habits
their former lives.1
saw the soul that had been Orpheus’, he said, selecting the life of a
from hatred of the tribe of women, owing to his death at their hands,
unwilling to be conceived and born of a woman. He saw the soul of
the life of a nightingale; and he saw a swan changing
to the choice of
of man, and similarly other musical animals.
1 Cf. Phaedo 81
E ff., Phaedr. 248-249, Tim. 42 A-D, 91 D ff. For
of reincarnation in Plato see What Plato Said, p. 529,
on Phaedo 81
2 Urwiek, The
Message of Plato, p. 213, says: “If Plato knew anything at all of
allegory, he must have known that the swan (Hamsa) is in Hinduism the
invariable symbol of the immortal Spirit;
and to say, as he does, that Orpheus
chose the life of a swan, refusing to be born again of a woman, is just
allegorical way of saying that he passed on into the spiritual life. .
. . ”
Orpheus a singer. He contended with the Muses in song and was in
deprived by them of sight and of the gift of song. Cf.
also Ion 533
B-C, Laws 829 D-E, Iliad ii. 595.
[620b] The soul that drew the
twentieth lot chose the life
of a lion; it was the soul of Ajax, the son of Telamon, which,
remembered the adjudication of the arms of Achilles, was unwilling to
man. The next, the soul of Agamemnon,
likewise from hatred of the human race
because of its sufferings, substituted the life of an eagle.1 Drawing
one of the middle lots the soul of
Atalanta caught sight of the great honors
attached to an athlete's life and could not pass them by but snatched
Aesch.Ag. 114 ff.
[620c] After her, he said, he saw the
soul of Epeius,1 the
son of Panopeus, entering into the nature of an arts and crafts woman.
in the rear he saw the soul of the buffoon Thersites2
itself in the body of an ape. And it fell out that the soul of Odysseus
the last lot of all and came to make its choice, and, from memory of
toils having flung away ambition,
went about for a long time in quest of the
life of an ordinary citizen who minded his own business,3 and
with difficulty found it lying in some corner disregarded by the others,
built the Trojan horse. See Hesychius s.v.
2 Cf. Iliad ii.
3 For ἀπράγμονος cf. on 565 A, p. 316, note b.
[620d] and upon seeing it said that it
would have done the
same had it drawn the first lot, and chose it gladly. And in like
the other beasts some entered into men1
into one another, the unjust into wild creatures, the just transformed
and there was every kind of mixture and combination. But when, to
the souls had
chosen their lives in the order of their lots, they were
marshalled and went before Lachesis. And she sent with each,
1 Phaedr. 249
specifies that only beasts who had once been men could return to human
[620e] as the guardian of his life and
the fulfiller of his
choice, the genius1 that
he had chosen, and this divinity led the soul first to Clotho, under
and her turning2
the spindle to ratify the destiny of his lot and choice; and after
her the genius again led the soul to the spinning of Atropos3 to
make the web of its destiny4 irreversible,
and then without a backward look it passed beneath the throne of
617 E, and for daemons in Plato What Plato Said, pp. 546-547,
on Symp. 202 E, Dieterich, Nekyia, p. 59.
2 δίνης: Cf. Cratyl. 439 C
and Phaedo 99 B.
3 Cf. Laws 960
4 τὰ ἐπικλωσθέντα: Cf. Laws 957
E, Theaet. 169
C, and the Platonic epigram on Dion, Anth. Pal. vii. 99Μοῖραι ἐπέκλωσαν, Od. i. 17, iii. 208, etc.,
Callinus i. 9Μοῖραι ἐπικλώσωσ᾽.
[621a] And after it had passed through
that, when the others
also had passed, they all journeyed to the Plain of Oblivion,1 through
a terrible and stifling heat, for it was bare of trees
and all plants, and
there they camped at eventide by the River of Forgetfulness,2whose
waters no vessel can contain. They were all required to drink a measure
water, and those
who were not saved by their good sense drank more than the
measure, and each one as he drank forgot all things.
later literature it is the river that is called Lethe.
Cf. Aeneid vi.
[621b] And after they had fallen
asleep and it was the
middle of the night, there was a sound of thunder and a quaking of the
and they were suddenly
wafted thence, one this way, one that, upward to their
birth like shooting stars.1 Er
himself, he said, was not allowed to drink of the water, yet how and in
he returned to the body he said he did not know, but suddenly
his sight2 he
saw himself at dawn lying on the funeral pyre.—And so, Glaucon, the tale was
the saying is, and was not lost.
1 In Tim. 41
D-E each soul is given a star as its vehicle. Cf.
Aristoph.Peace 833 f.ὡς ἀστέρες γιγνόμεθ᾽ ὁταν τις ἀποθάνῃ . . .
with the Platonic epigram to Ἄστηρ: . . νῦν δὲ θανὼν λάμπεις Ἕσπερος ἐν φθιμένοιςThere is an old superstition in European
the effect that when a star falls a soul goes up to God. Cf. also
Rohde, Psyche, ii.6
2 Cf. Phaedrus 243
3 Cf. Phileb. 14
A, Laws 645 B, Theaet. 164 D.
[621c] And it will save us1 if
we believe it, and we shall safely cross the River of Lethe, and keep
unspotted from the world.2But
if we are guided
by me we shall believe that the soul is immortal and capable
of enduring all extremes of good and evil, and so we shall hold ever to
way and pursue
righteousness with wisdom always and ever, that we may be dear
to ourselves3 and
to the gods both during our sojourn here and when we receive our reward,
1 Phaedo 58
Bἔσωσε τε καὶ αὐτὸς ἐσώθη. σώζειν is here used in its higher sense,
idea of salvation, not as in Gorg.511 C f., 512
D-E, Laws 707 D,
where Plato uses it contemptuously in the tone of “whosoever shall seek
his life shall lose it.”
2 Cf. James i.
27, Phaedo 81 B, 2Peter iii. 14, and the Emperor
speech “animum . . . immaculatum conservavi.” Cf. Marius the
“A white bird, she told him once, looking at him gravely, a bird which
he must carry in his bosom across a crowded public place his own soul
3 Cf. Laws 693
Bἑαυτῇ φίλην, Rep. 589 B,
Horace, Epist. i. 3. 29
“si nobis vivere cari.” Jowett's “dear to one another” misses the
review of Lemercier, Les Pensées de
Marc-Aurèle, in Class. Phil. vii.
p. 115: “In iii. 4, in fine, the words οἵγε οὐδὲ αὐτοὶἑαυτοῖς ἀρέσκονται are omitted because
‘le gens que méprise
Marc-Aurèle sont loin de mépriser eux-mêmes.’ That
is to forget that Seneca's
‘omnis stultitia fastidio laborat sui’ is good Stoic doctrine,
and that the
idea that only the wise and good man can be dear to himself is found in
last sentence of Plato's Republic.” Cf. also Soph. OC 309 τίς γὰρ ἐσθλὸς οὐχ αὑτῷ φίλος;.
[621d] as the victors in the games1 go
about to gather in theirs. And thus both here and in that journey of a
years, whereof I have told you, we shall fare well.2
Vol. I. p. 480, note c, on 465 D.
the thought Cf. Gorg. 527 Cεὐδαιμονήσεις καὶ ζῶν καὶ τελευτήσας. Cf. Vol. I. p. 104, note b, on 353 E.
solemnity of εὖ πράττωμεν
illustrates the same characteristic of style
that makes Plato begin his Laws with the word θεός, and Dante close each of the three sections of
Comedy with “stelle.”
[322α] βίου γίγνεται, Προμηθέα δὲ δι᾽ Ἐπιμηθέα ὕστερον, ᾗπερ λέγεται, κλοπῆς δίκη μετῆλθεν.
ἐπειδὴ δὲ ὁ ἄνθρωπος θείας μετέσχε μοίρας, πρῶτον μὲν διὰ τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ συγγένειαν ζῴων μόνον θεοὺς
ἐνόμισεν, καὶ ἐπεχείρει βωμούς τε ἱδρύεσθαι
καὶ ἀγάλματα θεῶν: ἔπειτα φωνὴν καὶ ὀνόματα ταχὺδιηρθρώσατο τῇ τέχνῃ, καὶ οἰκήσεις καὶ ἐσθῆτας καὶ ὑποδέσεις
καὶ στρωμνὰς καὶ τὰς ἐκ γῆς τροφὰς ηὕρετο. οὕτω δὴ παρεσκευασμένοι κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς
[322a] that man gets facility for his
Prometheus, through Epimetheus' fault, later on (the story goes) stood
trial for theft.
And now that man was partaker of a
divine portion,1 he,
in the first place, by his nearness of kin to deity,
was the only creature that
worshipped gods, and set himself to establish altars and holy images;
he soon was enabled by his skill to articulate speech and words, and
to invent dwellings, clothes, sandals, beds,
and the foods that are of the
earth. Thus far provided, men dwelt separately in the beginning, and
there were none;
of arts originally apportioned to gods alone.
[322β] ἄνθρωποι ᾤκουν σποράδην, πόλεις δὲ οὐκ ἦσαν: ἀπώλλυντο οὖν ὑπὸ τῶν θηρίων διὰ τὸ πανταχῇ αὐτῶνἀσθενέστεροι εἶναι, καὶ ἡ δημιουργικὴ τέχνη αὐτοῖς πρὸς μὲν τροφὴν ἱκανὴ βοηθὸς ἦν, πρὸς δὲ τὸν τῶν θηρίων
—πολιτικὴν γὰρ τέχνην οὔπω εἶχον, ἧς μέρος πολεμική— ἐζήτουν δὴ ἁθροίζεσθαι καὶ
σῴζεσθαι κτίζοντες πόλεις: ὅτ᾽ οὖν ἁθροισθεῖεν,
ἠδίκουν ἀλλήλους ἅτε οὐκ ἔχοντες τὴν πολιτικὴν τέχνην,
ὥστε πάλιν σκεδαννύμενοι διεφθείροντο.
[322b] so that they were being
destroyed by the wild beasts,
since these were in all ways stronger than they;
and although their skill in
handiwork was a sufficient aid in respect of food, in their warfare
beasts it was defective;
for as yet they had no civic art, which includes the
art of war. So they sought to band themselves together and secure their
by founding cities.
Now as often as they were banded together they did wrong to
one another through the lack of civic art,
[322ξ] Ζεὺς οὖν δείσας περὶ τῷ γένει ἡμῶν μὴ ἀπόλοιτο πᾶν, Ἑρμῆν πέμπει ἄγοντα εἰς ἀνθρώπους αἰδῶ τε καὶδίκην,
ἵν᾽ εἶεν πόλεων κόσμοι τε καὶ δεσμοὶ φιλίας συναγωγοί.
ἐρωτᾷ οὖν Ἑρμῆς Δία τίνα οὖν τρόπον δοίηδίκην καὶ αἰδῶ ἀνθρώποις:
‘πότερον ὡς αἱ τέχναι νενέμηνται, οὕτω καὶ ταύτας νείμω;
νενέμηνται δὲ ὧδε: εἷςἔχων ἰατρικὴν πολλοῖς ἱκανὸς ἰδιώταις,
καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι δημιουργοί: καὶ δίκην δὴ καὶ αἰδῶ ’
[322c] and thus they began to be
scattered again and to
perish. So Zeus, fearing that our race was in danger
of utter destruction, sent Hermes to
respect and right among men, to the end that there should be
of cities and friendly ties to draw them together. Then Hermes asked
Zeus in what manner then was he to give
men right and respect: “Am I to deal
them out as the arts have been dealt? That dealing was done in such
one man possessing medical art is able to treat many ordinary men, and
the other craftsmen.
Am I to place among men right and respect in this way
also, or deal them out to all?”
‘ [322δ] οὕτω θῶ ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ἢ ἐπὶ πάντας νείμω;’
‘ἐπὶ πάντας,’ ἔφη ὁ Ζεύς,
‘καὶ πάντες μετεχόντων: οὐγὰρ ἂν γένοιντο πόλεις, εἰ ὀλίγοι αὐτῶν μετέχοιεν ὥσπερ ἄλλων τεχνῶν: καὶ νόμον γε θὲς παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ
τὸν μὴδυνάμενον αἰδοῦς καὶ δίκης μετέχειν κτείνειν ὡς νόσον πόλεως.’ οὕτω δή, ὦ Σώκρατες,
καὶ διὰ ταῦτα οἵ τεἄλλοι καὶ Ἀθηναῖοι, ὅταν μὲν περὶ ἀρετῆς τεκτονικῆς ᾖ λόγος ἢ ἄλλης τινὸς δημιουργικῆς,
ὀλίγοις οἴ ονται μετεῖναι συμβουλῆς, καὶ ἐάν
[322d] “To all,” replied Zeus; “let
all have their share:
for cities cannot be formed if only a few have a share
of these as of other
arts. And make thereto a law of my ordaining, that he who cannot
and right shall die the death as a public pest.” Hence it comes about,
Socrates, that people in cities,
and especially in Athens, consider it the concern of a few to
advise on cases
of artistic excellence or good craftsmanship,
[322ε] τις ἐκτὸς ὢν τῶν ὀλίγων συμβουλεύῃ, οὐκ ἀνέχονται, ὡς σὺ φῄς—εἰκότως, ὡς ἐγώ φημι—
ὅταν δὲ εἰς συμβουλὴν πολιτικῆς
[322e] and if anyone outside the few
gives advice they
disallow it, as you say, and not without reason,
as I think: but when they meet
for a consultation on civic art,
[323α] ἀρετῆς ἴωσιν, ἣν δεῖ διὰ δικαιοσύνης πᾶσαν ἰέναι καὶ σωφροσύνης, εἰκότως ἅπαντος ἀνδρὸς ἀνέχονται, ὡς παντὶ προσῆκον
ταύτης γε μετέχειν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἢ μὴ εἶναι πόλεις. αὕτη, ὦ Σώκρατες, τούτου αἰτία.
ἵνα δὲ μὴ οἴῃ ἀπατᾶσθαι ὡς τῷ ὄντι ἡγοῦνται πάντες ἄνθρωποι πάντα ἄνδρα μετέχειν δικαιοσύνης τε καὶ τῆς
πολιτικῆς ἀρετῆς, τόδε αὖ λαβὲ τεκμήριον. ἐν γὰρ ταῖς ἄλλαις ἀρεταῖς,
ὥσπερ σὺ λέγεις, ἐάν τις φῇἀγαθὸς αὐλητὴς εἶναι, ἢ ἄλλην ἡντινοῦν τέχνην ἣν μή ἐστιν, ἢ καταγελῶσιν
[323a] where they should be guided
throughout by justice and
good sense, they naturally allow advice from everybody,
since it is held that
everyone should partake of this excellence, or else that states cannot
Socrates, is the explanation of it.
And that you may not think you are
mistaken, to show how all men verily believe that everyone partakes of
and the rest of civic virtue,
I can offer yet a further proof. In all other
excellences, as you say, when a man professes to be good at
any other art in which
he has no such skill, they either laugh him to scorn or
are annoyed with him, and his people come and reprove him for being so
[323β] ἢ χαλεπαίνουσιν, καὶ οἱ οἰκεῖοι προσιόντες νουθετοῦσιν ὡς μαινόμενον: ἐν δὲ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἐν τῇ ἄλλῃ
ἐάν τινα καὶ εἰδῶσιν ὅτι ἄδικός ἐστιν, ἐὰν οὗτος αὐτὸς καθ᾽ αὑτοῦ τἀληθῆ λέγῃ ἐναντίον
πολλῶν, ὃ ἐκεῖ σωφροσύνην ἡγοῦντο εἶναι,
τἀληθῆ λέγειν, ἐνταῦθα μανίαν, καί φασιν πάντας δεῖν φάναιεἶναι δικαίους,
ἐάντε ὦσιν ἐάντε μή, ἢ μαίνεσθαι τὸν μὴ προσποιούμενον δικαιοσύνην: ὡς ἀναγκαῖον
[323b] but where justice or any other
civic virtue is
involved, and they happen to know that a certain person is unjust,
confesses the truth about his conduct before the public, that
which in the former arts they would regard
as good sense they here call
madness. Everyone, they say, should profess to be just, whether he is
not, and whoever
does not make some pretension to justice is mad; since it is
held that all without exception
[323ξ] οὐδένα ὅντιν᾽ οὐχὶ ἁμῶς γέ πως μετέχειν αὐτῆς, ἢ μὴ εἶναι ἐν ἀνθρώποις.
ὅτι μὲν οὖν πάντ᾽ ἄνδρα εἰκότως ἀποδέχονται περὶ ταύτης τῆς ἀρετῆς σύμβουλον
διὰ τὸ ἡγεῖσθαι παντὶμετεῖναι αὐτῆς, ταῦτα λέγω:
ὅτι δὲ αὐτὴν οὐ φύσει ἡγοῦνται εἶναι οὐδ᾽ ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτομάτου, ἀλλὰ διδακτόν τεκαὶ
ἐξ ἐπιμελείας παραγίγνεσθαι ᾧ ἂν παραγίγνηται, τοῦτό σοι μετὰ τοῦτο πειράσομαι ἀποδεῖξαι.
ὅσα γὰρἡγοῦνται ἀλλήλους κακὰ ἔχειν ἄνθρωποι
[323c] must needs partake of it in
some way or other, or
else not be of human kind.
Take my word for it, then, that they
have good reason for
admitting everybody as adviser on this virtue,
owing to their belief that
everyone has some of it; and next, that they do not regard it as
but as something taught and acquired after careful preparation by
those who acquire it,
—of this I will now endeavor to convince you.
[323δ] φύσει ἢ τύχῃ, οὐδεὶς θυμοῦται οὐδὲ νουθετεῖ οὐδὲ διδάσκει οὐδὲ κολάζει τοὺς ταῦτα ἔχοντας,
ἵνα μὴτοιοῦτοι ὦσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐλεοῦσιν: οἷον τοὺς αἰσχροὺς ἢ σμικροὺς ἢ ἀσθενεῖς τίς οὕτως ἀνόητος ὥστε τι τούτωνἐπιχειρεῖν ποιεῖν; ταῦτα μὲν γὰρ οἶμαι ἴσασιν ὅτι φύσει τε καὶ τύχῃ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις γίγνεται, τὰ καλὰ καὶ
ὅσα δὲ ἐξ ἐπιμελείας καὶ ἀσκήσεως καὶ διδαχῆς οἴονται γίγνεσθαι ἀγαθὰ ἀνθρώποις,
[323d] In all cases of evils which men
deem to have befallen
their neighbors by nature or fortune, nobody is wroth
with them or reproves or
lectures or punishes them, when so afflicted, with a view to their
than they are; one merely pities them.
Who, for instance, is such a fool as to
try to do anything of the sort to the ugly, the puny, or the weak?
presume, men know that it is by nature and fortune that people get
things, the graces of life and their opposites.
But as to all the good things
that people are supposed to get by application and practice and
φέρε δή, τούτοιν τοῖν τέχναιν ἡμῖν τὸν βασιλικὸν ἐν ποτέρᾳ θετέον; ἆρ᾽ ἐν τῇ κριτικῇ, καθάπερ τινὰ θεατήν,
μᾶλλον τῆς ἐπιτακτικῆς ὡς ὄντα αὐτὸν τέχνης θήσομεν, δεσπόζοντά γε;
πῶς γὰρ οὐ μᾶλλον
τὴν ἐπιτακτικὴν δὴ τέχνην πάλιν ἂν εἴη θεατέον εἴ πῃ διέστηκεν. καί μοι δοκεῖ τῇδέ πῃ,
καθάπερ ἡ τῶν
καπήλων τέχνη τῆς τῶν αὐτοπωλῶν διώρισται τέχνης, καὶ
[260δ] τὸ βασιλικὸν γένος ἔοικεν ἀπὸ τοῦ τῶν κηρύκων γένους ἀφωρίσθαι.
πωληθέντα που πρότερον ἔργα ἀλλότρια παραδεχόμενοι δεύτερον πωλοῦσι πάλιν οἱ κάπηλοι.
πάνυ μὲν οὖν.
οὐκοῦν καὶ τὸ κηρυκικὸν φῦλον ἐπιταχθέντ᾽ ἀλλότρια νοήματα παραδεχόμενον αὐτὸ δεύτερον ἐπιτάττει
τί οὖν; εἰς ταὐτὸν μείξομεν βασιλικὴν ἑρμηνευτικῇ,
[260ε] κελευστικῇ, μαντικῇ, κηρυκικῇ, καὶ πολλαῖς ἑτέραις τούτων τέχναις συγγενέσιν,
αἳ σύμπασαι τό γ᾽ἐπιτάττειν ἔχουσιν; ἢ βούλει, καθάπερ ᾐκάζομεν νυνδή, καὶ τοὔνομα παρεικάσωμεν,
ἐπειδὴ καὶ σχεδὸνἀν
ώνυμον ὂν τυγχάνει τὸ τῶν αὐτεπιτακτῶν γένος,
καὶ ταύτῃ ταῦτα διελώμεθα, τὸ μὲν τῶν βασιλέων γένοςεἰς τὴν αὐτεπιτακτικὴν θέντες,
τοῦ δὲ ἄλλου παντὸς ἀμελήσαντες, ὄνομα ἕτερον αὐτοῖς παραχωρήσαντες
τοῦ γὰρ ἄρχοντος ἕνεκα ἡμῖν ἡ μέθοδος ἦν
[261α] ἀλλ᾽ οὐχὶ τοῦ ἐναντίου.
πάνυ μὲν οὖν.
Now to which of these two classes is the kingly man to be assigned?
assign him to the art of judging,
as a kind of spectator, or rather to the art
of commanding, inasmuch as he is a ruler?
Rather to the latter, of course.
Then once more we must see whether the art of command falls into two
It seems to me that it does,
and I think there is much the same distinction
between the kingly class and the class
[260d] as between the art of men who
sell what they
themselves produce and that of retail dealers.
Retail dealers receive and sell over again the productions of others,
have generally been sold before.
And in like manner heralds
receive the purposes of others in the form of
orders, and then give the orders a second time to others.
Shall we, then, join the art of the king in the same class with the art of the
[260e] the boatswain, the prophet, the herald,
other kindred arts, all of
which involve giving orders?
Or, as we just now made
a comparison of functions, shall we now by comparison make a name also
the class of those who issue orders of their own is virtually nameless—
assign kings to the science of giving orders of one's own, disregarding
rest and leaving to someone else
the task of naming them? For the object of our
present quest is the ruler,
[261a] not his opposite.
σχεδὸν τοίνυν ὅσα ἔχεται κτήσεως, πλὴν τῶν ἡμέρων ζῴων, ἐν τούτοις ἑπτὰ οἶμαι γένεσιν εἰρῆσθαι.
σκόπει δέ: ἦν γὰρ δικαιότατα μὲν ἂν τεθὲν κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς τὸ
[289β] πρωτογενὲς εἶδος, μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο ὄργανον, ἀγγεῖον, ὄχημα, πρόβλημα, παίγνιον, θρέμμα. ἃπαραλείπομεν δέ, εἴ τι μὴ μέγα λέληθεν,
εἴς τι τούτων δυνατὸν ἁρμόττειν, οἷον ἡ τοῦ νομίσματος ἰδέα
σφραγίδων καὶ παντὸς χαρακτῆρος. γένος τε γὰρ ἐν αὑτοῖς ταῦτα οὐδὲν ἔχει μέγα σύννομον, ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν εἰς
τὰ δὲ εἰς ὄργανα βίᾳ μέν, ὅμως δὲ πάντως ἑλκόμενα συμφωνήσει. τὰ δὲ περὶ ζῴων κτῆσιν τῶν
ἡμέρων, πλὴν δούλων, ἡ
[289ξ] πρότερον ἀγελαιοτροφικὴ διαμερισθεῖσα πάντ᾽ εἰληφυῖα ἀναφανεῖται.
πάνυ μὲν οὖν.
τὸ δὲ δὴ δούλων καὶ πάντων ὑπηρετῶν λοιπόν, ἐν οἷς που καὶ μαντεύομαι τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸ τὸ πλέγμα ἀμφισβητοῦντας
τῷ βασιλεῖ καταφανεῖς γενήσεσθαι, καθάπερ τοῖς ὑφάνταις τότε τοὺς περὶ τὸ νήθειν
τε καὶ ξαίνειν καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα εἴπομεν. οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι πάντες, ὡς συναίτιοι λεχθέντες, ἅμα τοῖς ἔργοις
τοῖς νυν δὴ ῥηθεῖσιν ἀνήλωνται καὶ ἀπεχωρίσθησαν
[289δ] ἀπὸ βασιλικῆς τε καὶ πολιτικῆς πράξεως.
ἴθι δὴ σκεψώμεθα τοὺς λοιποὺς προσελθόντες ἐγγύθεν, ἵνα αὐτοὺς εἰδῶμεν βεβαιότερον.
τοὺς μὲν δὴ μεγίστους ὑπηρέτας, ὡς ἐνθένδε ἰδεῖν, τοὐναντίον ἔχοντας
εὑρίσκομεν οἷς ὑπωπτεύσαμεν ἐπιτήδευμα καὶ πάθος.
τοὺς ὠνητούς τε καὶ τῷ τρόπῳ τούτῳ κτητούς: οὓς
[289ε] ἀναμφισβητήτως δούλους ἔχομεν εἰπεῖν; ἥκιστα βασιλικῆς μεταποιουμένους τέχνης.
πῶς δ᾽ οὔ;
τί δέ; τῶν ἐλευθέρων ὅσοι τοῖς νυν
δὴ ῥηθεῖσιν εἰς ὑπηρετικὴν ἑκόντες αὑτοὺς τάττουσι,
τά τε γεωργίας καὶ τὰτῶν ἄλλων τεχνῶν ἔργα διακομίζοντες ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλους καὶ ἀνισοῦντες, οἱ μὲν κατ᾽ ἀγοράς,
οἱ δὲ πόλιν ἐκπόλεως ἀλλάττοντες κατὰ θάλατταν καὶ πεζῇ, νόμισμά τε πρὸς τὰ ἄλλα
καὶ αὐτὸ πρὸς αὑτὸ διαμείβοντες, οὓςἀργυραμοιβούς τε
[290α] καὶ ἐμπόρους καὶ ναυκλήρους καὶ καπήλους ἐπωνομάκαμεν, μῶν τῆς πολιτικῆς ἀμφισβητήσουσί τι;
τάχ᾽ ἂν ἴσως τῆς γε τῶν ἐμπορευτικῶν.
ἀλλ᾽ οὐ μὴν οὕς γε ὁρῶμεν μισθωτοὺς καὶ θῆτας πᾶσιν ἑτοιμότατα ὑπηρετοῦντας,
μή ποτε βασιλικῆςμεταποιουμένους εὕρωμεν.
τί δὲ ἄρα τοὺς τὰ τοιάδε διακονοῦντας ἡμῖν ἑκάστοτε;
τὰ ποῖα εἶπες καὶ τίνας;
ὧν τὸ κηρυκικὸν ἔθνος, ὅσοι τε περὶ γράμματα σοφοὶ γίγνονται πολλάκις
ὑπηρετήσαντες, καὶ πόλλ᾽ ἄτταἕτερα περὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς διαπονεῖσθαί τινες ἕτεροι πάνδεινοι,
τί τούτους αὖ λέξομεν;
ὅπερ εἶπες νῦν, ὑπηρέτας, ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ αὐτοὺς ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν ἄρχοντας.
ἀλλὰ οὐ μὴν οἶμαί γε ἐνύπνιον ἰδὼν εἶπον ταύτῃ πῃ φανήσεσθαι τοὺς διαφερόντως
πολιτικῆς. καίτοι σφόδρα γε ἄτοπον ἂν εἶναι δόξειε τὸ ζητεῖν
[290ξ] τούτους ἐν ὑπηρετικῇ μοίρᾳ τινί.
κομιδῇ μὲν οὖν.
ἔτι δὴ προσμείξωμεν ἐγγύτερον ἐπὶ τοὺς μήπω βεβασανισμένους.
εἰσὶ δὲ οἵ τε περὶ μαντικὴν ἔχοντές τινος
ἐπιστήμης διακόνου μόριον:
ἑρμηνευταὶ γάρ που νομίζονται παρὰ θεῶν ἀνθρώποις.
καὶ μὴν καὶ τὸ τῶν ἱερέων αὖ γένος, ὡς τὸ νόμιμόν φησι, παρὰ μὲν ἡμῶν
δωρεὰς θεοῖς διὰ θυσιῶν ἐπιστῆμόν
[290δ] ἐστι κατὰ νοῦν ἐκείνοις δωρεῖσθαι, παρὰ δὲ ἐκείνων ἡμῖν εὐχαῖς
κτῆσιν ἀγαθῶν αἰτήσασθαι: ταῦτα δὲ
διακόνου τέχνης ἐστί που μόρια ἀμφότερα.
ἤδη τοίνυν μοι δοκοῦμεν οἷόν γέ τινος ἴχνους ἐφ᾽ ὃ πορευόμεθα προσάπτεσθαι.
τὸ γὰρ δὴ τῶν ἱερέων σχῆμακαὶ τὸ τῶν μάντεων εὖ μάλα φρονήματος πληροῦται
καὶ δόξαν σεμνὴν λαμβάνει διὰ τὸ μέγεθος τῶνἐγχειρημάτων,
ὥστε περὶ μὲν Αἴγυπτον οὐδ᾽ ἔξεστι βασιλέα χωρὶς ἱερατικῆς
[290ε] ἄρχειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐὰν ἄρα καὶ τύχῃ πρότερον ἐξ ἄλλου γένους βιασάμενος,
ὕστερον ἀναγκαῖον εἰς τοῦτοεἰστελεῖσθαι αὐτὸν τὸ γένος: ἔτι δὲ καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων
πολλαχοῦ ταῖς μεγίσταις ἀρχαῖς τὰ μέγιστα τῶν περὶ τὰ
τοιαῦτα θύματα εὕροι τις ἂν προσταττόμενα θύειν.
καὶ δὴ καὶ παρ᾽ ὑμῖν οὐχ ἥκιστα δῆλον ὃ λέγω: τῷ γὰρ
λαχόντι βασιλεῖ φασιν τῇδε τὰ σεμνότατα
καὶ μάλιστα πάτρια τῶν ἀρχαίων θυσιῶν ἀποδεδόσθαι.
καὶ πάνυ γε
τούτους τε τοίνυν τοὺς κληρωτοὺς βασιλέας ἅμα καὶ ἱερέας,
καὶ ὑπηρέτας αὐτῶν καί τινα ἕτερον πάμπολυν
ὃς ἄρτι κατά
δηλος νῦν ἡμῖν γέγονεν ἀποχωρισθέντων τῶν ἔμπροσθεν.
τίνας δ᾽ αὐτοὺς καὶ λέγεις;
καὶ μάλα τινὰς ἀτόπους.
πάμφυλόν τι γένος αὐτῶν, ὥς γε ἄρτι σκοπουμένῳ φαίνεται.
πολλοὶ μὲν γὰρ λέουσι τῶν ἀνδρῶν εἴξασι καὶ
[291β] καὶ τοιούτοισιν ἑτέροις, πάμπολλοι δὲ Σατύροις καὶ τοῖς ἀσθενέσι καὶ πολυτρόποις θηρίοις:
ταχὺ δὲμεταλλάττουσι τάς τε ἰδέας καὶ τὴν δύναμιν εἰς ἀλλήλους.
καὶ μέντοι μοι νῦν, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἄρτι δοκῶ
κατανενοηκέναι τοὺς ἄνδρας.
λέγοις ἄν: ἔοικας γὰρ ἄτοπόν τι καθορᾶν.
ναί: τὸ γὰρ ἄτοπον ἐξ ἀγνοίας πᾶσι συμβαίνει. καὶ γὰρ δὴ καὶ νῦν αὐτὸς τοῦτ᾽ ἔπαθον:
[291ξ] κατιδὼν τὸν περὶ τὰ τῶν πόλεων πράγματα χορόν.
τὸν πάντων τῶν σοφιστῶν μέγιστον γόητα καὶ ταύτης τῆς τέχνης ἐμπειρότατον:
ὃν ἀπὸ τῶν ὄντως ὄντων
πολιτικῶν καὶ βασιλικῶν καίπερ παγχάλεπον ὄντα ἀφαιρεῖν ἀφαιρετέον,
εἰ μέλλομεν ἰδεῖν ἐναργῶς τὸζητούμενον.
ἀλλὰ μὴν τοῦτό γε οὐκ ἀνετέον.
οὔκουν δὴ κατά γε τὴν ἐμήν. καί μοι φράζε τόδε.
ἆρ᾽ οὐ μοναρχία τῶν πολιτικῶν ἡμῖν ἀρχῶν ἐστι μία;
καὶ μετὰ μοναρχίαν εἴποι τις ἂν οἶμαι τὴν ὑπὸ τῶν ὀλίγων δυναστείαν.
πῶς δ᾽ οὔ;
τρίτον δὲ σχῆμα πολιτείας οὐχ ἡ τοῦ πλήθους ἀρχή, δημοκρατία τοὔνομα κληθεῖσα;
καὶ πάνυ γε.
τρεῖς δ᾽ οὖσαι μῶν οὐ πέντε τρόπον τινὰ γίγνονται, δύ᾽ ἐξ ἑαυτῶν ἄλλα πρὸς αὑταῖς ὀνόματα τίκτουσαι;
πρὸς τὸ βίαιόν που καὶ ἑκούσιον ἀποσκοποῦντες νῦν καὶ πενίαν καὶ πλοῦτον καὶ νόμον
καὶ ἀνομίαν ἐν αὐταῖςγιγνόμενα διπλῆν ἑκατέραν τοῖν δυοῖν διαιροῦντες μοναρχίαν
μὲν προσαγορεύουσιν ὡς δύο παρεχομένην εἴδηδυοῖν ὀνόμασι, τυραννίδι, τὸ δὲ βασιλικῇ.
τὴν δὲ ὑπ᾽ ὀλίγων γε ἑκάστοτε κρατηθεῖσαν πόλιν ἀριστοκρατίᾳ καὶ ὀλιγαρχίᾳ.
καὶ πάνυ γε.
δημοκρατίας γε μήν, ἐάντ᾽ οὖν βιαίως ἐάντε ἑκουσίως
[292α] τῶν τὰς οὐσίας ἐχόντων τὸ πλῆθος ἄρχῃ, καὶ ἐάντε τοὺς νόμους ἀκριβῶς
φυλάττον ἐάντε μή, πάντως
τοὔνομα οὐδεὶς αὐτῆς εἴωθε μεταλλάττειν.
τί οὖν; οἰόμεθά τινα τούτων τῶν πολιτειῶν ὀρθὴν εἶναι τούτοις τοῖς ὅροις ὁρισθεῖσαν,
ἑνὶ καὶ ὀλίγοις καὶπολλοῖς, καὶ πλούτῳ καὶ πενίᾳ, καὶ τῷ βιαίῳ καὶ ἑκουσίῳ,
καὶ μετὰ γραμμάτων καὶ ἄνευ νόμων συμβαίνουσαν
τί γὰρ δὴ καὶ κωλύει;
σκόπει δὴ σαφέστερον τῇδε ἑπόμενος.
τῷ ῥηθέντι κατὰ πρώτας πότερον ἐμμενοῦμεν ἢ διαφωνήσομεν;
τῷ δὴ ποίῳ λέγεις;
τὴν βασιλικὴν ἀρχὴν τῶν ἐπιστημῶν εἶναί τινα ἔφαμεν, οἶμαι.
καὶ τούτων γε οὐχ ἁπασῶν, ἀλλὰ κριτικὴν δήπου τινὰ καὶ ἐπιστατικὴν ἐκ τῶν ἄλλων προειλόμεθα.
κἀκ τῆς ἐπιστατικῆς τὴν μὲν ἐπ᾽ ἀψύχοις ἔργοις,
[292ξ] τὴν δ᾽ ἐπὶ ζῴοις: καὶ κατὰ τοῦτον δὴ τὸν τρόπον μερίζοντες δεῦρ᾽ ἀεὶ προεληλύθαμεν,
ἐπιστήμης οὐκἐπιλανθανόμενοι, τὸ δ᾽ ἥτις οὐχ ἱκανῶς πω δυνάμενοι διακριβώσασθαι.
τοῦτ᾽ αὐτὸ τοίνυν ἆρ᾽ ἐννοοῦμεν, ὅτι τὸν ὅρον οὐκ ὀλίγους οὐδὲ πολλούς,
οὐδὲ τὸ ἑκούσιον οὐδὲ τὸ ἀκούσιον, οὐδὲ πενίαν οὐδὲ πλοῦτον γίγνεσθαι περὶ αὐτῶν χρεών,
ἀλλά τινα ἐπιστήμην, εἴπερ ἀκολουθήσομεν τοῖςπρόσθεν;
Now I think I have in these seven classes mentioned nearly all kinds of
property except tame animals.
See: there was the primary possession, which
ought in justice to have been
placed first, and after this
instrument, receptacle, vehicle, defence, plaything, nourishment.
unless some important thing has been overlooked, can find its place
in one of those classes; for instance,
the group of coins, seals, and stamps,
for there is not among these any kinship such as to form a large class,
some of them can be made to fit into the class of ornaments, others
though the classification is somewhat forced. All property in
except slaves, is included in the art of herding, which has already
divided into parts.
Yes quite true.
There remains the class of slaves and servants in general, and here I
that we shall find those who set up
claims against the king for the very
fabric of his art, just as the
spinners and carders and the rest of whom we
spoke advanced claims
against the weavers a while ago. All the others, whom we
called contingent causes,
have been removed along with the works we just
mentioned and have been separated
[289d] from the activity of the king
and the statesman.
That seems to be the case, at least.
Come then, let us step up and look from close at hand at those who are
that so we may know them more surely.
Yes, that is what we should do.
We shall find, then, that the greatest servants, when seen from near at
are in conduct and condition the opposite of that which we suspected.
Who are they?
The bought servants, acquired by purchase, whom we can without question
They make no claim to any share in the kingly art.
How about those free men who put themselves voluntarily in the position
servants of those whom we mentioned before?
I mean the men who carry about and
distribute among one another the productions of husbandry and the other
whether in the domestic marketplaces or by travelling from city to city
or sea, exchanging money for wares or money for money,
the men whom we call
and peddlers; do they lay any
claim to statesmanship?
Possibly to commercial statesmanship
But certainly we shall never find laborers, whom we see only too glad
anybody for hire, claiming a share in the kingly art.
But there are people who perform services of another kind. How about
What services and what men do you mean?
The class of heralds
and those who become by long practice skilled as clerks
and other clever men
who perform various services in connection with public
offices. What shall we call them?
What you called the others, servants;
they are not themselves rulers in the
But surely it was no dream that made me say we should find somewhere in
those who more than others lay claim to the art of statesmanship; and
yet it would be utterly absurd
[290c] to look for them in any servile
But let us draw a little closer still to those whom we have not yet
There are men who have to do with divination and possess a portion of a
for they are supposed to be interpreters of the gods to men.
And then, too, the priests, according to law and custom, know how to
by means of sacrifices, the gifts that please them from us
by prayers to ask for us the gain of good things from them; now these
part of a servant's art.
At least they seem to be so.
At last, then, I think we are, as it were, on the track of our quarry. For
the bearing of the priests and prophets is indeed
full of pride, and they win
high esteem because of the magnitude of their undertakings.
In Egypt, for example, no king can rule without being a
[290e] and if he happens to have
forced his way to the
throne from some other class, he must enroll himself in the class of priests
and among the Greeks, too, you would find that in many states the
performance of the greatest public sacrifices is a duty imposed upon
Yes, among you Athenians this is very plain, for they say
the holiest and most national of the ancient sacrifices
are performed by the
man whom the lot has chosen to be the King.1
second in order of the nine annual archons.
We must, then, examine these elected kings and priests and their
and also another very large crowd
of people which has just come in sight now
that the others are out of the way.
Who are these people?
A very queer lot.
They are of very mixed race at least they seem so now, when I can just
them. For many of them are l
ike lions and centaurs and other fierce creatures,
[291b] and very many are like satyrs
and the weak and
cunning beasts; and they make quick exchanges
of forms and qualities with one
another. Ah, but now, Socrates, I think I have just made out who they
Tell me; for you seem to have caught sight of something strange.
Yes, for ignorance makes things seem strange to everybody. That was
happened to me just now;
when I suddenly caught sight of them I did not
recognize the troop of those who busy themselve
[291c] with the affairs of the state.
That which of all the sophists is
the greatest charlatan and most practised in
This, although it is a hard thing to do, must be separated from
the band of really statesmanlike
and kingly men, if we are to get a clear view
of the object of our search.
But we certainly cannot give that up.
No, of course not. I agree to that. And now please answer a question.
What is it?
We agree that monarchy is one of the forms
[291d] of government, do we not?
And after monarchy one might, I should say, mention the rule of the few.
Yes, of course.
And a third form of government is the rule of the multitude, called
is it not?
Do not these three become after a fashion five, producing out of
People nowadays are likely to take into consideration enforced subjection and
poverty and wealth, law and lawlessness as they occur in
governments, and so they divide two of the forms
we mentioned, giving to the
two aspects of monarchy the two names tyranny and royalty.
And the state that is ruled by the few is called, as the case may be,
aristocracy or oligarchy.
To be sure.
In the case of democracy, however,
[292a] whether the multitude rule
those who have property by
violence or with their willing consent,
and whether the laws are carefully
observed or not, no one ever habitually changes the name.
Now then, do we believe that any of these forms of government which are
by the distinctions between the one, the few,
and the many, or wealth and
poverty, or violence and willingness, or written constitution and
laws, is a right one?
I don't see why not.
Look a bit more closely along the line I am going to point out.
What is it?
Shall we abide by what we said in the beginning, or dissent from it?
To what do you refer?
We said, I believe, that royal power was one of the sciences.
And not only a science, but we selected it from the rest as a science
judgement and command.
And from the science of command we distinguished one part which rules
one which rules living beings; and so we have gone on dividing in this
to the present moment,
never forgetting that it is a science, but as yet unable
to state with sufficient accuracy what science it is.
You are right.
Then is this our understanding, that the distinction between forms of
government ought not to be found in the words few or many,
or voluntary or
unwilling, or wealth or poverty, but some science must be the
if we are to be consistent with our previous statement?
τὴν δὲ πασῶν τε τούτων ἄρχουσαν καὶ τῶν νόμων καὶ συμπάντων τῶν κατὰ πόλιν
ἐπιμελουμένην καὶ πάντα συνυφαίνουσαν
ὀρθότατα, τοῦ κοινοῦ τῇ κλήσει περιλαβόντες τὴν δύναμιν αὐτῆς,
προσαγορεύοιμεν δικαιότατ᾽ ἄν, ὡς ἔοικε, πολιτικήν.
παντάπασι μὲν οὖν.
οὐκοῦν δὴ καὶ κατὰ τὸ τῆς ὑφαντικῆς παράδειγμα βουλοίμεθ᾽ ἂν ἐπεξελθεῖν αὐτὴν νῦν,
ὅτε καὶ πάντα τὰ γένη τὰ κατὰ πόλινδῆλα ἡμῖν γέγονε;
καὶ σφόδρα γε.
That appears, at least, to be the case.
But the art which holds sway over them all and watches over the laws
things in the state,
weaving them all most
perfectly together, we may, I think,
by giving to its function a designation
which indicates its power over the
community, with full propriety call “statecraft.”
Shall we then proceed to discuss it after the model supplied by weaving, now that all the classes in the state
have been made plain to us?
By all means
πρῶτον μὲν κατὰ τὸ συγγενὲς τὸ ἀειγενὲς ὂν τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτῶν μέρος θείῳ συναρμοσαμένη δεσμῷ,
μετὰ δὲ τὸ θεῖον τὸζῳογενὲς αὐτῶν αὖθις ἀνθρωπίνοις.
πῶς τοῦτ᾽ εἶπες αὖ;
τὴν τῶν καλῶν καὶ δικαίων πέρι καὶ ἀγαθῶν καὶ τῶν τούτοις ἐναντίων ὄντως οὖσαν ἀληθῆ
δόξαν μετὰ βεβαιώσεως, ὁπότανἐν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐγγίγνηται, θείαν φημὶ ἐν δαιμονίῳ γίγνεσθαι γένει.
πρέπει γοῦν οὕτω.
First it binds the eternal part of their souls with a divine bond, to which
that part is akin,
and after the divine it binds the animal part of them with
Again I ask What do you mean?
I mean that really true and assured opinion about honor, justice,
their opposites is divine,
and when it arises in men's souls, it arises in a
That would be fitting, at any rate.
τοῖς δ᾽ εὐγενέσι γενομένοις τε ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἤθεσι θρεφθεῖσί τε κατὰ φύσιν μόνοις διὰ νόμων
ἐμφύεσθαι, καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις δὴ τοῦτ᾽εἶναι τέχνῃ φάρμακον, καὶ καθάπερ εἴπομεν τοῦτον
θειότερον εἶναι τὸν σύνδεσμον ἀρετῆς μερῶν φύσεως ἀνομοίων καὶ ἐπὶτὰ ἐναντία φερομένων.
τοὺς μὴν λοιπούς, ὄντας ἀνθρωπίνους δεσμούς, ὑπάρχοντος τούτου τοῦ θείου σχεδὸν
οὐδὲν χαλεπὸν οὔτε ἐννοεῖν οὔτεἐννοήσαντα ἀποτελεῖν.
πῶς δή, καὶ τίνας;
τοὺς τῶν ἐπιγαμιῶν καὶ παίδων κοινωνήσεων καὶ τῶν περὶ τὰς ἰδίας ἐκδόσεις καὶ γάμους.
οἱ γὰρ πολλοὶ τὰ περὶ ταῦτα οὐκὀρθῶς συνδοῦνται πρὸς τὴν τῶν παίδων γέννησιν.
τὰ μὲν πλούτου καὶ δυνάμεων ἐν τοῖς τοιούτοις διώγματα τί καί τις ἂν ὡς ἄξια λόγου σπουδάζοι μεμφόμενος;
μᾶλλον δέ γε δίκαιον τῶν περὶ τὰ γένη ποιουμένων
[310ξ] ἐπιμέλειαν τούτων πέρι λέγειν, εἴ τι μὴ κατὰ τρόπον πράττουσιν.
εἰκὸς γὰρ οὖν.
πράττουσι μὲν δὴ οὐδ᾽ ἐξ ἑνὸς ὀρθοῦ λόγου, τὴν ἐν τῷ παραχρῆμα διώκοντες ῥᾳστώνην
καὶ τῷ τοὺς μὲν προσομοίους αὐτοῖςἀσπάζεσθαι, τοὺς δ᾽ ἀνομοίους μὴ στέργειν, πλεῖστον τῇ δυσχερείᾳ μέρος ἀπονέμοντες.
οἱ μέν που κόσμιοι τὸ σφέτερον αὐτῶν ἦθος ζητοῦσι, καὶ κατὰ δύναμιν γαμοῦσί τε παρὰ τούτων καὶ τὰς
[310δ] ἐκδιδομένας παρ᾽ αὑτῶν εἰς τούτους ἐκπέμπουσι πάλιν: ὡς δ᾽ αὕτως τὸ περὶ τὴν ἀνδρείαν γένος δρᾷ,
τὴν αὑτοῦμεταδιῶκον φύσιν, δέον ποιεῖν ἀμφότερα τὰ γένη τούτων τοὐναντίον ἅπαν.
πῶς, καὶ διὰ τί;
διότι πέφυκεν ἀνδρεία τε ἐν πολλαῖς γενέσεσιν ἄμεικτος γεννωμένη σώφρονι φύσει κατὰ
μὲν ἀρχὰς ἀκμάζειν ῥώμῃ, τελευτῶσα δὲ ἐξανθεῖν παντάπασι μανίαις.
ἡ δὲ αἰδοῦς γε αὖ λίαν πλήρης ψυχὴ καὶ ἀκέραστος
[311α] ὕφασμα συνάγοντα ἐξ αὐτῶν, τὰς ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν ἀρχὰς ἀεὶ κοινῇ τούτοις ἐπιτρέπειν.
οὗ μὲν ἂν ἑνὸς ἄρχοντος χρεία συμβαίνῃ, τὸν ταῦτα ἀμφότερα ἔχοντα αἱρούμενον ἐπιστάτην: οὗ δ᾽ ἂν πλειόνων,
τούτωνμέρος ἑκατέρων συμμειγνύντα. τὰ μὲν γὰρ σωφρόνων ἀρχόντων ἤθη σφόδρα μὲν εὐλαβῆ καὶ δίκαια καὶ σωτήρια,
δριμύτητοςδὲ καί τινος ἰταμότητος ὀξείας καὶ πρακτικῆς ἐνδεῖται.
δοκεῖ γοῦν δὴ καὶ τάδε.
τὰ δ᾽ ἀνδρεῖά γε αὖ πρὸς μὲν τὸ δίκαιον καὶ εὐλαβὲς ἐκείνων ἐπιδεέστερα, τὸ δὲ ἐν ταῖς πράξεσι ἰταμὸν
διαφερόντως ἴσχει. πάντα δὲ καλῶς γίγνεσθαι τὰ περὶ τὰς πόλεις ἰδίᾳ καὶ δημοσίᾳ τούτοιν μὴ παραγενομένοιν ἀμφοῖν ἀδύνατον.
πῶς γὰρ οὔ;
τοῦτο δὴ τέλος ὑφάσματος εὐθυπλοκίᾳ συμπλακὲν γίγνεσθαι φῶμεν πολιτικῆς πράξεως
τὸ τῶν ἀνδρείων καὶ σωφρόνωνἀνθρώπων ἦθος, ὁπόταν ὁμονοίᾳ καὶ φιλίᾳ κοινὸν
[311ξ] συναγαγοῦσα αὐτῶν τὸν βίον ἡ βασιλικὴ τέχνη, πάντων μεγαλοπρεπέστατον ὑφασμάτων
καὶ ἄριστον ἀποτελέσασαὥστ᾽ εἶναι κοινόν τούς τ᾽ ἄλλους ἐν ταῖς πόλεσι πάντας
δούλους καὶ ἐλευθέρους ἀμπίσχουσα, συνέχῃ τούτῳ τῷ πλέγματι, καὶ
καθ᾽ ὅσον εὐδαίμονι προσήκει
γίγνεσθαι πόλει τούτου μηδαμῇ μηδὲν ἐλλείπουσα ἄρχῃ τε καὶ ἐπιστατῇ.
κάλλιστα αὖ τὸν βασιλικὸν ἀπετέλεσας ἄνδρα ἡμῖν, ὦ ξένε, καὶ τὸν πολιτικόν.
But we may say that in those only who were of noble nature from their
have been nurtured as befits
such natures it is implanted by the laws, and for
them this is the medicine prescribed by science, and, as we said
bond which unites unlike and divergent parts of virtue is more divine.
The remaining bonds, moreover, being human, are not very difficult to
or, after one has devised them, to create, when once this divine bond
How so? And what are the bonds?
Those made between states concerning intermarriages and the sharing of
by adoption,1 and
to portionings and marriages within the state. For most people
make such bonds without proper regard to the procreation of children.
How is that?
The pursuit of wealth or power in connection with matrimony—but why
anyone ever take
the trouble to blame it, as though it were worth arguing about?
There is no reason for doing so.
We have better cause, however, to speak our minds about those
whose chief care is the family, in case their conduct is not what it
Yes; very likely.
The fact is, they act on no right theory at all; they seek their ease
moment; welcoming gladly those who are like themselves,
and finding those who
are unlike them unendurable, they give the greatest weight to their
The decorous people seek for characters like their own; so far as they
marry wives of
that sort and in turn give their daughters in marriage to men of
the courageous do the same, eagerly seeking natures of their own kind,
both classes ought to do quite the opposite.
How so, and why?
Because in the nature of things courage, if propagated through many
with no admixture of a self-restrained nature,
though at first it is strong and
flourishing, in the end blossoms forth in utter madness.
That is likely.
But the soul, on the other hand, that is too full of modesty and
alloy of courage or boldness,
after many generations of the same kind becomes too sluggish and
That also is likely to happen.
It was these bonds, then, that I said there was no difficulty in
provided that both classes have one
and the same opinion about the honorable
and the good. For indeed the whole business of the kingly weaving is
in this and this alone,
—in never allowing the self-restrained characters to be
separated from the courageous,
but in weaving them
together by common beliefs
and honors and dishonors and opinions and interchanges of pledges,
of them a smooth and, as we say, well-woven fabric,
[311a] and then entrusting to them in
common for ever the
offices of the state.
How is that to be done?
When one official is needed, by choosing a president who possesses both
qualities; and when a hoard is desired,
by combining men of each class. For the
characters of self-restrained officials are exceedingly careful
and just and
conservative, but they lack keenness and a certain quick and active
That also seems, at least, to be true.
The courageous natures, on the other hand, are deficient in justice and
in comparison with the former,
but excel in boldness of action; and unless both
these qualities are present it is impossible for a state
to be entirely
prosperous in public and private matters.
This, then, is the end, let us declare, of the web of the
the direct interweaving of the characters of restrained and courageous
[311c] when the kingly science has
drawn them together by
friendship and community of sentiment into a common life,
and having perfected
the most glorious and the best of all textures, clothes with it
inhabitants of the state, both slaves and freemen,
holds them together by this
fabric, and omitting nothing which ought to belong to a happy state,
watches over them.
You have given us, Stranger, a most complete and admirable treatment of
king and the statesman.
τοῦτον δὲ τὸν λόγον εἶμι πρῶτον, ὡς ἀδύνατός
εἰμι τοῦτο πράττειν. ἔδει γάρ τινα πρῶτον ἀρχὴν γενέσθαι τῆς προδοσίας,
ἡ δὲ ἀρχὴ
λόγος ἂν εἴη· πρὸ γὰρ τῶν μελλόντων ἔργων ἀνάγκη λόγους γίνεσθαι
λόγοι δὲ πῶς ἂν γένοιντο μὴ συνουσίας τινὸς γενομένης;
συνουσία δὲ τίνα τρόπον
γένοιτ᾽ ἂν μήτ᾽ ἐκείνου πρὸς ἐμὲ πέμψαντος μήτε ἐμοῦ πρὸς ἐκεῖνον
οὐδὲ παραγγελία διὰ γραμμάτων ἀφῖκται ἄνευ τοῦ φέροντος.
δὴ τοῦτο τῷ λόγῳ δυνατὸν γενέσθαι. καὶ
δὴ τοίνυν σύνειμι καὶ σύνεστι κἀκεῖνος ἐμοὶ κἀκείνῳ ἐγώ
— τίνα τρόπον; τίνι τίς
ὤν; Ἕλλην βαρβάρῳ. πῶς ἀκούων καὶ
λέγων; πότερα μόνος μόνῳ;
ἀλλ᾽ ἀγνοήσομεν τοὺς
ἀλλήλων λόγους. ἀλλὰ μεθ᾽ ἑρμηνέως; τρίτος ἄρα μάρτυς
8 ἀλλὰ δὴ καὶ τοῦτο γενέσθω,
καίπερ οὐ γενόμενον. ἔδει
δὲ μετὰ τούτους πίστιν δοῦναι καὶ
τίς οὖν ἂν ἦν ἡ πίστις; πότερον ὅρκος;
τίς οὖν ἐμοὶ τῷ προδότῃ πιστεύειν ἔμελλεν; ἀλλ᾽ ὅμηροι; τίνες;
οἷον ἐγὼ τὸν ἀδελφὸν
ἔδωκ᾽ ἄν (οὐ γὰρ εἶχον ἄλλον), ὁ δὲ βάρβαρος τῶν υἱέων τινά·
πιστότατα γὰρ ἂν ἦν
ἐμοί τε παρ᾽ ἐκείνου ἐκείνῳ τε παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ. ταῦτα δὲ γινόμενα πᾶσιν ὑμῖν
9 φήσει τις ὡς χρήμασι τὴν πίστιν
ἐποιούμεθα, ἐκεῖνος μὲν διδούς, ἐγὼ δὲ
λαμβάνων. πότερον οὖν ὀλίγοις;
ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ εἰκὸς ἀντὶ μεγάλων ὑπουργημάτων ὀλίγα
χρήματα λαμβάνειν. ἀλλὰ πολλοῖς; τίς οὖν ἦν ἡ κομιδή; πῶς δ᾽ ἂν ‹εἷς›
ἢ πολλοί; πολλῶν γὰρ κομιζόντων πολλοὶ ἂν ἦσαν μάρτυρες τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς,
κομίζοντος οὐκ ἂν πολύ τι τὸ φερόμενον ἦν.
10 πότερα δὲ ἐκόμισαν ἡμέρας ἢ
νυκτός; ἀλλὰ ‹νυκτὸς›
πολλαὶ καὶ πυκναὶ φυλακαί, δι᾽ ὧν οὐκ ἔστι λαθεῖν.
12 ἡ δὲ
πρᾶξις πῶς ‹ἂν› ἐγένετο; δηλονότι τοὺς πολεμίους εἰσαγαγεῖν ἔδει
κρείττονας ὑμῶν· ὅπερ ἀδύνατον. πῶς ἂν οὖν εἰσήγαγον;
ἀλλ᾽ ἡμέρας; ἀλλά γε τὸ φῶς
πολεμεῖ τοῖς τοιούτοις. εἶεν. ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἐξελθὼν ἐδεξάμην, ἢ ἐκεῖνος ὁ
ἀμφότερα γὰρ ἄπορα. λαβὼν δὲ δὴ πῶς ἂν ἔκρυψα καὶ τοὺς ἔνδον καὶ τοὺς
δ᾽ ἂν ἔθηκα; πῶς δ᾽ ἂν ἐφύλαξα;
χρώμενος δ᾽ ἂν φανερὸς ἐγενόμην, μὴ χρώμενος δὲ
τί ἂν ὠφελούμην ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν;
11 καὶ δὴ τοίνυν γενέσθω καὶ τὰ μὴ γενόμενα,
συνήλθομεν, εἴπομεν, ἠκούσαμεν,
χρήματα παρ᾽ αὐτῶν ἔλαβον,
ἔλαθον λαβών, ἔκρυψα. ἔδει δήπου πράττειν ὧν ἕνεκα
ταῦτα ἐγένετο. τοῦτο τοίνυν ἔτι τῶν εἰρημένων ἀπορώτερον.
πράττων μὲν γὰρ αὐτὸς
ἔπραττον ἢ μεθ᾽ ἑτέρων· ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ἑνὸς ἡ πρᾶξις. ἀλλὰ μεθ᾽
δηλονότι τῶν συνόντων.
πότερον ἐλευθέρων ἢ δούλων; ἐλευθέροις μὲν γὰρ ὑμῖν
σύνειμι. τίς οὖν ὑμῶν ξύνοιδε; λεγέτω. δούλοις δὲ πῶς οὐκ ἄπιστον;
γὰρ ἐπ᾽ ἐλευθερίᾳ χειμαζόμενοί τε δι᾽ ἀνάγκην κατηγοροῦσιν.
πότερα διὰ πυλῶν; ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ
ἐμὸν ταύτας οὔτε κλῄειν οὔτε ἀνοίγειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἡγεμόνες κύριοι τούτων.
τειχέων ‹διὰ› κλίμακος;
οὔκουν ‹ἐφωράθην ἄν;› ἅπαντα γὰρ πλήρη φυλακῶν. ἀλλὰ
διελὼν τοῦ τείχους; ἅπασιν ἄρα φανερὰ γένοιτο ἄν. ὑπαίθριος γὰρ ὁ βίος
(στρατόπεδον γάρ) ἔστ᾽ ἐν ὅπλοις, ἐν οἷς ‹πάντες› πάντα ὁρῶσι καὶ
πάντως ἄρα καὶ πάντῃ πάντα πράττειν ἀδύνατον ἦν μοι.
δ᾽ ἄν, καὶ φήσας οὐκ ἂν ψευσαίμην οὐδ᾽
ἂν ἐλεγχθείην, οὐ μόνον ἀναμάρτητος ἀλλὰ καὶ μέγας εὐεργέτης ὑμῶν
καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων
καὶ τῶν ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων, οὐ μόνον τῶν νῦν ὄντων ἀλλὰ ‹καὶ› τῶν
τίς γὰρ ἂν ἐποίησε
τὸν ἀνθρώπινον βίον πόριμον ἐξ ἀπόρου καὶ κεκοσμημένον ἐξ ἀκόσμου,
τάξεις τε πολεμικὰς εὑρὼν μέγιστον εἰς πλεονεκτήματα,
νόμους τε γραπτοὺς
φύλακας [τε] τοῦ δικαίου, γράμματά τε μνήμης ὄργανον, μέτρα τε
συναλλαγῶν εὐπόρους διαλλαγάς,
ἀριθμόν τε χρημάτων φύλακα, πυρσούς τε
κρατίστους καὶ ταχίστους ἀγγέλους, πεσσούς τε σχολῆς ἄλυπον
τίνος οὖν ἕνεκα ταῦθ᾽ ὑμᾶς ὑπέμνησα;
31 δηλῶν ‹μὲν› ὅτι τοῖς τοιούτοις
τὸν νοῦν προσέχω,
σημεῖον δὲ ποιούμενος ὅτι τῶν αἰσχρῶν καὶ τῶν κακῶν ἔργων
τὸν γὰρ ἐκείνοις
τὸν νοῦν προσέχοντα τοῖς τοιούτοις προσέχειν ἀδύνατον. ἀξιῶ δέ, εἰ
ἀδικῶ, μηδὲ αὐτὸς ὑφ᾽ ὑμῶν ἀδικηθῆναι.
Les Sophistes: Gorgias:
Défense de Palamède. In: Les
Ed. étabie par Jean-Paul Dumont avec la collaboration de Daniel
Delattre et de Jean-Louis Poirer.
Paris: Gallimard 1988, p. 1036ss
par avoir recours, en premier lieu, à l'argument suivant:
à savoir que je suis
incapable d'avoir commis ce forfait.
Il fallait bien en effet que la trahison
commençât par des préparatifs, et ces
préparatifs auraient dû être une
Avant d'exécuter un tel projet, il est nécessaire qu'ait
Or, comment des tractations pourraient-elles avoir eu lieu sans
qu'il y ait eu des contacts?
Mais comment aurait-il pu y avoir des contacts
puisque l'adversaire n'a envoyé personne auprès de moi et
que je n'ai pas non
quellqu'un auprès de lui? Et un message écrit ne saurait
personne ne l'apporte.
pourtant, qu'une telle rencontre, avec une tractation, ait
été possible. Dès
lors, je dois entrer en contact avec l'ennemi, et lui avec moi.
Qui avec qui? Un Grec avec un Barbare. Mais
comment se parler et se comprendre? est-ce seul à seul?
Nous ignorons nos langues respectives. Il y a un interprète
avec nous? Alors un tiers est témoin de ce qui doit être
encore cela, bien qu'il n'en ait rien été. Il fallait se donner et recevoir
garantie l'un de l'autre. Qu'aurait bien pu être cette
Un serment? Qui
aurait accepté de me faire confiance, à moi qui
trahissait? Alors, des otages?
Mais qui prendre?
J'aurais pu livrer mon frère (je n'avais personne d'autre),
et le Barbare un de ses fils. Cela aurait constitué, de lui
une très sûre
garanti; seulement, cela, vous l'auriez tous vu.
9. On pourra
que nous avons constitué la garantie avec de l'argent: il me le
donnait et je
En ce cas, une faible quantité? Mais il n'est pas vraisemblable
recevoir peu d'argent en échange de pareils services.
Alors, beaucoup d'argent?
Mais qui l'aurait coonvoyé? Comment un seul homme l'aurait-il
transporté? ou même
si on avait été plusieurs à le transporter, il y
aurait eu plusieurs
témoins du complot,
et si c'est un seul qui a fait le transport, ce qu'il
portait n'était pas bien lourd.
a-t-il eu lieu de jour ou de nuit? Les sentinelles sont nombreuses et
et il es difficile de les éviter.
De jour, alors? La lumière est ennemie de ce
genre de traffic. Mais soit! Dans ce cas, ou je suis sorti pour toucher
ou c'est lui qui est entré pour me l'apporter! Ces deux
aussi impossibles l'une que l'autre: une fois reçu l'argent,
comment le cacher
aux gens de chez moi et de l'extérieur? Où le mettre?
Comment le surveiller? Si
je m'en sers, je me démasque,
si je ne m'en sers pas, à quoi bon?
admettons qu'ait eu lieu ce qui n'as pas eu lieu. Nous nous sommes
nous avons parlé,
nous nous sommes compris, j'ai touché d'eux de l'argent, je
l'ai rapporté en cachette, je l'ai dissimulé.
Il fallait quand même accomplir
ce à quoi tendaient ces manœvres. Mais ceci est encore plus
ce qui précède.
Car si je le fais, je le fais seul ou avec d'autres? Mais ce
n'est pas l'affaire d'un seul homme. C'est donc avec d'autres? Qui
clair que c'est avec des complices. Des hommes libre ou des esclaves?
hommes libres, c'est vous, avec qui je suis.
Qui de vous, alors, était dans le
secret? Qu'il le dise! et si ce sont des esclaves, n'est-ce pas
gens-là vous accussent spontanément pour retrouver la
liberté, ou bien ils y
sont forcés par la torture.
chose se <serait>-elle faite? évidemment, il fallait
introduire dans le
camp des ennemis plus forts que vous.
Ce qui est impossible. Comment les
aurais-je fait entrer? Est-ce par les portes? Mais il n'est en mon
de les fermer ni de les ouvrir,
il y a des gardes qui en sont maîtres. je leur
aurais fait passer les remparts avec une échelle? <Mais
j'aurais été pris
sur le fait> : ils sont, partout,
couverts de sentinelles. Alors, j'aurais
ouvert une brèche Tout le monte aurait pur la voir. C'est
à découvert que se déroule
la vie militaire
(car il s'agit d'un camp), tout le monde y voit tout et tous
sont vus de tous. Aussi m'était-il totalement impossible, et
à tout point de
vue, de mener à bien tout cela.
affirmer – en l'affirmant je ne risquerais ni de mentir ni d'être
réfuté – que
non seulement pour le présent,
mais <aussi> pour l'avenir. Qui d'audre
aurait pu permettre de vivre a une humanité dépourvue?
Lui donner les ornemetns
qui lui manquaient?
Car c'est moi qui ait inventé la tactique, meilleure arme
la guerre pour les victoires, et les lois écrites, gardiennes du
autres, outil de la mémoire;
les mesures et les poids, si commodes pour les échanges
et les transactions; l'arithmétique, gardienne des richesses;
lumineux, messagers sûrs et rapides; le jeu d'échecs,
passe-temps. Mais pourquoi vous ai-je rappelé tout cela?
bien faire voir, que <si> j'ai prêté toute mon
ingéniosité à toutes ces
c'est la preuve que je me tiens à l'écart de tout ce qui
honteux et mauvais. Quand on met toute
son ingéniosité dans de telles
inventions, il est impossible qu'on la mette dans le mal. Et je pense,
je vous ai en rien porté tort, qu'il n'y a pas de raison que je
subisse de tort
de votre part.
mythology, Palamedes (Ancient
Greek: Παλαμήδης) was the son of Nauplius and Clymene.
the Greeks in the expedition against Troy. Pausanias
in his Description of Greece (2.20.3) says that in Corinth
is a Temple
of Fortune in
which Palamedes dedicated the
dice that he had invented.
After Paris took Helen to
Troy, Agamemnon sent Palamedes to Ithaca to
retrieve Odysseus, who had promised to defend the marriage of
Helen and Menelaus. Odysseus did not want to honor his
oath, so he pretended to be insane and plowed his fields with salt.
Palamedes guessed what was happening
and put Odysseus' son, Telemachus, in front of the plow. Odysseus
stopped working and revealed his sanity.
sources show differences in regards to the details of how Palamedes met
never forgave Palamedes for ruining his attempt to stay out of the Trojan War.
When Palamedes advised the Greeks
to return home, Odysseus hid gold in his tent and wrote a
fake letter purportedly from Priam. The letter was found and the Greeks accused
him of being a traitor. Palamedes was stoned to death by Odysseus
and Diomedes. According to other accounts the
two warriors drowned him during a fishing expedition. Still another version relates
that he was lured into a well in search of treasure, and then was
stones. Although he is a major character in some accounts of the Trojan
Palamedes is not mentioned in Homer's Iliad.
Palamedes' role in the Trojan
War in the Metamorphoses.
Palamedes' fate is described
in Virgil's Aeneid. In the Apology, Plato describes Socrates as
looking forward to speaking with
Palamedes after death, and intimates in the Phaedrus that
Palamedes authored a work
on rhetoric. Euripides and many other dramatists have
written dramas about his fate.
Hyginus revives an old account
Palamedes created eleven letters of the Greek alphabet:
three Fates created the first five vowels of the
alphabet and the letters B and T. It is said that Palamedes, son
of Nauplius invented the remaining eleven
consonants. Then Hermes reduced these sounds to
characters, showing wedge shapes because cranes fly in wedge
formation and then carried
the system from Greece to Egypt*. This was the Pelasgian alphabet,
which Cadmus had later brought to Boeotia,
then Evander of Arcadia, a Pelasgian, introduced into Italy, where
his mother, Carmenta, formed the familiar fifteen characters of
consonants have since been added to the Greek alphabet. Alpha was the
eighteen letters, because alphe means honor, and alphainein is to
Wikipedia: Defense of
the Defense of Palamedes Gorgias describes
logos as a positive instrument for creating ethical arguments
(McComiskey 38). The Defense,
an oration that deals with issues of morality and political commitment
(Consigny 38), defends Palamedes who, in Greek
mythology, is credited with the invention of the alphabet, written
numbers, armor, and measures and weights (McComiskey 47).
speech Palamedes defends himself against the charge
of treason. In Greek mythology, Odysseus –
in order to avoid going to Troy with Agamemnon and
Menelaus to bring Helen back to Sparta –
pretended to have gone mad and began sowing the fields with salt. When
threw Odysseus' son, Telemachus, in front of the plow, Odysseus
demonstrating that he was sane. Odysseus, who never forgave Palamedes
making him reveal himself, later accused Palamedes of betraying the
the Trojans. Soon after, Palamedes was condemned and killed (Jarratt
epideictic speech, like the Encomium, Gorgias
is concerned with experimenting with how plausible arguments can cause
conventional truths to be doubted (Jarratt 59). Throughout the text,
presents a method for composing logical (logos), ethical (ethos) and
arguments from possibility, which are similar to those described by
in Rhetoric. These types of arguments about motive and capability
presented in the Defense are later described by Aristotle as
Gorgias demonstrates that in order to prove that treason had been
set of possible occurrences also need to be established. In
the Defense these
occurrences are as follows: communication between Palamedes and the
exchange of a pledge in the form of hostages or money, and not being
by guards or citizens. In his defense, Palamedes claims that a small
money would not have warranted such a large undertaking and reasons
large sum of money, if indeed such a transaction had been made, would
the aid of many confederates in order for it to be transported.
reasons further that such an exchange could neither have occurred at
because the guards would be watching, nor in the day because everyone
able to see. Palamedes continues, explaining that if the aforementioned
conditions were, in fact, arranged then action would need to follow.
action needed to take place either with or without confederates;
these confederates were free men then they were free to disclose any
information they desired, but if they were slaves there was a risk of
voluntarily accusing to earn freedom, or accusing by force when
Palamedes says, are untrustworthy. Palamedes goes on to list a variety
possible motives, all of which he proves false.
the Defense Gorgias demonstrates that a
motive requires an advantage such as status, wealth, honour, and
insists that Palamedes lacked a motive (McComiskey 47-49)
Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Last updated: 2-13-2018 See
in Greek legend,
the son of
Nauplius (king of Euboea) and Clymene and a hero of the Trojan War.
a prominent figure in post-Homeric legends about
the siege of Troy. Before the war, according to the lost
epic Cypria, he
exposed the trickery of Odysseus, who had feigned madness to avoid
service; by placing the infant Telemachus in
the path of Odysseus’
plow in the field, he forced that king to admit his sanity.
siege of Troy, Palamedes alternated with two
other Greek heroes, Odysseus and Diomedes,
in guiding the army in the field, but his ability aroused their envy.
In the Cypria the
other two drowned Palamedes while fishing or persuaded him to seek
a well, which they thereupon filled with stones. In various lost
Diomedes, and Odysseus had an agent steal into his tent and conceal a
that contained money and purported to come from King Priam of Troy.
accused Palamedes of treasonable correspondence with the enemy, and he
stoned to death. His father, Nauplius, avenged him, first by visiting
of Greek leaders and encouraging their wives to commit adultery and,
the men were at sea, burning a light to lead their ships onto dangerous
had a reputation for sagacity, and the ancients
attributed a number of inventions to him, including the alphabet,
measures, coinage, board games, and the practice of eating at
[1282α] ὁμοίως δὲ τοῦτο καὶ περὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἐμπειρίας καὶ τέχνας. ὥσπερ οὖν ἰατρὸν δεῖ διδόναι τὰς εὐθύνας ἐνἰατροῖς,
οὕτω καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ἐν τοῖς ὁμοίοις. ἰατρὸς δ᾽ ὅ τε δημιουργὰς καὶ ὁ ἀρχιτεκτονικὸς καὶ τρίτος ὁπεπαιδευμένος περὶ τὴν τέχνην （εἰσὶ γάρ
 τινες τοιοῦτοι καὶ περὶ πάσας ὡς εἰπεῖν τὰς τέχνας）: ἀποδίδομενδὲ τὸ κρίνειν οὐδὲν ἧττον τοῖς πεπαιδευμένοις ἢ τοῖς εἰδόσιν.
ἔπειτα καὶ περὶ τὴν αἵρεσιν τὸν αὐτὸν ἂν δόξειενἔχειν τρόπον. καὶ γὰρ τὸ ἑλέσθαι ὀρθῶς τῶν εἰδότων ἔργον ἐστίν,
οἷον γεωμέτρην τε τῶν γεωμετρικῶν καὶ κυβερνήτην τῶν κυβερνητικῶν. εἰ γὰρ καὶ περὶ ἐνίων ἔργων καὶ τεχνῶν μετέχουσι καὶ τῶν ἰδιωτῶν τινες, ἀλλ᾽οὔ τι τῶν εἰδότων γε μᾶλλον.
ὥστε κατὰ μὲν τοῦτον τὸν λόγον οὐκ ἂν εἴη τὸ πλῆθος ποιητέον κύριον οὔτε τῶνἀρχαιρεσιῶν οὔτε τῶν εὐθυνῶν. ἀλλ᾽ ἴσως οὐ πάντα ταῦτα λέγεται καλῶς
 διά τε τὸν πάλαι λόγον, ἂν ᾖ τὸπλῆθος μὴ λίαν ἀνδραποδῶδες （ἔσται γὰρ ἕκαστος μὲν χείρων κριτὴς τῶν εἰδότων, ἅπαντες δὲ συνελθόντες ἢβελτίους ἢ οὐ χείρους）,
καὶ ὅτι περὶ ἐνίων οὔτε μόνον ὁ ποιήσας οὔτ᾽ ἄριστ᾽ ἂν κρίνειεν, ὅσων τἆ
ργαγινώσκουσι καὶ οἱ μὴ ἔχοντες τὴν τέχνην, οἷον
 οἰκίαν οὐ μόνον ἐστὶ γνῶναι τοῦ ποιήσαντος, ἀλλὰ καὶ
βέλτιον ὁ χρώμενος αὐτῇ κρινεῖ （χρῆται δ᾽ ὁ οἰκονόμος）,
καὶ πηδάλιον κυβερνήτης τέκτονος, καὶ θοίνην ὁδαιτυμὼν ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ὁ μάγειρος.
[1282a]  and that this is the case
similarly with regard
to the other arts and crafts. Hence just as a court of physicians must
the work of a physician,
so also all other practitioners ought to be called to
account before their fellows. But ‘physician’ means both the ordinary
practitioner, and the master of the craft,
and thirdly, the man who has studied
medicine as part of his general education
in almost all the arts there are some such students, and we assign the
judgement just as much to cultivated amateurs as to experts）.
Further the same might be
thought to hold good also of the election of officials, for to elect
a task for experts—for example, it is for experts in the science
to elect a land-surveyor and for experts in navigation to choose a
even though in some occupations and arts some laymen also
have a voice in
appointments, yet they certainly do not have more voice than the
according to this argument the masses should not be put in control over
the election of magistrates or their audit. But perhaps this statement
both for the reason stated above,1 in
case the populace is not of too slavish a character （for although each individual
separately will be a worse judge than the experts,
the whole of them assembled
together will be better or at least as good judges, and also because about some
things the man who made them would not be the only
nor the best judge, in the
case of professionals whose products come within the knowledge of
 to judge a house, for instance,
does not belong only to the man who
it, but in fact the man who
uses the house （that
is, the householder）
will be an
even better judge of it,
and a steersman judges a rudder better than a carpenter,
and the diner judges a banquet better than the cook.
 ἐπεὶ τό γε καλὸν ἐν πλήθει καὶ μεγέθει εἴωθε γίνεσθαι, ἀλλ᾽ἔστι τι καὶ πόλεως μεγέθους μέτρον,
ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων πάντων, ζῴων φυτῶν ὀργάνων:
καὶ γὰρ τούτων ἕκαστον οὔτε λίανμικρὸν οὔτε κατὰ μέγεθος
ὑπερβάλλον ἕξει τὴν αὑτοῦ δύναμιν, ἀλλ᾽ ὁτὲ μὲν ὅλως ἐστερημένον ἔσται τῆς φύσεως ὁτὲ
 δὲφαύλως ἔχον, οἷον πλοῖον σπιθαμιαῖον
μὲν οὐκ ἔσται πλοῖον ὅλως, οὐδὲ δυοῖν σταδίοιν, εἰς δὲ τὶ μέγεθος ἐλθὸν
[1326β] ὁτὲ μὲν διὰ σμικρότητα φαύλην ποιήσει τὴν ναυτιλίαν, ὁτὲ δὲ διὰ τὴν ὑπερβολήν:
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ πόλις ἡ μὲν ἐξ ὀλίγωνλίαν οὐκ αὐτάρκης （ἡ δὲ πόλις αὔταρκες）,
ἡ δὲ ἐκ πολλῶν ἄγαν ἐν μὲν τοῖς ἀναγκαίοις αὐτάρκης ὥσπερ δ᾽ ἔθνος, ἀλλ᾽
 οὐπόλις: πολιτείαν γὰρ οὐ ῥᾴδιον ὑπάρχειν: τίς γὰρ στρατηγὸς ἔσται τοῦ λίαν ὑπερβάλλοντος πλήθους,
ἢ τίς κῆρυξ μὴ Στεντόρειος; διὸ πρώτην μὲν εἶναι πόλιν ἀναγκαῖον
τὴν ἐκ τοσούτου πλήθους ὃ πρῶτον πλῆθος αὔταρκες πρὸς
τὸ εὖ ζῆν ἐστικατὰ τὴν πολιτικὴν κοινωνίαν: ἐνδέχεται δὲ καὶ τὴν
 ταύτης ὑπερβάλλουσαν κατὰ πλῆθος εἶναι μείζω πόλιν, ἀλλὰ τοῦτ᾽οὐκ ἔστιν, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν,
ἀόριστον. τίς δ᾽ ἐστὶν ὁ τῆς ὑπερβολῆς ὅρος, ἐκ τῶν ἔργων ἰδεῖν ῥᾴδιον. εἰσὶ γὰρ αἱ πράξεις τῆς
τῶν μὲν ἀρχόντων τῶν δ᾽ ἀρχομένων, ἄρχοντος δ᾽ ἐπίταξις καὶ κρίσις ἔργον: πρὸς δὲ τὸ κρίνειν
 περὶ τῶν δικαίωνκαὶ πρὸς τὸ τὰς ἀρχὰς διανέμειν
κατ᾽ ἀξίαν ἀναγκαῖον γνωρίζειν ἀλλήλους,
ποῖοί τινές εἰσι, τοὺς πολίτας, ὡς ὅπου τοῦτο μὴσυμβαίνει γίγνεσθαι, φαύλως ἀνάγκη γίγνεσθαι
τὰ περὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς κρίσεις. περὶ ἀμφότερα
γὰρ οὐ δίκαιοναὐτοσχεδιάζειν, ὅπερ ἐν
 τῇ πολυανθρωπίᾳ τῇ λίαν ὑπάρχει φανερῶς. ἔτι δὲ ξένοις
καὶ μετοίκοις ῥᾴδιον μεταλαμβάνειν τῆς πολιτείας:
οὐ γὰρ χαλεπὸν τὸ λανθάνειν διὰ τὴν ὑπερβολὴν τοῦ πλήθους.
δῆλον τοίνυν ὡς οὗτός ἐστι πόλεως ὅρος ἄριστος,
ἡμεγίστη τοῦ πλήθους ὑπερβολὴ πρὸς αὐτάρκειαν ζωῆς εὐσύνοπτος. περὶ
 μὲν οὖν μεγέθους πόλεως διωρίσθω τὸν τρόποντοῦτον.
that state also must necessarily be the most beautiful with whose
magnitude is combined the above-mentioned limiting principle;
certainly beauty is usually found in number and magnitude, but there is
due measure of magnitude for a city-state as there also is for all
—animals, plants, tools; each of these if too small or excessively
large will not possess its own proper efficiency,
but in some cases will have entirely lost its true nature and in others
will be in a defective condition: for instance,
a ship a span long will not be a ship at all, nor will a ship a quarter
of a mile long, and even when it reaches a certain size,
[1326b]  in some cases smallness and in others excessive largeness
will make it sail badly.
Similarly a state consisting of too few people will not be
self-sufficing （which is an essential
quality of a state),
and one consisting of too many, though self-sufficing in the mere
necessaries, will be so in the way in which a nation is,
not as a state, since it will not be easy for it to possess
for who will command its over-swollen
multitude in war?
or who will serve as its herald, unless he have the lungs of a Stentor?
It follows that the lowest limit for the existence of a state is when
it consists of a population
reaches the minimum number that is self-sufficient for the purpose of
the good life after the manner of a political community.
is possible also for one that exceeds this one in number to be a
but, as we said, this possibility of increase is not
and what the limit of the state's expansion is can easily be seen from
(transl. H. Rackham)
cf. Siam Lewis: News and Society in
the Greek Polis. London, 1996, p. 12-13 (See below)
ἔστω δὴ ἡ ῥητορικὴ δύναμις περὶ ἕκαστον τοῦ θεωρῆσαι τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον πιθανόν.
τοῦτο γὰρ οὐδεμιᾶς ἑτέραςἐστὶ τέχνης ἔργον:
τῶν γὰρ ἄλλων ἑκάστη περὶ τὸ αὑτῇ ὑποκείμενόν ἐστιν διδασκαλικὴ καὶ πειστική,
οἷονἰατρικὴ περὶ ὑγιεινῶν καὶ νοσερῶν, καὶ γεωμετρία περὶ τὰ συμβεβηκότα
πάθη τοῖς μεγέθεσι, καὶ ἀριθμητικὴ περὶ ἀριθμῶν, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ τῶν τεχνῶν καὶ ἐπιστημῶν:
ἡ δὲῥητορικὴ περὶ τοῦ δοθέντος ὡς εἰπεῖν δοκεῖ δύνασθαι θεωρεῖν τὸ πιθανόν,
διὸ καί φαμεν αὐτὴν οὐ περί τι γένοςἴδιον ἀφωρισμένον ἔχειν τὸ τεχνικόν.
 Rhetoric then may be defined as
the faculty of discovering
the possible means of persuasion
in reference to any subject whatever. This is
the function of no other of the arts, each of which
is able to instruct and
persuade in its own special subject; thus, medicine deals with health
geometry with the properties of magnitudes, arithmetic with number,
and similarly with all the other arts and sciences.
But Rhetoric, so to say,
appears to be able to discover the means of persuasion in reference to
That is why we say that as an art its rules are not applied to
any particular definite class of things.
τῶν δὲ διὰ τοῦ λόγου ποριζομένων πίστεων τρία εἴδη ἔστιν:
αἱ μὲν γάρ εἰσιν ἐν τῷ ἤθει τοῦ λέγοντος,
αἱ δὲ ἐν τῷτὸν ἀκροατὴν διαθεῖναί πως,
αἱ δὲ ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ λόγῳ διὰ τοῦ δεικνύναι ἢ φαίνεσθαι δεικνύναι.
proofs furnished by the speech are of three kinds.
The first depends
upon the moral character of the speaker,
the second upon putting the hearer
into a certain frame of mind,
the third upon the speech itself, in so far as it
proves or seems to prove.
Book 2, 18
 καὶ τοῖς ἐπιχαίρουσι ταῖς ἀτυχίαις καὶ ὅλως εὐθυμουμένοις ἐν ταῖς αὐτῶν ἀτυχίαις:
ἢ γὰρ ἐχθροῦ ἢὀλιγωροῦντος σημεῖον. καὶ τοῖς μὴ φροντίζουσιν ἐὰν λυπήσωσιν:
διὸ καὶ τοῖς κακὰ ἀγγέλλουσιν ὀργίζονται.
 And they are angry with those who
rejoice, or in a
general way are cheerful
when they are unfortunate; for this is an indication
of enmity or slight.
And with those who do not care if they pain them;
whence they are angry with
those who bring bad news.
ὦ γῆς ἁπάσης Ἀσιάδος πολίσματα,
250ὦ Περσὶς αἶα καὶ πολὺς πλούτου λιμήν,
ὡς ἐν μιᾷ πληγῇ κατέφθαρται πολὺς
ὄλβος, τὸ Περσῶν δ᾽ ἄνθος οἴχεται πεσόν.
ὤμοι, κακὸν μὲν πρῶτον ἀγγέλλειν κακά:
ὅμως δ᾽ ἀνάγκη πᾶν ἀναπτύξαι πάθος,
255Πέρσαι: στρατὸς γὰρ πᾶς ὄλωλε βαρβάρων.
O cities of all the land of Asia,
 O realm of Persia,
and bounteous haven of wealth, at a single stroke
plenteous prosperity has been shattered, and the flower
Persians has fallen and perished!
Ah, it is a terrible task
to be the first to
deliver news of disaster.
And yet, Persians, I must relate the entirety of the
—the whole barbarian host is lost.
οὐκ οἶδ᾽: ἐκεῖ γὰρ οὔτε του γενῇδος ἦν
250πλῆγμ᾽, οὐ δικέλλης ἐκβολή. στύφλος δὲ γῆ
καὶ χέρσος, ἀρρὼξ οὐδ᾽ ἐπημαξευμένη
τροχοῖσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄσημος οὑργάτης τις ἦν.
ὅπως δ᾽ ὁ πρῶτος ἡμὶν ἡμεροσκόπος
δείκνυσι, πᾶσι θαῦμα δυσχερὲς παρῆν.
255ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἠφάνιστο, τυμβήρης μὲν οὔ,
λεπτὴ δ᾽, ἄγος φεύγοντος ὥς, ἐπῆν κόνις
σημεῖα δ᾽ οὔτε θηρὸς οὔτε του κυνῶν
ἐλθόντος, οὐ σπάσαντος ἐξεφαίνετο.
λόγοι δ᾽ ἐν ἀλλήλοισιν ἐρρόθουν κακοί,
260φύλαξ ἐλέγχων φύλακα, κἂν ἐγίγνετο
πληγὴ τελευτῶσ᾽, οὐδ᾽ ὁ κωλύσων παρῆν.
εἷς γάρ τις ἦν ἕκαστος οὑξειργασμένος,
κοὐδεὶς ἐναργής, ἀλλ᾽ ἔφευγε μὴ εἰδέναι.
ἦμεν δ᾽ ἑτοῖμοι καὶ μύδρους αἴρειν χεροῖν
265καὶ πῦρ διέρπειν καὶ θεοὺς ὁρκωμοτεῖν,
τὸ μήτε δρᾶσαι μήτε τῳ ξυνειδέναι
τὸ πρᾶγμα βουλεύσαντι μηδ᾽ εἰργασμένῳ.
τέλος δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ οὐδὲν ἦν ἐρευνῶσιν πλέον,
λέγει τις εἷς, ὃ πάντας ἐς πέδον κάρα
270νεῦσαι φόβῳ προὔτρε`