Paris, Primal Destroyer of Troy

Pindar, Paean, fr. 8a [=52i(A) P. Oxy. 841 (5, 1908)]

[She felt him] hurrying and her divine heart
Wailed with horrible groans
And she explained the reason
With words like this: So wholly…
Wide-browed son of Kronos–
You are bringing about the fated
Pain from when Hekabe [informed]
The Dardanian women when she
Was carrying this man in her body,
She believed that she would give birth
To a fire-breathing hundred-hander
One who would drag all Ilion
To the ground with his wicked [ways]
And she spoke [of him] [confessing]
The sign that came into her dreams
[shuddering in fear] at her foreknowledge.”

σπεύδοντ᾿, ἔκλαγξέ <θ᾿> ἱερ̣[
δαιμόνιον κέαρ ὀλοαῖ-
σι στοναχαῖς ἄφαρ,
καὶ τοιᾷδε κορυφᾷ σά-
μαινεν λόγων· ὦ παναπ.[εὐ-
ρ[ύ]οπα Κρονίων τελεῖς σ̣[
π[ε]πρωμέναν πάθαν α[
νικα Δαρδανίδαις Ἑκάβ[
. . ] ποτ᾿ εἶδεν ὑπὸ σπλάγχ[νοις
φέροισα τόνδ᾿ ἀνέρ᾿· ἔδοξ̣[ε γάρ
τεκεῖν πυρφόρον ἐρι[
Ἑκατόγχειρα, σκληρᾷ [
Ἴλιον πᾶσάν νιν ἐπὶ π[έδον
κατερεῖψαι· ἔειπε δὲ μ̣[
. . .] . ´[.]ᾳ τέρας ὑπνα̣[λέον
. . . . .]λ̣ε προμάθεια

Red figure vase. Paris holding a lance and wearing a Phrygian cap. Pillar to right

Medicine and Pain

Euripides, fr. 1079

“Mortals have no other medicine for pain
Like the advice of a good man, a friend
Who has experience with this sickness.
A man who troubles then calms his thoughts with drinking,
Finds immediate pleasure, but laments twice as much later on.”

Οὐκ ἔστι λύπης ἄλλο φάρμακον βροτοῖς
ὡς ἀνδρὸς ἐσθλοῦ καὶ φίλου παραίνεσις.
ὅστις δὲ ταύτῃ τῇ νόσῳ ξυνὼν ἀνὴρ
μέθῃ ταράσσει καὶ γαληνίζει φρένα,
παραυτίχ’ ἡσθεὶς ὕστερον στένει διπλᾶ.

Anacreonta 56

“The one who strengthens someone in pain,
Who comforts a young one in love,
Who makes the dancer beautiful over drinks,
That god has descended to the ground,
Offering a calming lovespell for mortals,
A medicine against grief,
The vine’s child, wine.

He is guarding it safe,
Within the vines’ bunches of grapes,
So, whenever they cut the fruit,
Everyone remains free of sickness,
Healthy with shining skin
And a sweet-hearted mind,
Until the passing of another year.”

ὁ τὸν ἐν πόνοις ἀτειρῆ,
νέον ἐν πόθοις ἀταρβῆ,
καλὸν ἐν πότοις χορευτὴν
τελέων θεὸς κατῆλθε,
ἁπαλὸν βροτοῖσι φίλτρον,
πότον ἄστονον κομίζων,
γόνον ἀμπέλου, τὸν οἶνον,
ἐπὶ κλημάτων ὀπώραις
πεπεδημένον φυλάττων,
ἵν᾿, ὅταν τέμωσι βότρυν,
ἄνοσοι μένωσι πάντες,
ἄνοσοι δέμας θεητόν,
ἄνοσοι γλυκύν τε θυμὸν
ἐς ἔτους φανέντος ἄλλου.

Pliny, Letters 8.19

“I have so much joy and comfort in literature that there’s nothing that can’t be made happier because of it and there’s nothing sad enough to detract from its effect. I am so troubled by the sickness of my wife and the danger to my household, even the threat of death, that I have fled to my study as the only distraction from pain. I may sense my troubles more in this way but I yet bear them more easily. ”

Et gaudium mihi et solacium in litteris, nihilque tam laetum quod his laetius, tam triste quod non per has minus triste. Itaque et infirmitate uxoris et meorum periculo, quorundam vero etiam morte turbatus, ad unicum doloris levamentum studia confugi, quae praestant ut adversa magis intellegam sed patientius feram.

Drugs as therapy for pain

Morphine, “Cure for Pain” (1993)
“Where is the ritual
And tell me where where is the taste
Where is the sacrifice
And tell me where where is the faith
Someday there’ll be a cure for pain
That’s the day I throw my drugs away…”

Homer, Odyssey 4.219–232

“But then Zeus’ daughter Helen had different plans.
She immediately cast into the wine they were drinking a drug,
A pain neutralizer and anger reducer, an eraser of all evils.
Whoever consumes this drug once it is mixed in the wine,
Could not let a single tear loose upon their cheeks for a whole day.
Not even if their mother or father died,
Nor again if they lost their brother and dear son,
Cut down by bronze right their in front of their own eyes.
These are the kinds of complex drugs, good ones, Zeus’s daughter
Possesses. Polydamna, the wife of Thôn, gave them to her
In Egypt where the fertile land grows the most drugs—
Many there are mixed fine; but many cause pain too.
Each man there is a doctor whose knowledge surpasses most men,
For they are the offspring of Paieon.”

ἔνθ’ αὖτ’ ἄλλ’ ἐνόησ’ ῾Ελένη Διὸς ἐκγεγαυῖα·
αὐτίκ’ ἄρ’ εἰς οἶνον βάλε φάρμακον, ἔνθεν ἔπινον,
νηπενθές τ’ ἄχολόν τε, κακῶν ἐπίληθον ἁπάντων.
ὃς τὸ καταβρόξειεν, ἐπὴν κρητῆρι μιγείη,
οὔ κεν ἐφημέριός γε βάλοι κατὰ δάκρυ παρειῶν,
οὐδ’ εἴ οἱ κατατεθναίη μήτηρ τε πατήρ τε,
οὐδ’ εἴ οἱ προπάροιθεν ἀδελφεὸν ἢ φίλον υἱὸν
χαλκῷ δηϊόῳεν, ὁ δ’ ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ὁρῷτο.
τοῖα Διὸς θυγάτηρ ἔχε φάρμακα μητιόεντα,
ἐσθλά, τά οἱ Πολύδαμνα πόρεν, Θῶνος παράκοιτις,
Αἰγυπτίη, τῇ πλεῖστα φέρει ζείδωρος ἄρουρα
φάρμακα, πολλὰ μὲν ἐσθλὰ μεμιγμένα, πολλὰ δὲ λυγρά,
ἰητρὸς δὲ ἕκαστος ἐπιστάμενος περὶ πάντων
ἀνθρώπων· ἦ γὰρ Παιήονός εἰσι γενέθλης.

From the Suda

“Pharmakon [medicine]: conversation, consoling, it comes from pherein [bringing] akos [relief/cure]. But it is also said to come from flowers.”

Φάρμακον: παραμυθία, ὁμιλία, εἴρηται δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ φέρειν τὴν ἄκεσιν: εἴρηται δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθέων

still life oil painting. striped table cloth, plate with pears, wine jug and glass.
Adolphe Joseph Thomas Monticelli, “Still Life with Food and Wine” 1874

Fantastic Lies (about Helen)

Isocrates, Helen 1-3

“There are some people who get puffed up if they manage to talk about something tolerably after they have themselves selected a strange and impossible subject. Men have also grown old claiming that it is impossible to say or disprove a lie or to speak two ways about the same matters. Others claim that courage, wisdom, and justice are the same thing, that we have none of these by nature, and that there is a single knowledge about them all. Others waste their time in conflicts which bring no benefit, which can only create more trouble for those who approach them.

I, if I saw that this superfluity had only just emerged in speeches and that these men were eager for honor in the novelty of what they discover, I would not be a surprised at them. But, now, who is such a late-learner that he does not know Protagoras and the sophists who were active at his time and that they left to us these types of things and speeches even more excessively composed than these? How could anyone overcome Gorgias who dared to say that nothing exists at all or Zeno who tried to demonstrate that the same things are possible and impossible or even Melissos who—although some things are countless in number—tried to provide a proof that everything is one!”

Εἰσί τινες οἳ μέγά φρονοῦσιν, ἢν ὑπόθεσιν ἄτοπον καὶ παράδοξον ποιησάμενοι περὶ ταύτης ἀνεκτῶς εἰπεῖν δυνηθῶσι· καὶ καταγεγηράκασιν οἱ μὲν οὐ φάσκοντες οἷόν τ᾿ εἶναι ψευδῆ λέγειν οὐδ᾿ ἀντιλέγειν οὐδὲ δύω λόγω περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν πραγμάτων ἀντειπεῖν, οἱ δὲ διεξιόντες ὡς ἀνδρία καὶ σοφία καὶ δικαιοσύνη ταὐτόν ἐστι, καὶ φύσει μὲν οὐδὲν αὐτῶν ἔχομεν, μία δ᾿ ἐπιστήμη καθ᾿ ἁπάντων ἐστίν· ἄλλοι δὲ περὶ τὰς ἔριδας διατρίβουσι τὰς οὐδὲν μὲν ὠφελούσας, πράγματα δὲ παρέχειν τοῖς πλησιάζουσι δυναμένας.

Ἐγὼ δ᾿ εἰ μὲν ἑώρων νεωστὶ τὴν περιεργίαν ταύτην ἐν τοῖς λόγοις ἐγγεγενημένην καὶ τούτους ἐπὶ τῇ καινότητι τῶν εὑρημένων φιλοτιμουμένους, οὐκ ἂν ὁμοίως ἐθαύμαζον αὐτῶν· νῦν δὲ τίς ἐστιν οὕτως ὀψιμαθής, ὅστις οὐκ οἶδε Πρωταγόραν καὶ τοὺς κατ᾿ ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον γενομένους σοφιστάς, ὅτι καὶ τοιαῦτα καὶ πολὺ τούτων πραγματωδέστερα συγγράμματα κατέλιπον ἡμῖν; πῶς γὰρ ἄν τις ὑπερβάλοιτο Γοργίαν τὸν τολμήσαντα λέγειν ὡς οὐδὲν τῶν ὄντων ἔστιν, ἢ Ζήνωνα τὸν ταὐτὰ δυνατὰ καὶ πάλιν ἀδύνατα πειρώμενον ἀποφαίνειν, ἢ Μέλισσον ὃς ἀπείρων τὸ πλῆθος πεφυκότων τῶν πραγμάτων ὡς ἑνὸς ὄντος τοῦ παντὸς ἐπεχείρησεν ἀποδείξεις εὑρίσκειν;

Gorgias, Defense of Helen 1-2

“Kosmos for a city is a good-population; for a body it is beauty; for a soul, wisdom. For a deed, excellence; and for a word, truth. The opposition of these things would be akosmia. It is right, on the one hand, to honor a man and a woman and a deed and a city and a deed worthy of praise with praise and to lay reproach on the unworthy. For it is equally mistaken and ignorant to rebuke the praiseworthy and praise things worthy of rebuke.

It is thus necessary for the same man to speak truly and refute those who reproach Helen, a woman about whom the belief from what the poets say and the fame of her name are univocal and single-minded, that memory of sufferings. I want, by giving some reckoning in speech, to relieve her of being badly spoken, and, once I demonstrate and show that those who reproach her are liars, to protect the truth from ignorance”

(1) Κόσμος πόλει μὲν εὐανδρία, σώματι δὲ κάλλος, ψυχῆι δὲ σοφία, πράγματι δὲ ἀρετή, λόγωι δὲ ἀλήθεια· τὰ δὲ ἐναντία τούτων ἀκοσμία. ἄνδρα δὲ καὶ γυναῖκα καὶ λόγον καὶ ἔργον καὶ πόλιν καὶ πρᾶγμα χρὴ τὸ μὲν ἄξιον ἐπαίνου ἐπαίνωι τιμᾶν, τῶι δὲ ἀναξίωι μῶμον ἐπιτιθέναι· ἴση γὰρ ἁμαρτία καὶ ἀμαθία μέμφεσθαί τε τὰ ἐπαινετὰ καὶ ἐπαινεῖν τὰ μωμητά.

(2) τοῦ δ’ αὐτοῦ ἀνδρὸς λέξαι τε τὸ δέον ὀρθῶς καὶ ἐλέγξαι *** τοὺς μεμφομένους ῾Ελένην, γυναῖκα περὶ ἧς ὁμόφωνος καὶ ὁμόψυχος γέγονεν ἥ τε τῶν ποιητῶν ἀκουσάντων πίστις ἥ τε τοῦ ὀνόματος φήμη, ὃ τῶν συμφορῶν μνήμη γέγονεν. ἐγὼ δὲ βούλομαι λογισμόν τινα τῶι λόγωι δοὺς τὴν μὲν κακῶς ἀκούουσαν παῦσαι τῆς αἰτίας, τοὺς δὲ μεμφομένους ψευδομένους ἐπιδείξας καὶ δείξας τἀληθὲς [ἢ] παῦσαι τῆς ἀμαθίας.

 

 a warrior draws his sword on a modestly veiled woman in the presence of two onlookers; this scene has been identified as Menelaos' recovery of Helen after the capture of Troy. Attributed to the circle of Exekias.
Black-figure Belly Amphora with the Reclamation of Helen and Herakles and Kerberos, c. 540 BCE. Walters Art Museum

Give Us Something Big, A Folk Song

Folk Songs, LCL fr. 848 (=Athen. 8. 360b–d)

“The swallow has come, has come,
Bringing us the best weather
The most wonderful time of the year,
White on its stomach and
White on its back–
Why don’t you toss out
From your well-stocked house
A cup of wine,
And a basket of cheese and wheat?
That bird won’t decline
A bit of flatbread either.

Should we leave or take something?
If you’re going to give us something, great!
If not, we won’t leave you alone.
We will steal your door
Or maybe your threshold or
Your wife who is sitting indoors.
She’s small. We’ll carry her easily.

Would you give us something? Could you give us something big?
Open up, open the door to the swallow.
We aren’t old men, but little kids.”

ἦλθ᾿ ἦλθε χελιδὼν
καλὰς ὥρας ἄγουσα
καὶ καλοὺς ἐνιαυτούς,
ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκά
κἀπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα.
παλάθαν οὐ προκυκλεῖς
ἐκ πίονος οἴκου
οἴνου τε δέπαστρον
τυροῦ τε κάνυστρον
καὶ πυρῶν; ἁ χελιδών
καὶ λεκιθίταν οὐκ ἀπωθεῖται.
πότερ᾿ ἀπίωμες ἢ λαβώμεθα;
εἰ μέν τι δώσεις· εἰ δὲ μή, οὐκ ἐάσομες·
ἢ τὰν θύραν φέρωμες;ἢ τὸ ὑπέρθυρον
ἢ τὰν γυναῖκα τὰν ἔσω καθημέναν·
μικρὰ μέν ἐστι, ῥᾳδίως νιν οἴσομες.
ἂν δή τι φέρῃς, μέγα δή τι φέροις·
ἄνοιγ᾿ ἄνοιγε τὰν θύραν χελιδόνι·
οὐ γὰρ γέροντές ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ παιδία.

A close up of a swallow sitting on a twig

The Rise and Fall of Republican Rome as Stages in a Life

Seneca the Elder, Historical Fragments, 1 [=Lactant. Inst. Div. 7.15.14]

“Seneca outlined the periods of Roman history in “life-stages”. The first was her infancy under the king Romulus, who parented Rome and educated her. Then there followed a childhood under various kings thanks to whom the city grew and was shaped by many practices and institutions. Then, while Tarquin was king and Rome began to become more adult, it could not endure servitude and, once the yoke of arrogant rule was thrown off, preferred to heed laws instead of kings.

Once the Roman adolescence ended with the close of the Punic war,  it began to show the full strength of adulthood. For, when Carthage was subdued, that city which was an ancient rival for power, Rome extended her hands over the whole earth, both land and sea until every king and nation had bent to her power.

But, since there was no reason left for wars, Rome began to use her strengths poorly and wore herself out. This was the first step of old age: when Rome was wounded by civil wars and suffering from internal evil, she returned again to the practice of individual rule, as if she had devolved into a second infancy. Thus she lost the freedom which she defended when Brutus was its agent and champion and grew weak in old age, as if she had not the strength to support herself unless she could use the ‘cane’ of kings.”

Seneca Romanae urbis tempora distribuit in aetates; primam enim dixit infantiam sub rege Romulo fuisse, a quo et genita et quasi educata sit Roma, deinde pueritiam sub ceteris regibus, a quibus et aucta sit et disciplinis pluribus institutisque formata. At vero Tarquinio regnante, cum iam quasi adulta esse coepisset, servitium non tulisse, et reiecto superbae dominationis iugo maluisse legibus obtemperare quam regibus, cumque esset adulescentia eius fine Punici belli terminata, tum denique confirmatis viribus coepisse iuvenescere. Sublata enim Carthagine, quae diu aemula imperii fuit, manus suas in totum orbem terra marique porrexit, donec regibus cunctis et nationibus imperio subiugatis, cum iam bellorum materia deficeret, viribus suis male uteretur, quibus se ipsa confecit. Haec fuit prima eius senectus, cum bellis lacerata civilibus atque intestino malo pressa rursus ad regimen singularis imperii recidit quasi ad alteram infantiam revoluta. Amissa enim libertate, quam Bruto duce et auctore defenderat, ita consenuit tamquam sustentare se ipsa non valeret nisi adminiculo regentium uteretur.

Bust of an elderly Roman man, marble 40BC, Albertinum, Dresden

Poets, Hanging out with Kings

Sud.  Σ 439 “Simonides”

“Simonides, the son of Leoprepes, a citizen of Ioulos on the Island Keos. A lyric poet from the same time period as Stesichoris. He was called Melikertes because of his sweetness. He is also the one who founded the art of mnemonics. In addition to this, he invented long vowels, double consonants, and the third note on the lure. He was born during the 56th Olympiad (c. 556 BCE_ and lived into the 78th (468 BCE). 89 nine years altogether. He wrote in the Doric dialect, “The Kingdom of Kambyses and Darius” as well as “The Sea Battle Against Xerxes” and “The Battle at Artemisium” in elegiac verse. He added in lyric form, “The Sea Battle at Salamis” as well as dirges, eulogies, epigrams, paeans, tragedy and other things. This Simonides had a good memory…”

Σιμωνίδης, Λεωπρεποῦς, Ἰουλιήτης τῆς ἐν Κέῳ τῇ νήσῳ πόλεως, λυρικός, μετὰ Στησίχορον τοῖς χρόνοις· ὃς ἐπεκλήθη Μελικέρτης διὰ τὸ ἡδύ. καὶ τὴν μνημονικὴν δὲ τέχνην εὗρεν οὗτος· προσεξεῦρε δὲ καὶ τὰ μακρὰ τῶν στοιχείων καὶ διπλᾶ καὶ τῇ λύρᾳ τὸν τρίτον φθόγγον. γέγονε δ᾿ ἐπὶ τῆς πεντηκοστῆς ἕκτης ὀλυμπιάδος, οἱ δὲ ξβ΄ γεγράφασι. καὶ παρέτεινε μέχρι τῆς οη΄, βιοὺς ἔτη πθ΄. καὶ γέγραπται αὐτῷ Δωρίδι διαλέκτῳ †ἡ Καμβύσου καὶ Δαρείου βασιλεία καὶ Ξέρξου ναυμαχία καὶ† ἡ ἐπ᾿ Ἀρτεμισίῳ ναυμαχία, δι᾿ ἐλεγείας· ἡ δ᾿ ἐν Σαλαμῖνι μελικῶς· θρῆνοι, ἐγκώμια, πιγράμματα, παιᾶνες καὶ τραγῳδίαι καὶ ἄλλα. οὗτος ὁ Σιμωνίδης μνημονικός τις ἦν, εἴπερ τις ἄλλος . . .

Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, Ath. Pol. 18. 1

“Because of their reputations and their ages, Hipparchus and Hippias were in power, yet because Hippias was older and more political by nature as well as sensible, he oversaw the government. Hipparchus was more childish, lustful, and a devotee of the arts. He is the one who summoned Anakreon, Simonides, and the other poets to Athens.”

ἦσαν δὲ κύριοι μὲν τῶν πραγμάτων διὰ τὰ ἀξιώματα καὶ διὰ τὰς ἡλικίας Ἵππαρχος καὶ Ἱππίας, πρεσβύτερος δὲ ὢν ὁ Ἱππίας καὶ τῇ φύσει πολιτικὸς καὶ ἔμφρων ἐπεστάται τῆς ἀρχῆς. ὁ δὲ Ἵππαρχος παιδιώδης καὶ ἐρωτικὸς καὶ φιλόμουσος ἦν (καὶ τοὺς περὶ Ἀνακρέοντα καὶ Σιμωνίδην καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ποιητὰς οὗτος ἦν ὁ μεταπεμπόμενος) . . .

Pausanias. 1. 2. 3

“At that time, poets took up residence in the halls of kings as earlier Anacreon stated with Polycrates the tyrant of Samos and Aeschylus and Simonides ended up going to Hiero of Syracuse.”

συνῆσαν δὲ ἄρα καὶ τότε τοῖς βασιλεῦσι ποιηταὶ καὶ πρότερον ἔτι καὶ Πολυκράτει Σάμου τυραννοῦντι Ἀνακρέων παρῆν καὶ ἐς Συρακούσας πρὸς Ἱέρωνα Αἰσχύλος καὶ Σιμωνίδης ἐστάλησαν.

Athenaeus, Deipnoshopists 14.646de

“Simonides was truly cheap and eager for profit, as Khamaileon notes. When he went to Syracuse and Hiero would send him daily gifts, Simonides would sell of most of it and put aside a little bit for himself. When he was asked the reason for this, he said “So that Hiero’s excess and my constraint are clear to all.”

ὄντως δ᾿ ἦν ὡς ἀληθῶς κίμβιξ ὁ Σιμωνίδης καὶ αἰσχροκερδής, ὡς Χαμαιλέων φησιν ἐν Συρακούσαις γοῦν τοῦ Ἱέρωνος ἀποστέλλοντος αὐτῷ τὰ καθ᾿ ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς πωλῶν τὰ πλείω ὁ Σιμωνίδης τῶν παρ᾿ ἐκείνου πεμπομένων ἑαυτῷ μικρὸν μέρος ἀπετίθετο. ἐρομένου δέ τινος τὴν αἰτίαν· ὅπως, εἶπεν, ἥ τε Ἱέρωνος μεγαλοπρέπεια καταφανὴς ᾖ καὶ ἡ ἐμὴ κοσμιότης.

A painting of a group of people in a vicrtory procession at Olympia. There is a chariot with a singer carrying a lyre
James Barry, Crowning the Victors at Olympia – Hiero of Syracuse and victors, c. 1780

 

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Aristophanes, Assemblywomen 363-371

“Who can get a doctor for me and which one?
Who is an expert in the art of assholes?
Is it Amunôn? Perhaps he will decline.
Have someone call Antisthenes by any means.
For this man knows why an asshole wants
To shit thanks to the groaning.
Queen Eleithuia, don’t you ignore me
When I am breaking but all stopped up,
Don’t let me be the comic chamberpot!”

τίς ἂν οὖν ἰατρόν μοι μετέλθοι, καὶ τίνα;
τίς τῶν καταπρώκτων δεινός ἐστι τὴν τέχνην;
ἆρ᾿ οἶδ᾿ Ἀμύνων; ἀλλ᾿ ἴσως ἀρνήσεται.
Ἀντισθένη τις καλεσάτω πάσῃ τέχνῃ·
οὗτος γὰρ ἁνὴρ ἕνεκά γε στεναγμάτων
οἶδεν τί πρωκτὸς βούλεται χεζητιῶν.
ὦ πότνι᾿ Ἱλείθυα μή με περιίδῃς
διαρραγέντα μηδὲ βεβαλανωμένον,
ἵνα μὴ γένωμαι σκωραμὶς κωμῳδική.

By Autor: Dr.Rudolf Schandalik. – Own work Eigenes Foto, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=977342

Of Songs and Sigma Stigma

P. Oxy. 1604 (13, 1919) = Strabo 10.3.13 + Dion. Hal. de comp. verb. 14 + Athen. 10.455BC

“Pindar, in the Dithyramb that begins “in ancient times”, mentions other previous songs to Dionysus from ancient times and later, and then changes subjects. He says “Great mother, the crashing of tambourines are ready to start. And there are also castanets to sound, and torches underneath the pale pine trees.

Dionysus in his work On Literary Composition, comments “The sigma is neither charming nor euphonic and is super annoying when it is used too much. The hissing sound seems more like a wild, irrational animal’s voice than a rational one. For this reason, many ancient poets tried to use the sound infrequently and in a limited way. Indeed, there are some who used to compose entire odes without sigmas at all! Pindar says this when he continues:

Before that time the dithryamb
Song slid along a straight path and
People sensed the letter san as suspect

Athenaeus has “When it comes to Pindar’s asigmatic ode, Clearchus claims that he composed the following, putting it in some kind of a problem in lyric poetry, since many had mocked him for not avoiding the letter because it was difficult and it made him look bad. People should keep this in mind when they consider those who criticize the asigmatic Ode by Lasos of Hermione called Centaurs or the asigmatic hymn to Demeter of Hermione also by Lasos.

P. Oxy. 1604 (13, 1919). Strabo 10.3.13

Πίνδαρος ἐν τῷ διθυράμβῳ οὗ ἡ ἀρχή· πρὶν διθυράμβων, μνησθεὶς τῶν περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον ὕμνων τῶν τε παλαιῶν καὶ τῶν ὕστερον, μεταβὰς ἀπὸ τούτων φησί· σοὶ μὲν κατάρχειν, μᾶτερ μεγάλα, πάρα ῥόμβοι κυμβάλων· ἐν δὲ καχλάδων κρόταλ᾿, αἰθομένα τε δᾲς ὑπὸ ξανθαῖσι πεύκαις.

Dion. Hal. de comp. verb. 14 ἄχαρι δὲ καὶ ἀηδὲς τὸ σ καὶ πλεονάσαν σφόδρα λυπεῖ· θηριώδους γὰρ καὶ ἀλόγου μᾶλλον ἢ λογικῆς ἐφάπτεσθαι δοκεῖ φωνῆς ὁ συριγμός· τῶν γοῦν παλαιῶν τινες σπανίως ἐχρῶντο αὐτῷ καὶ πεφυλαγμένως, εἰσὶ δ᾿ οἳ καὶ ἀσίγμους ὅλας ᾠδὰς ἐποίουν· δηλοῖ δὲ τοῦτο καὶ Πίνδαρος ἐν οἷς φησι· μὲν ἀνθρώποι:

πρὶν μὲν εἷρπε σχοινοτένειά τ᾿ ἀοιδὰ διθυράμβω
καὶ τὸ σὰν κίβδηλον ἀνθρώποις.1.

Athen. 10.455BC Πίνδαρος δὲ πρὸς τὴν ἀσιγμοποιηθεῖσαν ᾠδήν, ὡς ὁ αὐτός φησι Κλέαρχος, οἱονεὶ γρίφου τινὸς ἐν μελοποιίᾳ προβληθέντος, ὡς πολλῶν τούτῳ προσκρουόντων διὰ τὸ ἀδύνατον εἶναι ἀποσχέσθαι τοῦ σίγμα καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ δοκιμάζειν, ἐποίησε· πρὶν μὲν ἀνθρώποις. ταῦτα σημειώσαιτ᾿ ἄν τις πρὸς τοὺς νοθεύοντας Λάσου τοῦ Ἑρμιονέως τὴν ἄσιγμον ᾠδήν, ἥτις ἐπιγράφεται Κένταυροι. καὶ ὁ εἰς τὴν Δήμητρα δὲ τὴν ἐν Ἑρμιόνῃ ποιηθεὶς τῷ Λάσῳ ὕμνος ἄσιγμός ἐστιν.

black and white picture of a snake with an s shape
ssssserioussss problemsssss

Souls Burning for Censure: Sallust Advises Caesar

Sallust, First Letter to Caesar 8-10

I have offered you as briefly as possible what things I think are necessary for our nation and your glory. It does not seem any worse to say a few things now about what I have accomplished here.

Most mortals possess—or pretend to possess—enough intelligence to make judgments. But, in truth, everyone’s soul burns to criticize the words and deeds of others, even though their mouth and tongue are not large and quick enough to produces the words contemplated in their hearts.

It causes me no grief to be subject to these men—no, it would hurt more to stay quiet. For whether you persist on this path or another one, I have spoken and offered help in a manly way. All that is left is to hope that the immortal gods smile on what you do and allow it to turn out well.

Quae rei publicae necessaria tibique gloriosa ratus sum, quam paucissimis apsolvi. Non peius videtur pauca nunc de facto meo disserere. Plerique mortales ad iudicandum satis ingenii habent aut simulant; verum enim ad reprehendunda aliena facta aut dicta ardet omnibus animus, vix satis apertum os aut lingua prompta videtur quae meditata pectore evolvat. Quibus me subiectum haud paenitet, magis reticuisse pigeret. Nam sive hac seu meliore alia via perges, a me quidem pro virili parte dictum et adiutum fuerit. Relicuum est optare uti quae tibi placuerint ea di immortales adprobent beneque evenire sinant.

From Wikipedia

Kleptophilosopher!

Heraclitus, Homeric Problems 18.1

“The rational part of the soul, which is established in the head, [Plato] made the charioteer of the whole, when he says this (Tim. 90a2-5):

Concerning the most lordly part of our soul, we should concern of its form like this: God has granted to each of us that very spirit which we say lives among us at the highest part of our body, to raise us from the earth closer to our relative, heaven, since we are not an earth-bound growth but a heavenly creature.

Plato sprinkles these things into his own dialogues from the Homeric epics as if drawing from a spring.”

Τὸ μέντοι λογικὸν μέρος τῆς ψυχῆς, ὃ ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ καθίδρυτο, τῶν ὅλων πεποίηκεν ἡνίοχον οὑτωσὶ λέγων·

Περὶ δὲ τοῦ κυριωτάτου παρ’ ἡμῖν ψυχῆς εἴδους δια-
νοεῖσθαι δεῖ τῇδε, ὡς ἄρα αὐτὸ δαίμονα θεὸς ἑκάστῳ δέδωκε,
τοῦτο ὃ δὴ φαμὲν οἰκεῖν μὲν ἡμῶν ἐπ’ ἄκρῳ τῷ σώματι,
πρὸς δὲ τὴν ἐν οὐρανῷ ξυγγένειαν ἀπὸ γῆς ἡμᾶς αἴρειν
ὡς ὄντας φυτὸν οὐκ ἐπίγειον, ἀλλ’ οὐράνιον.

Ταῦτα τοίνυν ὥσπερ ἐκ πηγῆς τῶν ῾Ομηρικῶν ἐπῶν εἰς τοὺς ἰδίους διαλόγους ὁ Πλάτων μετήρδευσεν.

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