Con-men for Useless Wisdom: Some Poems

A few poems from the Greek Anthology

9.13 Plato the Younger

A blind man lifted on his back a cripple
One man got feet; another got eyes.

Ἄνέρα τις λιπόγυιον ὑπὲρ νώτοιο λιπαυγὴς
ἦρε, πόδας χρήσας, ὄμματα χρησάμενος


9.80 Leonidas of Alexandria

“Seers who trace the stars’ path
Go to hell! Con-men for useless wisdom.
Ignorance nurtured you, boldness birthed you
Wretches who can’t see their own infamy

Μάντιες ἀστερόεσσαν ὅσοι ζητεῖτε κέλευθον,
ἔρροιτ᾿, εἰκαίης ψευδολόγοι σοφίης.
ὑμέας ἀφροσύνη μαιώσατο, τόλμα δ᾿ ἔτικτεν,
τλήμονας, οὐδ᾿ ἰδίην εἰδότας ἀκλεΐην.


9.101 Alpheius of Mitylene

Few heroes’ countries lay still before our eyes
And those that do rise not much higher than the fields.
That’s how I came to know you, wretched Mycene
As I passed by, more alone than any goatfold,
A reminder to the shepherds. Some old man said to me
“This is the wealthy city the Kyklopes built.”

Ἡρώων ὀλίγαι μὲν ἐν ὄμμασιν, αἱ ἔτι λοιπαὶ
πατρίδες οὐ πολλῷ γ᾿ αἰπύτεραι πεδίων·
οἵην καὶ σέ, τάλαινα, παρερχόμενός γε Μυκήνην
ἔγνων, αἰπολίου παντὸς ἐρημοτέρην,
αἰπολικὸν μήνυμα· γέρων δέ τις, “Ἡ πολύχρυσος,”
εἶπεν, “Κυκλώπων τῇδ᾿ ἐπέκειτο πόλις.”


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