These Are the Insults I Know

Epistles of Phalaris, IV: To Lucinus

“You went wrong when, among the people of Leontini, you asked me those questions about my identity, my ancestors, and my birth, when I was present and able to respond to you. For, just as I know that I myself am Phalaris, son of Leodamas, an Astypalaean by birth, deprived of my homeland, the tyrant of Acragas, well-versed in war, steady to the present day, so too I know that you are Lucinus, a sodomite among boys, a pervert among children, an adulterer among women, undisciplined in law, licentious in your pleasures, idle in peace, a deserter in war; and that you will pay the price to me for your speeches and for those charges which I now level against you. If you are not taken off before, then the Leontines will give you over to me in exchange for ending the war against us.”

Οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἠρώτησας ἐν Λεοντίνοις ὡς παρόντα με καὶ δυνάμενον ἀποκρίνασθαί σοι, τίς εἰμὶ καὶ τίνων καὶ πόθεν. ἐγὼ γὰρ ὥσπερ ἐμαυτὸν οἶδα Φάλαριν Λεωδάμαντος υἱόν, ᾿Αστυπαλαιέα τὸ γένος, πατρίδος ἀπεστερημένον, τύραννον ᾿Ακραγαντίνων, ἔμπειρον πολέμων, ἀπτῶτα μέχρι τοῦ παρόντος, οὕτως οἶδα καὶ Λυκῖνον πόρνον μὲν ἐν παισί, λάγνον δ’ ἐν νέοις, μοιχὸν δ’ ἐν γυναιξίν, ἀκόλαστον δ’ ἐν νόμοις, ἀσελγῆ δ’ ἐν ἡδοναῖς, ἀργὸν δ’ ἐν εἰρήνῃ, λιποτάκτην δ’ ἐν πολέμῳ, δώσοντά μοι καὶ τῶν δημηγοριῶν καὶ τούτων ὧν ἐλέγχω σε δίκην, ἐὰν μὴ θᾶττον ἁλῷς, ἀλλ’ οὖν ὅταν ἔκδοτόν σε παραδῶσι Λεοντῖνοι, βουλόμενοι τοῦ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀπαλλαγῆναι πολέμου.

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