Teach Your Children Well: A Back To School Passage from Euripides

Euripides, Suppliant Women, 909-917

“Don’t be surprised by the things I have said,
Theseus, that these men dared to die in front of the walls.
For being raised well produces shame:
Everyone who has been fitted to good things is ashamed
Of becoming wicked. Bravery can be taught–
For even an infant learns to speak
And listen to things he has no understanding of.
Whatever someone learns, he wants to save
For old age. So, teach your children well.”

ἐκ τῶνδε μὴ θαύμαζε τῶν εἰρημένων,
Θησεῦ, πρὸ πύργων τούσδε τολμῆσαι θανεῖν.
τὸ γὰρ τραφῆναι μὴ κακῶς αἰδῶ φέρει·
αἰσχύνεται δὲ τἀγάθ᾿ ἀσκήσας ἀνὴρ
κακὸς γενέσθαι πᾶς τις. ἡ δ᾿ εὐανδρία
διδακτόν, εἴπερ καὶ βρέφος διδάσκεται
λέγειν ἀκούειν θ᾿ ὧν μάθησιν οὐκ ἔχει.
ἃ δ᾿ ἂν μάθῃ τις, ταῦτα σῴζεσθαι φιλεῖ
ἐς γῆρας. οὕτω παῖδας εὖ παιδεύετε.

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