Some Fragments on Tyrants

Stobaeus 3.5.42

“Gelôn the tyrant of Sicily had a rotting-mouth. When one of his friends told him, he got angry with his wife because she hadn’t informed him. But she said, “I was just imagining that the mouth of the rest of people smelled similarly.”

Γέλων ὁ Σικελίας τύραννος σαπρόστομος ἦν. ὡς οὖν τῶν φίλων τις εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ὠργίζετο τῇ γυναικὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἐμήνυσεν αὐτῷ· ἣ δὲ ἔφη, ‘ᾤμην γὰρ καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν
ὁμοίως ὄζειν τὸ στόμα.’

Euripides, fr. 76

“See how the tyrant flees as a childless old man.
It is wrong for one who is mortal to think so much of himself.”

῾Ορᾶτε τὸν τύραννον, ὡς ἄπαις γέρων
φεύγει· φρονεῖν δὲ θνητὸν ὄντ’ οὐ χρὴ μέγα.

fr. 171

“A tyrant must please the mob.”

Δεῖ τοῖσι πολλοῖς τὸν τύραννον ἁνδάνειν.

fr. 275

“May everyone who delights in a little tyranny
or monarchy in their state perish terribly .
Freedom is a word worth everything—
then even one with little is considered to have something great.”

Κακῶς δ’ ὄλοιντο πάντες, οἳ τυραννίδι
χαίρουσιν ὀλίγῃ τ’ ἐν πόλει μοναρχίᾳ.
τοὐλεύθερον γὰρ ὄνομα παντὸς ἄξιον,
κἂν μίκρ’ ἔχῃ τις, μεγάλ’ ἔχειν νομίζεται.

More posts on tyrants.

Why democracies vote for tyrants

Differences between tyrants and kings

Etymologies for Tyrants

Tyrant Compounds

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