Sophoclean Sententiae Saturday II

Sophocles, Antigone:

“There is no sense in doing things beyond the usual measure.”

τὸ γὰρ περισσὰ πράσσειν οὐκ ἔχει νοῦν οὐδένα. [67-68]


“Zeus hates the boasts of an overweening tongue.”

Ζεὺς γὰρ μεγάλης γλώσσης κόμπους ὑπερεχθαίρει [127-128]


“It is impossible to know the spirit, thought, and mind of any man before he be versed in sovereignty and the laws.”

ἀμήχανον δὲ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς ἐκμαθεῖν ψυχήν τε καὶ φρόνημα καὶ γνώμην πρὶν ἂν

ἀρχαῖς τε καὶ νόμοισιν ἐντριβὴς φανῇ. [175-7]


“No one is so foolish that they wish to die.”

οὔκ ἔστιν οὕτω μῶρος ὃς θανεῖν ἐρᾷ. [220]


“But the profit-motive has destroyed many people in their hope for gain.”

ἀλλ᾽ ὑπ᾽ ἐλπίδων ἄνδρας τὸ κέρδος πολλάκις διώλεσεν. [221-2]


“No one loves the bearer of bad news.”

στέργει γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄγγελον κακῶν ἐπῶν. [277]


“Nothing has harmed humans more than the evil of money – money it is which destroys cities, money it is which drives people from their homes.”

οὐδὲν γὰρ ἀνθρώποισιν οἷον ἄργυρος κακὸν νόμισμ᾽ ἔβλαστε. τοῦτο καὶ πόλεις πορθεῖ, τόδ᾽ ἄνδρας ἐξανίστησιν δόμων [295-297]


“There are many wondrous things in this world, but none more wondrous than humans.”

πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ κοὐδὲν ἀνθρώπου δεινότερον πέλει. [332-3]


“A second thought proves one’s first thought false.”

ψεύδει γὰρ ἡ ‘πίνοια τὴν γνώμην [389]


“For one who lives amidst such evils as I do, how could it not be best to die?”

ὅστις γὰρ ἐν πολλοῖσιν ὡς ἐγὼ κακοῖς ζῇ, πῶς ὅδ᾽ Οὐχὶ κατθανὼν κέρδος φέρει;[464- 5]


“You don’t know how to yield to your misfortunes.”

εἴκειν δ᾽ οὐκ ἐπίσταται κακοῖς. [472]


“I hate it when someone is caught in the midst of their evil deeds and tries to gloss over them.”

μισῶ γε μέντοι χὤταν ἐν κακοῖσί τις ἁλοὺς ἔπειτα τοῦτο καλλύνειν θέλῃ. [495-496]


“But tyranny is a happy state in many ways, and the tyrant has the power to act and speak as they wish.”

ἀλλ᾽ ἡ τυραννὶς πολλά τ᾽ ἄλλ᾽ εὐδαιμονεῖ κἄξεστιν αὐτῇ δρᾶν λέγειν θ᾽ ἃ βούλεται. [506-507]


“One’s enemy does not become one’s friend when they die.”

οὔτοι ποθ᾽ οὑχθρός, οὐδ᾽ ὅταν θάνῃ, φίλος. [522]


“I do not care for the friend who loves in word alone.”

λόγοις δ᾽ ἐγὼ φιλοῦσαν οὐ στέργω φίλην. [543]


“My soul died long ago so that I could give some help to the dead.”

ἡ δ᾽ ἐμὴ ψυχὴ πάλαι τέθνηκεν, ὥστε τοῖς θανοῦσιν ὠφελεῖν. [559-60]


“Blessed are those whose lives have no taste of suffering.”

εὐδαίμονες οἷσι κακῶν ἄγευστος αἰών. [583]


“What wound is greater than a false friend?”

τί γὰρ γένοιτ᾽ ἂν ἕλκος μεῖζον ἢ φίλος κακός; [651-2]


“It is a fine thing to learn from those who speak well.”

καὶ τῶν λεγόντων εὖ καλὸν τὸ μανθάνειν. [722]


“The state which belongs to one man is no state at all.”

πόλις γὰρ οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ἥτις ἀνδρός ἐσθ᾽ ἑνός. [737]


“I will become the bride of Acheron.”

ἀλλ᾽ Ἀχέροντι νυμφεύσω. [816]


“See, you leaders of Thebes, what sorts of things I, its last princess, suffer at the hands of such men.”

λεύσσετε, Θήβης οἱ κοιρανίδαι τὴν βασιλειδᾶν μούνην λοιπήν, οἷα πρὸς οἵων ἀνδρῶν πάσχω [940-942]


“It is common to all of humanity to make mistakes.”

ἀνθρώποισι γὰρ τοῖς πᾶσι κοινόν ἐστι τοὐξαμαρτάνειν [1023-4]


“It is the sweetest thing to learn from one speaking well, if they speak profitably.”

τὸ μανθάνειν δ᾽ ἥδιστον εὖ λέγοντος, εἰ κέρδος λέγοι. [1031-2]


“The race of tyrants loves shameful profit.”

τὸ δ᾽ ἐκ τυράννων αἰσχροκέρδειαν φιλεῖ. [1056]


“But when people lose their pleasures, I do not consider this life – rather, it is just a corpse with a soul.”

τὰς γὰρ ἡδονὰς ὅταν προδῶσιν ἄνδρες, οὐ τίθημ᾽ ἐγὼ ζῆν τοῦτον, ἀλλ᾽ ἔμψυχον ἡγοῦμαι νεκρόν. [1165-7]


“The great words of the arrogant pay the penalty by suffering great blows, and teach one to reason in old age.”

μεγάλοι δὲ λόγοι μεγάλας πληγὰς τῶν ὑπεραύχων ἀποτίσαντες γήρᾳ τὸ φρονεῖν ἐδίδαξαν. [1350-1353]


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