Fragmentary Friday Finale: Theognis on the Evil Man’s Justice

Theognis, 279-282

“It is fitting that an evil man have an evil understanding of justice
And no concern for any criticism to come.
For a wicked man many crimes are ready,
And he thinks that everything he does is good.”

εἰκὸς τὸν κακὸν ἄνδρα κακῶς τὰ δίκαια νομίζειν,
μηδεμίαν κατόπισθ᾿ ἁζόμενον νέμεσιν·
δειλῷ γάρ τ᾿ ἀπάλαμνα βροτῷ πάρα πόλλ᾿ἀνελέσθαι
πὰρ ποδός, ἡγεῖσθαί θ᾿ ὡς καλὰ πάντα τιθεῖ.

Theognis, 319-322

“Kurnos, a good man’s judgment is always firm
And he is constant in both bad times and good ones.
But if a god grants life and wealth to a wicked man,
He cannot refrain from evil because of his stupidity.”

Κύρν᾿, ἀγαθὸς μὲν ἀνὴρ γνώμην ἔχει ἔμπεδον αἰεί,
τολμᾷ δ᾿ ἔν τε κακοῖς κείμενος ἔν τ᾿ ἀγαθοῖς·
εἰ δὲ θεὸς κακῷ ἀνδρὶ βίον καὶ πλοῦτον ὀπάσσῃ,
ἀφραίνων κακίην οὐ δύναται κατέχειν.

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