Beyond Justice’s Realm

Euripides, Andromache 744-746

“I just let your words roll off of me:
You’re just a walking shadow who has a voice,
Incapable of doing anything other than speaking alone.”

τοὺς σοὺς δὲ μύθους ῥᾳδίως ἐγὼ φέρω·
σκιὰ γὰρ ἀντίστοιχος ὣς φωνὴν ἔχεις,
ἀδύνατος οὐδὲν ἄλλο πλὴν λέγειν μόνον.


“It is better to win without earning a bad reputation
Than to overturn justice with envy and force.
Mortals may find victory sweet at first,
But it grows dry over time
And pulls down insults on our homes.
That’s why I praise and I honor a life
Which has no power at home or in the state
Outside the realm of justice.”

κρεῖσσον δὲ νίκαν μὴ κακόδοξον ἔχειν
ἢ ξὺν φθόνῳ σφάλλειν δυνάμει τε δίκαν.
ἡδὺ μὲν γὰρ αὐτίκα τοῦτο βροτοῖσιν,
ἐν δὲ χρόνῳ τελέθει
ξηρὸν καὶ ὀνείδεσιν ἔγκειται δόμων.
ταύταν ᾔνεσα ταύταν καὶ σέβομαι βιοτάν,
μηδὲν δίκας ἔξω κράτος ἐν θαλάμοις
καὶ πόλει δύνασθαι.

Hektor and Andromache, Antonio Zucchi 1773


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