A People & Their Despot

Solon Fr. 9

the power of hail and snow come from a cloud.
thunder happens from bright lightning.
and a city is brought to ruin by influential men,
while the people, because they do not know better,
fall to a despot’s subjugation.
to put one who’s been raised up high back into his place,
that’s not very easy.
so now–not later–one must reflect on these things.

ἐκ νεφέλης πέλεται χιόνος μένος ἠδὲ χαλάζης,
βροντὴ δ᾽ ἐκ λαμπρᾶς γίγνεται ἀστεροπῆς:
ἀνδρῶν δ᾽ ἐκ μεγάλων πόλις ὄλλυται, εἰς δὲ μονάρχου
δῆμος ἀϊδρείῃ δουλοσύνην ἔπεσεν.
5λίην δ᾽ ἐξάραντ᾽ οὐ ῥᾴδιόν ἐστι κατασχεῖν
ὕστερον, ἀλλ᾽ ἤδη χρὴ τάδε πάντα νοεῖν.

Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at featsofgreek.blogspot.com.

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