An Unmarried, Childless Corpse

IC I xxii 58  Crete, 2nd or 2rd Century CE

“Kratinos, the Son of Zôpuros

This dust holds Kratinos the son of Zôpuros, Traveler,
A child who brought the least pain to all mortals
And when he was just 18 years old he was killed
By a strong disease and went to the Hagesilan home.

You left groans and griefs for you mother and will not return,
Nor will they be diminished by your marriage [?]
But Sôsitô mourned while weeping much with her kin
When she saw your unmarried and childless corpse.

O toilsome daughter Aphrodisia, what kind of a child
You raised in your home! Chance did not allot a fate
But he could have lived enough, Zeus, with faith….
Of Zôpuros….”

Κρατῖνος Ζωπύρου.
Ζωπύρου ἅδε Κρατῖνον ἔχει κόνις, ὦ παροδῖτ[α],
παῖδα τὸν ἐν θνατοῖς πᾶσιν ἀλυπότατον
ὀκτὼ καὶ δεχέτης παρεὼν κρατερᾶς ὑπὸ νούσω

ἦλθ’ εἰς Ἁγεσίλα δῶμα βιαζόμενος,
ματρὶ λιπὼν στεναχὰς καὶ πένθεα κοὐκ ἐπανῆλ[θ]ες
οὔτε γάμοισι τεοῖς οἱ τυτθηνάμενοι·
πολλὰ δὲ ὀδυρομένη σὺν ὁμαίμοις ἐστενάχησε
Σωσιτὼ ὡς ἄγαμον κἄτεκνον εἶδε νέκυν.

ὦ θύγατερ πολύμοχθε Ἀφροδισία, οἶον ἔθραψας
παῖδα δόμοις· μοῖρα̣[ν δ’] ο̣[ὐ]κ’ ἐπέ[κλω]σε Τύχη,
ἀλ’ ἱκανῶς γίνοιτο, ὦ Ζεῦ, πίστει εσδ̣․․ε̣․ελλον
Ζωπύρου [— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

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Persephone with Hermes

Out of the Smoke, Into the Fire: Some More Greek Proverbs

This week lots of people are graduating. Here are some proverbs for life changes and mistakes.

Diogenianus, 8.45

“When I fled the smoke, I fell into the fire”:  [this proverb is applied] to those who flee rather minor troubles only to fall upon greater ones.

Τὸν καπνὸν φεύγων, εἰς τὸ πῦρ ἐνέπεσον: ἐπὶ τῶν τὰ μικρὰ τῶν δεινῶν φευγόντων, καὶ εἰς μείζονα δεινὰ ἐμπιπτόντων.

 

Arsenius 4.23f

“It is strange that one who pursues honors avoids the hard work honors come from”

῎Ατοπόν ἐστι διώκοντα τὰς τιμὰς φεύγειν τοὺς πόνους, δι’ ὧν αἱ τιμαί.

 

Michael Apostolios, 11.15

“You ate some lotus”: [this proverb is applied to those] who are forgetful of things in the household and are slow in matters of hospitality. It is based on the lotus which imbues one who eats it with forgetfulness.”

Λωτοῦ ἔφαγες: ἐπὶ τῶν σχόντων λήθην τῶν οἴκοι, καὶ βραδυνόντων ἐπὶ ξένης. ἔστι δὲ πόα τὸ λωτὸν, λήθην ἐμποιοῦν τῷ φαγόντι.

 

Arsenius 3.19a

“The man who flees will also fight again”: [this proverb is applied] to those who face a doubtful victory.

᾿Ανὴρ ὁ φεύγων καὶ πάλιν μαχήσεται: ἐπὶ τῶν ἑτεραλκεῖ νίκῃ χρωμένων ταχθείη.

 

Michael Apostolios 1.26

“Agamemnon’s sacrifice”: [a proverb] applied to the difficult to persuade and the stubborn. For when Agamemnon was making a sacrifice, the bull was scarcely caught after it fled.” Or, it is because Agamemnon wanted to sacrifice his daughter. And she fled.”

᾿Αγαμέμνονος θυσία: ἐπὶ τῶν δυσπειθῶν καὶ σκληρῶν. θύοντος γὰρ ᾿Αγαμέμνονος ὁ βοῦς φυγὼν μόλις ἐλήφθη. ῍Η ὅτι τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἐβούλετο ᾿Αγαμέμνων θυσιάσαι θυγατέρα· ἣ δ’ ἔφυγε.

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Illuminated Manuscript – The Hague, KB, 76 F 13, f. 12v, XIV cent., France

Learning From Students in the Classroom

Brandeis University Commencement is today. We say farewell to our graduating students. And now is a time for my confession….

Solon, fr. 18

“I grow old, always learning many things.”

γηράσκω δ’ αἰεὶ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος·

Kim Stanley Robinson The Years of Rice and Salt (2003: 758)

“Over time, Bao came to understand that teaching too was a kind of reincarnation, in that years passed and students came and went, new young people all the time, but always the same age, taking the same class; the class under the oak trees, reincarnated. He began to enjoy that aspect of it. He would start the first class by saying, “Look, here we are again.” They never knew what to make of it; same response, every time.

He learned, among other things, that teaching was the most rigorous form of learning. He learned to learn more from his students than they did from him; like so many other things, it was the reverse from what it seemed to be, and colleges existed to bring together groups of young people to teach some chosen few of their elders the things that they knew about life, that the old teachers had been in danger of forgetting.”

Seneca, Moral Epistles 76.3-5

“People of every age enter this classroom. “Do we grow old only to follow the young?” When I go into the theater as an old man and I am drawn to the racetrack and no fight is finished without me, shall I be embarrassed to go to a philosopher?

You must learn as long as you are ignorant—if we may trust the proverb, as long as you live. And nothing is more fit to the present than this: as long as you live you must learn how to live. Nevertheless, there is still something which I teach there. You ask, what may I teach? That an old man must learn too.”

Omnis aetatis homines haec schola admittit. “In hoc senescamus, ut iuvenes sequamur?” In theatrum senex ibo et in circum deferar et nullum par sine me depugnabit ad philosophum ire erubescam?

Tamdiu discendum est, quamdiu nescias; si proverbio credimus, quamdiu vivas. Nec ulli hoc rei magis convenit quam huic: tamdiu discendum est, quemadmodum vivas, quamdiu vivas. Ego tamen illic aliquid et doceo. Quaeris, quid doceam? Etiam seni esse discendum.

Seneca, Moral Epistles 7.8-9

“Both habits, moreover, should be avoided. Don’t imitate bad people, because there are many of them, nor hate the many, because you aren’t like them. Take shelter in yourself, whenever you can. Spend time with people who will make you a better person. Embrace those whom you can make better. Such improvement is a partnership, for people learn while they teach.”

Utrumque autem devitandum est; neve similis malis fias, quia multi sunt, neve inimicus multis, quia dissimiles sunt. Recede in te ipsum, quantum potes. Cum his versare, qui te meliorem facturi sunt. Illos admitte, quos tu potes facere meliores. Mutuo ista fiunt, et homines, dum docent, discunt.

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Evil Words Lead to Evil Deeds

Basil the Great, to Young Men 5

“For growing comfortable with wicked words is a kind of path towards wicked deeds. For this reason, we must defend the soul with all care, just in case we overlook something of the worse nature in accepting pleasure from words, as those who receive poisons with honey.

Therefore, we will not praise the poets when they slander, mock, or show people lusting or drunk, or when they characterize happiness with a full table or corrupting songs. And we shall pay the least attention to their words about he gods, especially when they describe them as being many in number and in discord with each other. For in their poems, brothers war with brothers, parents fight with children, and the children have war without truce against their parents. We will leave to the stage performers those adulterous acts of the gods, their lusts and sex out in the open, and especially those of the highest and best of all, Zeus, how they tell it, those stories someone would blush even if they were telling them about animals!”

ἡ γὰρ πρὸς τοὺς φαύλους τῶν λόγων συνήθεια, ὁδός τίς ἐστιν ἐπὶ τὰ πράγματα. διὸ δὴ πάσῃ φυλακῇ τὴν ψυχὴν τηρητέον, μὴ διὰ τῆς τῶν λόγων ἡδονῆς παραδεξάμενοί τι λάθωμεν τῶν χειρόνων, ὥσπερ οἱ τὰ δηλητήρια μετὰ τοῦ μέλιτος προσιέμενοι, οὐ τοίνυν ἐπαινεσόμεθα τοὺς ποιητὰς οὐ λοιδορουμένους, οὐ σκώπτοντας, οὐκ ἐρῶντας ἢ μεθύοντας μιμουμένους, οὐχ ὅταν τραπέζῃ πληθούσῃ καὶ ᾠδαῖς ἀνειμέναις τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν ὁρίζωνται.πάντων δὲ ἥκιστα περὶ θεῶν τι διαλεγομένοις προσέξομεν, καὶ μάλισθ᾿ ὅταν ὡς περὶ πολλῶν τε αὐτῶν διεξίωσι καὶ τούτων οὐδὲ ὁμονοούντων. ἀδελφὸς γὰρ δὴ παρ᾿ ἐκείνοις διαστασιάζει πρὸς ἀδελφὸν καὶ γονεὺς πρὸς παῖδας καὶ τούτοις αὖθις πρὸς τοὺς τεκόντας πόλεμός ἐστιν ἀκήρυκτος. μοιχείας δὲ θεῶν καὶ ἔρωτας καὶ μίξεις ἀναφανδόν, καὶ ταῦτάς γε μάλιστα τοῦ κορυφαίου πάντων καὶ ὑπάτου Διός, ὡς αὐτοὶ λέγουσιν, ἃ κἂν περὶ βοσκημάτων τις λέγων ἐρυθριάσειε, τοῖς ἐπὶ σκηνῆς καταλείψομεν.

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The Genesis of that Immortal Lexicon

Henry L. Thompson: Henry George Liddell, A Memoir

“There is, however, a tradition that the authors were first encouraged to their task by the suggestion of William Sewell, then Fellow of Exeter and a leading Oxford Tutor, known afterwards as Founder and third Warden of Radley College. Sewell is reported to have met Liddell at a gathering of some Essay Club in Oxford, at which the subject of Greek Lexicography was discussed, and to have urged him to undertake the task of compiling a Greek-English Lexicon. Undoubtedly Sewell was well able to judge of the ability of Liddell and Scott to perform such a work, for he had but lately examined them both for their Degree: and the need of a new Lexicon was universally acknowledged. It is certain that Gaisford gave the writers constant encouragement: and his own example would have been a powerful incentive to the two young Students of Christ Church. In a letter to Vaughan Liddell writes:

‘Sewell thinks the Oxford mind is running too much to pure Theology: if you think so too, and also like him regret it, you will be glad to hear that some of us are — in all likelihood — about to close an engagement with Talboys for a Lexicon founded chiefly on Passow; indeed I dare say it will be nearly a translation. This sentence is rather arrogant, for the “some of us,” after all, is only Scott and myself. At present you need say nothing about it. The Dean encourages the project very much, and has given us a number of valuable hints.’

It is indeed a matter of surprise that such a work had not already been done. We can scarcely understand how — without some such help — the average student in those days was able to fight his way through Greek authors. Till a very few years previously, there had been no such book as a Greek-English Lexicon; Greek was interpreted to the English reader only through the medium of the Latin tongue. One can still remember Schrevelius, Hederic, and Scapula as the ultimate authorities at school; and formidable volumes they were. Some poor attempts had been recently made to provide a Greek-English Lexicon by Donnegan, Dunbar, and Giles; but none of these books was at all adequate to the requirements of scholars: they were unscientific in the treatment of words, and suffered from lack of methodical arrangement, and redundancy of English equivalents; or else from over-brevity. In Germany, however, a better type of Lexicon had been published by F. Passow, based upon the profound work of his elder colleague Schneider. Schneider, who was Professor and Chief Librarian at Breslau, had, at the beginning of the century, issued a Greek-German Lexicon, which he subsequently enlarged and improved. This became the standard work in Germany. It was a monument of industry and learning; but it suffered from lack of methodical arrangement. It was reserved for Passow, a pupil of Jacobs and Hermann, and himself a Professor at Breslau, to make use of the materials provided by Schneider, and to exhibit them in orderly and instructive arrangement.

‘His leading principle was to draw out, wherever it was possible, a kind of biographical history of each word, to give its different meanings in an almost chronological order, to cite always the earliest author in which a word is found — thus ascertaining, as nearly as may be, its original signification — and then to trace it downwards, according as it might vary in sense and construction, through subsequent writers.’

In order to carry out this plan, Passow spent his first efforts upon Homer and Hesiod, and in subsequent editions added an examination of the Ionic prose of Herodotus; but his early death in 1833, at the age of forty-six, prevented the completion of a wider undertaking.

It was upon this work of Passow that the new Oxford Lexicon was avowedly based: and in the first three editions his name appeared on the title page. But from the outset a vast amount of additional work was found necessary. The Preface to the first edition is now so little known that it may be well to quote from it the authors’ description of the task which they undertook:

‘We at first thought of a translation of Passow’s work, with additions. But a little experience showed us that this would not be sufficient. Passow indeed had done all that was necessary for Homer and Hesiod, so that his work has become a regular authority in Germany for the old Epic Greek. But he had done nothing further completely. For though in the fourth edition he professes to have done for Herodotus the same as for Homer, this is not quite the case. He had done little more than use Schweighauser’s Lexicon — which is an excellent book, and leaves little of the peculiar phraseology of Herodotus unnoticed, but is very far indeed from being a complete vocabulary of the author. One of us, accordingly, undertook to read Herodotus carefully through, adding what was lacking to the margin of his Schweighauser. The other did much the same for Thucydides. And between us we have gone through the Fragments of the early Poets, Lyric, Elegiac, &c., which were not in the Poetae Minores of Gaisford; as well as those of the early Historic and Philosophic writers; and those of the Attic, Tragic, and Comic Poets, which were dispersed through Athenaeus, Stobaeus, &c. . . . But besides all our own reading and collections, we have made unfailing use of the best Lexicons and Indexes of the great Attic writers — Wellauer’s of Aeschylus, Ellendt’s of Sophocles, Beck’s of Euripides, Caravella’s of Aristophanes, Ast’s of Plato, Sturz’s of Xenophon, with Reiske’s and Mitchell’s of the Attic Orators. The reader will see by this that we have thrown our chief strength on the phraseology of the Attic writers. We have also sedulously consulted Bockh’s Index to Pindar; and for Hippocrates, who ought to be closely joined with Herodotus, we have used Foesius’ CEconomia, with the references in the Index of the Oxford Scapitla. After the Attic writers, Greek undergoes a great change; which begins to appear strongly about the time of Alexander. Aristotle’s language strikes us at once as something quite different from that of his master Plato, though the change of styles cannot be measured quite chronologically: as, for instance, Demosthenes was contemporary with Aristotle; yet his style is the purest Attic. Here, as in painting, architecture, &c., there are transition periods — the old partly surviving, the new just appearing. But the change is complete in Polybius, with the later Historic writers, and Plutarch. We have therefore not been anxious to amass authorities from these authors, though we have endeavoured to collect their peculiar words and phrases. For Aristotle, we have used Sylburg’s Indexes, and those in the Oxford editions of the Rhetoric and Ethics ; for Theophrastus, Schneider’s Index; for Polybius (of course) Schweighauser’s Lexicon; for Plutarch, Wittenbach’s Index. Attic phraseology revives more or less in Lucian; but for that reason most of his phrases have earlier examples, though in some of his works (as the Verae Historiae, Tragopodagra, Lexiphanes, &c.), many new or rare words occur. We have taken them from Geel’s Index to the edition of Hemsterhuis and Reiz. But in these, and writers of a like stamp, we have seldom been careful to add the special reference, being usually content with giving the name of the author. Another class of writers belongs to Alexandria. We have not neglected these. The reader will find the Greek of Theocritus pretty fully handled; and he will not turn in vain to seek the unusual words introduced by the learned Epic school of that city, Callimachus, Apollonius, &c., or by that wholesale coiner Lycophron. We have also been careful to notice such words as occur first, or in any unusual sense, in the Alexandrian version of the Old Testament, and in the New Testament. We must not omit to mention, that in the first part, viz., from B to K inclusive, we have been saved much labour, and have very much enriched our Lexicon, by consulting Hase and Dindorf’s new edition of Stephani Thesaurus. We only wish we could have had their assistance for the whole.’

Such was the task undertaken by two young men, who, though at the outset fairly at leisure, soon found that they were able to devote to it only those few hours of each day which could be spared from other duties.”

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Death at Eighteen Years Old

SEG 54:788 Kos, 2nd/1st Century BCE

Funerary epigram for Stibos. White marble stele with upper molding.

“Stibos, before when you were still among the living
You took pleasure delighting in many valleys in glorious hunts.
But now that you’re dead the dark earth covers over you,
Hades brought death at only eighteen years old.
But you, Kyllenian god…
Take this child at the height of his youth to the reverent dead.”

πρὶν μὲν ἐνὶ ζωοῖσιν ἔτ’ ὤν, Στίβε, πολλὰ κατ’ ἄγκη
τέρπεο γαυριόων κυδαλίμοισιν ἄγραις, vacat
νῦν δέ σε τεθνειῶτα μέλαν νέφος ἀμφικαλύπτει·
ὀκτωκαιδεχέτη μοῖραν ἐπερχόμενον vacat
5 <– ⏑ ⏑ –>ν Ἀΐδας· ἀλλ’ <ὦ> Κυλλάνιε δαῖμον, vacat
παῖδα τὸν ἀκρήβην πέμψον ἐπ’ εὐσεβέας.

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A different Epitaph

 

Demosthenes and the Price of Repentance

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 1.8

“Sotion the Peripatetic, certainly a man of decent reputation, wrote a book full of many varied investigations, which he called the ‘Horn of Amalthea,’ which has roughly the same sense as ‘Cornucopia.’ In that book we find this story written about the orator Demosthenes and the courtesan Lais. He writes: ‘Lais the Corinthian earned a great deal of money on account of the elegance and loveliness of her form, and a throng of rich and well-known men rushed to her from all of Greece, but were not admitted unless they gave her what she demanded. She was in the habit, however, of asking too much.’ Here he says that this is the origin of the old Greek adage, not every man’s vessel makes it into Corinth, because he who was unable to give to Lais what she demanded had come to her in vain.

‘Demosthenes came to her in secret and asked that she give him something of her bounty. But Lais demanded 10,000 drachmas,’ (which amounts to ten thousand denarii.) ‘Demosthenes was struck by the woman’s impudence and the greatness of the sum demanded. He was struck pale, turned away, and said as he was leaving, I would not pay so much for regret.’”

https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/images/og-demosthenes-1212.jpg

 

Sotion ex peripatetica disciplina haut sane ignobilis vir fuit. Is librum multae variaeque historiae refertum composuit eumque inscripsit keras Amaltheias. 2 Ea vox hoc ferme valet, tamquam si dicas “cornum Copiae”. In eo libro super Demosthene rhetore et Laide meretrice historia haec scripta est: “Lais” inquit “Corinthia ob elegantiam venustatemque formae grandem pecuniam demerebat, conventusque ad eam ditiorum hominum ex omni Graecia celebres erant, neque admittebatur, nisi qui dabat, quod poposcerat; poscebat autem illa nimium quantum.” Hinc ait natum esse illud frequens apud Graecos adagium: ou pantos andros es Korinthon esth’ho plous quod frustra iret Corinthum ad Laidem, qui non quiret dare, quod posceretur.  “Ad hanc ille Demosthenes clanculum adit et, ut sibi copiam sui faceret, petit. At Lais myrias drachmas poposcit”, hoc facit nummi nostratis denarium decem milia. “Tali petulantia mulieris atque pecuniae magnitudine ictus expavidusque Demosthenes avertitur et discedens “ego” inquit “paenitere tanti non emo”.