“Really, Euthêrus, it is not at all easy to find work where you won’t face some responsibility. It is hard to work at all without making some mistakes and hard still not to meet silly criticism even when you haven’t screwed up. I’d be surprised if you said that you end up complaint-free from those you work for currently.
Therefore, you should try to avoid complainers and cultivate people of good judgement. Take on tasks you’re capable of doing and avoid those you’re not. Whatever you do, take care to do your best and do it willingly. I think you’ll find yourself least criticized this way and that you will find solution for your trouble, you will live in great east and safety, and save enough for retirement.
“Menander addresses those who believe that some kind of life is singularly free of pain, as some people think about the life of farmers, or of bachelors, or of kings. He reminds rightly (Men. Fr. 281):
‘I once thought, Phanias, that rich men,
who are not pressed to borrow money, do not groan
During the night, don’t turn over and over mumbling
“Alas”, and are able to sleep a sweet and
He then proceeds to describe how he has noted that the wealthy suffer the same things as the poor:
‘Is there some relation between life and pain?
Pain abides in a rich life; it’s in a famous one,
It grows old alongside a poor life too.’
But just as, while sailing, cowards and the sick believe that they would fare more easily if they moved from a skiff to a larger boat, or again if they went from there to a trireme, they achieve nothing since they carry their sickness and their cowardice with them. Changing your lifestyle doesn’t separate pains and troubles from the soul. These things come from inexperience in affairs, lack of reason, and an inability or ignorance concerning approaching the present circumstances correctly.
These things storm around the rich and poor; they annoy the married and unmarried too. Men avoid appearing in public because of these things but then cannot endure their peaceful life; because of these things, men pursue advancement in the seats of power but when they get there, they are immediately bored.”
Listen, there is not a single species of Strife. On the earth there are actually two. The perceptive person would applaud one, but the other is reprehensible. Each has a spirit thoroughly distinct from the other. One always propagates evil war and battle, being merciless. No one has affection for this oppressive Strife, but compelled by the will of the gods, people honor her.
Still, it was the other Strife dark Night birthed first. The son of Cronos, seated on high in the ether where he dwells, worked her into the roots of the earth. She’s the gentler one with mankind, and yet this Strife motivates even a totally good-for-nothing man to work. It’s on account of this Strife that when someone habitually sees a rich man who is still desirous of work–eager to plow and plant and set his house in order–then neighbor becomes envious of neighbor and hurries after riches of his own.
Therefore, this Strife is good for mankind: potter begrudges potter; carpenter feels rancor toward carpenter; beggar envies beggar; and, singer is jealous of singer.
The Suda has the following anecdote which seems to be taken and altered from Diogenes Laertius or something similar.
“thunderous-mouth-milling”: Eubulides says this “the eristic, asking his horn questions and discombobulating the orators with his falsely-intellectual arguments, taking with him the “thunderous-mouth-milling” of Demosthenes.
ῥομβοστωμυλήθρη (lit. “thunderous-mouth-milling” (?) seems to be a misunderstanding or humorous take on ῥωποπερπερήθρη, usually translated as “braggadocio” but is more like “cheap/petty bragging” From Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers 2.10
“The eristic Euboulides, asking questions about horns
And discombobulating the speakers with his falsely-intellectual arguments
Has gone off, taking the petty self regard of Demosthenes with him
For it seems that Demosthenes was a student of Eubulides and was able to stop his problems with the letter ‘r’ because of it. Eubulides was also in conflict with Aristotle and undermined him a lot.
Socrates: “So, the politician and the art of rhetoric are also the same regarding the rest of the arts: it isn’t necessary for the speaker to know how the facts themselves stand, but he need only to have found some persuasive device so he seems to those who don’t know anything to know more than those who actually know.”
“Even though I have recorded these things faithfully, I do recognize that some things have probably escaped me. And if, although I have applied great thought and effort trying to compose a continuous and clear history of the lives of the best philosophers and rhetoricians, I did not obtain my goal, I have suffered much the same kind of thing as those who love madly and obsessively. For they, when they see the one they love and witness her overwhelming beauty in real life, they look down, too weak and dazed to gaze upon the one they desire.”
“Ah, but that poet seems to talk nonsense to me. Still, Homer’s line upsets me because, even though he is wise, he has this kind of opinion about mankind.
Response: Why is it strange? He does not claim that all human beings are terrible but that there is no creature more wretched than a human being when they are wretched, just we would say I think. For perhaps humans are not the only unlucky creatures, just as we are not the only lucky ones. But only a human is “senseless” just as only a human is “thoughtful”. Clearly, a horse can’t be unjust or immoderate and neither can a pig or a lion, just as they can’t lack culture or be illiterate.”
Augustus composed (or had composed?) his public accomplishments before his death and they were published on his mausoleum and temples soon thereafter. We have Latin and Greek versions from the Temple to Rome and Augustus in Ancyra (Modern Turkey).
“1 When I was nineteen I raised an army on my own counsel and at my own expense, with which I restored the republic, then best by the oppression of a faction, to freedom. In recognition of this, the senate enrolled me in its order with honorific decrees during the consulship of Gaius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, granting me as well the consular place in the declaration of opinion and they also gave me military command [imperium]. The senate ordered me, along with the consuls, to ensure that the Republic suffer no injury. When, in the same year, both consuls died in war, the People elected me consul and a triumvir, because I preserved the state.
2 I drove the men who murdered my father [Julius Caesar] into exile as a punishment for their crime according to legitimate legal judgments. And later when they waged war on the Republic, I defeated them twice.”
 Annos undeviginti natus exercitum privato consilio et privata impensa comparavi, per quem rem publicam a dominatione factionis oppressam in libertatem vindicavi. [Ob quae] senatus decretis honorificis in ordinem suum me adlegit, C. Pansa et A. Hirtio consulibus, consularem locum sententiae dicendae tribuens, et imperium mihi dedit. Res publica ne quid detrimenti caperet, me propraetore simul cum consulibus providere iussit. Populus autem eodem anno me consulem, cum cos. uterque bello cecidisset, et triumvirum rei publicae constituendae creavit.
Qui parentem meum trucidaverunt, eos in exilium expuli iudiciis legitimis ultus eorum facinus, et postea bellum inferentis rei publicae vici bis acie
water is best,
although gold is like fire blazing in the night:
it stands out, the most eye-catching of great-man wealth.
but if you wish to sing of the athletic games,
my dear heart, look no further than the sun for a more warming star
shining in the day through the lonely aether,
and let us not proclaim a contest greater than Olympia.
it is from there comes the famous ode encircling
the thoughts of the skillful artists
who have come to praise the son of Kronos
at the rich blessed hearth of Hieron,
the man who wields the scepter of law in sheep-rich Sicily,
plucking the best of every excellent thing,
and as such he delights in the best of music,
such as we men often play
around his welcoming table.
take the Dorian lyre from the peg
if the beauty of Pisa and Pherenicus
placed your mind under the sweetest musings
when his horse rushed along the Alpheus
giving itself to the race without need of the spur,
and it wedded victory to its master,
the horse-loving king of Syracuse!
fame shines for him in the populous colony of Lydian Pelops,
he for whom mighty Earth-bearer Poseidon lusted
when Klotho lifted him from the immaculate cauldron,
his shoulder, fitted with ivory, gleaming.
true, there are many wonders;
yet it cannot be doubted
what men say is also,
to some degree,
beyond the factual account.
stories embroidered with intricately woven falsehoods deceive.
but grace, which presents all things to mortals as pleasant,
by bestowing honor oftentimes makes even the unreliable become the trusted thing.
but, the days to come are the wisest witnesses.
it is proper for a man to speak well of the gods
as it lessens their negative judgment.
but son of Tantalus, contrary to my predecessors, I will tell you:
when your father summoned to that well-ordered feast and to dear Sipylus,
offering the gods a meal in return for theirs,
it was then that Radiant-Trident grabbed you,
overwhelmed by his soul’s desire
to carry you off on golden horses
up to the loftiest home of widely honored Zeus.
there, at a later time,
Ganymede also went to Zeus
for the same purpose.
but when you disappeared,
and the men searching hard did not fetch you to your mother,
one of the envious neighbors at once whispered
that with a knife they cut you limb from limb
into water at boil on the fire,
and around the tables,
for the last course,
they divided and ate your flesh.
impossible—for me to call any of the blessed ones gluttonous!
I will stay away from that.
privation often makes off with slanderous men.
if indeed the keepers of Olympus
honored any mortal man, it was this Tantalus.
but as he was unable to stomach his great good fortune,
for his insolence a punishment seized on the overweening man
in the form of a huge stone which his father hung over him.
always needing to swat it away from his head,
he was banished from joy.
he bore this unmanageable, ever-distressing life with its three labors—
and a fourth: for stealing from the immortals nectar and ambrosia
with which they had made him deathless,
and which he gave to his drinking companions.
if any man supposes he conceals what he’s doing from the gods,
this is why the immortals sent his son back
among the short-lived race of men again.
when nearing the age of youth’s blossoming,
the first showings of a beard covering his chin with black,
he, the son, pondered how to win marriage–
already planned by her Pisan father–
to famous Hippodameia.
drawing near the grey sea,
alone in the dark of night,
he called out to the loud-roaring Trident-Bearing One,
who then appeared, right by his foot.
he said to him: “if the beloved gifts of Cypris
end in any gratitude, Poseidon, come!
stay Oinomaos’s bronze spear;
carry me into Elis in the swiftest chariots;
and draw me close to victory.
seeing that he’s killed thirteen men (the suitors),
he’s putting off his daughter’s marriage.
the great undertaking does not possess a weak man.
but since to die is destiny for men,
why would one nurse an undistinguished old age,
idling in the shadow lacking purpose,
having no share in all that is noble?
no, this struggle will be my future.
bestow on me a pleasing success!”
thus he spoke and had not fixed on fruitless words.
indeed, honoring him,
the god bestowed a golden chariot
and untiring winged horses as well.
and so he defeated strong Oinomaos
and took the maiden as his consort.
he fathered sons striving for glory;
first in rank among men.
and now he is included in the splendid blood rites
as he reclines by the stream of the Alpheus.
his well-attended tomb is beside the altar most often visited by strangers.
the glory of Pelops shine from afar
in the racecourses of the Olympic festivals
where there are contests in swiftness of foot
and grueling efforts of strength.
for the remainder of his life the winner of the contests has sweet tranquility,
as far as games can provide.
in contrast, the highest blessing comes to all men,
all of the time in the daily course of things.
still, I’m obliged to crown that man
with the equine tune in Aeolian song.
I’m sure there isn’t some other host
experienced in noble things
and more distinguished in power (today at any rate)
to embroider in the splendid folds of hymns.
a god, being a guardian,
attends to your ambitions, Hieron.
this he has as a concern.
if, as I hope, he does not depart in a rush,
I expect to celebrate your even sweeter ambition with the swift chariot,
finding the road an ally of words as I come to the sunny hill of Kronos.
although the Muse jealously guards a most potent dart for me,
and different people are great at different things,
it is with kings the peak caps itself!
look no further.
may you walk your time on high
and may I consort with victors just as long,
far-famed for wisdom among the Hellenes everywhere.
LarryBenn as 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.