For one thunder-loving god on another’s special day, some quotes from our Archive about Zeus where we learn that only he is free, that he has medicine for everything and that he is truly self-aware.
“No one is free but Zeus”
ἐλεύθερος γὰρ οὔτις ἐστὶ πλὴν Διός.
This from Hermes speaking to Prometheus
… πρὸς γὰρ Διός εἰσιν ἅπαντες
ξεῖνοί τε πτωχοί τε. δόσις δ’ ὀλίγη τε φίλη τε
“All strangers and beggars are from Zeus;
Our gift to them is small but dear.”
“Only Zeus has medicine for everything”
Ζεὺς πάντων αὐτὸς φάρμακα μοῦνος ἔχει
Stobaeus, wise man, collector of things
“Know yourself” is not a hard command:
but of all the gods only Zeus can do it.
τὸ γνῶθι σαυτὸν τοῦτ’ ἔπος μὲν οὐ μέγα,
ἔργον δ’ ὅσον Ζεὺς μόνος ἐπίσταται θεῶν
The Zeus I know doesn’t seem all that self-aware…
dude from Chios)
“You would rather
seem just than act so.”
κλύειν δίκαιος μᾶλλον ἢ πρᾶξαι θέλεις
-Athena, upbraiding the Furies.
According to Aeschylus’ fragmentary
Psychagogoi, Teiresias prophesied to Odysseus that his death would come from the sea in an avarian fecal format:
<ΤΕΙΡΕΣ.> ‘ἐρρω<ι>διὸς γὰρ ὑψόθεν ποτώμενος
ὄνθω<ι> σε πλήξε<ι>, νηδύιος χειλώμασιν.
ἐκ τοῦ δ’ ἄκανθα ποντίου βοσκήματος
σήψει παλαιὸν δέρμα καὶ τριχορρυές’.
“As a heron flies on high, he will strike you with shit from his stomach’s end.
And the thorns from that watery food will rot your old and balding skin.”
may correspond to the Odyssey‘s cryptic note that “death will come from the sea”. For a great discussion, see Timothy Gantz. Early Greek Myth. 1993. 711-712.
(If only there were a vase painting.)
“You shouldn’t raise a lion cub in a city.”
οὐ χρὴ λέοντος σκύμνον ἐν πόλει τρέφειν
“It is right that the one who stays at home is really happy”
‘οἴκοι μένειν χρὴ τὸν καλῶς εὐδαίμονα’
“The man who is wise is the one who knows useful things not many.”
‘ὁ χρήσιμ’ εἰδώς, οὐχ ὁ πόλλ’ εἰδὼς σοφός’.
“Pain doesn’t affect a corpse.”
ἄλγος οὐδὲν ἅπτεται νεκροῦ
Aeschylus, Fragment 400b (
“Where the wind allows you neither to stay nor to escape.”
‘ἔνθ’ οὔτε μίμνειν ἄνεμος οὔτ’ ἐ<κ>πλεῖν ἐᾶι’.
A remnant of Aeschylus’ version of
Philoctetes. The phrase refers to the title figure’s lonely island.
“True words are simple ones.”
‘ἁπλᾶ γάρ ἐστι τῆς ἀληθείας ἔπη’.
This is from the fragmentary lost play
Judgment of the Arms which covers some of the same ground as Sophocles’ Ajax. The line, it seems, is posed against the trickier and more devious language of Odysseus. Simple words, as many know, can merely be a different rhetorical ploy…
“For the sick it is sweet to know clearly what pain remains”
τοῖς νοσοῦσί τοι γλυκὺ
τὸ λοιπὸν ἄλγος προυξεπίστασθαι τορῶς.
Sweet for the sick alone?
So says Prometheus, a titan
who knows things beforehand…