…Simon Knows Me: A Proverb for Our Times

From Michael Apostolios, Paroemiographer

“I know Simôn and Simôn knows me.” There were two leaders, Nikôn and Simôn. Simone overpowered him because he was a man of the worst ways and it is said that he erased all memory of Nikôn. This proverb is used for people who recognize the evil in one another.”

Οἶδα Σίμωνα καὶ Σίμων ἐμέ: δύο ἐγένοντο ἡγεμόνες, Νίκων καὶ Σίμων. ὑπερίσχυσε δὲ ὁ Σίμων κακοτροπώτατος ὢν, ὥστε καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ Νίκωνα φήμην ἀπαλεῖψαι. λεχθείη δ’ ἂν ἡ παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἀλλήλους ἐπὶ κακίᾳ γινωσκόντων.

From the Suda,  tau 293

“Telkhines: evil gods. Or jealous and harmful humans. There were two Telkhines, Simôn and Nikôn. Nikôn overpowered to erase the memory of Simôn. So, there is the proverb, “I know Simon and Simon knows me. This is used for those who recognize evil in one another.”

Τελχῖνες: πονηροὶ δαίμονες. ἢ ἄνθρωποι φθονεροὶ καὶ βάσκανοι. δύο ἐγένοντο Τελχῖνες, Σίμων καὶ Νίκων. ὑπερίσχυσε δὲ ὁ Νίκων τὴν ἐπὶ Σίμωνι φήμην ἀπαλεῖψαι. καὶ παροιμία· οἶδα Σίμωνα καὶ Σίμων ἐμέ. ἐπὶ τῶν ἀλλήλους ἐπὶ κακίᾳ γινωσκόντων.

Zenobius explains it all

“I know Simôn and Simôn knows me”: There were two leaders who were evil Telkhinians by birth—for they were making the land infertile by spraying it with water from the Styx. They were Simôn and Nikôn. Simon overpowered because he was the most evil in his ways with the result that he erased any memory of Nikôn. For this reason in the proverb they only name Simôn. The proverb is applied to those who recognize the evil in one another.”

Οἶδα Σίμωνα καὶ Σίμων ἐμέ: Τελχίνων φύσει βασκάνων ὄντων, (καὶ γὰρ τῷ τῆς Στυγὸς ὕδατι τὴν  γῆν καταῤῥαίνοντες ἄγονον ἐποίουν,) δύο ἐγένοντο ἡγεμόνες, Σίμων καὶ Νίκων. ῾Υπερίσχυε δὲ ὁ Σίμων κακοτροπώτατος ὢν, ὥστε τὴν ἐπὶ Νίκωνι φήμην ἀπαλεῖψαι. Διόπερ οἱ παροιμιαζόμενοι μόνον τὸν Σίμωνα ὀνομάζουσι. Λεχθείη δ’ ἂν ἡ παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἀλλήλους ἐπὶ κακίᾳ γινωσκόντων.

Sigma 447 [A completely different Simon]

“Simôn, Simonos: a proper name and also a proverb: “No one is more thieving that Simôn.” And Aristophanes adds that whenever [people] see Simôn, they immediately turn into wolves. He was a Sophist who took public property for his own. Simôn and Theoros and Kleonymos are perjurers. Aristophanes has, “if a thunderbolt hits perjurers, how did it not burn Simôn, or Kleônumos or Theôros?”

Σίμων, Σίμωνος: ὄνομα κύριον. καὶ παροιμία· Σίμωνος ἁρπακτικώτερος. ᾿Αριστοφάνης· ὅταν ἴδωσι Σίμωνα, λύκοι ἐξαίφνης γίνονται. σοφιστὴς δὲ ἦν, ὃς τῶν δημοσίων ἐνοσφίζετο. Σίμων καὶ Θέωρος καὶ Κλεώνυμος, οὗτοι ἐπίορκοι. ᾿Αριστοφάνης· εἴπερ βάλλει τοὺς ἐπιόρκους ὁ κεραυνός, πῶς δῆτ’ οὐχὶ Σίμων’ ἐνέπρησεν οὐδὲ Κλεώνυμον οὐδὲ Θέωρον; καί τοι σφόδρα γ’ εἰσὶν ἐπίορκοι.

Image result for trump looking at putin

This was too easy…

Zonaras 7.3 Part III – The Rape of the Sabine Women

Zonaras relates the well-known story of Romulus’ plan to increase the Roman population:

There were now many men living in the city, of whom very few were wedded to wives. So, Romulus had the idea that they could unite women to themselves. For they were just a mob who had come from difficult and undistinguished circumstances, and they were despised in their marriage suits by all of the neighboring tribes. Romulus then planned for his citizens to take wives by means of forcible seizure, so he announced that there would be a sacrifice, some games, and a religious assembly on the pretext that a strange new altar of the gods had been discovered. Many people came together for this. Romulus himself, however, sat at the front among the nobles, outfitted in a purple robe. He gave as the sign that the undertaking should commence the sudden spreading and re-fastening of his robe. Once this sign was given, the men, grabbing their swords, set out and grabbed the maiden daughters of the Sabines – not, indeed, anyone’s wife.

Πολλῶν δὲ τῇ πόλει ἐνοικισθέντων, ὧν ὀλίγοι γυναιξὶ συνεζεύγνυντο, φροντὶς τῷ ῾Ρωμύλῳ ἐγένετο ἵνα κἀκεῖνοι γυναῖκας ἑαυτοῖς συνοικίσωσι. σύγκλυδες γὰρ καὶ ἐξ ἀπόρων ὄντες καὶ ἀφανῶν, ὑπερωρῶντο πρὸς κῆδος παρὰ τῶν γειτνιώντων ἐθνῶν. βουλεύεται τοίνυν ἐξ ἁρπαγῆς λαβεῖν γυναῖκας τοὺς πολίτας αὐτοῦ, καὶ κηρύσσει θυσίαν καὶ ἀγῶνα καὶ θέαν μέλλειν τελεῖν πανηγυρικήν, ὡς βωμοῦ εὑρημένου θεοῦ καινοῦ. καὶ πολλοὶ συνῆλθον. αὐτὸς δὲ προυκάθητο μετὰ τῶν ἀρίστων, ἁλουργίδι κεκοσμημένος· δέδωκε δὲ τῷ δήμῳ τῆς ἐπιχειρήσεως σύμβολον τὴν τῆς ἁλουργίδος διάπτυξιν καὶ αὖθις ταύτης περιβολήν. οὗ γενομένου σπασάμενοι τὰ ξίφη μετὰ βοῆς ὥρμησαν καὶ ἥρπαζον τὰς θυγατέρας τῶν Σαβίνων παρθένους, οὐ μέντοι γυναῖκάς τινων

Zonaras 7.3 Part I – Romus is Murdered

Romulus and Romus abandon Alba Longa; the murder of Romus.

Romulus and Romus then gave the throne to their maternal grandfather Numitor, and to their mother they gave an honor which they judged suitable to themselves. For they did not undertake to seize power, and moreover they wished to found a city on the spot where they were nursed. When they set about the task of building the new city, there arose between the brothers a dispute about the city and who would be sovereign, and it came to blows; in this contest, Romus died. Another story has it that as Romulus was digging a trench which was to be the city enclosure, Romus now hindered the work, and now scoffed at it. At last, when Romus leapt over it as if to show how easily it could be attacked, he was killed; some say that this was at Romulus’ hands, and others aver that he was slain by some other man. For this reason, it was enacted that anyone who dared to cross the trench except by the customary paths would be condemned to death.

῾Ρωμύλος μέντοι καὶ ῾Ρῶμος τὴν τῆς ῎Αλβης ἡγεμονίαν τῷ μητροπάτορι νείμαντες, καὶ τῇ μητρὶ τιμὴν πρέπουσαν, καθ’ ἑαυτοὺς εἶναι ἔκριναν· οὔτε γὰρ ἠνείχοντο ἄρχεσθαι καὶ πόλιν ἀναστῆσαι ἔνθα προετράφησαν ἤθελον. ὡρμημένοις δὲ πρὸς τὴν τῆς πόλεως δόμησιν διαφορὰ συνέβη τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς περί τε τῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ περὶ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ διὰ μάχης ἐχώρησαν, ἐν ᾗ ὁ ῾Ρῶμος ἀπέθανεν. ἕτερος δὲ λόγος ἔχει ὡς τοῦ ῾Ρωμύλου τάφρον ἤδη ὀρύττοντος, ἣ τῆς πόλεως ἔμελλεν εἶναι προτείχισμα, πῇ μὲν ἀπεῖργε τὸ ἔργον ὁ ῾Ρῶμος, πῇ δέ γε ἐχλεύαζε· καὶ τέλος διαλλόμενον αὐτὴν ὡς εὐεπιχείρητον οἱ μὲν ῾Ρωμύλου πατάξαντος, οἱ δ’ ἑτέρου τινὸς ἱστοροῦσι πεσεῖν.ὅθεν καὶ ἐνομίσθη τὸν στρατοπέδου τάφρον τολμήσαντα διελθεῖν παρὰ τὰς συνήθεις ὁδούς, θανατοῦσθαι.

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