Don’t Gossip About the Gods!

Pindar, Olympian 9.21-42

“But when I set that dear city ablaze
With my burning songs,
Faster than a proud horse
Or a flying ship in every direction,
I will send my message–
If with some fate-allotted talent,
I tend the select garden of the Graces,
Because they are the ones who grant pleasure.

Men become good or wise by divine lot.
Is there any other way that Herakles
Could have swung the club in his hands
Against the trident when Poseidon faced him
Before Pylos and backed him down,

Or when Apollo pushed him back with
His silver bow, or could he have held Hades’ staff unmoved,
The one he uses to lead the bodies of those who die
Along a shallow passage?

Ah! Banish that tale from my mouth!
Mocking the gods is hateful wisdom–
Boasting at the wrong time sounds like insanity:
Don’t gossip about such things now,
But keep war and all battle away from the gods.”

ἐγὼ δέ τοι φίλαν πόλιν
μαλεραῖς ἐπιφλέγων ἀοιδαῖς,
καὶ ἀγάνορος ἵππου
θᾶσσον καὶ ναὸς ὑποπτέρου παντᾷ
ἀγγελίαν πέμψω ταύταν,
εἰ σύν τινι μοιριδίῳ παλάμᾳ
ἐξαίρετον Χαρίτων νέμομαι κᾶπον·
κεῖναι γὰρ ὤπασαν τὰ τέπρν᾿· ἀγαθοὶ
δὲ καὶ σοφοὶ κατὰ δαίμον᾿ ἄνδρες
ἐγένοντ᾿· ἐπεὶ ἀντίον
πῶς ἂν τριόδοντος Ἡ-
ρακλέης σκύταλον τίναξε χερσίν,
ἁνίκ᾿ ἀμφὶ Πύλον σταθεὶς ἤρειδε Ποσειδάν,
ἤρειδεν δέ νιν ἀργυρέῳ τόξῳ πολεμίζων
Φοῖβος, οὐδ᾿ Ἀίδας ἀκινήταν ἔχε ῥάβδον,
βρότεα σώμαθ᾿ ᾇ κατάγει κοίλαν πρὸς ἄγυιαν
θνᾳσκόντων; ἀπό μοι λόγον
τοῦτον, στόμα, ῥῖψον·
ἐπεὶ τό γε λοιδορῆσαι θεούς
ἐχθρὰ σοφία, καὶ τὸ καυχᾶσθαι παρὰ καιρόν
μανίαισιν ὑποκρέκει.
μὴ νῦν λαλάγει τὰ τοι-
αῦτ᾿· ἔα πόλεμον μάχαν τε πᾶσαν
χωρὶς ἀθανάτων·

Schol. Ad Pindar, Olympian 9. 50a

“And couldn’t have held Hades’ staff unmoved.” He used his staff just as a tool, applying no force, as with a trident or sword or spear, but he relied on its power to bewitch and ensnare the mind. For this reason people say that he also guides spirits downward. Hades was able to do nothing with the staff against Herakles thanks to its power being blunted by Zeus.

And this [goes with] the common saying, that men become good through god, ‘[since?] not even Hades could hold his staff while fighting Herakles feebly and without moving, with the very same staff he makes the bodies of men weak in the same way and leads them down into the hollow place then they’re dead.”

οὐδ’ ᾿Αίδας ἀκινήταν ἔχε ῥάβδον: τῇ ῥάβδῳ κέχρηται καθάπερ ὅπλῳ τινὶ, βίαν μὲν οὐδεμίαν παρεχομένῃ, καθάπερ ἢ τριόδους ἢ ξίφος ἢ δόρυ, ἀλλὰ δυνάμει συνεχρῆτο θελκτικῇ καὶ μαλακτικῇ τῆς ψυχῆς· ταύτῃ γοῦν φησι καὶ τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτὸν κατάγειν. ἐπὶ τοῦ ῾Ηρακλέους οὖν ὁ ῞Αιδης ἐργωδίᾳ τῆς ῥάβδου ταύτης οὐδὲν ἠδύνατο δρᾶσαι διὰ τὸ τὴν δύναμιν αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τοῦ Διὸς ἀμβλύνεσθαι. ἀπὸ κοινοῦ δὲ τὸ εἰ μὴ κατὰ δαίμονα ἄνδρες ἐγένοντο, οὐκ ἂν οὐδὲ ὁ ῞Αιδης ἀσθενῆ καὶ ἀκίνητον διαμαχόμενος ῾Ηρακλεῖ εἶχε τὴν ῥάβδον, ἐν ᾗ ῥάβδῳ τὰ τῶν CEQ ἀνδρῶν σώματα ἀσθενῆ ποιῶν οὕτως εἰς τὸν κοῖλον τόπον[τοῦ ῞Αιδου] κατάγει τῶν τελευτώντων.

Color photograph of a mall bronze tatue of middling quality. The figure has a raised club in his right hand and a lion skin in the lowered left.
Bronze Statue of Herakles, Italian, c. 2nd century BCE, MET

An Essay About How Your Words Don’t Hurt Me

Seneca, De Brevitate Vitae 26.4-6

“Some Socrates—or any other person who has similar authority or talent for these human matters—says “I am persuaded by nothing less than your opinion that I should change my life. Pour the typical abuse on me from every angle. I won’t even notice that you’re attacking me because you’re wailing just like poor little babies.”

This is what someone says who has come to wisdom, whose soul has escaped vices and calls on him to correct others not out of hatred but in order to treat them. Someone like this might say to others, “Your opinion about me affects me on your account, not mine because despising and attacking virtue is foreswearing any hope of the good. You don’t hurt me just as mortals don’t harm the gods when they destroy the altars.

Yet an evil proposition and an evil plan is obvious even when it lacks the power to harm someone. I tolerate your prattle even as Jupiter the Highest and Greatest tolerates the absurd claims of poets: one gives him wings, one gives him horns, another even depicts him as a supreme adulterer, up all night, while others show him to be mean to the other gods, unjust to men, a rapist of freeborn boys or his own relatives, and a parricide and usurper of his father’s throne.

The poets have accomplished nothing more than relieving people of their shame at doing wrong if they have truly believed the gods are like this. So, even though your words don’t harm me, I’m still warning you for your own benefit.”

“Nihil magis,” inquit ille Socrates, aut aliquis alius, ius cui idem adversus humana atque eadem potestas est, “persuasi mihi, quam ne ad opiniones vestras actum vitae meae flecterem. Solita conferte undique verba; non conviciari vos putabo sed vagire velut infantes miserrimos.” Haec dicet ille, cui sapientia contigit, quem animus vitiorum immunis increpare alios, non quia odit, sed in remedium iubet. Adiciet his illa: “Existimatio me vestra non meo nomine sed vestro movet, quia clamitantis odisse et lacessere virtutem bonae spei eiuratio est. Nullam mihi iniuriam facitis, sed ne dis quidem hi qui aras evertunt.

Office Space Michael Bolton GIF - Office Space Michael Bolton Why Should I Change GIFs

Sed malum propositum apparet malumque consilium etiam ibi, ubi nocere non potuit. Sic vestras halucinationes fero quemadmodum Iuppiter optimus maximus ineptias poetarum, quorum alius illi alas imposuit, alius cornua, alius adulterum illum induxit et abnoctantem, alius saevum in deos, alius iniquum in homines, alius raptorem ingenuorum et cognatorum quidem, alius. parricidam et regni alieni paternique expugnatorem. Quibus nihil aliud actum est, quam ut pudor hominibus peccandi demeretur,  si tales deos credidissent. Sed quamquam ista me nihil laedant, vestra tamen vos moneo causa.

Does the examined life need a socrates bib?

We Don’t Have Justice, But We Still have Hope

Theognis, Elegies 1135-1150

“Hope is the only noble god left among mortals:
The rest of have abandoned us to go to Olympos.
Trust, a great god, left; Prudence has left men.
The Graces, my friend, have surrendered the earth.

Oaths in a court of law can no longer be trusted;
And no one fears shame before the immortal gods
As the race of righteous men has disappeared.
People no longer recognize precedents or sacred duties.

But as long as someone lives and sees the light of the sun,
Let him foster Hope and act righteously before the gods.
Let him pray to the gods and, while burning shining thigh bones,
Sacrifice to Hope first and last.

And let each person always look out for the crooked word of unjust men:
Those men who do not fear the rage of the gods at all,
Who forever conspire in their thoughts against others’ property,
Men who make shameful agreements for future evil deeds.”

᾿Ελπὶς ἐν ἀνθρώποισι μόνη θεὸς ἐσθλὴ ἔνεστιν,
ἄλλοι δ’ Οὔλυμπόν<δ’> ἐκπρολιπόντες ἔβαν·
ὤιχετο μὲν Πίστις, μεγάλη θεός, ὤιχετο δ’ ἀνδρῶν
Σωφροσύνη, Χάριτές τ’, ὦ φίλε, γῆν ἔλιπον·
ὅρκοι δ’ οὐκέτι πιστοὶ ἐν ἀνθρώποισι δίκαιοι,
οὐδὲ θεοὺς οὐδεὶς ἅζεται ἀθανάτους.
εὐσεβέων δ’ ἀνδρῶν γένος ἔφθιτο, οὐδὲ θέμιστας
οὐκέτι γινώσκουσ’ οὐδὲ μὲν εὐσεβίας.
ἀλλ’ ὄφρα τις ζώει καὶ ὁρᾶι φῶς ἠελίοιο,
εὐσεβέων περὶ θεοὺς ᾿Ελπίδα προσμενέτω·
εὐχέσθω δὲ θεοῖσι, καὶ ἀγλαὰ μηρία καίων
᾿Ελπίδι τε πρώτηι καὶ πυμάτηι θυέτω.
φραζέσθω δ’ ἀδίκων ἀνδρῶν σκολιὸν λόγον αἰεί,
οἳ θεῶν ἀθανάτων οὐδὲν ὀπιζόμενοι
αἰὲν ἐπ’ ἀλλοτρίοις κτεάνοισ’ ἐπέχουσι νόημα,
αἰσχρὰ κακοῖσ’ ἔργοις σύμβολα θηκάμενοι.

Recueil de prose et de vers concernant Alexandre, Annibal et Scipion, Hector et Achille, Dagobert, Clovis II et Charles VIII, Philippe le Beau, roi d'Espagne, les comtes de Dammartin.

 

An Essay About How Your Words Don’t Hurt Me

Seneca, De Brevitate Vitae 26.4-6

“Some Socrates—or any other person who has similar authority or talent for these human matters—says “I am persuaded by nothing less than your opinion that I should change my life. Pour the typical abuse on me from every angle. I won’t even notice that you’re attacking me because you’re wailing just like poor little babies.”

This is what someone says who has come to wisdom, whose soul has escaped vices and calls on him to correct others not out of hatred but in order to treat them. Someone like this might say to others, “Your opinion about me affects me on your account, not mine because despising and attacking virtue is foreswearing any hope of the good. You don’t hurt me just as mortals don’t harm the gods when they destroy the altars.

Yet an evil proposition and an evil plan is obvious even when it lacks the power to harm someone. I tolerate your prattle even as Jupiter the Highest and Greatest tolerates the absurd claims of poets: one gives him wings, one gives him horns, another even depicts him as a supreme adulterer, up all night, while others show him to be mean to the other gods, unjust to men, a rapist of freeborn boys or his own relatives, and a parricide and usurper of his father’s throne.

The poets have accomplished nothing more than relieving people of their shame at doing wrong if they have truly believed the gods are like this. So, even though your words don’t harm me, I’m still warning you for your own benefit.”

“Nihil magis,” inquit ille Socrates, aut aliquis alius, ius cui idem adversus humana atque eadem potestas est, “persuasi mihi, quam ne ad opiniones vestras actum vitae meae flecterem. Solita conferte undique verba; non conviciari vos putabo sed vagire velut infantes miserrimos.” Haec dicet ille, cui sapientia contigit, quem animus vitiorum immunis increpare alios, non quia odit, sed in remedium iubet. Adiciet his illa: “Existimatio me vestra non meo nomine sed vestro movet, quia clamitantis odisse et lacessere virtutem bonae spei eiuratio est. Nullam mihi iniuriam facitis, sed ne dis quidem hi qui aras evertunt.

Office Space Michael Bolton GIF - Office Space Michael Bolton Why Should I Change GIFs

Sed malum propositum apparet malumque consilium etiam ibi, ubi nocere non potuit. Sic vestras halucinationes fero quemadmodum Iuppiter optimus maximus ineptias poetarum, quorum alius illi alas imposuit, alius cornua, alius adulterum illum induxit et abnoctantem, alius saevum in deos, alius iniquum in homines, alius raptorem ingenuorum et cognatorum quidem, alius. parricidam et regni alieni paternique expugnatorem. Quibus nihil aliud actum est, quam ut pudor hominibus peccandi demeretur,  si tales deos credidissent. Sed quamquam ista me nihil laedant, vestra tamen vos moneo causa.

Does the examined life need a socrates bib?

Who Punishes Gods for Doing Wrong?

Euripides Ion, 329-443

“Why does this woman abuse the god with words
And twist him up with constant riddles?
Is it because she loves the women she gets oracles for?
Is she keeping something silent because she needs to?
But why does Erekhtheus’ daughter matter to me?
She’s nothing to me! I will go to fill
The purificatory vessels with golden cups of water

I need to criticize Apollo. What’s he thinking?
He keeps ruining girls for marriage with rape
And producing children in secret only to ignore them
As they die. Don’t act this way, but since you can,
Pursue excellence. The gods punish any mortal
Who does wrong. How is it right for those who write
The laws for mortals to lead lawless lives?”

τί ποτε λόγοισιν ἡ ξένη πρὸς τὸν θεὸν
κρυπτοῖσιν αἰεὶ λοιδοροῦσ᾿ αἰνίσσεται;
ἤτοι φιλοῦσά γ᾿ ἧς ὕπερ μαντεύεται,
ἢ καί τι σιγῶσ᾿ ὧν σιωπᾶσθαι χρεών;
ἀτὰρ θυγατρὸς τῆς Ἐρεχθέως τί μοι
μέλει; προσήκει γ᾿ οὐδέν. ἀλλὰ χρυσέαις
πρόχοισιν ἐλθὼν εἰς ἀπορραντήρια
δρόσον καθήσω. νουθετητέος δέ μοι
Φοῖβος, τί πάσχει· παρθένους βίᾳ γαμῶν
προδίδωσι; παῖδας ἐκτεκνούμενος λάθρᾳ
θνῄσκοντας ἀμελεῖ; μὴ σύ γ᾿· ἀλλ᾿, ἐπεὶ κρατεῖς,
ἀρετὰς δίωκε. καὶ γὰρ ὅστις ἂν βροτῶν
κακὸς πεφύκῃ, ζημιοῦσιν οἱ θεοί.
πῶς οὖν δίκαιον τοὺς νόμους ὑμᾶς βροτοῖς
γράψαντας αὐτοὺς ἀνομίαν ὀφλισκάνειν

501-508

“Play your pipe, Pan
In your caves
Where some pitiful girl
Gave birth to a child with Apollo
And then exposed it as a feast
For the birds and beasts
The insult of their bitter ‘marriage’.
Never at the loom or in tales have I heard of
Mortal women having divine children and good fortune.”

συρίζεις, ὦ Πάν,
τοῖσι σοῖς ἐν ἄντροις,
ἵνα τεκοῦσά τις
παρθένος μελέα βρέφος
Φοίβῳ πτανοῖς ἐξόρισεν
θοίναν θηρσί τε φοινίαν
δαῖτα, πικρῶν γάμων ὕβριν·
οὔτ᾿ ἐπὶ κερκίσιν οὔτε †λόγοις† φάτιν
ἄιον εὐτυχίας μετέχειν θεόθεν τέκνα θνατοῖς.

Apollo on a coin

 

Who Punishes Gods for Doing Wrong?

Euripides Ion, 329-443

“Why does this woman abuse the god with words
And twist him up with constant riddles?
Is it because she loves the women she gets oracles for?
Is she keeping something silent because she needs to?
But why does Erekhtheus’ daughter matter to me?
She’s nothing to me! I will go to fill
The purificatory vessels with golden cups of water

I need to criticize Apollo. What’s he thinking?
He keeps ruining girls for marriage with rape
And producing children in secret only to ignore them
As they die. Don’t act this way, but since you can,
Pursue excellence. The gods punish any mortal
Who does wrong. How is it right for those who write
The laws for mortals to lead lawless lives?”

τί ποτε λόγοισιν ἡ ξένη πρὸς τὸν θεὸν
κρυπτοῖσιν αἰεὶ λοιδοροῦσ᾿ αἰνίσσεται;
ἤτοι φιλοῦσά γ᾿ ἧς ὕπερ μαντεύεται,
ἢ καί τι σιγῶσ᾿ ὧν σιωπᾶσθαι χρεών;
ἀτὰρ θυγατρὸς τῆς Ἐρεχθέως τί μοι
μέλει; προσήκει γ᾿ οὐδέν. ἀλλὰ χρυσέαις
πρόχοισιν ἐλθὼν εἰς ἀπορραντήρια
δρόσον καθήσω. νουθετητέος δέ μοι
Φοῖβος, τί πάσχει· παρθένους βίᾳ γαμῶν
προδίδωσι; παῖδας ἐκτεκνούμενος λάθρᾳ
θνῄσκοντας ἀμελεῖ; μὴ σύ γ᾿· ἀλλ᾿, ἐπεὶ κρατεῖς,
ἀρετὰς δίωκε. καὶ γὰρ ὅστις ἂν βροτῶν
κακὸς πεφύκῃ, ζημιοῦσιν οἱ θεοί.
πῶς οὖν δίκαιον τοὺς νόμους ὑμᾶς βροτοῖς
γράψαντας αὐτοὺς ἀνομίαν ὀφλισκάνειν

501-508

“Play your pipe, Pan
In your caves
Where some pitiful girl
Gave birth to a child with Apollo
And then exposed it as a feast
For the birds and beasts
The insult of their bitter ‘marriage’.
Never at the loom or in tales have I heard of
Mortal women having divine children and good fortune.”

συρίζεις, ὦ Πάν,
τοῖσι σοῖς ἐν ἄντροις,
ἵνα τεκοῦσά τις
παρθένος μελέα βρέφος
Φοίβῳ πτανοῖς ἐξόρισεν
θοίναν θηρσί τε φοινίαν
δαῖτα, πικρῶν γάμων ὕβριν·
οὔτ᾿ ἐπὶ κερκίσιν οὔτε †λόγοις† φάτιν
ἄιον εὐτυχίας μετέχειν θεόθεν τέκνα θνατοῖς.

Apollo on a coin

 

A Heroic Judge of the Gods

Antoninos Liberalis, 4

Kragaleus: Nikander reports this in his Metamorphoses as Athanadas does in his Ambrakian Issues. Kragaleus the son of Dryops inhabited Dryopis near the Baths of Herakles, springs which the stories claim Herakles created when he clubbed the side of the moountain. Kragaleus was already old and judged to be just and far by his neighbors. When he was grazing his cattle, Apollo, Artemis, and Herakles came to him for a judgment about Ambrakia in Epiros.

Apollo was insisting that the city was his because his son Melaneus, the king of the Dryopes, had conquered all of Epiros and then had two children himself, Eurutos and Ambrakia, where the city got its name. Besides, he  had done a lot of great things for the city. For the Sisyphidai, commanded by him, went to the city to correct the Ambrakians for the war they had waged against the Epirotes and Gorgon, the brother of Kupselos took a colony army against Ambrakia from Korinth to follow his own oracle. In addition, also in accordance with his oracle, the Abrakians had revolted against the tyrant Phalaikos and, thanks to this, the masses destroyed him. Altogether, Apollo was often the one who brought an end to civil way, strife, and conflict and he promoted fair laws, order, and justice instead, which is why to this day he is respected as the Pythian Savior at feasts and festivals.

Artemis was stopping the quarrel with Apollo because she believed that she held Ambrakia with his blessing. She claimed the city according this argument. When Phalaikos was the tyrant of the city and no one could get rid of him because of fear, she had a lion cub appear to him when he was hunting. He accepted the cub into his hands and its mother jumped out of the woods, leapt upon him, and ripped his chest wide open. In this way, The Ambrakians escaped slavery and were hailed Artemis Leader. They had a bronze statue of the Huntress made and placed the animal beside it.

But the Herakles was demonstrating that Ambrakia belonged to him along with all of Epiros. For when the Kelts, Khaones, Thesprotians, and all the Epirotes attacked him, he overpowered them at the time when they joined him in the plot to steal Geryon’s cattle. At a later time, a group came from Korinth to found a colony and once they uprooted the earlier inhabitants took up the settlement of Ambrakia. All the Korinthians come from Herakles.

Once Kragaleus listened thoroughly to all these arguments, he decided that the city was Herakles’. Apollo touched him with his hand out of anger and turned him to a rock where he stood. So the Ambrakians sacrifice to Apollo the Savior, but they judge that their city belongs to Herakles and his descendants and they offer sacrificial rites to Kragaleus the hero even today, following a festival to Herakles.”

Κραγαλεύς· ἱστορεῖ Νίκανδρος ῾Ετεροιουμένων ᾱ καὶ ᾽Αθανάδας ᾽Αμβρακικοῖς. Κραγαλεὺς ὁ Δρύοπος ὤικει γῆς τῆς Δρυοπίδος παρὰ τὰ λοῦτρα τὰ ῾Ηρακλέους, ἃ μυθολογοῦσιν ῾Ηρακλέα πλήξαντα τῆι κορύνηι τὰς πλάκας τοῦ ὄρους ἀναβαλεῖν. (2) ὁ δὲ Κραγαλεὺς οὗτος ἐγεγόνει γηραιὸς ἤδη καὶ τοῖς ἐγχωρίοις ἐνομίζετο δίκαιος εἶναι καὶ φρόνιμος· καὶ αὐτῶι νέμοντι βοῦς προσάγουσιν ᾽Απόλλων καὶ ῎Αρτεμις καὶ ῾Ηρακλῆς κριθησόμενοι περὶ ᾽Αμβρακίας τῆς ἐν ᾽Ηπείρωι. (3) καὶ ὁ μὲν ᾽Απόλλων ἑαυτῶι προσήκειν ἔλεγε τὴν πόλιν, ὅτι Μελανεὺς υἱὸς ἦν αὐτοῦ, βασιλεύσας μὲν Δρυόπων καὶ πολέμωι λαβὼν τὴν πᾶσαν ῎Ηπειρον, γεννήσας δὲ παῖδας Εὐρυτον καὶ ᾽Αμβρακίαν, ἀφ᾽ἧς ἡ πόλις ᾽Αμβρακία καλεῖται· καὶ αὐτὸς μέγιστα χαρίσασθαι ταύτηι τῆι πόλει. (4) Σισυφίδας μὲν γὰρ αὐτοῦ προστάξαντος ἀφικομένους κατορθῶσαι τὸν πόλεμον ᾽Αμβρακιώταις τὸν γενόμενον αὐτοῖς πρὸς ᾽Ηπειρώτας· Γόργον δὲ τὸν ἀδελφὸν Κυψέλου κατὰ τοὺς αὐτοῦ χρησμοὺς λαὸν ἔποικον ἀγαγεῖν εἰς ᾽Αμβρακίαν ἐκ Κορίνθου· Φαλαίκωι δὲ τυραννοῦντι τῆς πόλεως αὐτοῦ κατὰ μαντείαν ᾽Αμβρακιώτας ἐπαναστῆσαι, καὶ παρὰ τοῦτο <τοὺς> πολλοὺς ἀπολέσαι τὸν Φάλαικον· τὸ δὲ ὅλον αὐτὸς ἐν τῆι πόλει παῦσαι πλειστάκις ἐμφύλιον πόλεμον καὶ ἔριδας καὶ στάσιν, ἐμποιῆσαι <δ᾽>ἀντὶ τούτων [δ᾽] εὐνομίαν καὶ θέμιν καὶ δίκην, ὅθεν αὐτὸν ἔτι νῦν παρὰ τοῖς ᾽Αμβρακιώταις Σωτῆρα Πύθιον ἐν ἑορταῖς καὶ εἰλαπίναις ἄιδεσθαι. (5) ῎Αρτεμις δὲ τὸ μὲν νεῖκος κατέπαυε τὸ πρὸς τὸν ᾽Απόλλωνα, παρ᾽ ἑκόντος δὲ ἠξίου τὴν ᾽Αμβρακίαν ἔχειν. ἐφίεσθαι γὰρ τῆς πόλεως κατὰ πρόφασιν τοιαύτην· ὅτε Φάλαικος ἐτυράννευε τῆς πόλεως, οὐδενὸς αὐτὸν δυναμένου κατὰ δέος ἀνελεῖν, αὐτὴ κυνηγετοῦντι τῶι Φαλαίκωι προφῆναι σκύμνον λέοντος, ἀναλαβόντος δὲ εἰς τὰς χεῖρας ἐκδραμεῖν ἐκ τῆς ὕλης τὴν μητέρα καὶ προσπεσοῦσαν ἀναρρῆξαι τὰ στέρνα τοῦ Φαλαίκου, τοὺς δ᾽ ᾽Αμβρακιώτας ἐκφυγόντας τὴν δουλείαν ῎Αρτεμιν ῾Ηγεμόνην ἱλάσασθαι, καὶ ποιησαμένους ᾽Αγροτέρης εἴκασμα παραστήσασθαι χάλκεον αὐτῶι θῆρα. (6) ὁ δὲ ῾Ηρακλῆς ἀπεδείκνυεν ᾽Αμβρακίαν τε καὶ τὴν σύμπασαν ῎Ηπειρον οὖσαν ἑαυτοῦ. πολεμήσαντας γὰρ αὐτῶι Κελτοὺς καὶ Χάονας καὶ Θεσπρωτοὺς καὶ σύμπαντας ᾽Ηπειρώτας ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ κρατηθῆναι, ὅτε τὰς Γηρυόνου βοῦς συνελθόντες <ἐβούλευον> ἀφελέσθαι· χρόνωι δ᾽ὕστερον λαὸν ἔποικον ἐλθεῖν ἐκ Κορίνθου καὶ τοὺς πρόσθεν ἀναστήσαντας ᾽Αμβρακίαν συνοικίσαι· Κορίνθιοι δὲ πάντες εἰσὶν ἀφ᾽ ῾Ηρακλέους. (7) ἃ διακούσας ὁ Κραγαλεὺς ἔγνω τὴν πόλιν ῾Ηρακλέους εἶναι, ᾽Απόλλων δὲ κατ᾽ ὀργὴν ἁψάμενος αὐτοῦ τῆι χειρὶ πέτρον ἐποίησεν ἵναπερ εἱστήκει, ᾽Αμβρακιῶται δὲ ᾽Απόλλωνι μὲν Σωτῆρι θύουσι, τὴν δὲ πόλιν ῾Ηρακλέους καὶ τῶν ἐκείνου παίδων νενομίκασι, Κραγαλεῖ δὲ μετὰ τὴν ἑορτὴν ῾Ηρακλέους ἔντομα θύουσιν ἄχρι νῦν.

Ambrakian raunioita.
Some Ambracian ruins

 

 

 

Testing a Goddess, Fooling the Scholia

After Athena reveals herself to Odysseus when he has arrived in Ithaka, he takes a moment to imply that she wasn’t very helpful during a period of his life. Oh, and he questions whether or not she’s just messing with him about the whole Ithaka thing. A scholiast takes issue with the authenticity of the passage. Modern editions retain it.

Odyssey, 13.316-328

“But after we sacked Priam’s high city
And went in our ships, a god scattered the Achaians,
And I no longer saw you, daughter of Zeus, I did not notice
You coming aboard my ship so you might ward some pain from me.
But always as I wandered I kept an expectant heart
That the gods would release me from evil—
Until that day when in the rich land of the Phaeacian people
You encouraged me with words and led me into the city yourself.
Now I beg you by your father—for I do not think
I have come to beautiful Ithaca, but I have turned up
In some other land. I think you are mocking me
When you say this so you might deceive my mind.”

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ Πριάμοιο πόλιν διεπέρσαμεν αἰπήν,
βῆμεν δ’ ἐν νήεσσι, θεὸς δ’ ἐκέδασσεν ᾿Αχαιούς,
οὔ σ’ ἔτ’ ἔπειτα ἴδον, κούρη Διός, οὐδ’ ἐνόησα
νηὸς ἐμῆς ἐπιβᾶσαν, ὅπως τί μοι ἄλγος ἀλάλκοις.
ἀλλ’ αἰεὶ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ἔχων δεδαϊγμένον ἦτορ
ἠλώμην, εἷός με θεοὶ κακότητος ἔλυσαν·
πρίν γ’ ὅτε Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν ἐν πίονι δήμῳ
θάρσυνάς τ’ ἐπέεσσι καὶ ἐς πόλιν ἤγαγες αὐτή.
νῦν δέ σε πρὸς πατρὸς γουνάζομαι· —οὐ γὰρ ὀΐω
ἥκειν εἰς ᾿Ιθάκην εὐδείελον, ἀλλά τιν’ ἄλλην
γαῖαν ἀναστρέφομαι· σὲ δὲ κερτομέουσαν ὀΐω
ταῦτ’ ἀγορευέμεναι, ἵν’ ἐμὰς φρένας ἠπεροπεύῃς· —
εἰπέ μοι εἰ ἐτεόν γε φίλην ἐς πατρίδ’ ἱκάνω.”

Schol. HQ ad Od. 13. 320-323

“These lines are inauthentic. First, instead of “my thoughts” it has “his thoughts”, which is third person and the poet always pays attention to the difference in these things. The second problem is that [Odysseus] attributes his rescue to the gods when Athena is present. The third and fourth are because he did not know that the goddess appeared to him among the Phaeacians and that she has not encouraged him, but rather the opposite.”

ἀλλ’ αἰεὶ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ἔχων] νοθεύονται δ′ στίχοι. ὁ μὲν πρῶτος ὅτι ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐμῇσιν ἔχει τὸ ᾗσιν, ὅπερ ἐστὶ τρίτου προσώπου, τηροῦντος ἀεὶ τοῦ ποιητοῦ τὴν ἐν τούτοις διαφοράν· ὁ δεύτερος ὅτι ᾿Αθηνᾶς παρούσης θεοῖς ἀνατίθησι τὴν σωτηρίαν· ὁ δὲ τρίτος καὶ τέταρτος ὅτι οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν ὡς ἡ φανεῖσα αὐτῷ παρὰ Φαίαξι θεὰ ἦν, ὅτι οὐκ ἐθάρσυνεν, ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον

A geometric oinochoe in Munich once alleged to show Odysseus

We Don’t Have Justice, But We Still have Hope

Theognis, Elegies 1135-1150

“Hope is the only noble god left among mortals:
The rest of have abandoned us to go to Olympos.
Trust, a great god, left; Prudence has left men.
The Graces, my friend, have surrendered the earth.

Oaths in a court of law can no longer be trusted;
And no one fears shame before the immortal gods
As the race of righteous men has disappeared.
People no longer recognize precedents or sacred duties.

But as long as someone lives and sees the light of the sun,
Let him foster Hope and act righteously before the gods.
Let him pray to the gods and, while burning shining thigh bones,
Sacrifice to Hope first and last.

And let each person always look out for the crooked word of unjust men:
Those men who do not fear the rage of the gods at all,
Who forever conspire in their thoughts against others’ property,
Men who make shameful agreements for future evil deeds.”

᾿Ελπὶς ἐν ἀνθρώποισι μόνη θεὸς ἐσθλὴ ἔνεστιν,
ἄλλοι δ’ Οὔλυμπόν<δ’> ἐκπρολιπόντες ἔβαν·
ὤιχετο μὲν Πίστις, μεγάλη θεός, ὤιχετο δ’ ἀνδρῶν
Σωφροσύνη, Χάριτές τ’, ὦ φίλε, γῆν ἔλιπον·
ὅρκοι δ’ οὐκέτι πιστοὶ ἐν ἀνθρώποισι δίκαιοι,
οὐδὲ θεοὺς οὐδεὶς ἅζεται ἀθανάτους.
εὐσεβέων δ’ ἀνδρῶν γένος ἔφθιτο, οὐδὲ θέμιστας
οὐκέτι γινώσκουσ’ οὐδὲ μὲν εὐσεβίας.
ἀλλ’ ὄφρα τις ζώει καὶ ὁρᾶι φῶς ἠελίοιο,
εὐσεβέων περὶ θεοὺς ᾿Ελπίδα προσμενέτω·
εὐχέσθω δὲ θεοῖσι, καὶ ἀγλαὰ μηρία καίων
᾿Ελπίδι τε πρώτηι καὶ πυμάτηι θυέτω.
φραζέσθω δ’ ἀδίκων ἀνδρῶν σκολιὸν λόγον αἰεί,
οἳ θεῶν ἀθανάτων οὐδὲν ὀπιζόμενοι
αἰὲν ἐπ’ ἀλλοτρίοις κτεάνοισ’ ἐπέχουσι νόημα,
αἰσχρὰ κακοῖσ’ ἔργοις σύμβολα θηκάμενοι.

Recueil de prose et de vers concernant Alexandre, Annibal et Scipion, Hector et Achille, Dagobert, Clovis II et Charles VIII, Philippe le Beau, roi d'Espagne, les comtes de Dammartin.

 

Testing a Goddess, Fooling the Scholia

After Athena reveals herself to Odysseus when he has arrived in Ithaka, he takes a moment to imply that she wasn’t very helpful during a period of his life. Oh, and he questions whether or not she’s just messing with him about the whole Ithaka thing. A scholiast takes issue with the authenticity of the passage. Modern editions retain it.

Odyssey, 13.316-328

“But after we sacked Priam’s high city
And went in our ships, a god scattered the Achaians,
And I no longer saw you, daughter of Zeus, I did not notice
You coming aboard my ship so you might ward some pain from me.
But always as I wandered I kept an expectant heart
That the gods would release me from evil—
Until that day when in the rich land of the Phaeacian people
You encouraged me with words and led me into the city yourself.
Now I beg you by your father—for I do not think
I have come to beautiful Ithaca, but I have turned up
In some other land. I think you are mocking me
When you say this so you might deceive my mind.”

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ Πριάμοιο πόλιν διεπέρσαμεν αἰπήν,
βῆμεν δ’ ἐν νήεσσι, θεὸς δ’ ἐκέδασσεν ᾿Αχαιούς,
οὔ σ’ ἔτ’ ἔπειτα ἴδον, κούρη Διός, οὐδ’ ἐνόησα
νηὸς ἐμῆς ἐπιβᾶσαν, ὅπως τί μοι ἄλγος ἀλάλκοις.
ἀλλ’ αἰεὶ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ἔχων δεδαϊγμένον ἦτορ
ἠλώμην, εἷός με θεοὶ κακότητος ἔλυσαν·
πρίν γ’ ὅτε Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν ἐν πίονι δήμῳ
θάρσυνάς τ’ ἐπέεσσι καὶ ἐς πόλιν ἤγαγες αὐτή.
νῦν δέ σε πρὸς πατρὸς γουνάζομαι· —οὐ γὰρ ὀΐω
ἥκειν εἰς ᾿Ιθάκην εὐδείελον, ἀλλά τιν’ ἄλλην
γαῖαν ἀναστρέφομαι· σὲ δὲ κερτομέουσαν ὀΐω
ταῦτ’ ἀγορευέμεναι, ἵν’ ἐμὰς φρένας ἠπεροπεύῃς· —
εἰπέ μοι εἰ ἐτεόν γε φίλην ἐς πατρίδ’ ἱκάνω.”

Schol. HQ ad Od. 13. 320-323

“These lines are inauthentic. First, instead of “my thoughts” it has “his thoughts”, which is third person and the poet always pays attention to the difference in these things. The second problem is that [Odysseus] attributes his rescue to the gods when Athena is present. The third and fourth are because he did not know that the goddess appeared to him among the Phaeacians and that she has not encouraged him, but rather the opposite.”

ἀλλ’ αἰεὶ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ἔχων] νοθεύονται δ′ στίχοι. ὁ μὲν πρῶτος ὅτι ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐμῇσιν ἔχει τὸ ᾗσιν, ὅπερ ἐστὶ τρίτου προσώπου, τηροῦντος ἀεὶ τοῦ ποιητοῦ τὴν ἐν τούτοις διαφοράν· ὁ δεύτερος ὅτι ᾿Αθηνᾶς παρούσης θεοῖς ἀνατίθησι τὴν σωτηρίαν· ὁ δὲ τρίτος καὶ τέταρτος ὅτι οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν ὡς ἡ φανεῖσα αὐτῷ παρὰ Φαίαξι θεὰ ἦν, ὅτι οὐκ ἐθάρσυνεν, ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον

A geometric oinochoe in Munich once alleged to show Odysseus