“I will not ask about one thing, to avoid being a joke, Whom each of these men stood to oppose in battle Or from which enemy’s lance he received his wound. For these words are hollow to those who hear them And those who repeat them: who can stand in a battle And then report truly who was brave or not As the lance went passing before his eyes?”
“Old age, hard to wrangle, how much I hate you! And I hate all those people who try to lengthen life By feeding it with foοd and drink and medicine, Turning aside the force so they might not die. It is better—since they don’t help the world at all— For them to die and go away, making space for the young.”
“I want the tyrant to die thanks to the state. Let an angry citizen kill him. May he mix his curses with wounds, the sort a husband gives to an adulterer not those from an adulterer against a husband. You rush from your mistress’s kisses to a prize—I don’t want the tyrant-killer to act like a tyrant before he kills him. The Roman people do not want their enemy overcome by poison, they do not desire treason. I will honor a surprise tyrant-killer, but I will not honor an accidental or coerced one.”
Tyrannum cadere rei publicae volo: occidat illum civis iratus, misceat maledicta vulneribus, qualia in adulterum maritus <iacere solet, non qualia in maritum> adulter. Ab adulterae osculis ad praemium curris: nolo tyrannicida imitetur antequam occidat tyrannum. Populus Romanus veneno vinci hostem noluit, proditione noluit. Honorabo subitum tyrannicidium, non honorabo fortuitum, non coactum
“Really, if someone is incapable of governing a single person and that person is also really close to them, even there all the time, and, if they cannot keep a single mind on the straight and narrow (and by that I mean their own) how could they possibly rule over countless thousands of people like you, people who are spread all over the earth, most of whom you have’t seen and could never see and whose language you can’t understand?
It’s almost as if saying that someone whose vision is so impaired they cannot see their feet and they need someone to lead them by the hand can somehow see objects really far away, as when people see mountains or islands from afar on the sea. Or, it is as if someone who cannot speak loudly enough to be heard by those right nearby can raise a voice to whole cities and armies!
Truly, intelligence is something like vision: for, when sight begins to diminish it cannot see the closest things even if it could touch the stars and heaven when healthy. Just so, a wise person’s mind can has the power to guide all people while the fool’s can’t keep even his own body or a single home safe”
“Many people in dynastic power, to explain further, because they can grab everything, desire to have everything. Because they determine justice, they become unjust. Because they do not fear the laws, they do not believe they exist. Because they are not forced to work, they never stop their conspicuous consumption.
Because no one stands up to them when they harm them, they never stop doing the same things; because there is no end to their pleasure, they never actually find their fill of it. Because no one criticizes them directly, they never miss a chance to slander someone else. Because no one wants to upset them, they find reason to be harsh to everyone. And because they have the power to do anything when enraged, they are forever in a state of anger.”
Epitaphios: A speech performed annually in honor of those who have died in war. The most famous that remains is Thucydides’ version of Perikles’ funeral oration (2.35-46).
“Many of those who have spoken here already praised the one who made this speech law, that it is a noble thing to speak over the burials of those who died in war. But honors paid in deeds for deeds performed by good men would seem to be sufficient to me—the acts which you see performed now by the public at this burial. The virtues of many should not be risked by entrusting them to the good or poor speaking of one man alone. “
Plato’s Menexenus (236dff), Socrates recites an epitaphios given by Aspasia:
“In deed, these men have what is required for them materially—now that they have obtained it, they proceed along the fated path: they have been carried out in common by the city and in private by their families. But in speech it is necessary to pay out the remaining rite which custom assigns us.
“Since it seems right to the state to bury those lying in this grave publicly because they proved themselves noble in war and it has been assigned to me to deliver the customary speech on their behalf, I immediately began to examine how others have crafted the appropriate praise. But while I was considering and examining this, I realized that speaking worthily of the dead is one of those things that is impossible for men.”
“Posidonios of Apamea records the story of [Athenion] which I am going to lay out even though it is rather long, so that we may examine carefully all men who claim to be philosophers, and not merely trust in their shabby robes and unkempt beards. For, as Agathon says (fr. 12):
If I tell the truth, I won’t make you happy.
But if I am to make you happy, I will say nothing true.
Since the truth, they say, is dear to us, I will tell the whole story about this man.”