Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Stranger, when you come to WashingtonRexroth modified slightly the epigram by Simonides recorded by Herodotus 7.228:
Tell them that we lie here
Obedient to their orders.
ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδεRexroth also translated the original in his Poems from the Greek Anthology:
κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
Stranger, when you come toHere is a more literal translation:
Lakedaimon, tell them we lie
Here, obedient to their will.
O stranger, announce to the Lacedaemonians that hereLiddell & Scott, s.v. ῥήμα, suggest that the word here means ῥήτρα, referring to the laws of Lycurgus.
we lie, obedient to their words.
"We" are the Spartans who fell at Thermopylae in 480 B.C., defending Greece against invasion by the Persians.