Sunday, October 19, 2008


Some Euripidean Macarisms

Euripides, Bacchae 72-82 (tr. T.A. Buckley):
Blessed is he who, being fortunate and knowing the rites of the gods, keeps his life pure and has his soul initiated into the Bacchic revels, dancing in inspired frenzy over the mountains with holy purifications, and who, revering the mysteries of great mother Kybele, brandishing the thyrsos, garlanded with ivy, serves Dionysus.

μάκαρ, ὅστις εὐδαίμων
τελετὰς θεῶν εἰδὼς
βιοτὰν ἁγιστεύει καὶ
θιασεύεται ψυχὰν
ἐν ὄρεσσι βακχεύων
ὁσίοις καθαρμοῖσιν,
τά τε ματρὸς μεγάλας ὄρ-
για Κυβέλας θεμιτεύων,
ἀνὰ θύρσον τε τινάσσων,
κισσῷ τε στεφανωθεὶς
Διόνυσον θεραπεύει.
Euripides, Bacchae 902-911 (tr. T.A. Buckley):
Happy is he who has fled a storm on the sea, and reached harbor. Happy too is he who has overcome his hardships. One surpasses another in different ways, in wealth or power. There are innumerable hopes to innumerable men, and some result in wealth to mortals, while others fail. But I call him blessed whose life is happy day to day.

εὐδαίμων μὲν ὃς ἐκ θαλάσσας
ἔφυγε χεῖμα, λιμένα δ' ἔκιχεν·
εὐδαίμων δ' ὃς ὕπερθε μόχθων
ἐγένεθ'· ἑτέρᾳ δ' ἕτερος ἕτερον
ὄλβῳ καὶ δυνάμει παρῆλθεν.
μυρίαι δ' ἔτι μυρίοις
εἰσὶν ἐλπίδες· αἳ μὲν
τελευτῶσιν ἐν ὄλβῳ
βροτοῖς, αἳ δ' ἀπέβησαν·
τὸ δὲ κατ' ἦμαρ ὅτῳ βίοτος
εὐδαίμων, μακαρίζω.
Euripides, fragment 256 (tr. Christopher Collard and Martin Cropp):
Happy the man who has the good sense to honour god and to turn this to great advantage to himself.

μακάριος ὅστις νοῦν ἔχων τιμᾷ θεὸν
καὶ κέρδος αὐτῷ τοῦτο ποιεῖται μέγα.
Euripides, fragment 910 (tr. Christopher Collard and Martin Cropp):
Happy the man who has gained knowledge through inquiry, not aiming to trouble his fellow citizens, nor to act unjustly, but observing eternal nature's ageless order, the way it was formed, and whence and how. Such men are never inclined to practice shameful deeds.

ὄλβιος ὅστις τῆς ἱστορίας
ἔσχε μάθησιν,
μήτε πολιτῶν ἐπὶ πημοσύνην
μήτ᾿ εἰς ἀδίκους πράξεις ὁρμῶν,
ἀλλ᾿ ἀθανάτου καθορῶν φύσεως
κόσμον ἀγήρων, πῇ τε συνέστη
καὶ ὅπῃ καὶ ὅπως.
τοῖς δὲ τοιούτοις οὐδέποτ᾿ αἰσχρῶν
ἔργων μελέτημα προσίζει.
And happy the man who reads Euripides.

Related post: Recipes for Happiness.

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