Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Voice and Shadow
Oh, alas, how true the ancient saying is: we old men are nothing but noise and mere shapes, and we move as imitations of dreams; there is no intelligence in us, yet we think we have good sense.Euripides, fragment 508 (from Melanippe, tr. Collard and Cropp):
φεῦ φεῦ, παλαιὸς αἶνος ὡς καλῶς ἔχει·
γέροντες οὐδέν ἐσμεν ἄλλο πλὴν ψόφος
καὶ σχῆμ᾽, ὀνείρων δ᾽ ἕρπομεν μιμήματα·
νοῦς δ᾽ οὐκ ἔνεστιν, οἰόμεσθα δ᾽ εὖ φρονεῖν.
What else? An old man is but voice and shadow.The second fragment is one of the exercises for translation in the book I learned Greek from, many years agoChase and Phillips, A New Introduction to Greek, p. 39.
τί δ᾽ ἄλλο; φωνὴ καὶ σκιὰ γέρων ἀνήρ.
[Restored after removal by Blogger: original date was May 12, 2011.]
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