Thursday, August 11, 2011


Greatest and Highest of Gods

Euripides, fragment 928a (tr. Christopher Collard and Martin Cropp):
The man who first established for us altars of the heavenly gods, and fashioned lifelike images of them in artfully carved sculptures, neglected one thing when he did so in my opinion: he established no garlanded altar for Wealth, the greatest and highest of gods.

ὁ πρῶτος ἡμῖν τῶν ἐν οὐρανῷ θεῶν
βωμοὺς ἱδρύσας εὐαγῆ τ' ἀγάλματα
γλ[υ]πτοῖσι τέχνης ζωοποιήσα[ς] τύποις
ἑνὸς κατημέλησεν ὡς οἶμαι τότε,
ὃς τοῦ μεγίστου καὶ θεῶν ὑπερτάτου
Πλούτου σ̣τ̣εφή̣ρη βωμὸν οὐχ ἱδρύσατο.
Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol. VII: 1845-1848 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1912), pp. 288-289:
Channing proposed that there should be a magnified Dollar, say as big as a barrel-head, made of silver or gold, in each village, and Colonel Shattuck or other priest appointed to take care of it and not let it be stolen; then we should be provided with a local deity, and could bring it baked beans or other offerings and rites, as pleased us.
Cartoon by William Gropper

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