Monday, November 28, 2011


First In, First Out

Richmond Lattimore, Themes in Greek and Latin Epitaphs (1935; rpt. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1962), p. 184:
It emerges from all this that the chief cause of complaint against death, in fact the chief cause of any extravagance in lamentation, was that it was too likely to strike the very young who had had no chance to enjoy life. It is no very unnatural transition from this state of mind to the feeling that behind such inscrutable accidents rests a power which positively enjoys upsetting human lives in this manner; and such a feeling is followed by an equally natural one, that this sort of thing is not fair.
A character named Terpsion, in Lucian's Dialogues of the Dead (6.2, tr. M.D. Macleod), proposed a more equitable scheme:
Then I object to the present arrangement. It ought to be a matter of turn, with the oldest man first, and after him the next oldest, without the slightest change in the order...

Οὐκοῦν ταύτης αἰτιῶμαι τῆς διατάξεως· ἐχρῆν γὰρ τὸ πρᾶγμα ἑξῆς πως γίνεσθαι, τὸν πρεσβύτερον πρότερον καὶ μετὰ τοῦτον ὅστις καὶ τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μετ΄ αὐτόν, ἀναστρέφεσθαι δὲ μηδαμῶς...

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?