Tuesday, July 21, 2015


To a Know-It-All

Sophocles, Antigone 705-709 (Haemon to his father Creon; tr. R.C. Jebb):
Wear not, then, one mood only in thyself; think not that thy word, and thine alone, must be right. For if any man thinks that he alone is wise,—that in speech, or in mind, he hath no peer,—such a soul, when laid open, is ever found empty.

μή νυν ἓν ἦθος μοῦνον ἐν σαυτῷ φόρει,        705
ὡς φὴς σύ, κοὐδὲν ἄλλο, τοῦτ᾽ ὀρθῶς ἔχειν.
ὅστις γὰρ αὐτὸς ἢ φρονεῖν μόνος δοκεῖ,
ἢ γλῶσσαν, ἣν οὐκ ἄλλος, ἢ ψυχὴν ἔχειν,
οὗτοι διαπτυχθέντες ὤφθησαν κενοί.
Theognis 221-223 (tr. Douglas E. Gerber):
Anyone who thinks that his neighbour knows nothing, while he himself is the only one to make crafty plans, is a fool, his good sense impaired.

ὅστις τοι δοκέει τὸν πλησίον ἴδμεναι οὐδέν,
  ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς μοῦνος ποικίλα δήνε᾿ ἔχειν,
κεῖνός γ᾿ ἄφρων ἐστί, νόου βεβλαμμένος ἐσθλοῦ.

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