Monday, November 23, 2015


Live for Today

Philetaerus, fragment 7 (tr. S. Douglas Olson):
Because what, I ask you, should a mortal do
except enjoy his life from one day to the next,
if he's got the wherewithal? This is what you
need to consider when you look at human affairs,
instead of worrying about what's going to happen
tomorrow. It's very strange that money gets stored up
for tomorrow inside one's house.
The same (tr. J.E. Edmonds):
What else should human beings do then, pray,
Than live delightfully from day to day
If they've the wherewithal? Considering
What mortal life is, that's the only thing
We need to count; next day's another tale;
It's futile to store money to go stale.
The Greek:
τί δεῖ γὰρ ὄντα θνητόν, ἱκετεύω, ποεῖν
πλὴν ἡδέως ζῆν τὸν βίον καθ᾿ ἡμέραν,
ἐὰν ἔχῃ τις ὁπόθεν; ἀλλὰ δεῖ σκοπεῖν
τοῦτ᾿ αὐτό, τἀνθρώπει᾿ ὁρῶντα πράγματα,
εἰς αὔριον δὲ <μηδὲ> φροντίζειν ὅ τι
ἔσται· περίεργόν ἐστιν ἀποκεῖσθαι πάνυ
ἕωλον ἔνδον τἀργύριον.
Commentary in Athina Papachrysostomou, Six Comic Poets: A Commentary on Selected Fragments of Middle Comedy (Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2008), pp. 224-227.

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