Friday, May 27, 2016


Blessings of Peace

Philemon, fragment 74 Kassel and Austin = 71 Kock (from the play Pyrrhus; tr. J.M. Edmonds):
There's a riddle wise men spend much time about;
So I've been told, and no one's yet found out.
What's meant by Good. Virtue, they say, or wit,
Any fudge rather than what's really it.
Out on my land, digging it spit by spit,
I've found the answer — Peace. Dear Zeus above,
What a Goddess! full of kindliness and love.
She gives us weddings, feasts, and friends, and wealth,
Offspring and kindred, corn, wine, pleasure, health;
And these are the things the loss of which implies
That all the life of all the living dies.

οἱ φιλόσοφοι ζητοῦσιν, ὡς ἀκήκοα,
περὶ τοῦτό τ' αὐτοῖς πολὺς ἀναλοῦται χρόνος,
τί ἐστιν ἀγαθόν, κοὐδὲ εἰς εὕρηκέ πω
τί ἐστιν. ἀρετὴν καὶ φρόνησίν φασι, καὶ
πλέκουσι πάντα μᾶλλον ἢ τί τἀγαθόν.        5
ἐν ἀγρῷ διατρίβων τήν τε γῆν σκάπτων ἐγὼ
νῦν εὗρον· εἰρήνη 'στίν· ὦ Ζεῦ φίλτατε,
τῆς ἐπαφροδίτου καὶ φιλανθρώπου θεοῦ.
γάμους, ἑορτάς, συγγενεῖς, παῖδας, φίλους,
πλοῦτον, ὑγίειαν, σῖτον, οἶνον, ἡδονὴν        10
αὕτη δίδωσι· ταῦτα πάντ' ἂν ἐκλίπῃ,
τέθνηκε κοινῇ πᾶς ὁ τῶν ζώντων βίος.

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