Thursday, May 26, 2016


Three Virtues

Euripides, fragment 853 (tr. Christopher Collard and Martin Cropp):
There are three virtues you should practise, child:
to honour the gods, the parents who begot you,
and the common laws of Greece. If you do these things,
you will always have good repute, the fairest of crowns.

τρεῖς εἰσιν ἀρεταὶ τὰς χρεών σ᾿ ἀσκεῖν, τέκνον,
θεούς τε τιμᾶν τούς τε φύσαντας γονῆς
νόμους τε κοινοὺς Ἑλλάδος· καὶ ταῦτα δρῶν
κάλλιστον ἕξεις στέφανον εὐκλείας ἀεί.
Cf. Lycurgus, Against Leocrates 15 (tr. J.O. Burtt):
For you must realize, Athenians, that you would be held to have neglected the virtues which chiefly distinguish you from the rest of mankind, piety towards the gods, reverence for your ancestors and ambition for your country, if this man were to escape punishment at your hands.

εὖ γὰρ ἴστε, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, ὅτι ᾧ πλεῖστον διαφέρετε τῶν ἄλλων ἀνθρώπων, τῷ πρός τε τοὺς θεοὺς εὐσεβῶς καὶ πρὸς τοὺς γονέας ὁσίως καὶ πρὸς τὴν πατρίδα φιλοτίμως ἔχειν, τούτου πλεῖστον ἀμελεῖν δόξαιτ᾿ ἂν εἰ τὴν παρ᾿ ὑμῶν οὗτος διαφύγοι τιμωρίαν.
One could translate γονέας in Lycurgus as parents.

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