Friday, October 07, 2016


No Escape

Aeschylus, Persians 93-100 (tr. Alan H. Sommerstein):
But what mortal man can escape the guileful deception of a god?
Who is so light of foot that he has power to leap easily away?
For Ruin begins by fawning on a man in a friendly way
and leads him astray into her net,
from which it is impossible for a mortal to escape and flee.

δολόμητιν δ᾿ ἀπάταν θεοῦ τίς ἀνὴρ θνατὸς ἀλύξει;
τίς ὁ κραιπνῷ ποδὶ πηδήματος εὐπετέος ἀνάσσων; 95
φιλόφρων γὰρ <ποτι>σαίνουσα τὸ πρῶτον παράγει
βροτὸν εἰς ἀρκύστ<ατ᾿> Ἄτα,
τόθεν οὐκ ἔστιν ὑπὲρ θνατὸν ἀλύξαντα φυγεῖν. 100

97-98 <ποτι>σαίνουσα Hermann: σαίνουσα codd.
99 ἀρκύστ<ατ᾿> Ἄτα West: ἀρκύστατα codd.
Metre according to A.F. Garvie's commentary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 372:

Seth Benardete's translation:
Deceitful deception of god—
What mortal man shall avoid it?
With nimbleness, deftness, and speed,
Whose leaping foot shall escape it?
Benign and coaxing at first
It leads us astray into nets which
No mortal is able to slip,
Whose doom we never can flee.
Christopher Collard's translation:
Cunningly planned deceit by a god, however—
which mortal man will escape it?
Who is there who commands an easy leap over it, swift with his feet?
Though friendly at first in fawning forward
Ruin decoys him into her nets;
over their top no mortal can flee in escape.

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