Thursday, February 16, 2017



Herodotus 7.135 (on the Spartans Sperthias and Bulis; tr. A.D. Godley):
Worthy of all admiration was these men's deed of daring, and so also were their sayings which I here record. As they journeyed to Susa, they came to Hydarnes, a Persian, who was general of the sea-coast of Asia; he entertained and feasted them as guests, and as they sat at his board, "Lacedaemonians," he questioned them, "why do you shun the king's friendship? You can judge from what you see of me and my condition how well the king can honour men of worth. So might it be with you; would you but put yourselves in the king's hands, being as you are of proven worth in his eyes, every one of you might by his commission be a ruler of Hellas." To this the Spartans answered: "Your counsels to us, Hydarnes, are ill assorted; one half of them rests on knowledge, but the other on ignorance; you know well how to be a slave, but you have never tasted of freedom, to know whether it be sweet or not. Were you to taste of it, not with spears you would counsel us to fight for it, no, but with axes."

Αὕτη τε ἡ τόλμα τούτων τῶν ἀνδρῶν θώματος ἀξίη καὶ τάδε πρὸς τούτοισι τὰ ἔπεα. πορευόμενοι γὰρ ἐς Σοῦσα ἀπικνέονται παρὰ Ὑδάρνεα· ὁ δὲ Ὑδάρνης ἦν μὲν γένος Πέρσης, στρατηγὸς δὲ τῶν παραθαλασσίων ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ· ὅς σφεας ξείνια προθέμενος ἱστία, ξεινίζων δὲ εἴρετο τάδε. "Ἄνδρες Λακεδαιμόνιοι, τί δὴ φεύγετε βασιλέι φίλοι γενέσθαι; ὁρᾶτε γὰρ ὡς ἐπίσταται βασιλεὺς ἄνδρας ἀγαθοὺς τιμᾶν, ἐς ἐμέ τε καὶ τὰ ἐμὰ πρήγματα ἀποβλέποντες. οὕτω δὲ καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰ δοίητε ὑμέας αὐτοὺς βασιλέι, δεδόξωσθε γὰρ πρὸς αὐτοῦ ἄνδρες εἶναι ἀγαθοί, ἕκαστος ἂν ὑμέων ἄρχοι γῆς Ἑλλάδος δόντος βασιλέος." πρὸς ταῦτα ὑπεκρίναντο τάδε. "Ὕδαρνες, οὐκ ἐξ ἴσου γίνεται ἡ συμβουλίη ἡ ἐς ἡμέας τείνουσα. τοῦ μὲν γὰρ πεπειρημένος συμβουλεύεις, τοῦ δὲ ἄπειρος ἐών· τὸ μὲν γὰρ δοῦλος εἶναι ἐξεπίστεαι, ἐλευθερίης δὲ οὔκω ἐπειρήθης, οὔτ᾿ εἰ ἔστι γλυκὺ οὔτ᾿ εἰ μή. εἰ γὰρ αὐτῆς πειρήσαιο, οὐκ ἂν δόρασι συμβουλεύοις ἡμῖν περὶ αὐτῆς μάχεσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ πελέκεσι."

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?