Friday, March 02, 2018
Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time the Milesians were formidable.Once upon a time, but no more. The proverb (cf. Anacreon, fragment 426; Diodorus 10.25.2; Athenaeus 12.523 f; etc.) is applicable to certain modern nations as well.
πάλαι ποτ᾿ ἦσαν ἄλκιμοι Μιλήσιοι.
Alan H. Sommerstein, commentary on line 1002:
This comment on their decline, which became proverbial, was ascribed by some to the sixth-century poet Anacreon (PMG 426), by some to Timocreon of Rhodes (early fifth century) (PMG 733 = Timocreon fr. 7 West), by some to a Delphic oracle given to the Carians (Demon FGrH 327 F 16) or to the Cyprians (scholia on 1075) or to Polycrates of Samos (scholia here) in response to an inquiry about the advisability of making an alliance with Miletus.