Tuesday, January 22, 2019


A Debt Owed

Euripides, Andromache 1270-1272 (tr. Deborah Roberts):
Stop grieving on behalf of those who have died,
since this is the decree the gods have ordained
for all human beings, and death is what they owe.

παῦσαι δὲ λύπης τῶν τεθνηκότων ὕπερ·
πᾶσιν γὰρ ἀνθρώποισιν ἥδε πρὸς θεῶν
ψῆφος κέκρανται κατθανεῖν τ' ὀφείλεται.
Euripides, Alcestis 782-784 (tr. Moses Hadas and John McLean):
All men have to pay the debt of death,
and there is not a mortal who knows
whether he is going to be alive on the morrow.

βροτοῖς ἅπασι κατθανεῖν ὀφείλεται,
κοὐκ ἔστι θνητῶν ὅστις ἐξεπίσταται
τὴν αὔριον μέλλουσαν εἰ βιώσεται.
Greek Anthology 11.62, lines 1-2 (by Palladas; tr. W.R. Paton):
Death is a debt due by all men and no
mortal knows if he will be alive to-morrow.

πᾶσι θανεῖν μερόπεσσιν ὀφείλεται, οὐδέ τις ἐστὶν
    αὔριον εἰ ζήσει θνητὸς ἐπιστάμενος.

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