Sunday, January 06, 2019



[Euripides,] Rhesus 510-511 (tr. David Kovacs):
No brave man deigns to kill the enemy by stealth but fights face to face.

οὐδεὶς ἀνὴρ εὔψυχος ἀξιοῖ λάθρᾳ
κτεῖναι τὸν ἐχθρόν, ἀλλ᾿ ἰὼν κατὰ στόμα.
Almut Fries ad loc.:
While epic saw some merit in ambushes and the men who executed them (Il. 13.276–91, Od. 14.468–506), traditional warrior ethics demanded meeting the enemy 'face to face', κατὰ στόμα (408–10a n.). Regarding Odysseus, note especially Antisth. Ai. 5 νῦν δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν ὃ διαφέρει πλέον ἐμοῦ καὶ τοῦδε. ὃ μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν ὅ τι ἂν δράσειε φανερῶς, ἐγὼ δὲ οὐδὲν ἂν λάθρᾳ τολμήσαιμι πρᾶξαι and, outside war, Phil. 88–91 (Neoptolemus) ἔφυν γὰρ οὐδὲν ἐκ τέχνης πράσσειν κακῆς, / … / ἀλλ᾽ εἴμ᾽ ἑτοῖμος πρὸς βίαν τὸν ἄνδρ᾽ ἄγειν / καὶ μὴ δόλοισιν.
Antisthenes, Ajax 5 (tr. Susan Prince):
But as it is, there is nothing that differs more than I and this man. For there is nothing that he would act out publicly, whereas I would not dare to do anything in secret.
Sophocles, Philoctetes 88-91 (tr. Hugh Lloyd-Jones):
It is my nature to do nothing by treacherous plotting; that is my nature, and it was also my father’s nature. But I am ready to take the man by force and not by cunning.

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