Sunday, December 19, 2010


Raised Up and Cast Down

Archilochus, fragment 130 (tr. M.L. West):
It all depends upon the gods. Often enough, when men
are prostrate on the ground with woe, they set them up again;
and often enough, when men are standing proud and all seems bright,
they tip them over on their backs, and then they're in a plight—
a man goes wandering, short of bread, out of his mind with fright.
The same, tr. Guy Davenport:
Attribute all to the gods.
They pick a man up,
Stretched on the black loam,
And set him on his two feet,
Firm, and then again
Shake solid men until
They fall backward
Into the worst of luck,
Wandering hungry,
Wild of mind.
The text is uncertain. The following is from M.L. West, Iambi et Elegi Graeci, Vol. I, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971; rpt. 1998), p. 51, with his critical apparatus:
τοῖς θεοῖς †τ' εἰθεῖάπαντα· πολλάκις μὲν ἐκ κακῶν
ἄνδρας ὀρθοῦσιν μελαίνηι κειμένους ἐπὶ χθονί,
πολλάκις δ᾽ ἀνατρέπουσι καὶ μάλ᾽ εὖ βεβηκότας
ὑπτίους, κείνοις <δ'> ἔπειτα πολλὰ γίνεται κακά,
καὶ βίου χρήμηι πλανᾶται καὶ νόου παρήορος.

1 ita cod. S (hic unicus): ἰθεῖα (sc. δίκη) Hoffmann: τοι ῥεῖα Schneidewin invito metro: τέλεια Hommel (Gymn. 58, 1951, 219): alii alia: possis πείθοι' ἅπαντα

4 κείνοις Blaydes: κίνουσ᾽ S: κλίνουσ᾽ Valckenaer (postea interpungens)     δ' addidi     post h.v. lacunam stat. Meineke

5 χρήμη S: χρῄζων C. Gesnerus    gravem suspicionem movet quod statim in secundo versu proximi excerpti (= Theodect. fr. 16) stant verba minime corrupta φήμη πλανᾶται

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