Saturday, October 08, 2016


Battle Cry

Aeschylus, Persians 401-405 (tr. Alan H. Sommerstein):
                                    Come on, sons of the Greeks,
for the freedom of your homeland, for the freedom of
your children, your wives, the temples of your fathers' gods,
and the tombs of your ancestors! Now all is at stake!

                         ὦ παῖδες Ἑλλήνων, ἴτε,
ἐλευθεροῦτε πατρίδ᾿, ἐλευθεροῦτε δὲ
παῖδας, γυναῖκας, θεῶν τε πατρῴων ἕδη,
θήκας τε προγόνων· νῦν ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀγών.
A.F. Garvie ad loc.:
The comprehensive list of fatherland, children, wives, father's gods, and ancestors (cf. Nestor's list at Hom. Il. 15.661–4, Callinus fr. 1.6–8, and Thucydides' account of, and comments on, Nicias' speech at 7.69.2, with S. Goldhill, in G.W. Most (ed.), Commentaries = Kommentaren (Göttingen 1999) 399–402) stops at the caesura, and is then summed up in a trenchant half-line.
Homer, Iliad 15.661-664 (tr. A.T. Murray, rev. William F. Wyatt):
Friends, be men, and put in your hearts a sense of shame before
other men, and be mindful, each man of you,
of children and wife, of possessions and of parents,
whether they are living or dead.

ὦ φίλοι, ἀνέρες ἔστε, καὶ αἰδὼ θέσθ᾿ ἐνὶ θυμῷ
ἄλλων ἀνθρώπων, ἐπὶ δὲ μνήσασθε ἕκαστος
παίδων ἠδ᾿ ἀλόχων καὶ κτήσιος ἠδὲ τοκήων,
ἠμὲν ὅτεῳ ζώουσι καὶ ᾧ κατατεθνήκασι.
Callinus fragment 1, lines 6–8 (tr. Douglas E. Gerber):
For it is a splendid honour for a man to fight
on behalf of his land, children, and wedded wife
against the foe.

τιμῆέν τε γάρ ἐστι καὶ ἀγλαὸν ἀνδρὶ μάχεσθαι
γῆς πέρι καὶ παίδων κουριδίης τ᾿ ἀλόχου
Thucydides 7.69.2 (tr. Richard Crawley):
He reminded them of their country, the freest of the free, and of the unfettered discretion allowed in it to all to live as they pleased; and added other arguments such as men would use at such a crisis, and which, with little alteration, are made to serve on all occasions alike—appeals to wives, children, and national gods,—without caring whether they are thought commonplace, but loudly invoking them in the belief that they will be of use in the consternation of the moment.

πατρίδος τε τῆς ἐλευθερωτάτης ὑπομιμνῄσκων καὶ τῆς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀνεπιτάκτου πᾶσιν ἐς τὴν δίαιταν ἐξουσίας, ἄλλα τε λέγων ὅσα ἐν τῷ τοιούτῳ ἤδη τοῦ καιροῦ ὄντες ἄνθρωποι οὐ πρὸς τὸ δοκεῖν τινὶ ἀρχαιολογεῖν φυλαξάμενοι εἴποιεν ἄν, καὶ ὑπὲρ ἁπάντων παραπλήσια ἔς τε γυναῖκας καὶ παῖδας καὶ θεοὺς πατρῴους προφερόμενα, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τῇ παρούσῃ ἐκπλήξει ὠφέλιμα νομίζοντες ἐπιβοῶνται.

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