Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Klearchos of Methydrion

Porphyry, On Abstinence from Killing Animals 2.16.145-146 (tr. Gillian Clark):
(1) Theopompus [Fragmente der griechischen Historiker II 1B F344] told a similar story, that a man from Magnesia in Asia came to Delphi: he was very rich and owned many cattle. It was his custom to make, every year, many splendid sacrifices to the gods, both because of his abundance of resources, and because of piety and wanting to please the gods. (2) This being his attitude to the divine power, he came to Delphi, and having brought a hecatomb to the god and honoured Apollo splendidly, he went to the shrine to consult the oracle. Thinking that he worshipped the gods better than anyone, he asked the Pythia to declare who honoured the divine power best and most zealously and who made the most acceptable sacrifices, expecting that the first place would be given to him. But the priestess replied that the man who best worshipped the gods was Klearchos, who lived in Methydrion in Arcadia. (3) The Magnesian was astounded, and wanted to see this man and to find out from him how he offered sacrifices. He soon reached Methydrion, and at first despised it because the place was small and humble in size, reckoning that even the community itself, let alone one of its private citizens, could not honour the gods better or more splendidly than he could. Nevertheless he met the man and asked him to explain in what way he honoured the gods. (4) Klearchos said that he made offerings and sacrificed with care at the proper times: every month at the new moon he garlanded and polished Hermes and Hekate and the other sacred objects that his ancestors had left, and honoured them with incense and ground grain and cakes. (5) Every year he took part in the public sacrifices, omitting no festival, and in those sacrifices he worshipped the gods not by sacrificing cattle or cutting up victims, but by offering what he had available. He was, however, careful to assign to the gods first-fruits of every crop that grew and of fruits of the earth in their season, giving some as offerings and consecrating some; but he kept to his self-sufficiency and did not sacrifice cattle.

(1) τὰ παραπλήσια δὲ καὶ Θεόπομπος ἱστόρηκεν, εἰς Δελφοὺς ἀφικέσθαι ἄνδρα Μάγνητα ἐκ τῆς ᾽Ασίας φάμενος, πλούσιον σφόδρα, κεκτημένον συχνὰ βοσκήματα. τοῦτον δ᾽ εἰθίσθαι τοῖς θεοῖς καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἐνιαυτὸν θυσίας ποιεῖσθαι πολλὰς καὶ μεγαλοπρεπεῖς, τὰ μὲν δι᾽ εὐπορίαν τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, τὰ δὲ δι᾽ εὐσέβειαν καὶ τὸ βούλεσθαι τοῖς θεοῖς ἀρέσκειν. (2) οὕτω δὲ διακείμενον πρὸς τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐλθεῖν εἰς Δελφούς, πομπεύσαντα δὲ ἑκατόμβην τῶι θεῶι καὶ τιμήσαντα μεγαλοπρεπῶς τὸν ᾽Απόλλωνα παρελθεῖν εἰς τὸ μαντεῖον χρηστηριασόμενον. οἰόμενον δὲ κάλλιστα πάντων ἀνθρώπων θεραπεύειν τοὺς θεοὺς ἐρέσθαι τὴν Πυθίαν τὸν ἄριστα καὶ προθυμότατα τὸ δαιμόνιον γεραίροντα θεσπίσαι καὶ τὸν ποιοῦντα τὰς θυσίας προσφιλεστάτας, ὑπολαμβάνοντα δοθήσεσθαι αὑτῶι τὸ πρωτεῖον. τὴν δὲ ἱέρειαν ἀποκρίνασθαι πάντων ἄριστα θεραπεύειν τοὺς θεοὺς Κλέαρχον κατοικοῦντα ἐν Μεθυδρίωι τῆς ᾽Αρκαδίας. (3) τὸν δ᾽ ἐκπλαγέντα ἐκτόπως ἐπιθυμῆσαι τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἰδεῖν καὶ ἐντυχόντα μαθεῖν, τίνα τρόπον τὰς θυσίας ἐπιτελεῖ. ἀφικομένου οὖν ταχέως εἰς τὸ Μεθύδριον πρῶτον μὲν καταφρονῆσαι μικροῦ καὶ ταπεινοῦ ὄντος τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ χωρίου, ἡγούμενον οὐχ ὅπως ἄν τινα τῶν ἰδιωτῶν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἂν αὐτὴν τὴν πόλιν δύνασθαι μεγαλοπρεπέστερον αὑτοῦ καὶ κάλλιον τιμῆσαι τοὺς θεούς. ὅμως δ᾽ οὖν συντυχόντα τῶι ἀνδρὶ ἀξιῶσαι φράσαι αὐτῶι, ὅντινα τρόπον τοὺς θεοὺς τιμᾶι. (4) τὸν δὲ Κλέαρχον φάναι ἐπιτελεῖν καὶ σπουδαίως θύειν ἐν τοῖς προσήκουσι χρόνοις, κατὰ μῆνα ἕκαστον ταῖς νουμηνίαις στεφανοῦντα καὶ φαιδρύνοντα τὸν ῾Ερμῆν καὶ τὴν ῾Εκάτην καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν ἱερῶν, ἃ δὴ τοὺς προγόνους καταλιπεῖν, καὶ τιμᾶν λιβανωτοῖς καὶ ψαιστοῖς καὶ ποπάνοις· (5) κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν δὲ θυσίας δημοτελεῖς ποιεῖσθαι, παραλείποντα οὐδεμίαν ἑορτήν· ἐν αὐταῖς δὲ ταύταις θεραπεύειν τοὺς θεοὺς οὐ βουθυτοῦντα οὐδὲ ἱερεῖα κατακόπτοντα, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι ἄν παρατύχηι ἐπιθύοντα, σπουδάζειν μέντοι ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν περιγιγνομένων καρπῶν καὶ τῶν ὡραίων, ἃ ἐκ τῆς γῆς λαμβάνεται, τοῖς θεοῖς τὰς ἀπαρχὰς ἀπονέμειν· καὶ τὰ μὲν παρατιθέναι, τὰ δὲ καθαγίζειν αὐτοῖς· αὐτὸν δὲ τῆι αὐταρκείαι προσεσχηκότα τὸ θῦσαι βοῦς προεῖσθαι.
Related post: The Widow's Mite.

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