Saturday, January 12, 2019



Herodotus 2.166.2-167.2 (on the Kalasyries; tr. Robin Waterfield):
They are not allowed to practise any trade either and are trained solely in military activities, with son succeeding father.

I cannot say for certain whether or not this is another thing the Greeks learnt from Egypt, because I see that the Thracians, Scythians, Persians, Lydians, and almost every non-Greek people also regard those who learn a trade and their descendants as the lowest stratum of society, as opposed to those who have nothing to do with artisanship and especially those who concentrate on warfare.

However that may be, all the Greeks have adopted this attitude, with artisans coming in for the most contempt in Lacedaemon, and the least in Corinth.

οὐδὲ τούτοισι ἔξεστι τέχνην ἐπασκῆσαι οὐδεμίαν, ἀλλὰ τὰ ἐς πόλεμον ἐπασκέουσι μοῦνα, παῖς παρὰ πατρὸς ἐκδεκόμενος.

εἰ μέν νυν καὶ τοῦτο παρ᾿ Αἰγυπτίων μεμαθήκασι οἱ Ἕλληνες, οὐκ ἔχω ἀτρεκέως κρῖναι, ὁρέων καὶ Θρήικας καὶ Σκύθας καὶ Πέρσας καὶ Λυδοὺς καὶ σχεδὸν πάντας τοὺς βαρβάρους ἀποτιμοτέρους τῶν ἄλλων ἡγημένους πολιητέων τοὺς τὰς τέχνας μανθάνοντας καὶ τοὺς ἐκγόνους τούτων, τοὺς δὲ ἀπαλλαγμένους τῶν χειρωναξιέων γενναίους νομιζομένους εἶναι, καὶ μάλιστα τοὺς ἐς τὸν πόλεμον ἀνειμένους·

μεμαθήκασι δ᾿ ὦν τοῦτο πάντες οἱ Ἕλληνες καὶ μάλιστα Λακεδαιμόνιοι. ἥκιστα δὲ Κορίνθιοι ὄνονται τοὺς χειροτέχνας.
There is an error in the Greek text of 2.167.2 in the Digital Loeb Classical Library (ὄνοται should be ὄνονται). Here is a screen capture of the mistake:

See Alan B. Lloyd, Herodotus, Book II. Commentary 99-182 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1993), pp. 196-199.


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?