Thursday, April 11, 2019


It Produced Everything Itself

Aristophanes, Acharnians 28-36 (tr. Jeffrey Henderson):
I am always the very first to come to Assembly
and take my seat. Then, in my solitude,
I sigh, I yawn, I stretch myself, I fart,
I fiddle, scribble, pluck my beard, do sums,
while I gaze off to the countryside and pine for peace,
loathing the city and yearning for my own deme,
that never cried "buy coal,"
"buy vinegar," "buy oil"; it didn't know the word "buy";
no, it produced everything itself, and the Buy Man was out of sight.

ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἀεὶ πρώτιστος εἰς ἐκκλησίαν
νοστῶν κάθημαι· κᾆτ᾿ ἐπειδὰν ὦ μόνος,
στένω, κέχηνα, σκορδινῶμαι, πέρδομαι,        30
ἀπορῶ, γράφω, παρατίλλομαι, λογίζομαι,
ἀποβλέπων εἰς τὸν ἀγρόν, εἰρήνης ἐρῶν,
στυγῶν μὲν ἄστυ, τὸν δ᾿ ἐμὸν δῆμον ποθῶν,
ὃς οὐδεπώποτ᾿ εἶπεν· "ἄνθρακας πρίω",
οὐκ "ὄξος" οὐκ "ἔλαιον", οὐδ᾿ ᾔδει "πρίω",        35
ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς ἔφερε πάντα χὠ πρίων ἀπῆν.
S. Douglas Olson on line 32:
τὸν ἀγρόν: Lit. 'my plot', i.e. 'my farm' (Pax 1320; Men. Dysk. 5; Philem. fr. 100.1; adesp. com. fr. 895.1); not 'the countryside', in which sense the noun seems not to take the def. art. (thus Starkie; cf. fr. 402.2 οἰκεῖν μὲν ἐν ἀγρῷ τοῦτον ἐν τῷ γηδίῳ ('that this man live in the country on his own plot of land')).
Related post: Self-Sufficiency.

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