Friday, June 14, 2019


The Dignified Demeanor of a Head of State

Plutarch, Life of Pericles 7.7 (tr. Ian Scott-Kilvert):
Pericles, however, took care not to make himself too familiar a figure, even to the people, and he only addressed them at long intervals. He did not choose to speak on every question, but reserved himself, as Critolaus says, like the state galley, the Salamina, for great occasions, and allowed his friends and other public speakers to deal with less important matters.

ὁ δὲ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ τὸ συνεχὲς φεύγων καὶ τὸν κόρον οἷον ἐκ διαλειμμάτων ἐπλησίαζεν, οὐκ ἐπὶ παντὶ πράγματι λέγων, οὐδ᾿ ἀεὶ παριὼν εἰς τὸ πλῆθος, ἀλλ᾿ ἑαυτὸν ὥσπερ τὴν Σαλαμινίαν τριήρη, φησὶ Κριτόλαος, πρὸς τὰς μεγάλας χρείας ἐπιδιδούς, τἆλλα δὲ φίλους καὶ ῥήτορας ἑτέρους καθιεὶς ἔπραττεν.

τῷ δήμῳ Sauppe: τοῦ δήμου codd.
Id. 8.6-7:
The truth is, however, that even Pericles was extremely cautious in his use of words, so much so that whenever he rose to speak, he uttered a prayer that no word might escape his lips which was unsuited to the matter in hand. He left nothing behind him in writing except for the decrees he proposed, and only a very few of his sayings have been handed down.

οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Περικλῆς περὶ τὸν λόγον εὐλαβὴς ἦν, ὥστ᾿ ἀεὶ πρὸς τὸ βῆμα βαδίζων εὔχετο τοῖς θεοῖς μηδὲ ῥῆμα μηδὲν ἐκπεσεῖν ἄκοντος αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὴν προκειμένην χρείαν ἀνάρμοστον. ἔγγραφον μὲν οὖν οὐδὲν ἀπολέλοιπε πλὴν τῶν ψηφισμάτων· ἀπομνημονεύεται δ᾿ ὀλίγα παντάπασιν.

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