Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Against Theodicy

Lucian, Vol. II. With an English Translation by A.M. Harmon (1915; rpt. London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1960 = Loeb Classical Library, 54), pp. 119, 121 (Zeus Rants 19; Momus speaking):
And I vow by Themis that it is not right to be angry either at Epicurus or at his associates and successors in doctrine if they have formed such an idea of us. Why, what could one expect them to think when they see so much confusion in life, and see that the good men among them are neglected and waste away in poverty and illness and bondage while scoundrelly, pestilential fellows are highly honoured and have enormous wealth and lord it over their betters, and that temple-robbers are not punished but escape, while men who are guiltless of all wrong-doing sometimes die by the cross or the scourge?
The Greek (id., pp. 118, 120):
καὶ μὰ τὴν Θέμιν οὔτε τῷ Ἐπικούρῳ ἄξιον ὀργίζεσθαι οὔτε τοῖς ὁμιληταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ διαδόχοις τῶν λόγων, εἰ τοιαῦτα περὶ ἡμῶν ὑπειλήφασιν. ἢ τί γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἀξιώσειέ τις ἂν φρονεῖν, ὁπόταν ὁρῶσι τοσαύτην ἐν τῷ βίῳ τὴν ταραχήν, καὶ τοὺς μὲν χρηστοὺς αὐτῶν ἀμελουμένους, ἐν πενίᾳ καὶ νόσοις καὶ δουλείᾳ καταφθειρομένους, παμπονήρους δὲ καὶ μιαροὺς ἀνθρώπους προτιμωμένους καὶ ὑπερπλουτοῦντας καὶ ἐπιτάττοντας τοῖς κρείττοσι, καὶ τοὺς μὲν ἱεροσύλους οὐ κολαζομένους ἀλλὰ διαλανθάνοντας, ἀνασκολοπιζομένους δὲ καὶ τυμπανιζομένους ἐνίοτε τοὺς οὐδὲν ἀδικοῦντας;
I added accents to τὴν ταραχήν — the accents are missing in the printed edition (p. 118) as well as in the Digital Loeb Classical Library, as the following images show:


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