Thursday, March 19, 2020



Lucian, Icaromenippus 25 (tr. A.M. Harmon):
Pursuing such topics, we came to the place where he had to sit and hear the prayers. There was a row of openings like mouths of wells, with covers on them, and beside each stood a golden throne. Sitting down by the first one, Zeus took off the cover and gave his attention to the people who were praying. The prayers came from all parts of the world and were of all sorts and kinds, for I myself bent over the orifice and listened to them along with him. They went like this; "O Zeus, may I succeed in becoming king!" "O Zeus, make my onions and my garlic grow!" "O ye gods, let my father die quickly!"; and now and then one or another would say: "O that I may inherit my wife's property!" "O that I may be undetected in my plot against my brother!" "May I succeed in winning my suit!" "Let me win the wreath at the Olympic games!" Among seafaring men, one was praying for the north wind to blow, another for the south wind; and the farmers were praying for rain while the washermen were praying for sunshine.

Τοιαῦθ᾿ ἅμα διεξιόντες ἀφικνούμεθα ἐς τὸ χωρίον ἔνθα ἔδει αὐτὸν καθεζόμενον διακοῦσαι τῶν εὐχῶν. θυρίδες δὲ ἦσαν ἑξῆς τοῖς στομίοις τῶν φρεάτων ἐοικυῖαι πώματα ἔχουσαι, καὶ παρ᾿ ἑκάστῃ θρόνος ἔκειτο χρυσοῦς. καθίσας οὖν ἑαυτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς πρώτης ὁ Ζεὺς καὶ ἀφελὼν τὸ πῶμα παρεῖχε τοῖς εὐχομένοις ἑαυτόν· εὔχοντο δὲ πανταχόθεν τῆς γῆς διάφορα καὶ ποικίλα. συμπαρακύψας γὰρ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπήκουον ἅμα τῶν εὐχῶν. ἦσαν δὲ τοιαίδε, "Ὦ Ζεῦ, βασιλεῦσαί μοι γένοιτο·" "Ὦ Ζεῦ, τὰ κρόμμυά μοι φῦναι καὶ τὰ σκόροδα·" "Ὦ θεοί, τὸν πατέρα μοι ταχέως ἀποθανεῖν·" ὁ δέ τις ἂν ἔφη, "Εἴθε κληρονομήσαιμι τῆς γυναικός," "Εἴθε λάθοιμι ἐπιβουλεύσας τῷ ἀδελφῷ," "Γένοιτό μοι νικῆσαι τὴν δίκην," "Δὸς στεφθῆναι τὰ Ὀλύμπια." τῶν πλεόντων δὲ ὁ μὲν βορέαν εὔχετο ἐπιπνεῦσαι, ὁ δὲ νότον, ὁ δὲ γεωργὸς ᾔτει ὑετόν, ὁ δὲ γναφεὺς ἥλιον.

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