Thursday, July 30, 2020
Disaster and Disgrace
Disaster has struck, and over and above disaster disgrace: that makes disaster twice as bad. To die gloriously, if die one must, though it is of course painful for him who dies, is a source of magnificence for the survivors and a glory to their houses. But we perished foolishly and ingloriously.The same, tr. Richmond Lattimore:
κακῶς πέπρακται κἀπὶ τοῖς κακοῖσι πρὸς
αἴσχιστα· καίτοι δὶς τόσον κακὸν τόδε·
θανεῖν γὰρ εὐκλεῶς μέν, εἰ θανεῖν χρεών,
λυπρὸν μὲν οἶμαι τῷ θανόντι—πῶς γὰρ οὔ;—
τοῖς ζῶσι δ᾿ ὄγκος καὶ δόμων εὐδοξία. 760
ἡμεῖς δ᾿ ἀβούλως κἀκλεῶς ὀλώλαμεν.
There has been wickedness done here. More than wickedness:
shame too, which makes the evil double its own bulk.
To die with glory, if one has to die at all,
is still, I think, pain for the dier, surely so,
yet grandeur left for his survivors, honor for his house.
But death to us came senseless and inglorious.