Tuesday, July 13, 2021


Can't Live With 'Em or Without 'Em

Aristophanes, Lysistrata 1038-1039 (tr. Jeffrey Henderson):
That ancient adage is right on the mark and no mistake:
"Can't live with the pests or without the pests either."

κἄστ᾿ ἐκεῖνο τοὔπος ὀρθῶς κοὐ κακῶς εἰρημένον,
οὔτε σὺν πανωλέθροισιν οὔτ᾿ ἄνευ πανωλέθρων.
Commentators cite [Susarion], fragment 1 (tr. Ian C. Storey):
Listen, people, Susarion has this to say,
the son of Philinus, from Tripodisce in Megara:
women are a bad thing, but nevertheless, my townsfolk,
you cannot have a home without a bad thing.
Both to marry and not to marry is a bad thing.

ἀκούετε λεῴ· Σουσαρίων λέγει τάδε
υἱὸς Φιλίνου Μεγαρόθεν Τριποδίσκιος.
κακὸν γυναῖκες· ἀλλ᾿ ὅμως, ὦ δημόται,
οὐκ ἔστιν οἰκεῖν οἰκίαν ἄνευ κακοῦ.
καὶ γὰρ τὸ γῆμαι καὶ τὸ μὴ γῆμαι κακόν.
R. Kassel and C. Austin, edd., Poetae Comici Graeci, Vol. VII: Menecrates — Xenophon (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1989), pp. 664-665:
See also S. Douglas Olson, Broken Laughter. Select Fragments of Greek Comedy. Edited with Introduction, Commentary, and Translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 321, 328-330, 458.

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