Tuesday, October 05, 2021


Diphilus, Fragment 4

Diphilus, fragment 4 (from his comedy The Brothers; my translation):
My dear sir, being mortal understand how to fail,
so that you may only be unfortunate to the extent necessary,
and not receive more in addition through ignorance.

ὦ μακάρι', ἀτυχεῖν θνητὸς ὢν ἐπίστασο
ἵν' ἀυτὰ τἀναγκαῖα δυστυχῇς μόνον,
πλείω δὲ διὰ τὴν ἀμαθίαν μὴ προσλάβῃς.
J.M. Edmonds' unhelpful version:
Being human, learn to suffer, or you'll add
What might be better to what must be bad.
Alan Sommerstein on Menander, Samia 111:
ἀυτὰ τἀναγκαῖ' 'just to the extent that was unavoidable', i.e. 'as little as possible'; cf. Diphilus fr. 4.

Another translation (better than mine), from Joel Eidsath:
Good sir, know how to take your lumps like a man, so that you'll just suffer the unavoidable, and not get more for being stupid.

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