Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Big Brother

Xenophon, Cyropaedia 8.2.12 (tr. Walter Miller):
And thus the saying comes about, "The king has many ears and many eyes"; and people are everywhere afraid to say anything to the discredit of the king, just as if he himself were listening; or to do anything to harm him, just as if he were present. Not only, therefore, would no one have ventured to say anything derogatory of Cyrus to any one else, but every one conducted himself at all times just as if those who were within hearing were so many eyes and ears of the king.

οὕτω δὴ πολλὰ μὲν βασιλέως ὦτα, πολλοὶ δ᾽ ὀφθαλμοὶ νομίζονται· καὶ φοβοῦνται πανταχοῦ λέγειν τὰ μὴ σύμφορα βασιλεῖ, ὥσπερ αὐτοῦ ἀκούοντος, καὶ ποιεῖν ἃ μὴ σύμφορα, ὥσπερ αὐτοῦ παρόντος. οὔκουν ὅπως μνησθῆναι ἄν τις ἐτόλμησε πρός τινα περὶ Κύρου φλαῦρόν τι, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς πᾶσι καὶ ὠσὶ βασιλέως τοῖς ἀεὶ παροῦσιν οὕτως ἕκαστος διέκειτο.

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