Friday, February 18, 2022


The Fall of the Mighty

Euripides, Hecuba 619-628 (Hecuba speaking; tr. James Morwood):
O stately halls, O my once happy home, O Priam who had so much and was so blessed with children, myself here too, the ancient mother of my children, how we have come to nothing! We have been stripped of our former pride. So why do we mortals swell with conceit, one of us over the wealth of his house, another over his reputation for honour among the citizens? Wealth and honour are nothing, nothing but ambitions for the heart and boasting for the tongue. The truly happy man is the one who meets with nothing bad from day to day.

ὦ σχήματ᾽ οἴκων, ὦ ποτ᾽ εὐτυχεῖς δόμοι,
ὦ πλεῖστ᾽ ἔχων κάλλιστά τ᾽, εὐτεκνώτατε        620
Πρίαμε, γεραιά θ᾽ ἥδ᾽ ἐγὼ μήτηρ τέκνων,
ὡς ἐς τὸ μηδὲν ἥκομεν, φρονήματος
τοῦ πρὶν στερέντες. εἶτα δῆτ᾽ ὀγκούμεθα,
ὃ μέν τις ἡμῶν πλουσίοις ἐν δώμασιν,
ὃ δ᾽ ἐν πολίταις τίμιος κεκλημένος.        625
τὰ δ᾽ οὐδὲν, ἄλλως φροντίδων βουλεύματα
γλώσσης τε κόμποι. κεῖνος ὀλβιώτατος
ὅτῳ κατ᾽ ἦμαρ τυγχάνει μηδὲν κακόν.

620 κάλλιστά codd.: μάλιστά Harry

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