Friday, August 12, 2022


All Things to All Men

Antiphanes, fragment 193 (from Step-Children; tr. S. Douglas Olson):
You know what I'm like — there's no nonsense in me, but this is what I am, in fact, where my friends are concerned: for taking blows, I'm red-hot iron; for dealing them out, a thunderbolt; for blinding someone's eyes, a lightning flash; for picking him up and hauling him out, a gust of wind; for throttling him, a noose; for prying doors open, an earthquake; for leaping inside, a grasshopper; for eating dinner without being invited, a fly; for leaving no escape, a well; for strangling, murdering, bearing false witness, or anything else you can name, I'm ready to do any of this on a moment's notice. Because of all these qualities, the young men call me Lighting Bolt. But their poking fun doesn’t bother me; I'm a good friend to my friends — in deeds and not just words!

                         τὸν τρόπον μὲν οἶσθά μου
ὅτι τῦφος οὐκ ἔνεστιν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς φίλοις
τοιοῦτός εἰμι δῆτα· τύπτεσθαι μύδρος,
τύπτειν κεραυνός, ἐκτυφλοῦν τιν᾽ ἀστραπή,
φέρειν τιν᾽ ἄρας ἄνεμος, ἀποπνῖξαι βρόχος,        5
θύρας μοχλεύειν σεισμός, εἰσπηδᾶν ἀκρίς,
δειπνεῖν ἄκλητος μυῖα, μὴ 'ξελθεῖν φρέαρ,
ἄγχειν, φονεύειν, μαρτυρεῖν, ὅσ᾽ ἂν μόνον
τύχῃ τις εἰπών, ταῦτ᾽ ἀπροσκέπτως ποεῖν
ἅπαντα. καὶ καλοῦσί μ᾽ οἱ νεώτεροι        10
διὰ ταῦτα πάντα Σκηπτὸν· ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲν μέλει
τῶν σκωμμάτων μοι· τῶν φίλων γὰρ ὢν φίλος
ἔργοισι χρηστός, οὐ λόγοις ἔφυν μόνον.
Apparatus from R. Kassel and C. Austin, Poetae Comici Graeci, Vol. II: Aganethor — Aristonymus (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1991), p. 423:
Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters 5.7.4 (tr. W.B. Anderson):
In the forum they are Scythians, in a room they are vipers, at a dinner party they are buffoons, in their exactions harpies, in conversations statues, in investigations brute beasts, in discussions snails, in contracts usurers; in intelligence they are like stones, in judgment wooden, fiery in anger, unforgiving as iron, in their friendship they are panthers, in their witticisms bears, in their deceitfulness foxes, in their arrogance bulls, in their voracity minotaurs.

in foro Scythae, in cubiculo viperae, in convivio scurrae, in exactionibus Harpyiae, in conlocutionibus statuae, in quaestionibus bestiae, in tractatibus cocleae, in contractibus trapezitae; ad intellegendum saxei, ad iudicandum lignei, ad suscensendum flammei, ad ignoscendum ferrei, ad amicitias pardi, ad facetias ursi, ad fallendum vulpes, ad superbiendum tauri, ad consumendum minotauri.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?