Sunday, November 13, 2022


Death of Timanthes

Pausanias 6.8.4 (tr. W.H.S. Jones):
Timanthes, they say, met his end through the following cause. On retiring from athletics he continued to test his strength by drawing a great bow every day. His practice with the bow was interrupted during a period when he was away from home. On his return, finding that he was no longer able to bend the bow, he lit a fire and threw himself alive on to it. In my view all such deeds, whether they have already occurred among men or will take place hereafter, ought to be regarded as acts of madness rather than of courage.

τῷ δὲ Τιμάνθει τὸ τέλος τοῦ βίου συμβῆναί φασιν ἐπὶ αἰτίᾳ τοιᾷδε. πεπαῦσθαι μὲν ἀθλοῦντα, ἀποπειρᾶσθαι δὲ ὅμως αὐτὸν ἔτι τῆς ἰσχύος, τόξον μέγα ἐπὶ ἑκάστης τείνοντα τῆς ἡμέρας, ἀποδημῆσαί τε δὴ αὐτὸν καὶ ἐπὶ τῷ τόξῳ τηνικαῦτα ἐκλειφθῆναί οἱ τὴν μελέτην· ὡς δὲ ἐπανήκων οὐχ οἷός τε ἔτι τεῖναι τὸ τόξον ἐγίνετο, πῦρ ἀνακαύσας ἀφίησι ζῶντα ἐς τὴν πυρὰν αὑτόν. ὁπόσα δὲ ἤδη τοιαῦτα ἐγένετο ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἢ καὶ ὕστερόν ποτε ἔσται, μανία μᾶλλον ἢ ἀνδρία νομίζοιτο ἂν κατά γε ἐμὴν γνώμην.

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