Taxopisthe

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Διέβαινε ποταμὸν ὀξὺν ὄντα τῷ ῥείθρῳ
κυρτὴ κάμηλος, εἶτ’ ἔχεζε. τοῦ δ’ ὄνθου
φθάνοντος αὐτὴν εἶπεν “ἦ κακῶς πράσσω·
ἔμπροσθεν ἤδη τἀξόπισθέ μου βαίνει.”
[πόλις ἄν τις εἴποι τὸν λόγον τὸν Αἰσώπου,
ἧς ἔσχατοι κρατοῦσιν ἀντὶ τῶν πρώτων.]
(Babrius, Fab. 40)

A humpbacked camel was crossing a swiftly flowing river when he defecated. Seeing that the dung was floating ahead of him, he said: “Truly, I’m in a bad way; what ought to be behind me is now going in front.” [A state in which the worst citizens are in power, instead of the best, might tell this story of Aesop’s.] (tr. Ben Edwin Perry)

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