Hairesin

gyges1

Ὡς δὲ ὁ Γύγης ἀπίκετο, ἔλεγε ἡ γυνὴ τάδε. “νῦν τοι δυῶν ὁδῶν παρεουσέων, Γύγη, δίδωμι αἵρεσιν, ὁκοτέρην βούλεαι τραπέσθαι. ἢ γὰρ Κανδαύλεα ἀποκτείνας ἐμέ τε καὶ τὴν βασιληΐην ἔχε τὴν Λυδῶν, ἢ αὐτόν σε αὐτίκα οὕτω ἀποθνῄσκειν δεῖ, ὡς ἂν μὴ πάντα πειθόμενος Κανδαύλῃ τοῦ λοιποῦ ἴδῃς τὰ μὴ σε δεῖ. ἀλλ’ ἤτοι κεῖνόν γε τὸν ταῦτα βουλεύσαντα δεῖ ἀπόλλυσθαι, ἢ σε τὸν ἐμὲ γυμνήν θεησάμενον καὶ ποιήσαντα οὐ νομιζόμενα.” ὁ δὲ Γύγης τέως μὲν ἀπεθώμαζε τὰ λεγόμενα, μετὰ δὲ ἱκέτευε μή μιν ἀναγκαίῃ ἐνδέειν διακρῖναι τοιαύτην αἵρεσιν. οὐκ ὦν δὴ ἔπειθε, ἀλλ’ ὥρα ἀναγκαίην ἀληθέως προκειμένην ἢ τὸν δεσπότεα ἀπολλύναι ἢ αὐτὸν ὑπ’ ἄλλων ἀπόλλυσθαι· αἱρέεται αὐτὸς περιεῖναι. ἐπειρώτα δὴ λέγων τάδε. “ἐπεί με ἀναγκάζεις δεσπότεα τὸν ἐμὸν κτείνειν οὐκ ἐθέλοντα, φέρε ἀκούσω τέῳ καὶ τρόπῳ ἐπιχειρήσομεν αὐτῷ.” ἣ δὲ ὑπολαβοῦσα ἔφη “ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μὲν χωρίου ἡ ὁρμὴ ἔσται ὅθεν περ καὶ ἐκεῖνος ἐμέ ἐπεδέξατο γυμνήν, ὑπνωμένῳ δὲ ἡ ἐπιχείρησις ἔσται.”
(Herodotus, Hist. 1.11.2-5)

When he arrived she said to him: ‘Gyges, there are now two paths before you: I leave it up to you which one you choose to take. Either you can kill Candaules and have me and the kingdom of Lydia for your own, or you must die yourself right now, so that you will never again do exactly what Candaules wants you to do and see what you should not see. Yes, either he or you must die—either the one whose idea this was or the one who saw me naked when he had no right to do so.” At first, Gyges was too astonished to reply, but then he begged her not to force him to make such a choice. She could not be moved, however. He saw that he really was faced with choosing between killing his master or being killed himself by others—and he chose to survive. So he had a question for her. ‘It’s not as if I want to kill my own master,’ he said, ‘but since you’re forcing me to do so, please tell me how we’re going to attack him.’ ‘The place from where he showed me to you naked’, she replied, ‘will be the place from which to launch the attack against him. The attack will happen when he’s asleep. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

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