Polemētokon

1602b

αὐτὰρ ὁ μέσσῃ
χαλκείῃ κυνέῃ συνελέξατο καρπὸν ὀλέθρου,
θηρείων γενύων βλοσυρὸν θέρος· ἐνδαπίης δὲ
Παλλάδος ὑβὸν ἄροτρον ἀπ᾽ ὀργάδος εἰς χθόνα σύρων
καὶ χαροπῆς ἀρόσας πολεμητόκον αὔλακα γαίης
ἰοβόλων ἔσπειρε πολύστιχον ὄγμον ὀδόντων.
καὶ στάχυς αὐτολόχευτος ἀνηέξητο Γιγάντων,
ὧν ὁ μὲν ὑψικάρηνος ἀνέδραμεν ἄκρα τιταίνων
στήθεος εὐθώρηκος, ὁ δὲ προθορόντι καρήνῳ
φρικτὸν ἀνοιγομένης ὑπερέσχεθεν ὦμον ἀρούρης·
ἄλλος ἄνω προύκυψεν ἐς ὀμφαλόν, ὃς δ᾽ ἐπὶ γαίῃ
ἡμιτελὴς ἀνέτελλε πεδοτρεφὲς ὅπλον ἀείρων·
ἄλλος ὑπερκύπτοντα λόφον προβλῆτα τιταίνων
οὔ πω στέρνον ἔφαινε, καὶ εἰσέτι μητρὸς ἀνέρπων
ἐκ λαγόνων κατὰ βαιὸν ἀταρβέϊ μάρνατο Κάδμῳ
τεύχεσιν αὐτοφύτοις κεκορυθμένος· ἆ μέγα θαῦμα,
ὥπλισεν Εἰλείθυια, τὸν οὐ μαιώσατο μήτηρ·
καί τις ἀνηκόντιζεν ὁμόγνιον ἔγχος ἀφάσσων
ἡμιφανής, ὁ δὲ κοῦφος ὅλον δέμας εἰς φάος ἕλκων
ἄκρα ποδῶν ἀτέλεστα πεπηγότα λεῖπεν ἀρούρῃ.
(Nonnus, Dion. 4.421b-440)

Now he* gathered the fruit of death inside a helmet of bronze, the grim harvest of the creature’s jaws. Then he drew upon the land the humped plow of Pallas from her holy place in those parts, and plowed a battle-breeding furrow in the bright earth and sowed long lines of the poison-casting teeth. There grew out the self-delivered crop of giants: one shot up with head high, shaking the top of a mailcoated breast; one with jutting head stretched a horrid shoulder over the opening earth; another bent forward above ground as far as the midnipple, one again rose on the ground half-finished and lifted a soil-grown shield; another shook a nodding plume before him and showed not yet his chest; while still creeping up slowly from his mother’s flanks he showed fight against fearless Cadmos, clad in the armour he was born in. O what a great miracle! Eileithyia armed him whom the mother had not yet spawned! And there was one who cast his brother-spear, fumbling and half visible; one who lightly drew the whole body in to the light, but left his toes unfinished sticking in the ground.

* Cadmos.

(tr. William Henry Denham Rouse)

Censura

1

Studebant augendo patrimonio singuli, et obliti quid credentes, aut sub apostolis ante fecissent, aut semper facere deberent, insatiabili cupiditatis ardore ampliandis facultatibus incubabant. non in sacerdotibus religio devota, non in ministris fides integra, non in operibus misericordia, non in moribus disciplina. corrupta barba in viris, in feminis forma fucata; adulterati post Dei manus oculi, capilli mendacio colorati. ad decipienda corda simplicium callidae fraudes, circumveniendis fratribus subdolae voluntates. iungere cum infidelibus vinculum matrimonii, prostituere cum gentilibus membra Christi. non iurare tantum temere, sed adhuc etiam peierare: praepositos superbo tumore contemnere, venenato sibi ore maledicere; odiis pertinacibus invicem dissidere. episcopi plurimi, quos et hortamento esse oportet ceteris et exemplo, divina procuratione contempta, procuratores rerum saecularium fieri, derelicta cathedra, plebe deserta, per alienas provincias oberrantes, negotiationis quaestuosae nundinas aucupari, esurientibus in Ecclesia fratribus, habere argentum largiter velle, fundos insidiosis fraudibus rapere, usuris multiplicantibus foenus augere. quid non perpeti tales pro peccatis eiusmodi mereremur, cum iam pridem praemonuerit ac dixerit censura divina: si dereliquerint legem meam, et in iudiciis meis non ambulaverint, si iustificationes meas profanaverint et pracepta mea non observaverint, visitabo in virga facinora eorum et in flagellis delicta eorum.
(Cyprian, De Lapsis 6)

Each one was desirous of increasing his estate; and forgetful of what believers had either done before in the times of the apostles, or always ought to do, they, with the insatiable ardour of covetousness, devoted themselves to the increase of their property. Among the priests there was no devotedness of religion; among the ministers there was no sound faith: in their works there was no mercy; in their manners there was no discipline. In men, their beards were defaced; in women, their complexion was dyed: the eyes were falsified from what God’s hand had made them; their hair was stained with a falsehood. Crafty frauds were used to deceive the hearts of the simple, subtle meanings for circumventing the brethren. They united in the bond of marriage with unbelievers; they prostituted the members of Christ to the Gentiles. They would swear not only rashly, but even more, would swear falsely; would despise those set over them with haughty swelling, would speak evil of one another with envenomed tongue, would quarrel with one another with obstinate hatred. Not a few bishops who ought to furnish both exhortation and example to others, despising their divine charge, became agents in secular business, forsook their throne, deserted their people, wandered about over foreign provinces, hunted the markets for gainful merchandise, while brethren were starving in the Church. They sought to possess money in hoards, they seized estates by crafty deceits, they increased their gains by multiplying usuries. What do not such as we deserve to suffer for sins of this kind, when even already the divine rebuke has forewarned us, and said, “If they shall forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they shall profane my statutes, and shall not observe my precepts, I will visit their offences with a rod, and their sins with scourges?” (tr. Robert Ernest Wallis)

Oluisse

100412_washlikeaman_wide

Nam, ut aiunt qui priscos mores urbis tradiderunt, brachia et crura cotidie abluebant, quae scilicet sordes opere collegerant, ceterum toti nundinis lavabantur. hoc loco dicet aliquis: ‘liquet mihi immundissimos fuisse’. quid putas illos oluisse? militiam, laborem, virum. postquam munda balnea inventa sunt, spurciores sunt.
(Seneca Minor, Ep. ad Luc. 85.12)

It is stated by those who have reported to us the old-time ways of Rome that the Romans washed only their arms and legs daily—because those were the members which gathered dirt in their daily toil—and bathed all over only once a week. Here someone will retort: “Yes; pretty dirty fellows they evidently were! How they must have smelled!” But they smelled of the camp, the farm, and heroism. Now that spick- and-span bathing establishments have been devised, men are really fouler than of yore. (tr. Richard M. Gummere)

 

Nenikēkas

julian
Julian the Apostate

Ἐνταῦθα δὴ καὶ ποτοῦ καὶ τροφῆς οἱ στρατιῶται σπανίζοντες, καὶ τῆς πορείας ἡγεμόνας οὐκ ἔχοντες ἀλλ’ ἐν ἐρήμῳ χώρᾳ πλανώμενοι, τὴν τοῦ σοφωτάτου βασιλέως ἔγνωσαν ἀβουλίαν. ὀλοφυρόμενοι δὲ καὶ στένοντες εὗρον ἐξαπίνης κείμενον τὸν κατὰ τοῦ πεποιηκότος λυττήσαντα, καὶ τὸν Ἄρεα τὸν πολεμόκλονον ἐπίκουρον οὐ γενόμενον κατὰ τὴν ὑπόσχεσιν, καὶ τὸν Λοξίαν τὰ ψευδῆ μαντευσάμενον, καὶ τὸν τερπικέραυνον κατὰ τοῦ κτείναντος τοῖς κεραυνοῖς οὐ χρησάμενον, καὶ τὸν κόμπον τῶν ἀπειλῶν ἐρριμμένον εἰς ἔδαφος. τὸν μέντοι τὴν δικαίαν ἐκείνην ἐπενεγκόντα πληγὴν οὐδεὶς ἔγνω μέχρι καὶ τήμερον· ἀλλ’ οἱ μέν τινα τῶν ἀοράτων ταύτην ἐπενηνοχέναι φασίν, οἱ δὲ τῶν νομάδων ἕνα τῶν Ἰσμαηλιτῶν καλουμένων, ἄλλοι δὲ στρατιώτην τὸν λιμὸν καὶ τὴν ἔρημον δυσχεράναντα. ἀλλ’ εἴτε ἄνθρωπος εἴτε ἄγγελος ὦσε τὸ ξίφος, δῆλον ὡς τοῦτο δέδρακε τοῦ θείου νεύματος γενόμενος ὑπουργός. ἐκεῖνον δέ γέ φασι δεξάμενον τὴν πληγὴν εὐθὺς πλῆσαι τὴν χεῖρα τοῦ αἵματος καὶ τοῦτο ῥίψαι εἰς τὸν ἀέρα καὶ φάναι· “νενίκηκας Γαλιλαῖε”, καὶ κατὰ ταὐτὸν τήν τε νίκην ὁμολογῆσαι καὶ τὴν βλασφημίαν τολμῆσαι· οὕτως ἐμβρόντητος ἦν.
(Theodoret, Eccl. Hist. 3.25.4-7)

His* soldiers had not enough to eat and drink; they were without guides; they were marching astray in a desert land. Thus they saw the folly of their most wise emperor. In the midst of their murmuring and grumbling they suddenly found him who had struggled in mad rage against his Maker wounded to death. Ares who raises the war-din had never come to help him as he promised; Loxias had given lying divination; he who glads him in the thunderbolts had hurled no bolt on the man who dealt the fatal blow; the boasting of his threats was dashed to the ground. The name of the man who dealt that righteous stroke no one knows to this day. Some say that he was wounded by an invisible being, others by one of the Nomads who were called Ishmaelites; others by a trooper who could not endure the pains of famine in the wilderness. But whether it were man or angel who plied the steel, without doubt the doer of the deed was the minister of the will of God. It is related that when Julian had received the wound, he filled his hand with blood, flung it into the air and cried, “Thou hast won, O Galilean.” Thus he gave utterance at once to a confession of the victory and to a blasphemy. So infatuated was he.

* The emperor Julian’s.

(tr. Blomfield Jackson)

Kubernan

Narrenschiff_(Brant)_1499_pic_0001

‘Νόησον γὰρ τοιουτονὶ γενόμενον εἴτε πολλῶν νεῶν πέρι εἴτε μιᾶς· ναύκληρον μεγέθει μὲν καὶ ῥώμῃ ὑπὲρ τοὺς ἐν τῇ νηῒ πάντας, ὑπόκωφον δὲ καὶ ὁρῶντα ὡσαύτως βραχύ τι καὶ γιγνώσκοντα περὶ ναυτικῶν ἕτερα τοιαῦτα, τοὺς δὲ ναύτας στασιάζοντας πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ τῆς κυβερνήσεως, ἕκαστον οἰόμενον δεῖν κυβερνᾶν, μήτε μαθόντα πώποτε τὴν τέχνην μήτε ἔχοντα ἀποδεῖξαι διδάσκαλον ἑαυτοῦ μηδὲ χρόνον ἐν ᾧ ἐμάνθανε, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις φάσκοντας μηδὲ διδακτὸν εἶναι, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν λέγοντα ὡς διδακτὸν ἑτοίμους κατατέμνειν, αὐτοὺς δὲ αὐτῷ ἀεὶ τῷ ναυκλήρῳ περικεχύσθαι δεομένους καὶ πάντα ποιοῦντας ὅπως ἂν σφίσι τὸ πηδάλιον ἐπιτρέψῃ, ἐνίοτε δ’ ἂν μὴ πείθωσιν ἀλλὰ ἄλλοι μᾶλλον, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους ἢ ἀποκτεινύντας ἢ ἐκβάλλοντας ἐκ τῆς νεώς, τὸν δὲ γενναῖον ναύκληρον μανδραγόρᾳ ἢ μέθῃ ἤ τινι ἄλλῳ ξυμποδίσαντας τῆς νεὼς ἄρχειν χρωμένους τοῖς ἐνοῦσι, καὶ πίνοντάς τε καὶ εὐωχουμένους πλεῖν ὡς τὸ εἰκὸς τοὺς τοιούτους, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἐπαινοῦντας ναυτικὸν μὲν καλοῦντας καὶ κυβερνητικὸν καὶ ἐπιστάμενον τὰ κατὰ ναῦν, ὃς ἂν ξυλλαμβάνειν δεινὸς ᾖ, ὅπως ἄρξουσιν ἢ πείθοντες ἢ βιαζόμενοι τὸν ναύκληρον, τὸν δὲ μὴ τοιοῦτον ψέγοντας ὡς ἄχρηστον, τοῦ δὲ ἀληθινοῦ κυβερνήτου πέρι μηδ’ ἐπαΐοντας, ὅτι ἀνάγκη αὐτῷ τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν ποιεῖσθαι ἐνιαυτοῦ καὶ ὡρῶν καὶ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἄστρων καὶ πνευμάτων καὶ πάντων τῶν τῇ τέχνῃ προσηκόντων, εἰ μέλλει τῷ ὄντι νεὼς ἀρχικὸς ἔσεσθαι, ὅπως δὲ κυβερνήσει ἐάν τέ τινες βούλωνται ἐάν τε μή, μήτε τέχνην τούτου μήτε μελέτην οἰόμενῳ δυνατὸν εἶναι λαβεῖν ἅμα καὶ τὴν κυβερνητικήν. τοιούτων δὴ περὶ τὰς ναῦς γιγνομένων τὸν ὡς ἀληθῶς κυβερνητικὸν οὐχ ἡγεῖ ἂν τῷ ὄντι μετεωροσκόπον τε καὶ ἀδολέσχην καὶ ἄχρηστόν σφισι καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν ταῖς οὕτω κατεσκευασμέναις ναυσὶ πλωτήρων;’
‘καὶ μάλα’, ἔφη ὁ ᾿Αδείμαντος.
(Plato, Politeia 488a-489a)

‘Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering—everyone is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces anyone who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not—the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?’ – ‘Of course’, said Adeimantus. (tr. Benjamin Jowett)

Relinquo

Antinous_as_Aristaeus,_god_of_the_shepherds_and_cheese-making,_bee-keeping,_Louvre_Museum,_Paris_(21188301694)
Antinous as Aristaeus

Pastor Aristaeus fugiens Peneïa Tempe,
amissis, ut fama, apibus morboque fameque,
tristis ad extremi sacrum caput adstitit amnis
multa querens atque hac adfatus voce parentem:
‘Mater, Cyrene mater, quae gurgitis huius
ima tenes, quid me praeclara stirpe deorum
(si modo, quem perhibes, pater est Thymbraeus Apollo)
invisum fatis genuisti? aut quo tibi nostri
pulsus amor? quid me caelum sperare iubebas?
en etiam hunc ipsum vitae mortalis honorem,
quem mihi vix frugum et pecudum custodia sollers
omnia temptanti extuderat, te matre relinquo.
quin age et ipsa manu felices erue silvas,
fer stabulis inimicum ignem atque interfice messes,
ure sata et validam in vites molire bipennem,
tanta meae si te ceperunt taedia laudis.’
(Vergil, Georg. 4.317-332)

The shepherd Aristaeus, leaving the Tempe valley
where Peneus flows, his bees lost—so legend reports—to sickness
and hunger, stopped, beset by sorrow, at the stream’s holy
source and, loudly lamenting, called out to his mother,
“Mother, Cyrene, my mother, living beneath this gush
of water, why did you bear me from the radiant line
of gods—Apollo fathered me, if you’ve told the truth—
only to be scorned by fate? What has routed your love?
Why did you let me hope for immortality?
Look at me! Even this crowning grace of my human life
that zealous care for cattle and crops hammered out for me,
even though you are my mother, I give it all up.
Yes, come! With your own hand root out my fruit trees,
burn my livestock pens, murder my crops, torch my gardens,
chop my vines down with a battle-axe if you have been seized
by such great disdain for work that is well worth your praise.
(tr. Janet Lembke)

Tlēthi

Patrick, Marcel, Kamiel en Richard Hackx, viergeslacht 1957

Ἓν δὲ τὸ κάλλιστον Χῖος ἔειπεν ἀνήρ·
‘οἵη περ φύλλων γενεή, τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν’·
παῦροί μιν θνητῶν οὔασι δεξάμενοι
στέρνοις ἐγκατέθεντο· πάρεστι γὰρ ἐλπὶς ἑκάστῳ
ἀνδρῶν, ἥ τε νέων στήθεσιν ἐμφύεται.
θνητῶν δ’ ὄφρά τις ἄνθος ἔχῃ πολυήρατον ἥβης,
κοῦφον ἔχων θυμὸν πόλλ’ ἀτέλεστα νοεῖ·
οὔτε γὰρ ἐλπίδ’ ἔχει γηρασέμεν οὔτε θανεῖσθαι,
οὐδ’, ὑγιὴς ὅταν ᾖ, φροντίδ’ ἔχει καμάτου.
νήπιοι, οἷς ταύτῃ κεῖται νόος, οὐδὲ ἴσασιν
ὡς χρόνος ἔσθ’ ἥβης καὶ βιότου ὀλίγος
θηντοῖς. ἀλλὰ σὺ ταῦτα μαθὼν βιότου ποτὶ τέρμα
ψυχῇ τῶν ἀγαθῶν τλῆθι χαριζόμενος.
(Simonides, fr. eleg. 8)

and this was the best thing the man of Chios* ever said: ‘As the generation of leaves, so is that of men’ [Il. 6.146]. Few mortals having heard it with their ears have deposited it within their breasts. For hope is present with each man, hope which grows in the hearts of the young. As long as a mortal has the lovely flower of youth, he ponders with light heart many impossibles; for he neither expects to grow old or die, nor when he is healthy does he worry about illness. Fools, to think like that and not realise that mortals’ time for youth and life is brief: you must take note of this, and since you are near the end of your life endure, indulging yourself with good things.

* Homer

(tr. David A. Campbell)