Περὶ τῆς καθ’ Ὅμηρον ἐχεμυθίας διὰ τούτων σαφῶς δείκνυται· λέγει γάρ,
“Θερσῖτ’ ἀκριτόμυθε, λιγύς περ ἐὼν ἀγορητὴς
ἴσχεο, μηδ’ ἔθελ’ οἶος ἐριζέμεναι βασιλῆϊ.” [Homer, Il. 2.246-247, misquoted (βασιλεῦσιν)]
καὶ τοῦ Τηλεμάχου εἰπόντος,
“ἦ μάλα τις θεῶν ἔνδον, οἳ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν,” [Homer, Od. 19.40, misquoted (θεὸς)]
ἐπιλαμβανόμενος ὁ πατὴρ ἔφη,
“σίγα καὶ κατὰ σὸν νόον ἴσχανε μηδ’ ἐρέεινε·
αὕτη τοι δίκη ἐστὶ θεῶν οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσι.” [Homer, Od. 19.42-43]
τοῦτο ἐκσίγησιν οἱ Πυθαγορικοὶ καλοῦντες οὐδὲν ἀπεκρίνοντο τοῖς περὶ θεῶν ὅ τι τύχοιεν ἰταμῶς καὶ εὐχερῶς ἐρωτῶσι.
(Plutarch, fr. 207)

Homer’s approval of “holding the tongue” is clearly shown by the following lines: he writes,
“Thersites, unconsidered are your words;
Keep quiet, ready speaker though you be,
Nor wish alone to wrangle with the king.”
And when Telemachus said,
“Some god’s within, a dweller in wide heaven,”
his father restrained him with the words,
“Silence! Repress your thought and ask no questions;
The dwellers in Olympus have this right.”
The Pythagoreans called this “firm silence,” and gave no answer to those who, recklessly and without qualms, put indiscriminate questions about the gods. (tr. Francis Henry Sandbach)

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