Tethnēke

Francisco de Goya, El Aquellare, 1798

Francisco de Goya, El Aquellare (1798)

Περὶ δὲ θανάτου τῶν τοιούτων ἀκήκοα λόγον ἀνδρὸς οὐκ ἄφρονος οὐδ’ ἀλαζόνος. Αἰμιλιανοῦ γὰρ τοῦ ῥήτορος, οὗ καὶ ὑμῶν ἔνιοι διακηκόασιν, Ἐπιθέρσης ἦν πατήρ, ἐμὸς πολίτης καὶ διδάσκαλος γραμματικῶν. οὗτος ἔφη ποτὲ πλέων εἰς Ἰταλίαν ἐπιβῆναι νεὼς ἐμπορικὰ χρήματα καὶ συχνοὺς ἐπιβάτας ἀγούσης· ἑσπέρας δ’ ἤδη περὶ τὰς Ἐχινάδας νήσους ἀποσβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα, καὶ τὴν ναῦν διαφερομένην πλησίον γενέσθαι Παξῶν· ἐγρηγορέναι δὲ τοὺς πλείστους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ πίνειν ἔτι δεδειπνηκότας· ἐξαίφνης δὲ φωνὴν ἀπὸ τῆς νήσου τῶν Παξῶν ἀκουσθῆναι, Θαμοῦν τινος βοῇ καλοῦντος, ὥστε θαυμάζειν. ὁ δὲ Θαμοῦς Αἰγύπτιος ἦν κυβερνήτης οὐδὲ τῶν ἐμπλεόντων γνώριμος πολλοῖς ἀπ’ ὀνόματος. δὶς μὲν οὖν κληθέντα σιωπῆσαι, τὸ δὲ τρίτον ὑπακοῦσαι τῷ καλοῦντι· κἀκεῖνον ἐπιτείνοντα τὴν φωνὴν εἰπεῖν “ὁπόταν γένῃ κατὰ τὸ Παλῶδες,
ἀπάγγειλον ὅτι Πὰν ὁ μέγας τέθνηκε.” τοῦτ’ ἀκούσαντας ὁ Ἐπιθέρσης ἔφη πάντας ἐκπλαγῆναι καὶ διδόντων ἑαυτοῖς λόγον εἴτε ποιῆσαι βέλτιον εἴη τὸ προστεταγμένον εἴτε μὴ πολυπραγμονεῖν ἀλλ’ ἐᾶν, οὕτως γνῶναι τὸν Θαμοῦν, εἰ μὲν εἴη πνεῦμα, παραπλεῖν ἡσυχίαν ἔχοντα, νηνεμίας δὲ καὶ γαλήνης περὶ τὸν τόπον γενομένης ἀνειπεῖν ὃ ἤκουσεν. ὡς οὖν ἐγένετο κατὰ τὸ Παλῶδες, οὔτε πνεύματος ὄντος οὔτε κλύδωνος, ἐκ πρύμνης βλέποντα τὸν Θαμοῦν πρὸς τὴν γῆν εἰπεῖν, ὥσπερ ἤκουσεν, ὅτι “ὁ μέγας Πὰν τέθνηκεν”. οὐ φθῆναι δὲ παυσάμενον αὐτὸν καὶ γενέσθαι μέγαν οὐχ ἑνὸς ἀλλὰ πολλῶν στεναγμὸν ἅμα θαυμασμῷ μεμιγμένον. οἷα δὲ πολλῶν ἀνθρώπων παρόντων ταχὺ τὸν λόγον ἐν Ῥώμῃ σκεδασθῆναι, καὶ τὸν Θαμοῦν γενέσθαι μετάπεμπτον ὑπὸ Τιβερίου Καίσαρος. οὕτω δὲ πιστεῦσαι τῷ λόγῳ τὸν Τιβέριον, ὥστε διαπυνθάνεσθαι καὶ ζητεῖν περὶ τοῦ Πανός· εἰκάζειν δὲ τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν φιλολόγους συχνοὺς ὄντας τὸν ἐξ Ἑρμοῦ καὶ
Πηνελόπης γεγενημένον.
(Plutarch, Peri tōn ekleloipotōn khrēstēriōn 419α-ε)

“As for death among such beings, I have heard the words of a man who was not a fool nor an impostor. The father of Aemilianus the orator, to whom some of you have listened, was Epitherses, who lived in our town and was my teacher in grammar. He said that once upon a time in making a voyage to Italy he embarked on a ship carrying freight and many passengers. It was already evening when, near the Echinades Islands, the wind dropped, and the ship drifted near Paxi. Almost everybody was awake, and a good many had not finished their after-dinner wine. Suddenly from the island of Paxi was heard the voice of someone loudly calling Thamus, so that all were amazed. Thamus was an Egyptian pilot, not known by name even to many on board. Twice he was called and made no reply, but the third time he answered; and the caller, raising his voice, said, ‘When you come opposite to Palodes, announce that Great Pan is dead.’ On hearing this, all, said Epitherses, were astounded and reasoned among themselves whether it were better to carry out the order or to refuse to meddle and let the matter go. Under the circumstances Thamus made up his mind that if there should be a breeze, he would sail past and keep quiet, but with no wind and a smooth sea about the place he would announce what he had heard. So, when he came opposite Palodes, and there was neither wind nor wave, Thamus from the stern, looking toward the land, said the words as he had heard them: ‘Great Pan is dead.’ Even before he had finished there was a great cry of lamentation, not of one person, but of many, mingled with exclamations of amazement. As many persons were on the vessel, the story was soon spread abroad in Rome, and Thamus was sent for by Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius became so convinced of the truth of the story that he caused an inquiry and investigation to be made about Pan; and the scholars, who were numerous at his court, conjectured that he was the son born of Hermes and Penelopê.” (tr. Frank Cole Babbitt)

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