Ἆρα ἀγνοεῖτε τὴν προσοῦσαν αἰσχύνην τῷ πράγματι καὶ πόσον γέλωτα ὄφλετε δημοσίᾳ ψευδόμενοι, καὶ ταῦτα φανερῶς οὕτως; ἐν γοῦν τοῖς ψηφίσμασι γράφετε, στῆσαι δὲ εἰκόνα τοῦ δεῖνος. πῶς, εἴποι τις ἂν ὑμῖν, ἄνδρες Ῥόδιοι, στῆσαι γράφετε τὴν ἑστῶσαν, ἐὰν οὕτω τύχῃ, πρὸ πεντακοσίων ἐτῶν; εἶτα τῶν μὲν γυναικῶν τὰς ὑποβαλλομένας παιδία πονηρὰς κρίνετε καὶ δεινόν τι ποιεῖν ἡγεῖσθε καταψευδομένας· αὐτοὶ δὲ οὐκ αἰσχύνεσθε ταὐτὸ ποιοῦντες ἐπὶ τῶν εἰκόνων, καὶ τοὺς ἀνδριάντας, ὧν οὐκ εἰσί, τούτων εἶναι λέγοντες, καὶ ταῦτα οὐκ ὄντες ἀνήκοοι τῶν κατὰ τῆς πόλεως σκωμμάτων; φασὶ γοῦν πολλοὶ τοὺς Ῥοδίων ἀνδριάντας ὁμοίους εἶναι τοῖς ὑποκριταῖς. ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐκείνων ἕκαστον ἄλλοτε ἄλλον εἰσιέναι, καὶ τοὺς ἀνδριάντας ὑμῖν ἄλλοτε ἄλλα λαμβάνειν πρόσωπα καὶ μικροῦ δεῖν ὑποκρινομένους ἑστάναι. τὸν γὰρ αὐτὸν νῦν μὲν εἶναι Ἕλληνα, νῦν δὲ Ῥωμαῖον, πάλιν δ’, ἂν οὕτω τύχῃ, Μακεδόνα ἢ Πέρσην· καὶ ταῦτ’ ἐπ’ ἐνίων οὕτως ὥστε τὸν ἰδόντα εὐθὺς εἰδέναι. καὶ γὰρ ἐσθὴς καὶ ὑπόδεσις καὶ τοιαῦθ’ ἕτερα τὸ ψεῦσμα ἐλέγχει.
(Dio Chrysostom, Or. 31.153-155)

Can it be that you are unaware of the shame which attaches to this practice, and how ridiculous you make yourselves by this deception practised by your state, and that too so openly? For instance, in your decrees you propose ‘to erect a statue of So-and so.’ “But just how,” someone might ask you, “do you propose, men of Rhodes, to ‘erect’ the statue that has been erected possibly for the last five hundred years?” After doing that, can you adjudge those women who palm off other women’s children as their own to be wicked and regard their deception as a horrible thing, while you yourselves are not ashamed of doing the same thing with your images by saying that the statues belong to those to whom they do not belong, and that too when you cannot help hearing of the jests with which your city is reviled? For instance, many people assert that the statues of the Rhodians are like actors. For just as every actor makes his entrance as one character at one time and at another as another, so likewise your statues assume different rôles at different times and stand almost as if they were acting a part. For instance, one and the same statue, they say, is at one time a Greek, at another time a Roman, and later on, if it so happens, a Macedonian or a Persian; and what is more, with some statues the deception is so obvious that the beholder at once is aware of the deceit. For in fact, clothing, foot-gear, and everything else of that kind expose the fraud. (tr. James Wilfred Cohoon)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: