Tapeinoterois

“Χαλεπὸν δ’ ἐρῶ σοι καὶ ἄλλο πάθημα, ὦ Σιμωνίδη, τῶν τυράννων. γιγνώσκουσι μὲν γὰρ οὐδὲν ἧττον τῶν ἰδιωτῶν τοὺς ἀλκίμους τε καὶ σοφοὺς καὶ δικαίους. τούτους δ’ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἄγασθαι φοβοῦνται, τοὺς μὲν ἀνδρείους, μή τι τολμήσωσι τῆς ἐλευθερίας ἕνεκεν, τοὺς δὲ σοφούς, μή τι μηχανήσωνται, τοὺς δὲ δικαίους, μὴ ἐπιθυμήσῃ τὸ πλῆθος ὑπ’ αὐτῶν προστατεῖσθαι. ὅταν δὲ τοὺς τοιούτους διὰ τὸν φόβον ὑπεξαιρῶνται, τίνες ἄλλοι αὐτοῖς καταλείπονται χρῆσθαι ἀλλ’ ἢ οἱ ἄδικοί τε καὶ ἀκρατεῖς καὶ ἀνδραποδώδεις; οἱ μὲν ἄδικοι πιστευόμενοι, διότι φοβοῦνται ὥσπερ οἱ τύραννοι τὰς πόλεις μήποτε ἐλεύθεραι γενόμεναι ἐγκρατεῖς αὐτῶν γένωνται, οἱ δ’ ἀκρατεῖς τῆς εἰς τὸ παρὸν ἐξουσίας ἕνεκα, οἱ δ’ ἀνδραποδώδεις, διότι οὐδ’ αὐτοὶ ἀξιοῦσιν ἐλεύθεροι εἶναι. χαλεπὸν οὖν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ πάθημα ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ εἶναι, τὸ ἄλλους μὲν ἡγεῖσθαι ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας, ἄλλοις δὲ χρῆσθαι ἀναγκάζεσθαι. ἔτι δὲ φιλόπολιν μὲν ἀνάγκη καὶ τὸν τύραννον εἶναι· ἄνευ γὰρ τῆς πόλεως οὔτ’ ἂν σῴζεσθαι δύναιτο οὔτ’ εὐδαιμονεῖν· ἡ δὲ τυραννὶς ἀναγκάζει καὶ ταῖς ἑαυτῶν πατρίσιν ἐνοχλεῖν. οὔτε γὰρ ἀλκίμους οὔτ’ εὐόπλους χαίρουσι τοὺς πολίτας παρασκευάζοντες, ἀλλὰ τοὺς ξένους δεινοτέρους τῶν πολιτῶν ποιοῦντες ἥδονται μᾶλλον καὶ τούτοις χρῶνται δορυφόροις. ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ’ ἂν εὐετηριῶν γενομένων ἀφθονία τῶν ἀγαθῶν γίγνηται, οὐδὲ τότε συγχαίρει ὁ τύραννος. ἐνδεεστέροις γὰρ οὖσι ταπεινοτέροις αὐτοῖς οἴονται χρῆσθαι.”
(Xenophon, Hiero 5)

“I will tell you of another harsh affliction, Simonides, which the tyrants have. For although they are acquainted with the decent, the wise, and the just, no less than private men [the tyrants] fea rather than admire them. They fear the brave because they might dare something for the sake of freedom; the wise, because they might contrive something; and the just, because the multitude might desire to be ruled by them. When, because of their fear, they do away secretly with such men, who is left for them to use save the unjust, the incontinent, and the slavish? The unjust are trusted because they are afraid, just as the tyrants are, that some day the cities, becoming free, will become their masters. The incontinent are trusted because they are at liberty for the present, and the slavish because not even they deem themselves worthy to be free. This affliction, then, seems harsh to me: to think some men are good, and yet to be compelled to make use of the others. Moreover, the tyrant also is compelled to be a lover of the city; for without the city he would not be able either to preserve himself or to be happy. Yet tyranny compels to give trouble to even their own fatherlands. For they do not rejoice in making the citizens either brave or well-armed. Rather they take pleasure in making strangers more formidable than the citizens, and these strangers they use as bodyguards. Furthermore, when good seasons come and there is an abundance of good things, not even then does the tyrant rejoice with them. For [tyrants] think that as men are more in want, they are more submissive for being used.” (tr. Marvin Kendrick & Seth Bernardete)

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