Taratteton

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Ἐγὼ δ’ ὄνομα τὸ μὲν καθ’ ἑκάστην αὐτίκα
λέξω· συνάπασαι δ’ εἰσὶ παντοδαπαὶ πόλεις,
αἳ νῦν ἀνοηταίνουσι πολὺν ἤδη χρόνον.
τάχ’ ἄν τις ὑποκρούσειεν ὅ τι ποτ’ ἐνθάδε
νῦν εἰσι κἀνέροιτο· παρ’ ἐμοῦ πεύσεται.
τὸ χωρίον μὲν γὰρ τόδ’ ἐστὶ πᾶν κύκλῳ
Ὀλυμπία, τηνδὶ δὲ τὴν σκηνὴν ἐκεῖ
σκηνὴν ὁρᾶν θεωρικὴν νομίζετε.
εἶεν· τί οὖν ἐνταῦθα δρῶσιν αἱ πόλεις;
ἐλευθέρι’ ἀφίκοντο θύσουσαί ποτε,
ὅτε τῶν φόρων ἐγένοντ’ ἐλεύθεραι σχεδόν.
κἄπειτ’ ἀπ’ ἐκείνης τῆς θυσίας διέφθορεν
αὐτὰς ξενίζουσ’ ἡμέραν ἐξ ἡμέρας
ἀβουλία κατέχουσα πολὺν ἤδη χρόνον.
γυναῖκε δ’ αὐτὴν δύο ταράττετόν τινε
ἀεὶ συνοῦσαι, δημοκρατία θατέρᾳ
ὄνομ’ ἐστί, τῇ δ’ ἀριστοκρατία θατέρᾳ,
δι’ ἃς πεπαρῳνήκασιν ἤδη πολλάκις.
(Heniochus, fr. 5)

I will presently tell you the name of each and every one.
In short, all of them are cities from various places,
which have been acting like fools for a long time now.
Perhaps now someone would like to interrupt me and ask
for what reason they are here. I shall disclose this as well.
All this place around is Olympia,
and as for our scenery back there, imagine that it is
the tent of the official representatives to the festival.
Fine: What business then do the cities have here?
They came once to offer thanksgiving sacrifice
for their liberty, as soon as they were freed from taxes.
And then, after that sacrifice, they were destroyed
by irresolution, which hospitably feeds them day after day
and has them in her grasp for a long time now.
Besides, two women are always in the cities’ company
and keep them in unrest. One of them is named
Democracy, the other one Aristocracy.
Because of those two ladies, the cities
often behave madly as though they are drunk.
(tr. Ioannis M. Konstantakos)

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