Qui vero non astrorum constitutionem, sicuti est cum quidque concipitur vel nascitur vel inchoatur, sed omnium conexionem seriemque causarum, qua fit omne quod fit, fati nomine appellant: non multum cum eis de verbi controversia laborandum atque certandum est, quando quidem ipsum causarum ordinem et quandam conexionem Dei summi tribuunt voluntati et potestati, qui optime et veracissime creditur et cuncta scire antequam fiant et nihil inordinatum relinquere; a quo sunt omnes potestates, quamvis ab illo non sint omnium voluntates. ipsam itaque praecipue Dei summi voluntatem, cuius potestas insuperabiliter per cuncta porrigitur, eos appellare fatum sic probatur. Annaei Senecae sunt, nisi fallor, hi versus:
“duc, summe pater altique dominator poli,
quocumque placuit, nulla parendi mora est.
adsum impiger: fac nolle, comitabor gemens
malusque patiar, facere quod licuit bono.
ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt.”
nempe evidentissime hoc ultimo versu ea fata appellavit, quam supra dixerat summi patris voluntatem; cui paratum se oboedire dicit, ut volens ducatur, ne nolens trahatur; quoniam scilicet “ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt.”
illi quoque versus Homerici huic sententiae suffragantur, quos Cicero in Latinum vertit:
“tales sunt hominum mentes, quali pater ipse
Iuppiter auctiferas lustravit lumine terras.”
nec in hac quaestione auctoritatem haberet poetica sententia, sed quoniam Stoicos dicit vim fati asserentes istos ex Homero versus solere usurpare, non de illius poetae, sed de istorum philosophorum opinione tractatur, cum per istos versus, quos disputationi adhibent quam de fato habent, quid sentiant esse fatum apertissime declaratur, quoniam Iovem appellant, quem summum deum putant, a quo conexionem dicunt pendere fatorum.
(Augustine, Civ. Dei 5.8)

But, as to those who call by the name of fate, not the disposition of the stars as it may exist when any creature is conceived, or born, or commences its existence, but the whole connection and train of causes which makes everything become what it does become, there is no need that I should labor and strive with them in a merely verbal controversy, since they attribute the so-called order and connection of causes to the will and power of God most high, who is most rightly and most truly believed to know all things before they come to pass, and to leave nothing unordained; from whom are all powers, although the wills of all are not from Him. Now, that it is chiefly the will of God most high, whose power extends itself irresistibly through all things which they call fate, is proved by the following verses, of which, if I mistake not, Annæus Seneca is the author:—
“Father supreme, You ruler of the lofty heavens,
Lead me where’er it is Your pleasure; I will give
A prompt obedience, making no delay,
Lo! Here I am. Promptly I come to do Your sovereign will;
If your command shall thwart my inclination, I will still
Follow You groaning, and the work assigned,
With all the suffering of a mind repugnant,
Will perform, being evil; which, had I been good,
I should have undertaken and performed, though hard,
With virtuous cheerfulness.
The Fates do lead the man that follows willing;
But the man that is unwilling, him they drag.”
Most evidently, in this last verse, he calls that fate which he had before called the will of the Father supreme, whom, he says, he is ready to obey that he may be led, being willing, not dragged, being unwilling, since the Fates do lead the man that follows willing, “but the man that is unwilling, him they drag”. The following Homeric lines, which Cicero translates into Latin, also favor this opinion:—
“Such are the minds of men, as is the light
Which Father Jove himself does pour
Illustrious o’er the fruitful earth.”
Not that Cicero wishes that a poetical sentiment should have any weight in a question like this; for when he says that the Stoics, when asserting the power of fate, were in the habit of using these verses from Homer*, he is not treating concerning the opinion of that poet, but concerning that of those philosophers, since by these verses, which they quote in connection with the controversy which they hold about fate, is most distinctly manifested what it is which they reckon fate, since they call by the name of Jupiter him whom they reckon the supreme god, from whom, they say, hangs the whole chain of fates. (tr. Marcus Dods)

* Cf. Homer, Od. 18.136-137:
τοῖος γὰρ νόος ἐστὶν ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων
οἷον ἐπ’ ἦμαρ ἄγησι πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε.

…for the spirit of men upon the earth is just such as the day which the father of gods and men brings upon them. (tr. Augustus Taber Murray, revised by George E. Dimock)

See also this post.



Ἀλλ’ ἄγε μηκέτι ταῦτα λεγώμεθα νηπύτιοι ὣς
ἑσταότ’ ἐν μέσσῃ ὑσμίνῃ δηϊοτῆτος.
ἔστι γὰρ ἀμφοτέροισιν ὀνείδεα μυθήσασθαι
πολλὰ μάλ’, οὐδ’ ἂν νηῦς ἑκατόζυγος ἄχθος ἄροιτο.
στρεπτὴ δὲ γλῶσσ’ ἐστὶ βροτῶν, πολέες δ’ ἔνι μῦθοι
παντοῖοι, ἐπέων δὲ πολὺς νομὸς ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα.
ὁπποῖόν κ’ εἴπῃσθα ἔπος, τοῖόν κ᾽ ἐπακούσαις.
ἀλλὰ τί ἢ ἔριδας καὶ νείκεα νῶϊν ἀνάγκη
νεικεῖν ἀλλήλοισιν ἐναντίον ὥς τε γυναῖκας,
αἵ τε χολωσάμεναι ἔριδος πέρι θυμοβόροιο
νεικεῦσ᾽ ἀλλήλῃσι μέσην ἐς ἄγυιαν ἰοῦσαι
πόλλ’ ἐτεά τε καὶ οὐκί· χόλος δέ τε καὶ τὰ κελεύει.
ἀλκῆς δ’ οὔ μ’ ἐπέεσσιν ἀποτρέψεις μεμαῶτα
πρὶν χαλκῷ μαχέσασθαι ἐναντίον· ἀλλ’ ἄγε θᾶσσον
γευσόμεθ’ ἀλλήλων χαλκήρεσιν ἐγχείῃσιν.
(Homer, Il. 20.244-258)

Come, Achilles,
no more bragging on this way like boys,
standing here in the thick of a pitched battle.
Plenty of insults we could fling against each other,
enough to sink a ship with a hundred benches!
A man’s tongue is a glib and twisty thing…
plenty of words there are, all kinds at its command—
with all the room in the world for talk to range and stray.
And the sort you use is just the sort you’ll hear.
What do we need with wrangling, hurling insults?
Cursing each other here like a pair of nagging women
boiling over with petty, heartsick squabbles, blustering
into the streets to pelt themselves with slander,
much of it true, much not. Anger stirs up lies.
I blaze for battle—your taunts can’t turn me back,
not till we’ve fought it out with bronze. On with it—
taste the bite of each other’s brazen spears!
(tr. Robert Fagles)


Theodoor van Thulden (naar Francesco Primaticcio), Faiaken brengen de slapende Odysseus naar Ithaca, 1632
Theodoor van Thulden (after Francesco Primaticcio), Faiaken brengen de slapende Odysseus naar Ithaca (1632)

This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Αὐτὰρ ἐπεί ῥ’ ἐπὶ νῆα κατήλυθον ἠδὲ θάλασσαν,
αἶψα τά γ’ ἐν νηῒ γλαφυρῇ πομπῆες ἀγαυοὶ
δεξάμενοι κατέθεντο, πόσιν καὶ βρῶσιν ἅπασαν·
κὰδ δ’ ἄρ’ Ὀδυσσῆϊ στόρεσαν ῥῆγός τε λίνον τε
νηὸς ἐπ’ ἰκριόφιν γλαφυρῆς, ἵνα νήγρετον εὕδοι,
πρυμνῆς· ἂν δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐβήσετο καὶ κατέλεκτο
σιγῇ· τοὶ δὲ καθῖζον ἐπὶ κληῗσιν ἕκαστοι
κόσμῳ, πεῖσμα δ’ ἔλυσαν ἀπὸ τρητοῖο λίθοις.
εὖθ᾽ οἱ ἀνακλινθέντες ἀνερρίπτουν ἅλα πηδῷ,
καὶ τῷ νήδυμος ὕπνος ἐπὶ βλεφάροισιν ἔπιπτε,
νήγρετος, ἥδιστος, θανάτῳ ἄγχιστα ἐοικώς.
ἡ δ’, ὥς τ’ ἐν πεδίῳ τετράοροι ἄρσενες ἵπποι,
πάντες ἅμ’ ὁρμηθέντες ὑπὸ πληγῇσιν ἱμάσθλης,
ὑψόσ’ ἀειρόμενοι ῥίμφα πρήσσουσι κέλευθον,
ὣς ἄρα τῆς πρύμνη μὲν ἀείρετο, κῦμα δ’ ὄπισθε
πορφύρεον μέγα θῦε πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης.
ἡ δὲ μάλ’ ἀσφαλέως θέεν ἔμπεδον· οὐδέ κεν ἴρηξ
κίρκος ὁμαρτήσειεν, ἐλαφρότατος πετεηνῶν.
ὣς ἡ ῥίμφα θέουσα θαλάσσης κύματ’ ἔταμνεν,
ἄνδρα φέρουσα θεοῖς ἐναλίγκια μήδε’ ἔχοντα·
ὃς πρὶν μὲν μάλα πολλὰ πάθ’ ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμὸν
ἀνδρῶν τε πτολέμους ἀλεγεινά τε κύματα πείρων,
δὴ τότε γ’ ἀτρέμας εὗδε, λελασμένος ὅσσ’ ἐπεπόνθει.
(Homer, Od. 13.70-92)

          When they reached the ship, the guides
took all the food and drink and packed it neatly
inside the hold. They spread a sheet and blanket
out on the stern-deck of the hollow ship
so he could sleep there soundly. Climbing on,
he lay there quietly. The rowers sat
down on the benches calmly, and then loosed
the cable from the mooring stone. They pulled,
leaning back hard; the oar blades splashed the water.
A sound sweet sleep fell on his eyes, like death;
he did not stir. As four fine stallions
rush at the whip and race their chariot
across the track, heads high, an easy canter—
so was the ship’s prow raised. The seething waves
of sounding purple sea rushed round the stern
as she sped straight ahead. The swiftest bird,
a hawk, could never overtake; she sailed
so fast, and cleaved the waves. She bore a man
whose mind was like the gods’, who had endured
many heartbreaking losses, and the pain
of war and shipwreck. Now he slept in peace,
and he remembered nothing of his pain.
(tr. Emily Wilson)


August Malmström, Odysseus inför Fajakernas konung Alkinoos, 1853
August Malmström, Odysseus inför Fajakernas konung Alkinoos (1853)

This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here.

Αἶψα δὲ Φαιήκεσσι φιληρέτμοισι μετηύδα,
Ἀλκινόῳ δὲ μάλιστα πιφαυσκόμενος φάτο μῦθον·
“Ἀλκίνοε κρεῖον, πάντων ἀριδείκετε λαῶν,
πέμπετέ με σπείσαντες ἀπήμονα, χαίρετε δ’ αὐτοί·
ἤδη γὰρ τετέλεσται ἅ μοι φίλος ἤθελε θυμός,
πομπὴ καὶ φίλα δῶρα, τά μοι θεοὶ Οὐρανίωνες
ὄλβια ποιήσειαν· ἀμύμονα δ’ οἴκοι ἄκοιτιν
νοστήσας εὕροιμι σὺν ἀρτεμέεσσι φίλοισιν.
ὑμεῖς δ’ αὖθι μένοντες ἐϋφραίνοιτε γυναῖκας
κουριδίας καὶ τέκνα· θεοὶ δ’ ἀρετὴν ὀπάσειαν
παντοίην, καὶ μή τι κακὸν μεταδήμιον εἴη.”
ὣς ἔφαθ’, οἱ δ’ ἄρα πάντες ἐπῄνεον ἠδ’ ἐκέλευον
πεμπέμεναι τὸν ξεῖνον, ἐπεὶ κατὰ μοῖραν ἔειπεν.
καὶ τότε κήρυκα προσέφη μένος Ἀλκινόοιο·
“Ποντόνοε, κρητῆρα κερασσάμενος μέθυ νεῖμον
πᾶσιν ἀνὰ μέγαρον, ὄφρ’ εὐξάμενοι Διὶ πατρὶ
τὸν ξεῖνον πέμπωμεν ἑὴν ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν.”
ὣς φάτο, Ποντόνοος δὲ μελίφρονα οἶνον ἐκίρνα,
νώμησεν δ’ ἄρα πᾶσιν ἐπισταδόν· οἱ δὲ θεοῖσιν
ἔσπεισαν μακάρεσσι, τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν,
αὐτόθεν ἐξ ἑδρέων. ἀνὰ δ’ ἵστατο δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς,
Ἀρήτῃ δ’ ἐν χειρὶ τίθει δέπας ἀμφικύπελλον,
καί μιν φωνήσας ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα:
“χαῖρέ μοι, ὦ βασίλεια, διαμπερές, εἰς ὅ κε γῆρας
ἔλθῃ καὶ θάνατος, τά τ’ ἐπ’ ἀνθρώποισι πέλονται.
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ νέομαι· σὺ δὲ τέρπεο τῷδ’ ἐνὶ οἴκῳ
παισί τε καὶ λαοῖσι καὶ Ἀλκινόῳ βασιλῆϊ.”
ὣς εἰπὼν ὑπὲρ οὐδὸν ἐβήσετο δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς,
τῷ δ’ ἅμα κήρυκα προΐει μένος Ἀλκινόοιο,
ἡγεῖσθαι ἐπὶ νῆα θοὴν καὶ θῖνα θαλάσσης·
Ἀρήτη δ’ ἄρα οἱ δμῳὰς ἅμ’ ἔπεμπε γυναῖκας,
τὴν μὲν φᾶρος ἔχουσαν ἐϋπλυνὲς ἠδὲ χιτῶνα,
τὴν δ’ ἑτέρην χηλὸν πυκινὴν ἅμ’ ὄπασσε κομίζειν·
ἡ δ’ ἄλλη σῖτόν τ’ ἔφερεν καὶ οἶνον ἐρυθρόν.
(Homer, Od. 13.36-69)

At once he told the seafaring Phaeacians,
especially Alcinous, “Great king,
and all of you, please send me safely home
with offerings, and thank you. I am grateful
to you for giving me my heart’s desire:
a passage home, with gifts. I hope the gods
maintain my luck. When I am home, I pray
to find my wife still faultless, and my loved ones
safe. And may you Phaeacians live to bring
joy to your wives and children—every blessing.
I pray there is no trouble for your people.”
They praised his words and said that they must help
their guest go home, since he had spoken well.
Alcinous addressed his right-hand man.
“Pontonous, now mix a bowl of wine;
serve drinks to everybody in the hall,
so we may pray to Zeus and help our guest
back to his homeland.” So the steward mixed
a cheering bowl of wine and served them all
in turn. Still in their seats, they poured libations
to all the blessed gods that live in heaven.
Godlike Odysseus stood up and put
a double-handled cup into the hands
of Arete. His words flew out to her.
“Bless you forever, queen, until old age
and death arrive for you, as for us all.
I will leave now. Be happy in your home
and children, and your people, and your king.”
With that, the noble hero crossed the threshold.
Alcinous sent out his steward with him
to guide him to the swift ship on the shore.
Arete sent some slave girls too. One brought
a freshly laundered cloak and tunic; one
carried the well-carved chest; the third brought bread
and red wine.
(tr. Emily Wilson)


Francesco Hayez, Ulisse alla corte di Alcinoo, 1814-15
Francesco Hayez, Ulisse alla corte di Alcinoo (1814-15)

This is part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here.

Ὣς ἔφαθ’, οἱ δ’ ἄρα πάντες ἀκὴν ἐγένοντο σιωπῇ,
κηληθμῷ δ’ ἔσχοντο κατὰ μέγαρα σκιόεντα.
τὸν δ’ αὖτ᾽ Ἀλκίνοος ἀπαμείβετο φώνησέν τε·
“ὦ Ὀδυσεῦ, ἐπεὶ ἵκευ ἐμὸν ποτὶ χαλκοβατὲς δῶ,
ὑψερεφές, τῷ σ᾽ οὔ τι παλιμπλαγχθέντα γ’ ὀΐω
ἂψ ἀπονοστήσειν, εἰ καὶ μάλα πολλὰ πέπονθας.
ὑμέων δ’ ἀνδρὶ ἑκάστῳ ἐφιέμενος τάδε εἴρω,
ὅσσοι ἐνὶ μεγάροισι γερούσιον αἴθοπα οἶνον
αἰεὶ πίνετ’ ἐμοῖσιν, ἀκουάζεσθε δ’ ἀοιδοῦ.
εἵματα μὲν δὴ ξείνῳ ἐϋξέστῃ ἐνὶ χηλῷ
κεῖται καὶ χρυσὸς πολυδαίδαλος ἄλλα τε πάντα
δῶρ’, ὅσα Φαιήκων βουληφόροι ἐνθάδ’ ἔνεικαν·
ἀλλ’ ἄγε οἱ δῶμεν τρίποδα μέγαν ἠδὲ λέβητα
ἀνδρακάς· ἡμεῖς δ’ αὖτε ἀγειρόμενοι κατὰ δῆμον
τισόμεθ’· ἀργαλέον γὰρ ἕνα προικὸς χαρίσασθαι.”
ὣς ἔφατ’ Ἀλκίνοος, τοῖσιν δ’ ἐπιὴνδανε μῦθος.
οἱ μὲν κακκείοντες ἔβαν οἶκόνδε ἕκαστος,
ἦμος δ’ ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς,
νῆάδ’ ἐπεσσεύοντο, φέρον δ’ εὐήνορα χαλκόν.
καὶ τὰ μὲν εὖ κατέθηχ’ ἱερὸν μένος Ἀλκινόοιο,
αὐτὸς ἰὼν διὰ νηὸς ὑπὸ ζυγά, μή τιν’ ἑταίρων
βλάπτοι ἐλαυνόντων, ὁπότε σπερχοίατ’ ἐρετμοῖς.
οἱ δ’ εἰς Ἀλκινόοιο κίον καὶ δαῖτ’ ἀλέγυνον.
τοῖσι δὲ βοῦν ἱέρευσ’ ἱερὸν μένος Ἀλκινόοιο
Ζηνὶ κελαινεφέϊ Κρονίδῃ, ὃς πᾶσιν ἀνάσσει.
μῆρα δὲ κήαντες δαίνυντ’ ἐρικυδέα δαῖτα
τερπόμενοι· μετὰ δέ σφιν ἐμέλπετο θεῖος ἀοιδός,
Δημόδοκος, λαοῖσι τετιμένος. αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεὺς
πολλὰ πρὸς ἠέλιον κεφαλὴν τρέπε παμφανόωντα,
δῦναι ἐπειγόμενος· δὴ γὰρ μενέαινε νέεσθαι.
ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἀνὴρ δόρποιο λιλαίεται, ᾧ τε πανῆμαρ
νειὸν ἀν’ ἕλκητον βόε οἴνοπε πηκτὸν ἄροτρον·
ἀσπασίως δ’ ἄρα τῷ κατέδυ φάος ἠελίοιο
δόρπον ἐποίχεσθαι, βλάβεται δέ τε γούνατ’ ἰόντι·
ὣς Ὀδυσῆ’ ἀσπαστὸν ἔδυ φάος ἠελίοιο.
(Homer, Od. 13.1-35)

After he finished, all were silent, spellbound,
sitting inside the shadowy hall. At last,
Alcinous said, “Now, Odysseus,
since you have been my guest, beneath my roof,
you need not wander anymore. You have
endured enough; you will get home again.
And all you regulars, my honored friends
who always drink red wine here in my house
and listen to my singer: heed my words.
Our guest has clothes packed up inside a trunk,
and other gifts that we have given him.
Each of us now should add a mighty tripod
and cauldron. I will make the people pay
a levy, so that none of us will suffer
from unrewarded generosity.”
The king’s words pleased them all. They went back home
to rest. Then Dawn was born again; her fingers
bloomed, and they hurried back towards the ship
bringing heroic gifts of bronze. The king
embarked and stowed them underneath the beams,
to leave room for the crew when they were rowing.
Then all the men went back with him to eat.
The holy king killed sacrificial meat—
a cow to Zeus of dark clouds, son of Cronus,
who rules the world. They burned the thighs and feasted
in happiness. The well-respected singer
Demodocus made music in their midst.
But all the while Odysseus kept turning
his head towards the shining sun, impatient
for it to set. He longed to leave. As when
a man is desperate for dinnertime
after he spends the whole day with his oxen
dragging the jointed plow across the field,
and welcomes sunset, when he can go home
to eat; his legs are aching on the way—
just so Odysseus was glad of sunset.
(tr. Emily Wilson)



Prison of Socrates, Athens


ΣΩΚΡ. Καὶ γὰρ ἄν, ὦ Κρίτων, πλημμελὲς εἴη ἀγανακτεῖν τηλικοῦτον ὄντα εἰ δεῖ ἤδη τελευτᾶν.
ΚΡΙΤ. καὶ ἄλλοι, ὦ Σώκρατες, τηλικοῦτοι ἐν τοιαύταις συμφοραῖς ἁλίσκονται, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲν αὐτοὺς ἐπιλύεται ἡ ἡλικία τὸ μὴ οὐχὶ ἀγανακτεῖν τῇ παρούσῃ τύχῃ.
ΣΩΚΡ. ἔστι ταῦτα. ἀλλὰ τί δὴ οὕτω πρῲ ἀφῖξαι;
ΚΡΙΤ. ἀγγελίαν, ὦ Σώκρατες, φέρων χαλεπήν, οὐ σοί, ὡς ἐμοὶ φαίνεται, ἀλλ’ ἐμοὶ καὶ τοῖς σοῖς ἐπιτηδείοις πᾶσιν καὶ χαλεπὴν καὶ βαρεῖαν, ἣν ἐγώ, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκῶ, ἐν τοῖς βαρύτατ’ ἂν ἐνέγκαιμι.
ΣΩΚΡ. τίνα ταύτην; ἢ τὸ πλοῖον ἀφῖκται ἐκ Δήλου, οὗ δεῖ ἀφικομένου τεθνάναι με;
ΚΡΙΤ. οὔτοι δὴ ἀφῖκται, ἀλλὰ δοκεῖν μέν μοι ἥξει τήμερον ἐξ ὧν ἀπαγγέλλουσιν ἥκοντές τινες ἀπὸ Σουνίου καὶ καταλιπόντες ἐκεῖ αὐτό. δῆλον οὖν ἐκ τούτων τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅτι ἥξει τήμερον, καὶ ἀνάγκη δὴ εἰς αὔριον ἔσται, ὦ Σώκρατες, τὸν βίον σε τελευτᾶν.
ΣΩΚΡ. ἀλλ’, ὦ Κρίτων, τύχῃ ἀγαθῇ, εἰ ταύτῃ τοῖς θεοῖς φίλον, ταύτῃ ἔστω· οὐ μέντοι οἶμαι ἥξειν αὐτὸ τήμερον.
ΚΡΙΤ. πόθεν τοῦτο τεκμαίρῃ;
ΣΩΚΡ. ἐγώ σοι ἐρῶ. τῇ γάρ που ὑστεραίᾳ δεῖ με ἀποθνῄσκειν ἢ ᾗ ἂν ἔλθῃ τὸ πλοῖον.
ΚΡΙΤ. φασί γέ τοι δὴ οἱ τούτων κύριοι.
ΣΩΚΡ. οὐ τοίνυν τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρας οἶμαι αὐτὸ ἥξειν ἀλλὰ τῆς ἑτέρας. τεκμαίρομαι δὲ ἔκ τινος ἐνυπνίου ὃ ἑώρακα ὀλίγον πρότερον ταύτης τῆς νυκτός· καὶ κινδυνεύεις ἐν καιρῷ τινι οὐκ ἐγεῖραί με.
ΚΡΙΤ. ἦν δὲ δὴ τί τὸ ἐνύπνιον;
ΣΩΚΡ. ἐδόκει τίς μοι γυνὴ προσελθοῦσα καλὴ καὶ εὐειδής, λευκὰ ἱμάτια ἔχουσα, καλέσαι με καὶ εἰπεῖν· “ὦ Σώκρατες,
ἤματί κεν τριτάτῳ Φθίην ἐρίβωλον ἵκοιο”. [Homer, Il. 9.363]
ΚΡΙΤ. ἄτοπον τὸ ἐνύπνιον, ὦ Σώκρατες.
ΣΩΚΡ. ἐναργὲς μὲν οὖν, ὥς γέ μοι δοκεῖ, ὦ Κρίτων.
ΚΡΙΤ. λίαν γε, ὡς ἔοικεν. ἀλλ’, ὦ δαιμόνιε Σώκρατες, ἔτι καὶ νῦν ἐμοὶ πιθοῦ καὶ σώθητι· ὡς ἐμοί, ἐὰν σὺ ἀποθάνῃς, οὐ μία συμφορά ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ χωρὶς μὲν τοῦ ἐστερῆσθαι τοιούτου ἐπιτηδείου οἷον ἐγὼ οὐδένα μή ποτε εὑρήσω, ἔτι δὲ καὶ πολλοῖς δόξω, οἳ ἐμὲ καὶ σὲ μὴ σαφῶς ἴσασιν, ὡς οἷός τ’ ὤν σε σῴζειν εἰ ἤθελον ἀναλίσκειν χρήματα, ἀμελῆσαι. καίτοι τίς ἂν αἰσχίων εἴη ταύτης δόξα ἢ δοκεῖν χρήματα περὶ πλείονος ποιεῖσθαι ἢ φίλους; οὐ γὰρ πείσονται οἱ πολλοὶ ὡς σὺ αὐτὸς οὐκ ἠθέλησας ἀπιέναι ἐνθένδε ἡμῶν προθυμουμένων.
(Plato, Crito 43b-44c)


SOCR. Well, Crito, it would be absurd if at my age I were disturbed because I must die now.
CRIT. Other men as old, Socrates, become involved in similar misfortunes, but their age does not in the least prevent them from being disturbed by their fate.
SOCR. That is true. But why have you come so early?
CRIT. To bring news, Socrates, sad news, though apparently not sad to you, but sad and grievous me and all your friends, and to few of them, I think, so grievous as to me.
SOCR. What is this news? Has the ship come from Delos, at the arrival of which I am to die?
CRIT. It has not exactly come, but I think it will come today from the reports of some men who have come from Sunium and left it there. Now it is clear from what they say that it will come today, and so tomorrow, Socrates, your life must end.
SOCR. Well, Crito, good luck be with us! If this is the will of the gods, so be it. However, I do not think it will come today.
CRIT. What is your reason for not thinking so?
SOCR. I will tell you. I must die on the day after the ship comes in, must I not?
CRIT. So those say who have charge of these matters.
SOCR. Well, I think it will not come in today, but tomorrow. And my reason for this is a dream which I had a little while ago in the course of this night. And perhaps you let me sleep just at the right time.
CRIT. What was the dream?
SOCR. I dreamed that a beautiful, fair woman, clothed in white raiment, came to me and called me and said, “Socrates,
on the third day thou wouldst come to fertile Phthia.”
CRIT. A strange dream, Socrates.
SOCR. No, a clear one, at any rate, I think, Crito.
CRIT. Too clear, apparently. But, my dear Socrates, even now listen to me and save yourself. Since, if you die, it will be no mere single misfortune to me, but I shall lose a friend such as I can never find again, and besides, many persons who do not know you and me well will think I could have saved you if I had been willing to spend money, but that I would not take the trouble. And yet what reputation could be more disgraceful than that of considering one’s money of more importance than one’s friends? For most people will not believe that we were eager to help you to go away from here, but you refused.
(tr. Harold North Fowler)



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)