Rhigēsen

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Ὡς δ’ ὅτε τίς τ’ ἐλέφαντα γυνὴ φοίνικι μιήνῃ
Μῃονὶς ἠὲ Κάειρα παρήϊον ἔμμεναι ἵππων·
κεῖται δ’ ἐν θαλάμῳ, πολέες τέ μιν ἠρήσαντο
ἱππῆες φορέειν· βασιλῆϊ δὲ κεῖται ἄγαλμα,
ἀμφότερον κόσμός θ’ ἵππῳ ἐλατῆρί τε κῦδος·
τοῖοί τοι, Μενέλαε, μιάνθην αἵματι μηροὶ
εὐφυέες κνῆμαί τε ἰδὲ σφυρὰ κάλ’ ὑπένερθε.
ῥίγησεν δ’ ἄρ’ ἔπειτα ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων
ὡς εἶδεν μέλαν αἷμα καταρρέον ἐξ ὠτειλῆς·
ῥίγησεν δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἀρηΐφιλος Μενέλαος.
ὡς δὲ ἴδεν νεῦρόν τε καὶ ὄγκους ἐκτὸς ἐόντας
ἄψορρόν οἱ θυμὸς ἐνὶ στήθεσσιν ἀγέρθη.
τοῖς δὲ βαρὺ στενάχων μετέφη κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων
χειρὸς ἔχων Μενέλαον, ἐπεστενάχοντο δ’ ἑταῖροι·
“φίλε κασίγνητε, θάνατόν νύ τοι ὅρκι’ ἔταμνον,
οἶον προστήσας πρὸ Ἀχαιῶν Τρωσὶ μάχεσθαι,
ὥς σ’ ἔβαλον Τρῶες, κατὰ δ’ ὅρκια πιστὰ πάτησαν.
οὐ μέν πως ἅλιον πέλει ὅρκιον αἷμά τε ἀρνῶν
σπονδαί τ’ ἄκρητοι καὶ δεξιαὶ ᾗς ἐπέπιθμεν.
εἴ περ γάρ τε καὶ αὐτίκ’ Ὀλύμπιος οὐκ ἐτέλεσσεν,
ἔκ τε καὶ ὀψὲ τελεῖ, σύν τε μεγάλῳ ἀπέτισαν
σὺν σφῇσιν κεφαλῇσι γυναιξί τε καὶ τεκέεσσιν.
εὖ γὰρ ἐγὼ τόδε οἶδα κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν·
ἔσσεται ἦμαρ ὅτ’ ἄν ποτ’ ὀλώλῃ Ἴλιος ἱρὴ
καὶ Πρίαμος καὶ λαὸς ἐϋμμελίω Πριάμοιο,
Ζεὺς δέ σφι Κρονίδης ὑψίζυγος αἰθέρι ναίων
αὐτὸς ἐπισσείῃσιν ἐρεμνὴν αἰγίδα πᾶσι
τῆσδ’ ἀπάτης κοτέων· τὰ μὲν ἔσσεται οὐκ ἀτέλεστα·
ἀλλά μοι αἰνὸν ἄχος σέθεν ἔσσεται, ὦ Μενέλαε,
αἴ κε θάνῃς καὶ πότμον ἀναπλήσῃς βιότοιο.
καί κεν ἐλέγχιστος πολυδίψιον Ἄργος ἱκοίμην·
αὐτίκα γὰρ μνήσονται Ἀχαιοὶ πατρίδος αἴης·
κὰδ δέ κεν εὐχωλὴν Πριάμῳ καὶ Τρωσὶ λίποιμεν
Ἀργείην Ἑλένην· σέο δ’ ὀστέα πύσει ἄρουρα
κειμένου ἐν Τροίῃ ἀτελευτήτῳ ἐπὶ ἔργῳ.
καί κέ τις ὧδ’ ἐρέει Τρώων ὑπερηνορεόντων
τύμβῳ ἐπιθρῴσκων Μενελάου κυδαλίμοιο·
‘αἴθ’ οὕτως ἐπὶ πᾶσι χόλον τελέσει’ Ἀγαμέμνων,
ὡς καὶ νῦν ἅλιον στρατὸν ἤγαγεν ἐνθάδ’ Ἀχαιῶν,
καὶ δὴ ἔβη οἶκόνδε φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
σὺν κεινῇσιν νηυσὶ λιπὼν ἀγαθὸν Μενέλαον.’
ὥς ποτέ τις ἐρέει· τότε μοι χάνοι εὐρεῖα χθών.”
(Homer, Il. 4.141-182)

As when a woman of Maeonia or Caria stains ivory with
crimson dye, to be a cheek piece for horses—
it lies unused in a storeroom, and many horsemen pray that they
may bear it, but it lies away to delight the king,
both an ornament for the horse and an honor for the rider—
in such fashion, Menelaos, were your thighs stained with blood,
and your muscular calves down to your fine ankles.
Then Agamemnon lord of men shuddered
when he saw dark blood flowing down from the wound,
and Menelaos beloved by Ares shuddered too,
but when he saw the binding thread and arrow barb were outside,
his spirit was rallied again back in his breast.
But groaning deeply lord Agamemnon spoke among their comrades,
holding Menelaos by the hand, and they groaned in response:
“Beloved brother, the oath I cut was your death,
when I put you forward before the Achaeans to fight alone with the Trojans,
seeing now that the Trojans have struck you, and trampled underfoot the sacred treaty.
Yet in no way is our oath in vain, and the blood of lambs,
and the unmixed libations and pledges of hand that we trusted.
For even if the Olympian does not accomplish this at once,
he will accomplish it in full, though late, and they will pay greatly
with their heads and their women and their children.
For I know this well in my mind and in my heart;
there will some time be a day when holy Ilion is destroyed,
and Priam and the people of Priam of the fine ash-spear—
Zeus, son of Cronus, who sits on high, dwelling near heaven,
himself will brandish at them all his storm-black aegis,
in rage for this deception. These things will not pass unaccomplished;
but my grief will be bitter for your sake, O Menelaos,
if you should die and fulfill your life’s destiny,
and I return disgraced to the parched land of Argos.
Immediately the Achaeans would turn their thoughts to their fatherland,
and we would leave as trophy for Priam and the Trojans
Helen of Argos; a field would rot your bones
as you lay in Troy on an unaccomplished mission.
And thus will some Trojan speak in his overweening manhood, as he leaps onto the tomb of glorious Menelaos:
‘Would that Agamemnon brought his anger to completion in this way against all his enemies,
as he once led an army of Achaeans here to no purpose,
and then went home to his beloved fatherland
with his empty ships, leaving behind brave Menelaos.’
Thus in time to come a man will speak; then let the broad earth gape beneath me.”
(tr. Caroline Alexander)

Ichōr

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Vénus blessée par Diomède, 1800
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Vénus blessée par Diomède (1800)

αὐτὰρ ὅ γ’ ἥρως
ὧν ἵππων ἐπιβὰς ἔλαβ’ ἡνία σιγαλόεντα,
αἶψα δὲ Τυδεί̈δην μέθεπε κρατερώνυχας ἵππους
ἐμμεμαώς· ὃ δὲ Κύπριν ἐπῴχετο νηλέϊ χαλκῷ
γιγνώσκων ὅ τ’ ἄναλκις ἔην θεός, οὐδὲ θεάων
τάων αἵ τ’ ἀνδρῶν πόλεμον κάτα κοιρανέουσιν,
οὔτ’ ἄρ’ Ἀθηναίη οὔτε πτολίπορθος Ἐνυώ.
ἀλλ’ ὅτε δή ῥ’ ἐκίχανε πολὺν καθ’ ὅμιλον ὀπάζων,
ἔνθ’ ἐπορεξάμενος μεγαθύμου Τυδέος υἱὸς
ἄκρην οὔτασε χεῖρα μετάλμενος ὀξέϊ δουρὶ
ἀβληχρήν· εἶθαρ δὲ δόρυ χροὸς ἀντετόρησεν
ἀμβροσίου διὰ πέπλου, ὅν οἱ Χάριτες κάμον αὐταί,
πρυμνὸν ὕπερ θέναρος· ῥέε δ’ ἄμβροτον αἷμα θεοῖο
ἰχώρ, οἷός πέρ τε ῥέει μακάρεσσι θεοῖσιν·
οὐ γὰρ σῖτον ἔδουσ’, οὐ πίνουσ’ αἴθοπα οἶνον,
τοὔνεκ’ ἀναίμονές εἰσι καὶ ἀθάνατοι καλέονται.
ἣ δὲ μέγα ἰάχουσα ἀπὸ ἕο κάββαλεν υἱόν·
καὶ τὸν μὲν μετὰ χερσὶν ἐρύσατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων
κυανέῃ νεφέλῃ, μή τις Δαναῶν ταχυπώλων
χαλκὸν ἐνὶ στήθεσσι βαλὼν ἐκ θυμὸν ἕλοιτο·
τῇ δ’ ἐπὶ μακρὸν ἄϋσε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Διομήδης·
εἶκε Διὸς θύγατερ πολέμου καὶ δηϊοτῆτος·
ἦ οὐχ ἅλις ὅττι γυναῖκας ἀνάλκιδας ἠπεροπεύεις;
εἰ δὲ σύ γ’ ἐς πόλεμον πωλήσεαι, ἦ τέ σ’ ὀΐω
ῥιγήσειν πόλεμόν γε καὶ εἴ χ’ ἑτέρωθι πύθηαι.
ὣς ἔφαθ’, ἣ δ’ ἀλύουσ’ ἀπεβήσετο, τείρετο δ’ αἰνῶς·
τὴν μὲν ἄρ’ Ἶρις ἑλοῦσα ποδήνεμος ἔξαγ’ ὁμίλου
ἀχθομένην ὀδύνῃσι, μελαίνετο δὲ χρόα καλόν.
εὗρεν ἔπειτα μάχης ἐπ’ ἀριστερὰ θοῦρον Ἄρηα
ἥμενον· ἠέρι δ’ ἔγχος ἐκέκλιτο καὶ ταχέ’ ἵππω·
ἣ δὲ γνὺξ ἐριποῦσα κασιγνήτοιο φίλοιο
πολλὰ λισσομένη χρυσάμπυκας ᾔτεεν ἵππους·
φίλε κασίγνητε κόμισαί τέ με δός τέ μοι ἵππους,
ὄφρ’ ἐς Ὄλυμπον ἵκωμαι ἵν’ ἀθανάτων ἕδος ἐστί.
λίην ἄχθομαι ἕλκος ὅ με βροτὸς οὔτασεν ἀνὴρ
Τυδεΐδης, ὃς νῦν γε καὶ ἂν Διὶ πατρὶ μάχοιτο.
ὣς φάτο, τῇ δ’ ἄρ’ Ἄρης δῶκε χρυσάμπυκας ἵππους·
ἣ δ’ ἐς δίφρον ἔβαινεν ἀκηχεμένη φίλον ἦτορ,
πὰρ δέ οἱ Ἶρις ἔβαινε καὶ ἡνία λάζετο χερσί,
μάστιξεν δ’ ἐλάαν, τὼ δ’ οὐκ ἀέκοντε πετέσθην.
(Homer, Iliad 5.327-366)

Then the warrior himself
mounting behind his own horses took up the glossy reins,
and at once drove the strong-footed horses after the son of Tydeus
in fierce haste; but the son of Tydeus was ranging after Cyprian Aphrodite
with his pitiless bronze spear, knowing that she was not a fighting god,
nor of those goddesses who hold sway throughout the war of men,
not Athena, nor city-sacking Enyo.
And when, pressing hard through the great throng, he caught her,
there the son of great-hearted Tydeus reaching out,
charging with his sharp spear, wounded the tip of her
soft hand; the spear pierced her skin straight
through her immortal robe, which the Graces themselves toiled to make for her,
above the base of her palm; the immortal blood flowed from the divinity—
ichor, which alone flows in the blessed gods.
For they do not eat grain, nor drink shining wine;
and for this reason they are bloodless and are called immortals.
Shrieking loudly, she flung her son from her;
but Phoebus Apollo kept him safe in his arms
within a blue-black cloud, lest some one of the Danaans of swift horses
hurling bronze into his breast should rob him of his life.
And at her, Diomedes of the war cry shouted loud:
“Give over, daughter of Zeus, from war and battle.
Is it not enough that you beguile defenseless women?
If you make a habit of coming to war, then I think you
will shudder at war all right, even if you should only hear of it from someplace else.”
So he spoke; and she, beside herself with pain, departed in dreadful distress.
And Iris with feet like the wind, taking her up, led her out of the throng
weighed down with pain, her beautiful skin blood-dark.
Then Aphrodite found furious Ares toward the left of the fighting,
sitting, his spear propped against the mist, with his two swift horses;
and falling to her knees before her dear brother,
beseeching again and again, she asked for his gold-bridled horses:
“Dear brother, rescue me and give me your horses,
that I may go to Olympus, where stands the seat of the immortals.
I am crushed with pain in this wound, which a mortal man struck me,
the son of Tydeus, who now would fight with even Father Zeus.”
So she spoke. And Ares gave her the gold-bridled horses. She got in the chariot grieving in her dear heart,
and beside her Iris mounted and took hold of the reins in her hands,
and lashed the whip to start the horses; and they two not unwilling flew on.
(tr. Caroline Alexander)

Adiaphoron

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

Ἄθεσμον τέ ἐστι παρ’ ἡμῖν μητέρα ἢ ἀδελφὴν ἰδίαν γαμεῖν· Πέρσαι δέ, καὶ μάλιστα αὐτῶν οἱ σοφίαν ἀσκεῖν δοκοῦντες, οἱ Μάγοι, γαμοῦσι τὰς μητέρας, καὶ Αἰγύπτιοι τὰς ἀδελφὰς ἄγονται πρὸς γάμον, καὶ ὡς ὁ ποιητής φησιν,
“Ζεὺς Ἥρην προσέειπε κασιγνήτην ἄλοχόν τε” [Homer, Il. 18.356].
ἀλλὰ καὶ ὁ Κιτιεὺς Ζήνων φησὶ μὴ ἄτοπον εἶναι τὸ μόριον τῆς μητρὸς τῷ ἑαυτοῦ μορίῳ τρῖψαι, καθάπερ οὐδὲ ἄλλο τι μέρος τοῦ σώματος αὐτῆς τῇ χειρὶ τρῖψαι φαῦλον ἂν εἴποι τις εἶναι. καὶ ὁ Χρύσιππος δὲ ἐν τῇ πολιτείᾳ δογματίζει τόν τε πατέρα ἐκ τῆς θυγατρὸς παιδοποιεῖσθαι καὶ τὴν μητέρα ἐκ τοῦ παιδὸς καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἐκ τῆς ἀδελφῆς. Πλάτων δὲ καὶ καθολικώτερον κοινὰς εἶναι τὰς γυναῖκας δεῖν ἀπεφήνατο. τό τε αἰσχρουργεῖν ἐπάρατον ὂν παρ’ ἡμῖν ὁ Ζήνων οὐκ ἀποδοκιμάζει· καὶ ἄλλους δὲ ὡς ἀγαθῷ τινι τούτῳ χρῆσθαι τῷ κακῷ πυνθανόμεθα. ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ ἀνθρωπείων γεύεσθαι σαρκῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν μὲν ἄθεσμον, παρ’ ὅλοις δὲ βαρβάροις ἔθνεσιν ἀδιάφορόν ἐστιν. καὶ τί δεῖ τοὺς βαρβάρους λέγειν, ὅπου καὶ ὁ Τυδεὺς τὸν ἐγκέφαλον τοῦ πολεμίου λέγεται φαγεῖν, καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς Στοᾶς οὐκ ἄτοπον εἶναί φασι τὸ σάρκας τινὰ ἐσθίειν ἄλλων τε ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἑαυτοῦ; τό τε ἀνθρωπείῳ μιαίνειν αἵματι βωμὸν θεοῦ παρ’ ἡμῖν μὲν τοῖς πολλοῖς ἄθεσμον, Λάκωνες δὲ ἐπὶ τοῦ βωμοῦ τῆς Ὀρθωσίας Ἀρτέμιδος μαστίζονται πικρῶς ὑπὲρ τοῦ πολλὴν αἵματος ἐπὶ τοῦ βωμοῦ τῆς θεοῦ γενέσθαι ῥύσιν. ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ Κρόνῳ θύουσιν ἄνθρωπόν τινες, καθάπερ καὶ Σκύθαι τῇ Ἀρτέμιδι τοὺς ξένους· ἡμεῖς δὲ χραίνεσθαι τὰ ἱερὰ δοκοῦμεν ἀνθρώπου φόνῳ. τούς γε μὴν μοιχοὺς κολάζει παρ’ ἡμῖν νόμος, παρὰ δέ τισιν ἀδιάφορόν ἐστι ταῖς τῶν ἑτέρων γυναιξὶ μίγνυσθαι· καὶ φιλοσόφων δέ τινές φασιν ἀδιάφορον εἶναι τὸ ἀλλοτρίᾳ γυναικὶ μίγνυσθαι.
(Sextus Empiricus, Purrh. Hup. 3.205-209)

And with us it is sinful to marry one’s mother or one’s own sister; but the Persians, and especially those of them who are reputed to practise wisdom—namely, the Magi,—marry their mothers; and the Egyptians a take their sisters in marriage, even as the poet says—
“Thus spake Zeus unto Hera, his wedded wife and his sister.”
Moreover, Zeno of Citium says that it is not amiss for a man to rub his mother’s private part with his own private part, just as no one would say it was bad for him to rub any other part of her body with his hand. Chrysippus, too, in his book The State approves of a father getting children by his daughter, a mother by her son, and a brother by his sister. And Plato, in more general terms, has declared that wives ought to be held in common. Masturbation, too, which we count loathsome, is not disapproved by Zeno; and we are informed that others, too, practise this evil as though it were a good thing. Moreover, the eating of human flesh is sinful with us, but indifferent amongst whole tribes of barbarians. Yet why should one speak of  “barbarians” when even Tydeus is said to have devoured the brains of his enemy, and the Stoic School declare that it is not wrong for a man to eat either other men’s flesh or his own? And with most of us it is sinful to defile an altar of a god with human blood, but the Laconians lash themselves fiercely over the altar of Artemis Orthosia in order that a great stream of blood may flow over the altar of the goddess. Moreover, some sacrifice an human victim to Cronos, just as the Scythians sacrifice strangers to Artemis; whereas we deem that holy places are defiled by the slaying of a man. Adulterers are, of course, punished by law with us, but amongst some peoples intercourse with other men’s wives is a thing indifferent; and some philosophers, too, declare that intercourse with the wife of another is indifferent. (tr. Robert Gregg Bury)

Dēmoboros

Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, De strijd tussen Achilles en Agamemnon
Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, La colère d’Achille contre Agamemnon

Πηλεΐδης δ’ ἐξαῦτις ἀταρτηροῖς ἐπέεσσιν
Ἀτρεΐδην προσέειπε, καὶ οὔ πω λῆγε χόλοιο·
“οἰνοβαρές, κυνὸς ὄμματ’ ἔχων, κραδίην δ’ ἐλάφοιο,
οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον ἅμα λαῷ θωρηχθῆναι
οὔτε λόχον δ’ ἰέναι σὺν ἀριστήεσσιν Ἀχαιῶν
τέτληκας θυμῷ· τὸ δέ τοι κὴρ εἴδεται εἶναι.
ἦ πολὺ λώϊόν ἐστι κατὰ στρατὸν εὐρὺν Ἀχαιῶν
δῶρ’ ἀποαιρεῖσθαι ὅς τις σέθεν ἀντίον εἴπῃ·
δημοβόρος βασιλεὺς, ἐπεὶ οὐτιδανοῖσιν ἀνάσσεις·
ἦ γὰρ ἂν, Ἀτρεΐδη, νῦν ὕστατα λωβήσαιο.
ἀλλ’ ἔκ τοι ἐρέω καὶ ἐπὶ μέγαν ὅρκον ὀμοῦμαι·
ναὶ μὰ τόδε σκῆπτρον, τὸ μὲν οὔ ποτε φύλλα καὶ ὄζους
φύσει, ἐπεὶ δὴ πρῶτα τομὴν ἐν ὄρεσσι λέλοιπεν,
οὐδ’ ἀναθηλήσει· περὶ γάρ ῥά ἑ χαλκὸς ἔλεψε
φύλλά τε καὶ φλοιόν· νῦν αὖτέ μιν υἷες Ἀχαιῶν
ἐν παλάμῃς φορέουσι δικασπόλοι, οἵ τε θέμιστας
πρὸς Διὸς εἰρύαται· ὃ δέ τοι μέγας ἔσσεται ὅρκος·
ἦ ποτ’ Ἀχιλλῆος ποθὴ ἵξεται υἷας Ἀχαιῶν
σύμπαντας· τότε δ’ οὔ τι δυνήσεαι ἀχνύμενός περ
χραισμεῖν, εὖτ’ ἂν πολλοὶ ὑφ’ Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο
θνῄσκοντες πίπτωσι· σὺ δ’ ἔνδοθι θυμὸν ἀμύξεις
χωόμενος ὅ τ’ ἄριστον Ἀχαιῶν οὐδὲν ἔτισας.”
ὥς φάτο Πηλεΐδης, ποτὶ δὲ σκῆπτρον βάλε γαίῃ
χρυσείοις ἥλοισι πεπαρμένον, ἕζετο δ’ αὐτός…
(Homer, Il. 1.223-246)

But Achilles rounded on Agamemnon once again,
lashing out at him. not relaxing his anger for a moment:
“Staggering drunk, with your dog’s eyes. your fawn’s heart!
Never once did you arm with the troops and go to battle
or risk an ambush packed with Achaea’s picked men—
you lack the courage, you can see death coming.
Safer by far, you find, to foray all through camp,
commandeering the prize of any man who speaks against you.
King who devours his people! Worthless husks, the men you rule—
if not, Atrides, this outrage would have been your last.
I tell you this, and I swear a mighty oath upon it…
by this, this scepter, look,
that never again will put forth crown and branches,
now it’s left its stump on the mountain ridge forever,
nor will it sprout new green again, now the brazen ax
has stripped its bark and leaves, and now the sons of Achaea
pass it back and forth as they hand their judgments down,
upholding the honored customs whenever Zeus commands—
This scepter will be the mighty force behind my oath:
someday, I swear, a yearning for Achilles will strike
Achaea’s sons and all your armies! But then, Atrides,
harrowed as you will be, nothing you do can save you—
not when your hordes of fighters drop and die,
cut down by the hands of man-killing Hector! Then—
then you will tear your heart out, desperate, raging
that you disgraced the best of the Achaeans!”
Down on the ground
he dashed the scepter studded bright with golden nails,
then took his seat again.
(tr. Robert Fagles)

Inordinatum

God-creation

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.

Neikea

220px-Achilles_fighting_against_Memnon_Leiden_Rijsk_Museum_voor_Oudheden

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)

Nēgretos

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)