aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Aeschylus, Myrmidons fr. 139

leave a comment »

In a much-quoted passage from one of Aeschylus’ lost tragedies, Achilles uses an animal fable to parallel how he caused himself sorrow by sending Patroclus to his death in battle.

ὧδ’ ἐστὶ μύθων τῶν Λιβυστικῶν κλέος,
πληγέντ’ ἀτρακτῷ τοξικῷ τὸν αἰετὸν
εἰπεῖν ἰδόντα μηχανὴν πτερώματος·
“τάδ’ οὐχ ὑπ’ ἄλλων, ἀλλὰ τοῖς αὑτῶν πτεροῖς
ἁλισκόμεσθα.”

This is what people say about a story from Libya: an eagle was shot with an arrow from the bow. Seeing the means by which the arrow was flighted, he said, “This is how we succumb, not at the hands of others, but with our own feathers!”

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Aeschylus

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: