aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists 555

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Having been caught in two traffic holdups in two days I was reminded of this passage from Philostratus about the orator and philanthropist Herodes Atticus. Philostratus has just dismissed as unfounded a story about Herodes’ part in an alleged road-rage incident involving the future emperor Antoninus Pius. Here are the brief details of what (in Philostratus’ eyes, anyway) actually happened. The scene is Mount Ida, so we are presumably to think of a narrow mountain pass.

ὠθισμὸς μὲν γάρ τις αὐτοῖς ξυνέπεσεν, ὡς ἐν δυσχωρίᾳ καὶ στενοῖς, αἱ δὲ χεῖρες οὐδὲν παρηνόμησαν, καίτοι οὐκ ἂν παρῆκεν ὁ Δημόστρατος διελθεῖν αὐτὰ ἐν τῇ πρὸς τὸν Ἡρώδην δίκῃ πικρῶς οὕτω καθαψάμενος τοῦ ἀνδρός ὡς διαβάλλειν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ ἐπαινούμενα.

For although they had a bit of pushing and shoving, as will happen in a cramped place and on narrow roads, they did not come to fisticuffs and thereby break the law. Indeed [if that had happened] Demostratus would not have omitted to recount this incident in his lawsuit against Herodes, when he so bitterly assailed the man that he attacked even those acts of his which are usually commended.

Written by aleatorclassicus

October 15, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Philostrati

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