aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Plutarch, Sayings of kings and commanders 173b

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Σεμίραμις δὲ ἑαυτῇ κατασκευάσασα τάφον ἐπέγραψεν “ὅστις ἂν χρημάτων δεηθῇ βασιλεύς, διελόντα τὸ μνημεῖον ὅσα βούλεται λαβεῖν.” Δαρεῖος οὖν διελὼν χρήματα μὲν οὐχ εὗρε, γράμμασι δὲ ἑτέροις ἐνέτυχε τάδε φράζουσιν· “εἰ μὴ κακὸς ἦσθ’ ἀνὴρ καὶ χρημάτων ἄπληστος, οὐκ ἂν νεκρῶν θήκας ἐκίνεις.”

Semiramis built a tomb for herself and wrote upon it, “Any king who is short of treasures, let him break into the monument and take as much as he desires.” So Darius broke in but did not find treasures; he came across another inscription which made the following declaration: “If you were not a wicked person with an insatiable desire for treasure, you would not disturb the repositories of the dead.”

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Plutarch

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