aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Archive for June 2013

Euripides, Bacchae 345-351

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Pentheus ill-advisedly orders Tiresias’ seat of augury to be destroyed.

τῆς σῆς δ’ ἀνοίας τόνδε τὸν διδάσκαλον
δίκην μέτειμι. στειχέτω τις ὡς τάχος,
ἐλθὼν δὲ θάκους τοῦδ’ ἵν’ οἰωνοσκοπεῖ
μοχλοῖς τριαίνου κἀνάτρεψον ἔμπαλιν,
ἄνω κάτω τὰ πάντα συγχέας ὁμοῦ,
καὶ στέμματ’ ἀνέμοις καὶ θυέλλαισιν μέθες·
μάλιστα γάρ νιν δήξομαι δράσας τάδε.

I shall execute judgment on this teacher of your folly. Let someone go at full speed to the seat where this man observes the birds; prise it up with crowbars, upset it, turn everything upside down along with it, and let his garlands fly away in the winds and storms. By doing this I’ll really sting him.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Euripides

Terence, The Brothers 537

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lupus in fabula!

The wolf in the fable!

The Roman equivalent of ‘Speak of the Devil!’

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Terence

Pindar, Dirges, fr.134

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εὐδαιμόνων δραπέτας οὐκ ἔστιν ὄλβος.

Blessed men’s bliss is not a runaway.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Pindar

Macrobius, Saturnalia 1.20.12

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nam Theron rex Hispaniae citerioris cum ad expugnandum Herculis templum ageretur furore instructus exercitu navium, Gaditani ex adverso venerunt provecti navibus longis, commissoque proelio adhuc aequo Marte consistente pugna, subito in fugam versae sunt regiae naves, simulque inproviso igne correptae conflagraverunt. paucissimi qui superfuerant hostium capti indicaverunt apparuisse sibi leones proris Gaditanae classis superstantes ac subito suas naves inmissis radiis, quales in Solis capite pinguntur, exustas.

When Theron, the king of Nearer Spain, was driven by madness to attack the sanctuary of Hercules, and had prepared a fleet, the people of Gades came out to meet him sailing on long ships; when battle had been joined and they were still fighting on an equal footing, all of a sudden the king’s ships turned to flee and at the same moment unexpectedly burst into flames and burned up. When the very few of the enemy who had survived were captured, they said that they had seen lions standing on the prows of the fleet from Gades, and that their own ships were suddenly attacked and consumed by rays such as those which are depicted on the head of the Sun.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Macrobius

Euripides, fr.1065

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καὶ τῶν παλαιῶν πόλλ’ ἔπη καλῶς ἔχει·
λόγοι γὰρ ἐσθλοὶ φάρμακον φόβου βροτοῖς.

And many sayings of the ancients are well: noble words are a drug for mortals’ fear.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Euripides

Horace, Epistles 1.2.40-43

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dimidium facti qui coepit habet; sapere aude,
incipe. vivendi qui recte prorogat horam,
rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis; at ille
labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum.

He who makes a start has the job half done; dare to be wise! Begin! He who postpones the hour for living aright is a bumpkin waiting for the river to stop; but it flows and shall flow, rolling along for all ages.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Horace

Strabo, Geography 1.1.8

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ὅτι δὲ ἡ οἰκουμένη νῆσός ἐστι, πρῶτον μὲν ἐκ τῆς αἰσθήσεως καὶ τῆς πείρας ληπτέον· πανταχῆ γάρ, ὁπουποτοῦν ἐφικτὸν γέγονεν ἀνθρώποις ἐπὶ τὰ ἔσχατα τῆς γῆς προελθεῖν, εὑρίσκεται θάλαττα, ἣν δὴ καλοῦμεν Ὠκεανόν.

The fact that the inhabited world is an island can be grasped first by perception and also by experience. For in every single place where it has been possible for people to come to the furthest parts of the earth, sea has been found – which we call ‘Ocean‘.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Strabo

Manilius, Astronomica 4.14-16

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The predestined astrological certainties of the cosmos.

fata regunt orbem, certa stant omnia lege
longaque per certos signantur tempora casus.
nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.

The Fates rule the world, everything stands under a sure law, and the long ages are marked out through sure events. At our birth we die, and our end depends upon our beginning.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Manilius

Menander, Monostichs 27

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ἀνὴρ δὲ χρηστὸς χρηστὸν οὐ μισεῖ ποτε.

A good man never hates another good man.

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Menander

Martial, Epigrams 12.30

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siccus, sobrius est Aper. quid ad me?
servum sic ego laudo, non amicum.

Aper is dry and sober. What good is that to me? It’s what I praise a slave for, not a friend!

Written by aleatorclassicus

June 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Martial