ὦ πολλὰ δὴ “κ.τ.λ.” This speech, down to v. 1102, is translated by Cicero in Tusc.2. 8, where the fact that the poets recognise pain as an evil is illustrated by the laments of Philoctetes, Heracles and Prometheus. Cicero's version is essentially that of an orator; the true test for it would be declamation. But even a reader can feel its sonorous vigour, and its Roman gravity; Cicero succeeds as Lord Derby succeeded in much of the Iliad. The rendering of the Greek is very free, sometimes inadequate, but always manly, and highly terse; indeed, the 57 lines of the original become 45; in one place, eleven verses (1079—1089) are reduced to four (vv. 30—33). θερμὰ: “θερμός” was said (1) of a hot or rash temperament ( Ant.88): (2) of a rash deed, as in Plut 415 “ὦ θερμὸν ἔργον κἀνόσιον καὶ παράνομον” | “τολμῶντε δρᾶν”. Here “θερμὰ” is not ‘rash,’ but expresses intense conflict with deadly peril; as we speak of ‘a hot fight.’ κοὐ λόγῳ κακὰ fitly follows θερμά, the word which recalls the moment of dire stress. His trials had been fiery, and grievous, not in report or name alone. No “λόγος” could express to others what the “ἔργα” had been to the doer. In El.761 ff. a similar antithesis is implied: “τοιαῦτά σοι ταῦτ᾽ ἐστίν, ὡς μὲν ἐν λόγῳ” | “ἀλγεινά, τοῖς δ᾽ ἰδοῦσιν, οἵπερ εἴδομεν”, | “μέγιστα πάντων ὧν ὄπωπ᾽ ἐγὼ κακῶν”: grievous enough to hear; but far worse to see. For οὐ λόγῳ, cp. Ai.813“κοὐ λόγῳ δείξω μόνον”: El.1453“κἀπέδειξεν οὐ λόγῳ μόνον”. Thuc.6. 18“ἀμύνεσθαι οὐ λόγῳ ἀλλ᾽ ἔργῳ μᾶλλον”. The MS. reading, καὶ λόγῳ κακὰ, is certainly wrong, for two reasons. (1) When the required sense is, ‘grievous to tell,’ “κακά” becomes, for Greek poetical idiom, too weak; we need such a word as “δεινά” or “ἀλγεινά”. This objection does not apply to a phrase of ironical form, such as “οὐ λόγῳ κακά”. (2) Idiom would require “καὶ λέγειν” rather than “καὶ λόγῳ”. Cicero, no doubt, read “καὶ λόγῳ” (‘O multa dictu gravia, perpessu aspera’); but that proves nothing. In Ant.4“οὔτ᾽ ἄτης ἄτερ” was the only reading known to Didymus (c. 30 B.C.).
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.