previous next

‘Proverbs too are metaphors from species to species: as for instance, if a man has of his own accord invited the aid of (lit. called in to help him) another in the expectation of deriving benefit (from his assistance), and then incurs harm and loss instead, as the Carpathian says of the hare: for each of them is a case of the accident (or result) above mentioned’.

Carpathus, an island lying between Crete and Rhodes, from which the neighbouring sea took the name of Carpathian (Hor. Carm. I 35. 8): now called Skarpanto. The proverb is thus explained by Buhle. “Cum Carpathi incolae leporibus carerent, unus eorum par leporum introduxit” (rabbits, doubtless), “under tanta eorum multitudo propter faecunditatem exorsa est, ut omnes fructus absumerentur.” Erasmus, Adag. Chil. II Cent. I 81, p. 1250.

A similar result follows from similar conduct in Stesichorus' fable of the stag, the horse, and the man, II 20. 5. These are both species of the same genus of disappointed expectation, or disastrous result: and the proverb is a transfer, a tralatio of the one to the other. On the four kinds of metaphor, see Poet. XXI 7.

‘So the sources of witticisms and pointed, pungent, vivid things in general, and the reason why (they are such; their raison d'être), have been pretty well explained’. I have omitted τὸ αἴτιον as a mere tautological repetition of διότι. On the three senses of διότι see note on I 1.11. Here the sense of “why” is proved by the explanatory τὸ αἴτιον.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: