previous next

But whence could Ulpian know what Stratonicus the harp-player said about Propis the Rhodian harp-player? For Clearchus, in his book on Proverbs, says that Stratonicus, when he had seen Propis, who was a man of great size, but a very inferior artist, with a mind much less than his body, said to some one who asked him what sort of player he was,
οὐδεὶς κακὸς μέγας ἰχθῖς:
speaking enigmatically, and saying, first of all, that he is οὐδεὶς, no one, or good for nothing; secondly, that he is κακὸς, bad; and, in addition to this, that he is μέγας, great; and, lastly, ἰχθὺς, a fish, as having no voice. But Theophrastus, in his book on The Laughable, says that this was a proverb originating with Stratonicus, but applied to Simmychas the actor; for that he uttered the proverb, dividing the words distinctly—
μέγας οὐδεὶς σαπρὸς ἰχθῦς.
And Aristotle, in his Constitution of the Naxians, speaks thus of this proverb—“Of the rich men among the Naxians, the greater part lived in the city, but the remainder lived scattered about in the villages. Accordingly, in one of these villages, the name of which was Lestadæ, Telestagoras lived, a man of great riches and of very high reputation, and greatly honoured by the people in other respects, and also with daily presents which they used to send him. And whenever people from the city, going down to the market, wanted to drive a hard bargain for anything they wished to purchase, the sellers would say that they would rather give it to Telestagoras than sell it for such a price as was offered. So some young men, buying a large fish, when the fisherman made this speech, being annoyed at hearing this so often, having already drunk a good deal, went to his house to sup; and Telestagoras received them in a very friendly and hospitable manner, but the young men insulted him, and his two marriageable daughters. At which the Naxians were very indignant, and took up arms and attacked the young men; and there was a great sedition, Lygdamis being the leader of the Naxians, who, having got the chief command in this sedition, became the tyrant of his country.”

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.

load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
load focus Greek (Kaibel)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: