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Cyclops
to the Chorus-Leader
You lie. For my part, I put more trust in this man than in Rhadamanthys1 and think him more honest. [275] But I wish to ask a question. Where have you sailed from? What is your country? What city was it that brought you up?

Odysseus
We are men of Ithaca by birth, and it is from Ilium, after sacking the city, that we have come to your land, Cyclops, blown off-course by sea-storms.

Cyclops
[280] Are you the ones who went to punish Ilium on the Scamander for the theft of the worthless Helen?

Odysseus
Yes, we are the ones who endured that terrible toil.

Cyclops
Disgraceful expedition, to sail for the sake of one woman to the land of the Phrygians!

Odysseus
[285] It was the doing of a god: blame no mortal for it.

But, o noble son of the sea-god, we at once entreat you and give you our frank censure: do not have the hardness to kill benefactors who have come to your house and to make of them a godless meal for your jaws. [290] It was we who kept your father safe in the possession of his temple-seats in every corner of Greece: the harbor of sacred Taenarum and the recesses of Cape Malea remain inviolate, safe is the rock of Sunium rich in silver, sacred to the goddess Athena, [295] safe are Geraestus' refuges. We have avoided the great disgrace of losses to the Trojans.2 In these events you also have a share, dwelling as you do in the far reaches of Hellas, under Aetna, the rock that drips with fire.

But if you are deaf to these considerations, there is a law among mortals [300] that one must receive ship-wrecked suppliants, give them the gifts hospitality requires, and provide them with clothing. <It is this treatment we ought to receive from you,>3 rather than to have our limbs pierced with spits for roasting beef and to fill your maw and belly. Enough bereavement has Priam's land wrought on Greece, [305] drinking down the blood of many corpses shed by the spear. She has brought down wives widowed, old women and grey-beards childless to the grave. And if you mean to cook and consume those left, making a grim feast, where shall anyone turn for refuge? Listen to me, Cyclops: [310] let go of this gluttony and choose to be godly instead of impious: for many have found that base gain brings a recompense of punishment.

Silenus
I want to give you some advice: don't leave untouched a single bit of this man's flesh. And if you chew on his tongue, [315] you will become clever and glib, Cyclops.

1 Legendary ruler of Crete and judge in the Underworld, famous for his justice.

2 This sentence gives approximate sense only.

3 My suppletion.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.1.3
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