previous next

My friends, it is this very purpose that is bringing about my death, [420] that I may not be detected bringing shame to my husband or to the children I gave birth to but rather that they may live in glorious Athens as free men, free of speech and flourishing, enjoying good repute where their mother is concerned. For it enslaves a man, even if he is bold of heart, [425] when he is conscious of sins committed by his mother or father. Only one thing, they say, competes in value with life, the possession of a heart blameless and good. But as for the base among mortals, they are exposed, late or soon, by Time, who holds up to them, as to a young girl, [430] a mirror. In their number may I never be found!

Chorus Leader
Oh, what a fine thing is chastity everywhere, and how splendid is the repute it gains among men!


Mistress, though the misfortune you told me of gave me just now a momentary fright, [435] > yet now I realize that I was being simple-minded—and among mortals second thoughts are, I suppose, wiser. It is not anything extraordinary, anything beyond all reckoning, that has befallen you, but it is the wrath of the goddess that has descended on you. You are in love: why is that so strange? It is a condition you share with many. [440] > Will you, because of love, destroy your own life? Those who are in love today or shall be tomorrow get little profit, then, if they must die for it. Aphrodite, if she streams upon us in great force, cannot be endured. Against those who yield to her demands, she comes in mildness, [445] > but the one whom she finds to be high and proud, such a one she takes and mistreats ever so badly.

She moves through the air, she dwells in the sea-wave, and all that lives comes from her. She it is that gives and implants love, [450] > that love of which all we of earth are begotten. Those who possess the writings of ancient poets and are themselves concerned with the Muses know that Zeus once lusted for Semele's bed, know too that Dawn, [455] > goddess of lovely light, once abducted Cephalus to heaven for love's sake. But these deities still continue to live in heaven and do not exile themselves from the sight of the gods.1 They are resigned to their defeat by ill-fortune.

1 This would be the equivalent, among the immortals, of suicide among human beings.

load focus Greek (David Kovacs)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Athens (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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