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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plato Bilingual Anthology : LOVERS

from Phaedrus, * 255a-257a, translated by B. Jowett

Greek Fonts / Plato Complete works / Plato Concept

Page 3

When he is with the lover, both cease from their pain, but when he is away then he longs as he is longed for, and has love's image, love for love (Anteros) lodging in his breast, which he calls and believes to be not love but friendship only, and his desire is as the desire of the other, but weaker; he wants to see him, touch him, kiss him, embrace him, and probably not long afterwards his desire is accomplished. When they meet, the wanton steed of the lover has a word to say to the charioteer; he would like to have a little pleasure in return for many pains, but the wanton steed of the beloved says not a word, for he is bursting with passion which he understands not;-he throws his arms round the lover and embraces him as his dearest friend; and, when they are side by side, he is not in it state in which he can refuse the lover anything, if he ask him; although his fellow-steed and the charioteer oppose him with the arguments of shame and reason.

καὶ ὅταν μὲν ἐκεῖνος παρῇ͵ λήγει κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐκείνῳ τῆς ὀδύνης͵ ὅταν δὲ ἀπῇ͵ κατὰ ταὐτὰ αὖ ποθεῖ καὶ ποθεῖται͵ εἴδωλον ἔρωτος ἀντέρωτα ἔχων· καλεῖ δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ οἴεται οὐκ ἔρωτα ἀλλὰ φιλίαν εἶναι. ἐπιθυμεῖ δὲ ἐκείνῳ παραπλησίως μέν͵ ἀσθενεστέρως δέ͵ ὁρᾶν͵ ἅπτεσθαι͵ φιλεῖν͵ συγκατακεῖσθαι· καὶ δή͵ οἷον εἰκός͵ ποιεῖ τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο ταχὺ ταῦτα. ἐν οὖν τῇ συγκοιμήσει τοῦ μὲν ἐραστοῦ ὁ ἀκόλαστος ἵππος ἔχει ὅτι λέγῃ πρὸς τὸν ἡνίοχον͵ καὶ ἀξιοῖ ἀντὶ πολλῶν πόνων σμικρὰ ἀπολαῦσαι· ὁ δὲ τῶν παιδικῶν ἔχει μὲν οὐδὲν εἰπεῖν͵ σπαργῶν δὲ καὶ ἀπορῶν περιβάλλει τὸν ἐραστὴν καὶ φιλεῖ͵ ὡς σφόδρ΄ εὔνουν ἀσπαζόμενος͵ ὅταν τε συγκατακέωνται͵ οἷός ἐστι μὴ ἂν ἀπαρνηθῆναι τὸ αὑτοῦ μέρος χαρίσασθαι τῷ ἐρῶντι͵ εἰ δεηθείη τυχεῖν· ὁ δὲ ὁμόζυξ αὖ μετὰ τοῦ ἡνιόχου πρὸς ταῦτα μετ΄ αἰδοῦς καὶ λόγου ἀντιτείνει.

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