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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

Euripides Bilingual Anthology : A CITY NEEDS DEMOCRACY

from Euripides' Suppliants, * Lines 399-463, * Translated by E.P.Coleridge, * Greek Fonts


ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT
Page 2

THEBAN HERALD: Thou givest me here an advantage, as it might be in a game of draughts; for the city, whence I come, is ruled by one man only, not by the mob; none there puffs up the citizens with specious words, and for his own advantage twists them this way or that,-one moment dear to them and lavish of his favours, the next a bane to all; and yet by fresh calumnies of others he hides his former failures and escapes punishment. Besides, how shall the people, if it cannot form true judgments, be able rightly to direct the state? Nay, 'tis time, not haste, that affords a better understanding. A poor hind, granted be he not all unschooled, would still be unable from his toil to give his mind to politics. Verily the better sort count it no healthy sign when the worthless man obtains a reputation by beguiling with words the populace, though aforetime he was naught.

ΚΗΡΥΞ: ἓν μὲν τόδ΄ ἡμῖν ὥσπερ ἐν πεσσοῖς δίδως κρεῖσσον· πόλις γὰρ ἧς ἐγὼ πάρειμ΄ ἄπο ἑνὸς πρὸς ἀνδρὸς οὐκ ὄχλωι κρατύνεται· οὐδ΄ ἔστιν αὐτὴν ὅστις ἐκχαυνῶν λόγοις πρὸς κέρδος ἴδιον ἄλλοτ΄ ἄλλοσε στρέφει͵ τὸ δ΄ αὐτίχ΄ ἡδὺς καὶ διδοὺς πολλὴν χάριν ἐσαῦθις ἔβλαψ΄͵ εἶτα διαβολαῖς νέαις κλέψας τὰ πρόσθε σφάλματ΄ ἐξέδυ δίκης. ἄλλως τε πῶς ἂν μὴ διορθεύων λόγους ὀρθῶς δύναιτ΄ ἂν δῆμος εὐθύνειν πόλιν; ὁ γὰρ χρόνος μάθησιν ἀντὶ τοῦ τάχους κρείσσω δίδωσι. γαπόνος δ΄ ἀνὴρ πένης͵ εἰ καὶ γένοιτο μὴ ἀμαθής͵ ἔργων ὕπο οὐκ ἂν δύναιτο πρὸς τὰ κοίν΄ ἀποβλέπειν. ἦ δὴ νοσῶδες τοῦτο τοῖς ἀμείνοσιν͵ ὅταν πονηρὸς ἀξίωμ΄ ἀνὴρ ἔχηι γλώσσηι κατασχὼν δῆμον͵ οὐδὲν ὢν τὸ πρίν.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/euripides-law-democracy.asp?pg=2