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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plato Bilingual Anthology : MOTIONS OF THE UNIVERSE

from Politicus, * 268.d-274.e, translated by B. Jowett

Greek Fonts / Plato Complete works / Plato Concept

TRANGER: I think that we may have a little amusement; there is a famous tale, of which a good portion may with advantage be interwoven, and then we may resume our series of divisions, and proceed in the old path until we arrive at the desired summit. Shall we do as I say? YOUNGER SOCRATES: By all means. STR. Listen, then, to a tale which a child would love to hear; and you are not too old for childish amusement. YSOC. Let me hear. STR. There did really happen, and will again happen, like many other events of which ancient tradition has preserved the record, the portent which is traditionally said to have occurred in the quarrel of Atreus and Thyestes. You have heard no doubt, and remember what they say happened at that time? YSOC. I suppose you to mean the token of the birth of the golden lamb. STR. No, not that; but another part of the story, which tells how the sun and the stars once rose in the west, and set in the east, and that the god reversed their motion, and gave them that which they now have as a testimony to the right of Atreus.

κόσμου τροπαί

ΞΕ. Σχεδὸν παιδιὰν ἐγκερασαμένους· συχνῷ γὰρ μέρει δεῖ μεγάλου μύθου προσχρήσασθαι͵ καὶ τὸ λοιπὸν δή͵ καθάπερ ἐν τοῖς πρόσθεν͵ μέρος ἀεὶ μέρους ἀφαιρουμένους ἐπ΄ ἄκρον ἀφικνεῖσθαι τὸ ζητούμενον. οὐκοῦν χρή; ΝΕ. ΣΩ. Πάνυ μὲν οὖν. ΞΕ. Ἀλλὰ δὴ τῷ μύθῳ μου πάνυ πρόσεχε τὸν νοῦν͵ καθάπερ οἱ παῖδες· πάντως οὐ πολλὰ ἐκφεύγεις παιδιὰς ἔτη. ΝΕ. ΣΩ. Λέγοις ἄν. ΞΕ. ῏Ην τοίνυν καὶ ἔτι ἔσται τῶν πάλαι λεχθέντων πολλά τε ἄλλα καὶ δὴ καὶ τὸ περὶ τὴν Ἀτρέως τε καὶ Θυέστου λεχθεῖσαν ἔριν φάσμα. ἀκήκοας γάρ που καὶ ἀπομνημονεύεις ὅ φασι γενέσθαι τότε. ΝΕ. ΣΩ. Τὸ περὶ τῆς χρυσῆς ἀρνὸς ἴσως σημεῖον φράζεις. ΞΕ. Οὐδαμῶς͵ ἀλλὰ τὸ περὶ τῆς μεταβολῆς δύσεώς τε καὶ ἀνατολῆς ἡλίου καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἄστρων͵ ὡς ἄρα ὅθεν μὲν ἀνατέλλει νῦν εἰς τοῦτον τότε τὸν τόπον ἐδύετο͵ ἀνέτελλε δ΄ ἐκ τοῦ ἐναντίου͵ τότε δὲ δὴ μαρτυρήσας ἄρα ὁ θεὸς Ἀτρεῖ μετέβαλεν αὐτὸ ἐπὶ τὸ νῦν σχῆμα.

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