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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


St. Basil the Great - Bilingual Anthology


from the Speech on Avarice, * § 7, Translated by Elpenor * Greek Fonts ||| St Basil Home Page


The Original Greek New Testament
HEY say: whom do I wrong by keeping my property? What, tell me, is your property? Where did you find it and brought it to your life? Just like someone in the theatre, who had a seat and then stopped those who entered, judging that what lies common in front of everyone to use, was his own: rich men are of the same kind. They first took possession of the common property, and then they keep it as their own because they were the first to take it. If one had taken what is necessary to cover one's needs and had left the rest to those who are in need, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, no one would be in need.

τὰ δὲ παρόντα σοι πόθεν;

Τίνα͵ φησὶν͵ ἀδικῶ συνέχων τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ; Ποῖα͵ εἰπέ μοι͵ σαυτοῦ; πόθεν λαβὼν εἰς τὸν βίον εἰσήνεγκας; Ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις͵ ἐν θεάτρῳ θέαν καταλαβὼν͵ εἶτα ἐξείργοι τοὺς ἐπεισιόντας͵ ἴδιον ἑαυτοῦ κρίνων τὸ κοινῶς πᾶσι κατὰ τὴν χρῆσιν προκείμενον· τοιοῦτοί εἰσι καὶ οἱ πλούσιοι. Τὰ γὰρ κοινὰ προκατασχόντες͵ ἴδια ποιοῦνται διὰ τὴν πρόληψιν. Ἐπεὶ εἰ τὸ πρὸς παραμυθίαν τῆς ἑαυτοῦ χρείας ἕκαστος κομιζόμενος͵ τὸ περιττὸν ἠφίει τῷ δεομένῳ͵ οὐδεὶς μὲν ἂν ἦν πλούσιος͵ οὐδεὶς δὲ πένης͵ οὐδεὶς ἐνδεής.

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