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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Cavafy Bilingual Anthology : PERFIDY

from Poems 1896-1904, * Translated by Memas Kolaitis
(The Greek Poems of C.P. Cavafy, 1989, published by A.D.Caratzas)  *
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The Original Greek New Testament

O although we approve of many things in Homer, this we will not approve .... nor will we approve of Aeschylus when he makes Thetis say that Apollo sang at her wedding in celebration of her child, "that he would not know sickness, would live long, and every blessing would be his; and he sang praises, such that he rejoiced my heart. And I had hopes that the divine Apollo's lips, so fluent in the art of prophecy, would not prove false: But he who had proclaimed these things........ ......... .........
...... .......... ........ it was he who killed my son".

Plato, Republic, II


The day that Thetis wedded Peleus,

soon Apollo, rising at the splendid nuptial feast,

acclaimed the newlyweds

on their expected blest event, the offspring that would issue from their union.

Said he, "Subject to sickness he will never be;

and he will have long life". - And this

pleased Thetis greatly,

for Apollo was at home with prophecy, and so his words

to her were certain warrant for the child.


Πολλὰ ἄρα Ὁμήρου ἐπαινοῦντες, ἀλλὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπαινεσόμεθα... οὐδὲ Αἰσχύλου, ὅταν φῇ ἡ Θέτις τὸν Ἀπόλλω ἐν τοῖς αὑτῆς γάμοις ἄδοντα, "ἐνδατεῖσθαι τὰς ἑὰς εὐπαιδίας, νόσων τ' ἀπείρους καὶ μακραίωνας βίους. Ξύμπαντά τ' εἰπὼν θεοφιλεῖς ἐμᾶς τύχας παιῶν' ἐπευφήμησεν, εὐθυμῶν ἐμέ. Κἀγὼ τὸ Φοίβου θεῖον ἀψευδὲς στόμα ἤλπιζον εἶναι, μαντικῇ βρύον τέχνῃ: Ὁ δ', αὐτὸς ὑμνῶν.... ...... .......
...... ......αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ κτανὼν τὸν παῖδα τὸν ἐμόν".

Πλάτων, Πολιτείας Β΄

Σὰν πάντρευαν τὴν Θέτιδα μὲ τὸν Πηλέα

σηκώθηκε ὁ Ἀπόλλων στὸ λαμπρὸ τραπέζι

τοῦ γάμου, καὶ μακάρισε τοὺς νεονύμφους

γιὰ τὸν βλαστὸ ποὺ θἄβγαινε ἀπ' τὴν ἕνωσί των.

Εἶπε· Ποτὲ αὐτὸν ἀρρώστια δὲν θἀγγίξει

καὶ θἄχει μακρυνὴ ζωή. - Αὐτὰ σὰν εἶπε,

ἡ Θέτις χάρηκε πολύ, γιατὶ τὰ λόγια

τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος ποὺ γνώριζε ἀπὸ προφητεῖες

τὴν φάνηκαν ἐγγύησις γιὰ τὸ παιδί της.

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