Saturday, September 16, 2006

Cyrus on the Agora

Here is a small bit from Herodotus, 1.153, which I found humorous. A herald from Sparta to Cyrus reads a proclamation threatening punishment if the Great King should attack any Greek territory, and Cyrus responds:

οὐκ ἔδεισά κω ἄνδρας τοιούτους, τοῖσι ἐστὶ χῶρος ἐν μέσῃ τῇ πόλι ἀποδεδεγμένος ἐς τὸν συλλεγόμενοι ἀλλήλους ὀμνύντες ἐξαπατῶσι· τοῖσι, ἢν ἐγὼ ὑγιαίνω, οὐ τὰ Ἰώνων πάθεα ἔσται ἔλλεσχα ἀλλὰ τὰ οἰκήια.

[I have never yet feared such men, those who have a place set apart in the middle of the city, where they gather together under oath and lie. These, if I can stay healthy, will not talk of Ionian misfortunes, but their own.]


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