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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Aristophanes Bilingual Anthology : UNJUST DISCOURSE

from The Clouds, * Lines 1036-1111, * Translator anonymous, * Greek Fonts


NJUST DISCOURSE At last! I was choking with impatience, I was burning to upset his arguments! If I am called the Weaker Reasoning in the schools, it is just because I was the first to discover the means to confute the laws and the decrees of justice. To invoke solely the weaker arguments and yet triumph is an art worth more than a hundred thousand drachmae. But see how I shall batter down the sort of education of which he is so proud. Firstly, he forbids you to bathe in hot water. What grounds have you for condemning hot baths?

JUST DISCOURSE Because they are baneful and enervate men.

UNJ. Enough said! Oh! you poor wrestler! From the very outset I have seized you and hold you round the middle; you cannot escape me. Tell me, of all the sons of Zeus, who had the stoutest heart, who performed the most doughty deeds?

Ἥττων λόγος

ΗΤΤΩΝ ΛΟΓΟΣ καὶ μὴν πάλαι ΄γὼ ΄πνιγόμην τὰ σπλάγχνα κἀπεθύμουν ἅπαντα ταῦτ΄ ἐναντίαις γνώμαισι συνταράξαι. ἐγὼ γὰρ ἥττων μὲν λόγος δι΄ αὐτὸ τοῦτ΄ ἐκλήθην ἐν τοῖσι φροντισταῖσιν͵ ὅτι πρώτιστος ἐπενόησα τοῖσιν νόμοις καὶ ταῖς δίκαις τἀναντί΄ ἀντιλέξαι. καὶ τοῦτο πλεῖν ἢ μυρίων ἔστ΄ ἄξιον στατήρων͵ αἱρούμενον τοὺς ἥττονας λόγους ἔπειτα νικᾶν. σκέψαι δὲ τὴν παίδευσιν ᾗ πέποιθεν͵ ὡς ἐλέγξω͵ ὅστις σε θερμῷ φησὶ λοῦσθαι πρῶτον οὐκ ἐάσειν. καίτοι τίνα γνώμην ἔχων ψέγεις τὰ θερμὰ λουτρά;

ΚΡΕΙΤΤΩΝ ΛΟΓΟΣ. ὁτιὴ κάκιστόν ἐστι καὶ δειλὸν ποεῖ τὸν ἄνδρα.

Ητ. ἐπίσχες· εὐθὺς γάρ σε μέσον ἔχω λαβὼν ἄφυκτον. καί μοι φράσον· τῶν τοῦ Διὸς παίδων τίν΄ ἄνδρ΄ ἄριστον ψυχὴν νομίζεις͵ εἰπέ͵ καὶ πλείστους πόνους πονῆσαι;

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