Key to Reading Unit 12

Main Index

Unit Key 11

Unit Key 13

Unit 12

1. Time is the [only] difference between an angry man and a madman (lit. an angry man differs from a madman [only] in time; i.e. passing from anger to madness is only a matter of time).

2. For the man who prospers life is short, for the man who is unfortunate [it is] long.

3. Nothing comes into being out of nothing (lit. from the not existing thing); cf. the Latin nihil ex nihilo.]

4. [My] friend, are you getting married when/although you can buy a rope (sc. and hang yourself) (lit. when ropes are being sold).

5. No-one who is (lit. being) just gets rich quickly.

6. Toils [become] sweet when toil has been altered (i.e. a change in work is welcome).

7. What profit is there in outraging (lit. to outrage) corpses which are no longer alive (lit. no longer existing).

8. Although you are here you are absent.

9. Love flourishes when it is well-provided, it dies when it is ill-provided.

10. If the wine is finished (lit. no longer existing) the Cyprian (sc. goddess i.e. Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love) disappears (lit. does not exist; i.e. wine is a vital part of sexual love).

11. Everyone is a kinsman of those who prosper.

12. When a poor man speaks the truth he is not believed.

13. Those who wish to prosper must labour hard.

14. Many who are not bad fare badly,

15. How sweet it is when a father is (lit. a father to be) kind to his children and when children are not (lit. children not to be) hateful to their father.

16. Blessed is he who is fortunate [enough] to have married (lit. having got the marriage of) a good wife, but he who has not (lit. the man not having got [the marriage of a good wife]) is unfortunate.

17. A word spoken inopportunely can upset (lit. upsets) [one's] life.

18. No-one who is fortunate is the friend of those who are unfortunate.

19. One must always avoid masters who are angry.

20. Now, gentlemen of the jury, when they had been condemned to death (lit. death had been decided against them) and they had to be put to death, they sent for (historic pres.) (sc. their relatives) [to come] to the prison, one man his sister, another his mother, another his wife, and in particular Dionysodorus sent for (historic pres.) my sister, his wife, to come to the prison. When she got the news, she arrived (historic pres.) wearing a black cloak, as you might expect (lit. was natural) in view of the catastrophe her husband had experienced (lit. in the case of her husband having suffered in this way). In the presence of my sister Dionysodorus disposed of his personal property as he saw fit, and concerning the defendant (lit. this here) Agoratus he said that he was responsible for his death; and he charged me and his brother Dionysius here and all his friends to exact vengeance on Agoratus on his behalf. And he charged his wife to tell their son that Agoratus had killed his father and to urge him to take vengeance on his behalf on him as being the murderer. (Adapted from Lysias Against Agoratus 39-42.)

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(c) Gavin Betts, Alan Henry 2001