Key to Reading Unit 17

Main Index

Unit Key 16

Unit Key 18

Unit 17

1. A bad plan is worst/very bad for the planner (lit. the one who planned [it]).

2. It is easier to give advice than to endure [when] suffering.

3. Let the man who causes fear to many be afraid of many.

4. When you round Cape Malea forget those at home (i.e you probably will not see them again).

5. Do not heal ill with ill.

6. A friend is more indispensable than fire and water.

7. The vote of the majority wins.

8. Choose a loss rather than a disgraceful profit.

9. Rule, after first learning [how] to rule.

10. For men ears happen to be less trustworthy than eyes.

11. The harshest informer will go off softer than a lamb once he has received two minae.

12. Every person loves himself more than his fellow-creatures.

13. When you are fortunate be moderate, when you are unfortunate [be] sensible.

14. In life (lit. living) be praised, in death (lit. having died) be deemed happy.

15. Be the same to friends fortunate and unfortunate.

16. When you suffer misfortune hide yourself, in order that you may not gladden your enemies.

17. No admittance to those without geometry (lit. let no-one without geometry enter).

18. The opinions of older men are better.

19. Preserving blessings often seems more difficult than getting them.

20. Use your own lyre, not that of your neighbour.

21. Old age is more burdensome than Aetna.

22. Fight with silver spears and you will be master of all (i.e. use bribery; the

Greeks used silver, not gold, for their currencies).

23. Even of honey the greater part is bile.

24. Bad companions (lit. associations) corrupt good characters.

25. But if you want to examine what in truth his public services amount to (lit. are), I will tell you; and observe how fairly I will test him, judging him in comparison with myself. This man, gentlemen of Athens, who is about fifty years old perhaps or a little less, has not performed more public services for you than I have, I who am [only] thirty two. And I, immediately after reaching my majority, served as trierarch at that period when [only] two were joint trierarchs and when we paid all the expenses from our own pockets and manned (i.e. provided the crews for) the ships ourselves. But he (Meidias), when he was my present age (lit. at this age which I now [am]) had not yet begun to perform services, but he has [only] put his hand to the task at a time when, first of all, you have made twelve hundred men joint-contributors, and, secondly, the state provides the crew and tackle, so that the net result for some of them is in truth to spend nothing and to be thought (lit. seem) to have performed a service and [so] be exempt from the rest of them. Well, what else [is there]? He has once acted as choregus for a tragic chorus, while I [have so acted] for male flute-players. And there is no-one, I suppose, who does not know that the latter expense is much greater than the former.

When he was paymaster of the Paralus at the time when you made the expedition to Euboea against the Thebans, although he was instructed to spend twelve talents of the state's money, when you ordered him to sail and escort the troops, he brought no assistance, but arrived [only] when the truce had already been made which Diocles had concluded with the Thebans. And on that occasion he was beaten on his voyage (lit. sailing) by one of the privately owned triremes; so well had he prepared the sacred trireme. (Demosthenes Against Meidias 154-156; 174).

26. Might: Come, cast the bands around his sides.

Hephaestus: This I must do; [but] don't urge me on too much.
M.: I certainly will, and I'll shout you on as well. Go down, and force these rings about his legs (lit. circle his limbs by force).
H.: Look, the work is done with no long labour.
M.: Now vigorously strike the piercing fetters, for the appraiser of the work (i.e. Zeus) is harsh.
H.: Your tongue speaks [words] like your appearance (i.e. Might's words are as cruel-sounding as he is cruel-looking).
M.: Be soft [if you like], but do not reproach me with my stubbornness and harshness of temper.
H.: Let us go, for he [now] has the fetters on his limbs. (Aeschylus Prometheus Bound 71-81).
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(c) Gavin Betts, Alan Henry 2001