Key to Reading Unit 18

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Unit Key 17

Unit Key 19

Unit 18

1. I shall be caught in my own nets.

2. If you don't check your tongue, you will have trouble (lit. bad things will be to you).

3. Prophets are, I guess, said to foretell the future to others, but not to foresee what is about to come upon themselves.

4. Each method of government makes its laws with a view to its own advantage, democracy democratic [laws], tyranny tyrannical ones.

5. Do not betray a suppliant who is old and poor.

6. An old fox cannot be caught (lit. is not caught).

7. If parents (lit. those who have produced children) realise that they were once young, they will gently bear/tolerate the love-affairs of their children, because they (the parents) are not stupid by nature.

8. God has given us many vicissitudes in life and many changes of fortune.

9. If you were not the basest [of men], you would never hold your own country in dishonour and praise this city.

10. Get and give back, my man, and [then] you will get again.

11. The wise man is not captured by pleasure.

12. From those ruled by their stomachs (lit. whose stomach rules them) sense is taken away.

13. Once, meeting a man who had been elected general, he said, 'For what reason (lit. for the sake of what) do you think Homer called Agamemnon "shepherd of the people"? Is it because, just as a shepherd must see to it that his sheep are safe and have provisions, and that the purpose for which they are reared is achieved (lit. this thing for the sake of which they are reared will be), so too a general must see to it that his men are safe and have provisions, and that the object of their going to war is attained? For they go to war in order that they may be happier by mastery over their enemies. All men fight in order to have the best life [possible]; and they choose generals for the following reason, that they may act as their leaders for this purpose. So a general must prepare this for those who have chosen him general; for indeed neither is it easy to find anything more honourable than this (sc. preparing the best life) nor [is it easy to find anything] more disgraceful than the opposite.' By enquiring thus what was the essential virtue of a good leader, he discarded all other [factors], and left only the [ability] to make happy those whom he leads. (Xenophon Memorabilia 3.2.1-4).

14. Bdelycleon: If any juror is [still] outside let him come in. For, when they begin to speak, we won't let [anyone] in.

Philocleon: Who's the defendant here? He'll never get off! (lit. how much he will be convicted).
B. Hear now the indictment. 'Dog from Kydathenaion indicted Labes of Aixone on a criminal charge of (lit. doing wrong because he ate) eating up the Sicilian cheese all by himself. Penalty: a fig-wood collar.'
Ph.: No, a dog's death, rather, if once he's convicted.
B.: And here is the defendant, Labes.
Ph.: What a scoundrel he is! What a thieving look he has! How he grins and thinks that he'll deceive me! Where's the prosecutor, Dog from Kydathenaion?
Dog: Bow, wow!
B.: He's here.
Ph.: This is just another Labes, good at barking and licking the pots clean.
B.: Quiet, sit down (addressed to Philocleon). Up you get, you, (addressed to Dog of Kydathenaion), and begin the prosecution.
Ph.: Here now, while this is going on (lit. at the same time), let me for my part pour this [soup] for myself and gulp it down.
Dog. You have heard the indictment I have made against the defendant here, gentlemen of the jury. He's done the most terrible of deeds against me and the yo-ho-hos. For he ran away into the corner and began to Sicilize down a large cheese, and he gorged himself in the dark.
P.: You're right! (lit. by Zeus, but he is clear [sc. doing so]) He just gave a horrible belch of cheese over me, this disgusting [creature].
(Aristophanes Wasps 891-913).
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(c) Gavin Betts, Alan Henry 2001