Key to Reading Unit 23

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Unit Key 22

Unit Key 24

Unit 23

1. With many forms of tricks the gods, since they are superior (sc. to us), trip us up.

2. Many among mortals seek through boldness to obscure their mishaps and conceal their troubles.

3. It is the mark of a man to bear nobly what befalls [him].

4. Equal (lit. an equal thing) in anger are the sea and a woman.

5. If you wish to stay alive do not do things worthy of death.

6. Art/skill is a haven from misfortune for men.

7. To live free from pain and sorrow is the characteristic of a fortunate man.

8. Since Conon was blockaded by land and sea, and it was not possible to get supplies from anywhere, and there were many people in the city, and the Athenians were not coming to the rescue through ignorance of the situation (lit. on account of not ascertaining these things), Conon launched the two best sailing of his ships, and manned them before daybreak, selecting the best rowers from the whole fleet and transferring the marines to the hold. Throughout the day they continued thus; but towards evening, when it was dark, he would disembark them, so as not to be visible to the enemy in taking this action. On the fifth day they took on board a moderate supply of provisions, and when it was now midday and the blockaders were off their guard and some were [actually] taking a siesta, [the two vessels] sailed out of the harbour, one making for the Hellespont, the other for the open sea. As each of the blockading crews tried to get clear of land, cutting away the anchors and rousing themselves [from sleep], they rushed to intercept in confusion, since they happened to be having lunch on the shore. Getting on board they began to pursue the ship which had made for the open sea, and at sunset they overtook it, defeated it in an engagement, took it in tow, and brought it back to their base, crew and all. But the ship that had fled towards the Hellespont got away, and when it had arrived in Athens, reported the blockade. (Xenophon Hellenica 1.6.19-22)

9. Philosophers investigate [this], so I have heard, and much time is spent by them about this, [viz] what is the [greatest] good? And not one of them has discovered yet what it is. They declare it (lit. say) virtue and prudence, and say anything (lit. everything) rather than what the good [really] is. While spending my time in the country and digging the soil I have now found [the answer]: it is Peace. O dearest Zeus, what a charming, benevolent goddess! She gives us weddings, festivals, kinsmen, children, friends, wealth, health, food, drink [and] pleasure. If all these [blessings] fail, all the life of the living perishes in common with them. (Philemon fragment 71)

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(c) Gavin Betts, Alan Henry 2001