HODOI ELEKTRONIKAI
Du texte à l'hypertexte

DION CHRYSOSTOME, Au peuple d'Alexandrie (discours 32; traduction anglaise)

ἄμεινον



Texte grec :

[32,50] τί οὖν τοῦτο λαμπρόν, ὦ κακοδαίμονες; ὑπὲρ μὲν γὰρ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ἀρετῆς καὶ πατρῴων γερῶν καὶ νόμων καὶ χρηστοῦ βασιλέως, εἰ δέοι, πονεῖν καὶ ἀποθνῄσκειν ἀγαθῆς ἐστι καὶ οὐ φιλοζῴου ψυχῆς· ὑπὲρ δὲ τῆς ψαλτρίας ἀπάγχεσθαι, καθάρματος ἀγεννοῦς καὶ ζῆν οὐκ ἀξίου, πόσης αἰσχύνης; καὶ τούτους μὲν ἐάσωμεν, ἀλλ´ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ θέᾳ τὰ γιγνόμενα οὐκ αἰσχρὰ καὶ μεστὰ πάσης ὕβρεως, 〈τὸ〉 ἀνατετάσθαι καὶ ἀποβλέπειν, μόνον οὐκ ἐπὶ τοῖς χείλεσι τὰς ψυχὰς ἔχοντας, καθάπερ οἶμαι διὰ τῶν ὤτων τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν δεχομένους, σωτῆρα καὶ θεὸν καλοῦντας ἄνθρωπον ἄθλιον; πόσον τινὰ γέλωτα τοὺς θεοὺς ὑμῶν καταγελᾶν οἴεσθε, ὅταν πάλιν ἐκείνους προσκυνοῦντες ταὐτὰ προσφέρησθε καὶ διὰ τῶν αὐτῶν ἀναγκάζησθε τιμᾶν τὸ δαιμόνιον; ἀλλ´ ἔστιν εὐγνώμων ὁ θεός, ὡς θεός, οἶμαι, καὶ φέρει πρᾴως τὴν τῶν πολλῶν ἄνοιαν. τοιγαροῦν ὡς παισὶν ὑμῖν παιδαγωγοὺς δέδωκε τοὺς φρονιμωτέρους τῆς πόλεως, μεθ´ ὧν καὶ θεωρεῖτε καὶ τἄλλα ἄμεινον πράττετε. ἐπεὶ πῶς ἂν ἀπείχεσθε ἀλλήλων; καίτοι ποίους τινὰς ἂν ὑμεῖς ἡγοῖσθε ἀνθρώπους, οἷς ἐλευθερία μὴ συμφέρει; νὴ Δία, τὸ γὰρ πρᾶγμά ἐστι φύσει τοιοῦτον. οὐ γὰρ καὶ ἐν ἄλλαις πόλεσιν ᾄδουσι καὶ νὴ Δία αὐλοῦσι καὶ τρέχουσι καὶ πάνθ´ ὅσα γίγνεται {καὶ} παρ´ ὑμῖν καὶ παρ´ ἑτέροις τισίν; ἀλλ´ οὐδαμοῦ τοιοῦτος ἔρως ἐστὶ τοῦ πράγματος οὐδὲ οἶστρος. {ἴστε Ῥοδίους ἐγγὺς οὕτως ὑμῶν ζῶντας ἐν ἐλευθερίᾳ καὶ μετὰ πάσης ἀδείας· ἀλλὰ παρ´ ἐκείνοις οὐδὲ τὸ δραμεῖν ἐν τῇ πόλει δοκεῖ μέτριον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ξένων ἐπιπλήττουσι τοῖς εἰκῇ βαδίζουσι. τοιγαροῦν εἰκότως εὐδοκιμοῦσι καὶ πάσης τιμῆς τυγχάνουσιν. αἰδούμενοι γὰρ αὑτοὺς πρῶτοι καὶ μηδὲν ἀνόητον ποιοῦντες εἰκότως οἶμαι παρά τε τῶν ἄλλων καὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων αἰδοῦς τυγχάνουσιν·} ἐπεὶ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων εὑρήσομεν τὰ πλεῖστα ταὐτὰ πράττοντας τοῖς ἀνοήτοις τοὺς σώφρονας, οἷον ἐσθίοντας, βαδίζοντας, παίζοντας, θεωροῦντας· ἡ γὰρ φύσις ἀναγκάζει πολλῶν ὁμοίων δεῖσθαι· διαφέρουσι μέντοι περὶ ταῦτα πάντα· αὐτίκα ἑστιώμενοι πρῶτον οἱ μὲν οὔτε ἀμαθῶς οὔτε ἀπρεπῶς διάγουσιν, ἀλλ´ εὐσχημόνως ἅμα καὶ προσηνῶς, εὐωχίας, οὐ παροινίας, ἄρχοντες, φιλοφρονούμενοι τοὺς συνόντας, οὐ θρασυνόμενοι πρὸς αὐτούς· οἱ δὲ ἀπηνῶς καὶ ἀκολάστως, μετὰ βοῆς καὶ ἀταξίας ὀργιζόμενοι καὶ γελῶντες, πλεονεκτοῦντες ἀλλήλους, οὐ παρακαλοῦντες, τελευτῶντες ἀπίασι κακόν τι τοῖς συμπόταις δόντες ἢ παρ´ ἐκείνων λαβόντες· οἵαν ποτὲ γενέσθαι φασὶ Κενταύρων συνουσίαν. καὶ τί δεῖ τἄλλα ἐπεξιέναι καθ´ ἕκαστον; ἀλλὰ τὸ βαδίζειν, ὃ κοινόν ἐστι καὶ ἁπλοῦν δήπουθεν, τοῦ μὲν ἐμφαίνει τὴν ἡσυχίαν τοῦ τρόπου καὶ τὸ προσέχειν ἑαυτῷ, τοῦ δὲ ταραχήν 〈καὶ〉 ἀναίδειαν· σπουδῇ πρόσεισι, φθέγγεται βαδίζων {ἢ} πεσών τινα ἔωσε, μάχεται πρὸς ἕτερον. ὁμοίως καὶ περὶ τὰς θέας οἱ μέν εἰσιν ἄπληστοι καὶ λίχνοι καὶ περὶ πάντα ὁμοίως ἐπτοημένοι τὰ τυχόντα, οἱ δὲ κοσμίως καὶ μετ´ εἰρήνης μετέχουσιν.

Traduction française :

[32,50] What distinction, then, can your conduct bring you, you luckless creatures ? For whereas in the cause of justice and virtue and ancestral rights and laws and for a good king, a noble soul, one that does not cling to life, will, if need be, suffer and even die ; yet if a man hangs himself for the sake of his chorus-girl, a low-born outcast, not fit to live, what depths of disgrace does that betoken ! And now let us say no more about these poor unfortunates ; but, directing our attention to the spectacle itself, is the conduct of the spectators not disgraceful and replete with every variety of wantonness ? —I mean the intensity of their gaze, their souls all but hanging on their lips—as if, one would think, it were through the ear that men receive felicity—and applying the terms "saviour" and "god" to a pitiful human being ! With what boundless laughter, think you, must the gods laugh you to scorn, when next in your worship of them you conduct yourselves in the same fashion and find yourselves compelled to use those same terms in honouring the deity ? However, god is indulgent, I suppose, since he is god, and he treats lightly the folly of the masses. Accordingly to you as his children has he given as guardians and guides those who are more prudent than you Alexandrians, and by their companionship not only at the theatre but elsewhere too, your conduct is improved. For otherwise how could you keep your hands off one another? And yet what kind of human beings do you think they are for whom freedom is not advantageous ? "None, by Zeus," someone says, "for freedom is by nature advantageous. For do not other cities also have singing, aye, by Zeus, and flute-playing and foot-racing and all those other entertainments that are found, not only here in Alexandria, but among certain other people too ? " Aye, but nowhere is there such a passion for that sort of thing, such a mad desire, as with yourselves. For example, you know that the Rhodians, your near neighbours, enjoy freedom and complete independence of action; however, in Rhodes even running within the City limits is held not to be respectable, but, on the contrary, they even reprove strangers for being careless in their walk. So it is with good reason that the Rhodians should enjoy fair renown and universal honour. For since they are the first to show respect to themselves and to refrain from any foolish act, it is with good reason, I believe, that they have the respect of men in general and of their leaders as well. The fact is, we shall find that in most other matters too the wise engage in the same activities as the foolish, such as eating, walking, playing, attending the theatre and the games. For nature compels them to have many needs in common with the foolish ; there are, however, differences of behaviour in all these matters. Take feasting as the first instance : whereas the wise behave neither boorishly nor regardless of decorum, but with elegance combined with courtesy, as men beginning a joyous feast and not a drunken debauch, being gracious toward their companions, not subjecting them to effrontery ; the foolish, on the other hand, behave disgustingly and without restraint, giving vent to anger or to laughter with shouts and disorder, trying to get more than their companions, not inviting them to partake, and finally, before leaving for home, either they have done some damage to their fellow banqueters or received damage themselves, as we are told was the case at the party once held by the Centaurs. And yet why run through all the other differences one by one ? But just take walking, for example, an activity common to all men and surely a simple one. One man's gait reveals the composure of his nature and the attention he gives to his conduct, while that of another reveals his confusion of mind and his shamelessness : he is hurried as he approaches, talks as he walks, or bursts in and jostles someone, comes to blows with someone else. Similarly also with reference to the theatre : some persons are insatiate and greedy and all aflutter over everything alike, however commonplace, but others participate in the spectacle decorously and in peace.





Recherches | Texte | Lecture | Liste du vocabulaire | Index inverse | Menu | Bibliotheca Classica Selecta (BCS)

 
UCL |FLTR |Itinera Electronica |Bibliotheca Classica Selecta (BCS) |
Responsable académique : Alain Meurant
Analyse, design et réalisation informatiques : B. Maroutaeff - J. Schumacher

Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007