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

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Texte grec :

[32,75] αὐτὸν γὰρ οἶμαι τὸν Ἰξίονα λῆρον ἀποφαίνετε τὸν ἐν τῷ τροχῷ παρὰ τοῖς ποιηταῖς ἐνδεδεμένον {καὶ κολαζόμενον διὰ τοιαύτην τινὰ ἀσέβειαν.} φέρε οὖν, εἰ μεταξὺ θεῶν τις ὑμῖν ἐπιστὰς εἴποι διατεινάμενος, δαιμόνιοι, μαίνεσθε καὶ οὐκέτι κεύθετε θυμῷ βρωτὺν οὐδὲ ποτῆτα. τί σφόδρα οὕτω κυκᾶσθε; τίς ἡ σπουδή; τίς ὁ ἀγών; οὐ γὰρ Πέλοψ ἐστὶν ὁ διώκων, οὐδ´ Οἰνόμαος οὐδὲ Μυρτίλος, ὁ μὲν δεύτερος ἀπὸ Διὸς γεγονώς, ὁ δὲ Ἑρμοῦ παῖς, οὐδὲ περὶ βασιλείας οὐδὲ γυναικὸς οὐδὲ θανάτου πρόκειται κρίσις, ἀλλ´ ἔστιν ὁ ἀγὼν ἀνδραπόδων ὑπὲρ τοῦ τυχόντος ἀργυρίου, νῦν μὲν ἡττωμένων, νῦν δὲ νικώντων, ἀεὶ τῶν αὐτῶν· εἰ λέγοι ταῦτα, τί ἐρεῖτε; ἢ δῆλον ὅτι οὐδ´ ἀκούσεσθε παρ´ ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρόν, οὐδὲ ἂν αὐτὸς ὑμῖν ὁ τοῦ Πέλοπος διαλέγηται πρόγονος; τίνα οὖν εὕρῃ τις ἐπικουρίαν ἢ τίνα ἐξιλάσασθαι δεῖ δαιμόνων; ἔστιν Ὀλυμπίασι κατὰ μέσον τὸν ἱππόδρομον Ταραξίππου Ποσειδῶνος βωμός, ἔνθα μάλιστα συνέβαινε τοὺς ἵππους πτοεῖσθαι καὶ πλεῖστα διαφθείρεσθαι τῶν ἁρμάτων. ἔδοξεν οὖν τοῖς Ἠλείοις ὡς δαιμονίου τινὸς ὄντος ἱδρύσασθαι βωμόν. καὶ τὸ λοιπόν φασιν ἀπ´ ἐκείνου γεγονέναι τὸν τόπον ἀσφαλῆ. πολὺ δὴ μᾶλλον ἔγωγε ὑμῖν συμβουλεύω τὸν θεὸν τοῦτον ἐξιλάσασθαι καὶ βωμὸν ἱδρύσασθαι τὸν αὐτόν, μὰ Δί´ οὐχ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἵππων, ἀλλ´ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν, ὅπως μὴ ταράττησθε μηδὲ ἐκπίπτητε τῆς τάξεως. μὴ γὰρ δαιμόνια πάντ´ ᾖ τὰ τοιαῦτα καὶ μείζονος δεόμενα ἀποτροπῆς. φασὶν ἀρχαίαν βασιλίδα ἐν Κρήτῃ τῶν Ἡλιαδῶν ἐρασθῆναι ταύρου, καὶ συγγενομένην χαλεπόν τι καὶ μέγα τεκεῖν τέρας. δέδοικα δὴ κἀγὼ τὸν ἱππικὸν τοῦτον ἔρωτα τῆς πόλεως, μή τι δυσχερὲς ὑμῖν καὶ ξένον ἐνέγκῃ τῷ χρόνῳ. {πάλιν δὲ ἑτέραν παρθένον ποταμοῦ τινος ἐρασθεῖσαν ὁσημέραι φοιτᾶν ἐπὶ τὸ ῥεῦμα, καὶ τόν τε ἀφρὸν ἐντίθεσθαι ταῖς ἀγκάλαις καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ὑποδέχεσθαι τοῖς κόλποις.} Ἀθήνησι δὲ αὐτὸ τοῦτο τὸ ζῷον ἀγαπηθῆναι τὸ καὶ παρ´ ὑμῖν εὐδοκιμοῦν· καὶ νῦν ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πόλει τόπος οὕτω καλούμενος Ἵππου καὶ κόρης ἄβατον. ὁ γὰρ πατὴρ συγκαθεῖρξε τὴν παῖδα τῷ ἵππῳ, καί φασιν οὕτω διαφθαρῆναι τὴν κόρην. σκοπεῖτε δὲ μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῆς τοιαύτης ἐπιθυμίας ἀπόλησθε. ποῖος γὰρ Ὅμηρος ἢ τίς ἀνθρώπων δύναται τὰ συμβαίνοντα εἰπεῖν; οὐ γὰρ οὕτως ἐκεῖνός φησι τὰ ἅρματα ταπεινὰ γίγνεσθαι μεταξὺ καὶ σφόδρα ὑψηλὰ κατὰ τὸν δρόμον, ὡς τὰς ὑμετέρας ψυχὰς ἰδεῖν ἔστι πασχούσας. φησὶ δ´ οὕτως, ἵν´ ὑμῖν καὶ χαρίσωμαί τι μικρόν· ἅρματα δ´ ἄλλοτε μὲν χθονὶ πίλνατο πουλυβοτείρῃ, ἄλλοτε δ´ ἀΐξασκε μετήορα, τοὶ δ´ ἐλατῆρες ἕστασαν ἐν δίφροισι, πάτασσε δὲ θυμὸς ἑκάστου νίκης ἱεμένων, κέκλοντο δὲ οἷσιν ἕκαστος ἵπποις.

Traduction française :

[32,75] Why even Ixion himself, methinks, you show to have been a second-rater, the Ixion who is represented by the poets as bound on the wheel and punished for some such impiety as yours. Weil then, if in the midst of it all some god should take his stand beside you and in a loud voice should say : "Fools, you are mad; no more your spirit bides Your food and drink." Why are you so violently disturbed? What is the excitement ? What the contest ? For it is not Pelops who is driving, or Oenomaüs, or Myrtilus, nor is it a question of a kingship or a wife or a death that hangs in the balance, nay, it is only a contest of slaves for a paltry bit of silver, slaves who sometimes are defeated and sometimes victorious, but slaves in any case." If the god should speak thus, what would your reply be ? Or is it clear that you would not even listen at such a moment as that, not even if the grandsire of Pelops were himself the speaker ? What succour, then, can one find, or what divine power must one propitiate ? There is at Olympia, at the centre of the race-course, an altar to Poseidon Taraxippos, or Terror of Horses, on the spot where it happened that the horses most frequently became frightened and where many chariots were smashed. So the Eleans decided to erect an altar on the spot, believing that some deity was there. And from that time forward, they say, the place has been safe. Well then, much more earnestly do I advise you to propitiate this god and raise an altar of the same kind, not, by Zeus, for the sake of the horses, but rather for the sake of yourselves, so that you may not be terrorized yourselves or be pitched headlong from your proper station. For perhaps all such disasters are the work of a deity, requiring unusual efforts to avert. It is said that an ancient Cretan queen, one of the daughters of Helius, became enamoured of a bull, and that after union with him she brought forth a savage, mighty monster. So I myself am apprehensive lest this passion for horses that infects the city may in time bring forth some strange and distressing offspring for you. They say also that at Athens this very species that you so much admire became the object of infatuation, and today there is in that city a site that bears the name, Sanctuary of Horse and Maiden. For the maiden's father confined his daughter along with the horse, and thus, they say, she was ruined. And do you beware lest you also through a passion like that be destroyed. For what Homer or what mortal man at all can describe the things that happen here ? For example, in Homer's narrative the chariots do not sink so low at times and then rise so high on the course as your spirits may be seen to rise and fall. And this is the way he puts it, if I may favour you with a short passage : "At times the cars clung close to bounteous earth, At times they bounded high ; the drivers still Stood firm, though hearts did pound as each man strove To win the goal, and each called to his team".





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Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007