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

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Texte grec :

[32,85] τὸν δ´ ἄρ´ ὑπὸ ζυγόφιν προσέφη πόδας αἰόλος ἵππος· οὐχ ὁράᾳς οἷος κἀγὼ καλός τε μέγας τε; ἀλλ´ ἔπι τοι κἀμοὶ θάνατος καὶ μοῖρα κραταιή. αἲ γάρ πως ὑμᾶς γε καὶ αὐτοὺς ἐνθάδε πάντας ὁπλήεντας ἔθηκε θεὰ λευκώλενος Ἥρη, ὡς μή μοι τρύζητε καθήμενοι ἄλλοθεν ἄλλος. ὣς ἔφαθ´· οἱ δ´ εὔχοντο Διὶ Κρονίωνι ἄνακτι. ταῦτα μὲν ὑμῖν ἀπὸ πολλῶν καὶ φαύλων ὀλίγα, ὅπως μὴ μόνοι δοκῆτε εἶναι γελοῖοι. καὶ μὴν αἰσχρόν ἐστιν, ἄνδρες Ἀλεξανδρεῖς, τοὺς πυνθανομένους περὶ τῆς πόλεως τὰ μὲν ἄλλ´ ἀκούειν θαυμαστὰ οἷα, περὶ δὲ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν μηδὲν σεμνὸν λέγεσθαι μηδ´ ἄξιον ζήλου, τοὐναντίον δὲ ὡς φαύλους τοὺς ἀνθρώπους διαβεβλῆσθαι, μίμους καὶ γελωτοποιοὺς μᾶλλον, οὐκ ἄνδρας ἐρρωμένους, {ὡς τῶν κωμικῶν ἔφη τις ἐπὶ τοῖς τοιούτοις· ἀκόλαστος ὄχλος ναυτική τ´ ἀταξία.} ἔστι γὰρ ὅμοιον ὥσπερ εἰ οἰκίαν μέν τις ἴδοι πάνυ καλήν, τὸν δὲ δεσπότην αὐτὸν ἀνδράποδον μηδὲ θυρωρεῖν ἄξιον. τῷ παντὶ γὰρ κρεῖττον ἐρημίαν καθορᾶν καὶ δεκαπέντε ἀνθρώπους εὐπόρους ἢ πλῆθος ἀνήριθμον ἀνθρώπων ἀθλίων καὶ μαινομένων, ὥσπερ τινὰ κόπρον βαθεῖαν ἐν ταὐτῷ νενημένην ἐκ παντοδαπῶν λυμάτων. οὐδὲ γὰρ πόλιν εἴποι τις 〈ἂν〉 ὀρθῶς τὴν ἐκ τοιούτων, οὐδέ γε χορὸν τοὺς ὁποίους δήποτε συνελθόντας, οὐδὲ στρατόπεδον πάντα ὄχλον. οὐδὲ γὰρ τὸ τοῦ Ξέρξου στράτευμα λαμπρὸν ἦν, πλὴν εἰ μή τι διορύττειν ἢ διασκάπτειν ἢ τοιοῦτον ἕτερον ἔργον πράττειν· οὐδὲ ἡ τῶν Τρώων πόλις εὐδαίμων, ὅτι πονηρῶν καὶ ἀκολάστων ὑπῆρξε πολιτῶν. καίτοι μεγάλη τε καὶ ἔνδοξος ἦν· ἀλλ´ ὅμως ὁ τῆς Ἰθάκης πολίτης ἐπόρθησεν αὐτήν, {ὁ} τῆς μικρᾶς καὶ ἀδόξου σφόδρα οὖσαν εὐρύχωρον. φοβοῦμαι δὴ μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀπόλησθε {ἐκείνοις} παραπλησίως, εἰ καὶ ψυχρότερόν ἐστιν εἰπεῖν ὅτι κἀκείνην ὑπὸ ἵππου τινὸς φθαρῆναι λέγεται· πλὴν οἱ μὲν ἴσως ὑφ´ ἑνός, ὑμεῖς δὲ ὑπὸ πλειόνων ἑαλώκατε. μὴ γὰρ τοῦτο μόνον ἡγεῖσθε ἅλωσιν εἶναι πόλεως, ἄν τινες τὸ τεῖχος καταβαλόντες ἀποσφάττωσι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας ἀπάγωσιν καὶ τὰς οἰκίας κατακάωσιν· αὕτη μὲν ἴσως τελευταία καὶ πρὸς ὀλίγον γιγνομένη καὶ μᾶλλον ἐλεεῖσθαι τοὺς παθόντας ἢ καταγελᾶσθαι παρασκευάζουσα· παρ´ οἷς δ´ ἂν ᾖ πάντων ἀμέλεια τῶν καλῶν, ἑνὸς δὲ πράγματος ἀγεννοῦς ἔρως, καὶ πρὸς μόνον τοῦτο ἀποβλέπωσι καὶ περὶ τοῦτο διατρίβωσι πηδῶντες καὶ μαινόμενοι καὶ παίοντες ἀλλήλους καὶ ἀπόρρητα λέγοντες καὶ τοὺς θεοὺς αὐτοὺς πολλάκις λοιδοροῦντες καὶ τὰ ὄντα ῥιπτοῦντες καὶ γυμνοὶ βαδίζοντες ἀπὸ τῆς θέας ἐνίοτε, τοῦτ´ ἔστιν αἰσχρὰ πόλεως καὶ ἐπονείδιστος ἅλωσις.

Traduction française :

[32,85] To him then spake the charger fleet from 'neath The yoke : " See'st not how fine a steed am I, How handsome and stalwart ? Still for even me Doth wait grim death and stubborn-hearted fate. I would that you yourselves had all received From white-armed Hera just such hooves as mine ; No more would you sit and murmur each to each." He spake. But they made vows to Zeus the King. There you have just a few out of many sorry verses, to prove that you are not the only ones to seem ridiculous. And certainly it is disgraceful, men of Alexandria, that those who inquire about your city are told how wonderful everything else is here, but that with respect to yourselves nothing is mentioned of which to be proud or fit to emulate, but that, on the contrary, you are given a bad name as being worthless fellows, mere mimes and buffoons instead of men of real valour, as one of the comic poets said of people like yourselves, "An unbridled mob, a disorderly gang of tars". In fact it is just as if you should see a house that is very beautiful, but should discover that the master himself is a slave and not fit to be even the porter. For on the whole it is better to face empty benches than to behold no more than fifteen substantial citizens in the midst of an innumerable horde of wretched, raving creatures, a sort of concentrated dunghill piled high with the sweepings of every kind. Why, the word " city" could not justly be applied to a community composed of men like that, any more than "chorus" befits a chance company of nondescripts or "army" just any mob ! For example, even the host of Xerxes was not brilliant, except at breaching a wall or digging a canal or some other manual labour nor was the city of the Trojans fortunate, since it consisted of depraved, licentious citizens. And yet it was both large and famous ; but still the man from Ithaca sacked it, yes, the man from that tiny, inglorious island sacked a city of exceeding wide domain. Therefore I fear that you also may perish like those Trojans—if I may be permitted the trite observation that Troy also is said to have been destroyed by a certain horse; however, while the Trojans perhaps were taken captive by a single horse, your capture is the work of many horses. For you must not think that the taking of a city consists alone in levelling its ramparts, slaughtering its men, leading its women into captivity, and burning its dwellings ; nay, those happenings may mark the final stage, a stage of short duration and one that makes the victims more deserving of pity than of ridicule ; but in the case of people who disregard all that is noble and are passionately enamoured of one thing that is ignoble, who centre their attention upon that alone and spend their time on that, constantly leaping and raving and beating one another and using abominable language and often reviling even the gods themselves and flinging away their own belongings and sometimes departing naked from the show—that is a disgraceful, an ignominious capture for a city.





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Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007