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

Καυνίους



Texte grec :

[32,90] καὶ γὰρ ἀνθρώπους ἑαλωκέναι φαμὲν οὐχ ὑπὸ λῃστῶν μόνον, {ἢ ἑταιρῶν} ἀλλὰ καὶ ἑταίρας καὶ γαστρὸς καὶ ἄλλης τινὸς φαύλης ἐπιθυμίας. αἰχμάλωτος οὖν γενέσθαι καλῶς ἂν λέγοιτο καὶ ἀνὴρ καὶ πόλις, ἥτις ἂν τῶν κρειττόνων ἐπιτηδευμάτων ἀφεμένη καὶ μήτε ὁρῶσα μηδὲν μήτε ἀκούουσα τῶν φερόντων εἰς σωτηρίαν, ἀλλ´ αἱρεθεῖσα ὑπὸ μέθης ἢ ᾠδῆς γυναικῶν ἢ ἁρμάτων ἄγηται καὶ φέρηται καὶ πᾶσα δι´ ὅλης θορυβῆται περὶ τοῦτο καὶ ἐκφρονῇ· καὶ νὴ Δία ἑαλωκέναι λέγοιτ´ ἂν καὶ κατὰ κράτος ὃς οὕτως ἑάλωκε καὶ περιηγκωνίσθαι. οὐ γὰρ ἂν μὲν τὸ σῶμά τινος κρατῆται καὶ περιέχηται δεσμοῖς τισιν ἢ φρουροῖς, τὰ δυσχερῆ δεῖ ταῦτα νομίζειν αἰχμαλωσίαν καὶ δουλείαν καὶ ἀπαγωγήν, τῆς δὲ ψυχῆς ἠνδραποδισμένης καὶ ἀπολωλυίας εἰρωνεύεσθαι καὶ ὑποτιμᾶσθαι. καίτοι δεινὰ μέν που καὶ ἐφ´ ἑκάστων τὰ τοιαῦτα, τῷ παντὶ δὲ αἰσχίω δημοσίᾳ φαινόμενα. καὶ γὰρ αἱ λοιπαὶ νόσοι μέχρι μὲν τῶν καθ´ ἕνα εἰσὶν οὐ μεγάλης οὐδὲ φοβερᾶς προσηγορίας τυγχάνουσιν· ὅταν δὲ κοινὸν γένηται τὸ πρᾶγμα, τότε λοιμὸς καλεῖται. καθόλου γὰρ πάντα ἁμαρτήματα εὕροι τις ἂν πανταχοῦ, καὶ οἰνόφλυγες καὶ πόρνοι καὶ γυναιμανεῖς ἐν πάσαις εἰσὶ ταῖς πόλεσιν· ἀλλ´ οὐδὲν τοῦτο χαλεπὸν οὐδὲ ὑπερβάλλον· ὅταν δὲ ἐπικρατῇ τὸ πάθος καὶ βλέπηται κοινόν, τότε ἐπίσημον καὶ μέγα καὶ δημοσίᾳ γίγνεται. ποία γὰρ πόλις ἐστὶ τῶν μὴ σφόδρα ἐρήμων καὶ μικρῶν, ἐν ᾗ μὴ καθ´ ἡμέραν τις πυρέττει πάντως· ἀλλὰ Καυνίους μόνον παρείληφε {κἀκείνων ἐστὶ} τὸ ὄνειδος, ὅτι πάντες αὐτὸ πάσχουσιν· ὥσπερ καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν βελτιόνων τινὲς ἐθαυμάσθησαν καὶ δόξαν ἔσχον. πόσους γὰρ οἴεσθε Ἀθηναίων ἢ Μεγαρέων ἢ Κορινθίων τὰ σώματα ἀσκεῖν καὶ ζῆν φιλοπόνως {πολλοὺς δῆλον ὅτι} καὶ ταῦθ´ ὅτ´ ἀναγκαῖον ἦν αὐτοῖς ἄνδρας ἀγαθοὺς ὑπὲρ τῶν πατρίδων γίγνεσθαι; τί οὖν μόνοι Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοῦτ´ ἔσχον τὸ ὄνομα καὶ τῆς δόξης ἀπολαύουσιν ἔτι καὶ νῦν; ὅτι κοινῇ ἐκτήσαντο τὴν φιλοτιμίαν. τοὺς δὲ Ἀθηναίους τὰ περὶ τοὺς λόγους μᾶλλον ἐπιτηδεύοντας καὶ ποίησιν καὶ χοροὺς ἐπὶ τούτοις αὐτοὺς ἐποίησε θαυμάζεσθαι διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν. σκοπεῖτε δὲ μὴ ὑμεῖς οὐχ ὁμοίας μεταλάβητε δόξης τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις καὶ Λακεδαιμονίοις, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ἑτέροις τισίν· οὐ βούλομαι γὰρ ὀνομάσαι. ὅπερ γὰρ ἤδη πολλάκις εἶπον, αἰσχίω τὰ αἰσχρὰ καὶ καταγέλαστα μᾶλλον, ὅταν ᾖ περὶ τὰς πόλεις. ὥσπερ ἐν ταῖς κωμῳδίαις καὶ διασκευαῖς Καρίωνα μὲν εἰσάγοντες μεθύοντα καὶ Δᾶον οὐ σφόδρα κινοῦσι γέλωτα, τὸν δὲ Ἡρακλέα τοιοῦτον ὁρῶσι γελοῖον δοκεῖ, παραφερόμενον, καὶ καθάπερ εἰώθασιν, ἐν κροκωτῷ, παραπλησίως καὶ δῆμος οὕτως μέγας μινυρίζων διὰ βίου καὶ πάλιν ἡνιοχῶν χωρὶς ἵππων αἰσχρὸν γίγνεται καὶ καταγέλαστον. αὐτὸ γὰρ τοῦτο Εὐριπίδης τὸν Ἡρακλέα φησὶ παθεῖν μαινόμενον· ἐκ τοῦδε βαίνων ἅρματ´ οὐκ ἔχων ἔχειν ἔφασκε, δίφρου δ´ εἰσέβαινεν ἄντυγας, κἄθεινε κέντρον δῆθεν ὡς ἔχων χερί.

Traduction française :

[32,90] For I assert that men have been taken captive, not by pirates only or other persons, but also by a courtesan or gluttony or by any other low desire. The term "captive", then, may well be used, not only of a person, but of a city too, provided that city, abandoning the nobler pursuits and having neither eyes nor ears for anything conducive to salvation, but yielding instead to the clutches of drink or singing girls or racing chariots, is made the prize of conquest and thrown into utter confusion thereby and bereft of its senses. Yes, by Zeus, the man who has experienced such a capture might well be said to have been taken by storm and manacled to boot. For if when a man's body has been overpowered and confined by chains or guards, we consider that these disagreeable happenings constitute captivity and slavery and violent seizure, when the soul has been taken captive and ruined, we should not dissimulate or underrate it. And yet, while such experiences are doubtless terrible even in the case of individuals, they are altogether more disgraceful when they happen to a people. For indeed all other afflictions, as long as they affect a single person, receive no great or awful label; but when the visitation becomes general, then it is called a plague. For, on the whole, all varieties of human weakness might be discovered anywhere at all, and drunkards, perverts, and woman-crazed wretches are present in every city ; and yet not even that condition is disturbing or beyond endurance ; but when the malady becomes prevalent and a common spectacle, then it becomes noteworthy and serious and a civic issue. For example, what city is there, unless it be one very sparsely populated and small, in which day by day there is not at least one person ill with fever ? However, fever has all but taken possession of the Caunians, and in their case it is a reproach to the community, because they all suffer from it ; just as also certain peoples have won admiration and esteem for traits that are better. For instance, how many Athenians or Megarians or Corinthians, do you suppose, used to cultivate their bodies and live laborious lives ? Many, obviously, and especially in the days when they had to be valiant in defence of their countries. Why is it, then, that the Spartans alone among them got a name for that and have enjoyed the reputation ever sine ? It is because as a people they acquired the love of honour. And as to the Athenians, because they were more devoted to the cultivation of the arts of speech and poetry and choral song and dance, that devotion, for the same reason, caused them in their turn to be admired in these fields. But take care lest the reputation that you gain resemble, not that of the Athenians and the Spartans, but rather that of certain others—for I do not care to name them. For, as I have often said, shameful conduct is more shameful and ridiculous when it involves whole cities. Just as in the case of comedies and revues when the poets bring upon the scene a drunken Carion or a Davus, they do not arouse much laughter, yet the sight of a Heracles in that condition does seem comical, a Heracles who staggers and, as usually portrayed, is clad in womanish saffron ; in much the same way also, if a populace of such size as yours warbles all through life or, it may be, plays charioteer without the horses, it becomes a disgrace and a laughing stock. Indeed this is precisely what Euripides says befell Heracles in his madness : "Then striding to a car he thought was there, He stepped within its rails and dealt a blow, As if he held the goad within his hand".





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Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007