HODOI ELEKTRONIKAI
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DION CHRYSOSTOME, Sur Homère et sur Socrate (discours 55; traduction anglaise)

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Texte grec :

[55,15] ὅταν δὲ περὶ τοῦ Πανδάρου, ὡς συνέχεε τὰς σπονδάς, ἐλπίσας δῶρα παρὰ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Πριάμου, καὶ οὔτε ἀπέκτεινε τὸν Μενέλεων βαλών, καίτοι τοξότης ἱκανὸς εἶναι δοκῶν, καὶ παραβὰς τὰ ὅρκια τοὺς Τρῶας ἀθυμοτέρους ἐποίησε πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον μεμνημένους ἀεὶ τῆς ἐπιορκίας· νῦν δ´ ὅρκια πιστὰ ψευσάμενοι μαχόμεσθα· τῷ οὔ νύ τι κάλλιόν ἐστι· (16) καὶ ὃν τρόπον ἀπέθανεν οὐ μετὰ πολὺ τὴν γλῶτταν ἀποτμηθείς, πρὶν ἢ καὶ λόγῳ φῆσαι τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον αὐτῷ χάριν εἰδέναι· ταῦτα διεξιὼν οὕτως ἐπιμελῶς ὑπὲρ ἄλλου του δοκεῖ λέγειν ἢ δωροδοκίας καὶ ἀσεβείας καὶ τὸ ξύμπαν ἀφροσύνης; ὃς καὶ τοῖς βέλεσι κατηρᾶτο καὶ ἠπείλει διακλάσειν αὐτὰ καὶ κατακαύσειν, ὡς φοβουμένων αὐτὸν τῶν βελῶν. (17) ὅταν δὲ περὶ Ἀσίου τοῦ Ὑρτάκου, ὅτι τοῦ στρατηγοῦ κελεύσαντος ἔξω τῆς τάφρου καταλιπεῖν τοὺς ἵππους μόνος οὐχ ὑπήκουσεν, ἀλλὰ σὺν αὐτοῖσιν πέλασεν νήεσσι θοῇσι νήπιος· {οὐδ´ ἄρ´ ἔμελλε, κακὰς ὑπὸ κῆρας ἀλύξας, ἵπποισιν καὶ ὄχεσφιν ἀγαλλόμενος παρὰ νηῶν ἂψ ἀπονοστήσειν προτὶ Ἴλιον ἠνεμόεσσαν·} (18) εἰς τοσαύτην δυσχωρίαν τάφρου τε καὶ τείχους καὶ νεῶν εἰσελαύνων, ὅπου γε μηδὲ τοῖς πεζοῖς συνήνεγκε καταληφθεῖσιν ὑπὸ τῶν ἐναντίων, ἀλλὰ ὀλίγης ἐκβοηθείας γενομένης διεφθάρησαν οἱ πλείους· ὁ δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν ἵππων ἐπαιρόμενος καὶ τῷ κάλλει τοῦ δίφρου ᾤετο μὲν ὑπὲρ τὸ τεῖχος ἐλάσειν, ἕτοιμος δὲ ἦν ἐμβαλὼν εἰς τὴν θάλατταν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἅρματος μάχεσθαι· ἆρ´ οὖν οὐ περὶ ἀπειθείας καὶ (19) ἀλαζονείας τότε λέγειν φαίνεται; πάλιν δὲ τούτοις παρατιθεὶς Πολυδάμαντα κελεύοντα εὐλαβηθῆναι καὶ μὴ διαβαίνειν τὴν τάφρον, ἅμα μὲν τὸ πρᾶγμα ἐπιδεικνύντα ὡς ἐπικίνδυνον, ἅμα δὲ τὸν οἰωνὸν τὸν γενόμενον αὐτοῖς· ἄλλως μὲν γὰρ οὐδένα ᾤετο ἀνέξεσθαι αὐτοῦ λέγοντος, σὺν δὲ τῷ οἰωνῷ τάχ´ ἂν πεῖσαι τὸν Ἕκτορα· ἢ τὸν Νέστορα τοὺς περὶ τὸν Ἀγαμέμνονα καὶ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα λοιδορουμένους παύοντα τῆς ὀργῆς καὶ προλέγοντα φανερῶς τὰ συμβησόμενα αὐτοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς στάσεως, ὕστερον δὲ ἐπιπλήττοντα τῷ Ἀγαμέμνονι ὡς ἁμαρτόντι καὶ ἀναγκάζοντα δεῖσθαι τοῦ Ἀχιλλέως· ἢ τὸν Ὀδυσσέα ἐπανορθούμενον τὸ ἁμάρτημα τοῦ Ἀγαμέμνονος, δι´ οὗ πεῖραν βουλόμενος λαβεῖν τοῦ στρατοῦ, πῶς φέροιεν τὴν τοῦ πολέμου τριβήν, ὀλίγου φυγεῖν αὐτοὺς ἐποίησεν· οὐ περὶ φρονήσεως καὶ στρατηγίας καὶ μαντικῆς, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις καιροῦ καὶ ἀκαιρίας ἔοικεν ὑποτίθεσθαι;

Traduction française :

[55,15] And again, when he tells about Pandarus, how he violated the truce in the hope of rewards from Alexander son of Priam, and how he not only failed to slay Menelaüs by his shot, although reputed to be an able bowman, but also by violating the truce made the Trojans more discouraged as to the war through their constant recollection of their broken oaths—as witness these lines "But now we fight as traitors to our oaths ; On that account 'tis not so well for us" — and how not much later his tongue was cut off and he died before ever Alexander could even put into words his gratitude to him —in recounting these things with such scrupulous attention to detail, does Homer appear to you to be talking of anything else than of bribe-taking and impiety and in general of folly ? Why, Pandarus even cursed his arrows and threatened to smash and burn them, as if the arrows were in fear of him ! (17) Take another example. When Homer says of Asius son of Hyrtacus that, after his commander had given orders to leave the horses outside the trench, he alone did not obey, "But with them neared the speedy ships, the fool ! Nor was he fated, dodging the spirits dire, To come again, exulting in team and car, Back from the ships to wind-swept Ilium," (18) driving into such difficult terrain amid trench and wall and ships, where even the men on foot found it not to their advantage when caught by the foe, but most of them were slaughtered when a small rescue party issued from within the gate ; yet Asius, elated as he was by his horses and the beauty of his chariot, though thinking to drive past the Wall, was prepared to plunge into the sea and to fight from his chariot — think you not that Homer then is speaking of disobedience and boastfulness ? (19) On the other hand, when he contrasts with these Polydamas giving orders to be cautious and not to cross the french, pointing now to the enterprise as a risky venture and now to the omen they had had — for he felt that, while no one would listen to his words in any other way, perhaps by the omen he might persuade Hector ; or, to take another illustration, when, as Agamemnon and Achilles are reviling one another, Homer depicts Nestor as trying to make them cease their rage, and foretelling plainly what will befall them in consequence of their strife, and later upbraiding Agamemnon as being in the wrong and forcing him to entreat Achilles ; or again, Odysseus setting right the blunder of Agamemnon through which, while wishing to test the army to see how it stood the war's delay, he almost brought about its flight—is it not likely that by scenes like these Homer is trying to give advice regarding prudence and generalship and prophecy, and, more than this, regarding tact and tactlessness ?





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Dernière mise à jour : 20/12/2007