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


Texte grec :

[55,20] ἐν δὲ τῇ Ὀδυσσείᾳ τὰ μὲν ἄλλ´ ἐῶ, ἑνὸς δὲ μόνου μνησθήσομαι, τοῦ Ἀντινόου. τοῦτον γὰρ ἀλαζονίστατον πεποίηκε τῶν μνηστήρων καὶ ἀκολαστότατον· ὃς πρῶτον μὲν κατεφρόνει τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως, ὅτι ἐκεῖνος μὲν ἐν ῥάκεσιν ἦν, αὐτὸς δὲ ἐν πολυτελεῖ ἐσθῆτι καὶ ἔπινεν ἐκ χρυσῶν ποτηρίων καὶ τούτων οὐχ αὑτοῦ καὶ ἐδείπνει πολυτελῶς οὐκ ἐκ τῶν πατρῴων, ἀλλὰ παρασιτῶν ἐπ´ οἰκίας ἀδεσπότου· καὶ ἔφη μὲν τῆς Πηνελόπης ἐρᾶν, ἐμίγνυτο δὲ ταῖς δούλαις ταῖς τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως καὶ τἄλλα ἦν ἀκόλαστος, (21) οὐχ ὡς ἔνιοι τῶν νῦν· τελευτῶν δὲ ἐπεχείρει τοξεύειν, ἄπειρος ὢν τοξικῆς καὶ τὰς χεῖρας οὕτως ὑπὸ τρυφῆς διεφθαρμένος, ὡς μὴ δύνασθαι ἅπτεσθαι τῆς νευρᾶς, εἰ μή τις ἐπιχρίσειε στέαρ, καὶ ταῦτα τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως ὁρῶντος καὶ τῆς ἐρωμένης παρούσης, ἐν ἀνθρώποις τοσούτοις, μηδ´ ἐπιτεῖναι δυνάμενος τὸ τόξον μηδὲ ὅπως στήσει τοὺς πελέκεις ὁ Τηλέμαχος ξυνιείς. ὅμως δὲ τοῦτον καὶ ἀποθανόντα ἐποίησεν οὐκ εἰκῇ πληγέντα διὰ τοῦ λαιμοῦ, οὐχ ὅπου ἔτυχεν, ὥσπερ ἀμέλει τὸν Πάνδαρον διὰ τῆς γλώττης. καὶ γὰρ εἰ τύχῃ τινὶ συμβαίνει τὰ τοιαῦτα, ὅμως ἐπὶ πολλῶν ἔστιν εἰπεῖν ὅτι τοῦτον μὲν τὸν ἄνθρωπον διὰ τῆς γαστρὸς δεῖ πληγέντα ἀποθανεῖν, τοῦτον δὲ διὰ τῶν αἰδοίων, τοῦτον δὲ διὰ τοῦ στόματος. (22) μὴ οὖν ὑμῖν εἰκῇ δοκεῖ Ὅμηρος ὁτιοῦν λέγειν; οὐ τοίνυν οὐδὲ Σωκράτης ἄλλως ἐχρῆτο τοῖς λόγοις οὐδὲ τοῖς παραδείγμασιν, ἀλλ´ Ἀνύτῳ μὲν διαλεγόμενος βυρσέων ἐμέμνητο καὶ σκυτοτόμων. εἰ δὲ Λυσικλεῖ διαλέγοιτο, ἀμνίων καὶ κωδίων· Λύκωνι δὲ δικῶν καὶ συκοφαντημάτων, Μένωνι δὲ τῷ Θετταλῷ περὶ ἐραστῶν καὶ ἐρωμένων. {οὐ μέντοι ἀλλὰ καὶ ἄλλων ἐνίοτε παραδειγμάτων εὐπόρει, φίλους μὲν ὀνομάζων καὶ φιλίαν, ὅτε πρὸς Λῦσιν διαλέγοιτο, περὶ σωφροσύνης δὲ Χαρμίδῃ διαλεγόμενος.}

Traduction française :

[55,20] As for the Odyssey, while I shall omit all else, I shah recall just one character, Antinoüs. For Homer has portrayed him as the most braggart of the suitors and the most dissolute. For example, in the first place he scorned Odysseus because he was in rags, while Antinoüs himself in costly raiment was drinking from golden goblets—and those not his own—and was dining sumptuously, not on his father's viands, but rather playing the parasite in a house that lacked a master ; moreover, while he professed to be enamoured of Penelope, he was seducing the maid-servants of Odysseus and behaving licentiously in general ; and he ended by attempting to draw the bow, though he was unacquainted with archery and his hands were so spoiled by dainty living as not to be able to grasp the bow-string unless someone smeared it with tallow ; and what is more, he did this in the sight of Odysseus and in the presence of the object of his wooing, in the midst of such a crowd of men, not even being able to bend the bow, nor understanding how Telemachus was going to set up the axes. But for all that, Homer caused this man also to meet his death by a telling blow through the throat, instead of in some chance spot, just as, you remember, he caused Pandarus to be smitten through the tongue. For indeed if such things do take place by some chance, still in many instances it is possible to say that this man ought to die from a blow through the belly and that man through the genitals and another man through the mouth. (22) Well then, Homer does not seem to you to say anything without a purpose, does he ? No more, then, did Socrates employ his words or illustrations at random ; on the contrary, when conversing with Anytus he would refer to tanners and cobblers ; but if he conversed with Lysicles, it would be lambs and fleeces ; if with Lycon, law-suits and blackmail ; if with Meno the Thessalian, lovers and boy friends.

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Dernière mise à jour : 20/12/2007