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DION CHRYSOSTOME, Sur la royauté (discours 1; traduction anglaise)


Texte grec :

[1,45] οὕτω δὴ καὶ τῶν βασιλέων, ἅτε οἶμαι παρὰ τοῦ Διὸς ἐχόντων τὴν δύναμιν καὶ τὴν ἐπιτροπήν, ὃς μὲν ἂν πρὸς ἐκεῖνον βλέπων {πρὸς} τὸν τοῦ Διὸς νόμον τε καὶ θεσμὸν κοσμῇ καὶ ἄρχῃ δικαίως τε καὶ καλῶς, ἀγαθῆς τυγχάνει μοίρας καὶ τέλους εὐτυχοῦς· (46) ὃς δ´ ἂν παραβῇ καὶ ἀτιμάσῃ τὸν ἐπιτρέψαντα ἢ δόντα τὴν δωρεὰν ταύτην, οὐδὲν ἀπώνατο τῆς πολλῆς ἐξουσίας καὶ δυνάμεως ἢ τοσοῦτον μόνον ὅσον φανερὸς πᾶσι γενέσθαι τοῖς καθ´ αὑτὸν καὶ τοῖς ὕστερον πονηρὸς καὶ ἀκόλαστος ὤν, τὸν μυθευόμενον Φαέθοντος ἀναπληρώσας πότμον, ἅτε ἰσχυροῦ καὶ θείου παρὰ μοῖραν ἐπιβὰς ἅρματος, οὐχ ἱκανὸς ὢν ἡνίοχος. (47) λέγει δὲ καὶ Ὅμηρος ὧδέ πως· ὃς μὲν ἀπηνὴς αὐτὸς ἔῃ καὶ ἀπηνέα εἰδῇ, τῷ δὲ καταρῶνται πάντες βροτοὶ ἄλγε´ ὀπίσσω ζωῷ, ἀτὰρ τεθνεῶτί γ´ ἐφεψιόωνται ἅπαντες· ὃς δ´ ἂν ἀμύμων αὐτὸς ἔῃ καὶ ἀμύμονα εἰδῇ, τοῦ μέντοι κλέος εὐρὺ διὰ ξεῖνοι φορέουσι πάντας ἐπ´ ἀνθρώπους, πολλοί τέ μιν ἐσθλὸν ἔειπον. (48) τὸ μὲν οὖν ἐμόν, ὅπερ ἔφην, ἥδιστα καὶ προθυμότατα τοῦτον εἴποιμ´ ἂν τὸν λόγον, τὸν ὑπὲρ τοῦ Διὸς καὶ τῆς τοῦ παντὸς φύσεως. ἐπεὶ δὲ πλείων ἐστὶ {παντὸς} τοῦ καιροῦ τοῦ παρόντος καὶ δεόμενος ἀποδείξεων ἀκριβεστέρων, αὖθίς ποτε ἴσως γένοιτ´ ἂν σχολὴ διελθεῖν αὐτόν. (49) εἰ δ´ ἄρα μῦθον ἐθέλοις τινὰ ἀκοῦσαι, μᾶλλον δὲ ἱερὸν καὶ ὑγιῆ λόγον σχήματι μύθου λεγόμενον, τυχὸν οὐκ ἄτοπός σοι φανήσεται νῦν τε καὶ ὕστερον ἐνθυμουμένῳ κατὰ σαυτὸν ὃν ἐγώ ποτε ἤκουσα γυναικὸς Ἠλείας {ἢ Ἀρκαδίας} ὑπὲρ Ἡρακλέους διηγουμένης.

Traduction française :

[1,45] so too among kings, since they, I ween, derive their powers and their stewardship from Zeus, the one who, keeping his eyes upon Zeus, orders and governs his people with justice and equity in accordance with the laws and ordinances of Zeus, enjoys a happy lot and a fortunate end, while he who goes astray and dishonours him who entrusted him with his stewardship or gave him this gift, receives no other reward from his great authority and power than merely this : that he has shown himself to all men of his own time and to posterity to be a wicked and undisciplined man, illustrating the storied end of Phaethon, who mounted a mighty chariot of heaven in defiance of his lot but proved himself a feeble charioteer. In somewhat this wise Homer too speaks when he says : " Whoso bears A cruel heart, devising cruel things, On him men call down evil from the gods While living, and pursue him, when he dies, With scoffs. But whoso is of generous heart And harbours generous aims, his guests proclaim His praises far and wide to all mankind, And numberless are they who call him good." (48) For my part, I should be most happy and eager, as I have said, to speak on this subject—on Zeus and the nature of the universe. But since it is altogether too vast a theme for the time now at my command and requires a somewhat careful demonstration, perhaps in the future there may be leisure for its presentation. But if you would like to hear a myth, or rather a sacred and withal edifying parable told under the guise of a myth, perhaps a story which I once heard an old woman of Elis or Arcadia relate about Heracles will not appear to you out of place, either now or hereafter when you corne to ponder it alone.

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Dernière mise à jour : 22/11/2007