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


Texte grec :

[1,15] οὐκοῦν λέγωμεν ὑπὲρ τοῦ καθ´ Ὅμηρόν τε καὶ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ βασιλέως· οὗτος γὰρ ὁ λόγος ἁπλῶς λεγόμενος ἄνευ πάσης κολακείας ἢ λοιδορίας αὐτὸς ἀφ´ αὑτοῦ τὸν μὲν ὅμοιον τῷ ἀγαθῷ γνωρίζει τε καὶ ἐπαινεῖ, καθ´ ὅσον ἐστὶν ἐκείνῳ ὅμοιος, τὸν δὲ ἀνόμοιον ἐξελέγχει τε καὶ ὀνειδίζει. ἔστι δὴ πρῶτον μὲν θεῶν ἐπιμελὴς καὶ τὸ δαιμόνιον προτιμῶν· οὐ γὰρ δυνατὸν ἄλλῳ τινὶ πεποιθέναι μᾶλλον τὸν δίκαιον ἄνδρα καὶ ἀγαθὸν ἢ τοῖς δικαιοτάτοις τε καὶ ἀρίστοις θεοῖς. (16) ὅστις δὲ κακὸς ὢν ἡγεῖταί ποτε θεοὺς ἀρέσκειν, κατ´ αὐτὸ τοῦτο πρῶτον οὐχ ὅσιός ἐστιν· ἢ γὰρ ἀνόητον ἢ πονηρὸν νενόμικε τὸ θεῖον. μετὰ δὲ τοὺς θεοὺς ἀνθρώπων ἐπιμελεῖται, (17) τιμῶν μὲν καὶ ἀγαπῶν τοὺς ἀγαθούς, κηδόμενος δὲ πάντων. τίς μὲν γὰρ ἀγέλης βοῶν κήδεται μᾶλλον τοῦ νέμοντος; τίς δὲ ποιμνίοις ὠφελιμώτερός τε καὶ ἀμείνων ποιμένος; τίς δὲ μᾶλλον φίλιππος τοῦ πλείστων μὲν ἄρχοντος ἵππων, πλεῖστα δὲ ἀφ´ ἵππων ὠφελουμένου; (18) τίνα δὲ εἰκὸς οὕτως εἶναι φιλάνθρωπον ἢ ὅστις πλείστων μὲν ἀνθρώπων ἐγκρατής ἐστι, μάλιστα δὲ ὑπὸ ἀνθρώπων θαυμάζεται; δεινὸν γάρ, εἰ οἱ ἀλλοφύλων καὶ ἀγρίων ἄρχοντες θηρίων εὐνούστεροι εἶεν τοῖς ἀρχομένοις τοῦ βασιλεύοντος ἀνθρώπων ἡμέρων καὶ ὁμοφύλων. (19) καὶ μέντοι καὶ φιλοῦσι καὶ ἀνέχονται μάλιστα πάντων ἀγέλαι μὲν νομεῖς, ἵπποι δὲ ἡνιόχους· κυνηγέται δὲ ὑπὸ κυνῶν φυλάσσονται καὶ ἀγαπῶνται, καὶ τὰ ἄλλα οὕτως ἀγαπᾷ τὰ ἀρχόμενα τοὺς ἄρχοντας.

Traduction française :

[1,15] Let me speak, then, of the king as Homer conceives him, of him who is in very truth a king ; for this discourse of mine, delivered in all simplicity without any flattery or abuse, of itself discerns the king that is like the good one, and commends him in so far as he is like him, while the one who is unlike him it exposes and rebukes. Such a king is, in the first place, regardful of the gods and holds the divine in honour. For it is impossible that the just and good man should repose greater confidence in any other being than in the supremely just and good—the gods. He, however, who, being wicked, imagines that he at any time pleases the gods, in that very assumption lacks piety, for he has assumed that the deity is either foolish or evil. Next after the gods the good king has regard for his fellow-men; he honours and loves the good, yet extends his care to all. Now who takes better care of a herd of cattle than does the herdsman? Who is more helpful and better to flocks of sheep than a shepherd? Who is a truer lover of horses than he who controls the greatest number of horses and derives the greatest benefit from horses ? And so who is presumably as great a lover of his fellow-man as he who exercises authority over the greatest number of men and enjoys the highest admiration of men? For it would be strange if men governing beasts, wild and of another blood than theirs, prove more kindly to these their dependants than a monarch to civilized men who are of the same flesh and blood as himself. And further, cattle love their keepers best and are most submissive to them ; the same is true of horses and their drivers ; hunters are protected and loved by their dogs, and in the same way other subject creatures love their masters.

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Dernière mise à jour : 22/11/2007