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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7482
Lucian, The Double Indictment, 33-34


nanJUST: And that one a rhetorician's, I suppose. Dialogue will now address the same jury. Gentlemen, you will remain and hear this second case, and will receive a double fee. Dialogue: If I had had my choice, gentlemen, I should have addressed you in the conversational style to which I am accustomed, instead of delivering a long harangue. However, I must conform to the custom of the law-courts, though I have neither skill nor experience in such matters. So much by way of exordium: and now for the outrage committed on me by the defendant. In former days, gentlemen, I was a person of exalted character: my speculations turned upon the Gods, and Nature, and the Annus Magnus; I trod those aerial plains wherein Zeus on winged car is borne along through the heights. My flight had actually brought me to the heavenly vault; I was just setting foot upon the upper surface of that dome, when this Syrian took it upon himself to drag me down, break my wings, and reduce me to the common level of humanity. Whisking off the seemly tragic mask I then wore, he clapped on in its place a comic one that was little short of ludicrous: his next step was to huddle me into a corner with Jest, Lampoon, Cynicism, and the comedians Eupolis and Aristophanes, persons with a horrible knack of making light of sacred things, and girding at all that is as it should be. But the climax was reached when he unearthed a barking, snarling old Cynic, Menippus by name, and thrust his company upon me; a grim bulldog, if ever there was one; a treacherous brute that will snap at you while his tail is yet wagging. Could any man be more abominably misused? Stripped of my proper attire, I am made to play the buffoon, and to give expression to every whimsical absurdity that his caprice dictates. And, as if that were not preposterous enough, he has forbidden me either to walk on my feet or to rise on the wings of poesy: I am a ridiculous cross between prose and verse; a monster of incongruity; a literary Centaur. HERM: Now, Syrian: what do you say to that?


nanJust. And that one a rhetorician’s, I suppose. Dialogue will now address the same jury. Gentlemen, you will remain and hear this second case, and will receive a double fee.Dia. If I had had my choice, gentlemen, I should have addressed you in the conversational style to which I am accustomed, instead of delivering a long harangue. However, I must conform to the custom of the law courts, though I have neither skill nor experience in such matters. So much by way of exordium: and now for the outrage committed on me by the defendant. In former days, gentlemen, I was a person of exalted character: my speculations turned upon the Gods, and Nature, and the Annus Magnus; I trod those aerial plains wherein Zeus on winged car is borne along through the heights. My flight had actually brought me to the heavenly vault; I was just setting foot upon the upper surface of that dome, when this Syrian took it upon himself to drag me down, break my wings, and reduce me to the common level of humanity. Whisking off the seemly tragic mask I then wore, he clapped on in its place a comic one that was little short of ludicrous: his next step was to huddle me into a corner with Jest, Lampoon, Cynicism, and the comedians Eupolis and Aristophanes, persons with a horrible knack of making light of sacred things, and girding at all that is as it should be. But the climax was reached when he unearthed a barking, snarling old Cynic, Menippus by name, and thrust his company upon me; a grim bulldog, if ever there was one; a treacherous brute that will snap at you while his tail is yet wagging. Could any man be more abominably misused? Stripped of my proper attire, I am made to play the buffoon, and to give expression to every whimsical absurdity that his caprice dictates. And, as if that were not preposterous enough, he has forbidden me either to walk on my feet or to rise on the wings of poesy: I am a ridiculous cross between prose and verse; a monster of incongruity; a literary Centaur.


nanSYRIAN: Gentlemen of the jury, I am surprised. Nothing could be more unexpected than the charge Dialogue has brought against me. When I first took him in hand, he was regarded by the world at large as one whose interminable discussions had soured his temper and exhausted his vitality. His labours entitled him to respect, but he had none of the attractive qualities that could secure him popularity. My first step was to accustom him to walk upon the common ground like the rest of mankind; my next, to make him presentable, by giving him a good bath and teaching him to smile. Finally, I assigned him Comedy as his yokefellow, thus gaining him the confidence of his hearers, who until then would as soon have thought of picking up a hedgehog as of venturing into the thorny presence of Dialogue. But I know what the grievance is: he wants me to sit and discourse subtle nothings with him about the immortality of the soul, and the exact number of pints of pure homogeneous essence that went to the making of the universe, and the claims of rhetoric to be called a shadow of a fraction of statecraft, or a fourth part of flattery. He takes a curious pleasure in refinements of this kind; it tickles his vanity most deliciously to be told that not every man can see so far into the ideal as he. Evidently he expects me to conform to his taste in this respect; he is still hankering after those lost wings; his eyes are turned upwards; he cannot see the things that lie before his feet. I think there is nothing else he can complain of. He cannot say that I, who pass for a barbarian, have torn off his Greek dress, and replaced it with one like my own: that would have been another matter; to deprive him of his native garb were indeed a crime. Gentlemen, I have made my defence, as far as in me lies: I trust that your present verdict will confirm the former one. HERM: Well I never! All ten are for you again. Only one dissentient, and he the same one as before. True to his envious principles, he must ever give his vote against his betters. The jurors may now leave the court. The remaining cases will come on tomorrow.END


nanHer. Now, Syrian: what do you say to that?Syrian. Gentlemen of the jury, I am surprised. Nothing could be more unexpected than the charge Dialogue has brought against me. When I first took him in hand, he was regarded by the world at large as one whose interminable discussions had soured his temper and exhausted his vitality. His labours entitled him to respect, but he had none of the attractive qualities that could secure him popularity. My first step was to accustom him to walk upon the common ground like the rest of mankind; my next, to make him presentable, by giving him a good bath and teaching him to smile. Finally, I assigned him Comedy as his yokefellow, thus gaining him the confidence of his hearers, who until then would as soon have thought of picking up a hedgehog as of venturing into the thorny presence of Dialogue.But I know what the grievance is: he wants me to sit and discourse subtle nothings with him about the immortality of the soul, and the exact number of pints of pure homogeneous essence that went to the making of the universe, and the claims of rhetoric to be called a shadow of a fraction of statecraft, or a fourth part of flattery. He takes a curious pleasure in refinements of this kind; it tickles his vanity most deliciously to be told that not every man can see so far into the ideal as he. Evidently he expects me to conform to his taste in this respect; he is still hankering after those lost wings; his eyes are turned upwards; he cannot see the things that lie before his feet. I think there is nothing else he can complain of. He cannot say that I, who pass for a barbarian, have torn off his Greek dress, and replaced it with one like my own: that would have been another matter; to deprive him of his native garb were indeed a crime.Gentlemen, I have made my defence, as far as in me lies: I trust that your present verdict will confirm the former one.Her. Well I never! All ten are for you again. Only one dissentient, and he the same one as before. True to his envious principles, he must ever give his vote against his betters. The jurors may now leave the court. The remaining cases will come on tomorrow.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

10 results
1. Lucian, The Ignorant Book-Collector, 19 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2. Lucian, Apology, 13, 15, 12 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Lucian, The Double Indictment, 28, 34, 27 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

27. Gentlemen, the defendant was no more than a boy — he still spoke with his native accent, and might at any moment have exhibited himself in the garb of an Assyrian — when I found him wandering up and down Ionia, at a loss for employment. I took him in hand; I gave him an education; and, convinced of his capabilities and of his devotion to me (for he was my very humble servant in those days, and had no admiration to spare for anyone else), I turned my back upon the many suitors who sought my hand, upon the wealthy, the brilliant and the high born, and betrothed myself to this monster of ingratitude; upon this obscure pauper boy I bestowed the rich dowry of my surpassing eloquence, brought him to be enrolled among my own people, and made him my fellow citizen, to the bitter mortification of his unsuccessful rivals. When he formed the resolution of travelling, in order to make his good fortune known to the world, I did not remain behind: I accompanied him everywhere, from city to city, shedding my lustre upon him, and clothing him in honour and renown. of our travels in Greece and Ionia, I say nothing: he expressed a wish to visit Italy: I sailed the Ionian Sea with him, and attended him even as far as Gaul, scattering plenty in his path.For a long time he consulted my wishes in everything, was unfailing in his attendance upon me, and never passed a night away from my side.
4. Lucian, Salaried Posts In Great Houses, 30, 27 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5. Lucian, The Passing of Peregrinus, 37, 26 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Lucian, The Syrian Goddess, 1 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1. There is in Syria a city not far from the river Euphrates: it is called “the Sacred City,” and is sacred to the Assyrian Hera. As far as I can judge this name was not conferred upon the city when it was first settled, but originally it bore another name. In course of time the great sacrifices were held therein, and then this title was bestowed upon it. I will speak of this city, and of what it contains. I will speak also of the laws which govern its holy rites, of its popular assemblies and of the sacrifices offered by its citizens. I will speak also of all the traditions attaching to the founders of this holy place: and of the manner of the founding of its temple. I write as an Assyrian born who have witnessed with mine own eyes some of the facts which I am about to narrate: some, again, I learnt from the priests: they occurred before my time, but I narrate them as they were told to me.
7. Lucian, Demonax, 5, 1 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Lucian, The Runaways, 14-15, 20, 3-4, 11 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. My followers would have restrained them, and exposed their errors: but they grew angry, and conspired against them, and in the end brought them under the power of the law, which condemned them to drink of hemlock. Doubtless I should have done well to renounce humanity there and then, and take my flight: but Antisthenes and Diogenes, and after them Crates, and our friend Menippus, prevailed upon me to tarry yet a little longer. Would that I had never yielded! I should have been spared much pain in the sequel.
9. Lucian, Hermotimus, Or Sects, 86 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

86. Her . You are quite right. And now I will be off to metamorphose myself. When we next meet, there will be no long, shaggy beard, no artificial composure; I shall be natural, as a gentleman should. I may go as far as a fashionable coat, by way of publishing my renunciation of nonsense. I only wish there were an emetic that would purge out every doctrine they have instilled into me; I assure you, if I could reverse Chrysippus's plan with the hellebore, and drink forgetfulness, not of the world but of Stoicism, I would not think twice about it. Well, Lycinus, I owe you a debt indeed; I was being swept along in a rough turbid torrent, unresisting, drifting with the stream; when lo, you stood there and fished me out, a true deus ex machina. I have good enough reason, I think, to shave my head like the people who get clear off from a wreck; for I am to make votive offerings today for the dispersion of that thick cloud which was over my eyes. Henceforth, if I meet a philosopher on my walks (and it will not be with my will), I shall turn aside and avoid him as I would a mad dog.
10. Lucian, Nigrinus, 37 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

37. Or if they reach the mark, they do but graze its surface; there can be no deep wound, where the archer lacks strength. But a good marksman, a Nigrinus, begins with a careful examination of the mark, in case it should be particularly soft,— or again too hard; for there are marks which will take no impression from an arrow. Satisfied on this point, he dips his shaft, not in the poisons of Scythia or Crete, but in a certain ointment of his own, which is sweet in flavour and gentle in operation; then, without more ado, he lets fly. The shaft speeds with well judged swiftness, cleaves the mark right through, and remains lodged in it; and the drug works its way through every part. Thus it is that men hear his words with mingled joy and grief; and this was my own case, while the drug was gently diffusing itself through my soul. Hence I was moved to apostrophize him in the words of Homer:So aim; and thou shalt bring (to some) salvation.For as it is not every man that is maddened by the sound of the Phrygian flute, but only those who are inspired of Cybele, and by those strains are recalled to their frenzy,— so too not every man who hears the words of the philosophers will go away possessed, and stricken at heart, but only those in whose nature is something akin to philosophy.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
animal, dog Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
antiochos iv of commagene Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
commagene, culture, history Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
conversion Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
elite, commagenian Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
embedded narration Blondell and Ormand, Ancient Sex: New Essays (2015) 276
gender confusion Blondell and Ormand, Ancient Sex: New Essays (2015) 276
group sex Blondell and Ormand, Ancient Sex: New Essays (2015) 276
identity, ethnic Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
king, emperor, marcus aurelius Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
lucian of samosata Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
madness Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
parody of Blondell and Ormand, Ancient Sex: New Essays (2015) 276
philosophy, cynic Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
philosophy Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
praise Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
provincialisation Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
rhetoric, dialogue Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
rhetoric, satire Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
rhetoric Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
rome, empire Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
rome (city) Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28
second sophistic' Blondell and Ormand, Ancient Sex: New Essays (2015) 276
socrates Rothschold, Blanton and Calhoun, The History of Religions School Today: Essays on the New Testament and Related Ancient Mediterranean Texts (2014) 282
soldiers Merz and Tieleman, Ambrosiaster's Political Theology (2012) 28