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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10809
Theognis, Elegies, 39-47


nanCyrnus, this city is in travail, and I fear she may give birth to a corrector of our evil pride; for though these her citizens are still discreet, their guides are heading for much mischief.
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nanNever yet, Cyrnus, have good men ruined a city; but when it pleases the bad to do the works of pride and corrupt the common folk and give judgment for the unrighteous for the sake of private gain and power, then expect not that city to be long quiet, for all she be now in great tranquillity, ay, then when these things become dear to the bad — to wit, gains that bring with them public ill. For of such come discords and internecine slaughter, and of such come tyrants; which things I pray may never please this city.
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

7 results
1. Mimnermus of Colophon, Fragments, 2, 4, 6, 1 (7th cent. BCE - 6th cent. BCE)

2. Solon, Fragments, 6.3, 13.71-13.76 (7th cent. BCE - 6th cent. BCE)

3. Theognis, Elegies, 1001-1002, 1017-1022, 104, 1045-1049, 105, 1050-1058, 106, 1063-1068, 107, 1071-1072, 1074, 108-112, 1129, 1137-1141, 117-118, 1181, 1185-1186, 119-128, 133, 145-148, 155-158, 165-166, 171-172, 183-189, 19, 190-192, 197-199, 20, 200-208, 21, 210-214, 22, 225-226, 23, 230-232, 236-239, 24, 240-254, 27-28, 283-286, 305-308, 33-35, 359, 36, 360-364, 367, 373-399, 40, 400, 41-44, 447-449, 45, 450-452, 46, 463-464, 467-469, 47, 470-479, 48, 480-489, 49, 490-496, 50-53, 531-534, 54, 545, 55-57, 571-572, 579, 58, 580-582, 59, 591-592, 60-65, 659, 66, 660, 67-68, 681-682, 69, 73, 731-739, 74, 740-752, 757-759, 76, 760-768, 773-788, 795-796, 805-810, 823-824, 837-840, 87-89, 891-894, 897-899, 90, 900, 91, 911-914, 92, 939, 941, 949-950, 959-970, 983-988, 993-1000 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4. Herodotus, Histories, 5.92 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

5.92. These were the words of the Lacedaemonians, but their words were ill-received by the greater part of their allies. The rest then keeping silence, Socles, a Corinthian, said, ,“In truth heaven will be beneath the earth and the earth aloft above the heaven, and men will dwell in the sea and fishes where men dwelt before, now that you, Lacedaemonians, are destroying the rule of equals and making ready to bring back tyranny into the cities, tyranny, a thing more unrighteous and bloodthirsty than anything else on this earth. ,If indeed it seems to you to be a good thing that the cities be ruled by tyrants, set up a tyrant among yourselves first and then seek to set up such for the rest. As it is, however, you, who have never made trial of tyrants and take the greatest precautions that none will arise at Sparta, deal wrongfully with your allies. If you had such experience of that thing as we have, you would be more prudent advisers concerning it than you are now.” ,The Corinthian state was ordered in such manner as I will show.There was an oligarchy, and this group of men, called the Bacchiadae, held sway in the city, marrying and giving in marriage among themselves. Now Amphion, one of these men, had a crippled daughter, whose name was Labda. Since none of the Bacchiadae would marry her, she was wedded to Eetion son of Echecrates, of the township of Petra, a Lapith by lineage and of the posterity of Caeneus. ,When no sons were born to him by this wife or any other, he set out to Delphi to enquire concerning the matter of acquiring offspring. As soon as he entered, the Pythian priestess spoke these verses to him: quote type="oracle" l met="dact" Eetion,worthy of honor, no man honors you. /l l Labda is with child, and her child will be a millstone /l lWhich will fall upon the rulers and will bring justice to Corinth. /l /quote ,This oracle which was given to Eetion was in some way made known to the Bacchiadae. The earlier oracle sent to Corinth had not been understood by them, despite the fact that its meaning was the same as the meaning of the oracle of Eetion, and it read as follows: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"An eagle in the rocks has conceived, and will bring forth a lion, /l lStrong and fierce. The knees of many will it loose. /l lThis consider well, Corinthians, /l lYou who dwell by lovely Pirene and the overhanging heights of Corinth. /l /quote ,This earlier prophecy had been unintelligible to the Bacchiadae, but as soon as they heard the one which was given to Eetion, they understood it at once, recognizing its similarity with the oracle of Eetion. Now understanding both oracles, they kept quiet but resolved to do away with the offspring of Eetion. Then, as soon as his wife had given birth, they sent ten men of their clan to the township where Eetion dwelt to kill the child. ,These men came to Petra and passing into Eetion's courtyard, asked for the child. Labda, knowing nothing of the purpose of their coming and thinking that they wished to see the baby out of affection for its father, brought it and placed it into the hands of one of them. Now they had planned on their way that the first of them who received the child should dash it to the ground. ,When, however, Labda brought and handed over the child, by divine chance it smiled at the man who took it. This he saw, and compassion prevented him from killing it. Filled with pity, he handed it to a second, and this man again to a third.In fact it passed from hand to hand to each of the ten, for none would make an end of it. ,They then gave the child back to its mother, and after going out, they stood before the door reproaching and upbraiding one another, but chiefly him who had first received it since he had not acted in accordance with their agreement. Finally they resolved to go in again and all have a hand in the killing. ,Fate, however, had decreed that Eetion's offspring should be the source of ills for Corinth, for Labda, standing close to this door, heard all this. Fearing that they would change their minds and that they would take and actually kill the child, she took it away and hid it where she thought it would be hardest to find, in a chest, for she knew that if they returned and set about searching they would seek in every place—which in fact they did. ,They came and searched, but when they did not find it, they resolved to go off and say to those who had sent them that they had carried out their orders. They then went away and said this. ,Eetion's son, however, grew up, and because of his escape from that danger, he was called Cypselus, after the chest. When he had reached manhood and was seeking a divination, an oracle of double meaning was given him at Delphi. Putting faith in this, he made an attempt on Corinth and won it. ,The oracle was as follows: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"That man is fortunate who steps into my house, /l l Cypselus, son of Eetion, the king of noble Corinth, /l lHe himself and his children, but not the sons of his sons. /l /quote Such was the oracle. Cypselus, however, when he had gained the tyranny, conducted himself in this way: many of the Corinthians he drove into exile, many he deprived of their wealth, and by far the most he had killed. ,After a reign of thirty years, he died in the height of prosperity, and was succeeded by his son Periander. Now Periander was to begin with milder than his father, but after he had held converse by messenger with Thrasybulus the tyrant of Miletus, he became much more bloodthirsty than Cypselus. ,He had sent a herald to Thrasybulus and inquired in what way he would best and most safely govern his city. Thrasybulus led the man who had come from Periander outside the town, and entered into a sown field. As he walked through the corn, continually asking why the messenger had come to him from Corinth, he kept cutting off all the tallest ears of wheat which he could see, and throwing them away, until he had destroyed the best and richest part of the crop. ,Then, after passing through the place and speaking no word of counsel, he sent the herald away. When the herald returned to Corinth, Periander desired to hear what counsel he brought, but the man said that Thrasybulus had given him none. The herald added that it was a strange man to whom he had been sent, a madman and a destroyer of his own possessions, telling Periander what he had seen Thrasybulus do. ,Periander, however, understood what had been done, and perceived that Thrasybulus had counselled him to slay those of his townsmen who were outstanding in influence or ability; with that he began to deal with his citizens in an evil manner. Whatever act of slaughter or banishment Cypselus had left undone, that Periander brought to accomplishment. In a single day he stripped all the women of Corinth naked, because of his own wife Melissa. ,Periander had sent messengers to the Oracle of the Dead on the river Acheron in Thesprotia to enquire concerning a deposit that a friend had left, but Melissa, in an apparition, said that she would tell him nothing, nor reveal where the deposit lay, for she was cold and naked. The garments, she said, with which Periander had buried with her had never been burnt, and were of no use to her. Then, as evidence for her husband that she spoke the truth, she added that Periander had put his loaves into a cold oven. ,When this message was brought back to Periander (for he had had intercourse with the dead body of Melissa and knew her token for true), immediately after the message he made a proclamation that all the Corinthian women should come out into the temple of Hera. They then came out as to a festival, wearing their most beautiful garments, and Periander set his guards there and stripped them all alike, ladies and serving-women, and heaped all the clothes in a pit, where, as he prayed to Melissa, he burnt them. ,When he had done this and sent a second message, the ghost of Melissa told him where the deposit of the friend had been laid. “This, then, Lacedaimonians, is the nature of tyranny, and such are its deeds. ,We Corinthians marvelled greatly when we saw that you were sending for Hippias, and now we marvel yet more at your words to us. We entreat you earnestly in the name of the gods of Hellas not to establish tyranny in the cities, but if you do not cease from so doing and unrighteously attempt to bring Hippias back, be assured that you are proceeding without the Corinthians' consent.”
5. Aristotle, Athenian Constitution, 12.3 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

6. Plutarch, It Is Impossible To Live Pleasantly In The Manner of Epicurus, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Mimnermus, Fragments, 2, 4, 6, 1



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aristotle, eudemian ethics Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
aristotle, metaphysics Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
aristotle, rhetoric Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
aristotle Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
assembly, spartan Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
cataudella, quintino Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
citizenship, exclusivity of ancient Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
councilmen, athenian (bouleutai), council, spartan (gerontes) Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
cyrnus Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146, 271
democles Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271, 564
desire Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
ephors Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
eretria, vi, x Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
euenus Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146, 271, 564
examyes Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
great rhetra Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
hellenistic Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
helots Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
hermesianax Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
homer, homeric, elite bias of Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
kings Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
lycurgus (spartan lawgiver) Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
megara Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
meleager, garland of Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
meleager Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
meta-sympotic Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
mimnermus Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146
old age Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
perioikoi' Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
persona, poetic Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271
philip, garland of Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
plutarch Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271; Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
rufinus Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
simonides Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 271, 564
solon Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146; Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
sparta, spartans Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 48
theognis and the theognidea, excerpta deteriora Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146
theognis and the theognidea, excerpta meliora Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146
theognis and the theognidea, florilegium purum Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146, 564
theognis and the theognidea Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146, 564
tyrtaeus Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146
vetta, massimo Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
west, martin Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 564
xenophon Bowie, Essays on Ancient Greek Literature and Culture (2021) 146