Aristophanes, Acharnians 626-64
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus
ἁνὴρ ἁνὴρ Elmsley: ἀνὴρ M νικᾶι τοῖσι λόγοισιν λόγοισιν m: λόγοισι m, καὶ τὸν δῆμον μεταπείθει
περὶ τῶν σπονδῶν. ἀλλ’ ἀποδύντες τοῖς ἀναπαίστοις ἐπίωμεν.
ἐξ οὗ γε χοροῖσιν ἐφέστηκεν τρυγικοῖς ὁ διδάσκαλος ἡμῶν,
οὔπω παρέβη πρὸς τὸ θέατρον λέξων ὡς δεξιός ἐστιν·
διαβαλλόμενος δ’ ὑπὸ τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἐν Ἀθηναίοις ταχυβούλοις,630
ὡς κωμωιδεῖ τὴν πόλιν ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν δῆμον καθυβρίζει,
ἀποκρίνασθαι δεῖται νυνὶ πρὸς Ἀθηναίους μεταβούλους.
φησὶν δ’ εἶναι πολλῶν ἀγαθῶν ἄξιος ἄξιος M: αἴτιος Bentley ὑμῖν ὁ ποιητής,
παύσας ὑμᾶς ξενικοῖσι λόγοις μὴ λίαν ἐξαπατᾶσθαι,
μήδ’ μήδ’…μηδ’ Meineke: μηδ’…μήτ’ m: μήθ’ … μήτ’ m ἥδεσθαι θωπευομένους, μηδ’ εἶναι χαυνοπολίτας.635
πρότερον δ’ ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων οἱ πρέσβεις ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων οἱ πρέσβεις Bentley: ὑμᾶς οἱ πρέσβεις ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων M ἐξαπατῶντες
πρῶτον μὲν “ἰοστεφάνους” ἐκάλουν· κἀπειδὴ τοῦτό τις εἴποι,
εὐθὺς διὰ τοὺς στεφάνους ἐπ’ ἄκρων τῶν πυγιδίων ἐκάθησθε.
εἰ δέ τις ὑμᾶς ὑποθωπεύσας “λιπαρὰς” καλέσειεν “Ἀθήνας”,
ηὕρετο ηὕρετο Elmsley: εὕρετο vel εὗρε τὸ M πᾶν ἂν διὰ τὰς λιπαράς, ἀφύων τιμὴν περιάψας.640
ταῦτα ποιήσας πολλῶν ἀγαθῶν αἴτιος αἴτιος M: ἄξιος Blaydes ὑμῖν γεγένηται
καὶ τοὺς δήμους τοὺς δήμους M: τοῖς δήμοις. Richards ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν, δείξας ὡς δημοκρατοῦνται.
τοιγάρτοι νῦν ἐκ τῶν πόλεων τὸν φόρον ὑμῖν ἀπάγοντες
ἥξουσιν ἰδεῖν ἐπιθυμοῦντες τὸν ποιητὴν τὸν ἄριστον,
ὅστις παρεκινδύνευσ’ εἰπεῖν ἐν Ἀθηναίοις ὅστις παρεκινδύνευσ’ εἰπεῖν ἐν Ἀθηναίοις Hermann: ὅστις παρεκινδύνευσ’ ἐν Ἀθηναίοις εἰπεῖν M τὰ δίκαια.645
οὕτω οὕτω M: ὄντως Richards δ’ αὐτοῦ περὶ τῆς τόλμης ἤδη πόρρω κλέος ἥκει,
ὅτε καὶ βασιλεὺς Λακεδαιμονίων τὴν πρεσβείαν βασανίζων
ἠρώτησεν ἠρώτησεν Bentley: ἠρώτησε M πρῶτα μὲν αὐτοὺς πότεροι ταῖς ναυσὶ κρατοῦσιν,
εἶτα δὲ τοῦτον τὸν ποιητὴν ποτέρους εἴποι κακὰ πολλά·
τούτους γὰρ ἔφη τοὺς ἀνθρώπους πολὺ βελτίους γεγενῆσθαι650
καὶ τῶι πολέμωι πολὺ νικήσειν τοῦAcharniansτον ξύμβουλον ἔχοντας.
διὰ τοῦθ’ ὑμᾶς Λακεδαιμόνιοι τὴν εἰρήνην προκαλοῦνται
καὶ τὴν Αἴγιναν ἀπαιτοῦσιν· καὶ τῆς νήσου μὲν ἐκείνης
οὐ φροντίζουσ’, ἀλλ’ ἵνα τοῦτον τὸν ποιητὴν ἀφέλωνται.
ἀλλ’ ὑμεῖς τοι μήποτ’ ἀφῆσθ’ ἀφῆσθ’ Hermann: ἀφήσετε m: ἀφήσεθ’ m: ἀφήσετ’ m: ἀφῆθ’ Trywhitt· ὡς κωμωιδήσει τὰ δίκαια·655
φησὶν δ’ ὑμᾶς πολλὰ διδάξειν ἀγάθ’, ὥστ’ εὐδαίμονας εἶναι,
οὐ θωπεύων οὐδ’ οὐδ’…οὐδ’ Suda υ 612: οὔτ’…οὐδ’ m: οὔτ’…οὔτ’ m ὑποτείνων μισθοὺς οὐδ’ ἐξαπατύλλων,
οὐδὲ πανουργῶν οὐδὲ κατάρδων, ἀλλὰ τὰ βέλτιστα διδάσκων.
πρὸς ταῦτα Κλέων καὶ παλαμάσθω
καὶ πᾶν ἐπ’ ἐμοὶ τεκταινέσθω.660
τὸ γὰρ εὖ μετ’ ἐμοῦ καὶ τὸ δίκαιον
ξύμμαχον ἔσται, κοὐ μή ποθ’ ἁλῶ
περὶ τὴν πόλιν ὢν ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνος
δειλὸς καὶ λακαταπύγων.
The man prevails with his arguments and is changing the people’s minds about the truce. But let us strip off and embark on our anapests. From the time when our producer took charge of comic choruses, he has not yet come forward to tell the audience how clever he is. But since his enemies are slandering him among the flighty Athenians, saying that he mocks our city and insults the people, he must now offer a defense to the fickle Athenians. The poet says that he deserves to receive many good things from you, since he has stopped you from being totally hoodwinked by the arguments of foreigners, and from delighting in those who flatter you, and from being gaping fools.
Formerly the ambassadors from the allied cities hoodwinked you, first calling you “violet-crowned”—and whenever someone said this, straightaway, because of the crowns, you would sit up on the tips of your little buttocks. And if someone, flattering you, called Athens “gleaming,” he would reap every reward because of his “gleaming Athens,” wearing a badge of honour awarded to oily small-fry. In doing this [the poet] has been responsible for many good things that have come your way, and for showing that the people in the cities are governed democratically. Therefore, those from the allied cities will now come, bringing you the tribute, because they desire to see the best poet: he who risks life and limb to speak justice among the Athenians.
And so the fame of his daring has now travelled far and wide, when even the Great King tested the Spartan embassy by first asking them which of the two sides has the strongest fleet, and then which side this poet is abusing copiously. For he said that these people would be far better and would win the war by miles if they have this poet as their adviser. Because of this, the Spartans offer peace and demand Aegina: not because they care about that island, but so that they can deprive you of this poet. But you take my advice and never let him go: for he will speak justice in his comedies: he says that he will teach you many good things, so that your fortunes flourish, neither flattering you nor demanding rewards nor humbugging you, nor playing the knave, nor sprinkling praise on you, but giving you the best instruction.
Therefore, let Kleon plot and devise every scheme he likes against me. For what is right is on my side and justice will be my ally, and there is no way I will ever be caught being cowardly and gape-arsed like that man in affairs of the city.