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Headword: Αἴ κε πάθοι τά κ' ἔρεξε, δίκη δ' ἰθεῖα γένοιτο
Adler number: alphaiota,165
Translated headword: if he should endure the sufferings which he has inflicted, the punishment would be just
Vetting Status: high
An oracle given concerning the murders and injustices of Aurelian.[1]
Aristophanes [writes]: "every one of the Athenians when he goes in yells at the servants and asks: 'Where is my pot? Who gave away the head of the sprat? Has my last year's bowl perished? Where is yesterday's garlic? Who nibbled on the olives?'" These [are] all trivial matters. But "perished" [is used] instead of "is broken."[2]
Greek Original:
Αἴ κε πάθοι τά κ' ἔρεξε, δίκη δ' ἰθεῖα γένοιτο: χρησμὸς δοθεὶς περὶ τῶν Αὐρηλιανοῦ φόνων καὶ ἀδικιῶν. Ἀριστοφάνης: Ἀθηναίων πᾶς τις εἰσιὼν κέκραγε πρὸς τοὺς οἰκέτας ζητεῖ τε: ποῦ 'στι μ' ἡ χύτρα; τίς τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀπεδήδοκε τῆς μαινίδος; τὸ τρυβλίον τὸ περυσινὸν τέθνηκέ μοι; ποῦ τὸ σκόροδον τὸ χθεσινόν; τίς τὰς ἐλάας παρέτραγε; ταῦτα μικροπρεπῆ πάντα. τὸ δὲ τέθνηκεν, ἀντὶ τοῦ κέκλασται.
The headword phrase is partially repeated at epsilon 3074 (end).
[1] cf. Julian, Symposium 12 (Lacombrade), assigning it to Delphi. However, this 'oracle' is an approximation of a dictum quoted in Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1132b27 (read τά τ' ἔρεξε, δίκη κ' ), and attributed to Rhadamanthys (rho 12, rho 13); proverbial in Appendix Proverbiorum 2.12. An anonymous commentator on the Ethics quotes this as two verses -- the first one is εἰ κακά τις σπείραι, κακὰ κέρδεα κ' ἀμήσειεν ("if anyone should sow evils, he should reap evil gains") -- and attributes them to Hesiod: fr. 286 Merkelbach/West. On the emperor Aurelian, see generally alpha 4458.
[2] Aristophanes, Frogs 981-988, with scholia; cf. mu 1051. The passage does not seem to have any connection with the oracle against Aurelian.
Keywords: biography; comedy; daily life; definition; ethics; food; history; philosophy; poetry; proverbs; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 3 November 2002@00:57:52.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented and modified notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 3 November 2002@05:27:33.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 14 May 2012@08:46:59.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1; more keywords; cosmetics) on 25 November 2015@04:14:38.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 26 November 2015@01:03:13.


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