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Headword: Ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα κοὐκ ὀνήσιμα
Adler number: epsilon,4028
Translated headword: enemies' charities are uncharitable and not helpful
Vetting Status: high
Ajax says: "but I will go to the bathing place and the seaside meadows, so I may purify my defilements and escape the weighty wrath of the goddess. When I arrive, whatever trackless place I reach, I will dig up the ground and hide this sword of mine, most despised of weapons, where no one will see it, but may Night and Hades keep it safe below. For I, ever since I took this in my hand as a gift from Hektor, the greatest of my enemies, I have not yet received any reward from the Argives. That proverb among mortals is true, 'enemies' charities are uncharitable and not helpful.' I can assure you that I will know in the future to yield to the gods, and I will learn to respect the sons of Atreus. They are the leaders, so they must be deferred to. Why not? For even the fearsome and the very strong defer to authority."[1]
Interpretation of a dream: dining with enemies leads to a reconciliation.[2]
Greek Original:
Ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα κοὐκ ὀνήσιμα: ὁ Αἴας φησίν: ἀλλ' εἶμι πρός τε λουτρὰ καὶ παρακτίους λειμῶνας, ὡς ἂν λύμαθ' ἁγνίσας ἐμὰ μῆνιν βαρεῖαν ἐξαλεύσωμαι θεᾶς. μολών τε χῶρον, ἔνθ' ἂν ἀστιβῆ κίχω, κρύψω τόδ' ἔγχος τοὐμὸν ἔχθιστον βελῶν γαίας ὀρύξας, ἔνθα μή τις ὄψεται, ἀλλ' αὐτὸ νὺξ ᾅδης τε σῳζόντων κάτω. ἐγὼ γάρ, ἐξ οὗ χειρὶ τοῦτ' ἐδεξάμην παρ' Ἕκτορος δώρημα δυσμενεστάτου, οὔπω τι κεδνὸν ἔσχον Ἀργείων πάρα. ἀλλ' ἔστ' ἀληθὴς ἡ βροτῶν παροιμία: ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα κοὐκ ὀνήσιμα. τοιγὰρ τὸ λοιπὸν εἰσόμεσθα μὲν θεοῖς εἴκειν: μαθησόμεθα δ' Ἀτρείδας σέβειν. ἄρχοντές εἰσιν ὥσθ' ὑπεικτέον: τί μή; καὶ γὰρ τὰ δεινὰ καὶ τὰ καρτερώτατα τιμαῖς ὑπείκει. λύσις ὀνείρου: ἐχθροῖς συνέσθειν εἰς καταλλαγὴν φέρει.
[1] A verbatim quotation of Sophocles, Ajax 654-70, part of Ajax's famous Trugrede (Deception Speech) delivered before his suicide (web address 1); cf. alpha 519, alpha 1144, epsiloniota 152, epsiloniota 296, mu 1234, nu 441. For this as a proverb see Zenobius 4.4 and other paroemiographers; Tosi (cited under alpha 378) no.2210.
[2] Ascribed to the verse dream-book of Astrampsychos (alpha 4251).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; daily life; definition; dreams; economics; epic; ethics; food; geography; imagery; law; military affairs; mythology; poetry; proverbs; religion; rhetoric; stagecraft; trade and manufacture; tragedy
Translated by: William Hutton on 11 February 2007@12:29:13.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (adjusted link, set status) on 11 February 2007@16:21:59.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; tweaks and cosmetics) on 12 February 2007@03:22:52.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1) on 16 August 2012@08:06:10.
David Whitehead on 21 November 2012@06:06:10.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 27 January 2014@09:19:43.
David Whitehead (cosmetic) on 22 March 2016@10:26:43.


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