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Headword: *)ap' e)xqrw=n polla\ manqa/nousin oi( sofoi/
Adler number: alpha,3104
Translated headword: from enemies the wise learn many things
Vetting Status: high
"[From enemies the wise learn many things.] For caution saves everything. You would not learn this, then, from a friend, but the enemy himself compels [sc. you to know it]".[1] And Menander [writes]: "might we not be saved whence we are destroyed?"[2] From our enemies. For when we fear our enemies we are helped by them; and from our enemies we learn about watchfulness and foresight. "After all, cities learned from men [sc. who were] enemies, not friends, to build high walls and to possess long ships. This lesson saves children, home[s], goods".[3]
Greek Original:
*)ap' e)xqrw=n polla\ manqa/nousin oi( sofoi/. h( ga\r eu)la/beia sw/|zei pa/nta. para\ me\n ou)=n fi/lou ou) ma/qois a)\n tou=q', o( d' e)xqro\s au)to\s e)chna/gkase. kai\ *me/nandros: ou)x o(/qen a)polo/mesqa swqei/hmen a)/n; para\ tw=n e)xqrw=n. fobou/menoi ga\r tou\s e)xqrou\s w)felou/meqa par' au)tw=n: e)/k te tw=n e)xqrw=n polla\ xrh/sima didasko/meqa pro\s fulakh\n kai\ pro/noian. au)ti/x' ai( po/leis par' a)ndrw=n e)/maqon e)xqrw=n kou) fi/lwn e)kponei=n q' u(yhla\ tei/xh nau=s te kekth=sqai makra/s. to\ de\ ma/qhma tou=to sw/|zei pai=das, oi)=kon, xrh/mata.
The headword phrase begins, here, a six-line extract from Aristophanes, interrupted by a shorter one from Menander; see the notes below. Dunbar 279-282 suggests that the Aristophanes passage parodies sophistic argument.
[1] Aristophanes, Birds 375-377 (web address 1 below), loosely quoted.
[2] Menander fr. 840 Kock, 767 Koerte, now 644 K.-A.
[3] Aristophanes, Birds 378-380 (web address 1).
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: children; comedy; daily life; ethics; military affairs; proverbs; science and technology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 15 January 2001@06:42:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and bibliography; modified keywords; cosmetics) on 15 January 2001@07:52:14.
David Whitehead (added keywords) on 19 August 2002@05:21:12.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 16 November 2005@08:01:07.
Catharine Roth (updated link) on 1 November 2011@01:22:11.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 November 2011@04:23:31.
David Whitehead on 28 March 2012@09:19:07.
David Whitehead on 30 December 2014@10:56:45.
David Whitehead on 7 August 2015@07:35:48.


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