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Headword: Μένανδρος
Adler number: mu,591
Translated headword: Menander
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Menander] Protector,[1] historian; [the one] who says about himself: "my father was Euphratas, who came from Byzantium; he was a man of very little literary education. Herodotus, my brother, began to train for the law but then lost his enthusiasm for it; but I myself thought that I ought not to dissociate myself from the law but should persevere to the end of my labours -- and as far as I was able, I got there. But I made little use of my professional qualification: for I had no wish either to plead court-cases or to inhabit the Royal Stoa and impress the passers-by with how cleverly I could speak. Conseqently I abandoned my studies and chose a path of ease and idleness. What appealed to me was the rowdiness of the "colours" and the excitement of the horse-races, and especially pantomimic dancing. I even tried my hand at wrestling, and my voyage took me to such heights of folly that I not only lost my cloak but was also stripped, along with it, of common sense and everything else that makes life honourable. When Maurice assumed the imperial power,[2] he was extremely caring toward his subjects and, besides, a lover of culture, especially poetry and history; so he spent most of the night on such pursuits and, consequently, offered monetary incentives to stimulate the sluggish in intellect. At that time I myself was disillusioned and frustrated at having no means, and I was thinking that I ought to stop drifting stupidly around; so, in order not to fritter away my life entirely, I made a start on this history, beginning after the death of Agathias[3] and making my starting-point [the end] of his history."
Greek Original:
Μένανδρος, προτίκτωρ, ἱστορικός: ὃς λέγει περὶ ἑαυτοῦ: ἐμοὶ πατὴρ Εὐφρατᾶς ἐκ Βυζαντίου ὁρμώμενος ἦν: οὗτος δὴ οὖν ἥκιστα τῆς τῶν λόγων μετειλήχει παιδείας. Ἡρόδοτος μὲν οὖν ὁμόγνιος δέ μοι τῆς πρὸς τὸν νόμον ἀπογευσάμενος παιδείας εἶτα ἀφηνίασε τῆς περὶ ταῦτα σπουδῆς: ἀλλ' ἔγωγε οὔτι χρῆναι ᾠόμην μὴ καὶ νόμοις ὁμιλῆσαι καὶ ἐς τέλος ἱκέσθαι τῶν πόνων: καὶ δὴ ἀφικόμην, ὥς μοι ὑπῆρχε δυνατόν. ἥκιστα δὲ ἐχρησάμην τῇ ἐπαγγελίᾳ τοῦ ἐπιτηδεύματος: οὐ γάρ μοι θυμῆρες ἦν ἀγωνίζεσθαι δίκας οὔτε μὴν ἐν τῇ βασιλείῳ στοᾷ θαμίζειν καὶ δεινότητι λόγων τὰς τῶν ἐντυγχανόντων οἰκειοῦσθαι φροντίδας. καὶ τὰ σπουδαῖα τοιγαροῦν παρεὶς καὶ τὰ χείριστα ἑλόμενος, κεχηνὼς περιενόστουν. καί μοι καταθύμιοι ἦσαν οἵ τε θόρυβοι τῶν χρωμάτων καὶ οἱ ἁμιλλητήριοι τῶν ἵππων ἀγῶνες, ἔτι γε μὴν καὶ ἡ παντόμιμος ὄρχησις. οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ παλαίστραις ἐναπεδυόμην καὶ ἐς τοσοῦτον ἐξώκειλα ἀφροσύνης, ὡς καὶ τὸν φαινόλην ἀποδύσασθαι, συναποδύσασθαι δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ νουνεχές, καὶ ἄλλο ὅ τι ἐς βίου ἀγλάϊσμα. ἐπεὶ δὲ Μαυρίκιος τὸ βασίλειον διεδήσατο κράτος, τοῦτο μὲν προμηθέστατα ἔχων ἐς τοὺς ὑπηκόους, τοῦτο δὲ καὶ μουσῶν ἐραστὴς ποιημάτων τε καὶ ἱστορίας ἥδιστα ἐπαί̈ων, ὡς καὶ τὸ πολὺ τῆς νυκτὸς μέρος καταναλίσκειν περὶ τὰς τοιαύτας φροντίδας καὶ παρορμᾶν ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ὀξύνειν τοῖς χρήμασι τοὺς ἀμβλυτέρους τὸν λογισμόν, ἀγαπητῶς ἐν τῷ τότε ἔγωγε ἀλύων καὶ δυσανασχετῶν τῷ μὴ τὰ δέοντα ἔχειν, ἀναλογιζόμενος ἦν, ὡς οὐ χρεὼν ἀνόνητά με περινοστεῖν, ὥς τ' ἂν οὖν μὴ διαπαντὸς κενεμβατοίην, ὡρμήθην ἐπὶ τήνδε τὴν συγγραφὴν ἄρξασθαι μετὰ τὴν ἀποβίωσιν Ἀγαθίου καὶ τῆς ἱστορίας ποιήσασθαι τὴν ἀρχήν.
Notes:
After the introductory formulas this is Menander Protector fr.1 FHG (4.201) = fr.1 Blockley.
[1] For this term, used here in effect as a surname, see pi 2884.
[2] mu 294.
[3] alpha 112. The succession is thus Agathias-Menander-Theophylact (sigma 435).
Reference:
R.C. Blockley, The History of Menander the Guardsman (1985)
Keywords: athletics; biography; chronology; clothing; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; imagery; law; meter and music; poetry; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 19 August 2009@05:16:34.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added keyword, set status) on 20 August 2009@01:50:50.
David Whitehead (more notes; bibliog) on 20 August 2009@02:54:42.
David Whitehead on 16 May 2013@04:36:58.

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