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Headword: Ταντάλου κήπους τρυγᾶν
Adler number: tau,80
Translated headword: to pick fruit in Tantalus' gardens
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Isaeus the orator was dissolute as a young man, but later was sensible. Someone asked him: what is the best of the fishes and of the birds for eating? 'I have stopped', said Isaeus, 'being keen on such things; for I realised I was picking fruit in Tantalus' gardens'. No doubt by this he was showing the questioner that all pleasures are shadows and dreams.[1]
And elsewhere [sc. is attested the phrase]: 'to think that Tantalus' stone has been hung over one's head on fine strings'.[2]
In reference to the hapless.
Greek Original:
Ταντάλου κήπους τρυγᾶν: Ἰσαίου τοῦ ῥήτορος νεωτέρου ἀσωτευομένου, ὕστερον δὲ σωφρονήσαντος, ἤρετο αὐτόν τις, τίς ἄριστος τῶν ἰχθύων καὶ τῶν ὀρνέων εἰς βρῶσιν. πέπαυμαι, ἔφη ὁ Ἰσαῖος, ταῦτα σπουδάζων: ξυνῆκα γὰρ τοὺς Ταντάλου κήπους τρυγῶν. ἐνδεικνύμενος δήπου τῷ ἐρομένῳ ταῦτα, ὅτι σκιὰ καὶ ὀνείρατα αἱ ἡδοναὶ πᾶσαι. καὶ αὖθις: τὸν Ταντάλου λίθον οἴεσθαι ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς λεπτοῖς καλῳδίοις ἠρτῆσθαι. ἐπὶ τῶν ἀμηχάνων.
Notes:
[1] Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists 1.20; see already at iota 620. For Tantalus cf. tau 77, tau 78, tau 79, tau 81.
[2] cf. Gregorius 4.78, and other paroemiographers. See also C. Theodoridis in his Photius edition (vol.II p.XCVII), identifying Synesius, Oratio de regno 19 as the Suda's source here.
Keywords: biography; daily life; ethics; food; mythology; philosophy; proverbs; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 21 March 2010@10:20:11.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 22 March 2010@01:38:27.
David Whitehead (more x-refs) on 22 March 2010@04:07:45.
David Whitehead (typo; more x-refs) on 12 August 2011@04:50:23.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2) on 12 October 2011@06:26:33.
David Whitehead on 6 January 2014@09:35:47.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 December 2014@00:09:09.

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