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Πλάτωνος Ἡ Ἑβδόμη Ἐπιστολὴ

The Seventh Letter By Plato

Translated by J. Harward

51-63

Ταῦτά μοι δόξαντα, εἰς τὴν ὑστεραίαν εἶπον πρὸς Διονύσιον ὅτι "δέδοκταί [7.347c] μοι μένειν· ἀξιῶ μήν," ἔφην, "μὴ κύριον ἡγεῖσθαί σε Δίωνος ἐμέ, πέμπειν δὲ μετ᾽ ἐμοῦ σὲ παρ᾽ αὐτὸν γράμματα τὰ νῦν δεδογμένα δηλοῦντα, καὶ ἐρωτᾶν εἴτε ἀρκεῖ ταῦτα αὐτῷ, καὶ εἰ μή, βούλεται δὲ ἄλλ᾽ ἄττα καὶ ἀξιοῖ, καὶ ταῦτα ἐπιστέλλειν ὅτι τάχιστα, σὲ δὲ νεωτερίζειν μηδέν πω τῶν περὶ ἐκεῖνον." (51) Having come to this decision, on the following day I said to Dionysios, "I have decided to remain. But," I continued, "I must ask that you will not regard me as empowered to act for Dion, but will along with me write a letter to him, stating what has now been decided, and enquire whether this course satisfies him. If it does not, and if he has other wishes and demands, he must write particulars of them as soon as possible, and you must not as yet take any hasty step with regard to his interests."
Ταῦτα ἐρρήθη, ταῦτα συνωμολογήσαμεν, ὡς νῦν εἴρηται σχεδόν. (52) This was what was said and this was the agreement which was made, almost in these words.
Ἐξέπλευσεν δὴ τὰ πλοῖα μετὰ τοῦτο, καὶ οὐκέτι μοι δυνατὸν ἦν πλεῖν, ὅτε δή μοι καὶ [7.347d] Διονύσιος ἐμνήσθη λέγων ὅτι τὴν ἡμίσειαν τῆς οὐσίας εἶναι δέοι Δίωνος, τὴν δ᾽ ἡμίσειαν τοῦ ὑέος·  Well, after this the trading-ships took their departure, and it was no longer possible for me to take mine, when Dionysios, if you please, addressed me with the remark that half the property must be regarded as belonging to Dion and half to his son.
ἔφη δὴ πωλήσειν αὐτήν, πραθείσης δὲ τὰ μὲν ἡμίσεα ἐμοὶ δώσειν ἄγειν, τὰ δ᾽ ἡμίσεα τῷ παιδὶ καταλείψειν αὐτοῦ· τὸ γὰρ δὴ δικαιότατον οὕτως ἔχειν. Therefore, he said, he would sell it, and when it was sold would give half to me to take away, and would leave half on the spot for the son. This course, he said, was the most just.
Πληγεὶς δ᾽ ἐγὼ τῷ λεχθέντι πάνυ μὲν ᾤμην γελοῖον εἶναι ἀντιλέγειν ἔτι, ὅμως δ᾽ εἶπον ὅτι χρείη τὴν παρὰ Δίωνος ἐπιστολὴν περιμένειν ἡμᾶς καὶ ταῦτα πάλιν αὐτὰ ἐπιστέλλειν. This proposal was a blow to me, and I thought it absurd to argue any longer with him; however, I said that we must wait for Dion's letter, and then once more write to tell him of this new proposal.
Ὁ δὲ ἑξῆς τούτοις πάνυ νεανικῶς [7.347e] ἐπώλει τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ πᾶσαν, ὅπῃ τε καὶ ὅπως ἤθελε καὶ οἷστισι, πρὸς ἐμὲ δὲ οὐδὲν ὅλως ἐφθέγγετο περὶ αὐτῶν, καὶ μὴν ὡσαύτως ἐγὼ πρὸς ἐκεῖνον αὖ περὶ τῶν Δίωνος πραγμάτων οὐδὲν ἔτι διελεγόμην· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἔτι πλέον ᾤμην ποιεῖν. His next step was the brilliant one of selling the whole of Dion's property, using his own discretion with regard to the manner and terms of the sale and of the purchasers. He spoke not a word to me about the matter from beginning to end, and I followed his example and never talked to him again about Dion's affairs; for I did not think that I could do any good by doing so. 
μέχρι μὲν δὴ τούτων ταύτῃ μοι βεβοηθημένον ἐγεγόνει φιλοσοφίᾳ καὶ φίλοις· This is the history so far of my efforts to come to the rescue of philosophy and of my friends.
Τὸ δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐζῶμεν ἐγὼ καὶ [7.348a] Διονύσιος, ἐγὼ μὲν βλέπων ἔξω, καθάπερ ὄρνις ποθῶν ποθεν ἀναπτέσθαι, ὁ δὲ διαμηχανώμενος τίνα τρόπον ἀνασοβήσοι με μηδὲν ἀποδοὺς τῶν Δίωνος· ὅμως δὲ ἔφαμεν ἑταῖροί γε εἶναι πρὸς πᾶσαν Σικελίαν. (53) After this Dionysios and I went on with our daily life, I with my eyes turned abroad like a bird yearning to fly from its perch, and he always devising some new way of scaring me back and of keeping a tight hold on Dion's property. However, we gave out to all Sicily that we were friends.
Τῶν δὴ μισθοφόρων τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους Διονύσιος ἐπεχείρησεν ὀλιγομισθοτέρους ποιεῖν παρὰ τὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἔθη, θυμωθέντες δὲ οἱ στρατιῶται συνελέγησαν ἁθρόοι καὶ οὐκ ἔφασαν ἐπιτρέψειν. Dionysios, now deserting the policy of his father, attempted to lower the pay of the older members of his body guard. The soldiers were furious, and, assembling in great numbers, declared that they would not submit.
Ὁ δ᾽ ἐπεχείρει [7.348b] βιάζεσθαι κλείσας τὰς τῆς ἀκροπόλεως πύλας, οἱ δ᾽ ἐφέροντο εὐθὺς πρὸς τὰ τείχη, παιῶνά τινα ἀναβοήσαντες βάρβαρον καὶ πολεμικόν· οὗ δὴ περιδεὴς Διονύσιος γενόμενος ἅπαντα συνεχώρησεν καὶ ἔτι πλείω τοῖς τότε συλλεχθεῖσι τῶν πελταστῶν. He attempted to use force to them, shutting the gates of the acropolis; but they charged straight for the walls, yelling out an unintelligible and ferocious war cry. Dionysios took fright and conceded all their demands and more to the peltasts then assembled. 
Λόγος δή τις ταχὺ διῆλθεν ὡς Ἡρακλείδης αἴτιος εἴη γεγονὼς πάντων τούτων· (54) A rumour soon spread that Heracleides had been the cause of all the trouble.
ὃν ἀκούσας ὁ μὲν Ἡρακλείδης ἐκποδὼν αὑτὸν ἔσχεν ἀφανῆ, Διονύσιος [7.348c] δὲ ἐζήτει λαβεῖν, ἀπορῶν δέ, Θεοδότην μεταπεμψάμενος εἰς τὸν κῆπον--ἔτυχον δ᾽ ἐν τῷ κήπῳ καὶ ἐγὼ τότε περιπατῶν--τὰ μὲν οὖν ἄλλα οὔτ᾽ οἶδα οὔτ᾽ ἤκουον διαλεγομένων, ἃ δὲ ἐναντίον εἶπεν Θεοδότης ἐμοῦ πρὸς Διονύσιον, οἶδά τε καὶ μέμνημαι. Hearing this, Heracleides kept out of the way. Dionysios was trying to get hold of him, and being unable to do so, sent for Theodotes to come to him in his garden. It happened that I was walking in the garden at the same time. I neither know nor did I hear the rest of what passed between them, but what Theodotes said to Dionysios in my presence I know and remember.
"Πλάτων γάρ," ἔφη, "Διονύσιον ἐγὼ πείθω τουτονί, ἐὰν ἐγὼ γένωμαι δεῦρο Ἡρακλείδην κομίσαι δυνατὸς ἡμῖν εἰς λόγους περὶ τῶν ἐγκλημάτων αὐτῷ τῶν νῦν γεγονότων, ἂν ἄρα μὴ δόξῃ δεῖν αὐτὸν οἰκεῖν ἐν Σικελίᾳ, τόν τε ὑὸν λαβόντα καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα ἀξιῶ εἰς [7.348d] Πελοπόννησον ἀποπλεῖν, οἰκεῖν τε βλάπτοντα μηδὲν Διονύσιον ἐκεῖ, καρπούμενον δὲ τὰ ἑαυτοῦ. "Plato," he said, "I am trying to convince our friend Dionysios that, if I am able to bring Heracleides before us to defend himself on the charges which have been made against him, and if he decides that Heracleides must no longer live in Sicily, he should be allowed (this is my point) to take his son and wife and sail to the Peloponnese and reside there, taking no action there against Dionysios and enjoying the income of his property.
Μετεπεμψάμην μὲν οὖν καὶ πρότερον αὐτόν, μεταπέμψομαι δὲ καὶ νῦν, ἄντ᾽ οὖν ἀπὸ τῆς προτέρας μεταπομπῆς ἄντε καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς νῦν ὑπακούσῃ μοι· Διονύσιον δὲ ἀξιῶ καὶ δέομαι, ἄν τις ἐντυγχάνῃ Ἡρακλείδῃ ἐάντ᾽ ἐν ἀγρῷ ἐάντ᾽ ἐνθάδε, μηδὲν ἄλλο [7.348e] αὐτῷ φλαῦρον γίγνεσθαι, μεταστῆναι δ᾽ ἐκ τῆς χώρας, ἕως ἂν ἄλλο τι Διονυσίῳ δόξῃ. I have already sent for him and will send for him again; and if he comes in obedience either to my former message or to this one-well and good. But I beg and entreat Dionysios that, if anyone finds Heracleides either in the country or here, no harm shall come to him, but that he may retire from the country till Dionysios comes to some other decision.
Ταῦτα," ἔφη, "συγχωρεῖς;" λέγων πρὸς τὸν Διονύσιον. "Συγχωρῶ· μηδ᾽ ἂν πρὸς τῇ σῇ," ἔφη, "φανῇ οἰκίᾳ, πείσεσθαι φλαῦρον μηδὲν παρὰ τὰ νῦν εἰρημένα." Do you agree to this?" he added, addressing Dionysios. "I agree," he replied, "that even if he is found at your house, no harm shall be done to him beyond what has now been said." 
Τῇ δὴ μετὰ ταύτην τὴν ἡμέραν δείλης Εὐρύβιος καὶ Θεοδότης προσηλθέτην μοι σπουδῇ τεθορυβημένω θαυμαστῶς, καὶ Θεοδότης λέγει, "Πλάτων," ἔφη, "παρῆσθα χθὲς οἷς περὶ Ἡρακλείδου Διονύσιος ὡμολόγει πρὸς ἐμὲ καὶ σέ;"  (55) On the following day Eurybios and Theodotes came to me in the evening, both greatly disturbed. Theodotes said, "Plato, you were present yesterday during the promises made by Dionysios to me and to you about Heracleides?"
"πῶς δὲ οὔκ;" ἔφην. "Certainly," I replied.
"Νῦν τοίνυν," ἦ δ᾽ ὅς, "περιθέουσιν πελτασταὶ λαβεῖν Ἡρακλείδην ζητοῦντες, ὁ δὲ εἶναί πῃ ταύτῃ κινδυνεύει· ἀλλ᾽ ἡμῖν," ἔφη, [7.349a] "συνακολούθησον πρὸς Διονύσιον ἁπάσῃ μηχανῇ." "Well," he continued, "at this moment peltasts are scouring the country seeking to arrest Heracleides; and he must be somewhere in this neighbourhood. For Heaven's sake come with us to Dionysios."
ᾨχόμεθα οὖν καὶ εἰσήλθομεν παρ᾽ αὐτόν, καὶ τὼ μὲν ἑστάτην σιγῇ δακρύοντε, ἐγὼ δὲ εἶπον· "οἵδε πεφόβηνται μή τι σὺ παρὰ τὰ χθὲς ὡμολογημένα ποιήσῃς περὶ Ἡρακλείδην νεώτερον· δοκεῖ γάρ μοι ταύτῃ πῃ γεγονέναι φανερὸς ἀποτετραμμένος." So we went and stood in the presence of Dionysios; and those two stood shedding silent tears, while I said: "These men are afraid that you may take strong measures with regard to Heracleides contrary to what was agreed yesterday. For it seems that he has returned and has been seen somewhere about here."
Ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας ἀνεφλέχθη τε καὶ παντοδαπὰ χρώματα ἧκεν, οἷ᾽ ἂν θυμούμενος ἀφείη· προσπεσὼν δ᾽ αὐτῷ [7.349b] ὁ Θεοδότης, λαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς ἐδάκρυσέν τε καὶ ἱκέτευεν μηδὲν τοιοῦτον ποιεῖν, ὑπολαβὼν δ᾽ ἐγὼ παραμυθούμενος, "θάρρει, Θεοδότα," ἔφην· "οὐ γὰρ τολμήσει Διονύσιος παρὰ τὰ χθὲς ὡμολογημένα ἄλλα ποτὲ δρᾶν." On hearing this he blazed up and turned all colours, as a man would in a rage. Theodotes, falling before him in tears, took his hand and entreated him to do nothing of the sort. But I broke in and tried to encourage him, saying: "Be of good cheer, Theodotes; Dionysios will not have the heart to take any fresh step contrary to his promises of yesterday."
Καὶ ὃς ἐμβλέψας μοι καὶ μάλα τυραννικῶς, "σοί," ἔφη, "ἐγὼ οὔτε τι σμικρὸν οὔτε μέγα ὡμολόγησα." Fixing his eye on me, and assuming his most autocratic air he said, "To you I promised nothing small or great."
"Νὴ τοὺς θεούς," ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, "σύ γε, ταῦτα ἃ σοῦ νῦν οὗτος δεῖται μὴ ποιεῖν·" καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα ἀποστρεφόμενος ᾠχόμην ἔξω. "By the gods," I said, "you did promise that forbearance for which our friend here now appeals." With these words I turned away and went out.
Τὸ μετὰ [7.349c] ταῦτα ὁ μὲν ἐκυνήγει τὸν Ἡρακλείδην, Θεοδότης δὲ ἀγγέλους πέμπων Ἡρακλείδῃ φεύγειν διεκελεύετο. After this he continued the hunt for Heracleides, and Theodotes, sending messages, urged Heracleides to take flight.
Ὁ δὲ ἐκπέμψας Τεισίαν καὶ πελταστὰς διώκειν ἐκέλευε· φθάνει δέ, ὡς ἐλέγετο, Ἡρακλείδης εἰς τὴν Καρχηδονίων ἐπικράτειαν ἐκφυγὼν ἡμέρας σμικρῷ τινι μέρει. Dionysios sent out Teisias and some peltasts with orders to pursue him. But Heracleides, as it was said, was just in time, by a small fraction of a day, in making his escape into Carthaginian territory.
Τὸ δὴ μετὰ τοῦτο ἡ πάλαι ἐπιβουλὴ Διονυσίῳ τοῦ μὴ ἀποδοῦναι τὰ Δίωνος χρήματα ἔδοξεν ἔχθρας λόγον ἔχειν ἂν πρός με πιθανόν, καὶ πρῶτον μὲν ἐκ τῆς ἀκροπόλεως ἐκπέμπει με, εὑρὼν[7.349d] πρόφασιν ὡς τὰς γυναῖκας ἐν τῷ κήπῳ, ἐν ᾧ κατῴκουν ἐγώ, δέοι θῦσαι θυσίαν τινὰ δεχήμερον·  (56) After this Dionysios thought that his long cherished scheme not to restore Dion's property would give him a plausible excuse for hostility towards me; and first of all he sent me out of the acropolis, finding a pretext that the women were obliged to hold a sacrificial service for ten days in the garden in which I had my lodging.
ἔξω δή με παρ᾽ Ἀρχεδήμῳ προσέταττεν τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον μεῖναι. He therefore ordered me to stay outside in the house of Archedemos during this period.
Ὄντος δ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἐκεῖ, Θεοδότης μεταπεμψάμενός με πολλὰ περὶ τῶν τότε πραχθέντων ἠγανάκτει καὶ ἐμέμφετο Διονυσίῳ·  While I was there, Theodotes sent for me and made a great outpouring of indignation at these occurrences, throwing the blame on Dionysios. 
ὁ δ᾽ ἀκούσας ὅτι παρὰ Θεοδότην εἴην εἰσεληλυθώς, πρόφασιν [7.349e] αὖ ταύτην ἄλλην τῆς πρὸς ἐμὲ διαφορᾶς ποιούμενος, ἀδελφὴν τῆς πρόσθεν, πέμψας τινὰ ἠρώτα με εἰ συγγιγνοίμην ὄντως μεταπεμψαμένου με Θεοδότου. Hearing that I had been to see Theodotes he regarded this, as another excuse, sister to the previous one, for quarrelling with me. Sending a messenger he enquired if I had really been conferring with Theodotes on his invitation
Κἀγώ, "παντάπασιν," ἔφην· "Certainly," I replied,
ὁ δέ, "ἐκέλευε τοίνυν," ἔφη, "σοὶ φράζειν ὅτι καλῶς οὐδαμῇ ποιεῖς Δίωνα καὶ τοὺς Δίωνος φίλους ἀεὶ περὶ πλείονος αὐτοῦ ποιούμενος." "Well," continued the messenger, "he ordered me to tell you that you are not acting at all well in preferring always Dion and Dion's friends to him."
Ταῦτ᾽ ἐρρήθη, καὶ οὐκέτι μετεπέμψατό με εἰς τὴν οἴκησιν πάλιν, ὡς ἤδη σαφῶς Θεοδότου μὲν ὄντος μου καὶ Ἡρακλείδου φίλου, αὐτοῦ δ᾽ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐκ εὐνοεῖν ᾤετό με, ὅτι Δίωνι τὰ χρήματα ἔρρει παντελῶς. And he did not send for me to return to his house, as though it were now clear that Theodotes and Heracleides were my friends, and he my enemy. He also thought that I had no kind feelings towards him because the property of Dion was now entirely done for.
[7.350a] ᾬκουν δὴ τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο ἔξω τῆς ἀκροπόλεως ἐν τοῖς μισθοφόροις· (58) After this I resided outside the acropolis among the mercenaries.
προσιόντες δέ μοι ἄλλοι τε καὶ οἱ τῶν ὑπηρεσιῶν ὄντες Ἀθήνηθεν, ἐμοὶ πολῖται, ἀπήγγελλον ὅτι διαβεβλημένος εἴην ἐν τοῖς πελτασταῖς καί μοί τινες ἀπειλοῖεν, εἴ που λήψονταί με, διαφθερεῖν. Various people then came to me, among them those of the ships' crews who came from Athens, my own fellow citizens, and reported that I was evil spoken of among the peltasts, and that some of them were threatening to make an end of me, if they could ket hold of me 
Μηχανῶμαι δή τινα τοιάνδε σωτηρίαν. Accordingly I devised the following plan for my safety.
Πέμπω παρ᾽ Ἀρχύτην καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους φίλους εἰς Τάραντα, φράζων ἐν οἷς ὢν τυγχάνω· (59) I sent to Archytes and my other friends in Taras, telling them the plight I was in.
οἱ δὲ πρόφασίν τινα πρεσβείας πορισάμενοι παρὰ τῆς πόλεως πέμπουσιν [7.350b] τριακόντορόν τε καὶ Λαμίσκον αὑτῶν ἕνα, ὃς ἐλθὼν ἐδεῖτο Διονυσίου περὶ ἐμοῦ, λέγων ὅτι βουλοίμην ἀπιέναι, καὶ μηδαμῶς ἄλλως ποιεῖν. Finding some excuse for an embassy from their city, they sent a thirty-oared galley with Lamiscos, one of themselves, who came and entreated Dionysios about me, saying that I wanted to go, and that he should on no account stand in my way.
Ὁ δὲ συνωμολόγησεν καὶ ἀπέπεμψεν ἐφόδια δούς, τῶν Δίωνος δὲ χρημάτων οὔτ᾽ ἐγὼ ἔτι ἀπῄτουν οὔτε τις ἀπέδωκεν. He consented and allowed me to go, giving me money for the journey. But for Dion's property I made no further request, nor was any of it restored.
Ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς Πελοπόννησον εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν, Δίωνα καταλαβὼν θεωροῦντα, ἤγγελλον τὰ γεγονότα·  (60) I made my way to the Peloponnese to Olympia, where I found Dion a spectator at the Games, and told him what had occurred.
ὁ δὲ τὸν Δία ἐπιμαρτυράμενος εὐθὺς παρήγγελλεν ἐμοὶ καὶ τοῖς ἐμοῖς [7.350c] οἰκείοις καὶ φίλοις παρασκευάζεσθαι τιμωρεῖσθαι Διονύσιον, ἡμᾶς μὲν ξεναπατίας χάριν--οὕτω γὰρ ἔλεγέν τε καὶ ἐνόει-- αὐτὸν δ᾽ ἐκβολῆς ἀδίκου καὶ φυγῆς. Calling Zeus to be his witness, he at once urged me with my relatives and friends to make preparations for taking vengeance on Dionysios-our ground for action being the breach of faith to a guest-so he put it and regarded it, while his own was his unjust expulsion and banishment.
Ἀκούσας δ᾽ ἐγὼ τοὺς μὲν φίλους παρακαλεῖν αὐτὸν ἐκέλευον, εἰ βούλοιντο· Hearing this, I told him that he might call my friends to his aid, if they wished to go; 
"ἐμὲ δ᾽" εἶπον ὅτι "σὺ μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων βίᾳ τινὰ τρόπον σύσσιτον καὶ συνέστιον καὶ κοινωνὸν ἱερῶν Διονυσίῳ ἐποίησας, ὃς ἴσως ἡγεῖτο διαβαλλόντων πολλῶν ἐπιβουλεύειν ἐμὲ μετὰ σοῦ ἑαυτῷ καὶ τῇ τυραννίδι, καὶ ὅμως οὐκ ἀπέκτεινεν, [7.350d] ᾐδέσθη δέ. "But for myself," I continued, "you and others in a way forced me to be the sharer of Dionysios' table and hearth and his associate in the acts of religion. He probably believed the current slanders, that I was plotting with you against him and his despotic rule; yet feelings of scruple prevailed with him, and he spared my life.
Οὔτ᾽ οὖν ἡλικίαν ἔχω συμπολεμεῖν ἔτι σχεδὸν οὐδενί, κοινός τε ὑμῖν εἰμι, ἄν ποτέ τι πρὸς ἀλλήλους δεηθέντες φιλίας ἀγαθόν τι ποιεῖν βουληθῆτε· κακὰ δὲ ἕως ἂν ἐπιθυμῆτε, ἄλλους παρακαλεῖτε." Again, I am hardly of the age for being comrade in arms to anyone; also I stand as a neutral between you, if ever you desire friendship and wish to benefit one another; so long as you aim at injuring one another, call others to your aid."
Ταῦτα εἶπον μεμισηκὼς τὴν περὶ Σικελίαν πλάνην καὶ ἀτυχίαν· ἀπειθοῦντες δὲ καὶ οὐ πειθόμενοι ταῖς ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ διαλλάξεσιν πάντων τῶν νῦν γεγονότων κακῶν αὐτοὶ αἴτιοι ἐγένοντο αὑτοῖς, ὧν, εἰ Διονύσιος [7.350e] ἀπέδωκεν τὰ χρήματα Δίωνι ἢ καὶ παντάπασι κατηλλάγη, οὐκ ἄν ποτε ἐγένετο οὐδέν, ὅσα γε δὴ τἀνθρώπινα--Δίωνα γὰρ ἐγὼ καὶ τῷ βούλεσθαι καὶ τῷ δύνασθαι κατεῖχον ἂν ῥᾳδίως--νῦν δὲ ὁρμήσαντες ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλους κακῶν πάντα ἐμπεπλήκασιν. This I said, because I was disgusted with my misguided journeyings to Sicily and my ill-fortune there. But they disobeyed me and would not listen to my attempts at reconciliation, and so brought on their own heads all the evils which have since taken place. For if Dionysios had restored to Dion his property or been reconciled with him on any terms, none of these things would have happened, so far as human foresight can foretell. Dion would have easily been kept in check by my wishes and influence. But now, rushing upon one another, they have caused universal disaster. 
[7.351a] Καίτοι τήν γε αὐτὴν Δίων εἶχεν βούλησιν ἥνπερ ἂν ἐγὼ φαίην δεῖν ἐμὲ καὶ ἄλλον, ὅστις μέτριος, περί τε τῆς αὑτοῦ δυνάμεως καὶ φίλων καὶ περὶ πόλεως τῆς αὑτοῦ διανοοῖτ᾽ ἂν εὐεργετῶν ἐν δυνάμει καὶ τιμαῖσιν γενέσθαι τὰ μέγιστα ἐν ταῖς μεγίσταις. (61) Dion's aspiration however was the same that I should say my own or that of any other right-minded man ought to be. With regard to his own power, his friends and his country the ideal of such a man would be to win the greatest power and honour by rendering the greatest services.
Ἔστιν δὲ οὐκ ἄν τις πλούσιον ἑαυτὸν ποιήσῃ καὶ ἑταίρους καὶ πόλιν, ἐπιβουλεύσας καὶ συνωμότας συναγαγών, πένης ὢν καὶ ἑαυτοῦ μὴ κρατῶν, ὑπὸ δειλίας τῆς πρὸς τὰς ἡδονὰς ἡττημένος, [7.351b] εἶτα τοὺς τὰς οὐσίας κεκτημένους ἀποκτείνας, ἐχθροὺς καλῶν τούτους, διαφορῇ τὰ τούτων χρήματα καὶ τοῖς συνεργοῖς τε καὶ ἑταίροις παρακελεύηται ὅπως μηδεὶς αὐτῷ ἐγκαλεῖ πένης φάσκων εἶναι· And this end is not attained if a man gets riches for himself, his supporters and his country, by forming plots and getting together conspirators, being all the while a poor creature, not master of himself, overcome by the cowardice which fears to fight against pleasures; nor is it attained if he goes on to kill the men of substance, whom he speaks of as the enemy, and to plunder their possessions, and invites his confederates and supporters to do the same, with the object that no one shall say that it is his fault, if he complains of being poor.
ταὐτὸν δὲ καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἂν οὕτω τις εὐεργετῶν τιμᾶται ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς, τοῖς πολλοῖς τὰ τῶν ὀλίγων ὑπὸ ψηφισμάτων διανέμων, ἢ μεγάλης προεστὼς πόλεως καὶ πολλῶν ἀρχούσης ἐλαττόνων, τῇ ἑαυτοῦ πόλει τὰ τῶν σμικροτέρων [7.351c] χρήματα διανέμῃ μὴ κατὰ δίκην. The same is true if anyone renders services of this kind to the State and receives honours from her for distributing by decrees the property of the few among the many-or if, being in charge the affairs of a great State which rules over many small ones, he unjustly appropriates to his own State the possessions of the small ones.
Οὕτω μὲν γὰρ οὔτε Δίων οὔτε ἄλλος πετὲ οὐδεὶς ἐπὶ δύναμιν ἑκὼν εἶσιν ἀλιτηριώδη ἑαυτῷ τε καὶ γένει εἰς τὸν ἀεὶ χρόνον, ἐπὶ πολιτείαν δὲ καὶ νόμων κατασκευὴν τῶν δικαιοτάτων τε καὶ ἀρίστων, οὔ τι δι᾽ ὀλιγίστων θανάτων καὶ φόνων γιγνομένην· For neither a Dion nor any other man will, with his eyes open, make his way by steps like these to a power which will be fraught with destruction to himself and his descendants for all time; but he will advance towards constitutional government and the framing of the justest and best laws, reaching these ends without executions and murders even on the smallest scale.
ἃ δὴ δίων νῦν πράττων, προτιμήσας τὸ πάσχειν ἀνόσια τοῦ δρᾶσαι πρότερον, διευλαβούμενος δὲ μὴ παθεῖν, ὅμως ἔπταισεν ἐπ᾽ ἄκρον ἐλθὼν τοῦ περιγενέσθαι τῶν [7.351d] ἐχθρῶν, θαυμαστὸν παθὼν οὐδέν. (62) This course Dion actually followed, thinking it preferable to suffer iniquitous deeds rather than to do them; but, while taking precautions against them, he nevertheless, when he had reached the climax of victory over his enemies, took a false step and fell, a catastrophe not at all surprising.
Ὅσιος γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀνοσίων πέρι, σώφρων τε καὶ ἔμφρων, τὸ μὲν ὅλον οὐκ ἄν ποτε διαψευσθείη τῆς ψυχῆς τῶν τοιούτων πέρι, κυβερνήτου δὲ ἀγαθοῦ πάθος ἂν ἴσως οὐ θαυμαστὸν εἰ πάθοι, ὃν χειμὼν μὲν ἐσόμενος οὐκ ἂν πάνυ λάθοι, χειμώνων δὲ ἐξαίσιον καὶ ἀπροσδόκητον μέγεθος λάθοι τ᾽ ἂν καὶ λαθὸν κατακλύσειεν βίᾳ. For a man of piety, temperance and wisdom, when dealing with the impious, would not be entirely blind to the character of such men, but it would perhaps not be surprising if he suffered the catastrophe that might befall a good ship's captain, who would not be entirely unaware of the approach of a storm, but might be unaware of its extraordinary and startling violence, and might therefore be overwhelmed by its force. 
Ταὐτὸν δὴ καὶ Δίωνα ἔσφηλεν· κακοὶ μὲν γὰρ ὄντες αὐτὸν σφόδρα οὐκ ἔλαθον οἱ σφήλαντες, ὅσον δὲ ὕψος ἀμαθίας [7.351e] εἶχον καὶ τῆς ἄλλης μοχθηρίας τε καὶ λαιμαργίας, ἔλαθον, ᾧ δὴ σφαλεὶς κεῖται, Σικελίαν πένθει περιβαλὼν μυρίῳ. The same thing caused Dion's downfall. For he was not unaware that his assailants were thoroughly bad men, but he was unaware how high a pitch of infatuation and of general wickedness and greed they had reached. This was the cause of his downfall, which has involved Sicily in countless sorrows. 
[7.352a] Τὰ δὴ μετὰ τὰ νῦν ῥηθέντα ἃ συμβουλεύω, σχεδὸν εἴρηταί τέ μοι καὶ εἰρήσθω· ὧν δ᾽ ἐπανέλαβον ἕνεκα τὴν εἰς Σικελίαν ἄφιξιν τὴν δευτέραν, ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι ἔδοξέ μοι ῥηθῆναι δεῖν διὰ τὴν ἀτοπίαν καὶ ἀλογίαν τῶν γενομένων. (63) As to the steps which should be taken after the events which I have now related, my advice has been given pretty fully and may be regarded as finished; and if you ask my reasons for recounting the story of my second journey to Sicily, it seemed to me essential that an account of it must be given because of the strange and paradoxical character of the incidents.
Εἰ δ᾽ ἄρα τινὶ νῦν ῥηθέντα εὐλογώτερα ἐφάνη καὶ προφάσεις πρὸς τὰ γενόμενα ἱκανὰς ἔχειν ἔδοξέν τῳ, μετρίως ἂν ἡμῖν καὶ ἱκανῶς εἴη τὰ νῦν εἰρημένα. If in this present account of them they appear to anyone more intelligible, and seem to anyone to show sufficient grounds in view of the circumstances, the present statement is adequate and not too lengthy. 

 

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Ιανουάριος 2001