1.4

τούτοις οὖν ἐντυχὼν ἅπασιν, τοῦ ψεύσασθαι μὲν οὐ σφόδρα τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐμεμψάμην, ὁρῶν ἤδη σύνηθες ὂν τοῦτο καὶ τοῖς φιλοσοφεῖν ὑπισχνουμένοις· ἐκεῖνο δὲ αὐτῶν ἐθαύμασα, εἰ ἐνόμιζον λήσειν οὐκ ἀληθῆ συγγράφοντες. διόπερ καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπὸ κενοδοξίας ἀπολιπεῖν τι σπουδάσας τοῖς μεθ᾽ ἡμᾶς, ἵνα μὴ μόνος ἄμοιρος ὦ τῆς ἐν τῷ μυθολογεῖν ἐλευθερίας, ἐπεὶ μηδὲν ἀληθὲς ἱστορεῖν εἶχον - οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐπεπόνθειν ἀξιόλογον - ἐπὶ τὸ ψεῦδος ἐτραπόμην πολὺ τῶν ἄλλων εὐγνωμονέστερον· κἂν ἓν γὰρ δὴ τοῦτο ἀληθεύσω λέγων ὅτι ψεύδομαι. οὕτω δ᾽ ἄν μοι δοκῶ καὶ τὴν παρὰ τῶν ἄλλων κατηγορίαν ἐκφυγεῖν αὐτὸς ὁμολογῶν μηδὲν ἀληθὲς λέγειν. γράφω τοίνυν περὶ ὧν μήτε εἶδον μήτε ἔπαθον μήτε παρ᾽ ἄλλων ἐπυθόμην, ἔτι δὲ μήτε ὅλως ὄντων μήτε τὴν ἀρχὴν γενέσθαι δυναμένων. διὸ δεῖ τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντας μηδαμῶς πιστεύειν αὐτοῖς.

ἐντυχών: aor. part. of ἐντυγχάνω, "having read" (+ dat.).

τοῦ ψεύσασθαι: "for lying" gen. of articular infin. after ἐμεμψάμην. See G. 576 for this use of the articular infin. as a gen. of cause (sometimes in conjunction with the prepositions ἕνεκα or ὑπέρ; cf. S. 2032).

ἐμεμψάμην: aor. 1 sg. dep. of μέμφομαι, "I didn't fault..."

σύνηθες ὂν τοῦτο: indir. statement after ὁρῶν, "seeing that this was (ὄν) customary" (S. 2110; G. 586).

καὶ τοῖς φιλοσοφεῖν ὑπισχνουμένοις: "even to those professing to philosophize." This is the meaning of ὑπισχνέομαι with a present infinitive.

ἐκεῖνο δὲ αὐτῶν "that thing of theirs" anticipates and so emphasizes the following εἰ clause and need not be rendered in translation.

θαυμάζω, εἰ ἐνόμιζον: "and Ι wonder that they thought," εἰ serving to soften the statement and make it more polite (a common construction after θαυμάζω: G. 654).

λήσειν: fut. infin. of λανθάνω in indir. statement after ἐνόμιζον, "that they would get away with not writing the truth."

ὑπὸ κενοδοξίας: "under the sway of (my) vanity."

τοῖς μεθ᾽ ἡμᾶς: "those after us" (i.e. posterity).

ἵνα μὴ μόνος ἄμοιρος ὦ: "so that I alone may not be portionless" (S. 2193 and 2196; G. 636 and 642).

ἐν τῷ μυθολογεῖν: "in mythmaking" (S. 2032b).

μηδὲν ἀληθὲς ἱστορεῖν εἶχον: "I had nothing true to report" (infin. used to define the meaning of the adj.: S. 2001). See also G. 565b which cites a similar phrase in Sophocles (OT 119): οὐδὲν εἶχε φράσαι "he had nothing to tell."

ἐπεπόνθειν: 1 sg. plup. of πάσχω, "I had experienced." Note that Lucian often uses pluperfects in subordinate clauses where classical authors typically use the aorist.

ἐτραπόμην: aor. mid. of τρέπω, "I turned myself."

κἄν: crasis for καὶ ἄν. The particle ἄν rarely appears with the future indicative and signals an implicit conditional assertion or has a qualifying effect on the clause (S. 1793; G. 666a; see Jerram ad loc.). Jerram cites Plato Rep. 615d3: οὐδ᾿ἂν ἥξει δεῦρο "nor will he likely come here." Lucian is similarly using ἄν here to qualify the main clause and so the sentence means: "For I will likely be telling the truth when saying this one thing, namely that I am lying." ἄν can also accompany the imperfect and aorist indicative to suggest that the action is expected or probably true (G. 461b and G. 467b).

ἄν...ἐκφυγεῖν: the potential optative becomes an infinitive after δοκῶ, "I think that I might escape...." (S. 1846).

αὐτὸς ὁμολογῶν: "by myself admitting that...."

περὶ ὧν = περὶ ἐκείνων ἅ "about the things which" as often happens, the relative pronoun has been attracted into the case of the missing antecedent (S. 2522a; G. 613b and 614). It is especially common in such situations to have the relative pronoun shift from the accus. to the gen. or dat. case.

ἔπαθον: aor. of πάσχω, "I experienced."

ἐπυθόμην: aor. of πυνθάνομαι, "I learned."

μήτε ὅλως ὄντων: "nor actually exist."

τὴν ἀρχήν:  "in the first place" "at all" (S. 1600 and 1601b).

γενέσθαι δυναμένων: "are able to exist."

VERB LIST

ἐντυγχάνω: fall in with, read (+ dat.)

ψεύδω: cheat by lies, beguile

σφόδρα: very, much

μέμφομαι: blame, find fault with, censure

συνήθης, -ες: customary, habitual, usual

φιλοσοφέω: love knowledge, philosophize

ὑπισχνέομαι: promise, engage, profess

συγγράφω: write, compose a work

διόπερ: (conj.) for this reason, wherefore, on which account

κενοδοξία, ἡ: liability to vain imagination

ἀπολείπω: leave behind

σπουδάζω: be eager, make haste (to + infin.)

ἄμοιρος, -ον: without share in, portionless (+ gen.)

μυθολογέω: tell mythic tales or legends

ἐλευθερία, ἡ: freedom, liberty

ἱστορέω: record, give an account of

ἀξιόλογος, -ον: worthy of mention, noteworthy

ψεῦδος, -ους, τό: a lie

εὐγνώμων, -ον, (gen. -ονος): kindhearted, considerate; prudent, sensible

ἀληθεύω: speak truth

ψεύδω: lie

κατηγορία, ἡ: an accusation, charge

ἐκφεύγω: flee, escape

ὅλως: entirely

διό: therefore, for this reason

μηδαμῶς  in no way, not at all, certainly not

ἐντυγχάνω: meet with, read (+ dat.)

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Suggested Citation

Eric Casey, Stephen Nimis, and Evan Hayes, Lucian: True History, Book 1. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-05-4. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/lucian-true/book-1/1-4