2.17

Βούλομαι δὲ εἰπεῖν καὶ τῶν ἐπισήμων οὕστινας παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἐθεασάμην· πάντας μὲν τοὺς ἡμιθέους καὶ τοὺς ἐπὶ Ἴλιον στρατεύσαντας πλήν γε δὴ τοῦ Λοκροῦ Αἴαντος, ἐκεῖνον δὲ μόνον ἔφασκον ἐν τῷ τῶν ἀσεβῶν χώρῳ κολάζεσθαι, βαρβάρων δὲ Κύρους τε ἀμφοτέρους καὶ τὸν Σκύθην Ἀνάχαρσιν καὶ τὸν Θρᾷκα Ζάμολξιν καὶ Νομᾶν τὸν Ἰταλιώτην, καὶ μὴν καὶ Λυκοῦργον τὸν Λακεδαιμόνιον καὶ Φωκίωνα καὶ Τέλλον τοὺς Ἀθηναίους, καὶ τοὺς σοφοὺς ἄνευ Περιάνδρου. εἶδον δὲ καὶ Σωκράτη τὸν Σωφρονίσκου ἀδολεσχοῦντα μετὰ Νέστορος καὶ Παλαμήδους· περὶ δὲ αὐτὸν ἦσαν Ὑάκινθός τε ὁ Λακεδαιμόνιος καὶ ὁ Θεσπιεὺς Νάρκισσος καὶ Ὕλας καὶ ἄλλοι καλοί. καί μοι ἐδόκει ἐρᾶν τοῦ Ὑακίνθου· τὰ πολλὰ γοῦν ἐκεῖνον διήλεγχεν. ἐλέγετο δὲ χαλεπαίνειν αὐτῷ ὁ Ῥαδάμανθυς καὶ ἠπειληκέναι πολλάκις ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτὸν ἐκ τῆς νήσου, ἢν φλυαρῇ καὶ μὴ ἐθέλῃ ἀφεὶς τὴν εἰρωνείαν εὐωχεῖσθαι. Πλάτων δὲ μόνος οὐ παρῆν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐλέγετο [καὶ] αὐτὸς ἐν τῇ ἀναπλασθείσῃ ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ πόλει οἰκεῖν χρώμενος τῇ πολιτείᾳ καὶ τοῖς νόμοις οἷς συνέγραψεν. 

The narrator now names many of the famous souls he saw there: heroes, barbarians, Greeks, and finally philosophers.

ἐπισήμων (sc. ἀνθρώπων): “the famous men”

οὕστινας: acc. pl. relative pronoun, “whom”

πλήν γε δὴ: “except, of course…”

τοῦ Λοκροῦ Αἴαντος: the Locrian Aias (vs. Telamonion Aias) was guilty of an outrage against Athena and punished by her on his way home from the Trojan War.

ἐκεῖνον ἔφασκον κολάζεσθαι: ind. st. “that he was being punished”

βαρβάρων: gen. pl. “of the Barbarians”

Κύρους ἀμφοτέρους: “both Cyruses.”  i.e. Cyrus the Great d. 535 and Cyrus the Younger d. 401.  

τὸν Σκύθην Ἀνάχαρσιν: Anacharsis, a 6th century Scythian who visited Athens.  Lucian wrote a dialogue about him.

τὸν Θρᾷκα Ζάμολξιν: Zalmoxis the Thracian was a legendary social and religious reformer, whose story is told in Herodotus, Histories 4.95-6

Νομᾶν τὸν Ἰταλιώτην: Numa was the legendary second king of Rome from 715-673, famous as a law-giver.  Plutarch wrote a biography of him.

Λυκοῦργον τὸν Λακεδαιμόνιον:  Lycurgus the Spartan (ca. 800–730), was the famous law-giver who established the Spartan military regime.  One of Plutarch's parallel lives compared Lycurgus and Numa.

Φωκίωνα καὶ Τέλλον τοὺς Ἀθηναίους: Phocion was a 4th C. Athenian statesman about whom Plutarch wrote a biography; Tellus the Athenian was identified by Solon as the most fortunate man he knew in a famous encounter with Croesus (Herodotus, Histories 1.30-1).

Περιάνδρου: Periander of Corinth, one of the traditional “wise men” of Greece, but here is excluded, because of his reputation as a tyrant.  His story is told in Herodotus, Histories 4.91-3.

Σωκράτη τὸν Σωφρονίσκου: Socrates the son of Sophron, the famous Athenian philosopher, known to us from the dialogues of Plato; he was famous for his “irony” and also for his delight in beautiful young men.

Νέστορος: Nestor was famous for his wisdom in the Iliad.

Παλαμήδους: Palamedes earned the hatred of Odysseus who contrived to have him killed at Troy.  He is cited by Socrates in the Apology as a victim of injustice.

Ὑάκινθός ὁ Λακεδαιμόνιος: Hyacinthus, beloved of Apollo who accidentally killed him by a discus throw.

ὁ Θεσπιεὺς Νάρκισσος:  Narcissus fell in love with his own beautiful image and was turned into a flower.

Ὕλας: Hylas was beloved of Heracles and lost to him in the course of the voyage of the Argonauts.

(sc. Σωκράτης) ἐδόκει ἐρᾶν: “seemed to love.”

χαλεπαίνειν: infinitives with ἐλέγετο, “R. was said to be angry...”

ἠπειληκέναι: inf. perf. of ἀπειλέω after ἐλέγετο, “was said to have threatened”

ἐκβαλεῖν: ao. inf. of ἐκβάλλω complementing ἠπειληκέναι, “to evict him”

ἢν φλυαρῇ καὶ μὴ ἐθέλῃ: subj. in pres. general condition, “if he kept playing the fool and kept refusing (didn't wish to) ...”

ἀφεὶς: ao. part. nom. s. of ἀφίημι, “giving up”

τὴν εἰρωνείαν: “his famous irony”

εὐωχεῖσθαι: pr. inf. mid., complementing ἐθέλῃ, “to be merry”

Πλάτων: Plato, the great philosopher of Athens, whose political works include the Laws and the Republic.  In the latter work an ideal government is imagined as an exercise for understanding the concept of justice.

Πλάτων...ἐλέγετο...οἰκεῖν: ind. st., “Plato was said to live”

ἀναπλασθείσῃ: ao. part. pas. dat. s. οf ἀναπλάττω, modifying πόλει, “made up”

τῇ πολιτείᾳ καὶ τοῖς νόμοις: Plato᾽s dialogues, the Republic and the Laws

ἐπίσημος, -ον: having a mark on

θεάομαι: look on, gaze at, view, behold

ἡμίθεος, ὁ: a half-god, demigod

Ἴλιος, -ου, ὁ: Ilium or Troy

στρατεύω: serve in war

Λοκρός: Locrian

Αἴας, -αντος, ὁ: Ajax

φάσκω: say, affirm, assert

ἀσεβής, -ές: ungodly, godless, unholy, profane

χῶρος, ὁ: ground, place

κολάζω: punish

Κῦρος, ὁ: Cyrus

Σκύθης, -ου: a Scythian

Θρᾷξ, Θρᾳκός, ὁ: a Thracian;

Ἰταλιώτης, ου: an Italian

Ἀθηναῖος: Athenian

ἀδολεσχέω: talk idly, prate

διελέγχω: refute utterly

χαλεπαίνω: be severe, sore, grievous

ἀπειλέω: threaten

ἐκβάλλω: throw or cast out of

φλυαρέω: talk nonsense, play the fool

ἀφίημι: send forth, discharge

εἰρωνεία, ἡ: dissimulation, irony

εὐωχέω: entertain sumptuously

ἀναπλάσσω: form anew, remodel

συγγράφω: write or note down

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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-2/2-17