τὸ παιδάριον, ὃ νῦν τιθηνεῖθ’ ἡ γυνή,
Ὀνήσιμ’, ἔνδον, οὗτος εὗρεν ἁνθρακεύς;465
ὡς κομψόν, τάλαν.
τὸν δακτύλιον ἐπόντα τοὐμοῦ δεσπότου.
αἴ, δύσμορ’· εἶτ’ εἰ τρόφιμος ὄντως ἐστί σου,
τρεφόμενον ὄψει τοῦτον ἐν δούλου μέρει,
κοὐκ ἂν δικαίως ἀποθάνοις;470
τὴν μητέρ’ οὐδεὶς οἶδεν.
ἀπέβαλεν δέ, φῄς,
παροινῶν γ’, ὡς ἐμοὶ
τὸ παιδάριον εἶφ’ ἁκόλουθος.
εἰς τὰς γυναῖκας παννυχιζούσας μόνας
ἐνέπεσε· κἀμοῦ γὰρ παρούσης ἐγένετο475
Ταυροπολίοις· παισὶν γὰρ ἔψαλλον κόραις,
αὕτη θ’ ὁμοῦ συνέπαιζεν. οὐδ’ ἐγὼ τότε,
οὔπω γάρ, ἄνδρ’ ἤιδειν τί ἐστι.
μὰ τὴν Ἀφροδίτην.480
τὴν δὲ παῖδά γ’ ἥτις ἦν
πυθοίμην ἄν· παρ’ αἷς γὰρ ἦν ἐγὼ
γυναιξί, τούτων ἦν φίλη.
οὐδὲν οἶδα· πλὴν ἰδοῦσά γε
γνοίην ἂν αὐτήν. εὐπρεπής τις, ὦ θεοί·
καὶ πλουσίαν ἔφασάν τινα.485
αὕτη ’στιν τυχόν.
οὐκ οἶδ’· ἐπλανήθη γὰρ μεθ’ ἡμῶν οὖσ’ ἐκεῖ,
εἶτ’ ἐξαπίνης κλάουσα προστρέχει μόνη,
τίλλουσ’ ἑαυτῆς τὰς τρίχας, καλὸν πάνυ
καὶ λεπτόν, ὦ θεοί, ταραντῖνον σφόδρα
ἀπολωλεκυῖ’· ὅλον γὰρ ἐγεγόνει ῥάκος.490
καὶ τοῦτον εἶχεν;
εἶχ’ ἴσως, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐμοὶ
ἔδειξεν· οὐ γὰρ ψεύσομαι.
τί χρὴ ποεῖν
παιδάριον -ου τό: little boy
ἀνθρακεύς -έως ὁ: charcoal-burner
κομψός -ή -όν: nice, refined, gentlemanly
τάλας τάλαινα τάλαν: sorry, wretched
αἴ: (a sound expressing pain)
δακτύλιος,-ου ὁ: ring, signet
δύσμορος,-ον: ill-fated, unlucky
τρόφιμος -ου ὁ: a slave's young master
ἀποβάλλω ἀποβαλῶ ἀπέβαλον: to throw off, lose
παροινέω: to be drunk
παιδάριον -ου τό: little boy
ἀκόλουθος -ον: following, attending
δηλαδή: quite clearly
παννυχίζω: spend all night
ἐμπίπτω ἐμπεσέομαι ἐνέπεσον: to fall upon, charge
πέρυσι: a year ago, last year
ψάλλω: to pluck, play a stringed instrument
κόρη -ης ἡ: girl
συμπαίζω: to play with
εὐπρεπής -ές: comely, good-looking
πλούσιος -α -ον: wealthy, rich
τυχόν: by chance, perhaps
πλανάω πλανήσω ἐπλανήθην: to wander off, stray
κλαίω: to cry, wail
προστρέχω: to run to
τίλλω: to tear
θρίξ τριχός ἡ: hair
λεπτός -ή -όν: fine, delicate
ταραντῖνος -η -ον: refers to a delicate type of cloak whose weave was associated with the Italian city of Tarentum.
σφόδρα: very much, exceedingly
ἀπολύω ἀπολύσω ἀπέλυσα ἀπολέλυκα: to loose, set free
ψεύδω ψεύσω: to lie
Now that SYROS has departed, HABROTONON, who started taking an interest earlier in what ONESIMOS was saying, now addresses him directly to learn more.
464 τιθηνεῖθ’: = τιθηνεῖται
465 Ὀνήσιμ’: = Ὀνήσιμε
466 τουτονί: = τοῦτον + deictic (“pointing”) iota (“this here”)
467 δύσμορ’: = δύσμορε. εἶτ’: = εἶτα
470 κοὐκ: = καὶ οὐκ
472 and 477: See note on line 451, where Onesimos first mentions the Tauropolia festival.
475 κἀμοῦ: = καὶ ἐμοῦ, part of genitive absolute with παρούσης, and picked up by Onesimos in the next line.
480: Onesimos has expressed sarcastic disbelief at Habrotonon’s claim that she was a virgin at the Tauropolia festival in honor of the virgin goddess Artemis. Habrotonon insists that she is telling the truth and incongruously invokes Aphrodite, the goddess associated with sex.
481 οἶσθας: > οἶδα, 2nd sing. perf. indic. act. πυθοίμην: > πυνθάνομαι, 1st sing. aor. opt. mid.
484 πυθοίμην: > γιγνώσκω 1st sing. aor. opt. mid.
485 τιν': = τινα. ’στιν = ἐστιν
486 οἶδ’: = οἶδα. μεθ’: = μετὰ. οὖσ’: = οὖσα
487 εἶτ’: = εἶτα
488 τίλλουσ’: = τίλλουσα
490 ἀπολωλεκυῖ’: = ἀπολωλεκυῖα fem. nom. sing. perf. part. act. < ἀπόλλυμι
491 εἶχ’: = εἶχε
So, Onesimos, that little child whom the woman is nursing inside… (465) did this charcoal burner find him?
Yeah, or so he says!
(clutching her hands, gasping lightly)
Oh! How very tragically heroic it all is! Wretched, miserable me!
(relieved to have someone to vent to)
Hah! That’s not the half of it! He found this ring
(holding it up)
with the baby, too, except it also belongs to my master.
How unlucky! Well…
(playing off of ONESIMOS’ fear)
if he really is your little master, could you really see him raised as a slave? (470) Surely not! I mean
(light, dismissive laughter)
if that were the case you’d have to be put to death!
Ahem, well, it’s just as I said, no one knows the mother.
Ah, of course …
but you said he lost it at the festival?
Yeah, the attendant told me he was wasted.
Well, evidently, he must have wandered off alone and (475) stumbled upon the women in the revelry.
(pauses, then as if just remembering something)
You know, just such a thing happened where I was!
Wait… Where you were?
Mhm, yes, last year!
I was playing sweet melodies for some girls and joining in their delightful little games myself, too, well
I didn’t know – not yet anyhow – what men were like.
(offended he doesn’t believe her, one hand raised, the other on her heart)
(480) By Aphrodite!
Fine. Do you know who that girl was?
(back to being sweet)
No, but I’m sure I could learn about her from some of the women, they were her friends after all.
(pacing as he questions HABROTONON, piecing things together)
Did you hear anything about the father?
I know nothing … except I’d know her if I saw her
She was absolutely delightful to look at, gods,
(turning to the audience as if confiding a secret motivation)
and rich, too, they said!
Perhaps it’s her?
I don’t know. She was with us, but she wandered off then suddenly (acting out the scene) she ran back – all alone, wailing and tearing her hair,
(falling to her knees on the ground pulling at her hair)
so beautiful and fine – (490) her dress was violently torn – the whole thing was in tatters!
(holding up the ring)
and did she have this?
(recovering from her dramatic display, getting up, making a show of brushing off her dress)
Perhaps she did, but she didn’t show me. I won’t lie about it.
(had been hoping for a clear-cut answer, defeated)
What should I do now?