Monday, November 11, 2019

M/M: To Die for Love: Achilles and Patroclus, Plato, Symp. 179e–180a

Achillem autem Thetidis filium honorarunt, et in beatorum insulas miserunt, quia cum accepisset a matre, si Hectorem occidisset, statim sibi moriendum fore: sin minus, in patriam se rediturum, et senem denique, moriturum, audacter elegit pro Patroclo amatore suo pugnare, eiusque mortem ulcisi, nec pro illo mori solum, sed et perempto illo interfici. Quod quidem magnopere probantes dii, insigni eum gloria decorarunt, quia tanti amatorem suum fecisset. 

οὐχ ὥσπερ Ἀχιλλέα τὸν τῆς Θέτιδος ὑὸν ἐτίμησαν καὶ εἰς μακάρων νήσους ἀπέπεμψαν, ὅτι πεπυσμένος παρὰ τῆς μητρὸς ὡς ἀποθανοῖτο ἀποκτείνας Ἕκτορα, μὴ ποιήσας δὲ τοῦτο οἴκαδε ἐλθὼν γηραιὸς τελευτήσοι, ἐτόλμησεν ἑλέσθαι βοηθήσας τῷ ἐραστῇ Πατρόκλῳ καὶ τιμωρήσας οὐ μόνον ὑπεραποθανεῖν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπαποθανεῖν τετελευτηκότι: ὅθεν δὴ καὶ ὑπεραγασθέντες οἱ θεοὶ διαφερόντως αὐτὸν ἐτίμησαν, ὅτι τὸν ἐραστὴν οὕτω περὶ πολλοῦ ἐποιεῖτο.

--Plato, Symposium 179e - 180a; Translated from Greek into Latin by Marcilio Ficino 1592)

[The gods] honor Thetis' son Achilles, and sent him to the Isles of the Blessed because when he heard from his mother that if he killed Hector it would bring about his death, but if he didn't he would return to his homeland and die an old man. Achilles boldly chose to fight on behalf of his lover Patroclus and avenge his death, and not only die for him, but also be killed once his lover was slain. Indeed the gods loved Achilles even more for this act, and honored him with notable glory because he acted in such a way on behalf of his lover.

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