Saturday, December 9, 2023

I Do Not Owe The State Children: Epaminondas to the Thebans, John Tzetzes Hist. 12.412ff

Epaminondas imperator Thebanorum existens,

ut lugebatur mortuus perdolenter a Thebanis

Epaminonda (dicentibus) mortuus es, tecum & Thebae

filium in vita non linquens, filium ex tuis seminibus.

Respondens ad ipsos, haec et moriens dicit:

Haud vero haud morior orbus, sed fecundus pater, o Thebani:

duas enim reliqui ex me filias,

illam in Leuctris victoriam, & illam Mantinaeae.

--Joannes Tzetzes, Historiarum 12.412ff; Translated into Latin by Paulus Lacisius (1546) [Greek text forthcoming]


Epaminondas was an excellent leader of the Thebans.

When he died, he was excessively mourned by them;

They reproached him, saying, “When you die, Thebes will die with you,

For you did not leave behind a son from your loins.”

As he died, he responded to them:

“I do not die childless, fellow countrymen;

Instead, I am a prolific father!

For I leave behind my two daughters,

The victory at Leuctra, and the victory at Mantinea!”




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