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4 Maccabees


What is this fourth book of Maccabees

Like many works, this work has no title, so it is present anonymously in several manuscripts. In other manuscripts it was given various titles, including the one proposed by Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome: On the Supremacy of Reason. But when it was translated into Syriac and appeared in the Peshitta (late 4th c.), it bore the title: The Fourth Book of the Maccabees and Their Mother. In fact, it is legitimate to associate this work with the Maccabean brothers, since it bears witness to events that would have taken place at the beginning of the period of the Maccabean revolt. Moreover, it draws heavily on the narrative of the second book of the Maccabees.

It is found in the Septuagint according to the codex Sinaiticus (4th c.) reading and the codex Alexandrinus (5th c.), and in the Codex Venetus (8th c., except for 5:12 – 12:1). Some church fathers thought that the author was the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, because several manuscripts presented Josephus' work and the fourth book of the Maccabees together. But the difference in style makes the comparison impossible.

The fourth book of the Maccabees is above all a philosophical discourse wanting to demonstrate the supremacy of reason over the passions. It then follows the approach of classical rhetoric: an exhortation (1: 1 – 12), where the author introduces the subject : the mastery of passions by godly reason; then follows the body of the work which is divided into two main parts, the exposition of the thesis (1: 13 – 3: 18) where he explains the concepts of "reason" and "passion », then the application of his thesis to a specific case (3: 19 – 17: 6); the whole ends with a conclusion (17: 7 – 18: 24).

Composition

The fact that the author tries to show that by remaining faithful to the Jewish Law one fulfills the ideal of virtue indicates that he is a Jew. But he is a Jew deeply imbued with Greek philosophical thought who has a perfect command of the Greek language, a language which would be his mother tongue.

Even if the work seems anonymous, can we get an idea of the date of composition and the author? The text seems to assume that the temple is not yet destroyed (4: 11: "fell down half dead in the temple area that was open to all"), and therefore must be dated before 70 CE. On the other hand, it must be placed after Pompey's conquest in 63 BC: the author needs to explain that in the past the high priest was a priest for life, a situation that changed with the arrival of the Romans. But the vocabulary used allows us more precision. First, words like thrēskeia (religion) and nomikos (expert in the law) did not become popular until the period of the emperor Augustus (63 BC - 14 AD). Moreover, in speaking of Apollonius, he describes him as "governor of Syria, Phoenicia and Cilicia" (4:2), whereas 2 Maccabees 3:5 describes him as "governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia". Now, according to the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals 2, 58; 13, 8), the period when Cilicia and Syria formed a single territory would be between 19 AD and 54. It is difficult to be more precise. We shall therefore speak of a date of composition in the first part of the first century of our era, say around the year 40, towards the end of the reign of Caligula.

Another observation confirms what we have just said. In 4 Maccabees there is the notion of the redemptive value of the sufferings and death of the just martyr, obtaining God's forgiveness for the whole people: "as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation" (17:21). This notion is not new, since it is already found in Leviticus with the goat "in Azazel", on which all the sins of the people are laid and which is then sent into the desert as a rite of expiation (Lev 16:7-10). Similarly, the figure of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah is that of one who "was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities", and thus "the chastisement that gives us peace is upon him, and in his wounds we find healing" (Isa 53:5). But this notion of atonement for someone else seems to have spread in the intertestamental period, as evidenced not only by some of the Qumran writings (see 1QS 5:6; 8:3. 10; 9:4), but especially several New Testament writings, especially the gospels ("Therefore the Son of Man himself did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many", Mk 10:45), and the letters attributed to Paul ("God exposed him as an instrument of propitiation by his own blood through faith; he wished to show his righteousness, because he had passed sentence for the sins he had committed in the past", Rm 3:25) What does this mean? Whether we are talking about 4 Maccabees, the gospels or the letters of Paul, they all belong to a time when the notion of atonement for the sins of others was in the air.

As for the author, he is so steeped in Hellenistic thought that it is almost impossible to place him in Palestine. He clearly espouses the Greek doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and if he seems to make many borrowings from the account of 2 Maccabees, he passes completely over the Jewish doctrine of the resurrection of the body which is found there ("the King of the world will raise us to eternal life, we who die for his laws" 2 M 7: 9). He is rather marked by Platonic ideas where the ideal is to live and die practicing the virtues, such as justice and others. Also, he often refers to the language and the Stoic vision ("For reason does not rule its own emotions, but those that are opposed to justice, courage, and selfcontrol", 1: 6). In spite of everything, the philosopher in him does not forget the theologian, loyal to the faith of his ancestors: fundamentally, all the great Greek virtues and his wisdom are accomplished in the observance of the Jewish Law.

Where to locate such an author? The first city that comes to mind is Alexandria, where a large number of Jews immersed in Hellenistic culture lived, like Philo (20-40 BC). But this is not the only city in the Jewish diaspora immersed in Hellenistic culture. And it is surprising that people like Clement of Alexandria (150 to 215) and Origen (184 – 253), who also lived in Alexandria, make no reference to 4 Maccabees. It is therefore necessary to look elsewhere, especially in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), for it is there that the same rhetorical style found in 4 Maccabees flourished in the second century of our era. And the most important city was Antioch of Syria which, according to Flavius Josephus, was the third city after Rome and Alexandria where Greek rhetoric and the arts flourished. Moreover, later testimonies indicate the existence of a cult to the Maccabean martyrs in Antioch. Thus the speech of 4 Maccabees could have been composed on the occasion of the day when these martyrs were commemorated, in a milieu for which this had great significance. Finally, the maritime imagery used by 4 Maccabees suggests a coastal city, such as Antioch or another city on the Mediterranean.

The fourth book of Maccabees in history

Surprisingly, it was not in the Jewish tradition, but in the early Christian tradition that 4 Maccabees exerted its influence. Thus, we see the appearance of Passio ss. Machabaeorum, a free translation into Latin that is dated to the 4th c. Some Church Fathers adopted it almost as a Christian book, inasmuch as the Jewish martyrs were seen as Christian protomartyrs. For example, Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390), in Asia Minor, in his eulogy of the martyrs, recalls that they were commemorated on the first of August and that they deserved universal honor, having lived according to the cross before the cross itself. John Chrysostom (349 – 407), who was born in Antioch, devotes four homilies to the Maccabean martyrs, presenting Christ as the one who dragged the aging mother through the ordeal of torment in the arena. In his Latin work On Jacob and the Happy Life, Ambrose of Milan (340 – 397) transcribed much of the fourth book of the Maccabees. Augustine (354 – 430), for his part, asserts that it is because of their extreme suffering as martyrs that the books of the Maccabees have been preserved in the Church.

During the Renaissance, the fourth book of Maccabees would become a source of inspiration for Erasmus. While undergoing the Spanish inquisition in 1523, he would publish in Cologne in 1524 his Latin edition of 4 Maccabees (perhaps paraphrasing Passio ss. Machabaeorum from the 4th c.), dedicated to his friend Elias Maraeus, president of the "College of the Maccabees of Cologne," serving the shrine where the relics of the Maccabees were venerated.

In short, throughout the ages, the fourth book of Maccabees has provided support, encouragement and inspiration to all those who have experienced persecution and tyranny, giving them a model to follow.

-André Gilbert, January 2019

References :

  • H. Anderson, 4 Maccabees, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, v. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth. Doubleday: Garden City, 1985, p. 531-564.
  • Michael Langlois, 3-4 Maccabées.

Overiew

Chapter 1From the outset, the author proposes his thesis: pious reason is sovereign over the passions. The exercise of reason is linked to the greatest of virtues: prudence. Reason allows to dominate passions like gluttony and desire by temperance, malignity by justice, anger, fear and pain by courage. To illustrate this point, reference will be made to those who died because of virtue: Eleazar, the seven brothers and their mother. The author will therefore praise these people who, by their courage and endurance, won the admiration not only of all humans, but also of their tormentors, achieving not only victory over a tyrant, but also the purification of their homeland.

To support the thesis that reason dominates the passions, we have to specify what reason is, name all the passions, and see how reason dominates them all. Let's start with reason. It is that intelligence which chooses life according to wisdom, i.e. the knowledge of divine and human things, and of their causes. This wisdom takes the form of prudence, justice, courage and temperance. As for the passions, they take the form of pleasure (including desire and joy, as well as malignancy and anger) and pain (including fear and sorrow, as well as anger). Reason overrides the passions, for example when temperance leads a Jew to turn away from the pleasures of the table when food forbidden by the Law is presented.

Chapter 2This is how Joseph, even though he was young, controlled his sexual desire, just as the Law commands him not to desire his neighbor's wife; this is proof that reason can control desire. This is why the Law can ask one to dominate the love of money by asking to lend without interest, to dominate one's avarice by allowing the poor to graze a field after the harvest, to dominate everything that opposes the love of one's parents, one's wife, one's children and one's friends. It even allows one to overcome the hatred of one's enemies, or, in the case of Moses, not to give vent to his anger. When God created man, he planted in him the passions and inclinations, but he also gave him the intelligence and the Law that enable him to lead a temperate, just, good and courageous life.
Chapter 3If reason can tame the passions, it cannot make them not exist; it only allows us not to become slaves to them. The most beautiful illustration comes from the story of David who, after a battle against the Philistines and thirsty, longed to drink water from the well in enemy territory: while two young men managed to sneak in and bring back what the king wanted, he refused to drink water obtained at the risk of bloodshed, and instead made a libation to God; this is the proof that reason can triumph over the sufferings of the body. An even more impressive example of triumph over bodily suffering concerns an event in the time of Seleucus IV Philopator (he reigned from 187 to 175 BC), when the Jews were living peacefully according to the Law, before some introduced repressive measures.
Chapter 4(The author repeats here the account of 2 M 2: 3 – 6: 17) A Jew, named Simon, in rivalry with the high priest Onias, confides to Apollonius, governor of Syria, Phoenicia and Cilicia, that large sums of money coming from private individuals are entrusted to the treasury of the temple, and that these sums should return to king Seleucus. Mandated by this last, Apollonius goes to Jerusalem to seize the treasure of the temple. It is consternation among the Jewish people who beg God to protect their holy place. Just as Apollonius and his troop were about to seize the treasure, angels on horses with weapons appeared from heaven and spread terror. In tears and recognizing his sin, Apollonius begged the Jews to pray for him to be spared. Thanks to the prayer of the high priest Onias, Apollonius is saved.

After the death of king Seleucus in 175 BC, his son Antiochus Epiphanes succeeds him. He immediately replaced Onias by Jason, his brother, as high priest. The latter attacks the Jewish customs, building a gymnasium, abolishing the service of the temple. Now, while Seleucus was on a military campaign against Ptolemy, king of Egypt, he learned how much the people of Jerusalem hated him. He immediately went there, attacked the city, and issued a decree forbidding them to live according to the Law. The Jews would rather die than obey this decree.

Chapter 5Antiochus ordered his soldiers to force the Jews to do what they were forbidden to do, eat pork and meat sacrificed to idols, on pain of death. But the Jews refuse to do so, including the priest Eleazar, who is old, and is brought before Antiochus. At first, Antiochus asks him to reject the Jewish precept on the pig which is completely unreasonable, then reproaches him not to respect the given order. Taking the floor, Eleazar replies: for a Jew, it is a matter of respecting the Law of God; and this Law is far from being unreasonable, for it teaches temperance which allows one to control one's desires, it makes one practice courage by accepting what is painful, it educates one to justice by asking one to be fair to others, and it teaches piety towards God. So it is tyrannical to force the Jews to transgress the Law in order to mock them, and Eleazar will not transgress this Law even under torture, and if he must die, he will only join his ancestors.
Chapter 6After his speech, Eleazar is stripped by the soldiers, and after his hands are bound, he is beaten with whips. But the old man seems unaware of his torn flesh, the blood flowing, his side covered with wounds. In the end, he collapses to the ground, and a guard jumps on him and hits his ribs. Now the brokers are moved by Eleazar's serenity and, out of pity, conjure him to pretend to eat pork by consuming some boiled meat. Insulted, Eleazar refuses to play the comedy, more especially as it would be with the bad example for the young people, an object of derision for all and of contempt for Antiochus. Then, he asks to accelerate his death. Then one throws it in the fire. In a last gasp, Eleazar makes a prayer: he declares to God that it is for the sake of the Law that he accepts to die and asks Him that his blood purify the people and that his death be a ransom for the sins of the Jewish nation. With these words, he died.

For the author of 4 Maccabees, this story proves that the pious reason is sovereign of the passions, because it is able to dominate the sufferings.

Chapter 7Eleazar thus appears as a good pilot who, with the rudder of piety, was able to navigate the sea of passions and to face the waves of torture in order to finally approach the port of eternal life. Thanks to his pious reason, he overcame the assaults of fire, blows and torture.

Addressing Eleazar in the form of a prayer, the author expresses his admiration that he did not defile himself with unclean meats, remaining in harmony with the Law; by his perseverance, he strengthened others in fidelity to the Law and showed his mastery of the passions.

Then, referring to Num 17:1-15 and Wis 18:20-25, the author compares Eleazar to Aaron who, even though he was consumed by fire, did not depart from reason. Thus, even though he was an old man, he became a young man in spirit thanks to his reason. Of course, some will say that not everyone has prudent reason. It is true, only some take care of godliness and have the power to command the passions of the flesh. There is no contradiction in recognizing that some allow themselves to be dominated by their passions because of the weakness of their reason, even among philosophers, and that others are wise and courageous men, masters of their passions.

Chapter 8The control exercised by pious reason can also be seen in adolescents. Thus, after the death of Eleazar, Antiochus asked that other Jews be brought to him to force them to eat pork. So seven handsome young men, brothers, with their mothers in their midst, were presented to him. Antiochus offered them important positions in the affairs of the kingdom if they renounced their ancestral law and adopted the way of life of the Greeks; if not, it was torture that awaited them. To support his words, Antiochus spreads out in front of them a whole panoply of instruments of torture. Using their reason, the young people refuse to be afraid. However, it would have been legitimate to accept the request of the king. Is the king not in a position of authority? Is it not normal to obey him? And won't God forgive someone who acts under duress? Moreover, is it not vain glory to go to torture and death, rather than to a quiet and pleasant life? The Law cannot condemn someone who fears the instruments of torture. Finally, should we not have pity on the old age of our mother?
Chapter 9The response of the young people is not long in coming: they would rather die than transgress the Law, for the pity of the king who offers them salvation by transgressing the Law would be more difficult to bear than death itself. Has the king learned nothing from the death of Eleazar? If old men can endure torture because of their piety, it is even more just that young men should do the same. Let the king be under no illusion: by sending the youth to their deaths, he is sending them to God who will reward them for their virtue, while he will face divine justice. Furious, the king asks to start torturing the elder. The latter, placed on a wheel that dismembers him, accuses the king of not torturing a murderer, but a defender of the Law. When the guards advise him to eat the forbidden meat, he goes on to demand that his limbs be cut off and his flesh burned. This is done, without the young man uttering a single cry. At the end, he opens his mouth to exhort his brothers to imitate him by continuing the fight for piety, then he expires. Then it was the turn of the second brother to be put on the torture instrument. Addressing the king, he tells him that death because of ancestral piety is sweet and that the pleasure of virtue eases the pain, but he will not escape the divine judgment.
Chapter 10The second brother died, the third was brought in, while the audience urged him to eat the meat. He replies that he is made of the same fiber as his father, mother and brothers, and reminds them that if one can attack his body, one cannot attack his soul. He is then subjected to the worst tortures: dislocation of the hands and feet, crushing of the bones, removal of the nails, torture of the wheel. When he dies, he addresses a last word to the king: it is for virtue that he suffers, but he will undergo eternal torture. It is now the turn of the fourth brother. As the audience urges him to obey the king and be saved, he replies: no fire will be hot enough to make him a coward, for a glorious life awaits the godly. As they are about to cut out his tongue, he adds that the tongue of reason cannot be cut out, and the king will be punished by God for having cut out a tongue that sings divine hymns.
Chapter 11The fourth brother died, the fifth rushed in even before he was brought in, saying: he did not want to escape a death for virtue, a death for which the king would be accountable to divine justice; it is a gesture worthy of honor, not torture, to live by the Law of God, a God to whom the king is a stranger. At these words, the guards placed him on an instrument of torture, called a catapult, to be dismembered. As he died, he thanked the king for giving him the gift of being able to demonstrate his faithfulness to the Law through pain. The sixth brother to be brought in is a teenager. When the king asks him to eat the meat in order to be freed, he replies: even though he is younger than those before him, he is the same age in thought, sharing the same ideal and also willing to be tortured in order not to eat unclean food. He is then laid on the wheel to be dismembered, sharp red pins are applied to his back in the fire, his entrails are burned. In the midst of his sufferings, he says: armed with the knowledge of piety and the divine law, he remains invincible and, thus, he finds himself overthrowing a tyrant upon whom he calls the avenging angel.
Chapter 12The sixth brother died, and it was finally the turn of the seventh and youngest brother, who arrived tied up. Seeing him, the king is moved with pity and tries to convince him to obey him in order to be considered a friend of the kingdom and to avoid a brutal death, and wanting to put more pressure, he asks to bring the mother, hoping that after having lost six sons, she will do everything to keep the seventh alive. But, the latter, after hearing his mother speak to him in Hebrew, asked to be released from his bonds to speak, then he said while running towards the nearest cauldron: the king should be ashamed, after having received the royalty of God, to kill now those who practice piety, people who are champions of virtue; it is an eternal fire which awaits him, and he will bitterly mourn the acts which he has made On the verge of death, he adds: following in the footsteps of his brothers, may God be kind to all the Jewish people, but may the king know punishment in this life and after death. At these words, he throws himself into the burning cauldron and dies.
Chapter 13The case of the seven brothers is another proof that pious reason is sovereign over passions. Like the advanced towers of the harbors that break the fury of the waves to offer the sailors a quiet refuge, the reason of these young people fortified the harbor of godliness and overcame the excesses of the passions. They encouraged each other by following the example of the three youths put in a furnace according to Daniel 3. They remembered Isaac who had accepted to be sacrificed, and that God had given them life, and therefore they had to defend his Law, on pain of being condemned to eternal torment as transgressors of the Law. If they met death, they would be welcomed by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In all, the strength of brotherly love played a role: having shared the same womb, the same milk, the same table, the same daily habits, the same education, they practiced the same virtue and piety, thus strengthening brotherly love even more.
Chapter 14The seven brothers were unanimous in dying for godliness, just as the days of creation revolve in chorus around godliness. Let us not forget that there is nothing more atrocious than the torture of fire. Yet reason prevailed, not only in men, but also in a woman, the mother of the seven brothers: while animals deprived of reason express tenderness for their young, while birds protect their young, while bees at the time of honey strike with their sting the assailants of their young, the love of this mother for her children did not shake her piety, just like Abraham.
Chapter 15She preferred the piety that saves for eternal life to the natural love of her children. Mothers have more impact on their children and love them more than fathers, and she who had given birth to seven children must have had an immense tenderness for them; but the fear of God dominated in her over the salvation of her children, and even because of their obedience to the Law, she loved them more. Even the prospect of torture could not change her mind; rather, she encouraged her children to face death for the sake of godliness. Seeing her children suffer, she disregarded it because of her faith in God and godly reason, rejecting the salvation of a moment and preferring eternal salvation, inspired by Abraham's piety and constancy. Like Noah's ark that carried the world, she was the guardian of the Law before the flood of passions for the cause of piety.
Chapter 16In short, if a woman, being older, was able to endure the sufferings of her sons, it is an eloquent proof that the pious reason is dominating the passions. And next to the love of this woman who saw her sons tortured, the lions that surrounded Daniel (Dan 6) were less ferocious, and the fire of the furnace burning Misael was less violent. This mother could have deplored having brought seven children into the world and having educated them for nothing, and not knowing the happiness of being a grandmother, of being alone and widowed, without anyone to bury her. On the contrary, by her fortitude, she urged her sons to die, and proved stronger than a man in deed and word; indeed, this is what she said in Hebrew to her children when she saw Eleazar being tortured : Let them fight for the Law of the fathers and not shame it by being afraid of torture, when an old man has just endured the worst torments; let them remember that they have received life from God, and therefore must endure everything for His sake, just as Abraham agreed to sacrifice his son, Daniel to be thrown to the lions, Ananias, Azariah, and Mishael to be cast into the furnace of fire. And the seven sons knew that those who die for God live with Him, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the patriarchs.
Chapter 17According to some guards, this mother threw herself on the stake before her body was touched. Together with her sons, she thus overruled the tyranny of the king and showed the nobility of faith. She illuminated the way for her sons and now sits with them in heaven. To paint this story well, it should be inscribed on their tombstones that an elderly priest, an old woman, and seven children faced the violence of a tyrant bent on destroying the institutions of the Hebrews and endured torture to the point of death, guided by virtue, only to win the victory through a life of incorruptibility. Through their deaths, the homeland was cleansed, their lives serving as a ransom for the sin of the people. Even King Antiochus was full of admiration for their courage and offered them as a model to his soldiers, who were thus able to defeat their enemies.
Chapter 18The invitation is extended to all Israel to obey the Law and to be pious, knowing that pious reason is sovereign over the passions. For it is thanks to all these men, who have accepted suffering for the sake of piety, that the people now live in peace and observe the Law. As for King Antiochus, having failed to turn the Jews away from their custom, he went away from Jerusalem to campaign against the Persians. The mother also spoke this word to her seven sons: she preserved her virginity throughout her youth, and once married, she remained with her husband until his death; And it was this father who taught them the Law and the Prophets, who told them about the murder of Cain by Abel, about the burnt offering of Isaac and Joseph in prison, about the zeal of Pinhas, about Ananias, Azariah and Mishael in the furnace, about Daniel in the lions' den, about the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, about the psalms of David, about the proverbs of Solomon, about the Song of Moses (Deut. 32: 39). Therefore, they should not look back with bitterness on the period of their tortures, for divine justice will deal with the tyrant, while they, the sons of Abraham, are now gathered with it in the choir of the fathers who have received from God pure and immortal souls.


Note: The English translation from Greek is by the New Revised Standard Version, except for Ps 10:4 and Ps 11:7-8 discarded by the NRSV, where Brenton's translation has been used.

Full Text

VerseGreek TextEnglish Translation (NRSV)

Chapter 1

1Φιλοσοφώτατον λόγον ἐπιδείκνυσθαι μέλλων, εἰ αὐτοδέσποτός ἐστιν τῶν παθῶν ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμός, συμβουλεύσαιμ ἂν ὑμῖν ὀρθῶς ὅπως προσέχητε προθύμως τῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ.The subject that I am about to discuss is most philosophical, that is, whether devout reason is sovereign over the emotions. So it is right for me to advise you to pay earnest attention to philosophy.
2καὶ γὰρ ἀναγκαῖος εἰς ἐπιστήμην παντὶ ὁ λόγος καὶ ἄλλως τῆς μεγίστης ἀρετῆς, λέγω δὴ φρονήσεως, περιέχει ἔπαινον.For the subject is essential to everyone who is seeking knowledge, and in addition it includes the praise of the highest virtue — I mean, of course, rational judgment.
3εἰ ἄρα τῶν σωφροσύνης κωλυτικῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμὸς φαίνεται ἐπικρατεῖν, γαστριμαργίας τε καὶ ἐπιθυμίας,If, then, it is evident that reason rules over those emotions that hinder self-control, namely, gluttony and lust,
4ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν τῆς δικαιοσύνης ἐμποδιστικῶν παθῶν κυριεύειν ἀναφαίνεται, οἷον κακοηθείας, καὶ τῶν τῆς ἀνδρείας ἐμποδιστικῶν παθῶν, θυμοῦ τε καὶ φόβου καὶ πόνου.it is also clear that it masters the emotions that hinder one from justice, such as malice, and those that stand in the way of courage, namely anger, fear, and pain.
5πῶς οὖν, ἴσως εἴποιεν ἄν τινες, εἰ τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμὸς κρατεῖ, λήθης καὶ ἀγνοίας οὐ δεσπόζει; γελοῖον ἐπιχειροῦντες λέγειν.Some might perhaps ask, "If reason rules the emotions, why is it not sovereign over forgetfulness and ignorance?" Their attempt at argument is ridiculous!
6οὐ γὰρ τῶν αὑτοῦ παθῶν ὁ λογισμὸς κρατεῖ, ἀλλὰ τῶν τῆς δικαιοσύνης καὶ ἀνδρείας καὶ σωφροσύνης ἐναντίων, καὶ τούτων οὐχ ὥστε αὐτὰ καταλῦσαι, ἀλλ ὥστε αὐτοῖς μὴ εἶξαι.For reason does not rule its own emotions, but those that are opposed to justice, courage, and selfcontrol; and it is not for the purpose of destroying them, but so that one may not give way to them.
7πολλαχόθεν μὲν οὖν καὶ ἀλλαχόθεν ἔχοιμ ἂν ὑμῖν ἐπιδεῖξαι ὅτι αὐτοκράτωρ ἐστὶν τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός,I could prove to you from many and various examples that reason is dominant over the emotions,
8πολὺ δὲ πλέον τοῦτο ἀποδείξαιμι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀνδραγαθίας τῶν ὑπὲρ ἀρετῆς ἀποθανόντων, Ελεαζαρου τε καὶ τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀδελφῶν καὶ τῆς τούτων μητρός.but I can demonstrate it best from the noble bravery of those who died for the sake of virtue, Eleazar and the seven brothers and their mother.
9ἅπαντες γὰρ οὗτοι τοὺς ἕως θανάτου πόνους ὑπεριδόντες ἐπεδείξαντο ὅτι περικρατεῖ τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός.All of these, by despising sufferings that bring death, demonstrated that reason controls the emotions.
10τῶν μὲν οὖν ἀρετῶν ἔπεστί μοι ἐπαινεῖν τοὺς κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν καιρὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς καλοκἀγαθίας ἀποθανόντας μετὰ τῆς μητρὸς ἄνδρας, τῶν δὲ τιμῶν μακαρίσαιμ ἄν.On this anniversary it is fitting for me to praise for their virtues those who, with their mother, died for the sake of nobility and goodness, but I would also call them blessed for the honor in which they are held.
11θαυμασθέντες γὰρ οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἐπὶ τῇ ἀνδρείᾳ καὶ ὑπομονῇ, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν αἰκισαμένων, αἴτιοι κατέστησαν τοῦ καταλυθῆναι τὴν κατὰ τοῦ ἔθνους τυραννίδα νικήσαντες τὸν τύραννον τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὥστε καθαρισθῆναι δι αὐτῶν τὴν πατρίδα.All people, even their torturers, marveled at their courage and endurance, and they became the cause of the downfall of tyranny over their nation. By their endurance they conquered the tyrant, and thus their native land was purified through them.
12ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τούτου νῦν αὐτίκα δὴ λέγειν ἐξέσται ἀρξαμένῳ τῆς ὑποθέσεως, ὅπερ εἴωθα ποιεῖν, καὶ οὕτως εἰς τὸν περὶ αὐτῶν τρέψομαι λόγον δόξαν διδοὺς τῷ πανσόφῳ θεῷ.I shall shortly have an opportunity to speak of this; but, as my custom is, I shall begin by stating my main principle, and then I shall turn to their story, giving glory to the all-wise God.
13Ζητοῦμεν δὴ τοίνυν εἰ αὐτοκράτωρ ἐστὶν τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός.Our inquiry, accordingly, is whether reason is sovereign over the emotions.
14διακρίνομεν τί ποτέ ἐστιν λογισμὸς καὶ τί πάθος, καὶ πόσαι παθῶν ἰδέαι, καὶ εἰ πάντων ἐπικρατεῖ τούτων ὁ λογισμός.We shall decide just what reason is and what emotion is, how many kinds of emotions there are, and whether reason rules over all these.
15λογισμὸς μὲν δὴ τοίνυν ἐστὶν νοῦς μετὰ ὀρθοῦ λόγου προτιμῶν τὸν σοφίας βίον.Now reason is the mind that with sound logic prefers the life of wisdom.
16σοφία δὴ τοίνυν ἐστὶν γνῶσις θείων καὶ ἀνθρωπίνων πραγμάτων καὶ τῶν τούτων αἰτιῶν.Wisdom, next, is the knowledge of divine and human matters and the causes of these.
17αὕτη δὴ τοίνυν ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ νόμου παιδεία, δι ἧς τὰ θεῖα σεμνῶς καὶ τὰ ἀνθρώπινα συμφερόντως μανθάνομεν.This, in turn, is education in the law, by which we learn divine matters reverently and human affairs to our advantage.
18τῆς δὲ σοφίας ἰδέαι καθεστήκασιν φρόνησις καὶ δικαιοσύνη καὶ ἀνδρεία καὶ σωφροσύνη·Now the kinds of wisdom are rational judgment, justice, courage, and self-control.
19κυριωτάτη δὲ πάντων ἡ φρόνησις, ἐξ ἧς δὴ τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμὸς ἐπικρατεῖ.Rational judgment is supreme over all of these, since by means of it reason rules over the emotions.
20παθῶν δὲ φύσεις εἰσὶν αἱ περιεκτικώταται δύο ἡδονή τε καὶ πόνος· τούτων δὲ ἑκάτερον καὶ περὶ τὸ σῶμα καὶ περὶ τὴν ψυχὴν πέφυκεν.The two most comprehensive types of the emotions are pleasure and pain; and each of these is by nature concerned with both body and soul.
21πολλαὶ δὲ καὶ περὶ τὴν ἡδονὴν καὶ τὸν πόνον παθῶν εἰσιν ἀκολουθίαι.The emotions of both pleasure and pain have many consequences.
22πρὸ μὲν οὖν τῆς ἡδονῆς ἐστιν ἐπιθυμία, μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἡδονὴν χαρά.Thus desire precedes pleasure and delight follows it.
23πρὸ δὲ τοῦ πόνου ἐστὶν φόβος, μετὰ δὲ τὸν πόνον λύπη.Fear precedes pain and sorrow comes after.
24θυμὸς δὲ κοινὸν πάθος ἐστὶν ἡδονῆς καὶ πόνου, ἐὰν ἐννοηθῇ τις ὅτι αὐτῷ περιέπεσεν.Anger, as a person will see by reflecting on this experience, is an emotion embracing pleasure and pain.
25ἐν τῇ ἡδονῇ δὲ ἔνεστιν καὶ ἡ κακοήθης διάθεσις, πολυτροπωτάτη πάντων οὖσα τῶν παθῶν,In pleasure there exists even a malevolent tendency, which is the most complex of all the emotions.
26καὶ τὰ μὲν ψυχῆς ἀλαζονεία καὶ φιλαργυρία καὶ φιλοδοξία καὶ φιλονεικία καὶ βασκανία,In the soul it is boastfulness, covetousness, thirst for honor, rivalry, and malice;
27κατὰ δὲ τὸ σῶμα παντοφαγία καὶ λαιμαργία καὶ μονοφαγία.in the body, indiscriminate eating, gluttony, and solitary gormandizing.
28καθάπερ οὖν δυεῖν τοῦ σώματος καὶ τῆς ψυχῆς φυτῶν ὄντων ἡδονῆς τε καὶ πόνου πολλαὶ τούτων τῶν φυτῶν εἰσιν παραφυάδες,Just as pleasure and pain are two plants growing from the body and the soul, so there are many offshoots of these plants,
29ὧν ἑκάστην ὁ παγγέωργος λογισμὸς περικαθαίρων καὶ ἀποκνίζων καὶ περιπλέκων καὶ ἐπάρδων καὶ πάντα τρόπον μεταχέων ἐξημεροῖ τὰς τῶν ἠθῶν καὶ παθῶν ὕλας.each of which the master cultivator, reason, weeds and prunes and ties up and waters and thoroughly irrigates, and so tames the jungle of habits and emotions.
30ὁ γὰρ λογισμὸς τῶν μὲν ἀρετῶν ἐστιν ἡγεμών, τῶν δὲ παθῶν αὐτοκράτωρ. Ἐπιθεωρεῖτε τοίνυν πρῶτον διὰ τῶν κωλυτικῶν τῆς σωφροσύνης ἔργων ὅτι αὐτοδέσποτός ἐστιν τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός.For reason is the guide of the virtues, but over the emotions it is sovereign. Observe now, first of all, that rational judgment is sovereign over the emotions by virtue of the restraining power of self-control.
31σωφροσύνη δὴ τοίνυν ἐστὶν ἐπικράτεια τῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν,Selfcontrol, then, is dominance over the desires.
32τῶν δὲ ἐπιθυμιῶν αἱ μέν εἰσιν ψυχικαί, αἱ δὲ σωματικαί, καὶ τούτων ἀμφοτέρων ἐπικρατεῖν ὁ λογισμὸς φαίνεται.Some desires are mental, others are physical, and reason obviously rules over both.
33ἐπεὶ πόθεν κινούμενοι πρὸς τὰς ἀπειρημένας τροφὰς ἀποστρεφόμεθα τὰς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἡδονάς; οὐχ ὅτι δύναται τῶν ὀρέξεων ἐπικρατεῖν ὁ λογισμός; ἐγὼ μὲν οἶμαι.Otherwise, how is it that when we are attracted to forbidden foods we abstain from the pleasure to be had from them? Is it not because reason is able to rule over appetites? I for one think so.
34τοιγαροῦν ἐνύδρων ἐπιθυμοῦντες καὶ ὀρνέων καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ παντοίων βρωμάτων τῶν ἀπηγορευμένων ἡμῖν κατὰ τὸν νόμον ἀπεχόμεθα διὰ τὴν τοῦ λογισμοῦ ἐπικράτειαν.Therefore when we crave seafood and fowl and animals and all sorts of foods that are forbidden to us by the law, we abstain because of domination by reason.
35ἀνέχεται γὰρ τὰ τῶν ὀρέξεων πάθη ὑπὸ τοῦ σώφρονος νοὸς ἀνακοπτόμενα, καὶ φιμοῦται πάντα τὰ τοῦ σώματος κινήματα ὑπὸ τοῦ λογισμοῦ.For the emotions of the appetites are restrained, checked by the temperate mind, and all the impulses of the body are bridled by reason.

Chapter 2

1Καὶ τί θαυμαστόν, εἰ αἱ τῆς ψυχῆς ἐπιθυμίαι πρὸς τὴν τοῦ κάλλους μετουσίαν ἀκυροῦνται;And why is it amazing that the desires of the mind for the enjoyment of beauty are rendered powerless?
2ταύτῃ γοῦν ὁ σώφρων Ιωσηφ ἐπαινεῖται, ὅτι διανοίᾳ περιεκράτησεν τῆς ἡδυπαθείας.It is for this reason, certainly, that the temperate Joseph is praised, because by mental effort he overcame sexual desire.
3νέος γὰρ ὢν καὶ ἀκμάζων πρὸς συνουσιασμὸν ἠκύρωσε τῷ λογισμῷ τὸν τῶν παθῶν οἶστρον.For when he was young and in his prime for intercourse, by his reason he nullified the frenzy of the passions.
4καὶ οὐ μόνον δὲ τὴν τῆς ἡδυπαθείας οἰστρηλασίαν ὁ λογισμὸς ἐπικρατεῖν φαίνεται, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάσης ἐπιθυμίας.Not only is reason proved to rule over the frenzied urge of sexual desire, but also over every desire.
5λέγει γοῦν ὁ νόμος Οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ πλησίον σου οὐδὲ ὅσα τῷ πλησίον σού ἐστιν.Thus the law says, "You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or anything that is your neighbor’s."
6καίτοι ὅτε μὴ ἐπιθυμεῖν εἴρηκεν ἡμᾶς ὁ νόμος, πολὺ πλέον πείσαιμ ἂν ὑμᾶς ὅτι τῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν κρατεῖν δύναται ὁ λογισμός. Ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν κωλυτικῶν τῆς δικαιοσύνης παθῶν·In fact, since the law has told us not to covet, I could prove to you all the more that reason is able to control desires. Just so it is with the emotions that hinder one from justice.
7ἐπεὶ τίνα τις τρόπον μονοφάγος ὢν τὸ ἦθος καὶ γαστρίμαργος ἢ καὶ μέθυσος μεταπαιδεύεται, εἰ μὴ δῆλον ὅτι κύριός ἐστιν τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός;Otherwise how could it be that someone who is habitually a solitary gormandizer, a glutton, or even a drunkard can learn a better way, unless reason is clearly lord of the emotions?
8αὐτίκα γοῦν τῷ νόμῳ πολιτευόμενος, κἂν φιλάργυρός τις ᾖ, βιάζεται τὸν αὑτοῦ τρόπον τοῖς δεομένοις δανείζων χωρὶς τόκων καὶ τὸ δάνειον τῶν ἑβδομάδων ἐνστασῶν χρεοκοπούμενος·Thus, as soon as one adopts a way of life in accordance with the law, even though a lover of money, one is forced to act contrary to natural ways and to lend without interest to the needy and to cancel the debt when the seventh year arrives.
9κἂν φειδωλός τις ᾖ, ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου κρατεῖται διὰ τὸν λογισμὸν μήτε ἐπικαρπολογούμενος τοὺς ἀμητοὺς μήτε ἐπιρρωγολογούμενος τοὺς ἀμπελῶνας. Καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἑτέρων δὲ ἔστιν ἐπιγνῶναι τοῦτο, ὅτι τῶν παθῶν ἐστιν ὁ λογισμὸς κρατῶν·If one is greedy, one is ruled by the law through reason so that one neither gleans the harvest nor gathers the last grapes from the vineyard. In all other matters we can recognize that reason rules the emotions.
10ὁ γὰρ νόμος καὶ τῆς πρὸς γονεῖς εὐνοίας κρατεῖ μὴ καταπροδιδοὺς τὴν ἀρετὴν δι αὐτοὺςFor the law prevails even over affection for parents, so that virtue is not abandoned for their sakes.
11καὶ τῆς πρὸς γαμετὴν φιλίας ἐπικρατεῖ διὰ τὴν παρανομίαν αὐτὴν ἀπελέγχωνIt is superior to love for one’s wife, so that one rebukes her when she breaks the law.
12καὶ τῆς τέκνων φιλίας κυριεύει διὰ κακίαν αὐτὰ κολάζωνIt takes precedence over love for children, so that one punishes them for misdeeds.
13καὶ τῆς φίλων συνηθείας δεσπόζει διὰ πονηρίαν αὐτοὺς ἐξελέγχων.It is sovereign over the relationship of friends, so that one rebukes friends when they act wickedly.
14καὶ μὴ νομίσητε παράδοξον εἶναι, ὅπου καὶ ἔχθρας ἐπικρατεῖν ὁ λογισμὸς δύναται διὰ τὸν νόμον μήτε δενδροτομῶν τὰ ἥμερα τῶν πολεμίων φυτά, τὰ δὲ τῶν ἐχθρῶν τοῖς ἀπολέσασι διασῴζων καὶ τὰ πεπτωκότα συνεγείρων.Do not consider it paradoxical when reason, through the law, can prevail even over enmity. The fruit trees of the enemy are not cut down, but one preserves the property of enemies from marauders and helps raise up what has fallen.
15Καὶ τῶν βιαιοτέρων δὲ παθῶν κρατεῖν ὁ λογισμὸς φαίνεται, φιλαρχίας καὶ κενοδοξίας καὶ ἀλαζονείας καὶ μεγαλαυχίας καὶ βασκανίας·It is evident that reason rules even the more violent emotions: lust for power, vainglory, boasting, arrogance, and malice.
16πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ κακοήθη πάθη ὁ σώφρων νοῦς ἀπωθεῖται, ὥσπερ καὶ τὸν θυμόν· καὶ γὰρ τούτου δεσπόζει.For the temperate mind repels all these malicious emotions, just as it repels anger — for it is sovereign over even this.
17θυμούμενός γέ τοι Μωυσῆς κατὰ Δαθαν καὶ Αβιρων οὐ θυμῷ τι κατ αὐτῶν ἐποίησεν, ἀλλὰ λογισμῷ τὸν θυμὸν διῄτησεν.When Moses was angry with Dathan and Abiram, he did nothing against them in anger, but controlled his anger by reason.
18δυνατὸς γὰρ ὁ σώφρων νοῦς, ὡς ἔφην, κατὰ τῶν παθῶν ἀριστεῦσαι καὶ τὰ μὲν αὐτῶν μεταθεῖναι, τὰ δὲ καὶ ἀκυρῶσαι.For, as I have said, the temperate mind is able to get the better of the emotions, to correct some, and to render others powerless.
19ἐπεὶ διὰ τί ὁ πάνσοφος ἡμῶν πατὴρ Ιακωβ τοὺς περὶ Συμεων καὶ Λευιν αἰτιᾶται μὴ λογισμῷ τοὺς Σικιμίτας ἐθνηδὸν ἀποσφάξαντας λέγων Ἐπικατάρατος ὁ θυμὸς αὐτῶν;Why else did Jacob, our most wise father, censure the households of Simeon and Levi for their irrational slaughter of the entire tribe of the Shechemites, saying, "Cursed be their anger"?
20εἰ μὴ γὰρ ἐδύνατο τοῦ θυμοῦ ὁ λογισμὸς κρατεῖν, οὐκ ἂν εἶπεν οὕτως.For if reason could not control anger, he would not have spoken thus.
21ὁπηνίκα γὰρ ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον κατεσκεύασεν, τὰ πάθη αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ ἤθη περιεφύτευσεν·Now when God fashioned human beings, he planted in them emotions and inclinations,
22ἡνίκα δὲ ἐπὶ πάντων τὸν ἱερὸν ἡγεμόνα νοῦν διὰ τῶν αἰσθητηρίων ἐνεθρόνισεν,but at the same time he enthroned the mind among the senses as a sacred governor over them all.
23καὶ τούτῳ νόμον ἔδωκεν, καθ ὃν πολιτευόμενος βασιλεύσει βασιλείαν σώφρονά τε καὶ δικαίαν καὶ ἀγαθὴν καὶ ἀνδρείαν.To the mind he gave the law; and one who lives subject to this will rule a kingdom that is temperate, just, good, and courageous.
24Πῶς οὖν, εἴποι τις ἄν, εἰ τῶν παθῶν δεσπότης ἐστὶν ὁ λογισμός, λήθης καὶ ἀγνοίας οὐ κρατεῖ;How is it then, one might say, that if reason is master of the emotions, it does not control forgetfulness and ignorance?

Chapter 3

1ἔστιν δὲ κομιδῇ γελοῖος ὁ λόγος· οὐ γὰρ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ παθῶν ὁ λογισμὸς ἐπικρατεῖν φαίνεται, ἀλλὰ τῶν σωματικῶν.But this argument is entirely ridiculous; for it is evident that reason rules not over its own emotions, but over those of the body.
2οἷον ἐπιθυμίαν τις οὐ δύναται ἐκκόψαι ἡμῶν, ἀλλὰ μὴ δουλωθῆναι τῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ δύναται ὁ λογισμὸς παρασχέσθαι.No one of us can eradicate that kind of desire, but reason can provide a way for us not to be enslaved by desire.
3θυμόν τις οὐ δύναται ἐκκόψαι ὑμῶν τῆς ψυχῆς, ἀλλὰ τῷ θυμῷ δυνατὸν τὸν λογισμὸν βοηθῆσαι.No one of us can eradicate anger from the mind, but reason can help to deal with anger.
4κακοήθειάν τις ἡμῶν οὐ δύναται ἐκκόψαι, ἀλλὰ τὸ μὴ καμφθῆναι τῇ κακοηθείᾳ δύναιτ ἂν ὁ λογισμὸς συμμαχῆσαι·No one of us can eradicate malice, but reason can fight at our side so that we are not overcome by malice.
5οὐ γὰρ ἐκριζωτὴς τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ ἀνταγωνιστής.For reason does not uproot the emotions but is their antagonist.
6Ἔστιν γοῦν τοῦτο διὰ τῆς Δαυιδ τοῦ βασιλέως δίψης σαφέστερον ἐπιλογίσασθαι.Now this can be explained more clearly by the story of King David’s thirst.
7ἐπεὶ γὰρ δι ὅλης ἡμέρας προσβαλὼν τοῖς ἀλλοφύλοις ὁ Δαυιδ πολλοὺς αὐτῶν ἀπέκτεινεν μετὰ τῶν τοῦ ἔθνους στρατιωτῶν,David had been attacking the Philistines all day long, and together with the soldiers of his nation had killed many of them.
8τότε δὴ γενομένης ἑσπέρας ἱδρῶν καὶ σφόδρα κεκμηκὼς ἐπὶ τὴν βασίλειον σκηνὴν ἦλθεν, περὶ ἣν ὁ πᾶς τῶν προγόνων στρατὸς ἐστρατοπεδεύκει.Then when evening fell, he came, sweating and quite exhausted, to the royal tent, around which the whole army of our ancestors had encamped.
9οἱ μὲν οὖν ἄλλοι πάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον ἦσαν,Now all the rest were at supper,
10ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ὡς μάλιστα διψῶν, καίπερ ἀφθόνους ἔχων πηγάς, οὐκ ἠδύνατο δι αὐτῶν ἰάσασθαι τὴν δίψαν,but the king was extremely thirsty, and though springs were plentiful there, he could not satisfy his thirst from them.
11ἀλλά τις αὐτὸν ἀλόγιστος ἐπιθυμία τοῦ παρὰ τοῖς πολεμίοις ὕδατος ἐπιτείνουσα συνέφρυγεν καὶ λύουσα κατέφλεγεν.But a certain irrational desire for the water in the enemy’s territory tormented and inflamed him, undid and consumed him.
12ὅθεν τῶν ὑπασπιστῶν ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιθυμίᾳ σχετλιαζόντων δύο νεανίσκοι στρατιῶται καρτεροὶ καταιδεσθέντες τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιθυμίαν τὰς παντευχίας καθωπλίσαντο καὶ κάλπην λαβόντες ὑπερέβησαν τοὺς τῶν πολεμίων χάρακαςWhen his guards complained bitterly because of the king’s craving, two staunch young soldiers, respecting the king’s desire, armed themselves fully, and taking a pitcher climbed over the enemy’s ramparts.
13καὶ λαθόντες τοὺς τῶν πυλῶν ἀκροφύλακας διεξῄεσαν ἀνερευνώμενοι κατὰ πᾶν τὸ τῶν πολεμίων στρατόπεδονEluding the sentinels at the gates, they went searching throughout the enemy camp
14καὶ ἀνευράμενοι τὴν πηγὴν ἐξ αὐτῆς θαρραλέως ἐκόμισαν τῷ βασιλεῖ τὸ ποτόν·and found the spring, and from it boldly brought the king a drink.
15ὁ δὲ καίπερ τῇ δίψῃ διαπυρούμενος ἐλογίσατο πάνδεινον εἶναι κίνδυνον ψυχῇ λογισθὲν ἰσοδύναμον ποτὸν αἵματι,But David, though he was burning with thirst, considered it an altogether fearful danger to his soul to drink what was regarded as equivalent to blood.
16ὅθεν ἀντιθεὶς τῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ τὸν λογισμὸν ἔσπεισεν τὸ πόμα τῷ θεῷ.Therefore, opposing reason to desire, he poured out the drink as an offering to God.
17δυνατὸς γὰρ ὁ σώφρων νοῦς νικῆσαι τὰς τῶν παθῶν ἀνάγκας καὶ σβέσαι τὰς τῶν οἴστρων φλεγμονὰςFor the temperate mind can conquer the drives of the emotions and quench the flames of frenzied desires;
18καὶ τὰς τῶν σωμάτων ἀλγηδόνας καθ ὑπερβολὴν οὔσας καταπαλαῖσαι καὶ τῇ καλοκἀγαθίᾳ τοῦ λογισμοῦ ἀποπτύσαι πάσας τὰς τῶν παθῶν ἐπικρατείας.it can overthrow bodily agonies even when they are extreme, and by nobility of reason spurn all domination by the emotions.
19Ἤδη δὲ καὶ ὁ καιρὸς ἡμᾶς καλεῖ ἐπὶ τὴν ἀπόδειξιν τῆς ἱστορίας τοῦ σώφρονος λογισμοῦ.The present occasion now invites us to a narrative demonstration of temperate reason.
20Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ βαθεῖαν εἰρήνην διὰ τὴν εὐνομίαν οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν εἶχον καὶ ἔπραττον καλῶς ὥστε καὶ τὸν τῆς Ἀσίας βασιλέα Σέλευκον τὸν Νικάνορα καὶ χρήματα εἰς τὴν ἱερουργίαν αὐτοῖς ἀφορίσαι καὶ τὴν πολιτείαν αὐτῶν ἀποδέχεσθαι,At a time when our ancestors were enjoying profound peace because of their observance of the law and were prospering, so that even Seleucus Nicanor, king of Asia, had both appropriated money to them for the temple service and recognized their commonwealth —
21τότε δή τινες πρὸς τὴν κοινὴν νεωτερίσαντες ὁμόνοιαν πολυτρόποις ἐχρήσαντο συμφοραῖς.just at that time certain persons attempted a revolution against the public harmony and caused many and various disasters.

Chapter 4

1Σιμων γάρ τις πρὸς Ονιαν ἀντιπολιτευόμενος τόν ποτε τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην ἔχοντα διὰ βίου, καλὸν καὶ ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα, ἐπειδὴ πάντα τρόπον διαβάλλων ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους οὐκ ἴσχυσεν κακῶσαι, φυγὰς ?χετο τὴν πατρίδα προδώσων.Now there was a certain Simon, a political opponent of the noble and good man, Onias, who then held the high priesthood for life. When despite all manner of slander he was unable to injure Onias in the eyes of the nation, he fled the country with the purpose of betraying it.
2ὅθεν ἥκων πρὸς Ἀπολλώνιον τὸν Συρίας τε καὶ Φοινίκης καὶ Κιλικίας στρατηγὸν ἔλεγενSo he came to Apollonius, governor of Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia, and said,
3Εὔνους ὢν τοῖς τοῦ βασιλέως πράγμασιν ἥκω μηνύων πολλὰς ἰδιωτικῶν χρημάτων μυριάδας ἐν τοῖς Ιεροσολύμων γαζοφυλακίοις τεθησαυρίσθαι τοῖς ἱεροῖς μὴ ἐπικοινωνούσας, καὶ προσήκειν ταῦτα Σελεύκῳ τῷ βασιλεῖ."I have come here because I am loyal to the king’s government, to report that in the Jerusalem treasuries there are deposited tens of thousands in private funds, which are not the property of the temple but belong to King Seleucus."
4τούτων ἕκαστα γνοὺς ὁ Ἀπολλώνιος τὸν μὲν Σιμωνα τῆς εἰς τὸν βασιλέα κηδεμονίας ἐπαινεῖ, πρὸς δὲ τὸν Σέλευκον ἀναβὰς κατεμήνυσε τὸν τῶν χρημάτων θησαυρόν.When Apollonius learned the details of these things, he praised Simon for his service to the king and went up to Seleucus to inform him of the rich treasure.
5καὶ λαβὼν τὴν περὶ αὐτῶν ἐξουσίαν ταχὺ εἰς τὴν πατρίδα ἡμῶν μετὰ τοῦ καταράτου Σιμωνος καὶ βαρυτάτου στρατοῦOn receiving authority to deal with this matter, he proceeded quickly to our country accompanied by the accursed Simon and a very strong military force.
6προσελθὼν ταῖς τοῦ βασιλέως ἐντολαῖς ἥκειν ἔλεγεν ὅπως τὰ ἰδιωτικὰ τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου λάβοι χρήματα.He said that he had come with the king’s authority to seize the private funds in the treasury.
7καὶ τοῦ ἔθνους πρὸς τὸν λόγον σχετλιάζοντος ἀντιλέγοντός τε, πάνδεινον εἶναι νομίσαντες εἰ οἱ τὰς παρακαταθήκας πιστεύσαντες τῷ ἱερῷ θησαυρῷ στερηθήσονται, ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν ἐκώλυον.The people indignantly protested his words, considering it outrageous that those who had committed deposits to the sacred treasury should be deprived of them, and did all that they could to prevent it.
8μετὰ ἀπειλῶν δὲ ὁ Ἀπολλώνιος ἀπῄει εἰς τὸ ἱερόν.But, uttering threats, Apollonius went on to the temple.
9τῶν δὲ ἱερέων μετὰ γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ ἱκετευσάντων τὸν θεὸν ὑπερασπίσαι τοῦ ἱεροῦ καταφρονουμένου τόπουWhile the priests together with women and children were imploring God in the temple to shield the holy place that was being treated so contemptuously,
10ἀνιόντος τε μετὰ καθωπλισμένης τῆς στρατιᾶς τοῦ Ἀπολλωνίου πρὸς τὴν τῶν χρημάτων ἁρπαγὴν οὐρανόθεν ἔφιπποι προυφάνησαν ἄγγελοι περιαστράπτοντες τοῖς ὅπλοις καὶ πολὺν αὐτοῖς φόβον τε καὶ τρόμον ἐνιέντες.and while Apollonius was going up with his armed forces to seize the money, angels on horseback with lightning flashing from their weapons appeared from heaven, instilling in them great fear and trembling.
11καταπεσών γέ τοι ἡμιθανὴς ὁ Ἀπολλώνιος ἐπὶ τὸν πάμφυλον τοῦ ἱεροῦ περίβολον τὰς χεῖρας ἐξέτεινεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ μετὰ δακρύων τοὺς Εβραίους παρεκάλει ὅπως περὶ αὐτοῦ προσευξάμενοι τὸν οὐράνιον ἐξευμενίσωνται στρατόν.Then Apollonius fell down half dead in the temple area that was open to all, stretched out his hands toward heaven, and with tears begged the Hebrews to pray for him and propitiate the wrath of the heavenly army.
12ἔλεγεν γὰρ ἡμαρτηκὼς ὥστε καὶ ἀποθανεῖν ἄξιος ὑπάρχειν πᾶσίν τε ἀνθρώποις ὑμνήσειν σωθεὶς τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ τόπου μακαριότητα.For he said that he had committed a sin deserving of death, and that if he were spared he would praise the blessedness of the holy place before all people.
13τούτοις ὑπαχθεὶς τοῖς λόγοις Ονιας ὁ ἀρχιερεύς, καίπερ ἄλλως εὐλαβηθείς, μήποτε νομίσειεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Σέλευκος ἐξ ἀνθρωπίνης ἐπιβουλῆς καὶ μὴ θείας δίκης ἀνῃρῆσθαι τὸν Ἀπολλώνιον ηὔξατο περὶ αὐτοῦ.Moved by these words, the high priest Onias, although otherwise he had scruples about doing so, prayed for him so that King Seleucus would not suppose that Apollonius had been overcome by human treachery and not by divine justice.
14καὶ ὁ μὲν παραδόξως διασωθεὶς ᾤχετο δηλώσων τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ συμβάντα αὐτῷ.So Apollonius, having been saved beyond all expectations, went away to report to the king what had happened to him.
15Τελευτήσαντος δὲ Σελεύκου τοῦ βασιλέως διαδέχεται τὴν ἀρχὴν ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ Ἀντίοχος ὁ Ἐπιφανής, ἀνὴρ ὑπερήφανος καὶ δεινός,When King Seleucus died, his son Antiochus Epiphanes succeeded to the throne, an arrogant and terrible man,
16ὃς καταλύσας τὸν Ονιαν τῆς ἀρχιερωσύνης Ιασονα τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ κατέστησεν ἀρχιερέαwho removed Onias from the priesthood and appointed Onias’s brother Jason as high priest.
17συνθέμενον δώσειν, εἰ ἐπιτρέψειεν αὐτῷ τὴν ἀρχήν, κατ ἐνιαυτὸν τρισχίλια ἑξακόσια ἑξήκοντα τάλαντα.Jason agreed that if the office were conferred on him he would pay the king three thousand six hundred sixty talents annually.
18ὁ δὲ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτῷ καὶ ἀρχιερᾶσθαι καὶ τοῦ ἔθνους ἀφηγεῖσθαι·So the king appointed him high priest and ruler of the nation.
19καὶ ἐξεδιῄτησεν τὸ ἔθνος καὶ ἐξεπολίτευσεν ἐπὶ πᾶσαν παρανομίανJason changed the nation’s way of life and altered its form of government in complete violation of the law,
20ὥστε μὴ μόνον ἐπ αὐτῇ τῇ ἄκρᾳ τῆς πατρίδος ἡμῶν γυμνάσιον κατασκευάσαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ καταλῦσαι τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ κηδεμονίαν.so that not only was a gymnasium constructed at the very citadel of our native land, but also the temple service was abolished.
21ἐφ οἷς ἀγανακτήσασα ἡ θεία δίκη αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς τὸν Ἀντίοχον ἐπολέμωσεν.The divine justice was angered by these acts and caused Antiochus himself to make war on them.
22ἐπειδὴ γὰρ πολεμῶν ἦν κατ Αἴγυπτον Πτολεμαίῳ, ἤκουσέν τε ὅτι φήμης διαδοθείσης περὶ τοῦ τεθνάναι αὐτὸν ὡς ἔνι μάλιστα χαίροιεν οἱ Ιεροσολυμῖται, ταχέως ἐπ αὐτοὺς ἀνέζευξεν,For when he was warring against Ptolemy in Egypt, he heard that a rumor of his death had spread and that the people of Jerusalem had rejoiced greatly. He speedily marched against them,
23καὶ ὡς ἐπόρθησεν αὐτούς, δόγμα ἔθετο ὅπως, εἴ τινες αὐτῶν φάνοιεν τῷ πατρίῳ πολιτευόμενοι νόμῳ, θάνοιεν.and after he had plundered them he issued a decree that if any of them were found observing the ancestral law they should die.
24καὶ ἐπεὶ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ἴσχυεν καταλῦσαι διὰ τῶν δογμάτων τὴν τοῦ ἔθνους εὐνομίαν, ἀλλὰ πάσας τὰς ἑαυτοῦ ἀπειλὰς καὶ τιμωρίας ἑώρα καταλυομέναςWhen, by means of his decrees, he had not been able in any way to put an end to the people’s observance of the law, but saw that all his threats and punishments were being disregarded
25ὥστε καὶ γυναῖκας, ὅτι περιέτεμον τὰ παιδία, μετὰ τῶν βρεφῶν κατακρημνισθῆναι προειδυίας ὅτι τοῦτο πείσονται·— even to the extent that women, because they had circumcised their sons, were thrown headlong from heights along with their infants, though they had known beforehand that they would suffer this —
26ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ δόγματα αὐτοῦ κατεφρονεῖτο ὑπὸ τοῦ λαοῦ, αὐτὸς διὰ βασάνων ἕνα ἕκαστον τοῦ ἔθνους ἠνάγκαζεν μιαρῶν ἀπογευομένους τροφῶν ἐξόμνυσθαι τὸν Ιουδαισμόν.when, I say, his decrees were despised by the people, he himself tried through torture to compel everyone in the nation to eat defiling foods and to renounce Judaism.

Chapter 5

1Προκαθίσας γέ τοι μετὰ τῶν συνέδρων ὁ τύραννος Ἀντίοχος ἐπί τινος ὑψηλοῦ τόπου καὶ τῶν στρατευμάτων αὐτῷ παρεστηκότων κυκλόθεν ἐνόπλωνThe tyrant Antiochus, sitting in state with his counselors on a certain high place, and with his armed soldiers standing around him,
2παρεκέλευεν τοῖς δορυφόροις ἕνα ἕκαστον Εβραῖον ἐπισπᾶσθαι καὶ κρεῶν ὑείων καὶ εἰδωλοθύτων ἀναγκάζειν ἀπογεύεσθαι·ordered the guards to seize each and every Hebrew and to compel them to eat pork and food sacrificed to idols.
3εἰ δέ τινες μὴ θέλοιεν μιαροφαγῆσαι, τούτους τροχισθέντας ἀναιρεθῆναι.If any were not willing to eat defiling food, they were to be broken on the wheel and killed.
4πολλῶν δὲ συναρπασθέντων εἷς πρῶτος ἐκ τῆς ἀγέλης ὀνόματι Ελεαζαρος, τὸ γένος ἱερεύς, τὴν ἐπιστήμην νομικὸς καὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν προήκων καὶ πολλοῖς τῶν περὶ τὸν τύραννον διὰ τὴν ἡλικίαν γνώριμος, παρήχθη πλησίον αὐτοῦ.When many persons had been rounded up, one man, Eleazar by name, leader of the flock, was brought before the king. He was a man of priestly family, learned in the law, advanced in age, and known to many in the tyrant’s court because of his philosophy.
5Καὶ αὐτὸν ἰδὼν ὁ Ἀντίοχος ἔφηWhen Antiochus saw him he said,
6Ἐγὼ πρὶν ἄρξασθαι τῶν κατὰ σοῦ βασάνων, ὦ πρεσβῦτα, συμβουλεύσαιμ ἄν σοι ταῦτα, ὅπως ἀπογευσάμενος τῶν ὑείων σῴζοιο·"Before I begin to torture you, old man, I would advise you to save yourself by eating pork,
7αἰδοῦμαι γάρ σου τὴν ἡλικίαν καὶ τὴν πολιάν, ἣν μετὰ τοσοῦτον ἔχων χρόνον οὔ μοι δοκεῖς φιλοσοφεῖν τῇ Ιουδαίων χρώμενος θρησκείᾳ.for I respect your age and your gray hairs. Although you have had them for so long a time, it does not seem to me that you are a philosopher when you observe the religion of the Jews.
8διὰ τί γὰρ τῆς φύσεως κεχαρισμένης καλλίστην τὴν τοῦδε τοῦ ζῴου σαρκοφαγίαν βδελύττῃ;When nature has granted it to us, why should you abhor eating the very excellent meat of this animal?
9καὶ γὰρ ἀνόητον τοῦτο, τὸ μὴ ἀπολαύειν τῶν χωρὶς ὀνείδους ἡδέων, καὶ ἄδικον ἀποστρέφεσθαι τὰς τῆς φύσεως χάριτας.It is senseless not to enjoy delicious things that are not shameful, and wrong to spurn the gifts of nature.
10σὺ δέ μοι καὶ ἀνοητότερον ποιήσειν δοκεῖς, εἰ κενοδοξῶν περὶ τὸ ἀληθὲς ἔτι κἀμοῦ καταφρονήσεις ἐπὶ τῇ ἰδίᾳ τιμωρίᾳ.It seems to me that you will do something even more senseless if, by holding a vain opinion concerning the truth, you continue to despise me to your own hurt.
11οὐκ ἐξυπνώσεις ἀπὸ τῆς φλυάρου φιλοσοφίας ὑμῶν καὶ ἀποσκεδάσεις τῶν λογισμῶν σου τὸν λῆρον καὶ ἄξιον τῆς ἡλικίας ἀναλαβὼν νοῦν φιλοσοφήσεις τὴν τοῦ συμφέροντος ἀλήθειανWill you not awaken from your foolish philosophy, dispel your futile reasonings, adopt a mind appropriate to your years, philosophize according to the truth of what is beneficial,
12καὶ προσκυνήσας μου τὴν φιλάνθρωπον παρηγορίαν οἰκτιρήσεις τὸ σεαυτοῦ γῆρας;and have compassion on your old age by honoring my humane advice?
13καὶ γὰρ ἐνθυμήθητι ὡς, εἰ καί τίς ἐστιν τῆσδε τῆς θρησκείας ὑμῶν ἐποπτικὴ δύναμις, συγγνωμονήσειεν ἄν σοι ἐπὶ πάσῃ δι ἀνάγκην παρανομίᾳ γινομένῃ.For consider this: if there is some power watching over this religion of yours, it will excuse you from any transgression that arises out of compulsion."
14Τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἐπὶ τὴν ἔκθεσμον σαρκοφαγίαν ἐποτρύνοντος τοῦ τυράννου λόγον ᾔτησεν ὁ ΕλεαζαροςWhen the tyrant urged him in this fashion to eat meat unlawfully, Eleazar asked to have a word.
15καὶ λαβὼν τοῦ λέγειν ἐξουσίαν ἤρξατο δημηγορεῖν οὕτωςWhen he had received permission to speak, he began to address the people as follows:
16Ἡμεῖς, Ἀντίοχε, θείῳ πεπεισμένοι νόμῳ πολιτεύεσθαι οὐδεμίαν ἀνάγκην βιαιοτέραν εἶναι νομίζομεν τῆς πρὸς τὸν νόμον ἡμῶν εὐπειθείας·"We, O Antiochus, who have been persuaded to govern our lives by the divine law, think that there is no compulsion more powerful than our obedience to the law.
17διὸ δὴ κατ οὐδένα τρόπον παρανομεῖν ἀξιοῦμεν.Therefore we consider that we should not transgress it in any respect.
18καίτοι εἰ κατὰ ἀλήθειαν μὴ ἦν ὁ νόμος ἡμῶν, ὡς ὑπολαμβάνεις, θεῖος, ἄλλως δὲ ἐνομίζομεν αὐτὸν εἶναι θεῖον, οὐδὲ οὕτως ἐξὸν ἦν ἡμῖν τὴν ἐπὶ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ δόξαν ἀκυρῶσαι.Even if, as you suppose, our law were not truly divine and we had wrongly held it to be divine, not even so would it be right for us to invalidate our reputation for piety.
19μὴ μικρὰν οὖν εἶναι νομίσῃς ταύτην, εἰ μιαροφαγήσαιμεν, ἁμαρτίαν·Therefore do not suppose that it would be a petty sin if we were to eat defiling food;
20τὸ γὰρ ἐπὶ μικροῖς καὶ μεγάλοις παρανομεῖν ἰσοδύναμόν ἐστιν,to transgress the law in matters either small or great is of equal seriousness,
21δι ἑκατέρου γὰρ ὡς ὁμοίως ὁ νόμος ὑπερηφανεῖται.for in either case the law is equally despised.
22χλευάζεις δὲ ἡμῶν τὴν φιλοσοφίαν ὥσπερ οὐ μετὰ εὐλογιστίας ἐν αὐτῇ βιούντων·You scoff at our philosophy as though living by it were irrational,
23σωφροσύνην τε γὰρ ἡμᾶς ἐκδιδάσκει ὥστε πασῶν τῶν ἡδονῶν καὶ ἐπιθυμιῶν κρατεῖν καὶ ἀνδρείαν ἐξασκεῖ ὥστε πάντα πόνον ἑκουσίως ὑπομένεινbut it teaches us self-control, so that we master all pleasures and desires, and it also trains us in courage, so that we endure any suffering willingly;
24καὶ δικαιοσύνην παιδεύει ὥστε· διὰ πάντων τῶν ἠθῶν ἰσονομεῖν καὶ εὐσέβειαν ἐκδιδάσκει ὥστε μόνον τὸν ὄντα θεὸν σέβειν μεγαλοπρεπῶς.it instructs us in justice, so that in all our dealings we act impartially, and it teaches us piety, so that with proper reverence we worship the only living God.
25διὸ οὐ μιαροφαγοῦμεν· πιστεύοντες γὰρ θεοῦ καθεστάναι τὸν νόμον οἴδαμεν ὅτι κατὰ φύσιν ἡμῖν συμπαθεῖ νομοθετῶν ὁ τοῦ κόσμου κτίστης·"Therefore we do not eat defiling food; for since we believe that the law was established by God, we know that in the nature of things the Creator of the world in giving us the law has shown sympathy toward us.
26τὰ μὲν οἰκειωθησόμενα ἡμῶν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐπέτρεψεν ἐσθίειν, τὰ δὲ ἐναντιωθησόμενα ἐκώλυσεν σαρκοφαγεῖν.He has permitted us to eat what will be most suitable for our lives, but he has forbidden us to eat meats that would be contrary to this.
27τυραννικὸν δὲ οὐ μόνον ἀναγκάζειν ἡμᾶς παρανομεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐσθίειν, ὅπως τῇ ἐχθίστῃ ἡμῶν μιαροφαγίᾳ ταύτῃ ἐπεγγελάσῃς.It would be tyrannical for you to compel us not only to transgress the law, but also to eat in such a way that you may deride us for eating defiling foods, which are most hateful to us.
28ἀλλ οὐ γελάσεις κατ ἐμοῦ τοῦτον τὸν γέλωτα,But you shall have no such occasion to laugh at me,
29οὔτε τοὺς ἱεροὺς τῶν προγόνων περὶ τοῦ φυλάξαι τὸν νόμον ὅρκους οὐ παρήσω,nor will I transgress the sacred oaths of my ancestors concerning the keeping of the law,
30οὐδ ἂν ἐκκόψειάς μου τὰ ὄμματα καὶ τὰ σπλάγχνα μου τήξειας.not even if you gouge out my eyes and burn my entrails.
31οὐχ οὕτως εἰμὶ γέρων ἐγὼ καὶ ἄνανδρος ὥστε μοι διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν μὴ νεάζειν τὸν λογισμόν.I am not so old and cowardly as not to be young in reason on behalf of piety.
32πρὸς ταῦτα τροχοὺς εὐτρέπιζε καὶ τὸ πῦρ ἐκφύσα σφοδρότερον.Therefore get your torture wheels ready and fan the fire more vehemently!
33οὐχ οὕτως οἰκτίρομαι τὸ ἐμαυτοῦ γῆρας ὥστε δι ἐμαυτοῦ τὸν πάτριον καταλῦσαι νόμον.I do not so pity my old age as to break the ancestral law by my own act.
34οὐ ψεύσομαί σε, παιδευτὰ νόμε, οὐδὲ ἐξομοῦμαί σε, φίλη ἐγκράτεια,I will not play false to you, O law that trained me, nor will I renounce you, beloved self-control.
35οὐδὲ καταισχυνῶ σε, φιλόσοφε λόγε, οὐδὲ ἐξαρνήσομαί σε, ἱερωσύνη τιμία καὶ νομοθεσίας ἐπιστήμη·I will not put you to shame, philosophical reason, nor will I reject you, honored priesthood and knowledge of the law.
36οὐδὲ μιανεῖς μου τὸ σεμνὸν γήρως στόμα οὐδὲ νομίμου βίου ἡλικίαν.You, O king, shall not defile the honorable mouth of my old age, nor my long life lived lawfully.
37ἁγνόν με οἱ πατέρες εἰσδέξονται μὴ φοβηθέντα σου τὰς μέχρι θανάτου ἀνάγκας.My ancestors will receive me as pure, as one who does not fear your violence even to death.
38ἀσεβῶν μὲν γὰρ τυραννήσεις, τῶν δὲ ἐμῶν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας λογισμῶν οὔτε λόγοις δεσπόσεις οὔτε δι ἔργων.You may tyrannize the ungodly, but you shall not dominate my religious principles, either by words or through deeds."

Chapter 6

1Τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἀντιρρητορεύσαντα ταῖς τοῦ τυράννου παρηγορίαις παραστάντες οἱ δορυφόροι πικρῶς ἔσυραν ἐπὶ τὰ βασανιστήρια τὸν Ελεαζαρον.When Eleazar in this manner had made eloquent response to the exhortations of the tyrant, the guards who were standing by dragged him violently to the instruments of torture.
2καὶ πρῶτον μὲν περιέδυσαν τὸν γεραιὸν ἐγκοσμούμενον τῇ περὶ τὴν εὐσέβειαν εὐσχημοσύνῃ·First they stripped the old man, though he remained adorned with the gracefulness of his piety.
3ἔπειτα περιαγκωνίσαντες ἑκατέρωθεν μάστιξιν κατῄκιζον,After they had tied his arms on each side they flogged him,
4Πείσθητι ταῖς τοῦ βασιλέως ἐντολαῖς, ἑτέρωθεν κήρυκος ἐπιβοῶντος.while a herald who faced him cried out, "Obey the king’s commands!"
5ὁ δὲ μεγαλόφρων καὶ εὐγενὴς ὡς ἀληθῶς Ελεαζαρος ὥσπερ ἐν ὀνείρῳ βασανιζόμενος κατ οὐδένα τρόπον μετετρέπετο,But the courageous and noble man, like a true Eleazar, was unmoved, as though being tortured in a dream;
6ἀλλὰ ὑψηλοὺς ἀνατείνας εἰς οὐρανὸν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἀπεξαίνετο ταῖς μάστιξιν τὰς σάρκας ὁ γέρων καὶ κατερρεῖτο τῷ αἵματι καὶ τὰ πλευρὰ κατετιτρώσκετο.yet while the old man’s eyes were raised to heaven, his flesh was being torn by scourges, his blood flowing, and his sides were being cut to pieces.
7καὶ πίπτων εἰς τὸ ἔδαφος ἀπὸ τοῦ μὴ φέρειν τὸ σῶμα τὰς ἀλγηδόνας ὀρθὸν εἶχεν καὶ ἀκλινῆ τὸν λογισμόν.Although he fell to the ground because his body could not endure the agonies, he kept his reason upright and unswerving.
8λάξ γέ τοι τῶν πικρῶν τις δορυφόρων εἰς τοὺς κενεῶνας ἐναλλόμενος ἔτυπτεν, ὅπως ἐξανίσταιτο πίπτων.One of the cruel guards rushed at him and began to kick him in the side to make him get up again after he fell.
9ὁ δὲ ὑπέμενε τοὺς πόνους καὶ περιεφρόνει τῆς ἀνάγκης καὶ διεκαρτέρει τοὺς αἰκισμούς,But he bore the pains and scorned the punishment and endured the tortures.
10καὶ καθάπερ γενναῖος ἀθλητὴς τυπτόμενος ἐνίκα τοὺς βασανίζοντας ὁ γέρων·Like a noble athlete the old man, while being beaten, was victorious over his torturers;
11ἱδρῶν γέ τοι τὸ πρόσωπον καὶ ἐπασθμαίνων σφοδρῶς καὶ ὑπ αὐτῶν τῶν βασανιζόντων ἐθαυμάζετο ἐπὶ τῇ εὐψυχίᾳ.in fact, with his face bathed in sweat, and gasping heavily for breath, he amazed even his torturers by his courageous spirit.
12Ὅθεν τὰ μὲν ἐλεῶντες τὰ τοῦ γήρως αὐτοῦ,At that point, partly out of pity for his old age,
13τὰ δὲ ἐν συμπαθείᾳ τῆς συνηθείας ὄντες, τὰ δὲ ἐν θαυμασμῷ τῆς καρτερίας προσιόντες αὐτῷ τινες τοῦ βασιλέως ἔλεγονpartly out of sympathy from their acquaintance with him, partly out of admiration for his endurance, some of the king’s retinue came to him and said,
14Τί τοῖς κακοῖς τούτοις σεαυτὸν ἀλογίστως ἀπόλλεις, Ελεαζαρ;"Eleazar, why are you so irrationally destroying yourself through these evil things?
15ἡμεῖς μέν τοι τῶν ἡψημένων βρωμάτων παραθήσομεν, σὺ δὲ ὑποκρινόμενος τῶν ὑείων ἀπογεύεσθαι σώθητι.We will set before you some cooked meat; save yourself by pretending to eat pork."
16Καὶ ὁ Ελεαζαρος ὥσπερ πικρότερον διὰ τῆς συμβουλίας αἰκισθεὶς ἀνεβόησενBut Eleazar, as though more bitterly tormented by this counsel, cried out:
17Μὴ οὕτως κακῶς φρονήσαιμεν οἱ Αβρααμ παῖδες ὥστε μαλακοψυχήσαντας ἀπρεπὲς ἡμῖν δρᾶμα ὑποκρίνασθαι."Never may we, the children of Abraham, think so basely that out of cowardice we feign a role unbecoming to us!
18καὶ γὰρ ἀλόγιστον εἰ πρὸς ἀλήθειαν ζήσαντες τὸν μέχρι γήρως βίον καὶ τὴν ἐπ αὐτῷ δόξαν νομίμως φυλάσσοντες νῦν μεταβαλοίμεθαFor it would be irrational if having lived in accordance with truth up to old age and having maintained in accordance with law the reputation of such a life, we should now change our course
19καὶ αὐτοὶ μὲν ἡμεῖς γενοίμεθα τοῖς νέοις ἀσεβείας τύπος, ἵνα παράδειγμα γενώμεθα τῆς μιαροφαγίας.and ourselves become a pattern of impiety to the young by setting them an example in the eating of defiling food.
20αἰσχρὸν δὲ εἰ ἐπιβιώσομεν ὀλίγον χρόνον καὶ τοῦτον καταγελώμενοι πρὸς ἁπάντων ἐπὶ δειλίᾳIt would be shameful if we should survive for a little while and during that time be a laughingstock to all for our cowardice,
21καὶ ὑπὸ μὲν τοῦ τυράννου καταφρονηθῶμεν ὡς ἄνανδροι, τὸν δὲ θεῖον ἡμῶν νόμον μέχρι θανάτου μὴ προασπίσαιμεν.and be despised by the tyrant as unmanly by not contending even to death for our divine law.
22πρὸς ταῦτα ὑμεῖς μέν, ὦ Αβρααμ παῖδες, εὐγενῶς ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας τελευτᾶτε.Therefore, O children of Abraham, die nobly for your religion!
23οἱ δὲ τοῦ τυράννου δορυφόροι, τί μέλλετε;And you, guards of the tyrant, why do you delay?"
24Πρὸς τὰς ἀνάγκας οὕτως μεγαλοφρονοῦντα αὐτὸν ἰδόντες καὶ μηδὲ πρὸς τὸν οἰκτιρμὸν αὐτῶν μεταβαλλόμενον ἐπὶ τὸ πῦρ αὐτὸν ἀνῆγον·When they saw that he was so courageous in the face of the afflictions, and that he had not been changed by their compassion, the guards brought him to the fire.
25ἔνθα διὰ κακοτέχνων ὀργάνων καταφλέγοντες αὐτὸν ὑπερρίπτοσαν, καὶ δυσώδεις χυλοὺς εἰς τοὺς μυκτῆρας αὐτοῦ κατέχεον.There they burned him with maliciously contrived instruments, threw him down, and poured stinking liquids into his nostrils.
26ὁ δὲ μέχρι τῶν ὀστέων ἤδη κατακεκαυμένος καὶ μέλλων λιποθυμεῖν ἀνέτεινε τὰ ὄμματα πρὸς τὸν θεὸν καὶ εἶπενWhen he was now burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted up his eyes to God and said,
27Σὺ οἶσθα, θεέ, παρόν μοι σῴζεσθαι βασάνοις καυστικαῖς ἀποθνῄσκω διὰ τὸν νόμον."You know, O God, that though I might have saved myself, I am dying in burning torments for the sake of the law.
28ἵλεως γενοῦ τῷ ἔθνει σου ἀρκεσθεὶς τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν δίκῃ.Be merciful to your people, and let our punishment suffice for them.
29καθάρσιον αὐτῶν ποίησον τὸ ἐμὸν αἷμα καὶ ἀντίψυχον αὐτῶν λαβὲ τὴν ἐμὴν ψυχήν.Make my blood their purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs."
30καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν ὁ ἱερὸς ἀνὴρ εὐγενῶς ταῖς βασάνοις ἐναπέθανεν καὶ μέχρι τῶν τοῦ θανάτου βασάνων ἀντέστη τῷ λογισμῷ διὰ τὸν νόμον.After he said this, the holy man died nobly in his tortures; even in the tortures of death he resisted, by virtue of reason, for the sake of the law.
31Ὁμολογουμένως οὖν δεσπότης τῶν παθῶν ἐστιν ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμός.Admittedly, then, devout reason is sovereign over the emotions.
32εἰ γὰρ τὰ πάθη τοῦ λογισμοῦ κεκρατήκει, τούτοις ἂν ἀπέδομεν τὴν τῆς ἐπικρατείας μαρτυρίαν·For if the emotions had prevailed over reason, we would have testified to their domination.
33νυνὶ δὲ τοῦ λογισμοῦ τὰ πάθη νικήσαντος αὐτῷ προσηκόντως τὴν τῆς ἡγεμονίας προσνέμομεν ἐξουσίαν.But now that reason has conquered the emotions, we properly attribute to it the power to govern.
34καὶ δίκαιόν ἐστιν ὁμολογεῖν ἡμᾶς τὸ κράτος εἶναι τοῦ λογισμοῦ, ὅπου γε καὶ τῶν ἔξωθεν ἀλγηδόνων ἐπικρατεῖ, ἐπεὶ καὶ γελοῖον.It is right for us to acknowledge the dominance of reason when it masters even external agonies. It would be ridiculous to deny it.
35καὶ οὐ μόνον τῶν ἀλγηδόνων ἐπιδείκνυμι κεκρατηκέναι τὸν λογισμόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἡδονῶν κρατεῖν καὶ μηδὲν αὐταῖς ὑπείκειν.I have proved not only that reason has mastered agonies, but also that it masters pleasures and in no respect yields to them.

Chapter 7

1Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄριστος κυβερνήτης ὁ τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ελεαζαρου λογισμὸς πηδαλιουχῶν τὴν τῆς εὐσεβείας ναῦν ἐν τῷ τῶν παθῶν πελάγειFor like a most skillful pilot, the reason of our father Eleazar steered the ship of religion over the sea of the emotions,
2καὶ καταικιζόμενος ταῖς τοῦ τυράννου ἀπειλαῖς καὶ καταντλούμενος ταῖς τῶν βασάνων τρικυμίαιςand though buffeted by the stormings of the tyrant and overwhelmed by the mighty waves of tortures,
3κατ οὐδένα τρόπον ἔτρεψε τοὺς τῆς εὐσεβείας οἴακας, ἕως οὗ ἔπλευσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τῆς ἀθανάτου νίκης λιμένα.in no way did he turn the rudder of religion until he sailed into the haven of immortal victory.
4οὐχ οὕτως πόλις πολλοῖς καὶ ποικίλοις μηχανήμασιν ἀντέσχε ποτὲ πολιορκουμένη, ὡς ὁ πανάγιος ἐκεῖνος. τὴν ἱερὰν ψυχὴν αἰκισμοῖς τε καὶ στρέβλαις πυρπολούμενος ἐνίκησεν τοὺς πολιορκοῦντας διὰ τὸν ὑπερασπίζοντα τῆς εὐσεβείας λογισμόν.No city besieged with many ingenious war machines has ever held out as did that most holy man. Although his sacred life was consumed by tortures and racks, he conquered the besiegers with the shield of his devout reason.
5ὥσπερ γὰρ πρόκρημνον ἄκραν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ διάνοιαν ὁ πατὴρ Ελεαζαρ ἐκτείνας περιέκλασεν τοὺς ἐπιμαινομένους τῶν παθῶν κλύδωνας.For in setting his mind firm like a jutting cliff, our father Eleazar broke the maddening waves of the emotions.
6ὦ ἄξιε τῆς ἱερωσύνης ἱερεῦ, οὐκ ἐμίανας τοὺς ἱεροὺς ὀδόντας οὐδὲ τὴν θεοσέβειαν καὶ καθαρισμὸν χωρήσασαν γαστέρα ἐκοίνωσας μιαροφαγίᾳ.O priest, worthy of the priesthood, you neither defiled your sacred teeth nor profaned your stomach, which had room only for reverence and purity, by eating defiling foods.
7ὦ σύμφωνε νόμου καὶ φιλόσοφε θείου βίου.O man in harmony with the law and philosopher of divine life!
8τοιούτους δεῖ εἶναι τοὺς δημιουργοῦντας τὸν νόμον ἰδίῳ αἵματι καὶ γενναίῳ ἱδρῶτι τοῖς μέχρι θανάτου πάθεσιν ὑπερασπίζοντας.Such should be those who are administrators of the law, shielding it with their own blood and noble sweat in sufferings even to death.
9σύ, πάτερ, τὴν εὐνομίαν ἡμῶν διὰ τῶν ὑπομονῶν εἰς δόξαν ἐκύρωσας καὶ τὴν ἁγιαστίαν σεμνολογήσας οὐ κατέλυσας καὶ διὰ τῶν ἔργων ἐπιστοποίησας τοὺς τῆς θείας φιλοσοφίας σου λόγους,You, father, strengthened our loyalty to the law through your glorious endurance, and you did not abandon the holiness that you praised, but by your deeds you made your words of divine philosophy credible.
10ὦ βασάνων βιαιότερε γέρων καὶ πυρὸς εὐτονώτερε πρεσβῦτα καὶ παθῶν μέγιστε βασιλεῦ Ελεαζαρ.O aged man, more powerful than tortures; O elder, fiercer than fire; O supreme king over the passions, Eleazar!
11ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ Ααρων τῷ θυμιατηρίῳ καθωπλισμένος διὰ τοῦ ἐθνοπλήθους ἐπιτρέχων τὸν ἐμπυριστὴν ἐνίκησεν ἄγγελον,For just as our father Aaron, armed with the censer, ran through the multitude of the people and conquered the fiery angel,
12οὕτως ὁ Ααρωνίδης Ελεαζαρ διὰ τοῦ πυρὸς ὑπερτηκόμενος οὐ μετετράπη τὸν λογισμόν.so the descendant of Aaron, Eleazar, though being consumed by the fire, remained unmoved in his reason.
13καίτοι τὸ θαυμασιώτατον, γέρων ὢν λελυμένων μὲν ἤδη τῶν τοῦ σώματος τόνων, περικεχαλασμένων δὲ τῶν σαρκῶν, κεκμηκότων δὲ καὶ τῶν νεύρων ἀνενέασενMost amazing, indeed, though he was an old man, his body no longer tense and firm, his muscles flabby, his sinews feeble, he became young again
14τῷ πνεύματι διὰ τοῦ λογισμοῦ καὶ τῷ Ισακίῳ λογισμῷ τὴν πολυκέφαλον στρέβλαν ἠκύρωσεν.in spirit through reason; and by reason like that of Isaac he rendered the many-headed rack ineffective.
15ὦ μακαρίου γήρως καὶ σεμνῆς πολιᾶς καὶ βίου νομίμου, ὃν πιστὴ θανάτου σφραγὶς ἐτελείωσεν.O man of blessed age and of venerable gray hair and of law-abiding life, whom the faithful seal of death has perfected!
16Εἰ δὴ τοίνυν γέρων ἀνὴρ τῶν μέχρι θανάτου βασάνων περιεφρόνει δι εὐσέβειαν, ὁμολογουμένως ἡγεμών ἐστιν τῶν παθῶν ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμός.If, therefore, because of piety an aged man despised tortures even to death, most certainly devout reason is governor of the emotions.
17ἴσως δ ἂν εἴποιέν τινες Τῶν παθῶν οὐ πάντες περικρατοῦσιν, ὅτι οὐδὲ πάντες φρόνιμον ἔχουσιν τὸν λογισμόν.Some perhaps might say, "Not all have full command of their emotions, because not all have prudent reason."
18ἀλλ ὅσοι τῆς εὐσεβείας προνοοῦσιν ἐξ ὅλης καρδίας, οὗτοι μόνοι δύνανται κρατεῖν τῶν τῆς σαρκὸς παθῶνBut as many as attend to religion with a whole heart, these alone are able to control the passions of the flesh,
19πιστεύοντες ὅτι θεῷ οὐκ ἀποθνῄσκουσιν, ὥσπερ οὐδὲ οἱ πατριάρχαι ἡμῶν Αβρααμ καὶ Ισαακ καὶ Ιακωβ, ἀλλὰ ζῶσιν τῷ θεῷ.since they believe that they, like our patriarchs Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, do not die to God, but live to God.
20οὐδὲν οὖν ἐναντιοῦται τὸ φαίνεσθαί τινας παθοκρατεῖσθαι διὰ τὸν ἀσθενῆ λογισμόν·No contradiction therefore arises when some persons appear to be dominated by their emotions because of the weakness of their reason.
21ἐπεὶ τίς πρὸς ὅλον τὸν τῆς φιλοσοφίας κανόνα φιλοσοφῶν καὶ πεπιστευκὼς θεῷWhat person who lives as a philosopher by the whole rule of philosophy, and trusts in God,
22καὶ εἰδὼς ὅτι διὰ τὴν ἀρετὴν πάντα πόνον ὑπομένειν μακάριόν ἐστιν, οὐκ ἂν περικρατήσειεν τῶν παθῶν διὰ τὴν θεοσέβειαν;and knows that it is blessed to endure any suffering for the sake of virtue, would not be able to overcome the emotions through godliness?
23μόνος γὰρ ὁ σοφὸς καὶ ἀνδρεῖός ἐστιν τῶν παθῶν κύριος.For only the wise and courageous are masters of their emotions.

Chapter 8

1Διὰ τοῦτό γέ τοι καὶ μειρακίσκοι τῷ τῆς εὐσεβείας λογισμῷ φιλοσοφοῦντες χαλεπωτέρων βασανιστηρίων ἐπεκράτησαν.For this is why even the very young, by following a philosophy in accordance with devout reason, have prevailed over the most painful instruments of torture.
2ἐπειδὴ γὰρ κατὰ τὴν πρώτην πεῖραν ἐνικήθη περιφανῶς ὁ τύραννος μὴ δυνηθεὶς ἀναγκάσαι γέροντα μιαροφαγῆσαι, τότε δὴ σφόδρα περιπαθῶς ἐκέλευσεν ἄλλους ἐκ τῆς λείας τῶν Εβραίων ἀγαγεῖν, καὶ εἰ μὲν μιαροφαγήσαιεν, ἀπολύειν φαγόντας, εἰ δ ἀντιλέγοιεν, πικρότερον βασανίζειν.For when the tyrant was conspicuously defeated in his first attempt, being unable to compel an aged man to eat defiling foods, then in violent rage he commanded that others of the Hebrew captives be brought, and that any who ate defiling food would be freed after eating, but if any were to refuse, they would be tortured even more cruelly.
3ταῦτα διαταξαμένου τοῦ τυράννου, παρῆσαν ἀγόμενοι μετὰ γεραιᾶς μητρὸς ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ καλοί τε καὶ αἰδήμονες καὶ γενναῖοι καὶ ἐν παντὶ χαρίεντες.When the tyrant had given these orders, seven brothers — handsome, modest, noble, and accomplished in every way — were brought before him along with their aged mother.
4οὓς ἰδὼν ὁ τύραννος καθάπερ ἐν χορῷ μέσην τὴν μητέρα περιέχοντας ἥσθετο ἐπ αὐτοῖς καὶ τῆς εὐπρεπείας ἐκπλαγεὶς καὶ τῆς εὐγενείας προσεμειδίασεν αὐτοῖς καὶ πλησίον καλέσας ἔφηWhen the tyrant saw them, grouped about their mother as though a chorus, he was pleased with them. And struck by their appearance and nobility, he smiled at them, and summoned them nearer and said,
5Ὦ νεανίαι, φιλοφρόνως ἐγὼ καθ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου ὑμῶν θαυμάζω, τὸ κάλλος καὶ τὸ πλῆθος τοσούτων ἀδελφῶν ὑπερτιμῶν οὐ μόνον συμβουλεύω μὴ μανῆναι τὴν αὐτὴν τῷ προβασανισθέντι γέροντι μανίαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ παρακαλῶ συνείξαντάς μοι τῆς ἐμῆς ἀπολαύειν φιλίας·"Young men, with favorable feelings I admire each and every one of you, and greatly respect the beauty and the number of such brothers. Not only do I advise you not to display the same madness as that of the old man who has just been tortured, but I also exhort you to yield to me and enjoy my friendship.
6δυναίμην δ ἂν ὥσπερ κολάζειν τοὺς ἀπειθοῦντάς μου τοῖς ἐπιτάγμασιν, οὕτω καὶ εὐεργετεῖν τοὺς εὐπειθοῦντάς μοι.Just as I am able to punish those who disobey my orders, so I can be a benefactor to those who obey me.
7πιστεύσατε οὖν καὶ ἀρχὰς ἐπὶ τῶν ἐμῶν πραγμάτων ἡγεμονικὰς λήμψεσθε ἀρνησάμενοι τὸν πάτριον ὑμῶν τῆς πολιτείας θεσμόν·Trust me, then, and you will have positions of authority in my government if you will renounce the ancestral tradition of your national life.
8καὶ μεταλαβόντες Ἑλληνικοῦ βίου καὶ μεταδιαιτηθέντες ἐντρυφήσατε ταῖς νεότησιν ὑμῶν·Enjoy your youth by adopting the Greek way of life and by changing your manner of living.
9ἐπεί, ἐὰν ὀργίλως με διάθησθε διὰ τῆς ἀπειθείας, ἀναγκάσετέ με ἐπὶ δειναῖς κολάσεσιν ἕνα ἕκαστον ὑμῶν διὰ τῶν βασάνων ἀπολέσαι.But if by disobedience you rouse my anger, you will compel me to destroy each and every one of you with dreadful punishments through tortures.
10κατελεήσατε οὖν ἑαυτούς, οὓς καὶ ὁ πολέμιος ἔγωγε καὶ τῆς ἡλικίας καὶ τῆς εὐμορφίας οἰκτίρομαι.Therefore take pity on yourselves. Even I, your enemy, have compassion for your youth and handsome appearance.
11οὐ διαλογιεῖσθε τοῦτο, ὅτι οὐδὲν ὑμῖν ἀπειθήσασιν πλὴν τοῦ μετὰ στρεβλῶν ἀποθανεῖν ἀπόκειται;Will you not consider this, that if you disobey, nothing remains for you but to die on the rack?"
12Ταῦτα δὲ λέγων ἐκέλευσεν εἰς τὸ ἔμπροσθεν τιθέναι τὰ βασανιστήρια, ὅπως καὶ διὰ τοῦ φόβου πείσειεν αὐτοὺς μιαροφαγῆσαι.When he had said these things, he ordered the instruments of torture to be brought forward so as to persuade them out of fear to eat the defiling food.
13ὡς δὲ τροχούς τε καὶ ἀρθρέμβολα, στρεβλωτήριά τε καὶ τροχαντῆρας καὶ καταπέλτας καὶ λέβητας, τήγανά τε καὶ δακτυλήθρας καὶ χεῖρας σιδηρᾶς καὶ σφῆνας καὶ τὰ ζώπυρα τοῦ πυρὸς οἱ δορυφόροι προέθεσαν, ὑπολαβὼν ὁ τύραννος ἔφηWhen the guards had placed before them wheels and joint-dislocators, rack and hooks and catapults and caldrons, braziers and thumbscrews and iron claws and wedges and bellows, the tyrant resumed speaking:
14Μειράκια, φοβήθητε, καὶ ἣν σέβεσθε δίκην, ἵλεως ὑμῖν ἔσται δι ἀνάγκην παρανομήσασιν."Be afraid, young fellows; whatever justice you revere will be merciful to you when you transgress under compulsion."
15Οἱ δὲ ἀκούσαντες ἐπαγωγὰ καὶ ὁρῶντες δεινὰ οὐ μόνον οὐκ ἐφοβήθησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀντεφιλοσόφησαν τῷ τυράννῳ καὶ διὰ τῆς εὐλογιστίας τὴν τυραννίδα αὐτοῦ κατέλυσαν.But when they had heard the inducements and saw the dreadful devices, not only were they not afraid, but they also opposed the tyrant with their own philosophy, and by their right reasoning nullified his tyranny.
16καίτοι λογισώμεθα, εἰ δειλόψυχοί τινες ἦσαν ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ ἄνανδροι, ποίοις ἂν ἐχρήσαντο λόγοις; οὐχὶ τούτοις;Let us consider, on the other hand, what arguments might have been used if some of them had been cowardly and unmanly. Would they not have been the following?
17Ὦ τάλανες ἡμεῖς καὶ λίαν ἀνόητοι· βασιλέως ἡμᾶς καλοῦντος καὶ ἐπὶ εὐεργεσίᾳ παρακαλοῦντος, εἰ πεισθείημεν αὐτῷ,"O wretches that we are and so senseless! Since the king has summoned and exhorted us to accept kind treatment if we obey him,
18τί βουλήμασιν κενοῖς ἑαυτοὺς εὐφραίνομεν καὶ θανατηφόρον ἀπείθειαν τολμῶμεν;why do we take pleasure in vain resolves and venture upon a disobedience that brings death?
19οὐ φοβηθησόμεθα, ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, τὰ βασανιστήρια καὶ λογιούμεθα τὰς τῶν βασάνων ἀπειλὰς καὶ φευξόμεθα τὴν κενοδοξίαν ταύτην καὶ ὀλεθροφόρον ἀλαζονείαν;O men and brothers, should we not fear the instruments of torture and consider the threats of torments, and give up this vain opinion and this arrogance that threatens to destroy us?
20ἐλεήσωμεν τὰς ἑαυτῶν ἡλικίας καὶ κατοικτίρωμεν τὸ τῆς μητρὸς γῆραςLet us take pity on our youth and have compassion on our mother’s age;
21καὶ ἐνθυμηθῶμεν ὅτι ἀπειθοῦντες τεθνηξόμεθα.and let us seriously consider that if we disobey we are dead!
22συγγνώσεται δὲ ἡμῖν καὶ ἡ θεία δίκη δι ἀνάγκην τὸν βασιλέα φοβηθεῖσιν.Also, divine justice will excuse us for fearing the king when we are under compulsion.
23τί ἐξάγομεν ἑαυτοὺς τοῦ ἡδίστου βίου καὶ ἀποστεροῦμεν ἑαυτοὺς τοῦ γλυκέος κόσμου;Why do we banish ourselves from this most pleasant life and deprive ourselves of this delightful world?
24μὴ βιαζώμεθα τὴν ἀνάγκην μηδὲ κενοδοξήσωμεν ἐπὶ τῇ ἑαυτῶν στρέβλῃ.Let us not struggle against compulsion or take hollow pride in being put to the rack.
25οὐδ αὐτὸς ὁ νόμος ἑκουσίως ἡμᾶς θανατοῖ φοβηθέντας τὰ βασανιστήρια.Not even the law itself would arbitrarily put us to death for fearing the instruments of torture.
26πόθεν ἡμῖν ἡ τοσαύτη ἐντέτηκε φιλονεικία καὶ ἡ θανατηφόρος ἀρέσκει καρτερία, παρὸν μετὰ ἀταραξίας ζῆν τῷ βασιλεῖ πεισθέντας;Why does such contentiousness excite us and such a fatal stubbornness please us, when we can live in peace if we obey the king?"
27ἀλλὰ τούτων οὐδὲν εἶπον οἱ νεανίαι βασανίζεσθαι μέλλοντες οὐδὲ ἐνεθυμήθησαν.But the youths, though about to be tortured, neither said any of these things nor even seriously considered them.
28ἦσαν γὰρ περίφρονες τῶν παθῶν καὶ αὐτοκράτορες τῶν ἀλγηδόνων,For they were contemptuous of the emotions and sovereign over agonies,
29ὥστε ἅμα τῷ παύσασθαι τὸν τύραννον συμβουλεύοντα αὐτοῖς μιαροφαγῆσαι, πάντες διὰ μιᾶς φωνῆς ὁμοῦ ὥσπερ ἀπὸ τῆς αὐτῆς ψυχῆς εἶπονso that as soon as the tyrant had ceased counseling them to eat defiling food, all with one voice together, as from one mind, said:

Chapter 9

1Τί μέλλεις, ὦ τύραννε; ἕτοιμοι γάρ ἐσμεν ἀποθνῄσκειν ἢ παραβαίνειν τὰς πατρίους ἡμῶν ἐντολάς·"Why do you delay, O tyrant? For we are ready to die rather than transgress our ancestral commandments;
2αἰσχυνόμεθα γὰρ τοὺς προγόνους ἡμῶν εἰκότως, εἰ μὴ τῇ τοῦ νόμου εὐπειθείᾳ καὶ συμβούλῳ Μωυσεῖ χρησαίμεθα.we are obviously putting our forebears to shame unless we should practice ready obedience to the law and to Moses our counselor.
3σύμβουλε τύραννε παρανομίας, μὴ ἡμᾶς μισῶν ὑπὲρ αὐτοὺς ἡμᾶς ἐλέα.Tyrant and counselor of lawlessness, in your hatred for us do not pity us more than we pity ourselves.
4χαλεπώτερον γὰρ αὐτοῦ τοῦ θανάτου νομίζομεν εἶναί σου τὸν ἐπὶ τῇ παρανόμῳ σωτηρίᾳ ἡμῶν ἔλεον.For we consider this pity of yours, which insures our safety through transgression of the law, to be more grievous than death itself.
5ἐκφοβεῖς δὲ ἡμᾶς τὸν διὰ τῶν βασάνων θάνατον ἡμῖν ἀπειλῶν ὥσπερ οὐχὶ πρὸ βραχέως παρ Ελεαζαρου μαθών.You are trying to terrify us by threatening us with death by torture, as though a short time ago you learned nothing from Eleazar.
6εἰ δ οἱ γέροντες τῶν Εβραίων διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν καὶ βασανισμοὺς ὑπομείναντες εὐσέβησαν, ἀποθάνοιμεν ἂν δικαιότερον ἡμεῖς οἱ νέοι τὰς βασάνους τῶν σῶν ἀναγκῶν ὑπεριδόντες, ἃς καὶ ὁ παιδευτὴς ἡμῶν γέρων ἐνίκησεν.And if the aged men of the Hebrews because of their religion lived piously while enduring torture, it would be even more fitting that we young men should die despising your coercive tortures, which our aged instructor also overcame.
7πείραζε τοιγαροῦν, τύραννε· καὶ τὰς ἡμῶν ψυχὰς εἰ θανατώσεις διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν, μὴ νομίσῃς ἡμᾶς βλάπτειν βασανίζων.Therefore, tyrant, put us to the test; and if you take our lives because of our religion, do not suppose that you can injure us by torturing us.
8ἡμεῖς μὲν γὰρ διὰ τῆσδε τῆς κακοπαθείας καὶ ὑπομονῆς τὰ τῆς ἀρετῆς ἆθλα ἕξομεν καὶ ἐσόμεθα παρὰ θεῷ, δι ὃν καὶ πάσχομεν·For we, through this severe suffering and endurance, shall have the prize of virtue and shall be with God, on whose account we suffer;
9σὺ δὲ διὰ τὴν ἡμῶν μιαιφονίαν αὐτάρκη καρτερήσεις ὑπὸ τῆς θείας δίκης αἰώνιον βάσανον διὰ πυρός.but you, because of your bloodthirstiness toward us, will deservedly undergo from the divine justice eternal torment by fire."
10Ταῦτα αὐτῶν εἰπόντων οὐ μόνον ὡς κατὰ ἀπειθούντων ἐχαλέπαινεν ὁ τύραννος, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὡς κατὰ ἀχαρίστων ὠργίσθη.When they had said these things, the tyrant was not only indignant, as at those who are disobedient, but also infuriated, as at those who are ungrateful.
11ὅθεν τὸν πρεσβύτατον αὐτῶν κελευσθέντες παρῆγον οἱ ὑπασπισταὶ καὶ διαρρήξαντες τὸν χιτῶνα διέδησαν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ καὶ τοὺς βραχίονας ἱμᾶσιν ἑκατέρωθεν.Then at his command the guards brought forward the eldest, and having torn off his tunic, they bound his hands and arms with thongs on each side.
12ὡς δὲ τύπτοντες ταῖς μάστιξιν ἐκοπίασαν μηδὲν ἀνύοντες, ἀνέβαλον αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν τροχόν·When they had worn themselves out beating him with scourges, without accomplishing anything, they placed him upon the wheel.
13περὶ ὃν κατατεινόμενος ὁ εὐγενὴς νεανίας ἔξαρθρος ἐγίνετο.When the noble youth was stretched out around this, his limbs were dislocated,
14καὶ κατὰ πᾶν μέλος κλώμενος ἐκακηγόρει λέγωνand with every member disjointed he denounced the tyrant, saying,
15Τύραννε μιαρώτατε καὶ τῆς οὐρανίου δίκης ἐχθρὲ καὶ ὠμόφρων, οὐκ ἀνδροφονήσαντά με τοῦτον καταικίζεις τὸν τρόπον οὐδὲ ἀσεβήσαντα ἀλλὰ θείου νόμου προασπίζοντα."Most abominable tyrant, enemy of heavenly justice, savage of mind, you are mangling me in this manner, not because I am a murderer, or as one who acts impiously, but because I protect the divine law."
16καὶ τῶν δορυφόρων λεγόντων Ὁμολόγησον φαγεῖν, ὅπως ἀπαλλαγῇς τῶν βασάνων,And when the guards said, "Agree to eat so that you may be released from the tortures,"
17ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Οὐχ οὕτως ἰσχυρὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν ὁ τροχός, ὦ μιαροὶ διάκονοι, ὥστε μου τὸν λογισμὸν ἄγξαι· τέμνετέ μου τὰ μέλη καὶ πυροῦτέ μου τὰς σάρκας καὶ στρεβλοῦτε τὰ ἄρθρα.he replied, "You abominable lackeys, your wheel is not so powerful as to strangle my reason. Cut my limbs, burn my flesh, and twist my joints;
18διὰ πασῶν γὰρ ὑμᾶς πείσω τῶν βασάνων ὅτι μόνοι παῖδες Εβραίων ὑπὲρ ἀρετῆς εἰσιν ἀνίκητοι.through all these tortures I will convince you that children of the Hebrews alone are invincible where virtue is concerned."
19ταῦτα λέγοντι ὑπέστρωσαν πῦρ καὶ τὸ διερεθίζον τὸν τροχὸν προσεπικατέτεινον·While he was saying these things, they spread fire under him, and while fanning the flames they tightened the wheel further.
20ἐμολύνετο δὲ πάντοθεν αἵματι ὁ τροχός, καὶ ὁ σωρὸς τῆς ἀνθρακιᾶς τοῖς τῶν ἰχώρων ἐσβέννυτο σταλαγμοῖς, καὶ περὶ τοὺς ἄξονας τοῦ ὀργάνου περιέρρεον αἱ σάρκες.The wheel was completely smeared with blood, and the heap of coals was being quenched by the drippings of gore, and pieces of flesh were falling off the axles of the machine.
21καὶ περιτετμημένον ἤδη ἔχων τὸ τῶν ὀστέων πῆγμα ὁ μεγαλόφρων καὶ Αβραμιαῖος νεανίας οὐκ ἐστέναξεν,Although the ligaments joining his bones were already severed, the courageous youth, worthy of Abraham, did not groan,
22ἀλλ ὥσπερ ἐν πυρὶ μετασχηματιζόμενος εἰς ἀφθαρσίαν ὑπέμεινεν εὐγενῶς τὰς στρέβλαςbut as though transformed by fire into immortality, he nobly endured the rackings.
23Μιμήσασθέ με, ἀδελφοί, λέγων, μή μου τὸν ἀγῶνα λειποτακτήσητε μηδὲ ἐξομόσησθέ μου τὴν τῆς εὐψυχίας ἀδελφότητα."Imitate me, brothers," he said. "Do not leave your post in my struggle or renounce our courageous family ties.
24ἱερὰν καὶ εὐγενῆ στρατείαν στρατεύσασθε περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας, δι ἧς ἵλεως ἡ δικαία καὶ πάτριος ἡμῶν πρόνοια τῷ ἔθνει γενηθεῖσα τιμωρήσειεν τὸν ἀλάστορα τύραννον.Fight the sacred and noble battle for religion. Thereby the just Providence of our ancestors may become merciful to our nation and take vengeance on the accursed tyrant."
25καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν ὁ ἱεροπρεπὴς νεανίας ἀπέρρηξεν τὴν ψυχήν.When he had said this, the saintly youth broke the thread of life.
26Θαυμασάντων δὲ πάντων τὴν καρτεροψυχίαν αὐτοῦ ἦγον οἱ δορυφόροι τὸν καθ ἡλικίαν τοῦ προτέρου δεύτερον καὶ σιδηρᾶς ἐναρμοσάμενοι χεῖρας ὀξέσι τοῖς ὄνυξιν ὀργάνῳ καὶ καταπέλτῃ προσέδησαν αὐτόν.While all were marveling at his courageous spirit, the guards brought in the next eldest, and after fitting themselves with iron gauntlets having sharp hooks, they bound him to the torture machine and catapult.
27ὡς δ εἰ φαγεῖν βούλοιτο πρὶν βασανίζεσθαι πυνθανόμενοι τὴν εὐγενῆ γνώμην ἤκουσαν,Before torturing him, they inquired if he were willing to eat, and they heard his noble decision.
28ἀπὸ τῶν τενόντων ταῖς σιδηραῖς χερσὶν ἐπισπασάμενοι μέχρι τῶν γενείων τὴν σάρκα πᾶσαν καὶ τὴν τῆς κεφαλῆς δορὰν οἱ παρδάλεοι θῆρες ἀπέσυρον. ὁ δὲ ταύτην βαρέως τὴν ἀλγηδόνα καρτερῶν ἔλεγενThese leopard-like beasts tore out his sinews with the iron hands, flayed all his flesh up to his chin, and tore away his scalp. But he steadfastly endured this agony and said,
29Ὡς ἡδὺς πᾶς θανάτου τρόπος διὰ τὴν πάτριον ἡμῶν εὐσέβειαν. ἔφη τε πρὸς τὸν τύραννον"How sweet is any kind of death for the religion of our ancestors!"
30Οὐ δοκεῖς, πάντων ὠμότατε τύραννε, πλέον ἐμοῦ σε βασανίζεσθαι ὁρῶν σου νικώμενον τὸν τῆς τυραννίδος ὑπερήφανον λογισμὸν ὑπὸ τῆς διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἡμῶν ὑπομονῆς;To the tyrant he said, "Do you not think, you most savage tyrant, that you are being tortured more than I, as you see the arrogant design of your tyranny being defeated by our endurance for the sake of religion?
31ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ ταῖς διὰ τὴν ἀρετὴν ἡδοναῖς τὸν πόνον ἐπικουφίζομαι,I lighten my pain by the joys that come from virtue,
32σὺ δὲ ἐν ταῖς τῆς ἀσεβείας ἀπειλαῖς βασανίζῃ. οὐκ ἐκφεύξῃ δέ, μιαρώτατε τύραννε, τὰς τῆς θείας ὀργῆς δίκας.but you suffer torture by the threats that come from impiety. You will not escape, you most abominable tyrant, the judgments of the divine wrath."

Chapter 10

1Καὶ τούτου τὸν ἀοίδιμον θάνατον καρτερήσαντος ὁ τρίτος ἤγετο παρακαλούμενος πολλὰ ὑπὸ πολλῶν ὅπως ἀπογευσάμενος σῴζοιτο.When he too had endured a glorious death, the third was led in, and many repeatedly urged him to save himself by tasting the meat.
2ὁ δὲ ἀναβοήσας ἔφη Ἀγνοεῖτε ὅτι αὑτός με τοῖς ἀποθανοῦσιν ἔσπειρεν πατήρ, καὶ ἡ αὐτὴ μήτηρ ἐγέννησεν, καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς αὐτοῖς ἀνετράφην δόγμασιν;But he shouted, "Do you not know that the same father begot me as well as those who died, and the same mother bore me, and that I was brought up on the same teachings?
3οὐκ ἐξόμνυμαι τὴν εὐγενῆ τῆς ἀδελφότητος συγγένειαν.I do not renounce the noble kinship that binds me to my brothers."
4πρὸς ταῦτα εἴ τι ἔχετε κολαστήριον προσαγάγετε τῷ σώματί μου· τῆς γὰρ ψυχῆς μου, οὐδ’ ἂν θέλητε ἅψασθαι, δύνασθε. Now then, whatever instrument of vengeance you have, apply it to my body, for you are not able to touch, even if you wish it, my soul.
5οἱ δὲ πικρῶς ἐνέγκαντες τὴν παρρησίαν τοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἀρθρεμβόλοις ὀργάνοις τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ καὶ τοὺς πόδας ἐξήρθρουν καὶ ἐξ ἁρμῶν ἀναμοχλεύοντες ἐξεμέλιζον,Enraged by the man’s boldness, they disjointed his hands and feet with their instruments, dismembering him by prying his limbs from their sockets,
6τοὺς δακτύλους καὶ τοὺς βραχίονας καὶ τὰ σκέλη καὶ τοὺς ἀγκῶνας περιέκλων.and breaking his fingers and arms and legs and elbows.
7καὶ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ἰσχύοντες αὐτὸν ἄγξαι περιλύσαντες τὰ ὄργανα σὺν ἄκραις ταῖς τῶν δακτύλων κορυφαῖς ἀπεσκύθιζον.Since they were not able in any way to break his spirit, they abandoned the instruments and scalped him with their fingernails in a Scythian fashion.
8καὶ εὐθέως ἦγον ἐπὶ τὸν τροχόν, περὶ ὃν ἐκ σπονδύλων ἐκμελιζόμενος ἑώρα τὰς ἑαυτοῦ σάρκας περιλακιζομένας καὶ κατὰ σπλάγχνων σταγόνας αἵματος ἀπορρεούσας.They immediately brought him to the wheel, and while his vertebrae were being dislocated by this, he saw his own flesh torn all around and drops of blood flowing from his entrails.
9μέλλων δὲ ἀποθνῄσκειν ἔφηWhen he was about to die, he said,
10Ἡμεῖς μέν, ὦ μιαρώτατε τύραννε, διὰ παιδείαν καὶ ἀρετὴν θεοῦ ταῦτα πάσχομεν·"We, most abominable tyrant, are suffering because of our godly training and virtue,
11σὺ δὲ διὰ τὴν ἀσέβειαν καὶ μιαιφονίαν ἀκαταλύτους καρτερήσεις βασάνους.but you, because of your impiety and bloodthirstiness, will undergo unceasing torments."
12Καὶ τούτου θανόντος ἀδελφοπρεπῶς τὸν τέταρτον ἐπεσπῶντο λέγοντεςWhen he too had died in a manner worthy of his brothers, they dragged in the fourth, saying,
13Μὴ μανῇς καὶ σὺ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς σου τὴν αὐτὴν μανίαν, ἀλλὰ πεισθεὶς τῷ βασιλεῖ σῷζε σεαυτόν."As for you, do not give way to the same insanity as your brothers, but obey the king and save yourself."
14ὁ δὲ αὐτοῖς ἔφη Οὐχ οὕτως καυστικώτερον ἔχετε κατ ἐμοῦ τὸ πῦρ ὥστε με δειλανδρῆσαι.But he said to them, "You do not have a fire hot enough to make me play the coward.
15μὰ τὸν μακάριον τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου θάνατον καὶ τὸν αἰώνιον τοῦ τυράννου ὄλεθρον καὶ τὸν ἀίδιον τῶν εὐσεβῶν βίον, οὐκ ἀρνήσομαι τὴν εὐγενῆ ἀδελφότητα.No — by the blessed death of my brothers, by the eternal destruction of the tyrant, and by the everlasting life of the pious, I will not renounce our noble family ties.
16ἐπινόει, τύραννε, βασάνους, ἵνα καὶ δι αὐτῶν μάθῃς ὅτι ἀδελφός εἰμι τῶν προβασανισθέντων.Contrive tortures, tyrant, so that you may learn from them that I am a brother to those who have just now been tortured."
17ταῦτα ἀκούσας ὁ αἱμοβόρος καὶ φονώδης καὶ παμμιαρώτατος Ἀντίοχος ἐκέλευσεν τὴν γλῶτταν αὐτοῦ ἐκτεμεῖν.When he heard this, the bloodthirsty, murderous, and utterly abominable Antiochus gave orders to cut out his tongue.
18ὁ δὲ ἔφη Κἂν ἀφέλῃς τὸ τῆς φωνῆς ὄργανον, καὶ σιωπώντων ἀκούει ὁ θεός·But he said, "Even if you remove my organ of speech, God hears also those who are mute.
19ἰδοὺ προκεχάλασται ἡ γλῶσσα, τέμνε, οὐ γὰρ παρὰ τοῦτο τὸν λογισμὸν ἡμῶν γλωττοτομήσεις.See, here is my tongue; cut it off, for in spite of this you will not make our reason speechless.
20ἡδέως ὑπὲρ τοῦ θεοῦ τὰ τοῦ σώματος μέλη ἀκρωτηριαζόμεθα.Gladly, for the sake of God, we let our bodily members be mutilated.
21σὲ δὲ ταχέως μετελεύσεται ὁ θεός, τὴν γὰρ τῶν θείων ὕμνων μελῳδὸν γλῶτταν ἐκτέμνεις.God will visit you swiftly, for you are cutting out a tongue that has been melodious with divine hymns."

Chapter 11

1Ὡς δὲ καὶ οὗτος ταῖς βασάνοις καταικισθεὶς ἐναπέθανεν, ὁ πέμπτος παρεπήδησεν λέγωνWhen he too died, after being cruelly tortured, the fifth leaped up, saying,
2Οὐ μέλλω, τύραννε, πρὸς τὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς ἀρετῆς βασανισμὸν παραιτεῖσθαι,"I will not refuse, tyrant, to be tortured for the sake of virtue.
3αὐτὸς δ ἀπ ἐμαυτοῦ παρῆλθον, ὅπως κἀμὲ κατακτείνας περὶ πλειόνων ἀδικημάτων ὀφειλήσῃς τῇ οὐρανίῳ δίκῃ τιμωρίαν.I have come of my own accord, so that by murdering me you will incur punishment from the heavenly justice for even more crimes.
4ὦ μισάρετε καὶ μισάνθρωπε, τί δράσαντας ἡμᾶς τοῦτον πορθεῖς τὸν τρόπον;Hater of virtue, hater of humankind, for what act of ours are you destroying us in this way?
5ὅτι τὸν πάντων κτίστην εὐσεβοῦμεν καὶ κατὰ τὸν ἐνάρετον αὐτοῦ ζῶμεν νόμον;Is it because we revere the Creator of all things and live according to his virtuous law?
6ἀλλὰ ταῦτα τιμῶν, οὐ βασάνων ἐστὶν ἄξια.But these deeds deserve honors, not tortures."
7εἴπερ ᾐσθάνου ἀνθρώπου πόθον καὶ ἐλπίδα εἶχες παρὰ Θεῷ σωτηρίου· Have you not been capable of the higher feelings of men, and possessed the hope of salvation from God.
8νυνὶ δὲ ἀλλότριος ὢν Θεοῦ πολεμεῖς τοὺς εὐσεβοῦντας εἰς τὸν Θεόν.Behold now, being alien from God, you make war against those who are religious toward God.
9τοιαῦτα δὲ λέγοντα οἱ δορυφόροι δήσαντες αὐτὸν εἷλκον ἐπὶ τὸν καταπέλτην,While he was saying these things, the guards bound him and dragged him to the catapult;
10ἐφ ὃν δήσαντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὰ γόνατα καὶ ταῦτα ποδάγραις σιδηραῖς ἐφαρμόσαντες τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ περὶ τροχιαῖον σφῆνα κατέκαμψαν, περὶ ὃν ὅλος περὶ τὸν τροχὸν σκορπίου τρόπον ἀνακλώμενος ἐξεμελίζετο.they tied him to it on his knees, and fitting iron clamps on them, they twisted his back around the wedge on the wheel, so that he was completely curled back like a scorpion, and all his members were disjointed.
11κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα στενοχωρούμενος καὶ τὸ σῶμα ἀγχόμενοςIn this condition, gasping for breath and in anguish of body,
12Καλάς, ἔλεγεν, ἄκων, ὦ τύραννε, χάριτας ἡμῖν χαρίζῃ διὰ γενναιοτέρων πόνων ἐπιδείξασθαι παρέχων τὴν εἰς τὸν νόμον ἡμῶν καρτερίαν.he said, "Tyrant, they are splendid favors that you grant us against your will, because through these noble sufferings you give us an opportunity to show our endurance for the law."
13Τελευτήσαντος δὲ καὶ τούτου ὁ ἕκτος ἤγετο μειρακίσκος, ὃς πυνθανομένου τοῦ τυράννου εἰ βούλοιτο φαγὼν ἀπολύεσθαι, ὁ δὲ ἔφηWhen he too had died, the sixth, a mere boy, was led in. When the tyrant inquired whether he was willing to eat and be released, he said,
14Ἐγὼ τῇ μὲν ἡλικίᾳ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μού εἰμι νεώτερος, τῇ δὲ διανοίᾳ ἡλικιώτης·"I am younger in age than my brothers, but I am their equal in mind.
15εἰς ταὐτὰ γὰρ γεννηθέντες καὶ ἀνατραφέντες ὑπὲρ τῶν αὐτῶν καὶ ἀποθνῄσκειν ὀφείλομεν ὁμοίως·Since to this end we were born and bred, we ought likewise to die for the same principles.
16ὥστε εἴ σοι δοκεῖ βασανίζειν μὴ μιαροφαγοῦντα, βασάνιζε.So if you intend to torture me for not eating defiling foods, go on torturing!"
17ταῦτα αὐτὸν εἰπόντα παρῆγον ἐπὶ τὸν τροχόν,When he had said this, they led him to the wheel.
18ἐφ οὗ κατατεινόμενος ἐπιμελῶς καὶ ἐκσπονδυλιζόμενος ὑπεκαίετο.He was carefully stretched tight upon it, his back was broken, and he was roasted from underneath.
19καὶ ὀβελίσκους ὀξεῖς πυρώσαντες τοῖς νώτοις προσέφερον καὶ τὰ πλευρὰ διαπείραντες αὐτοῦ τὰ σπλάγχνα διέκαιον.To his back they applied sharp spits that had been heated in the fire, and pierced his ribs so that his entrails were burned through.
20ὁ δὲ βασανιζόμενος Ὦ ἱεροπρεποῦς ἀγῶνος, ἔλεγεν, ἐφ ὃν διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν εἰς γυμνασίαν πόνων ἀδελφοὶ τοσοῦτοι κληθέντες οὐκ ἐνικήθημεν.While being tortured he said, "O contest befitting holiness, in which so many of us brothers have been summoned to an arena of sufferings for religion, and in which we have not been defeated!
21ἀνίκητος γάρ ἐστιν, ὦ τύραννε, ἡ εὐσεβὴς ἐπιστήμη.For religious knowledge, O tyrant, is invincible.
22καλοκἀγαθίᾳ καθωπλισμένος τεθνήξομαι κἀγὼ μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μουI also, equipped with nobility, will die with my brothers,
23μέγαν σοὶ καὶ αὐτὸς προσβάλλων ἀλάστορα, καινουργὲ τῶν βασάνων καὶ πολέμιε τῶν ἀληθῶς εὐσεβούντων.and I myself will bring a great avenger upon you, you inventor of tortures and enemy of those who are truly devout.
24ἓξ μειράκια καταλελύκαμέν σου τὴν τυραννίδα·We six boys have paralyzed your tyranny.
25τὸ γὰρ μὴ δυνηθῆναί σε μεταπεῖσαι τὸν λογισμὸν ἡμῶν μήτε βιάσασθαι πρὸς τὴν μιαροφαγίαν οὐ κατάλυσίς ἐστίν σου;Since you have not been able to persuade us to change our mind or to force us to eat defiling foods, is not this your downfall?
26τὸ πῦρ σου ψυχρὸν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἄπονοι οἱ καταπέλται, καὶ ἀδύνατος ἡ βία σου.Your fire is cold to us, and the catapults painless, and your violence powerless.
27οὐ γὰρ τυράννου, ἀλλὰ θείου νόμου προεστήκασιν ἡμῶν οἱ δορυφόροι· διὰ τοῦτο ἀνίκητον ἔχομεν τὸν λογισμόν.For it is not the guards of the tyrant but those of the divine law that are set over us; therefore, unconquered, we hold fast to reason."

Chapter 12

1Ὡς δὲ καὶ οὗτος μακαρίως ἀπέθανεν καταβληθεὶς εἰς λέβητα, ὁ ἕβδομος παρεγίνετο πάντων νεώτερος.When he too, thrown into the caldron, had died a blessed death, the seventh and youngest of all came forward.
2ὃν κατοικτίρας ὁ τύραννος, καίπερ δεινῶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ κακισθείς, ὁρῶν ἤδη τὰ δεσμὰ περικείμενα πλησιέστερον αὐτὸν μετεπέμψατο καὶ παρηγορεῖν ἐπειρᾶτο λέγωνEven though the tyrant had been vehemently reproached by the brothers, he felt strong compassion for this child when he saw that he was already in fetters. He summoned him to come nearer and tried to persuade him, saying,
3Τῆς μὲν τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου ἀπονοίας τὸ τέλος ὁρᾷς· διὰ γὰρ ἀπείθειαν στρεβλωθέντες τεθνᾶσιν."You see the result of your brothers’ stupidity, for they died in torments because of their disobedience.
4σὺ δὲ εἰ μὲν μὴ πεισθείης, τάλας βασανισθεὶς καὶ αὐτὸς τεθνήξῃ πρὸ ὥρας,You too, if you do not obey, will be miserably tortured and die before your time,
5πεισθεὶς δὲ φίλος ἔσῃ καὶ τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς βασιλείας ἀφηγήσῃ πραγμάτων.but if you yield to persuasion you will be my friend and a leader in the government of the kingdom."
6καὶ ταῦτα παρακαλῶν τὴν μητέρα τοῦ παιδὸς μετεπέμψατο, ὅπως αὐτὴν ἐλεήσας τοσούτων υἱῶν στερηθεῖσαν παρορμήσειεν ἐπὶ τὴν σωτήριον εὐπείθειαν τὸν περιλειπόμενον.When he had thus appealed to him, he sent for the boy’s mother to show compassion on her who had been bereaved of so many sons and to influence her to persuade the surviving son to obey and save himself.
7ὁ δὲ τῆς μητρὸς τῇ Εβραίδι φωνῇ προτρεψαμένης αὐτόν, ὡς ἐροῦμεν μετὰ μικρὸν ὕστερον,But when his mother had exhorted him in the Hebrew language, as we shall tell a little later,
8Λύσατέ μέ φησιν, εἴπω τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ φίλοις πᾶσιν.he said, "Let me loose, let me speak to the king and to all his friends that are with him."
9καὶ ἐπιχαρέντες μάλιστα ἐπὶ τῇ ἐπαγγελίᾳ τοῦ παιδὸς ταχέως ἔλυσαν αὐτόν.Extremely pleased by the boy’s declaration, they freed him at once.
10καὶ δραμὼν ἐπὶ πλησίον τῶν τηγάνωνRunning to the nearest of the braziers,
11Ἀνόσιέ, φησιν, καὶ πάντων πονηρῶν ἀσεβέστατε τύραννε, οὐκ ᾐδέσθης παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ λαβὼν τὰ ἀγαθὰ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν τοὺς θεράποντας αὐτοῦ κατακτεῖναι καὶ τοὺς τῆς εὐσεβείας ἀσκητὰς στρεβλῶσαι;he said, "You profane tyrant, most impious of all the wicked, since you have received good things and also your kingdom from God, were you not ashamed to murder his servants and torture on the wheel those who practice religion?
12ἀνθ ὧν ταμιεύσεταί σε ἡ δίκη πυκνοτέρῳ καὶ αἰωνίῳ πυρὶ καὶ βασάνοις, αἳ εἰς ὅλον τὸν αἰῶνα οὐκ ἀνήσουσίν σε.Because of this, justice has laid up for you intense and eternal fire and tortures, and these throughout all time will never let you go.
13οὐκ ᾐδέσθης ἄνθρωπος ὤν, θηριωδέστατε, τοὺς ὁμοιοπαθεῖς καὶ ἐκ τῶν αὐτῶν γεγονότας στοιχείων γλωττοτομῆσαι καὶ τοῦτον καταικίσας τὸν τρόπον βασανίσαι.As a man, were you not ashamed, you most savage beast, to cut out the tongues of men who have feelings like yours and are made of the same elements as you, and to maltreat and torture them in this way?
14ἀλλ οἱ μὲν εὐγενῶς ἀποθανόντες ἐπλήρωσαν τὴν εἰς τὸν θεὸν εὐσέβειαν, σὺ δὲ κακῶς οἰμώξεις τοὺς τῆς ἀρετῆς ἀγωνιστὰς ἀναιτίως ἀποκτεῖνας.Surely they by dying nobly fulfilled their service to God, but you will wail bitterly for having killed without cause the contestants for virtue."
15ὅθεν καὶ αὐτὸς ἀποθνῄσκειν μέλλων ἔφηThen because he too was about to die, he said,
16Οὐκ ἀπαυτομολῶ τῆς τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου ἀριστείας·"I do not desert the excellent example of my brothers,
17ἐπικαλοῦμαι δὲ τὸν πατρῷον θεὸν ὅπως ἵλεως γένηται τῷ ἔθνει ἡμῶν.and I call on the God of our ancestors to be merciful to our nation;
18σὲ δὲ καὶ ἐν τῷ νῦν βίῳ καὶ θανόντα τιμωρήσεται.but on you he will take vengeance both in this present life and when you are dead."
19καὶ ταῦτα κατευξάμενος ἑαυτὸν ἔρριψε κατὰ τῶν τηγάνων, καὶ οὕτως ἀπέδωκεν.After he had uttered these imprecations, he flung himself into the braziers and so ended his life.

Chapter 13

1Εἰ δὲ τοίνυν τῶν μέχρι θανάτου πόνων ὑπερεφρόνησαν οἱ ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοί, συνομολογεῖται πανταχόθεν ὅτι αὐτοδέσποτός ἐστιν τῶν παθῶν ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμός.Since, then, the seven brothers despised sufferings even unto death, everyone must concede that devout reason is sovereign over the emotions.
2εἰ γὰρ τοῖς πάθεσι δουλωθέντες ἐμιαροφάγησαν, ἐλέγομεν ἂν τούτοις αὐτοὺς νενικῆσθαι·For if they had been slaves to their emotions and had eaten defiling food, we would say that they had been conquered by these emotions.
3νυνὶ δὲ οὐχ οὕτως, ἀλλὰ τῷ ἐπαινουμένῳ παρὰ θεῷ λογισμῷ περιεγένοντο τῶν παθῶν,But in fact it was not so. Instead, by reason, which is praised before God, they prevailed over their emotions.
4ὧν οὐκ ἔστιν παριδεῖν τὴν ἡγεμονίαν τῆς διανοίας, ἐπεκράτησαν γὰρ καὶ πάθους καὶ πόνων.The supremacy of the mind over these cannot be overlooked, for the brothers mastered both emotions and pains.
5πῶς οὖν οὐκ ἔστιν τούτοις τὴν τῆς εὐλογιστίας παθοκράτειαν ὁμολογεῖν, οἳ τῶν μὲν διὰ πυρὸς ἀλγηδόνων οὐκ ἐπεστράφησαν;How then can one fail to confess the sovereignty of right reason over emotion in those who were not turned back by fiery agonies?
6καθάπερ γὰρ προβλῆτες λιμένων πύργοι τὰς τῶν κυμάτων ἀπειλὰς ἀνακόπτοντες γαληνὸν παρέχουσι τοῖς εἰσπλέουσι τὸν ὅρμον,For just as towers jutting out over harbors hold back the threatening waves and make it calm for those who sail into the inner basin,
7οὕτως ἡ ἑπτάπυργος τῶν νεανίσκων εὐλογιστία τὸν τῆς εὐσεβείας ὀχυρώσασα λιμένα τὴν τῶν παθῶν ἐνίκησεν ἀκολασίαν.so the seven-towered right reason of the youths, by fortifying the harbor of religion, conquered the tempest of the emotions.
8ἱερὸν γὰρ εὐσεβείας στήσαντες χορὸν παρεθάρσυνον ἀλλήλους λέγοντεςFor they constituted a holy chorus of religion and encouraged one another, saying,
9Ἀδελφικῶς ἀποθάνωμεν, ἀδελφοί, περὶ τοῦ νόμου· μιμησώμεθα τοὺς τρεῖς τοὺς ἐπὶ τῆς Ἀσσυρίας νεανίσκους, οἳ τῆς ἰσοπολίτιδος καμίνου κατεφρόνησαν."Brothers, let us die like brothers for the sake of the law; let us imitate the three youths in Assyria who despised the same ordeal of the furnace.
10μὴ δειλανδρήσωμεν πρὸς τὴν τῆς εὐσεβείας ἐπίδειξιν.Let us not be cowardly in the demonstration of our piety."
11καὶ ὁ μέν Θάρρει, ἀδελφέ ἔλεγεν, ὁ δέ Εὐγενῶς καρτέρησον,While one said, "Courage, brother," another said, "Bear up nobly,"
12ὁ δὲ καταμνησθεὶς ἔλεγεν Μνήσθητε πόθεν ἐστέ, ἢ τίνος πατρὸς χειρὶ σφαγιασθῆναι διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν ὑπέμεινεν Ισαακ.and another reminded them, "Remember whence you came, and the father by whose hand Isaac would have submitted to being slain for the sake of religion."
13εἷς δὲ ἕκαστος ἀλλήλους ὁμοῦ πάντες ἐφορῶντες φαιδροὶ καὶ μάλα θαρραλέοι Ἑαυτούς, ἔλεγον, τῷ θεῷ ἀφιερώσωμεν ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας τῷ δόντι τὰς ψυχὰς καὶ χρήσωμεν τῇ περὶ τὸν νόμον φυλακῇ τὰ σώματα.Each of them and all of them together looking at one another, cheerful and undaunted, said, "Let us with all our hearts consecrate ourselves to God, who gave us our lives, and let us use our bodies as a bulwark for the law.
14μὴ φοβηθῶμεν τὸν δοκοῦντα ἀποκτέννειν·Let us not fear him who thinks he is killing us,
15μέγας γὰρ ψυχῆς ἀγὼν καὶ κίνδυνος ἐν αἰωνίῳ βασάνῳ κείμενος τοῖς παραβᾶσι τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ θεοῦ.for great is the struggle of the soul and the danger of eternal torment lying before those who transgress the commandment of God.
16καθοπλισώμεθα τοιγαροῦν τὴν τοῦ θείου λογισμοῦ παθοκρατείαν.Therefore let us put on the full armor of self-control, which is divine reason.
17οὕτω γὰρ θανόντας ἡμᾶς Αβρααμ καὶ Ισαακ καὶ Ιακωβ ὑποδέξονται καὶ πάντες οἱ πατέρες ἐπαινέσουσιν.For if we so die, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will welcome us, and all the fathers will praise us."
18καὶ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν ἀποσπωμένων αὐτῶν ἀδελφῶν ἔλεγον οἱ περιλειπόμενοι Μὴ καταισχύνῃς ἡμᾶς, ἀδελφέ, μηδὲ ψεύσῃ τοὺς προαποθανόντας ἡμῶν ἀδελφούς.Those who were left behind said to each of the brothers who were being dragged away, "Do not put us to shame, brother, or betray the brothers who have died before us."
19οὐκ ἀγνοεῖτε δὲ τὰ τῆς ἀδελφότητος φίλτρα, ἅπερ ἡ θεία καὶ πάνσοφος πρόνοια διὰ πατέρων τοῖς γεννωμένοις ἐμέρισεν καὶ διὰ τῆς μητρῴας φυτεύσασα γαστρός,You are not ignorant of the affection of family ties, which the divine and all-wise Providence has bequeathed through the fathers to their descendants and which was implanted in the mother’s womb.
20ἐν ᾗ τὸν ἴσον ἀδελφοὶ κατοικήσαντες χρόνον καὶ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ χρόνῳ πλασθέντες καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ αἵματος αὐξηθέντες καὶ διὰ τῆς αὐτῆς ψυχῆς τελεσφορηθέντεςThere each of the brothers spent the same length of time and was shaped during the same period of time; and growing from the same blood and through the same life, they were brought to the light of day.
21καὶ διὰ τῶν ἴσων ἀποτεχθέντες χρόνων καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν αὐτῶν γαλακτοποτοῦντες πηγῶν, ἀφ ὧν συντρέφονται ἐναγκαλισμάτων φιλάδελφοι ψυχαί·When they were born after an equal time of gestation, they drank milk from the same fountains. From such embraces brotherly-loving souls are nourished;
22καὶ αὔξονται σφοδρότερον διὰ συντροφίας καὶ τῆς καθ ἡμέραν συνηθείας καὶ τῆς ἄλλης παιδείας καὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας ἐν νόμῳ θεοῦ ἀσκήσεως.and they grow stronger from this common nurture and daily companionship, and from both general education and our discipline in the law of God.
23οὕτως δὴ τοίνυν καθεστηκυίης συμπαθοῦς τῆς φιλαδελφίας οἱ ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ συμπαθέστερον ἔσχον πρὸς ἀλλήλους.Therefore, when sympathy and brotherly affection had been so established, the brothers were the more sympathetic to one another.
24νόμῳ γὰρ τῷ αὐτῷ παιδευθέντες καὶ τὰς αὐτὰς ἐξασκήσαντες ἀρετὰς καὶ τῷ δικαίῳ συντραφέντες βίῳ μᾶλλον ἑαυτοὺς ἠγάπων.Since they had been educated by the same law and trained in the same virtues and brought up in right living, they loved one another all the more.
25ἡ γὰρ ὁμοζηλία τῆς καλοκἀγαθίας ἐπέτεινεν αὐτῶν τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους εὔνοιαν καὶ ὁμόνοιαν·A common zeal for nobility strengthened their goodwill toward one another, and their concord,
26σὺν γὰρ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ ποθεινοτέραν αὑτοῖς κατεσκεύαζον τὴν φιλαδελφίαν.because they could make their brotherly love more fervent with the aid of their religion.
27ἀλλ ὅμως καίπερ τῆς φύσεως καὶ τῆς συνηθείας καὶ τῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἠθῶν τὰ τῆς ἀδελφότητος αὐτοῖς φίλτρα συναυξόντων ἀνέσχοντο διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς οἱ ὑπολειπόμενοι, τοὺς καταικιζομένους ὁρῶντες μέχρι θανάτου βασανιζομένους,But although nature and companionship and virtuous habits had augmented the affection of family ties, those who were left endured for the sake of religion, while watching their brothers being maltreated and tortured to death.

Chapter 14

1προσέτι καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν αἰκισμὸν ἐποτρύνοντες, ὡς μὴ μόνον τῶν ἀλγηδόνων περιφρονῆσαι αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν τῆς φιλαδελφίας παθῶν κρατῆσαι.Furthermore, they encouraged them to face the torture, so that they not only despised their agonies, but also mastered the emotions of brotherly love.
2Ὦ βασιλέων λογισμοὶ βασιλικώτεροι καὶ ἐλευθέρων ἐλευθερώτεροι.O reason, more royal than kings and freer than the free!
3ὦ ἱερᾶς καὶ εὐαρμόστου περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀδελφῶν συμφωνίας.O sacred and harmonious concord of the seven brothers on behalf of religion!
4οὐδεῖς ἐκ τῶν ἑπτὰ μειρακίων ἐδειλίασεν οὐδὲ πρὸς τὸν θάνατον ὤκνησεν,None of the seven youths proved coward or shrank from death,
5ἀλλὰ πάντες ὥσπερ ἐπ ἀθανασίας ὁδὸν τρέχοντες ἐπὶ τὸν διὰ τῶν βασάνων θάνατον ἔσπευδον.but all of them, as though running the course toward immortality, hastened to death by torture.
6καθάπερ αἱ χεῖρες καὶ οἱ πόδες συμφώνως τοῖς τῆς ψυχῆς ἀφηγήμασιν κινοῦνται, οὕτως οἱ ἱεροὶ μείρακες ἐκεῖνοι ὡς ὑπὸ ψυχῆς ἀθανάτου τῆς εὐσεβείας πρὸς τὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς συνεφώνησαν θάνατον.Just as the hands and feet are moved in harmony with the guidance of the mind, so those holy youths, as though moved by an immortal spirit of devotion, agreed to go to death for its sake.
7ὦ πανάγιε συμφώνων ἀδελφῶν ἑβδομάς. καθάπερ γὰρ ἑπτὰ τῆς κοσμοποιίας ἡμέραι περὶ τὴν εὐσέβειαν,O most holy seven, brothers in harmony! For just as the seven days of creation move in choral dance around religion,
8οὕτως περὶ τὴν ἑβδομάδα χορεύοντες οἱ μείρακες ἐκύκλουν τὸν τῶν βασάνων φόβον καταλύοντες.so these youths, forming a chorus, encircled the sevenfold fear of tortures and dissolved it.
9νῦν ἡμεῖς ἀκούοντες τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν νεανιῶν ἐκείνων φρίττομεν· οἱ δὲ οὐ μόνον ὁρῶντες, ἀλλ οὐδὲ μόνον ἀκούοντες τὸν παραχρῆμα ἀπειλῆς λόγον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάσχοντες ἐνεκαρτέρουν, καὶ τοῦτο ταῖς διὰ πυρὸς ὀδύναις·Even now, we ourselves shudder as we hear of the suffering of these young men; they not only saw what was happening, not only heard the direct word of threat, but also bore the sufferings patiently, and in agonies of fire at that.
10ὧν τί γένοιτο ἐπαλγέστερον; ὀξεῖα γὰρ καὶ σύντομος οὖσα ἡ τοῦ πυρὸς δύναμις ταχέως διέλυεν τὰ σώματα.What could be more excruciatingly painful than this? For the power of fire is intense and swift, and it consumed their bodies quickly.
11Καὶ μὴ θαυμαστὸν ἡγεῖσθε εἰ ὁ λογισμὸς περιεκράτησε τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων ἐν ταῖς βασάνοις, ὅπου γε καὶ γυναικὸς νοῦς πολυτροπωτέρων ὑπερεφρόνησεν ἀλγηδόνων·Do not consider it amazing that reason had full command over these men in their tortures, since the mind of woman despised even more diverse agonies,
12ἡ μήτηρ γὰρ τῶν ἑπτὰ νεανίσκων ὑπήνεγκεν τὰς ἐφ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν τέκνων στρέβλας.for the mother of the seven young men bore up under the rackings of each one of her children.
13θεωρεῖτε δὲ πῶς πολύπλοκός ἐστιν ἡ τῆς φιλοτεκνίας στοργὴ ἕλκουσα πάντα πρὸς τὴν τῶν σπλάγχνων συμπάθειαν,Observe how complex is a mother’s love for her children, which draws everything toward an emotion felt in her inmost parts.
14ὅπου γε καὶ τὰ ἄλογα ζῷα ὁμοίαν τὴν εἰς τὰ ἐξ αὐτῶν γεννώμενα συμπάθειαν καὶ στοργὴν ἔχει τοῖς ἀνθρώποις.Even unreasoning animals, as well as human beings, have a sympathy and parental love for their offspring.
15καὶ γὰρ τῶν πετεινῶν τὰ μὲν ἥμερα κατὰ τὰς οἰκίας ὀροφοιτοῦντα προασπίζει τῶν νεοττῶν,For example, among birds, the ones that are tame protect their young by building on the housetops,
16τὰ δὲ κατὰ κορυφὰς ὀρέων καὶ φαράγγων ἀπορρῶγας καὶ δένδρων ὀπὰς καὶ τὰς τούτων ἄκρας ἐννοσσοποιησάμενα ἀποτίκτει καὶ τὸν προσιόντα κωλύει·and the others, by building in precipitous chasms and in holes and tops of trees, hatch the nestlings and ward off the intruder.
17εἰ δὲ καὶ μὴ δύναιντο κωλύειν, περιιπτάμενα κυκλόθεν αὐτῶν ἀλγοῦντα τῇ στοργῇ ἀνακαλούμενα τῇ ἰδίᾳ φωνῇ, καθ ὃ δύναται, βοηθεῖ τοῖς τέκνοις.If they are not able to keep the intruder away, they do what they can to help their young by flying in circles around them in the anguish of love, warning them with their own calls.
18καὶ τί δεῖ τὴν διὰ τῶν ἀλόγων ζῴων ἐπιδεικνύναι πρὸς τὰ τέκνα συμπάθειαν,And why is it necessary to demonstrate sympathy for children by the example of unreasoning animals,
19ὅπου γε καὶ μέλισσαι περὶ τὸν τῆς κηρογονίας καιρὸν ἐπαμύνονται τοὺς προσιόντας καὶ καθάπερ σιδήρῳ τῷ κέντρῳ πλήσσουσι τοὺς προσιόντας τῇ νοσσιᾷ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀπαμύνουσιν ἕως θανάτου;since even bees at the time for making honeycombs defend themselves against intruders and, as though with an iron dart, sting those who approach their hive and defend it even to the death?
20ἀλλ οὐχὶ τὴν Αβρααμ ὁμόψυχον τῶν νεανίσκων μητέρα μετεκίνησεν συμπάθεια τέκνων.But sympathy for her children did not sway the mother of the young men; she was of the same mind as Abraham.

Chapter 15

1Ω λογισμὲ τέκνων παθῶν τύραννε καὶ εὐσέβεια μητρὶ τέκνων ποθεινοτέρα.O reason of the children, tyrant over the emotions! O religion, more desirable to the mother than her children!
2μήτηρ δυοῖν προκειμένων, εὐσεβείας καὶ τῆς τῶν ἑπτὰ υἱῶν σωτηρίας προσκαίρου κατὰ τὴν τοῦ τυράννου ὑπόσχεσιν,Two courses were open to this mother, that of religion, and that of preserving her seven sons for a time, as the tyrant had promised.
3τὴν εὐσέβειαν μᾶλλον ἠγάπησε τὴν σῴζουσαν εἰς αἰώνιον ζωὴν κατὰ Θεόν.She loved religion more, the religion that preserves them for eternal life according to God’s promise.
4? τίνα τρόπον ἠθολογήσαιμι, φιλότεκνα γονέων πάθη. ψυχῆς τε καὶ μορφῆς ὁμοιότητα εἰς μικρὸν παιδὸς χαρακτῆρα θαυμάσιον ἐναποσφραγίζομεν, μάλιστα διὰ τὸ τῶν παθῶν τοῖς γεννηθεῖσι τὰς μητέρας τῶν πατέρων καθεστάναι συμπαθεστέρας.In what manner might I express the emotions of parents who love their children? We impress upon the character of a small child a wondrous likeness both of mind and of form. Especially is this true of mothers, who because of their birth pangs have a deeper sympathy toward their offspring than do the fathers.
5ὅσῳ γὰρ καὶ ἀσθενόψυχοι καὶ πολυγονώτεραι ὑπάρχουσιν αἱ μητέρες, τοσοῦτον μᾶλλόν εἰσι φιλοτεκνότεραι.Considering that mothers are the weaker sex and give birth to many, they are more devoted to their children.
6πασῶν δὲ τῶν μητέρων ἐγένετο ἡ τῶν ἑπτὰ παίδων μήτηρ φιλοτεκνοτέρα, ἥτις ἑπτὰ κυοφορίαις τὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἐπιφυτευομένη φιλοστοργίανThe mother of the seven boys, more than any other mother, loved her children. In seven pregnancies she had implanted in herself tender love toward them,
7καὶ διὰ πολλὰς τὰς καθ’ ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ὠδῖνας ἠναγκασμένη τὴν εἰς αὐτοὺς ἔχειν συμπάθειαν,and because of the many pains she suffered with each of them she had sympathy for them;
8διὰ τὸν πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν φόβον ὑπερεῖδε τὴν τῶν τέκνων πρόσκαιρον σωτηρίαν.yet because of the fear of God she disdained the temporary safety of her children.
9οὐ μὴν δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τὴν καλοκἀγαθίαν τῶν υἱῶν καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὸν νόμον αὐτῶν εὐπείθειαν μείζω τὴν ἐν αὐτοῖς ἔσχε φιλοστοργίαν.Not only so, but also because of the nobility of her sons and their ready obedience to the law, she felt a greater tenderness toward them.
10δίκαιοί τε γὰρ ἦσαν καὶ σώφρονες καὶ ἀνδρεῖοι καὶ μεγαλόψυχοι καὶ φιλάδελφοι καὶ φιλομήτορες οὕτως, ὥστε καὶ μέχρι θανάτου τὰ νόμιμα φυλάσσοντας πείθεσθαι αὐτῇ.For they were righteous and self-controlled and brave and magnanimous, and loved their brothers and their mother, so that they obeyed her even to death in keeping the ordinances.
11ἀλλ’ ὅμως καίπερ τοσούτων ὄντων τῶν περὶ φιλοτεκνίαν εἰς συμπάθειαν ἑλκόντων τὴν μητέρα, ἐπ’ οὐδενὸς αὐτῶν τὸν λογισμὸν αὐτῆς αἱ παμποίκιλοι βάσανοι ἴσχυσαν μεταστρέψαι,Nevertheless, though so many factors influenced the mother to suffer with them out of love for her children, in the case of none of them were the various tortures strong enough to pervert her reason.
12ἀλλὰ καὶ καθ’ ἕνα παῖδα καὶ ὁμοῦ πάντας ἡ μήτηρ ἐπὶ τὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας προετρέπετο θάνατον.But each child separately and all of them together the mother urged on to death for religion’s sake.
13ὦ φύσις ἱερὰ καὶ φίλτρα γονέων καὶ γένεσις φιλόστοργε καὶ τροφεῖα καὶ μητέρων ἀδάμαστα πάθη.O sacred nature and affection of parental love, yearning of parents toward offspring, nurture and indomitable suffering by mothers!
14καθ’ ἕνα στρεβλούμενον καὶ φλεγόμενον ὁρῶσα μήτηρ, οὐ μετεβάλλετο διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν.This mother, who saw them tortured and burned one by one, because of religion did not change her attitude.
15τὰς σάρκας τῶν τέκνων ἑώρα περὶ τὸ πῦρ τηκομένας καὶ τοὺς τῶν ποδῶν καὶ χειρῶν δακτύλους ἐπὶ γῆς σπαίροντας καὶ τὰς τῶν κεφαλῶν μέχρι τῶν περὶ τὰ γένεια σάρκας ὥσπερ προσωπεῖα προκειμένας.She watched the flesh of her children being consumed by fire, their toes and fingers scattered on the ground, and the flesh of the head to the chin exposed like masks.
16ὦ πικροτέρων μὲν νῦν μήτηρ πόνων πειρασθεῖσα ἤπερ τῶν ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς ὠδίνων.O mother, tried now by more bitter pains than even the birth pangs you suffered for them!
17ὦ μόνη γύναι τὴν εὐσέβειαν ὁλόκληρον ἀποκυήσασα.O woman, who alone gave birth to such complete devotion!
18οὐ μετέτρεψέ σε πρωτότοκος ἀποπνέων, οὐδὲ δεύτερος εἰς σὲ οἰκτρὸν βλέπων ἐν βασάνοις, οὐδὲ τρίτος ἀποψύχων,When the firstborn breathed his last, it did not turn you aside, nor when the second in torments looked at you piteously nor when the third expired;
19οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἑνὸς ἑκάστου θεωροῦσα ταυρηδὸν ἐπὶ τῶν βασάνων ὁρῶντας τὸν ἑαυτῶν αἰκισμὸν καὶ τοὺς μυκτῆρας προσημειουμένους αὐτῶν τὸν θάνατον, οὐκ ἔκλαυσας.nor did you weep when you looked at the eyes of each one in his tortures gazing boldly at the same agonies, and saw in their nostrils the signs of the approach of death.
20ἐπὶ σαρξὶ τέκνων ὁρῶσα σάρκας τέκνων ἀποκαιομένας καὶ ἐπὶ χερσὶ χεῖρας ἀποτεμνομένας καὶ ἐπὶ κεφαλαῖς κεφαλὰς ἀποδειροτομουμένας καὶ ἐπὶ νεκροῖς νεκροὺς πίπτοντας καὶ πολυάνδριον ὁρῶσα τῶν τέκνων τὸ χορεῖον διὰ τῶν βασάνων, οὐκ ἐδάκρυσας.When you saw the flesh of children burned upon the flesh of other children, severed hands upon hands, scalped heads upon heads, and corpses fallen on other corpses, and when you saw the place filled with many spectators of the torturings, you did not shed tears.
21οὐχ οὕτως σειρήνειοι μελῳδίαι, οὐδὲ κύκνειοι πρὸς φιληκοΐαν φωναὶ τοὺς ἀκούοντας ἐφέλκονται, ὡς τέκνων φωναὶ μετὰ βασάνων μητέρα φωνούντων.Neither the melodies of sirens nor the songs of swans attract the attention of their hearers as did the voices of the children in torture calling to their mother.
22πηλίκαις καὶ πόσαις τότε ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν βασανιζομένων τροχοῖς τε καὶ καυτηρίοις ἐβασανίζετο βασάνοις;How great and how many torments the mother then suffered as her sons were tortured on the wheel and with the hot irons!
23ἀλλὰ τὰ σπλάγχνα αὐτῆς ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμὸς ἐν αὐτοῖς τοῖς πάθεσιν ἀνδρειώσας ἐπέτεινε τὴν πρόσκαιρον φιλοτεκνίαν παριδεῖν.But devout reason, giving her heart a man’s courage in the very midst of her emotions, strengthened her to disregard, for the time, her parental love.
24καίπερ ἑπτὰ τέκνων ὁρῶσα ἀπώλειαν καὶ τὴν τῶν στρεβλῶν πολύπλοκον ποικιλίαν, ἁπάσας ἡ γενναία μήτηρ ἐξέλυσε διὰ τὴν πρὸς Θεὸν πίστιν.Although she witnessed the destruction of seven children and the ingenious and various rackings, this noble mother disregarded all these because of faith in God.
25καθάπερ γὰρ ἐν βουλετηρίῳ τῇ ἑαυτῆς ψυχῇ δεινοὺς ὁρῶσα συμβούλους, φύσιν καὶ γένεσιν καὶ φιλοτεκνίαν καὶ τέκνων στρέβλας,For as in the council chamber of her own soul she saw mighty advocates — nature, family, parental love, and the rackings of her children —
26δύο ψήφους κρατοῦσα μήτηρ, θανατηφόρον τε καὶ σωτήριον, ὑπὲρ τέκνωνthis mother held two ballots, one bearing death and the other deliverance for her children.
27οὐκ ἐπέγνω τὴν σῴζουσαν ἑπτὰ υἱοὺς πρὸς ὀλίγον χρόνον σωτηρίαν,She did not approve the deliverance that would preserve the seven sons for a short time,
28ἀλλὰ τῆς θεοσεβοῦς ?Αβραὰμ καρτερίας ἡ θυγάτηρ ἐμνήσθη.but as the daughter of God-fearing Abraham she remembered his fortitude.
29ὦ μήτηρ ἔθνους, ἔκδικε τοῦ νόμου καὶ ὑπερασπίστρια τῆς εὐσεβείας καὶ τοῦ διὰ σπλάγχνων ἀγῶνος ἀθλοφόρε·O mother of the nation, vindicator of the law and champion of religion, who carried away the prize of the contest in your heart!
30ὦ ἀρρένων πρὸς καρτερίαν γενναιοτέρα καὶ ἀνδρῶν πρὸς ὑπομονὴν ἀνδρειοτέρα.O more noble than males in steadfastness, and more courageous than men in endurance!
31καθάπερ γὰρ ἡ Νῶε κιβωτὸς ἐν τῷ κοσμοπληθεῖ κατακλυσμῷ κοσμοφοροῦσα καρτερῶς ὑπήνεγκε τοὺς κλύδωνας,Just as Noah’s ark, carrying the world in the universal flood, stoutly endured the waves,
32οὕτως σύ, ἡ νομοφύλαξ, πανταχόθεν ἐν τῷ τῶν παθῶν περιαντλουμένη κατακλυσμῷ καὶ καρτεροῖς ἀνέμοις, ταῖς τῶν υἱῶν βασάνοις συνεχομένη γενναίως ὑπέμεινας τοὺς ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας χειμῶνας.so you, O guardian of the law, overwhelmed from every side by the flood of your emotions and the violent winds, the torture of your sons, endured nobly and withstood the wintry storms that assail religion.

Chapter 16

1Εἰ δὲ τοίνυν καὶ γυνὴ καὶ γεραιὰ καὶ ἑπτὰ παίδων μήτηρ ὑπέμεινεν τὰς μέχρι θανάτου βασάνους τῶν τέκνων ὁρῶσα, ὁμολογουμένως αὐτοκράτωρ ἐστὶν τῶν παθῶν ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμός.If, then, a woman, advanced in years and mother of seven sons, endured seeing her children tortured to death, it must be admitted that devout reason is sovereign over the emotions.
2ἀπέδειξα οὖν ὅτι οὐ μόνον ἄνδρες τῶν παθῶν ἐκράτησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ γυνὴ τῶν μεγίστων βασάνων ὑπερεφρόνησεν.Thus I have demonstrated not only that men have ruled over the emotions, but also that a woman has despised the fiercest tortures.
3καὶ οὐχ οὕτως οἱ περὶ Δανιηλ λέοντες ἦσαν ἄγριοι οὐδὲ ἡ Μισαηλ ἐκφλεγομένη κάμινος λαβροτάτῳ πυρί, ὡς ἡ τῆς φιλοτεκνίας περιέκαιεν ἐκείνην φύσις ὁρῶσαν αὐτῆς οὕτως ποικίλως βασανιζομένους τοὺς ἑπτὰ υἱούς.The lions surrounding Daniel were not so savage, nor was the raging fiery furnace of Mishael so intensely hot, as was her innate parental love, inflamed as she saw her seven sons tortured in such varied ways.
4ἀλλὰ τῷ λογισμῷ τῆς εὐσεβείας κατέσβεσεν τὰ τοσαῦτα καὶ τηλικαῦτα πάθη ἡ μήτηρ.But the mother quenched so many and such great emotions by devout reason.
5Καὶ γὰρ τοῦτο ἐπιλογίσασθε, ὅτι δειλόψυχος εἰ ἦν ἡ γυνὴ καίπερ μήτηρ οὖσα, ὠλοφύρετο ἂν ἐπ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἴσως ἂν ταῦτα εἶπενConsider this also: If this woman, though a mother, had been fainthearted, she would have mourned over them and perhaps spoken as follows:
6Ὦ μελέα ἔγωγε καὶ πολλάκις τρισαθλία, ἥτις ἑπτὰ παῖδας τεκοῦσα οὐδενὸς μήτηρ γεγένημαι."O how wretched am I and many times unhappy! After bearing seven children, I am now the mother of none!
7ὦ μάταιοι ἑπτὰ κυοφορίαι καὶ ἀνόνητοι ἑπτὰ δεκάμηνοι καὶ ἄκαρποι τιθηνίαι καὶ ταλαίπωροι γαλακτοτροφίαι.O seven childbirths all in vain, seven profitless pregnancies, fruitless nurturings and wretched nursings!
8μάτην δὲ ἐφ ὑμῖν, ὦ παῖδες, πολλὰς ὑπέμεινα ὠδῖνας καὶ χαλεπωτέρας φροντίδας ἀνατροφῆς.In vain, my sons, I endured many birth pangs for you, and the more grievous anxieties of your upbringing.
9ὦ τῶν ἐμῶν παίδων οἱ μὲν ἄγαμοι, οἱ δὲ γήμαντες ἀνόνητοι· οὐκ ὄψομαι ὑμῶν τέκνα οὐδὲ μάμμη κληθεῖσα μακαρισθήσομαι.Alas for my children, some unmarried, others married and without offspring. I shall not see your children or have the happiness of being called grandmother.
10ὦ ἡ πολύπαις καὶ καλλίπαις ἐγὼ γυνὴ χήρα καὶ μόνη πολύθρηνος·Alas, I who had so many and beautiful children am a widow and alone, with many sorrows.
11οὐδ ἂν ἀποθάνω, θάπτοντα τῶν υἱῶν ἕξω τινά.And when I die, I shall have none of my sons to bury me."
12Ἀλλὰ τούτῳ τῷ θρήνῳ οὐδένα ὠλοφύρετο ἡ ἱερὰ καὶ θεοσεβὴς μήτηρ οὐδ ἵνα μὴ ἀποθάνωσιν ἀπέτρεπεν αὐτῶν τινα οὐδ ὡς ἀποθνῃσκόντων ἐλυπήθη,Yet that holy and God-fearing mother did not wail with such a lament for any of them, nor did she dissuade any of them from dying, nor did she grieve as they were dying.
13ἀλλ ὥσπερ ἀδαμάντινον ἔχουσα τὸν νοῦν καὶ εἰς ἀθανασίαν ἀνατίκτουσα τὸν τῶν υἱῶν ἀριθμὸν μᾶλλον ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας ἐπὶ τὸν θάνατον αὐτοὺς προετρέπετο ἱκετεύουσα.On the contrary, as though having a mind like adamant and giving rebirth for immortality to the whole number of her sons, she implored them and urged them on to death for the sake of religion.
14ὦ μῆτερ δι εὐσέβειαν θεοῦ στρατιῶτι πρεσβῦτι καὶ γύναι, διὰ καρτερίαν καὶ τύραννον ἐνίκησας καὶ ἔργοις δυνατωτέρα καὶ λόγοις εὑρέθης ἀνδρός.O mother, soldier of God in the cause of religion, elder and woman! By steadfastness you have conquered even a tyrant, and in word and deed you have proved more powerful than a man.
15καὶ γὰρ ὅτε συνελήμφθης μετὰ τῶν παίδων, εἱστήκεις τὸν Ελεαζαρον ὁρῶσα βασανιζόμενον καὶ ἔλεγες τοῖς παισὶν ἐν τῇ Εβραίδι φωνῇFor when you and your sons were arrested together, you stood and watched Eleazar being tortured, and said to your sons in the Hebrew language,
16Ὦ παῖδες, γενναῖος ὁ ἀγών, ἐφ ὃν κληθέντες ὑπὲρ τῆς διαμαρτυρίας τοῦ ἔθνους ἐναγωνίσασθε προθύμως ὑπὲρ τοῦ πατρῴου νόμου·"My sons, noble is the contest to which you are called to bear witness for the nation. Fight zealously for our ancestral law.
17καὶ γὰρ αἰσχρὸν τὸν μὲν γέροντα τοῦτον ὑπομένειν τὰς διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἀλγηδόνας, ὑμᾶς δὲ τοὺς νεανίσκους καταπλαγῆναι τὰς βασάνους.For it would be shameful if, while an aged man endures such agonies for the sake of religion, you young men were to be terrified by tortures.
18ἀναμνήσθητε ὅτι διὰ τὸν θεὸν τοῦ κόσμου μετελάβετε καὶ τοῦ βίου ἀπελαύσατε,Remember that it is through God that you have had a share in the world and have enjoyed life,
19καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ὀφείλετε πάντα πόνον ὑπομένειν διὰ τὸν θεόν,and therefore you ought to endure any suffering for the sake of God.
20δι ὃν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν Αβρααμ ἔσπευδεν τὸν ἐθνοπάτορα υἱὸν σφαγιάσαι Ισαακ, καὶ τὴν πατρῴαν χεῖρα ξιφηφόρον καταφερομένην ἐπ αὐτὸν ὁρῶν οὐκ ἔπτηξεν.For his sake also our father Abraham was zealous to sacrifice his son Isaac, the ancestor of our nation; and when Isaac saw his father’s hand wielding a knife and descending upon him, he did not cower.
21καὶ Δανιηλ ὁ δίκαιος εἰς λέοντας ἐβλήθη, καὶ Ανανιας καὶ Αζαριας καὶ Μισαηλ εἰς κάμινον πυρὸς ἀπεσφενδονήθησαν καὶ ὑπέμειναν διὰ τὸν θεόν.Daniel the righteous was thrown to the lions, and Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael were hurled into the fiery furnace and endured it for the sake of God.
22καὶ ὑμεῖς οὖν τὴν αὐτὴν πίστιν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἔχοντες μὴ χαλεπαίνετε.You too must have the same faith in God and not be grieved.
23ἀλόγιστον γὰρ εἰδότας εὐσέβειαν μὴ ἀνθίστασθαι τοῖς πόνοις.It is unreasonable for people who have religious knowledge not to withstand pain."
24Διὰ τούτων τῶν λόγων ἡ ἑπταμήτωρ ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν υἱῶν παρακαλοῦσα ἀποθανεῖν ἔπεισεν μᾶλλον ἢ παραβῆναι τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ θεοῦ,By these words the mother of the seven encouraged and persuaded each of her sons to die rather than violate God’s commandment.
25ἔτι δὲ καὶ ταῦτα εἰδότες ὅτι οἱ διὰ τὸν θεὸν ἀποθνῄσκοντες ζῶσιν τῷ θεῷ ὥσπερ Αβρααμ καὶ Ισαακ καὶ Ιακωβ καὶ πάντες οἱ πατριάρχαι.They knew also that those who die for the sake of God live to God, as do Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the patriarchs.

Chapter 17

1Ἔλεγον δὲ καὶ τῶν δορυφόρων τινὲς ὅτι ὡς ἔμελλεν συλλαμβάνεσθαι καὶ αὐτὴ πρὸς θάνατον, ἵνα μὴ ψαύσειέν τις τοῦ σώματος αὐτῆς, ἑαυτὴν ἔρριψε κατὰ τῆς πυρᾶς.Some of the guards said that when she also was about to be seized and put to death she threw herself into the flames so that no one might touch her body.
2Ὦ μήτηρ σὺν ἑπτὰ παισὶν καταλύσασα τὴν τοῦ τυράννου βίαν καὶ ἀκυρώσασα τὰς κακὰς ἐπινοίας αὐτοῦ καὶ δείξασα τὴν τῆς πίστεως γενναιότητα.O mother, who with your seven sons nullified the violence of the tyrant, frustrated his evil designs, and showed the courage of your faith!
3καθάπερ γὰρ σὺ στέγη ἐπὶ τοὺς στύλους τῶν παίδων γενναίως ἱδρυμένη ἀκλινὴς ὑπήνεγκας τὸν διὰ τῶν βασάνων σεισμόν.Nobly set like a roof on the pillars of your sons, you held firm and unswerving against the earthquake of the tortures.
4θάρρει τοιγαροῦν, ὦ μήτηρ ἱερόψυχε, τὴν ἐλπίδα τῆς ὑπομονῆς βεβαίαν ἔχουσα πρὸς τὸν θεόν.Take courage, therefore, O holy-minded mother, maintaining firm an enduring hope in God.
5οὐχ οὕτως σελήνη κατ οὐρανὸν σὺν ἄστροις σεμνὴ καθέστηκεν, ὡς σὺ τοὺς ἰσαστέρους ἑπτὰ παῖδας φωταγωγήσασα πρὸς τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἔντιμος καθέστηκας θεῷ καὶ ἐστήρισαι σὺν αὐτοῖς ἐν οὐρανῷ·The moon in heaven, with the stars, does not stand so august as you, who, after lighting the way of your star-like seven sons to piety, stand in honor before God and are firmly set in heaven with them.
6ἦν γὰρ ἡ παιδοποιία σου ἀπὸ Αβρααμ τοῦ πατρός.For your children were true descendants of father Abraham.
7Εἰ δὲ ἐξὸν ἡμῖν ἦν ὥσπερ ἐπί τινος ζωγραφῆσαι τὴν τῆς εὐσεβείας σου ἱστορίαν, οὐκ ἂν ἔφριττον οἱ θεωροῦντες ὁρῶντες μητέρα ἑπτὰ τέκνων δι εὐσέβειαν ποικίλας βασάνους μέχρι θανάτου ὑπομείνασαν;If it were possible for us to paint the history of your religion as an artist might, would not those who first beheld it have shuddered as they saw the mother of the seven children enduring their varied tortures to death for the sake of religion?
8καὶ γὰρ ἄξιον ἦν καὶ ἐπ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἐπιταφίου ἀναγράψαι καὶ ταῦτα τοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἔθνους εἰς μνείαν λεγόμεναIndeed it would be proper to inscribe on their tomb these words as a reminder to the people of our nation:
9Ἐνταῦθα γέρων ἱερεὺς καὶ γυνὴ γεραιὰ καὶ ἑπτὰ παῖδες ἐγκεκήδευνται διὰ τυράννου βίαν τὴν Εβραίων πολιτείαν καταλῦσαι θέλοντος,"Here lie buried an aged priest and an aged woman and seven sons, because of the violence of the tyrant who wished to destroy the way of life of the Hebrews.
10οἳ καὶ ἐξεδίκησαν τὸ γένος εἰς θεὸν ἀφορῶντες καὶ μέχρι θανάτου τὰς βασάνους ὑπομείναντες.They vindicated their nation, looking to God and enduring torture even to death."
11Ἀληθῶς γὰρ ἦν ἀγὼν θεῖος ὁ δι αὐτῶν γεγενημένος.Truly the contest in which they were engaged was divine,
12ἠθλοθέτει γὰρ τότε ἀρετὴ δι ὑπομονῆς δοκιμάζουσα. τὸ νῖκος ἀφθαρσία ἐν ζωῇ πολυχρονίῳ.for on that day virtue gave the awards and tested them for their endurance. The prize was immortality in endless life.
13Ελεαζαρ δὲ προηγωνίζετο, ἡ δὲ μήτηρ τῶν ἑπτὰ παίδων ἐνήθλει, οἱ δὲ ἀδελφοὶ ἠγωνίζοντο·Eleazar was the first contestant, the mother of the seven sons entered the competition, and the brothers contended.
14ὁ τύραννος ἀντηγωνίζετο· ὁ δὲ κόσμος καὶ ὁ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βίος ἐθεώρει·The tyrant was the antagonist, and the world and the human race were the spectators.
15θεοσέβεια δὲ ἐνίκα τοὺς ἑαυτῆς ἀθλητὰς στεφανοῦσα.Reverence for God was victor and gave the crown to its own athletes.
16τίνες οὐκ ἐθαύμασαν τοὺς τῆς θείας νομοθεσίας ἀθλητάς; τίνες οὐκ ἐξεπλάγησαν;Who did not admire the athletes of the divine legislation? Who were not amazed?
17Αὐτός γέ τοι ὁ τύραννος καὶ ὅλον τὸ συμβούλιον ἐθαύμασαν αὐτῶν τὴν ὑπομονήν,The tyrant himself and all his council marveled at their endurance,
18δι ἣν καὶ τῷ θείῳ νῦν παρεστήκασιν θρόνῳ καὶ τὸν μακάριον βιοῦσιν αἰῶνα.because of which they now stand before the divine throne and live the life of eternal blessedness.
19καὶ γάρ φησιν ὁ Μωυσῆς Καὶ πάντες οἱ ἡγιασμένοι ὑπὸ τὰς χεῖράς σου.For Moses says, "All who are consecrated are under your hands."
20καὶ οὗτοι οὖν ἁγιασθέντες διὰ θεὸν τετίμηνται, οὐ μόνον ταύτῃ τῇ τιμῇ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ δι αὐτοὺς τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν τοὺς πολεμίους μὴ ἐπικρατῆσαιThese, then, who have been consecrated for the sake of God, are honored, not only with this honor, but also by the fact that because of them our enemies did not rule over our nation,
21καὶ τὸν τύραννον τιμωρηθῆναι καὶ τὴν πατρίδα καθαρισθῆναι, ὥσπερ ἀντίψυχον γεγονότας τῆς τοῦ ἔθνους ἁμαρτίας.the tyrant was punished, and the homeland purified — they having become, as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation.
22καὶ διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τῶν εὐσεβῶν ἐκείνων καὶ τοῦ ἱλαστηρίου τοῦ θανάτου αὐτῶν ἡ θεία πρόνοια τὸν Ισραηλ προκακωθέντα διέσωσεν.And through the blood of those devout ones and their death as an atoning sacrifice, divine Providence preserved Israel that previously had been mistreated.
23Πρὸς γὰρ τὴν ἀνδρείαν αὐτῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ ταῖς βασάνοις αὐτῶν ὑπομονὴν ὁ τύραννος ἀπιδὼν ἀνεκήρυξεν ὁ Ἀντίοχος τοῖς στρατιώταις αὐτοῦ εἰς ὑπόδειγμα τὴν ἐκείνων ὑπομονὴνFor the tyrant Antiochus, when he saw the courage of their virtue and their endurance under the tortures, proclaimed them to his soldiers as an example for their own endurance,
24ἔσχεν τε αὐτοὺς γενναίους καὶ ἀνδρείους εἰς πεζομαχίαν καὶ πολιορκίαν καὶ ἐκπορθήσας ἐνίκησεν πάντας τοὺς πολεμίους.and this made them brave and courageous for infantry battle and siege, and he ravaged and conquered all his enemies.

Chapter 18

1Ὦ τῶν Αβραμιαίων σπερμάτων ἀπόγονοι παῖδες Ισραηλῖται, πείθεσθε τῷ νόμῳ τούτῳ καὶ πάντα τρόπον εὐσεβεῖτεO Israelite children, offspring of the seed of Abraham, obey this law and exercise piety in every way,
2γινώσκοντες ὅτι τῶν παθῶν ἐστιν δεσπότης ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμὸς καὶ οὐ μόνον τῶν ἔνδοθεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἔξωθεν πόνων.knowing that devout reason is master of all emotions, not only of sufferings from within, but also of those from without.
3Ἀνθ ὧν διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν προέμενοι τὰ σώματα τοῖς πόνοις ἐκεῖνοι οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐθαυμάσθησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ θείας μερίδος κατηξιώθησαν.Therefore those who gave over their bodies in suffering for the sake of religion were not only admired by mortals, but also were deemed worthy to share in a divine inheritance.
4Καὶ δι αὐτοὺς εἰρήνευσεν τὸ ἔθνος, καὶ τὴν εὐνομίαν τὴν ἐπὶ τῆς πατρίδος ἀνανεωσάμενοι ἐκπεπόρθηκαν τοὺς πολεμίους.Because of them the nation gained peace, and by reviving observance of the law in the homeland they ravaged the enemy.
5καὶ ὁ τύραννος Ἀντίοχος καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς τετιμώρηται καὶ ἀποθανὼν κολάζεται· ὡς γὰρ οὐδὲν οὐδαμῶς ἴσχυσεν ἀναγκάσαι τοὺς Ιεροσολυμίτας ἀλλοφυλῆσαι καὶ τῶν πατρίων ἐθῶν ἐκδιαιτηθῆναι, τότε ἀπάρας ἀπὸ τῶν Ιεροσολύμων ἐστράτευσεν ἐπὶ Πέρσας.The tyrant Antiochus was both punished on earth and is being chastised after his death. Since in no way whatever was he able to compel the Israelites to become pagans and to abandon their ancestral customs, he left Jerusalem and marched against the Persians.
6Ἔλεγεν δὲ ἡ μήτηρ τῶν ἑπτὰ παίδων καὶ ταῦτα τὰ δικαιώματα τοῖς τέκνοιςThe mother of seven sons expressed also these principles to her children:
7ὅτι Ἐγὼ ἐγενήθην παρθένος ἁγνὴ οὐδὲ ὑπερέβην πατρικὸν οἶκον, ἐφύλασσον δὲ τὴν ᾠκοδομημένην πλευράν."I was a pure virgin and did not go outside my father’s house; but I guarded the rib from which woman was made.
8οὐδὲ ἔφθειρέν με λυμεὼν ἐρημίας φθορεὺς ἐν πεδίῳ, οὐδὲ ἐλυμήνατό μου τὰ ἁγνὰ τῆς παρθενίας λυμεὼν ἀπάτης ὄφις.No seducer corrupted me on a desert plain, nor did the destroyer, the deceitful serpent, defile the purity of my virginity.
9ἔμεινα δὲ χρόνον ἀκμῆς σὺν ἀνδρί· τούτων δὲ ἐνηλίκων γενομένων ἐτελεύτησεν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτῶν, μακάριος μὲν ἐκεῖνος, τὸν γὰρ τῆς εὐτεκνίας βίον ἐπιζήσας τὸν τῆς ἀτεκνίας οὐκ ὠδυνήθη καιρόν.In the time of my maturity I remained with my husband, and when these sons had grown up their father died. A happy man was he, who lived out his life with good children, and did not have the grief of bereavement.
10ὃς ἐδίδασκεν ὑμᾶς ἔτι ὢν σὺν ὑμῖν τὸν νόμον καὶ τοὺς προφήτας.While he was still with you, he taught you the law and the prophets.
11τὸν ἀναιρεθέντα Αβελ ὑπὸ Καιν ἀνεγίνωσκέν τε ὑμῖν καὶ τὸν ὁλοκαρπούμενον Ισαακ καὶ τὸν ἐν φυλακῇ Ιωσηφ.He read to you about Abel slain by Cain, and Isaac who was offered as a burnt offering, and about Joseph in prison.
12ἔλεγεν δὲ ὑμῖν τὸν ζηλωτὴν Φινεες, ἐδίδασκέν τε ὑμᾶς τοὺς ἐν πυρὶ Ανανιαν καὶ Αζαριαν καὶ Μισαηλ.He told you of the zeal of Phinehas, and he taught you about Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael in the fire.
13ἐδόξαζεν δὲ καὶ τὸν ἐν λάκκῳ λεόντων Δανιηλ, ὃν ἐμακάριζεν.He praised Daniel in the den of the lions and blessed him.
14ὑπεμίμνῃσκεν δὲ ὑμᾶς καὶ τὴν Ησαιου γραφὴν τὴν λέγουσαν Κἂν διὰ πυρὸς διέλθῃς, φλὸξ οὐ κατακαύσει σε.He reminded you of the scripture of Isaiah, which says, ’Even though you go through the fire, the flame shall not consume you.’
15τὸν ὑμνογράφον ἐμελῴδει ὑμῖν Δαυιδ λέγοντα Πολλαὶ αἱ θλίψεις τῶν δικαίων.He sang to you songs of the psalmist David, who said, ’Many are the afflictions of the righteous.’
16τὸν Σαλωμῶντα ἐπαροιμίαζεν ὑμῖν λέγοντα Ξύλον ζωῆς ἐστιν τοῖς ποιοῦσιν αὐτοῦ τὸ θέλημα.He recounted to you Solomon’s proverb, ’There is a tree of life for those who do his will.’
17τὸν Ιεζεκιηλ ἐπιστοποίει τὸν λέγοντα Εἰ ζήσεται τὰ ὀστᾶ τὰ ξηρὰ ταῦτα;He confirmed the query of Ezekiel, ’Shall these dry bones live?’
18ᾠδὴν μὲν γάρ, ἣν ἐδίδαξεν Μωυσῆς, οὐκ ἐπελάθετο διδάσκων τὴν λέγουσανFor he did not forget to teach you the song that Moses taught, which says,
19Ἐγὼ ἀποκτενῶ καὶ ζῆν ποιήσω· αὕτη ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν καὶ ἡ μακρότης τῶν ἡμερῶν.’I kill and I make alive: this is your life and the length of your days.’"
20Ὦ πικρᾶς τῆς τότε ἡμέρας καὶ οὐ πικρᾶς, ὅτε ὁ πικρὸς Ἑλλήνων τύραννος πῦρ πυρὶ σβέσας λέβησιν ὠμοῖς καὶ ζέουσι θυμοῖς ἀγαγὼν ἐπὶ τὸν καταπέλτην καὶ πάλιν τὰς βασάνους αὐτοῦ τοὺς ἑπτὰ παῖδας τῆς ΑβρααμίτιδοςO bitter was that day — and yet not bitter — when that bitter tyrant of the Greeks quenched fire with fire in his cruel caldrons, and in his burning rage brought those seven sons of the daughter of Abraham to the catapult and back again to more tortures,
21τὰς τῶν ὀμμάτων κόρας ἐπήρωσεν καὶ γλώσσας ἐξέτεμεν καὶ βασάνοις ποικίλαις ἀπέκτεινεν.pierced the pupils of their eyes and cut out their tongues, and put them to death with various tortures.
22ὑπὲρ ὧν ἡ θεία δίκη μετῆλθεν καὶ μετελεύσεται τὸν ἀλάστορα τύραννον.For these crimes divine justice pursued and will pursue the accursed tyrant.
23οἱ δὲ Αβραμιαῖοι παῖδες σὺν τῇ ἀθλοφόρῳ μητρὶ εἰς πατέρων χορὸν συναγελάζονται ψυχὰς ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀθανάτους ἀπειληφότες παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ.But the sons of Abraham with their victorious mother are gathered together into the chorus of the fathers, and have received pure and immortal souls from God,
24ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων· αμην.to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.