Letter of Aristeas

The Letter of Aristeas is also known as the Letter to Philocrates which is dated to the end of the 2nd c. BC, i.e. around -100. It is the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who cites it extensively, and who attributes it to Aristeas. It became famous because it is the first testimony on the origin of the Septuagint and the existence of the famous library of Alexandria: indeed, it is the latter which would have ordered the translation into Greek of the Hebrew bible.

Today, we have only about twenty manuscripts, dated from the 11th to the 16th century, which have survived the test of time. But the letter is cited by several ancient authors, such as Flavius Josephus (Jewish Antiquities, 12, 12–118, circa year 93 CE), or Philo of Alexandria (Life of Moses, circa 15 CE), or Aristobulus of Paneas (circa 160 BC) cited by Eusebius Eusebius (Praeparatio evangelica), or Justin (circa 160 CE).

The work was originally written in Greek. But the style is heavy, with unusual words, so that it would be very difficult to consider it a classical literary piece. The author, a Greek-speaking Jew, probably lived in Alexandria, Egypt, where there was a large Jewish population.

The occasion for his letter was probably the anti-Jewish policy of Antiochus Epiphanes around 170 BC. In Palestine, this policy gave rise to the revolt of the Maccabean brothers. In this context, in Egypt, the Jew Aristeas tries with his letter to consolidate the links between the two communities, referring to the benevolent attitude of the former king Ptolemy II (285-247 BC) towards the Jewish community.

The value of this work is that of the testimony of a Jew of the Diaspora who addresses both his Jewish brothers and the Gentiles to propose a modus vivendi. On the one hand, in a world where the Hebrew language is more or less known, he highlights the Greek version of Scripture and the wisdom of its translators. On the question of the customs proper to the Jews, he does not flinch. But on the other hand, he intends to explain to his fellow Greeks the validity of these customs and calls for the respect of a form of separation, while reminding them that Zeus or Jupiter are only another name for the God of Israel. By presenting the benevolent attitude of King Ptolemy II, he proposes the image of what should be the Greek-Jewish relations.

Reference : R.J.H. Shutt, Letter of Aristea, in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, v. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth. Doubleday: Garden City, 1985, p. 7-34.


(v. 1 – 11) The context of the letter is the city of Alexandria, Egypt, and King Ptolemy II (285-247 BC). This letter is addressed to a man named Philocrates, brother of Aristeas, and intends to tell of his meeting, as well as that of his delegation sent on an embassy from Alexandria, with the high priest Eleazar in Jerusalem, in order to ask him for help in translating the Hebrew text of the Bible into Greek. But the author begins his account in Alexandria with the king's meeting with Demetrius of Phalerum, the librarian of the famous royal library: the latter presents his request to increase the number of books to five hundred thousand, and in particular to include a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The king decides to write a letter to the high priest of Jerusalem, Eleazar, asking for his help in this translation project.

(v. 12 – 27) Aristeas makes a digression here and tells that he took advantage of the occasion and the favorable dispositions of the king to ask for the release of all the Jews who had been previously deported in Egypt by the father of the king, Ptolemy I, son of Lagos. The king responded with a decree ordering the release of all Jewish slaves, offering in return financial compensation to their owners.

(v. 28 – 50) Returning to his main subject, Aristeas quotes the letter of the librarian Demetrius addressed to the king to report on the state of the library, as requested, and on the need for a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, in particular of its legislative texts which have a divine character. This involves sending a letter to the high priest Eleazar of Jerusalem. The king hastens to write this letter. Aristeas reads us this letter where the king, after revealing his decision to free the Jewish slaves and to be favorable to the Jews of the whole world, presents his project of translation, so that the Bible is in his library. More precisely, he needs six exemplary men from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. He then introduces Aristeas and Andreas as the leaders of the delegation he is sending, and mentions gifts that are intended for the temple. The answer of Eleazar is not long in coming: after the expression of gratitude for the gifts and the liberation of the Jews, he affirms that he followed the project of the king by choosing the requested men. Then, Aristeas starts to give the names of the 72 people chosen.

(v. 51 – 82) Before his departure for Jerusalem, Aristeas takes time to describe all the furniture which the craftsmen of the king start to manufacture as a gift for the temple of Jerusalem, the king, lover of art, intervening personally in their size and their appearance. Aristeas expresses his amazement at the beauty and the sumptuousness of the result.

(v. 83 – 120) Aristeas now undertakes to describe Palestine, first Jerusalem located on the heights, then its temple which dominates all. He marvels at the system of pipes necessary for the purification of the blood of the sacrifices, as well as at the splendor of the religious ceremonies. Then he describes the citadel, which protects the temple, and the procedures surrounding the guard. Then follows a brief description of the city and the surrounding areas. Admiring the agriculture and livestock in the Palestinian countryside, he expresses regret at the exodus of the countryside around Alexandria and the king's effort to contain it. His gaze now extends to the whole of Palestine to emphasize the zeal of the farmers and the fact that the regions are well equipped for trade, mainly because of its seaports, and well watered by its rivers and the Jordan River.

(120 – 127) Returning to the object of his embassy, Aristeas describes the remarkable quality of the men chosen for the translation. At the same time, he announces the apprehension of Eleazar who fears that these men do not return to him, knowing how much the king likes people of great culture.

(128 – 171) This section is introduced by the concern expressed to Eleazar about the Jewish legislation concerning unclean meat, drink and animals. Eleazar responds by first emphasizing God's sovereignty as expressed in his legislation. This legislation concerns first of all the futility of idols, which are only objects made with human hands, or of animals, which are only creatures. Secondly, it intends to maintain a separation between the people of God and other men, in order to maintain their integrity as worshipers of the true God. Birds considered pure are domesticated and eat only what is suitable, and do not feed on other animals. This is a lesson for humans to avoid contact with unclean birds and become like them. The separation of the pure and impure animals expresses a symbolism where one must separate oneself from men who commit evil. In the same way, any animal that has a cloven hoof, split into two nails, and that chews its cud, and is therefore pure, has a memory function: to recall the phenomenon of life created by God. It is the same for the distinctive signs in the clothing and on the body: a reminder of God. Moreover, impure animals are a source of pollution, just like impious men. In short, no law has been established in a whimsical way, but seeks to direct man to practice justice. This is why only pure animals can be offered as sacrifices, in the image of the offering of all the facets of our being.

(171 – 186) After the offering of a sacrifice by Eleazar, the community of translators set out for Alexandria with the gifts of the high priest and a high-quality copy of the Bible. Once at his destination, the king hastened to receive them, bypassing protocol and bowing seven times to the copy of the Bible: it is a moment that he considers historic and that should be remembered annually. The hospitality that he offers to his guests is princely. He organized a banquet, respecting Jewish customs and asking the eldest of the priests to say the prayer.

(187 – 294) This is followed by a very long section describing the seven-day festivities, in which the king asks each of the 72 translators a question close to his heart, and each time congratulates his interlocutor on the wisdom of his answer.

Here are the ten questions that were asked to ten different translators on the first day (v. 187 – 202)

  • How can one keep his kingdom without offense to the end?
  • How should one act in each case?
  • How can one make his friends like himself?
  • How in his dealings and judgments can one gain the approbation even of those who lose their cases?
  • How then can one be undefeated in the necessities of war?
  • How can one be respected by his enemie?
  • What would be for you the supreme blessing for living?
  • Supposing one observed all (these principles) in their entirety, how can one transmit the same attitude to his descendants in the end?
  • How can one endure with equanimity what happens?
  • What is the boundary of courage?

Here are the ten questions that were asked to ten different translators on the second day (v. 203 – 220)

  • How can (one) remain rich?
  • How can one maintain the truth?
  • What does wisdom teach?
  • How might one be a friend of man?
  • What is the most needful characteristic of kingship?
  • What is the essence of godliness?
  • What is the definition of kingship?
  • How would one think the finest thoughts?
  • How can one sleep undisturbed
  • How can we avoid doing anything unworthy of ourselves?

Here are the ten questions that were asked to ten different translators on the third day (v. 221 – 235)

  • What is the highest form of sovereignty?
  • How could one be free from envy?
  • How can one despise his enemies?
  • How can one maintain the honor he received?
  • To whom must a man be generous?
  • To whom must one show favor?
  • What deserves to be regarded as beauty?
  • How can one after a false step recover once more the same glory?
  • How can (one) be free from sorrow?
  • What is the highest form of glory?

Here are the ten questions that were asked to ten different translators on the fourth day (v. 236 – 247)

  • Can (practical) wisdom be taught?
  • What makes the greatest contribution to health?
  • How can one show toward his parents the gratitude which they deserve?
  • How can one be an attentive listener?
  • How can one avoid doing anything contrary to the Law?
  • What is the value of the family?
  • How does fearlessness come about?
  • How can one have the right reasoning at hand?
  • How can one avoid having recourse to idleness and pleasures?
  • How can one recognize those who are acting falsely toward him?

Here are the ten questions that were asked to ten different translators on the fifth day (v. 248 – 261)

  • What is the worst (type of) neglect?
  • How can one be a patriot?
  • How can one reach agreement with a woman?
  • How can one be without fault?
  • How can one avoid anger?
  • What is sound judgment?
  • What is philosophy?
  • How can one find welcome abroad among strangers?
  • How will the structure which one builds survive in the future as well?
  • What is the fruit of wisdom?

Here are the eleven questions that were asked to eleven different translators on the sixth day (v. 262 – 274)

  • How can a man avoid giving way to arrogance?
  • Of whom must one avail himself as counselors?
  • What is the possession most essential for a king?
  • What is the purpose of speaking?
  • In view of the heterogeneous multitudes in the kingdom, how can one be in harmony with them?
  • At what things ought one to feel pain?
  • How does unpopularity arise?
  • To whom must one entrust himself?
  • What preserves a kingdom?
  • What maintains favor and respect?
  • How can one be peacefully disposed at heart even in war?

Here are the eleven questions that were asked to eleven different translators on the seventh day (v. 275 – 292)

  • How can one avoid being deceived?
  • Why do not the majority of human beings recognize virtue?
  • Whose guidance must kings follow?
  • Whom ought one appoint as chief ministers?
  • Whom must one appoint as commanders of his forces?
  • What man deserves admiration?
  • On what matters ought kings to spend most of their time?
  • What must be one's conduct in relaxation and leisure?
  • How ought one to conduct himself at banquets?
  • What is thought finer by the multitude, to have a king set over them who was once a commoner, or a king of royal blood?
  • What is the most important feature in a kingdom?

(295 – 300) In conclusion of his narration on the banquet offered by the king, Aristeas asks pardon to Philocrates for the length of his account, but affirms that the wisdom of the translators deserves to be underlined, and that the data of his account come from the royal archives where all the activities of the king are recorded from the morning to the evening, and the texts are always read the day after their recording in the presence of the king in order to confirm their exactness, and if need be to correct them.

(301 – 322) The translators finally set to work in a building comfortably furnished for them on an island near Alexandria. The ritual is the same every day. At seven o'clock in the morning, they go to the king's court to offer their greetings. Then, having returned to their retreat, they wash their hands with water from the sea while saying prayers, and then set to their translation work until three o'clock, after which they are free to relax. All the translated texts are compared and discussed in order to arrive at a common translation, and once unanimity is obtained, the librarian Demetrius makes a true copy. Seventy-two days after the beginning of their work, the work was completed. The final result was read before the assembly of the Jews, who acclaimed it and asked that the words should never be changed. The king also rejoices and is surprised that such a work is not known to poets and historians. He asks that they take good care of these books and prepare the departure of the translators, covering them with gifts, and also providing gifts for the high priest Eleazar, assuring that they would always be received as friends in Alexandria.

Note :

  • The Greek text is that established by H. B. Sweete, in H. St. J. Tackeray ed., The Letter of Aristeas, An Introduction of the Old Testamentin Greek. Cambridge 1902. The English translation is by R. J. H. Shutt, Letter of Aristeas, in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, v. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth. Doubleday: Garden City, 1985.

Full text

VerseGreek TextEnglish translation
1Ἀξιολόγου διηγήσεως, ὦ Φιλόκρατες, περὶ τῆς γενηθείσης ἡμῖν ἐντυχίας πρὸς Ἐλεάζαρον τὸν τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἀρχιερέα συνεσταμένης, διὰ τὸ σὲ περὶ πολλοῦ πεποιῆσθαι, παρ᾽ ἕκαστα ὑπομιμνήσκων, συνακοῦσαι περὶ ὧν ἀπεστάλημεν καὶ διὰ τί, πεπείραμαι σαφῶς ἐκθέσθαι σοι, κατειληφὼς ἣν ἔχεις φιλομαθῆ διάθεσιν, A trustworthy narrative has been compiled, Philocrates, of the meeting which we had with Eleazar, high priest of the Jews, arising out of your attaching great importance to hearing a personal account of our mission, its content and purpose. By detailing each aspect I have tried to give you a clear exposition of it, realizing your scholarly disposition,
2ὅπερ μέγιστόν ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ, προσμανθάνειν ἀεί τι καὶ προσλαμβάνειν, ἤτοι κατὰ τὰς ἱστορίας, ἢ καὶ κατ᾽ αὐτὸ τὸ πρᾶγμα πεπειραμένῳ. οὕτω γὰρ κατασκευάζεται ψυχῆς καθαρὰ διάθεσις, ἀναλαβοῦσα τὰ κάλλιστα· καὶ πρὸς τὸ πάντων κυριώτατον νενευκυῖα τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἀπλανεῖ κεχρημένη κανόνι διοικεῖ.which is a supreme quality in any man who has tried continually to increase his learning and understanding, whether from the accounts (of others) or by actual experience. This is the way in which a pure disposition of mind is acquired, by the attainment of the noblest ends, and which, turning to piety, the highest of all ends, lives by adopting a rule which does not err.
3Τὴν προαίρεσιν ἔχοντες ἡμεῖς πρὸς τὸ περιέργως τὰ θεῖα κατανοεῖν, ἑαυτοὺς ἐπεδώκαμεν εἰς τὸν προειρημένον ἄνδρα πρεσβείαν, καλοκαγαθίᾳ καὶ δόξῃ προτετιμημένον ὑπό τε τῶν πολιτῶν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων, καὶ κατακεκτημένον μεγίστην ὠφέλειαν τοῖς σὺν ἑαυτῷ καὶ τοῖς κατὰ τοὺς ἄλλους τόπους πολίταις, πρὸς τὴν ἑρμηνείαν τοῦ θείου νόμου, διὰ τὸ γεγράφθαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἐν διφθέραις ἑβραϊκοῖς γράμμασιν.We have a set purpose devoted to the special study of the things of God, and offered ourselves as a deputation to the aforesaid gentleman, whose integrity and reputation have won him preeminent honor in the eyes of citizens and others alike, and who has gained a very great benefit for his own circle and for (fellow) citizens in other places. Our deputation (waited upon him) with a view to the translation of the divine Law, due to its being written by them on parchments in Hebrew characters.
4ἣν δὴ καὶ ἐποιησάμεθα ἡμεῖς σπουδῇ, λαβόντες καιρὸν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα περὶ τῶν μετοικισθέντων εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ὑπὸ πατρὸς τοῦ βασιλέως, πρώτως κεκτημένου τήν τε πόλιν καὶ κατὰ τὴν Αἴγυπτον παρειληφότος. Ἄξιόν ἐστι καὶ ταῦτά σοι δηλῶσαι.We undertook this task with enthusiasm, seizing an opportunity with the king in connection with those who were transported to Egypt from Judea by the king his father, who was the original founder of the city and took over the government of Egypt. It is worthwhile telling you this as well
5πέπεισμαι γὰρ σε μᾶλλον ἔχοντα πρόσκλισιν πρὸς τὴν σεμνότητα καὶ τὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων διάθεσιν τῶν κατὰ τὴν σεμνὴν νομοθεσίαν διεξαγόντων, περὶ ὧν προαιρούμεθα {δηλοῦν, ἀσμένως σε} ἀκούσεσθαι, προσφάτως παραγεγενημένον ἐκ τῆς νήσου πρὸς ἡμεῖς, καὶ βουλόμενον συνακούειν ὅσα πρὸς ἐπισκευὴν ψυχῆς ὑπάρχει.for I am convinced that because you are more favorably inclined toward the piety and disposition of those who live by the sacred Law, concerning whom we propose to write, you will gladly listen, since you have paid a special visit to us from your island, and wish to hear with us of matters pertaining to the edification of the soul.
6καὶ πρότερον δὲ διεπεμψάμην σοι περὶ ὧν ἐνόμιζον ἀξιομνημονεύτων εἶναι τὴν ἀναγραφήν, ἣν μετελάβομεν παρὰ τῶν κατὰ τὴν λογιωτάτην Αἴγυπτον λογιωτάτην ἀρχιερέων περὶ τοῦ γένους τῶν Ἰουδαίων.I had previously sent you the account of what I regarded as the most memorable matters. We received this account of the people of the Jews from the most renowned high priests in renowned Egypt.
7φιλομαθῶς γὰρ ἔχοντί σοι περὶ τῶν δυναμένων ὠφελῆσαι διάνοιαν δέον ἐστὶ μεταδιδόναι, μάλιστα μὲν πᾶσι τοῖς ὁμοίοις, πολλῷ δὲ μᾶλλον σοὶ γνησίαν ἔχοντι τὴν αἵρεσιν, οὐ μόνον κατὰ τὸ συγγενὲς ἀδελφῷ καθεστῶτι τὸν τρόπον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ πρὸς τὸ καλὸν ὁρμῇ τὸν αὐτὸν ὄντα ἡμῖν.You are studiously disposed toward what can help the mind and it is my duty to share this with all like-minded persons, and all the more so with you, for you have a kindred spirit, being not only a blood brother in character but also in the pursuit of beauty the same as we are.
8χρυσοῦ γὰρ χάρις ἢ κατασκευή τις ἄλλη τῶν τετιμημένων παρὰ τοῖς κενοδόξοις ὠφέλεισαν οὐκ ἔχει τὴν αὐτήν, ὅσον ἡ παιδείας ἀγωγὴ καὶ ἡ περὶ τούτων φροντίς. ἵνα δὲ μὴ περὶ τῶν προλεγομένων μηκύνοντες ἀδόλεσχόν τι ποιῶμεν, ἐπὶ τὸ συνεχὲς τῆς διηγήσεως ἐπανήξομεν.The value of gold or any other treasure among those highly prized by the empty-headed does not possess the same value, as compared with the pursuit of culture and caring for these things. But lest we prolong the introduction and indulge in idle chatter, we will proceed to the main part of the narrative.
9Κατασταθεὶς ἐπὶ τῆς τοῦ βασιλέως βιβλιοθήκης Δημήτριος ὁ Φαληρεὺς ἐχρηματίσθη πολλὰ διάφορα πρὸς τὸ συναγαγεῖν, εἰ δυνατόν, ἅπαντα τὰ κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην βιβλία· καὶ ποιούμενος ἀγορασμοὺς καὶ μεταγραφὰς ἐπὶ τέλος ἤγαγεν, ὅσον ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτῷ τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως πρόθεσιν.On his appointment as keeper of the king's library, Demetrius of Phalerum undertook many different negotiations aimed at collecting, if possible, all the books in the world. By purchase and translation he brought to a successful conclusion, as far as lay in his power, the king's plan.
10παρόντων οὖν ἡμῶν ἐρωτηθείς Πόσαι τινὲς μυριάδες τυγχάνουσι βιβλίων; εἶπεν Ὑπὲρ τὰς εἴκοσι, βασιλεῦ· σπουδάσω δ᾽ ἐν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ πρὸς τὸ πληρωθῆναι πεντήκοντα μυριάδας τὰ λοιπά. προσήγγελται δέ μοι καὶ τῶν Ἰουδαίων νόμιμα μεταγραφῆς ἄξια καὶ τῆς παρὰ σοὶ βιβλιοθήκης εἶναι.We were present when the question was put to him, "How many thousand books are there (in the royal library)?" His reply was, "Over two hundred thousand, O King. I shall take urgent steps to increase in a short time the total to five hundred thousand. Information has reached me that the lawbooks of the Jews are worth translation and inclusion in your royal library."
11Τί τὸ κωλῦον οὖν, εἶπεν, ἐστί σε τοῦτο ποιῆσαι; πάντα γὰρ ὑποτέτακταί σοι τὰ πρὸς τὴν χρείαν.ὁ δὲ Δημήτριος εἶπεν Ἑρμηνείας προσδεῖται· χαρακτῆρσι γὰρ ἰδίοις κατὰ Ἰουδαίων χρῶνται, καθάπερ Αἰγύπτιοι τῇ τῶν γραμμάτων θέσει, καθὸ καὶ φωνὴν ἰδίαν ἔχουσιν. ὑπολαμβάνονται Συριακῇ χρῆσθαι· τὸ δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἕτερος τρόπος. Μεταλαβὼν δὲ ἕκαστα ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπε γραφῆναι πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ὅπως τὰ προειρημένα τελείωσιν λάβῃ.What is there to prevent you from doing this?" he said. "Everything for your needs has been put at your disposal." Demetrius replied, "Translation is needed. They use letters characteristic of the language of the Jews, just as Egyptians use the formation of their letters in accordance with their own language. The Jews are supposed to use Syrian language, but this is not so, for it is another form (of language)." The king, in answer to each point, gave orders that a letter be written to the high priest of the Jews that the aforementioned project might be carried out.
12νομίσας δὲ ἐγὼ καιρὸν εἶναι περὶ ὧν πολλάκις ἠξιώκειν Σωσίβιόν τε τὸν Ταραντῖνον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν, τοὺς ἀρχισωματοφύλακας, περὶ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῶν μετηγμένων ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ βασιλέως—ἐκεῖνος γὰρ ἐπελθὼν τὰ κατὰ κοίλην Συρίαν καὶ Φοινίκην ἅπαντα, συγχρώμενος εὐημερίᾳ μετὰ ἀνδρείας, τοὺς μὲν μετῴκιζεν, οὓς δὲ ᾐχμαλώτιζε, φόβῳ πάντα ὑποχείρια ποιούμενος· ἐν ὅσῳ καὶ πρὸς δέκα μυριάδας ἐκ τῆς τῶν Ἰουδαίων χώρας εἰς Αἴγυπτον μετήγαγεν,I considered that it was an opportunity in connection with the matters on which I had often asked Sosibius of Tarentum and Andreas, the chief bodyguards, concerning the release of those deported from Judaea by the father of the king. He invaded the whole of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, and by a combination of success and bravery deported some and took others prisoners, bringing everything into subjection by fear. In the course of this he removed from the land of the Jews into Egypt up to one hundred thousand people,
13ἀφ᾽ ὧν ὡσεὶ τρεῖς μυριάδας καθοπλίσας ἀνδρῶν ἐκλεκτῶν εἰς τὴν χώραν κατῴκισεν ἐν τοῖς φρουρίοις (ἤδη μὲν καὶ πρότερον ἱκανῶν εἰσεληλυθότων σὺν τῷ Πέρσῃ, καὶ πρὸ τούτων ἑτέρων συμμαχιῶν ἐξαπεσταλμένων πρὸς τὸν τῶν Αἰθιόπων βασιλέα μάχεσθαι σὺν Ψαμμιτίχῳ ἀλλ᾽ οὐ τοσοῦτοι τῷ πλήθει παρεγενήθησαν, ὅσους Πτολεμαῖος ὁ τοῦ Λάγου μετήγαγε)·from whom he armed about thirty thousand chosen men and settled them throughout the land in the forts. (Already in earlier times as well a fair number had entered the country with the Persian, and before them other confederate troops had been dispatched to fight with Psammitichus against the king of the Ethiopians, but they were not so many in number as those brought over by Ptolemy the son of Lagos.)
14καθὼς δὲ προείπομεν, ἐπιλέξας τοὺς ἀρίστους ταῖς ἡλικίαις καὶ ῥώμῃ διαφέροντας καθώπλισε, τὸ δὲ λοιπὸν χύμα πρεσβυτέρων καὶ νεωτέρων, ἔτι δὲ γυναικῶν, εἴασεν εἰς τὴν οἰκετίαν, οὐχ οὕτως τῇ προαιρέσει κατὰ ψυχὴν ἔχων, ὡς κατακρατούμενος ὑπὸ τῶν στρατιωτῶν, δι᾽ ἃς ἐπεποίηντο χρείας ἐν τοῖς πολεμικοῖς ἀγῶσιν—ἡμεῖς δὲ ἐπεί τινα παρεύρεσιν εἰς τὴν ἀπόλυσιν αὐτῶν ἀπελάβομεν, καθὼς προδεδήλωται, τοιούτοις ἐχρησάμεθα λόγοις πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα.As we said previously, he selected the best, outstanding in youth and strength, and armed them. The remaining number, old men, children, and women also, he let go into slavery, not so much out of any personal predilection for such a course, but because he was prevailed upon by his troops on account of the services which they had given in the trials of war. When therefore we came upon some opportunity for their release, as we have is shown before, we spoke the following words to the king.
15μήποτε ἄλογον ᾗ ἐλέγχεσθαι ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν τῶν πραγμάτων, ὦ βασιλεῦ. τῆς γὰρ νομοθεσίας κειμένης πᾶσι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις, ἣν ἡμεῖς οὐ μόνον μεταγράψαι ἐπινοοῦμεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ διερμηνεῦσαι, τίνα λόγον ἕξομεν πρὸς ἀποστολήν, ἐν οἰκετίαις ὑπαρχόντων ἐν τῇ σῇ βασιλείᾳ πληθῶν ἱκανῶν; ἀλλὰ τελείᾳ καὶ πλουσίᾳ ψυχῇ ἀπόλυσον τοὺς συνεχομένους ἐν ταλαιπωρίαις, κατευθύνοντάς σου τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ τεθεικότος αὐτοῖς θεοῦ τὸν νόμον, καθὼς περιείργασμαι."Let it never be unreasonable to be refuted by events themselves, O King. The laws have been established for all the Jews, and it is our plan not only to translate but also to interpret them, but what justification shall we have for our mission, as long as large numbers are in subjection in your kingdom? But out of your unsullied and magnanimous soul release those who are subject to misery; the (same) God who appointed them their Law prospers your kingdom, as I have been at pains to show.
16τὸν γὰρ πάντων ἐπόπτην καὶ κτίστην θεὸν οὗτοι σέβοντα, ὃν καὶ πάντες, ἡμεῖς δέ, βασιλεῦ, προσονομάζοντες ἑτέρως Ζῆνα καὶ Δία· τοῦτο δ᾽ οὐκ ἀνοικείως οἱ πρῶτοι διεσή μαναν, δι᾽ ὃν ζωοποιοῦνται τὰ πάντα καὶ γίνεται, τοῦτον ἁπάντων ἡγεῖσθαί τε καὶ κυριεύειν. ὑπερηρκὼς δὲ σύμπαντας ἀνθρώπους τῇ λαμπρότητι τῆς ψυχῆς ἀπόλυσιν ποίησαι τῶν ἐνεχομένων ταῖς οἰκετίαις.These people worship God the overseer and creator of all, whom all men worship including ourselves, O King, except that we have a different name. Their name for him is Zeus and Jove. The primitive men, consistently with this, demonstrated that the one by whom all live and are created is the master and Lord of all. In your excelling all men by your nobility of soul, I beg you to release those held in slavery."
17οὐδὲ πολὺν χρόνον ἐπισχών, καὶ ἡμῶν κατὰ ψυχὴν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐχομένων, τὴν διάνοιαν αὐτοῦ κατασκευάσαι πρὸς τὸ τοὺς ἅπαντας ἀπολυθῆναι (κτίσμα γὰρ ὂν θεοῦ τὸ γένος τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ μεταλλοιοῦται καὶ τρέπεται πάλιν ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ· διὸ πολλαχῶς καὶ ποικίλως ἐπεκαλούμην τὸν κυριεύοντα κατὰ καρδίαν, ἵνα συναναγκασθῇ, καθὼς ἠξίουν, ἐπιτελέσαι·He wasted no time, while we offered hearty prayer to God to dispose his mind to the release of them all. (Mankind is God's creation and is changed and converted by him. Wherefore with many diverse prayers I besought the Lord with all my heart that he might be prevailed upon to accomplish my request.
18μεγάλην γὰρ εἶχον ἐλπίδα, περὶ σωτηρίας ἀνθρώπων προτιθέμενος λόγον, ὅτι τὴν ἐπιτέλειαν ὁ θεὸς ποιήσει τῶν ἀξιουμένων· ὃ γὰρ πρὸς δικαιοσύνην καὶ καλῶν ἔργων ἐπιμέλειαν ἐν ὁσιότητι νομίζουσιν ἄνθρωποι ποιεῖν, κατευθύνει τὰς πράξεις καὶ τὰς ἐπιβολὰς ὁ κυριεύων ἁπάντων θεός),For I had great hope, as I presented the case for the saving of men, that God would execute the fulfillment of my requests, inasmuch as whatsoever men think to do in piety in the way of righteousness and attention to good works, God the Lord of all directs their acts and intentions.)
19ὁ δὲ διανακύψας καὶ προσβλέψας ἱλαρῷ τῷ προσώπῴ Πόσας ὑπολαμβάνεις μυριάδας ἔσεσθαι; ἔφη. παρεστὼς δὲ Ἀνδρέας ἀπεφήνατο Βραχεῖ πλεῖον μυριάδων δέκα. ὁ δέ, Μικρόν γε, εἶπεν, Ἀριστέας ἡμᾶς ἀξιοῖ πρᾶγμα. Σωσίβιος δὲ καὶ τῶν παρόντων τινὲς τοῦτ᾽ εἶπον· Καὶ γὰρ ἄξιόν ἐστι τῆς σῆς μεγαλοψυχίας, ὅπως χαριστήριον ἀναθῇ τῷ μεγίστῳ θεῷ τὴν τούτων ἀπόλυσιν. μεγίστως γὰρ τετιμημένος ὑπὸ τοῦ κρατοῦντος τὰ πάντα καὶ δεδοξασμένος ὑπὲρ τοὺς προγόνους, εἰ καὶ μέγιστα ποιήσεις χαριστήρια, καθῆκόν ἐστι σοι.(The king) looked up and, looking on me with gracious countenance, said, "How many thousand do you consider there will be?" Andreas, standing by, answered, "A little more than one hundred thousand." He said, "It is a small request that Aristeas makes of us." Sosibius and some of those present thus said, "It is worthy of your magnanimity to offer the release of these men as a thank offering to the Most High God. You are highly honored by the Lord of all, and have been glorified beyond your ancestors, so if you make even the greatest thank offerings, it befits you."
20διαχυθεὶς δὲ εὖ μάλα τοῖς ὀψωνίοις εἶπε προσθεῖναι, καὶ σώματος ἑκάστου κομίζεσθαι δραχμὰς εἴκοσι, καὶ περὶ τούτων ἐκθεῖναι πρόσταγμα, τὰς δὲ ἀπογραφὰς ποιεῖσθαι παρ᾽ αὐτά, μεγαλείως χρησάμενος τῇ προθυμίᾳ, τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν πᾶσαν ἐπιτελέσαντος ἡμῶν προαίρεσιν, καὶ συναναγκάσαντος αὐτὸν ἀπολυτρῶσαι μὴ μόνον τοὺς συνεληλυθότας τῷ στρατοπέδῳ τοῦ πατρός, ἀλλὰ καὶ εἴ τινες προῆσαν, ἢ μετὰ ταῦτα παρεισήχθησαν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν. ὑπὲρ τὰ τετρακόσια τάλαντα τὴν δόσιν ἀπέφαινον εἶναι.The king was absolutely confounded, and ordered an increase in army pay, and the payment of twenty drachmas for each slave, together with the publication of an edict on these matters, and the compilation of a register accordingly. He exercised his zeal on a grand scale, God having fulfilled all our purpose, and compelled him to release not only those who came into his kingdom with his father's army but also any others who were there previously or were subsequently taken there. They revealed that the gift amounted to more than four hundred talents.
21καὶ τοῦ προστάγματος δὲ τὸ ἀντίγραφον οὐκ ἄχρηστον οἴομαι κατακεχωρίσθαι. πολλῷ γὰρ ἡ μεγαλομοιρία φανερωτέρα καὶ εὔδηλος ἔσται τοῦ βασιλέως, τοῦ θεοῦ κατισχύοντος αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σωτηρίαν γενέσθαι πλήθεσιν ἱκανοῖς.As regards the copy of the decree, I consider its recording to be of no small value, because the generosity of the king will be more clearly manifested thereby, as God gives him strength to bring salvation to large multitudes.
22ἦν δὲ τοιοῦτο· Τοῦ βασιλέως προστάξαντος—Ὅσοι τῶν συνεστρατευμένων τῷ πατρὶ ἡμῶν εἰς τοὺς κατὰ Συρίαν καὶ Φοινίκην τόπους ἐπελθόντες τὴν τῶν Ἰουδαίων χώραν ἐγκρατεῖς ἐγένοντο σωμάτων Ἰουδαϊκῶν καὶ ταῦτα διακεκομίκασιν εἴς τε τὴν πόλιν καὶ τὴν χώραν ἢ καὶ πεπράκασιν ἑτέροις, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ εἴ τινες προῆσαν ἢ καὶ μετὰ ταῦτά εἰσιν εἰσηγμένοι τῶν τοιούτων, ἀπολύειν παρὰ χρῆμα τοὺς ἔχοντας, κομιζομένους αὐτίκα ἑκάστου σώματος δραχμὰς εἴκοσι, τοὺς μὲν στρατιώτας τῇ τῶν ὀψωνίων δόσει, τοὺς δὲ λοιποὺς ἀπὸ τῆς βασιλικῆς τραπέζης.It was as follows. By order of the king-as many as joined our father's campaigns in the regions of Syria and Phoenicia and in their advance into the territory of the Jews became masters of Jewish personnel which they transported into the city or the country or sold to others, and likewise any such who were there before the advance or were subsequently brought in-those who hold such persons shall forthwith release them, receiving as the price for each individual twenty drachmas, such money to be paid in the case of soldiers with the issue of their pay, and in the case of the remainder from the royal treasury.
23νομίζομεν γὰρ καὶ παρὰ τὴν τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν βούλησιν καὶ παρὰ τὸ καλῶς ἔχον ᾐχμαλωτεῦσθαι τούτους, διὰ δὲ τὴν στρατιωτικὴν προπέτειαν τήν τε χώραν αὐτῶν κατεφθάρθαι καὶ τὴν τῶν Ἰουδαίων μεταγωγὴν εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον γεγονέναι· ἱκανὴ γὰρ ἦν ἡ παρὰ τὸ πεδίον γεγονυῖα ἐκ τῶν στρατιωτῶν ὠφέλεια· διὸ παντελῶς ἀνεπιεικής ἐστι καὶ ἡ τῶν ἀνθρώπων καταδυναστεία.It is our opinion that these prisoners were taken contrary to the wishes of our father in a manner quite improper, and that excessively drastic military action caused the destruction of their land and the transportati of the Jews into Egypt. The assistance from the soldiers given along the plain was quite enough, and the enslavement of these men is accordingly entirely inequitable.
24πᾶσιν οὖν ἀνθρώποις τὸ δίκαιον ἀπονέμειν ὁμολογούμενοι, πολλῷ δὲ μᾶλλον τοῖς ἀλόγως καταδυναστευομένοις, καὶ κατὰ πᾶν ἐκζητοῦντες τὸ καλῶς ἔχον πρός τε τὸ δίκαιον καὶ τὴν κατὰ πάντων εὐσέβειαν, προστετάχαμεν ὅσα τῶν Ἰουδαϊκῶν ἐστι σωμάτων ἐν οἰκετίαις {πανταχῆ} καθ᾽ ὁντινοῦν τρόπον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ, κομιζομένους τοὺς ἔχοντας τὸ προκείμενον κεφάλαιον ἀπολύειν, καὶ μηδένα κακοσχόλως περὶ τούτων μηδὲν οἰκονομεῖν· τὰς δ᾽ ἀπογραφὰς ἐν ἡμέραις τρισίν, ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἡμέρας ἐκκεῖται τὸ πρόσταγμα, ποιεῖσθαι πρὸς τοὺς καθεσταμένους περὶ τούτων, καταδεικνύντας εὐθὺ καὶ τὰ σώματα.We have reputation of dispensing justice to all men, and all the more to those who are enslaved without good reason; our overall aim is that which promotes justice and piety in all things. We have accordingly decreed that all Jewish personnel in slavery (everywhere) in the kingdom for whatever reason shall be released, their owners to receive the payment laid down above, and that no one shall deal in a slow manner in these matters. Three days from the day of publication of this decree, the owners shall furnish registers to those appointed over these matters, giving immediate details of these persons.
25διειλήφαμεν γὰρ καὶ ἡμῖν συμφέρειν καὶ τοῖς πράγμασι τοῦτ᾽ ἐπιτελεσθῆναι. τὸν δὲ βουλόμενον προσαγγέλλειν περὶ τῶν ἀπειθησάντων, ἐφ᾽ ᾧ τοῦ φανέντος ἐνόχου τὴν κυρίαν ἕξειν· τὰ δὲ ὑπάρχοντα τῶν τοιούτων εἰς τὸ βασιλικὸν ἀναληφθήσεται.We have concluded that it is in the interest of ourselves and our royal affairs that this matter shall be accomplished. Anyone who so wishes may give information concerning those who have disobeyed (this edict) on the understanding that he will assume the office of the accused if found guilty; the possessions of such men shall be appropriated into the royal treasury."
26εἰσδοθέντος τοῦ προστάγματος, ὅπως ἐπαναγνωσθῇ τῷ βασιλεῖ, τὰ ἄλλα πάντ᾽ ἔχοντος πλὴν τοῦ Καὶ εἴ τινες προῆσαν ἢ καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα εἰσηγμένοι εἰσι τῶν τοιούτων, αὐτὸς τοῦτο ὁ βασιλεὺς προσέθηκε, μεγαλομοιρίᾳ καὶ μεγαλοψυχίᾳ χρησάμενος, ἐκέλευσέ τε τῶν διαφόρων δόσιν ἀθρόαν οὖσαν ἀπομερίσαι τοῖς ὑπηρέταις τῶν ταγμάτων καὶ βασιλικοῖς τραπεζίταις.This decree was submitted to the king for his perusal. It was identical in all other respects except for the clause "and likewise any such who were there before the advance or were subsequently brought in," which the king added with his own hand, showing his magnificent magnanimity. He gave orders also that a generous gift of expenses should be divided among the servants of the troops and the royal bankers.
27οὕτω δοχθὲν ἐκεκύρωτο ἐν ἡμέραις ἑπτά· πλεῖον δὲ ταλάντων ἑξακοσίων ἑξήκοντα ἡ δόσις ἐγεγόνει. πολλὰ γὰρ καὶ τῶν ἐπιμαστιδίων τέκνων σὺν ταῖς μητράσιν ἐλευθεροῦντο. προσανενεχθέντος εἰ καὶ περὶ τούτων εἰκοσαδραχμία δοθήσεται, καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἐκέλευσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς ποιεῖν, ὁλοσχερῶς περὶ τοῦ δόξαντος ἅπαντ᾽ ἐπιτελῶν.Once so decided, it was implemented in seven days. The gift amounted to more than six hundred and sixty talents. A large number of children at the breast were also set free, with then- mothers. There was an additional proposal to the effect that twenty drachmas should be given for these, and the king commanded that this also should be done, thus completely accomplishing every detail of his policy.
28Ὡς δὲ κατεπράχθη ταῦτα, τὸν Δημήτριον ἐκέλευσεν εἰσδοῦναι περὶ τῆς τῶν Ἰουδαϊκῶν βιβλίων ἀναγραφῆς. πάντα γὰρ διὰ προσταγμάτων καὶ μεγάλης ἀσφαλείας τοῖς βασιλεῦσι τούτοις διῳκεῖτο, καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπερριμμένως οὐδ᾽ εἰκῇ. διόπερ καὶ τὸ τῆς εἰσδόσεως καὶ τὰ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν ἀντίγραφα κατακεχώρικα, καὶ τὸ τῶν ἀπεσταλμένων πλῆθος καὶ τὴν ἑκάστου κατασκευήν, διὰ τὸ μεγαλομοιρίᾳ καὶ τέχνῃ διαφέρειν ἕκαστον αὐτῶν. τῆς δὲ εἰσδόσεώς ἐστιν ἀντίγραφον τόδε·When this had been completed, he commanded Demetrius to report on the copying of the Jewish books. All measures were taken by these kings by means of edicts and in complete safety, with no trace of negligence or carelessness. For this reason I have set down the copies of the report and of the letters, as well as the number of those returned and the state of each, because each of them was outstanding in magnificence and skill. The copy of the memorandum is as follows:
29Βασιλεῖ μεγάλῳ παρὰ Δημητρίου. προστάξαντός σου, βασιλεῦ, περὶ τῶν ἀπολιπόντων εἰς τὴν συμπλήρωσιν τῆς βιβλιοθήκης βιβλίων, ὅπως ἐπισυναχθῇ, καὶ τὰ διαπεπτωκότα τύχῃ τῆς προσηκούσης ἐπισκευῆς, πεποιημένος οὐ παρέργως τὴν ἐν τούτοις ἐπιμέλειαν, προσαναφέρω σοι τάδε."To the great king from Demetrius. Your command, O King, concerned the collection of missing volumes needed to complete the library, and of items which accidentally fell short of the requisite condition. I gave highest priority and attention to these matters, and now make the following further report:
30τοῦ νόμου τῶν Ἰουδαίων βιβλία σὺν ἑτέροις ὀλίγοις τισὶν ἀπολείπει· τυγχάνει γὰρ Ἑβραϊκοῖς γράμμασι καὶ φωνῇ λεγόμενα, ἀμελέστερον δέ, καὶ οὐχ ὡς ὑπάρχει, σεσήμανται, καθὼς ὑπὸ τῶν εἰδότων προσαναφέρεται· προνοίας γὰρ βασιλικῆς οὐ τέτευχε.Scrolls of the Law of the Jews, together with a few others, are missing (from the library), for these (works) are written in Hebrew characters and language. But they have been transcribed somewhat carelessly and not as they should be according to the report of the experts, because they have not received royal patronage.
31δέον δέ ἐστι καὶ ταῦθ᾽ ὑπάρχειν παρά σοι διηκριβωμένα, διὰ τὸ καὶ φιλοσοφωτέραν εἶναι καὶ ἀκέραιον τὴν νομοθεσίαν ταύτην, ὡς ἂν οὖσαν θείαν. διὸ πόρρω γεγόνασιν οἵ τε συγγραφεῖς καὶ ποιηταὶ καὶ τὸ τῶν ἱστορικῶν πλῆθος τῆς ἐπιμνήσεως τῶν προειρημένων βιβλίων, καὶ τῶν κατ᾽ αὐτὰ πεπολιτευμένων [καὶ πολιτευομένων] ἀνδρῶν, διὰ τὸ ἁγνήν τινα καὶ σεμνὴν εἶναι τὴν ἐν αὐτοῖς θεωρίαν, ὥς φησιν Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Ἀβδηρίτης.These (books) also must be in your library in an accurate version, because this legislation, as could be expected from its divine nature, is very philosophical and genuine. Writers therefore and poets and the whole army of historians have been reluctant to refer to the aforementioned books, and to the men past (and present) who featured largely in them, because the consideration of them is sacred and hallowed, as Hecataeus of Abdera says.
32ἐὰν οὖν φαίνηται, βασιλεῦ, γραφήσεται πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα τὸν ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις, ἀποστεῖλαι τοὺς μάλιστα καλῶς βεβιωκότας καὶ πρεσβυτέρους ὄντας ἄνδρας, ἐμπείρους τῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον τὸν ἑαυτῶν, ἀφ᾽ ἑκάστης φυλῆς ἕξ, ὅπως τὸ σύμφωνον ἐκ τῶν πλειόνων ἐξετάσαντες καὶ λαβόντες τὸ κατὰ τὴν ἑρμηνείαν ἀκριβές, ἀξίως καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ τῆς σῆς προαιρέσεως, θῶμεν εὐσήμως. εὐτύχει διὰ παντός.If you approve, O King, a letter shall be written to the high priest at Jerusalem, asking him to dispatch men of the most exemplary lives and mature experience, skilled in matters pertaining to their Law, six in number from each tribe, in order that after the examination of the text agreed by the majority, and the achievement of accuracy in the translation, we may produce an outstanding version in a manner worthy both of the contents and of your purpose. Farewell always."
33Τῆς δὲ εἰσδόσεως ταύτης γενομένης, ἐκέλευσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς γραφῆναι πρὸς τὸν Ἐλεάζαρον περὶ τούτων, σημάναντας καὶ τὴν γενομένην ἀπολύτρωσιν τῶν αἰχμαλώτων. ἔδωκε δὲ καὶ εἰς κατασκευὴν κρατήρων τε καὶ φιαλῶν καὶ τραπέζης καὶ σπονδείων χρυσίου μὲν ὁλκῆς τάλαντα πεντήκοντα καὶ ἀργυρίου τάλαντα ἑβδομήκοντα καὶ λίθων ἱκανόν τι πλῆθος—ἐκέλευσε δὲ τοὺς ῥισκοφύλακας τοῖς τεχνίταις, ὧν ἂν προαιρῶνται, τὴν ἐκλογὴν διδόναι—καὶ νομίσματος εἰς θυσίας καὶ ἄλλα πρὸς τάλαντα ἑκατόν.On receiving this report, the king ordered a letter to be written to Eleazar regarding these matters, announcing also the actual release of the prisoners. He made them a gift also for the provision of cups and goblets and a table and libation vessels weighing fifty talents of gold, seventy talents of silver, and a goodly number of (precious) stones-he commanded the treasurers to allow the craftsmen to select whatever they might prefer-and of currency for sacrifices and other requirements one hundred talents.
34δηλώσομεν δέ σοι περὶ τῆς κατασκευῆς, ὡς ἂν τὰ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν ἀντίγραφα διέλθωμεν. ἦν δὲ ἡ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιστολὴ τὸν τύπον ἔχουσα τοῦτον·We will show you details of the provisions after we have given the copies of the letters. The letter of the king was of the following pattern.
35Βασιλεὺς Πτολεμαῖος Ἐλεαζάρῳ ἀρχιερεῖ χαίρειν καὶ ἐρρῶσθαι. ἐπεὶ συμβαίνει πλείονας τῶν Ἰουδαίων εἰς τὴν ἡμετέραν χώραν κατῳκίσθαι γενηθέντας ἀνασπάστους ἐκ τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων ὑπὸ Περσῶν, καθ᾽ ὃν ἐπεκράτουν χρόνον, ἔτι δὲ καὶ συνεληλυθέναι τῷ πατρὶ ἡμῶν εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον αἰχμαλώτους·"King Ptolemy to Eleazar the high priest, hearty greetings. It is a fact that a large number of the Jews settled in our country after being uprooted from Jerusalem by the Persians during the time of their ascendancy, and also came with our father into Egypt as prisoners.
36ἀφ᾽ ὧν πλείονας εἰς τὸ στρατιωτικὸν σύνταγμα κατεχώρισεν ἐπὶ μείζοσι μισθοφορίαις, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τοὺς προόντας κρίνας πιστοὺς φρούρια κτίσας ἀπέδωκεν αὐτοῖς, ὅπως τὸ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων ἔθνος φόβος [μὴ] ἔχῃ διὰ τούτων· καὶ ἡμεῖς δὲ παραλαβόντες τὴν βασιλείαν φιλανθρωπότερον ἀπαντῶμεν τοῖς πᾶσι, πολὺ δὲ μᾶλλον τοῖς σοῖς πολίταις—He put many of them into the military forces on generous pay, and in the same way, having judged the veterans to be trustworthy, he set up establishments which he handed over to them, to prevent the Egyptian people feeling any apprehension on their account. Having now inherited the throne, we adopt a more liberal attitude to all our subjects, and more especially to your citizens.
37ὑπὲρ δέκα μυριάδας αἰχμαλώτων ἠλευθερώκαμεν, ἀποδόντες τοῖς κρατοῦσι τὴν κατ᾽ ἀξίαν ἀργυρικὴν τιμήν, διορθούμενοι καὶ εἴ τι κακῶς ἐπράχθη διὰ τὰς τῶν ὄχλων ὁρμάς, διειληφότες εὐσεβῶς τοῦτο πρᾶξαι, καὶ τῷ μεγίστῳ θεῷ χαριστικὸν ἀνατιθέντες, ὃς ἡμῖν τὴν βασιλείαν ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ δόξῃ κρατίστῃ παρ᾽ ὅλην τὴν οἰκουμένην διατετήρηκεν· εἴς τε τὸ στράτευμα τοὺς ἀκμαιοτάτους ταῖς ἡλικίαις τετάχαμεν, τοὺς δὲ δυναμένους καὶ περὶ ἡμᾶς εἶναι, τῆς περὶ τὴν αὐλὴν πίστεως ἀξίους, ἐπὶ χρειῶν καθεστάκαμεν.We have freed more than a hundred thousand prisoners, paying to their captors the price in silver proportionate to their rank. We also make amends for any damage caused by mob violence. We decided to do this as a religious obligation, making of it a thank offering to the Most High God, who has preserved the kingdom for us in peace and highest renown throughout the whole world. Those at the peak of their youth we have appointed to the army, and those who are able to be at our court, being worthy of confidence in our household, we have put in charge of (some) ministries.
38βουλομένων δ᾽ ἡμῶν καὶ τούτοις χαρίζεσθαι καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην Ἰουδαίοις καὶ τοῖς μετέπειτα, προῃρήμεθα τὸν νόμον ὑμῶν μεθερμηνευθῆναι γράμμασιν Ἑλληνικοῖς ἐκ τῶν παρ᾽ ὑμῶν λεγομένων Ἑβραϊκῶν γραμμάτων, ἵν᾽ ὑπάρχῃ καὶ ταῦτα παρ᾽ ὑμῖν ἐν βιβλιοθήκῃ σὺν τοῖς ἄλλοις βασιλικοῖς βιβλίοις.It is our wish to grant favors to them and to all the Jews throughout the world, including future generations. We have accordingly decided that your Law shall be translated into Greek letters from what you call the Hebrew letters, in order that they too should take their place with us in our library with the other royal books.
39καλῶς οὖν ποιήσεις καὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας σπουδῆς ἀξίως ἐπιλεξάμενος ἄνδρας καλῶς βεβιωκότας πρεσβυτέρους, ἐμπειρίαν ἔχοντας τοῦ νόμου, καὶ δυνατοὺς ἑρμηνεῦσαι, ἀφ᾽ ἑκάστης φυλῆς ἕξ, ὅπως ἐκ τῶν πλείονων τὸ σύμφωνον εὑρεθῇ, διὰ τὸ περὶ μειζόνων εἶναι τὴν σκέψιν. οἰόμεθα γὰρ ἐπιτελεσθέντος τούτου μεγάλην ἀποίσεσθαι δόξαν.You will therefore act well, and in a manner worthy of our zeal, by selecting elders of exemplary lives, with experience of the Law and ability to translate it, six from each tribe, so that an agreed version may be found from the large majority, in view of the great importance of the matters under consideration. We believe that the completion of this project will win (us) high reputation.
40ἀπεστάλκαμεν δὲ περὶ τούτων Ἀνδρέαν τῶν ἀρχισωματοφυλάκων καὶ Ἀριστέαν, τιμωμένους παρ᾽ ἡμῖν, διαλεξομένους σοι καὶ κομίζοντας ἀπαρχὰς εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἀναθημάτων καὶ εἰς θυσίας καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ἀργυρίου τάλαντα ἑκατόν. γράφων δὲ καὶ σὺ πρὸς ἡμᾶς περὶ ὧν ἐὰν βούλῃ κεχαρισμένος ἔσῃ, καὶ φιλίας ἄξιόν τι πράξεις, ὡς ἐπιτελεσθησομένων τὴν ταχίστην περὶ ὧν ἂν αἱρῇ. ἔρρωσο.We have dispatched on this business Andreas of the chief bodyguards and Aristeas, men held in high esteem by you, to confer with you; they bring with them first fruits of offerings for the Temple and one hundred talents of silver for sacrifices and the other requirements. Write to us on any matters you wish, and your requests will be gratified; you will be performing also an act worthy of friendship for what you choose will be carried out with all dispatch. Farewell."
41Πρὸς ταύτην τὴν ἐπιστολὴν ἀντέγραψεν ἐνδεχομένως ὁ Ἐλεάζαρος ταῦτα· Ἐλεάζαρος ἀρχιερεὺς βασιλεῖ Πτολεμαίῳ φίλῳ γνησίῳ χαίρειν. αὐτός τε ἔρρωσο καὶ ἡ βασίλισσα Ἀρσινόη, ἡ ἀδελφή, καὶ τὰ τέκνα, καλῶς ἂν ἔχοι καὶ ὡς βουλόμεθα, καὶ αὐτοὶ δὲ ὑγιαίνομεν.In reply to this letter Eleazar wrote in acceptance as follows: "Eleazar the high priest to King Ptolemy, dear friend, greeting. Good health to you and to Queen Arsinoe, your sister, and to your children; if that is so, it would be well, and as we wish. We too are in good health.
42λαβόντες τὴν παρὰ σοῦ ἐπιστολὴν μεγάλως ἐχάρημεν διὰ τὴν προαίρεσίν σου καὶ τὴν καλὴν βουλήν, καὶ συναγαγόντες τὸ πᾶν πλῆθος παρανέγνωμεν αὐτοῖς, ἵνα εἰδῶσιν ἣν ἔχεις πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἡμῶν εὐσέβειαν. ἐπεδείξαμεν δὲ καὶ τὰς φιάλας ἃς ἀπέστειλας, χρυσᾶς εἴκοσι καὶ ἀργυρᾶς τριάκοντα, κρατῆρας πέντε, καὶ τράπεζαν εἰς ἀνάθεσιν, καὶ εἰς προσαγωγὴν θυσιῶν καὶ εἰς ἐπισκευὰς ὧν ἂν δέηται τὸ ἱερὸν ἀργυρίου τάλαντα ἑκατόν,On receipt of your letter we rejoiced greatly because of your purpose and noble plan; we therefore collected together the whole multitude and read it to them, that they might know your piety toward our God. We also showed them the vessels which you sent, twenty of silver and thirty of gold, five cups, and a table for offering, and for the performance of the sacrifices and the furnishing of the Temple requirements one hundred talents of silver,
43περ ἐκόμισεν Ἀνδρέας τῶν τετιμημένων παρὰ σοὶ καὶ Ἀριστέας, ἄνδρες καλοὶ καὶ ἀγαθοὶ καὶ παιδείᾳ διαφέροντες καὶ τῆς σῆς ἀγωγῆς καὶ δικαιοσύνης ἄξιοι κατὰ πάντα· οἳ καὶ μετέδωκαν ἡμῖν τὰ παρὰ σοῦ, πρὸς ἃ καὶ παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ἀκηκόασιν ἁρμόζοντα τοῖς σοῖς γράμμασι.brought by two men highly esteemed by you, Andreas and Aristeas, gentlemen of integrity,1 outstanding in education, worthy in every respect of your conduct and justice. They also communicated to us your messages, in reply to which they have heard from us also sentiments consistent with what you wrote.
44πάντα γὰρ ὅσα σοι συμφέρει, καὶ εἰ παρὰ φύσιν ἐστίν, ὑπακουσόμεθα· τοῦτο γὰρ φιλίας καὶ ἀγαπήσεως σημεῖόν ἐστι. μεγάλα γὰρ καὶ σὺ καὶ ἀνεπίληστα τοὺς πολίτας ἡμῶν κατὰ πολλοὺς τρόπους εὐηργέτηκας.Everything which is to your advantage, even if it is unnatural, we will carry out; this is a sign of friendship and love. You have also bestowed great unexpected benefits upon our citizens in many ways.
45εὐθέως οὖν προσηγάγομεν ὑπὲρ σοῦ θυσίας καὶ τῆς ἀδελφῆς καὶ τῶν τέκνων καὶ τῶν φίλων· καὶ ηὔξατο πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος, ἵνα σοι γένηται καθὼς προαιρῇ διὰ παντός, καὶ διασώζῃ σοι τὴν βασιλείαν ἐν εἰρήνῃ μετὰ δόξης ὁ κυριεύων ἁπάντων θεός, καὶ ὅπως γένηταί σοι συμφερόντως καὶ μετὰ ἀσφαλείας ἡ τοῦ ἁγίου νόμου μεταγραφή.We therefore offered sacrifices without delay for you, your sister, your children, and your friends. The whole multitude made supplication that it should come to pass for you entirely as you desire, and that God the ruler of all should preserve your kingdom in peace and glory, and that the translation of the sacred Law should come to pass in a manner expedient to you and in safety.
46παρόντων δὲ πάντων ἐπελέξαμεν ἄνδρας καλοὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς πρεσβυτέρους, ἀφ᾽ ἑκάστης φυλῆς ἕξ, οὓς καὶ ἀπεστείλαμεν ἔχοντας τὸν νόμον. καλῶς οὖν ποιήσεις, βασιλεῦ δίκαιε, προστάξας, ὡς ἂν ἡ μεταγραφὴ γένηται τῶν βιβλίων, ἵνα πάλιν ἀποκατασταθῶσιν πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀσφαλῶς οἱ ἄνδρες. ἔρρωσο.In the presence of the whole assembly we selected elders, honorable men and true, six from each tribe, whom we have sent with the Law in their possession. It will be a noble deed, O righteous King, if you command that once the translation of the books is complete these men be restored to us again in safety. Farewell."
47Εἰσὶ δὲ πρώτης φυλῆς· Ἰώσηφος, Ἐζεκίας, Ζαχαρίας, Ἰωάννης, Ἐζεκίας, Ἐλισσαῖος. δευτέρας· Ἰούδας, Σίμων, Σομόηλος, Ἀδαῖος, Ματταθίας, Ἐσχλεμίας. τρίτης· Νεεμίας, Ἰώσηφος, Θεοδόσιος, Βασέας, Ὀρνίας, Δάκις.The names of the men are as follows: First tribe: Joseph, Ezekiah, Zachariah, John, Ezekiah, and Elissaeus; second tribe: Judas, Simon, Somoel, Adaeus, Mattathias, and Esclemias; third tribe: Neemiah, Joseph, Theodosius, Baseas, Ornias, and Dakis;
48τετάρτης· Ἰωνάθας, Ἀβαῖος, Ἐλισσαῖος, Ἁνανίας, Χαβρίας, [Χελκίας?]. πέμπτης· Ἴσακος, Ἰάκωβος, Ἰησοῦς, Σαββαταῖος, Σίμων, Λευίς. ἕκτης· Ἰούδας, Ἰώσηφος, Σίμων, Ζαχαρίας, Σομόηλος, Σελεμίας.fourth tribe: Jonathan, Abraeus, Elissaeus, Ananias, Chabrias; fifth tribe: Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, Sabbataeus, Simon, Levi; sixth tribe: Judas, Joseph, Simon, Zachariah, Somoel, and Selemiah;
49ἑβδόμης· Σαββαταῖος, Σεδεκίας, Ἰάκωβος, Ἴσαχος, Ἰησίας, Νατθαῖος. ὀγδόης· Θεοδόσιος, Ἰάσων, Ἰησοῦς, Θεόδοτος, Ἰωάννης, Ἰωνάθας. ἐνάτης· Θεόφιλος, Ἄβραμος, Ἄρσαμος, Ἰάσων, Ἐνδεμίας, Δανίηλος.seventh tribe: Sabbataeus, Sedekiah, Jacob, Isaac, Jesias, Natthaeus; eighth tribe: Theodosius, Jason, Jesus, Theodotus, John, and Jonathan; ninth tribe: Theophilus, Abram, Arsam, Jason, Endemias, and Daniel;
50δεκάτης· Ἰερεμίας, Ἐλεάζαρος, Ζαχαρίας, Βανέας, Ἐλισσαῖος, Δαθαῖος. ἑνδεκάτης· Σαμούηλος, Ἰώσηφος, Ἰούδας, Ἰωνάθης. Χαβεῦ, Δοσίθεος. δωδεκάτης· Ἰσάηλος, Ἰωάννης, Θεοδόσιος, Ἄρσαμος, Ἀβιήτης, Ἐζεκῆλος. οἱ πάντες ἑβδομήκοντα δύο.tenth tribe: Jeremiah, Eleazar, Zachariah, Baneas, Elissaeus, and Dathaeus; eleventh tribe: Samuel, Joseph, Judas, Jonathan, Chabeu,and Dositheus; twelfth tribe: Isael, John, Theodosius, Arsamus, Abietes, and Ezekiel. Seventy-two in all.
51καὶ τὰ μὲν πρὸς τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιστολὴν τοιαύτης ἐτύγχανεν ἀντιγραφῆς {ὑπὸ} τῶν περὶ τὸν Ἐλεάζαρον. Ὡς δὲ ἐπηγγειλάμην καὶ τὰ τῶν κατασκευασμάτων διασαφῆσαι, ποιήσω. πολυτεχνίᾳ γὰρ διαφέροντα συνετελέσθη, τοῦ βασιλέως πολλὴν ἐπίδοσιν ποιουμένου καὶ παρ᾽ ἕκαστον ἐπιθεωροῦντος τοὺς τεχνίτας. διὸ παριδεῖν οὐδὲν ἠδύναντο οὐδὲ εἰκῇ συντελέσαι. πρῶτον δέ σοι τὰ περὶ τῆς τραπέζης ἐξηγήσομαι.The matters relating to the king's letter received the aforementioned reply from Eleazar and his advisers. Since I promised to give full details of the furnishings, I will now do so. The finished objects were conspicuous for their variety of craftsmanship; the king made a generous contribution and oversaw the craftsman in each case, so that they could not neglect anything or finish it off thoughtlessly. First I will describe the details of the table.
52προεθυμεῖτο μὲν οὖν ὁ βασιλεὺς ὑπέροπλόν τι ποιῆσαι τοῖς μέτροις τὸ κατασκεύασμα. προσέταξε δὲ πυθέσθαι τῶν ἀνὰ τὸν τόπον, πηλίκη τίς ἐστιν ἡ προοῦσα καὶ κειμένη κατὰ τὸ ἱερὸν ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις.The king's main plan was to make the furnishing an object outstanding in its measurements, and commanded inquiries to be made of the local people concerning the size of the previous one set up in the Temple at Jerusalem.
53ὡς δὲ ἀπεφήναντο τὰ μέτρα, προσεπηρώτησεν, εἰ κατασκευάσει μείζονα. τινὲς μὲν οὖν καὶ τῶν ἱερέων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἔλεγον μηδὲν ἐπικωλύειν. ὁ δὲ εἶπε βούλεσθαι καὶ πενταπλῆν τοῖς μεγέθεσι ποιῆσαι, διστάζειν δὲ μήποτε ἄχρηστος γένηται πρὸς τὰς λειτουργίας.When they gave him the measurements he asked a further question, whether he should make it larger. Some of the priests and the others said that there was nothing to prevent this. The king replied that though he was quite willing to make it even five times as large in size, he hesitated in case it proved to be useless for the services;
54οὐ γὰρ αἱρεῖσθαι τὸ κεῖσθαι μόνον ἐν τῷ τόπῳ {τὰ} παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ, πολὺ δὲ μᾶλλον χάριν ἕξειν, ἐὰν τὰς καθηκούσας λειτουργίας ἐπὶ τῶν αὐτοῦ κατεσκευασμένων οἷς καθῆκε ποιῶνται δεόντως.he not only chose, he said, that his gifts should be placed in that building, but would be much more pleased if the appointed ministers duly performed the appropriate rites upon the furnishings which he had provided.
55οὐ γὰρ ἕνεκεν σπάνεως χρυσοῦ τὰ προσυντετελεσμένα βραχύμετρα καθέστηκεν, ἀλλὰ φαίνεται πρός τινα λόγον, εἶπεν, οὕτως συνεστηκέναι τοῖς μέτροις. ἔτι γὰρ ἐπιταγῆς οὔσης οὐθὲν ἂν ἐσάνιζε· διόπερ οὐ παραβατέον οὐδὲ ὑπερθετέον τὰ καλῶς ἔχοντα.Lack of money was not the reason he had made the measurements of the previously completed offerings short, but it is plain, he said, for what reason they were so constituted in their measurements. Had there been any (precise) order (to that effect) there would be nothing lacking now. Accordingly, we must not transgress nor overstep what is right and proper.
56τῇ μὲν οὖν ποικιλίᾳ τῶν τεχνῶν ἐκέλευσεν ὅτι μάλιστα χρήσασθαι, σεμνῶς ἅπαντα διανούμενος καὶ φύσιν ἔχων ἀγαθὴν εἰς τὸ συνιδεῖν πραγμάτων ἔμφασιν. ὅσα δ᾽ ἂν ᾖ ἄγραφα, πρὸς καλλονὴν ἐκέλευσε ποεῖν· ὅσα δὲ διὰ γραπτῶν, μέτρα αὐτοῖς κατακολουθῆσαι.He commanded that the fullest use should be made of the variety of the arts, his intentions being pious in every respect, and having naturally a good eye for appreciating how things will look. In cases of unspecified items he commanded that they should make them with an eye to their beauty (not expense); in cases of specified items, measurements should tally with them.
57Δύο γὰρ πήχεων τὸ μῆκος, τὸ δὲ ὕψος πήχεος καὶ ἡμίσους συνετέλουν, χρυσίου δοκίμου στερεὰν πάντοθεν τὴν ποίησιν ἐργασάμενοι, λέγω δὲ οὐ περί τι περιεπτυγμένου τοῦ χρυσοῦ, τὸν δὲ ἐλασμὸν αὐτὸν ἐπιδεδέσθαι.Their finished work was two cubits in length, one and a half in height; they made it solid all over with highly precious gold, by which I mean not just an outer covering of gold, but the plate itself superimposed.
58στεφάνην δὲ ἐποίησαν παλαιστιαίαν κυκλόθεν· τὰ δὲ κυμάτια στρεπτά, τὴν ἀναγλυφὴν ἔχοντα σχοινίδων ἔκτυπον, τῇ πορείᾳ θαυμαστῶς ἔχουσαν ἐκ τῶν τριῶν μερῶν· ἦν γὰρ τριγωνία.They made the crown a palm's radius in size; the moldings twined, with coiled work in low relief, the relief-work marvelously executed on the three sides. (It formed a triangle.)
59καὶ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον μέρος ἡ διατύπωσις τῆς ἐνεργείας τὴν αὐτὴν διάθεσιν εἶχεν, ὥστε, καθ᾽ ὃ ἂν μέρος στρέφοιτο, τὴν πρόσοψιν εἶναι τὴν αὐτήν, κειμένου δὲ κατὰ τῆς στεφάνης τὸ μὲν εἰς αὐτὴν τὴν τράπεζαν ἀπόκλιμα τὴν διατύπωσιν ἔχειν τῆς ὡραιότητος, τὸ δὲ ἐκτὸς κλίμα πρὸς τὴν τοῦ προσάγοντος εἶναι θεωρίαν.On each side the shape of the workmanship was identical in arrangement, so that whichever side it was turned, the appearance was identical, and when one side of the crown was placed downward the slope downward to the surface of the table kept its beautiful shape, and the outer slope was facing the view of anyone approaching it.
60διὸ τὴν ὑπεροχὴν ὀξεῖαν εἶναι τῶν δύο κλιμάτων συνέβαινε, μετέωρον ἐπικειμένην, ὡς προειρήκαμεν, τριγώνου κατεσκευασμένου, καθ᾽ ὃ ἂν μέρος στρέφοιτο. λίθων τε πολυτελῶν ἐν αὐτῷ διαθέσεις ὑπῆρχον ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν σχοινίδων· ἕτερος παρὰ ἕτερον πλοκὴν εἶχον ἀμίμητον τῇ ποιήσει.So the prominence of the two sloping sides stood out sharply, being raised high as we have said, and of triangular construction, whichever side it was turned. There were arrangements of precious stones upon it between the patterns of lines: Each overlapped the other, unsurpassed in craftsmanship.
61πάντες δ᾽ ἦσαν διὰ τρημάτων κατειλημμένοι χρυσαῖς περόναις πρὸς τὴν ἀσφάλειαν. ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν γωνιῶν αἱ κατακλεῖδες συνέσφιγγον πρὸς τὴν συνοχήν.They were all fastened through the holes with golden pins for safety. At the corners the clasps closed to keep them together.
62ἐκ πλαγίων δὲ κατὰ τὴν στεφάνην κυκλόθεν τὰ πρὸς τὴν ἄνω πρόσοψιν ῴοθεσία κατεσκεύαστο διάλιθος, ἐκτύπωσιν ἔχουσα προσοχῆς συνεχέσιν ἀναγλυφαῖς ῥαβδωταῖς, πυκνὴν ἐχούσαις τὴν πρὸς ἄλληλα θέσιν περὶ ὅλην τὴν τράπεζαν.On the sides on the crown all around as one looked at the top an ovate border had been fashioned set with precious stones, [in prominent relief] with uninterrupted striped reliefs, closely connected with each other around the whole of the table.
63ὑπὸ δὲ τὴν ἐκτύπωσιν τῶν λίθων τῆς ῴοθεσίας, στέφανον ἐποίησαν οἱ τεχνῖται πάγκαρπον, ἐν ὑπεροχῇ προδήλως ἔχοντα βοτρύων καὶ σταχύων, ἔτι δὲ φοινίκων καὶ μήλων ἐλαίας τε καὶ ῥοῶν καὶ τῶν παραπλησίων. τοὺς δὲ λίθους ἐργασάμενοι πρὸς τὴν τῶν προειρημένων καρπῶν διατύπωσιν, ἔχοντας ἑκάστου γένους τὴν χρόαν, ἀνέδησαν τῷ χρυσίῳ κύκλῳ περὶ ὅλην τὴν τῆς τραπέζης κατασκευὴν κατὰ κρόταφον.Beneath the relief of the precious stones which made the (aforesaid) ovate border the craftsmen made a crown adorned with all sorts of fruit, preeminently conspicuous with grapes and ears of corn, also dates, apples, olives, pomegranates, and the like. Thus they fashioned the stones in the shape of the aforesaid fruits, in the color appropriate to each type, and then attached them with the golden band around the whole design of the table in profile.
64μετὰ δὲ τὴν τοῦ στεφάνου διάθεσιν, ὁμοίως κατὰ τὴν τῆς ῴοθεσίας διασκευὴν κατεσκεύαστο, καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ τῆς ῥαβδώσεως καὶ διαγλυφῆς, {διὰ} τὸ κατ᾽ ἀμφότερα τὰ μέρη τὴν τράπεζαν πρὸς τὴν χρῆσιν πεποιῆσθαι, καθ᾽ ὃ ἂν μέρος αἴρωνται, ὥστε καὶ τὴν τῶν κυμάτων θέσιν καὶ τὴν τῆς στεφάνης εἶναι κατὰ τὸ τῶν ποδῶν μέρος.After the disposition of the crown a similar arrangement had been designed to match the scheme of the border, and likewise the rest of the fluting and engraving, because the table had been made for use on both sides whichever side they began, so that the position of the moldings and of the crown matched the side where the feet were.
65ἔλασμα γὰρ ἐποίησαν καθ᾽ ὅλου τοῦ πλάτους τῆς τραπέζης στερεὸν δακτύλων τεσσάρων, ὥστε τοὺς πόδας ἐνίεσθαι εἰς τοῦτο, περόνας {σὺν} κατακλεῖσιν ἔχοντας ἐσφίγχθαι κατὰ τὴν στεφάνην, ἵνα, καθ᾽ ὃ ἂν αἴρωνται μέρος, ἡ χρῆσις ᾖ· τοῦτο δὲ κατὰ ἐπιφάνειαν θεωρεῖται ἀμφοτεροδεξίου τῆς κατασκευῆς οὔσης.They made a solid metal plate over the whole breadth of the table, four fingers deep, so that into it the feet fitted which had fasteners with holes for attaching under the crown to ensure its use whichever side they began. This is seen plainly on the outside, the construction being visible on both sides.
66ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆς δὲ τῆς τραπέζης μαίανδρον ἔκτυπον ἐποίησαν, ἐν ὑπεροχῇ λίθους ἔχοντα κατὰ μέσον πολυτελεῖς τῶν {πολυειδῶν}, ἀνθράκων τε καὶ σμαράγδων, ἔτι δὲ ὄνυχος καὶ τῶν ἄλλων γενῶν τῶν διαφερόντων ἐν ὡραιότητι.On the actual table they made an intricate pattern in relief with very costly stones in profusion in the middle, consisting of rubies of many types and emeralds, onyx also, and the other kinds conspicuous for their beauty.
67μετὰ δὲ τὴν τοῦ μαιάνδρου διάθεσιν ἐπέκειτο σχιστὴ πλοκή, θαυμασίως ἔχουσα, ῥομβωτὴν ἀποτελοῦσα τὴν ἀνὰ μέσον θεωρίαν· ἐφ᾽ ᾗ κρυστάλλου λίθος καὶ τὸ λεγόμενον ἤλεκτρον ἐντετύπωτο, ἀμίμητον θεωρίαν ἀποτελοῦν τοῖς θεωροῦσι.After the arrangement of the (aforesaid) pattern there was superimposed a web with interstices, marvelously contrived, which made the central view rhomboid in shape; on it was put in relief a stone of crystal and what is called amber, providing the viewers with a sight beyond compare.
68τοὺς δὲ πόδας ἐποίησαν τὰς κεφαλίδας ἔχοντας κρινωτάς, ἀνάκλασιν κρίνων ὑπὸ τὴν τράπεζαν λαμβανόντων, τὰ δὲ τῆς ἐντὸς προσόψεως ὀρθὴν ἔχοντα τὴν πετάλωσιν.They made the feet with the capitals adorned with lilies, the lilies opening out underneath the table; the inside parts which could be seen they made with a real covering of gold leaf.
69ἡ δὲ ἐπ᾽ ἐδάφους ἔρεισις τοῦ ποδὸς ἄνθρωπος λίθου πάντοθεν παλιστιαία, κρηπῖδος ἔχουσα τάξιν κατὰ τὴν πρόσοψιν, ὀκτὼ δὲ δακτύλων τὸ πλάτος ἔχουσα· ἐφ᾽ ὃν ἐπίκειται τὸ πᾶν ἔλασμα τοῦ ποδός.The support of the foot on the ground was adorned liberally with rubies, having an arrangement of a foot at the front, eight fingers wide. On it was placed all the stress of the foot.
70κατεσκεύασαν δὲ ἐκφύοντα κισσὸν ἀκάνθῳ πλεκόμενον ἐκ τοῦ λίθου, σὺν ἀμπέλῳ περιειλούμενον κυκλόθεν τῷ ποδὶ σὺν τοῖς βότρυσιν, οἳ λιθουργεῖς ἦσαν, μέχρι τῆς κεφαλῆς. ἡ δ᾽ αὐτὴ διάθεσις ἦν τῶν τεσσάρων ποδῶν, πάντα ἐνεργῶς πεποιημένα καὶ προσηγμένα, τῆς ἐμπειρίας καὶ τέχνης τὰς ὑπεροχὰς ἀπαραλλάκτως ἔχοντα πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν, ὥστε καὶ ῥιπίζοντος τοῦ κατὰ τὸν ἀέρα πνεύματος κίνησιν ἐπιδέχεσθαι τὴν τῶν φύλλων θέσιν, πρὸς τὴν τῆς ἀληθείας διάθεσιν τετυπωμένων ἁπάντων.They made a sprouting ivy cluster of stone entwined in acanthus, and surrounded all around the foot with a vine together with the grape clusters, all fashioned out of stone, as far as the head. The same pattern was applied to the four feet; everything was artistically contrived and introduced, uniformly showing preeminence of experience and art with an emphasis on realism, so that the arrangement of the leaves seemed actually to receive a movement of breath in the air fanning them.
71ἐποίησαν δὲ τριμερὲς τὸ στόμα τῆς τραπέζης, οἱονεὶ τρίπτυχον, πελεκίνοις συναρμοζόμενα γομφωτοῖς πρὸς ἑαυτὰ κατὰ τὸ πάχος τῆς κατασκευῆς, ἀθέατον καὶ ἀνεύρετον τὴν τῶν ἁρμῶν κατασκευάσαντες συμβολήν. ἡμιπηχίου δὲ οὐκ ἐλάσσονος ἦν τὸ πάχος τῆς ὅλης τραπέζης, ὥστε πολλῶν εἶναι ταλάντων τὴν ὅλην διασκευήν.Everything was modeled for realistic representation. They made the mouth of the table threefold, of three layers as it were, each layer fitted to each other with dovetailing joints through the thickness of the piece (of furniture): they made the joints so closely fitting as to be invisible and incapable of detection. The thickness of the whole table was not less than half a cubit, so that the whole piece weighed many talents.
72ἐπεὶ γὰρ οὐ προᾐρητο τοῖς μεγέθεσιν οὐδὲν προσθεῖναι ὁ βασιλεύς, ὅσον ἔδει δαπανηθῆναι κατασκευαζομένων μειζόνων, ταῦτα ἀποδέδωκε πλείονα· καὶ κατὰ τὴν προαίρεσιν αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐπετελέσθη θαυμασίως καὶ ἀξιολόγως ἔχοντα, καὶ ταῖς τέχναις ἀμίμητα, καὶ τῇ καλλονῇ διαπρεπῆ.For since the king had decided to add nothing to the measurements insofar as greater expenditure was required for making them bigger, he increased the number of talents' weight, and so in accordance with his purpose every detail was completed in an extraordinary and remarkable way, unparalleled in craftsmanship and outstanding in beauty.
73τῶν δὲ κρατήρων δύο μὲν ἦσαν {χρυσοῖ} τῇ κατασκευῇ, φολιδωτὴν ἔχοντες ἀπὸ τῆς βάσεως μέχρι τοῦ μέσου τὴν διασκευὴν τῇ πορείᾳ, καὶ τὴν τῶν λίθων ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν φολίδων σύνδεσιν πολυτέχνως ἔχοντες.Two of the drinking bowls were made of solid gold of overlapping design in relief from the base to the center, with very artistic joining together of the stones in the middle of the layers.
74εἶτα μαίανδρος ἐπέκειτο πηχυαῖος ὕψει, τὴν δ᾽ ἐκτύπωσιν ἐνυπῆρχε διὰ λιθώσεως ποικίλης, ἐμφαίνων σὺν ὡραιότητι τὸ τῆς τέχνης φιλόπονον. ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦτο ῥάβδωσις, ἐφ᾽ ᾗ διαπλοκὴ ῥόμβων, δικτυωτὴν ἔχουσα τὴν πρόσοψιν ἕως ἐπὶ τὸ στόμα.There was superimposed an intricate pattern a cubit high, incorporated into the design by intricate work in precious stones, exhibiting meticulous art combined with beauty. On this was fluting intermingled with circular patterns, giving a meshlike appearance as far as the mouth.
75τὸ δ᾽ ἀνὰ μέσον ἀσπιδίσκοι λίθων ἑτέρων παρ᾽ ἑτέροις, τοῖς γένεσι παραλλαγὴν ἐχόντων, τετραδακτύλων οὐκ ἔλαττον, ἀνεπλήρουν τὸ τῆς καλλονῆς ἐναργές. ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς στεφάνης τοῦ σώματος κρίνων τύπωσις σὺν ἀνθεμίσι καὶ βοτρύων σχοινιαὶ διάπλοκοι διετυποῦντο κυκλόθεν.On the central part small bosses of stones, one group close to another, and of varied types, not less than four fingers in size, complemented the conspicuous beauty (of the whole). On the brim of the mouth shapes of lilies with flowers and interwoven clusters of grapes were fashioned all around.
76οἱ μὲν οὖν διὰ τοῦ χρυσοῦ τοιαύτην εἶχον τὴν κατασκευήν, χωροῦντες ὑπὲρ δύο μετρητάς· οἱ δ᾽ ἀργυροῖ λείαν εἶχον τὴν διασκευήν, ἔνοπτρον δὴ γεγονυῖαν πρὸς αὐτὸ τοῦτο θαυμασίως ἔχουσαν, ὥστε πᾶν τὸ προσαχθὲν ἀπαυγάζεσθαι σαφέστερον μᾶλλον ἢ ἐν τοῖς κατόπροις.Such was the pattern of the golden (drinking bowls), holding above two large measures. The silver ones had a smooth appearance, being a reflector marvelously adapted for this very effect, so that everything brought near it flashed more clearly than in mirrors.
77οὐκ ἐφικτὸν δ᾽ ἐστὶν ἐξηγήσασθαι τὰ προσυντελεσθέντα πρὸς τὴν τῆς ἀληθείας ἔμφασιν. ὡς γὰρ ἐπετελέσθη, τεθέντων τῶν κατασκευασμάτων ἑτέρου παρ᾽ ἕτερον—λέγω δὲ πρῶτον ἀργυροῦ κρατῆρος, εἶτα χρυσοῦ, πάλιν ἀργυροῦ καὶ χρυσοῦ—παντελῶς ἀνεξήγητος ἐγένετο τῆς προσόψεως ἡ διάθεσις, καὶ τῶν πρὸς τὴν θεωρίαν προσιόντων οὐ δυναμένων ἀφίστασθαι διὰ τὴν περιαύγειαν καὶ τὸ τῆς ὄψεως τερπνόν.It is not, however, possible to relate the additional details added to give the impression of realism. When it was finished and the pieces put one upon another, that is to say a silver drinking bowl first, then a gold, then one in silver and one in gold, the overall effect of the sight was entirely beyond description, and even those who approached to view it were unable to tear themselves away from the brilliance and delight in what they saw.
78ποικίλη γὰρ ἦν ἡ τῆς ἐπιφανείας ἐνέργεια. προσορώντων γὰρ πρὸς αὐτὴν τὴν τοῦ χρυσίου κατασκευήν, ψυχαγωγία τις ἦν μετὰ θαυμασμοῦ, συνεχῶς ἐφ᾽ ἕκαστον ἐπιβαλλούσης τῆς διανοίας τεχνίτευμα. καὶ πάλιν ὅτε πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀργυρῶν προσβλέψαι τις θέσιν ἤθελεν, ἀπέλαμπε τὰ πάντα κυκλόθεν, ὡς ἄν τις ἕστηκε, καὶ διάχυσιν ἐποίει μείζονα τοῖς θεωμένοις· ὥστε παντελῶς ἀνεξήγητον εἶναι τῶν ἐνηργημένων τὴν πολυτεχνίαν.The living craftsmanship of the work now made visible was subtly diverse. As people looked at the actual furnishing in gold, a certain fascination ensued, coupled with awed amazement, as the attention concentrated on each artistic device in turn. And again, when anyone wanted to gaze at the arrangement of the silver, everything reflected all around, however one stood, and caused even greater amazement among the spectators. So that the manifold artistry of the masterpieces was absolutely indescribable.
79τὰς δὲ χρυσᾶς φιάλας διετόρευσαν στεφάνοις ἀμπέλου κατὰ μέσον, περὶ δὲ τὰ χείλη κισσοῦ τε καὶ μυρσίνης ἔτι δ᾽ ἐλαίας ἀνέπλεξαν στέφανον ἔκτυπον, πολυτελεῖς ἐνέντες λίθους· καὶ τὰς λοιπὰς δὲ πορείας διηλλαγμένως ἐπετέλεσαν, ἅπαντα φιλοτιμηθέντες εἰς ὑπεροχὴν δόξης τοῦ βασιλέως ποιῆσαι.They engraved the golden goblets with crowns of grapes in the middle, and around the edges they plaited in relief a crown of ivy, myrtle, and olive, into which they inserted precious stones; the remaining carvings the craftsmen finished individually, competing with one another to do everything to the so preeminent glory of the king.
80καθόλου γὰρ οὔτ᾽ ἐν τοῖς βασιλικοῖς ὑπῆρχε ῥισκοφυλακίοις τοιαύτη κατασκευὴ τῇ πολυτελείᾳ καὶ τεχνουργίᾳ, οὔτ᾽ ἔν τινι ἄλλῳ. πρόνοιαν γὰρ οὐ μικρὰν ἐποιεῖτο ὁ βασιλεύς, φιλοδοξῶν εἰς τὰ καλῶς ἔχοντα.There was absolutely no work of art comparable in magnificence and craftsmanship, either in the royal treasuries or in any other. The king took no small interest in the work, because of his dedication to works of art.
81πολλάκις γὰρ τὸν δημόσιον χρηματισμὸν παρίει, τοῖς δὲ τεχνίταις παρήδρευεν ἐπιμελῶς, ἵνα καθηκόντως τῷ τόπῳ συντελέσωσιν, εἰς ὃν ἀπεστέλλετο τὰ τῶν ἔργων. διὸ πάντα σεμνῶς ἐγεγόνει, καὶ καταξίως τοῦ τε ἀποστέλλοντος βασιλέως καὶ τοῦ προστατοῦντος ἀρχιερέως τοῦ τόπου.Many a time he laid aside public business and sat attentively among the craftsmen, in order that they might complete the work in a manner consistent with the place for which the entire enterprise was destined. So everything was done in solemnity and in a manner worthy of the king, who sent (the gifts), and of the high priest, who presided over the place.
82καὶ γὰρ τὸ τῶν λίθων πλῆθος ἄφθονον, καὶ μεγάλοι τοῖς μεγέθεσιν, οὐκ ἔλαττον πεντακισχιλίων· καὶ ταῖς τέχναις κρατιστεύοντα πάντα, ὥστε πενταπλασίως τοῦ χρυσοῦ τιμιωτέραν εἶναι τὴν τῶν λίθων δόσιν καὶ τὴν τῶν τεχνῶν ἐνέργειαν.The number of the stones was without limit, and they were great in size, not less than five thousand in number. Everything was excellent in craftsmanship so that the gift of the stones and the actual artistic work was worth five times more than the gold.
83Ὑπολαμβάνων οὖν καὶ τούτων τὴν ἀναγραφὴν ἀναγκαίαν εἶναι, δεδήλωκά σοι. τὰ δ᾽ ἑξῆς περιέχει τὴν πρὸς τὸν Ἐλεάζαρον ὁδὸν ἡμῖν γενομένην· τὴν δὲ θέσιν τῆς ὅλης χώρας πρῶτον δηλώσω. Ὡς γὰρ παρεγενήθημεν ἐπὶ τοὺς τόπους, ἐθεωροῦμεν τὴν πόλιν μέσην κειμένην τῆς ὅλης Ἰουδαίων ἐπ᾽ ὄρους ὑψηλὴν ἔχοντος τὴν ἀνάτασιν.I assumed that the description of these details was indispensable, so I have narrated it to you. What follows embraces the road to Eleazar that we took. First I will describe the layout of the whole countryside. When we approached near the site, we saw the city built in the midst of the whole land of the Jews, upon a hill which extended to a great height.
84ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς κορυφῆς κατεσκεύαστο τὸ ἱερὸν ἐκπρεπῶς ἔχον· καὶ οἱ περίβολοι τρεῖς, ὑπὲρ ἑβδομήκοντα δὲ πήχεις τῷ μεγέθει, καὶ τὸ πλάτος ἀκόλουθον καὶ τὸ μῆκος τῆς κατὰ τὸν οἶκον διασκευῆς ὑπῆρχε, μεγαλομοιρίᾳ καὶ χορηγίᾳ κατὰ πάντα ὑπερβαλλούσῃ διῳκοδομημένων ἁπάντων.On the top of the hill the Temple had been constructed, towering above all. There were three enclosing walls, over seventy cubits in size, the width being proportionate and the length of the equipment of the house likewise; everything was built with a magnificence and expense which excelled in every respect.
85καὶ τοῦ θυρώματος δὲ καὶ τῶν περὶ αὐτὸ συνδέσμων κατὰ τὰς φλιὰς καὶ τῆς τῶν ὑπερθύρων ἀσφαλείας ἔκδηλος ἦν ἡ τῶν χρημάτων γεγονυῖα ἀφειδὴς δαπάνη.It was obvious that the expenditure of money had been unrestricted upon the door, the fastenings upon it by the doorposts, and the strength of the lintels.
86τοῦ τε καταπετάσματος ἡ διατύπωσις θυρώσει κατὰ πᾶν ὁμοιοτάτη ὑπῆρχε· καὶ μάλιστα διὰ τὴν τοῦ πνεύματος ὑποδρομὴν ἀδιάλειπτον κίνησιν λαμβονούσης τῆς διυφῆς, διὰ τὸ ἀπ᾽ ἐδάφους γινομένης τῆς ὑποδρομῆς {κατατείνειν} τὴν κόλπωσιν μέχρι τῆς ἄνω διατάσεως, ἡδεῖάν τινα καὶ δυσαπάλλακτον τὴν θεωρίαν ἔχοντος τοῦ πράγματος.The configuration of the veil was in respects very similar to the door furnishing, and most of all in view of continuous movement caused to the material by the undercurrent of the air. It was continuous because the undercurrent started from the bottom and the billowing extended to the rippling at the top-the phenomenon making a pleasant and unforgettable spectacle.
87ἥ τε τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου κατασκευὴ {συμμέτρως ἔχουσαν} πρὸς τὸν τόπον καὶ τὰ θύματα διὰ τοῦ πυρὸς ἐξαναλούμενα τὴν διοικοδομὴν εἶχε, τῆς δ᾽ ἀναβάσεως τῆς πρὸς αὐτό, πρὸς τὴν εὐκοσμίαν ἔχοντος τοῦ τόπου καθηκόντως τὸ κλίμα τῶν λειτουργούντων ἱερέων κεκαλυμμένων μέχρι τῶν σφυρῶν βυσσίνοις χιτῶσιν.The furnishing of the altar was constructed in a manner commensurate with the place and the sacrifices consumed in the fire, and that of the ascent to it likewise-the site had the ladder designed in a manner consistent with seemliness for the ministering priests swathed up to the loins in "leather garments."
88ὁ δὲ οἶκος βλέπει πρὸς ἕω, τὰ δ᾽ ὀπίσθια αὐτοῦ πρὸς ἑσπέραν· τὸ δὲ πᾶν ἔδαφος λιθόστρωτον καθέστηκε καὶ κλίματα πρὸς τοὺς καθήκοντας τόπους ἔχει τῆς τῶν ὑδάτων ἐπιφορᾶς ἕνεκεν, ἣ γίνεται διὰ τὴν σμῆξιν τῶν ἀπὸ τῶν θυσιῶν αἱμάτων. πολλαὶ γὰρ μυριάδες κτηνῶν προσάγονται κατὰ τὰς τῶν ἑορτῶν ἡμέρας.The house faces east, and the rear of it faces west. The whole foundation was decked with (precious) stones and had slopes leading to the appropriate places for carrying the water which is (needed) for the cleansing of the blood from the sacrifices. (Many thousands' of animals are brought there in the festival days.)
89ὕδατος δὲ ἀνέκλειπτός ἐστι σύστασις, ὡς ἂν καὶ πηγῆς ἔσωθεν πολυρρύτου φυσικῶς ἐπιρρεούσης, ἔτι δὲ θαυμασίων καὶ ἀδιηγήτων ὑποδοχείων ὑπαρχόντων ὑπὸ γῆν, καθὼς ἀπέφαινον πέντε σταδίων κυκλόθεν τῆς κατὰ τὸ ἱερὸν καταβολῆς καὶ ἑκάστου τούτων σύριγγας ἀναρίθμους, καθ᾽ ἕκαστον μέρος ἑαυτὰ συναπτόντων τῶν ῥευμάτων·There is an uninterrupted supply not only of water, just as if there were a plentiful spring rising naturally from within, but also of indescribably wonderful underground reservoirs, which within a radius of five stades from the foundation of the Temple revealed innumerable channels for each of them, the streams joining together on each side.
90καὶ πάντα ταῦτα μεμολιβῶσθαι κατ᾽ ἐδάφους καὶ τοῦ τοίχου· ἐπὶ δὲ τούτων κεχύσθαι πολύ τι πλῆθος κονιάσεως, ἐνεργῶς γεγενημένων ἁπάντων. εἶναι δὲ πυκνὰ τὰ στόματα πρὸς τὴν βάσιν, ἀοράτως ἔχοντα τοῖς πᾶσι πλὴν αὐτοῖς οἷς ἐστιν ἡ λειτουργία, ὡς ῥοπῇ καὶ νεύματι πάντα καθαρίζεσθαι τὰ συναγόμενα παμπληθῆ τῶν θυμάτων αἵματα.All these were covered with lead down to the foundation of the wall; on top of them a thick layer of pitch, all done very effectively. There were many mouths at the base, which were completely invisible except for those responsible for the ministry, so that the large amounts of blood which collected from the sacrifices were all cleansed by the downward pressure and momentum.
91πεπεισμένος δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς τὴν τῶν ὑποδοχείων κατασκευὴν δηλώσω καθὼς ἐπιστώθην. προήγαγον γὰρ πλέον σταδίων τεσσάρων ἐκ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ πρός τινα τόπον ἐκέλευσαν κατακύψαντα συνακοῦσαι τοῦ γινομένου ψόφου τῆς ἀπαντήσεως τῶν ὑδάτων· ὥστε συμφανές μοι γεγονέναι τὸ μέγεθος τῶν ἀγγείων, καθὼς δεδήλωται.Being personally convinced, I will describe the building plan of the reservoirs just as I understood it. They conducted me more than four stades outside the city, and told me to bend down at a certain spot and listen to the noise at the meeting of the waters. The result was that the size of the conduits became clear to me, as has been demonstrated.
92τῶν δὲ ἱερέων ἡ λειτουργία κατὰ πᾶν ἀνυπέρβλητός ἐστι τῇ ῥώμῃ καὶ τῇ τῆς εὐκοσμίας καὶ σιγῆς διαθέσει. πάντες γὰρ αὐτοκελεύστως διαπονοῦσι πολλῆς γινομένης κακοπαθείας, καὶ ἑκάστῳ τὸ διατεταγμένον μέλει. καὶ ἀδιαλείπτως ὑπηρετοῦσιν, οἱ μὲν τὴν ξυλείαν, οἱ δὲ ἔλαιον, οἱ δὲ σεμίδαλιν, οἱ δὲ τὰ τῶν ἀρωμάτων, ἕτεροι τὰ τῆς σαρκὸς ὁλοκαυτοῦντες, ἰσχύι διαφερόντως συγχρώμενοι·The ministering of the priests was absolutely unsurpassable in its vigor and the arrangement of its well-ordered silence: All work hard of their own accord, with much exertion, and each one looks after his appointed task. Their service is unremitting, sharing the sacrifices, some undertaking the carrying of wood, others oil, others wheaten flour, others the sweet spices, others offering burnt offerings of the parts of the flesh-all of them exerting their strength in different ways.
93διαλαβόντες γὰρ ἀμφοτέραις τῶν μόσχων τὰ σκέλη, πλεῖον ὄντα ταλάντων δύο σχεδὸν ἑκάστου, ἀναρρίπτουσιν ἑκατέραις θαυμασίως ὕψος ἱκανὸν καὶ οὐχ ἁμαρτάνουσι τῆς ἐπιθέσεως. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὰ τῶν προβάτων ἔτι δ᾽ αἰγῶν τοῖς βάρεσι καὶ πιμελῇ θαυμασίως ἔχει. κατὰ πᾶν γὰρ ἐκλεγομένων οἷς ἐπιμελές ἐστιν ἀμώμητα καὶ τῇ παχύτητι διαφέροντα, τὸ προειρημένον ἐπιτελεῖται.They divide the legs of the bullocks with both hands, though they are more than two talents in weight in almost every case, and then with an upward movement rip off with each hand in an amazing way a sufficiently large portion with unerring accuracy. The sheep and the goats are similarly treated in a remarkable way, weight and fat notwithstanding. Those whose concern it is choose in every case spotless specimens outstanding for fatness: Thus the aforesaid procedure is carried out.
94πρὸς δὲ τὴν ἀνάπαυσιν τόπος αὐτοῖς ἐστὶν ἀποτεταγμένος, οὗ καθίζουσιν οἱ διαναπαυόμενοι. τούτου δὲ γινομένου, τῶν διαλελοιπότων ἐγείρονται πρόθυμοι, οὐδενὸς ἐπιτάσσοντος τὰ τῆς λειτουργίας.They have a rest room set aside, where those who are resting sit down. When this happens, some of those who are rested stand up with alacrity, but no one orders the arrangements of their ministry.
95ἥ τε πᾶσα σιγὴ καθέστηκεν, ὥστε ὑπολαμβάνειν, μηθ᾽ ἕνα ἄνθρωποι ἐν τῷ τόπῳ παρεῖναι, πρὸς τοὺς ἑπτακοσίους παρόντων τῶν λειτουργῶν—καὶ τῶν προσαγόντων δὲ τὰ θύματα πολύ τι πλῆθος—ἀλλὰ φόβῳ καὶ καὶ καταξίως μεγάλης θειότητος ἅπαντ᾽ ἐπιτελεῖται.A general silence reigns, so that one might think that there was not a single man in the place although the number of ministers in attendance is more than seven hundred, in addition to a large number of the assistants bringing forward the animals for sacrifice. Everything is carried out with reverence and in a manner befitting supreme divinity.
96μεγάλην δὲ ἔκπληξιν ἡμῖν παρέσχεν, ὡς ἐθεασάμεθα τὸν Ἐλεάζαρον ἐν τῇ λειτουργίᾳ, τά τε τοῦ στολισμοῦ καὶ τῆς δόξης, ἣ συνίσταται διὰ τὴν ἔνδυσιν οὗ φορεῖ χιτῶνος καὶ τῶν περὶ αὐτὸν λίθων· χρυσοῖ γὰρ κώδωνες περὶ τὸν ποδήρη εἰσὶν αὐτοῦ, μέλους ἦχον ἀνιέντες ἰδιάζοντα· παρ᾽ ἑκάτερον δὲ τούτων ἄνθεσι πεποικιλμένοι ῥοΐσκοι, τῇ χρόᾳ θαυμασίως ἔχοντες.It was an occasion of great amazement to us when we saw Eleazar engaged on his ministry, and all the glorious vestments, including the wearing of the "garment" with precious stones upon it in which he is vested; golden bells surround the hem (at his feet) and make a very special sound. Alongside each of them are "tassels" adorned with "flowers," and of marvelous colors.
97κατέζωστο δὲ διαφόρῳ ζώνῃ διαπρεπεῖ, διυφασμένῃ καλλίστοις χρώμασιν. ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ στήθους φορεῖ τὸ λεγόμενον λόγιον, ἐν ᾧ συνεσφιγμένοι λίθοι δεκαδύο, διαλλάσσοντες τοῖς γένεσι, χρυσῷ κεκολλημένοι, τὰ τῶν φυλάρχων ὀνόματα κατὰ τὴν ἐξ ἀρχῆς διάταξιν γενηθεῖσαν, ἀπαυγάζοντες ἕκαστος ἀνεξήγητον τῆς ἰδιότητος τὴν φυσικὴν χρόαν.He was clad in an outstandingly magnificent "girdle," woven in the most beautiful colors. On his breast he wears what is called the "oracle," to which are attached "twelve stones" of different kinds, set in gold, giving the names of the patriarchs in what was the original order, each stone flashing its own natural distinctive color-quite indescribable.
98ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς κεφαλῆς ἔχει τὴν λεγομένην κίδαριν, ἐπὶ δὲ ταύτης τὴν ἀμίμητον μίτραν, τὸ καθηγιασμένον βασίλειον ἐκτυποῦν ἐπὶ πετάλῳ χρυσῷ γράμμασιν ἁγίοις ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, κατὰ μέσον τῶν ὀφρύων, δόξῃ πεπληρωμένον, ὁ κριθεὶς ἄξιος τούτων ἐν ταῖς λειτουργίαις.Upon his head he has what is called the "tiara," and upon this the inimitable "mitre," the hallowed diadem having in relief on the front in the middle in holy letters on a golden leaf the name of God, ineffable in glory. The wearer is considered worthy of such vestments at the services.
99ἡ δὲ συμφάνεια τούτων ἐμποιεῖ φόβον καὶ ταραχήν, ὥστε νομίζειν εἰς ἕτερον ἐληλυθέναι ἐκτὸς τοῦ κόσμου· καὶ διαβεβαιοῦμαι, πάντα ἄνθρωπον προσελθόντα τῇ θεωρίᾳ τῶν προειρημένων εἰς ἔκπληξιν ἥξειν καὶ θαυμασμὸν ἀδιήγητον, μετατραπέντα τῇ διανοίᾳ διὰ τὴν περὶ ἕκαστον ἁγίαν κατασκευήν.Their appearance makes one awe-struck and dumbfounded: A man would think he had come out of this world into another one. I emphatically assert that every man who comes near the spectacle of what I have described will experience astonishment and amazement beyond words, his very being transformed by the hallowed arrangement on every single detail.
100πρὸς γὰρ τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν ἁπάντων ἐπὶ τὴν παρακειμένην ἄκραν τῆς πόλεως ἀναβάντες ἐθεωροῦμεν· ἣ κεῖται μὲν ἐν ὑψηλοτάτῳ τόπῳ, πύργοις ἐξησφαλισμένη πλείοσι, μέχρι κορυφῆς εὐμήκεσι λίθοις ἀνῳκοδομημένων αὐτῶν, ὡς μεταλαμβάνομεν, πρὸς φυλακὴν τῶν περὶ τὸ ἱερὸν τόπων·For the inspection of the entire scene we climbed the neighboring citadel, and viewed it from there. It is situated on a lofty site, fortified with a number of towers, which in their turn are built of sizable stones right up to the top, according to our information, for the protection of the area around the Temple,
101ἵνα, ἐὰν ἐπίθεσίς τις ἢ νεωτερισμὸς ἢ πολεμίων ἔφοδος γένηται, μηθεὶς δύνηται ὁδὸν εἰς τοὺς περιβόλους ποιήσασθαι τοὺς περὶ τὸν οἶκον· ἐπικειμένων καὶ ὀξυβελῶν ἐπὶ τῶν πύργων τῆς ἄκρας καὶ ὀργάνων ποικίλων, καὶ τοῦ τόπου κατὰ κορυφὴν ὄντος τῶν προειρημένων περιβόλων,so that, in case of any assault or revolt or enemy attack, no one could force his way into the precincts surrounding the house. There were catapults in position upon the towers of the citadel and a variety of engines; the place dominated the aforementioned precincts.
102ὡσανεὶ φυλασσομένων τῶν πύργων ὑπὸ τῶν πιστοτάτων ἀνδρῶν καὶ τῇ πατρίδι μεγάλας ἀποδείξεις δεδωκότων· οἵτινες οὐκ εἶχον ἐξουσίαν ἐξιέναι τῆς ἄκρας, εἰ μὴ ταῖς ἑορταῖς, καὶ τοῦτο ἐκ μέρους, οὐδὲ εἰσοδεύειν εἴων οὐδένα.The towers were, so to speak, guarded by most trustworthy sentries who had given distinguished service to their country. They had no permit to leave the citadel, except at festivals, and then not as a body: They did not allow a soul to enter.
103μετὰ ἀκριβείας δὲ πολλῆς εἶχον, εἰ καί τις ἐπιταγὴ γένοιτο διὰ τοῦ προκαθηγουμένου πρὸς θεωρίαν εἰσδέξασθαί τινας· οἷον καὶ καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς ἐγεγόνει. μόλις γὰρ ἀνόπλους ὄντας ἡμᾶς δύο παρεδέξαντο πρὸς τὸ κατανοῆσαι τὰ τῶν θυσιῶν.In the case of any order from their commander to admit any visitors to watch, as for example in our case, they observed the order very strictly, very reluctantly admitting us, though only two in number and unarmed, to observe the proceedings at the sacrifices.
104ἔλεγον δὲ καὶ δι᾽ ὅρκων πεπιστῶσθαι τὸ τοιοῦτον· τοὺς γὰρ πάντας ὀμωμοκέναι, κατ᾽ ἀνάγκην {ἐπιτελουμένους} θείως τὸ κατὰ τὸν ὁρισμὸν πρᾶγμα, ὄντας πεντακοσίους μὴ παραδέξασθαι πλεῖον ἀνθρώπων πέντε κατὰ τὸ αὐτό· τοῦ γὰρ ἱεροῦ τὴν πᾶσαν εἶναι φυλακὴν τὴν ἄκραν· καὶ τὸν καταβαλλόμενον αὐτὴν τὴν προφυλακὴν τῶν εἰημένων οὕτως ἠσφαλίσθαι.Such a procedure was, they said, confirmed by oath, for every man had sworn that, in the necessary and solemn discharge of the matter according to the oath, they would not admit more than five persons at the same time, although they themselves were five hundred in number. The citadel, they said, provided the whole protection for the Temple, and its founder had in this way secured the advanced protection for the places which we have described.
105τῆς δὲ πόλεώς ἐστι τὸ χύμα συμμέτρως ἔχον, οἷον τεσσαράκοντα σταδίων ὄντος τοῦ περιβόλου, καθόσον εἰκάσαι δυνατόν. ἔχει δὲ τὴν τῶν πύργων θέσιν θεατροειδῆ, καὶ φαινομένων διόδων—τῶν ὑποκειμένων, τῶν δ᾽ ἐπάνωθεν—{εἰθισμένως}—, καὶ τὰς διὰ τούτων διεξόδους. ἀνάκλασιν γὰρ ἔχει τὰ τῶν τόπων, ὡς ἂν ἐπ᾽ ὄρους τῆς πόλεως ῴκοδομημένης. εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ διαβάθραι πρὸς τὰς διόδους.The size of the city is well proportioned, about forty stades in circumference, as far as one can estimate. The setting of its towers looks like a theater, and that of thoroughfares, too, which stand out, some set lower down, some higher up, all in the accustomed manner; the same applies to the roads which cross them. Since the city is built on a hill, the layout of the terrain is sloping.
106οἱ μὲν γὰρ μετέωροι τὴν ὁδείαν, οἱ δ᾽ ὑπ᾽ αὐτὰς ποιοῦνται, καὶ μάλιστα διεστηκότες τῆς ὁδείας, διὰ τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἁγνείαις ὄντας, ὅπως μηδενὸς θιγγάνωσιν ὧν οὐ δέον ἐστίν.There are steps leading to the thoroughfares. Some people make their way above them, others go underneath them, their principal aim being to keep away from the main road for the sake of those who are involved in purification rites, so as not to touch any forbidden object.
107οὐκ ἀλόγως δὲ τὴν πόλιν συμμετρίᾳ καθηκούσῃ κατεσκεύασαν οἱ πρῶτοι, σοφῶς δὲ ἐπινοήσαντες. τῆς γὰρ χώρας πολλῆς οὔσης καὶ καλῆς, καί τινων μὲν πεδινῶν, τῶν κατὰ τὴν Σαμαρεῖτιν λεγομένην, καὶ τῶν συναπτόντων τῇ τῶν Ἰδουμαίων χώρᾳ, τινῶν δὲ ὀρεινῶν, τῶν {συναπτόντων τῇ τῶν Ἰουδαίων χώρᾳ, χρὴ} πρὸς τὴν γεωργίαν καὶ τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν τῆς γῆς γίνεσθαι συνεχῶς, ἵνα καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὗτοι τὴν εὐκαρπίαν ἔχωσιν· οὗ καὶ γινομένου γεωργεῖται {πάντα μετὰ} δαψιλείας πολλῆς ἐν πάσῃ τῇ προειρημένῃ χώρᾳ.There was good reason for the building of the city by its pioneers in appropriate harmony, and their plan was a wise one. The terrain was ample and beautiful; parts were flat, such as the area around Samaria and the neighborhood of Idumaea; other parts were hilly, such as the neighborhood of Judea. Continuous attention to husbandry and the care of the land is necessary, to ensure good yield as a result for the inhabitants. When this attention is paid, all farming is accompanied by abundant yield on all the aforesaid land.
108τῶν δὲ πόλεων ὅσαι μέγεθος ἔχουσι καὶ τὴν ἀκόλουθον εὐδαιμονίαν, ταύταις συμβέβηκεν εὐανδρεῖν, ἀμελεῖσθαι δὲ τῆς χώρας, πάντων ἐπὶ τὸ κατὰ ψυχὴν ἱλαροῦσθαι νενευκότων, καὶ τῇ κατασκευῇ πάντας ἀνθρώπους ἐπὶ τὰς ἡδονὰς εὐκαταφόρους εἶναι.In such of the cities as achieve large size and its accompanying prosperity, the result is abundance of population and neglect of the land, because everyone is bent on cultural delights, and the whole population in its philosophy is inclined to pleasure.
109τοῦτο δὲ ἐγίνετο περὶ τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρειαν ὑπερβάλλουσαν πάσας τῷ μεγέθει καὶ εὐδαιμονίᾳ τὰς πόλεις. οἱ γὰρ ἀπὸ τῆς χώρας εἰς αὐτὴν ἀποξενούμενοι καταμένοντες ἐφ᾽ ἱκανὸν εἰς ἐλάττωσιν ἦγον τὰ τῆς ἐργασίας.This is what happened with Alexandria, which excelled all cities in size and prosperity: Dwellers from the country migrated to that city and remained there, thus bringing agriculture into decline.
110ὅθεν ὁ βασιλεύς, ἵνα μὴ καταμένωσι, προσέταξε μὴ πλέον εἴκοσιν ἡμερῶν παρεπιδημεῖν· καὶ τοῖς ἐπὶ τῶν χρειῶν ὁμοίως δι᾽ ἐγγράπτων διαστολὰς ἔδωκεν, ἐὰν ἀναγκαῖον ᾖ κατακαλέσαι, διακρίνειν ἐν ἡμέραις πέντε.So the king, to prevent their settling, gave orders that their stay should not be longer than twenty days. To those also in charge of business matters he gave written instructions that, should it be necessary to summon anyone to attend, the matter should be dealt with in five days.
111πρὸ πολλοῦ δὲ ποιούμενος καὶ χρηματιστὰς καὶ τοὺς τούτων ὑπηρέτας ἐπέταξε κατὰ νομούς, ὅπως μὴ πορισμὸν λαμβάνοντες οἱ γεωργοὶ καὶ προστάται τῆς πόλεως ἐλαττῶσι τὰ ταμιεῖα, λέγω δὲ τὰ τῆς γεωργίας πρόσφορα.As an indication of the importance he attached to this, he appointed officials and their staff by districts, to prevent the farmers and chief men of the city engaging in business, thus diminishing the treasury, that is to say the profits of farming.
112παρεξέβημεν δὲ ταῦτα διὰ τὸ καλῶς ἡμῖν τὸν Ἐλεάζαρον ὑποδεδειχέναι τὰ προειρημένα. μεγάλη γὰρ ἐστὶν ἡ τῶν γεωργουμένων φιλοπονία. καὶ γὰρ ἐλαϊκοῖς πλήθεσι σύνδενδρός ἐστι καὶ σιτικοῖς καρποῖς αὐτῶν ἡ χώρα καὶ ὀσπρίοις, ἔτι δὲ ἀμπέλῳ καὶ μέλιτι πολλῷ. τὰ μὲν τῶν ἄλλων ἀκροδρύων καὶ φοινίκων οὐδ᾽ ἀριθμεῖται παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς.We have made this digression because Eleazar has traced out the aforementioned facts for us so well. The zeal of the farmers is indeed remarkable. In fact their land is thickly covered with large numbers of olive trees and corn crops and pulse, and moreover with vines and abundant honey. As for the fruit trees and date palms which they have, no number can be given.
113κτήνη τε πολλὰ παμμιγῆ, καὶ δαψιλὴς ἡ τούτων νομή· διὸ καλῶς ἔβλεψαν, ὅτι πολυανθρωπίας οἱ τόποι προσδέονται, καὶ τὴν κατασκευὴν τῆς πόλεως καὶ τῶν κωμῶν ἔθεντο κατὰ λόγον.They have many flocks and herds of various kinds, with ample pasture for them. So they perceived clearly that the areas needed to be well populated, and designed the city and the villages accordingly.
114πολὺ δὲ πλῆθος καὶ τῶν ἀρωμάτων καὶ λίθων πολυτελῶν καὶ χρυσοῦ παρακομίζεται διὰ τῶν Ἀράβων εἰς τὸν τόπον. ἐργάσιμος γὰρ καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἐμπορίαν ἐστὶ κατεσκευασμένη ἡ χώρα, καὶ πολύτεχνος ἡ πόλις, οὐ σπανίζει δὲ οὐδὲν τῶν διακομιζομένων διὰ τῆς θαλάσσης.A large quantity of spices and precious stones and gold is brought to the area by means of the Arabs. The land is agricultural and well fitted also for commerce; the city is the home of many crafts, and there is no lack of goods imported from overseas,
115ἔχει γὰρ καὶ λιμένας εὐκαίρους χορηγοῦντας, τόν τε κατὰ τὴν Ἀσκαλῶνα καὶ Ἰόππην καὶ Γάζαν, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Πτολεμαίδα τὴν ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐκτισμένην. μέση δὲ κεῖται πρὸς τοὺς προειρημένους τόπους, οὐκ ἀπέχουσα τούτων πολύ. ἔχει δὲ πάντα δαψιλῆ κάθυγρος οὖσα πάντοθεν ἡ χώρα καὶ μεγάλην ἀσφάλειαν ἔχουσα.because of its convenient harbors which supply them, such as Ascelon, Joppa, and Gaza, and also Ptolemais, which the king founded in a central situation in regard to the aforementioned places, not far away from them. The district is well watered everywhere, has everything in abundance, and is very secure.
116περιρρεῖ δ᾽ αὐτὴν ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰορδάνης ποταμὸς ἀείρρους. {τῆς δὲ χώρας} οὐκ ἔλαττον ἑξακισχιλίων μυριάδων ἀρουρῶν κατὰ τὸ ἀρχαῖον οὔσης (μετέπειτα δὲ οἱ γειτνιῶντες ἐπέβησαν αὐτῆς) ἑξήκοντα μυριάδες ἀνδρῶν ἔγκληροι καθειστήκεισαν ἑκατοντάρουροι. πληρούμενος δὲ ὁ ποταμός, καθὼς ὁ Νεῖλος, ἐν ταῖς πρὸς τὸν θερισμὸν ἡμέραις, πολλὴν ἀρδεύει τῆς γῆς·The river Jordan flows around it and never dries up. The land originally measured not less than sixty million acres; subsequently, neighboring peoples overran it. Six hundred thousand settlers were established upon it, each having one hundred acres. As the river rises, like the Nile, in the days approaching harvest, it waters much of the land,
117ὃς εἰς ἕτερον ποταμὸν ἐκβάλλει τὸ ῥεῦμα κατὰ τὴν Πτολεμαίων χώραν, οὗτος δὲ ἔξεισιν εἰς θάλασσαν. ἄλλοι δὲ χειμάρροι λεγόμενοι κατίασι, περιλαμβάνοντες τὰ πρὸς τὴν Γάζαν μέρη καὶ τὴν Ἀζωτίων χώραν.discharging its waters into another river in the region of Ptolemais, which in turn flows into the sea. Other torrents, as they are called, also flow down, covering the parts toward Gaza and the district of Azotus.
118περιέχεται δὲ ἀσφαλείαις αὐτοφυέσι, δυσείσβολος οὖσα καὶ πλήθεσιν ἀπραγμάτευτος, διὰ τὸ στενὰς εἶναι τὰς παρόδους, κρημνῶν παρακειμένων καὶ φαράγγων βαθέων, ἔτι δὲ τραχείας οὔσης πάσης τῆς περιεχούσης πᾶσαν τὴν χώραν ὀρεινῆς.The countryside is surrounded with natural defenses, being difficult to invade and not negotiable for large numbers because of the narrow approaches, with overhanging precipices and deep ravines, and the whole mountainous surroundings of the entire area being very rugged.
119ἐλέγετο δὲ καὶ ἐκ τῶν παρακειμένων ὀρέων τῆς Ἀραβίας μέταλλα χαλκοῦ καὶ σιδήρου συνίστασθαι πρότερον. ἐκλέλειπται δὲ ταῦτα, καθ᾽ ὃν ἐπεκράτησαν Πέρσαι χρόνον, τῶν τότε προστατούντων ποιησαμένων διαβολήν, ὡς ἄχρηστος ἡ κατεργασία γίνεται καὶ πολυδάπανος,It used to be said that copper and iron mines were formerly sunk in the neighboring hills of Arabia, but in the time of the Persian supremacy they were abandoned because of the false allegation by the responsible authorities of the time that their working was unprofitable and very expensive.
120aa ὅπως μὴ διὰ τὴν μεταλλείαν τῶν εἰρημένων συμβῇ καὶ τὴν χώραν καταφθείρεσθαι, καὶ σχεδὸν διὰ τὴν ἐκείνων δυναστείαν ἀλλοτριωθῆναι, παρεύρεσιν λαβόντων εἰς τοὺς τόπους εἰσόδου, διὰ τὸ τὴν διαβολὴν γεγονέναι ταύτην.The purpose of closure was also to prevent the resulting ruination of the countryside by the working of the aforesaid mines, and even perhaps its alienation through their tyranny, because they had seized the pretext of moving into the mining areas on account of this allegation which had been made.
120bb Ὅσον οὖν καὶ περὶ τούτων ἔδει, κεφαλαιωδῶς σεσήμαγκά σοι, ὦ Φιλόκρατες ἀδελφέ· τὰ δὲ τῆς ἑρμηνείας ἑπομένως δηλώσομεν.I have explained to you in summary form, brother Philocrates, as much as was needful concerning these matters, and we will next expound details of the translation.
121ἐπιλέξας γὰρ τοὺς ἀρίστους ἄνδρας καὶ παιδείᾳ διαφέροντας, ἅτε δὴ γονέων τετευχότας ἐνδόξων, οἵτινες οὐ μόνον τὴν τῶν Ἰουδαϊκῶν γραμμάτων ἕξιν περιεποίησαν αὑτοῖς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν ἐφρόντισαν οὐ παρέργως κατακευῆς·Eleazar selected men of the highest merit and of excellent education due to the distinction of their parentage; they had not only mastered the Jewish literature, but had made a serious study of that of the Greeks as well.
122διὸ καὶ πρὸς τὰς πρεσβείας εὔθετοι καθεστήκεισαν, καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἐπετέλουν ὅτε δέοι, καὶ πρὸς τὰς ὁμιλίας καὶ τὰς ἐπερωτήσεις τὰς διὰ τοῦ νόμου μεγάλην εὐφυίαν εἶχον, τὸ μέσον ἐζηλωκότες κατάστημα (τοῦτο γὰρ κάλλιστόν ἐστιν), ἀποτεθειμένοι τὸ τραχὺ καὶ βάρβαρον τῆς διανοίας, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὸ κατοίεσθαι καὶ νομίζειν ὑπερφρονεῖν ἑτέρους ὑπερβεβηκότες, τὴν δ᾽ ὁμιλίαν καὶ τὸ συνακούειν καὶ πρὸς ἕκαστον ἀποκρίνεσθαι δεόντως παραδεδεγμένοι, καὶ πάντες ταῦτα συντηροῦντες καὶ μᾶλλον ἐν τούτοις βουλόμενοι ὑπερφέρειν ἕτερος ἑτέρου, καὶ τοῦ καθηγουμένου πάντες ἄξιοι καὶ τῆς περὶ αὐτὸν ἀρετῆς.They were therefore well qualified for the embassy, and brought it to fruition as occasion demanded; they had a tremendous natural facility for the negotiations and questions arising from the Law, with the middle way as their commendable ideal; they forsook any uncouth and uncultured attitude of mind; in the same way they rose above conceit and contempt of other people, and instead engaged in discourse and listening to and answering each and every one, as is meet and right. They all observed these aims, and went further in wishing to excel each other in them; they were, one and all, worthy of their leader and his outstanding qualities.
123νοῆσαι δ᾽ ἦν, ὡς ἠγάπησαν τὸν Ἐλεάζαρον δυσαποσπάστως ἔχοντες, καὶ ἐκεῖνος αὐτούς· χωρὶς καὶ τοῦ πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα γεγραφέναι περὶ τῆς ἀποκαταστάσεως αὐτῶν πολλὰ παρεκάλεσε τὸν Ἀνδρέαν ποιῆσαι, συναντιλαμβάνεσθαι παρακαλῶν, καθ᾽ ὃ ἂν δυνώμεθα.It was possible to perceive how inseparable was their attachment to Eleazar, and his to them. In addition to writing to the king concerning their reestablishment, he urged Andreas to take many active steps to this end, asking him to collaborate to the utmost extent of our ability.
124καὶ ἡμῶν ἐπαγγελλομένων {εὖ φροντίσειν} περὶ τούτων, ἔφη καὶ λίαν διαγωνιᾷν· εἰδέναι γάρ, ὅτι φιλάγαθος ὢν ὁ βασιλεὺς πάντων μέγιστον ἡγεῖται τὸ μεταπέμπεσθαι, καθ᾽ ὃν ἂν τόπον ὀνομασθῇ τις ἄνθρωπος διαφέρων ἀγωγῇ καὶ φρονήσει παρ᾽ ἑτέρους.We affirmed that we would pay good heed to these matters, to which he replied that he was very apprehensive, because he knew that the king, out of his love of culture, considered it of supreme importance to bring to his court any man, wherever he might be found, of outstanding culture and prudence which excelled his contemporaries.
125μετείληφα γὰρ καλῶς αὐτὸν λέγειν, ὅτι περὶ ἑαυτὸν ἔχων ἄνδρας δικαίους καὶ σώφρονας τὴν μεγίστην ἂν φυλακὴν τῆς βασιλείας ἕξειν, συμβουλευόντων παρρησίᾳ πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον τῶν φίλων· ὃ δὴ σύνεστι τοῖς ἀποστελλομένοις ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ.I understand too that he made the noble statement that by having at his court men of integrity and wisdom he would provide the greatest protection for his kingdom; this was the frank advice given him by his friends for his benefit. The point is amply confirmed in the delegates whom he sent.
126καὶ δι᾽ ὅρκων ἐπιστοῦτο, μὴ προΐεσθαι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, εἴ τις ἑτέρα χρεία πρὸς τὰ ἰδίαν αὐτῷ κατεπείγοι, πρὸς δὲ τὴν κοινὴν πᾶσι τοῖς πολίταις ἑπανόρθωσιν ἐξαποστέλλειν αὐτούς.(Eleazar) also affirmed on oath that he would not permit the men to leave if any other consideration militated against his own personal advantage; he was only dispatching them for the common improvement of all the citizens.
127τὸ γὰρ καλῶς ζῇν ἐν τῷ τὰ νόμιμα συντηρεῖν εἶναι· τοῦτο δὲ ἐπιτελεῖσθαι διὰ τῆς ἀκροάσεως πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἢ διὰ τῆς ἀναγνώσεως. προτιθέμενος οὖν ταῦτα καὶ τὰ τούτοις παραπλήσια φανερὸς ἦν τὴν διάθεσιν, ὃς ἦν πρὸς αὐτούς.The good life, he said, consisted in observing the laws, and this aim was achieved by hearing much more than by reading. By these pronouncements and others similar to them he clearly showed his attitude toward them.
128Ἄξιον δὲ ἐπιμνησθῆναι {διὰ} βραχέων τῶν ὑποδειχθέντων ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὰ δι᾽ ἡμῶν ἐπιζητηθέντα. νομίζω γὰρ τοὺς πολλοὺς περιεργίαν ἔχων τινὰ τῶν ἐν τῇ νομοθεσίᾳ περί τε τῶν βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν καὶ τῶν νομιζομένων ἀκαθάρτων εἶναι κνωδάλων.It is worthwhile mentioning briefly his intimations in reply to the questions raised through us. It is my opinion that mankind as a whole shows a certain amount of concern for the parts of their legislation concerning meats and drink and beasts considered to be unclean.
129πυνθανομένων γὰρ ἡμῶν, διὰ τί, μιᾶς καταβολῆς οὔσης, τὰ μὲν ἀκάθαρτα νομίζεται πρὸς βρῶσιν, τὰ δὲ καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἁφὴν (δεισιδαιμόνως γὰρ τὰ πλεῖστα τὴν νομοθεσίαν ἔχειν, ἐν δὲ τούτοις πάνυ δεισιδαιμόνως) πρὸς ταῦτα οὕτως ἐνήρξατο.For example, we inquired why, since there is one creation only, some things are considered unclean for eating, others for touching-legislation being scrupulous in most matters, but in these especially so. In reply, he began as follows:
130Θεωρεῖς, ἔφη, τὰς ἀναστροφὰς καὶ τὰς ὁμιλίας, οἷον ἐνεργάζονται πρᾶγμα, διότι κακοῖς ὁμιλήσαντες διαστροφὰς ἐπιλαμβάνουσιν ἄνθρωποι, καὶ ταλαίπωροι δι᾽ ὅλου τοῦ ζῇν εἰσιν· ἐὰν δὲ σοφοῖς καὶ φρονίμοις συζῶσιν, ἐξ ἀγνοίας ἐπανορθώσεως εἰς τὸν βίον ἔτυχον."You observe," he said, "the important matter raised by modes of life and relationships, inasmuch as through bad relationships men become perverted, and are miserable their whole life long; if, however, they mix with wise and prudent companions, they rise above ignorance and achieve progress in life.
131διαστειλάμενος οὖν τὰ τῆς εὐσεβείας καὶ δικαιοσύνης πρῶτον ὁ νομοθέτης ἡμῶν, καὶ διδάξας ἕκαστα περὶ τούτων, οὐκ ἀπαγορευτικῶς μόνον ἀλλ᾽ ἐνδεικτικῶς, καὶ τὰς βλάβας προδήλους καὶ τὰς ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ γινομένας ἐπιπομπὰς τοῖς αἰτίοις—First, our lawgiver gave express commands relating to religious observance and justice, and issued precise sets of instructions about them, not only negatively but positively, together with the manifest damages and the visitations sent by God upon the guilty."
132προϋπέδειξε γὰρ πάντων πρῶτον, ὅτι μόνος ὁ θεός ἐστι, καὶ διὰ πάντων ἡ δύναμις αὐτοῦ φανερὰ γίνεται, πεπληρωμένου παντὸς τόπου τῆς δυναστείας, καὶ οὐθὲν αὐτὸν λανθάνει τῶν ἐπὶ γῆς γινομένων ὑπ᾽ ἀνθρώπων κρυφίως, ἀλλ᾽ ὅσα ποιεῖ τις αὐτῷ φανερὰ καθέστηκε, καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα γίνεσθαι—(Eleazar) began first of all by demonstrating that God is one, that his power is shown in everything, every place being filled with his sovereignty, and that none of the things on earth which men do secretly are hidden from him, but rather that all the deeds of any man are manifest to him, as well as that which is to come to pass.
133ταῦτ᾽ οὖν ἐξεργαζόμενος ἀκριβῶς καὶ πρόδηλα θεὶς ἔδειξεν ὅτι, κἂν ἐννοηθῇ τις κακίαν ἐπιτελεῖν, οὐκ ἂν λάθοι, μὴ ὅτι καὶ πράξας, διὰ πάσης τῆς νομοθεσίας τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ δυνατὸν ἐνδεικνύμενος.So by establishing these matters accurately and setting them out plainly, he demonstrated that even if a man thinks of doing evil he would not escape, let alone after the deed is done-thus indicating the power of God through the entire legislation.
134ποιησάμενος οὖν τὴν καταρχὴν ταύτην, καὶ δείξας ὅτι πάντες οἱ λοιποὶ παρ᾽ ἡμᾶς ἄνθρωποι πολλοὺς θεοὺς εἶναι νομίζουσιν, αὐτοὶ δυναμικώτεροι πολλῷ καθεστῶτες ὧν σέβονται ματαίως—This was his introduction: He proceeded to show that all the rest of mankind (''except ourselves," as he said) believe that there are many gods, because men themselves are much more powerful than the gods whom they vainly worship;
135ἀγάλματα γὰρ ποιήσαντες ἐκ λίθων καὶ ξύλων, εἰκόνας φασὶν εἶναι τῶν ἐξευρόντων τι πρὸς τὸ ζῇν αὐτοῖς χρήσιμον, οἷς προσκυνοῦσι, παρὰ πόδας ἔχοντες τὴν ἀναισθησίαν.they make images of stone and wood, and declare that they are likenesses of those who have made some beneficial discovery for their living, and whom they worship, even though the insensibility (of the images) is close at hand to appreciate.
136εἴ τι γὰρ κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνό τις {θεὸς εἴη}, κατὰ τὴν ἐξεύρεσιν, παντελῶς ἀνόητον· τῶν γὰρ ἐν τῇ κτίσει λαβόντες τινὰ συνέθηκαν καὶ προσυπέδειξαν εὔχρηστα, τὴν κατασκευὴν αὐτῶν οὐ ποιήσαντες αὐτοί· διὸ κενὸν καὶ μάταιον τοὺς ὁμοίους ἀποθεοῦν.For if the existence of any god depended on the criterion of invention, it would be absolutely foolish, because in that case the inventors would have taken some of the created things and given an added demonstration of their usefulness without themselves being their creators. Therefore it is profitless and useless to deify equals.
137καὶ γὰρ ἔτι καὶ νῦν εὑρεματικώτεροι καὶ πολυμαθέστεροι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τῶν πρίν εἰσι πολλοί, καὶ οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιεν αὐτοὺς προσκυνοῦντες. καὶ νομίζουσιν οἱ ταῦτα διαπλάσαντες καὶ μυθοποιήσαντες τῶν Ἑλλήνων οἱ σοφώτατοι καθεστάναι.And yet, even today, there are many of greater inventiveness and learning than the men of old, who nevertheless would be the first to worship them. Those who have invented these fabrications and myths are usually ranked to be the wisest of the Greeks.
138τῶν γὰρ ἄλλων πολυματαίων τί δεῖ καὶ λέγειν, Αἰγυπτίων τε καὶ τῶν παραπλησίων, οἵτινες ἐπὶ θηρία καὶ τῶν ἑρπετῶν τὰ πλεῖστα καὶ κνωδάλων τὴν ἀπέρεισιν πεποίηνται, καὶ ταῦτα προσκυνοῦσι, καὶ θύουσι τούτοις καὶ ζῶσι καὶ τελευτήσασι;—There is surely no need to mention the rest of the very foolish people, Egyptians and those like them, who have put their confidence in beasts and most of the serpents and monsters, worship them, and sacrifice to them both while alive and dead.
139συνθεωρήσας οὖν ἕκαστα σοφὸς ὢν ὁ νομοθέτης, ὑπὸ θεοῦ κατεσκευασμένος εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν τῶν ἁπάντων, περιέφραξεν ἡμᾶς ἀδιακόποις χάραξι καὶ σιδηροῖς τείχεσιν, ὅπως μηθενὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἐθνῶν ἐπιμισγώμεθα κατὰ μηδέν, ἁγνοὶ καθεστῶτες κατὰ σῶμα καὶ κατὰ ψυχήν, ἀπολελυμένοι ματαίων δοξῶν, τὸν μόνον θεὸν καὶ δυνατὸν σεβόμενοι παρ᾽ ὅλην τὴν πᾶσαν κτίσιν.In his wisdom the legislator, in a comprehensive survey of each particular part, and being endowed by God for the knowledge of universal truths, surrounded us with unbroken palisades and iron walls to prevent our mixing with any of the other peoples in any matter, being thus kept pure in body and soul, preserved from false beliefs, and worshiping the only God omnipotent over all creation.
140ὅθεν οἱ Αἰγυπτίων καθηγεμόνες ἱερεῖς, ἐγκεκυφότες εἰς πολλὰ καὶ μετεσχηκότες πραγμάτων, ἀνθρώπους θεοῦ προσονομάζουσιν ἡμᾶς· ὃ τοῖς λοιποῖς οὐ πρόσεστιν, εἰ μή τις σέβεται τὸν κατὰ ἀλήθειαν θεόν, ἀλλ᾽ εἰσὶν ἄνθρωποι βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν καὶ σκέπης·Hence the leading priests among the Egyptians, conducting many close investigations and with practical experience of affairs, gave us the title "men of God," which is ascribed exclusively to those who worship the true God, and not to those who are concerned with meat and drink and clothes, their whole attitude (to life) being concentrated on these concerns.
141ἡ γὰρ πᾶσα διάθεσις αὐτῶν ἐπὶ ταῦτα καταφεύγει. τοῖς δὲ παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ἐν οὐδενὶ ταῦτα λελόγισται, περὶ δὲ τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ δυναστείας δι᾽ ὅλου τοῦ ζῇν ἡ σκέψις αὐτοῖςSuch concerns are of no account among the people of our race, but throughout the whole of their lives their main objective is concerned with the sovereignty of God.
142ὅπως οὖν μηθενὶ συναλισγούμενοι μηδ᾽ ὁμιλοῦντες φαύλοις διαστροφὰς λαμβάνωμεν, πάντοθεν ἡμᾶς περιέφραξεν ἁγνείαις καὶ διὰ βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν καὶ ἁφῶν καὶ ἀκοῆς καὶ ὁράσεως νομικῶς.So, to prevent our being perverted by contact with others or by mixing with bad influences, he hedged us in on all sides with strict observances connected with meat and drink and touch and hearing and sight, after the manner of the Law.
143τὸ γὰρ καθόλου πάντα πρὸς τὸν φυσικὸν λόγον ὅμοια καθέστηκεν, ὑπὸ μιᾶς δυνάμεως οἰκονομούμενα, καὶ καθ᾽ ἓν ἕκαστον ἔχει λόγον βαθύν, ἀφ᾽ ὧν ἀπεχόμεθα κατὰ τὴν χρῆσιν, καὶ οἷς συγχρώμεθα. χάριν δὲ ὑποδείγματος ἕν ἢ δεύτερον ἐπιδραμών σοι σημανῶ.In general everything is similarly constituted in regard to natural reasoning, being governed by one supreme power, and in each particular everything has a profound reason for it, both the things from which we abstain in use and those of which we partake. For illustration I will briefly give you one or two examples.
144Μὴ γὰρ εἰς τὸν καταπεπτωκότα λόγον ἔλθῃς, ὅτι μυῶν καὶ γαλῆς ἢ τῶν τοιούτων χάριν περιεργίαν ποιούμενος ἐνομοθέτει ταῦτα Μωϋσῆς· ἀλλὰ πρὸς ἁγνὴν ἐπίσκεψιν καὶ τρόπων ἐξαρτισμὸν δικαιοσύνης ἕνεκεν σεμνῶς πάντα ἀνατέτακται.Do not take the contemptible view that Moses enacted this legislation because of an excessive preoccupation with mice and weasels or suchlike creatures. The fact is that everything has been solemnly set in order for unblemished investigation and amendment of life for the sake of righteousness.
145τῶν γὰρ πτηνῶν, οἷς χρώμεθα, πάντα ἥμερα καθέστηκε καὶ διαφέρει καθαριότητι, πυροῖς καὶ ὀσπρίοις χρώμενα πρὸς τὴν τροφήν, οἷον περιστεραὶ τρυγόνες ἀττακοὶ πέρδικες ἔτι δὲ χῆνες καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὅσα τοιαῦτα.The birds which we use are all domesticated and of exceptional cleanliness, their food consisting of wheat and pulse-such birds as pigeons, turtledoves, locusts, partridges, and, in addition, geese and others of the same kind.
146περὶ ὧν δὲ ἀπηγόρευται πτηνῶν, εὑρήσεις ἄγριά τε καὶ σαρκοφάγα καὶ καταδυναστεύοντα τῇ περὶ ἑαυτὰ δυνάμει τὰ λοιπά, καὶ τὴν τροφὴν ἔχοντα δαπάνησεν τῶν προειρημένων ἡμέρων μετὰ ἀδικίας· οὐ μόνον δὲ ταῦτα, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς ἄρνας καὶ ἐρίφους ἀναρπάζουσι, καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους δὲ ἀδικοῦσι νεκρούς τε καὶ ζῶντας.As to the birds which are forbidden, you will find wild and carnivorous kinds, and the rest which dominate by their own strength, and who find their food at the expense of the aforementioned domesticated birds-which is an injustice; and not only that, they also seize lambs and kids and outrage human beings dead or alive.
147παράσημον οὖν ἔθετο διὰ τούτων, ἀκάθαρτα προσονομάσας, ὅτι δέον ἐστι κατὰ ψυχήν, οἷς ἡ νομοθεσία διατέτακται, δικαιοσύνῃ συγχρῆσθαι καὶ μηδένα καταδυναστεύειν, πεποιθότας ἰσχύι τῇ καθ᾽ ἑαυτούς, μηδὲ ἀφαιρεῖσθαι μηδέν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ δικαίου τὰ τοῦ βίου κυβερνᾷν, ὡς τὰ τῶν προειρημένων πτηνῶν ἥμερα ζῷα τὰ φυόμενα τῶν ὀσπρίων ἐπὶ γῆς δαπανᾷ, καὶ οὐ καταδυναστεύει πρὸς τὴν ἐπαναίρεσιν τῶν συγγενικῶν.By calling them impure, he has thereby indicated that it is the solemn binding duty of those for whom the legislation has been established to practice righteousness and not to lord it over anyone in reliance upon their own strength, nor to deprive him of anything, but to govern their lives righteously, in the manner of the gentle creatures among the aforementioned birds which feed on those plants which grow on the ground and do not exercise a domination leading to the destruction of their fellow creatures.
148διὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὖν παραδέδωκεν ὁ νομοθέτης σημειοῦσθαι τοῖς συνετοῖς, εἶναι δικαίους τε καὶ μηδὲν ἐπιτελεῖν βίᾳ, μηδὲ τῇ περὶ ἑαυτοὺς ἰσχύι πεποιθότας ἑτέρους καταδυναστεύειν.By means of creatures like this the legislator has handed down (the lesson) to be noted by men of wisdom, that they should be righteous, and not achieve anything by brute force, nor lord it over others in reliance upon their own strength.
149ὅπου γὰρ οὐδ᾽ ἅψασθαι καθῆκε τῶν προειρημένων διὰ τὴν περὶ ἕκαστα διάθεσιν, πῶς οὐ φυλακτέον παντάπασι τοὺς τρόπους εἰς τοῦτο κατακλασθῆναι;In cases where it is not meet even to touch any of the aforesaid creatures because of their natural habits with other creatures, surely all possible precautions must be taken to prevent (human) morals degenerating to their level?
150πάντα οὖν τὰ τῆς συγχωρήσεως ἡμῖν ἐπὶ τούτων καὶ τῶν κτηνῶν τροπολογῶν ἐκτέθειται. τὸ γὰρ διχηλεύειν καὶ διαστέλλειν ὁπλῆς ὄνυχας σημεῖόν ἐστι τοῦ διαστέλλειν ἕκαστα τῶν πράξεων ἐπὶ τὸ καλῶς ἔχον·Everything pertaining to conduct permitted us toward these creatures and toward beasts has been set out symbolically. Thus the cloven hoof, that is the separation of the claws of the hoof, is a sign of setting apart each of our actions for good,
151ἡ γὰρ ἰσχὺς τῶν ὅλων σωμάτων μετ᾽ ἐνεργείας ἀπέρεισιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους ἔχει καὶ τὰ σκέλη. μετὰ διαστολῆς οὖν ἅπαντα ἐπιτελεῖν πρὸς δικαιοσύνην ἀναγκάζει τὸ σημειοῦσθαι διὰ τούτων· ἔτι δὲ καὶ διότι παρὰ πάντας ἀνθρώπους διεστάλμεθα.because the strength of the whole body with its action rests upon the shoulders and the legs. The symbolism conveyed by these things compels us to make a distinction in the performance of all our acts, with righteousness as our aim. This moreover explains why we are distinct from all other men.
152οἱ γὰρ πλείονες τῶν λοιπῶν ἀνθρώπων ἑαυτοὺς μολύνουσιν ἐπιμισγόμενοι, συντελοῦντες μεγάλην ἀδικίαν, καὶ χῶραι καὶ πόλεις ὅλαι σεμνύνονται ἐπὶ τούτοις. οὐ μόνον γὰρ {προάγουσι} τοὺς ἄρσενας, ἀλλὰ καὶ τεκούσας ἔτι δὲ θυγατέρας μολύνουσιν. ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀπὸ τούτων διεστάλμεθα.The majority of other men defile themselves in their relationships, thereby committing a serious offense, and lands and whole cities take pride in it: they not only procure the males, they also defile mothers and daughters. We are quite separated from these practices.
153περὶ ὃν δὲ ἐστὶν ὁ προειρημένος τῆς διαστολῆς τρόπος, περὶ τοῦτον εἶναι καὶ τὸν τῆς μνήμης κεχαρακτήρικεν. πάντα γὰρ ὅσα διχηλεῖ καὶ μηρυκισμὸν ἀνάγει σαφῶς τοῖς νοοῦσιν ἐκτίθεται τὸ τῆς μνήμης.The man with whom the aforesaid manner of disposition is concerned is the man on whom the legislator has also stamped that of memory. For example, all cloven-footed creatures and ruminants quite clearly express, to those who perceive it, the phenomenon of memory.
154ἡ γὰρ ἀναμηρύκησις οὐθὲν ἕτερον, ἀλλὰ τῆς ζωῆς καὶ συστάσεως ἐπιμνησις. τὸ γὰρ ζῇν διὰ τῆς τροφῆς συνεστάναι νομίζει.Rumination is nothing but the recalling of (the creature's) life and constitution, life being usually constituted by nourishment.
155διὸ παρακελεύεται καὶ διὰ τῆς γραφῆς ὁ λέγων οὕτως· μνείᾳ μνησθήσῃ κυρίου τοῦ ποιήσαντος ἔν σοι τὰ μεγάλα καὶ θαυμαστά. κατανοούμενα γὰρ καὶ μεγάλα καὶ ἔνδοξα φαίνεται· πρῶτον μὲν ἡ σύμπηξις τοῦ σώματος καὶ ἡ τῆς τροφῆς διοίκησις καὶ ἡ περὶ ἕκαστον μέλος διαστολή·So we are exhorted through scripture also by the one who says thus, "Thou shalt remember the Lord, who did great and wonderful deeds in thee." When they are (really) understood they are manifestly "great and glorious"; first, there is the construction of the body, the digestion of the food, and the specific function connected with each limb.
156πολλῷ δὲ μᾶλλον ἡ τῶν αἰσθήσεων διακόσμησις, διανοίας ἐνέργημα καὶ κίνησις ἀόρατος, ἥ τε ὀξύτης τοῦ πρὸς ἕκαστόν τι πράσσειν καὶ τεχνῶν εὕρεσις ἀπέραστον περιέχει τρόπον.Much more, the orderly arrangement of the senses, the operation and unseen activity of the mind, and the speed of its reaction to each stimulus and its invention of arts and crafts involves an infinite variety of methods.
157διὸ παρακελεύεται μνείαν ἔχειν, ὡς συντηρεῖται τὰ προειρημένα θείᾳ δυνάμει σὺν κατασκευῇ. πάντα γὰρ χρόνον καὶ τόπον ὥρικε πρὸς τὸ διὰ παντὸς μνημονεύειν τοῦ κρατοῦντος θεοῦ καὶ συντηροῦντος.So he exhorts us to remember how the aforesaid blessings are maintained and preserved by divine power under his providence, for he has ordained every time and place for a continual reminder of the supreme God and upholder (of all).
158καὶ γὰρ ἐπὶ τῶν βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν ἀπαρξαμένους εὐθέως τότε συγχρῆσθαι κελεύει. καὶ μὴν καὶ ἐκ τῶν περιβολαίων παράσημον ἡμῖν μνείας δέδωκεν, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν πυλῶν καὶ θυρῶν προστέταχε μὲν ἡμῖν τιθέναι τὰ λόγια, πρὸς τὸ μνείαν εἶναι θεοῦ·Accordingly in the matter of meats and drinks he commands men to offer first fruits and to consume" them there and then straightaway. Furthermore in our clothes he has given us a distinguishing mark as a reminder, and similarly on our gates and doors he has commanded us to set up the "Words," so as to be a reminder of God.
159καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν χειρῶν δὲ διαρρήδην τὸ σημεῖον κελεύει περιῆφθαι, σαφῶς ἀποδεικνὺς ὅτι πᾶσαν ἐνέργειαν μετὰ δικαιοσύνης ἐπιτελεῖν δεῖ, μνήμην ἔχοντας τῆς ἑαυτῶν κατασκευῆς, ἐπὶ πᾶσι δὲ τὸν περὶ θεοῦ φόβον.He also strictly commands that the sign shall be worn on our hands, clearly indicating that it is our duty to fulfill every activity with justice, having in mind our own condition, and above all the fear of God.
160κελεύει δὲ καὶ κοιταζομένους καὶ διανισταμένους μελετᾷν τὰς τοῦ θεοῦ κατασκευάς, οὐ μόνον λόγῳ, ἀλλὰ διαλήψει θεωροῦντας τὴν κίνησιν καὶ ὑπόληψιν ἑαυτῶν, ὅταν εἰς ὕπνον ἔρχωνται, καὶ τὴν ἔγερσιν, ὡς θεία τίς ἐστι καὶ ἀκατάληπτος τούτων ἡ μετάθεσις.He also commands that "on going to bed and rising" men should meditate on the ordinances of God, observing not only in word but in understanding the movement and impression which they have when they go to sleep, and waking too, what a divine change there is between them-quite beyond understanding.
161Δέδεικται δέ σοι καὶ τὸ περισσὸν τῆς λογίας τῆς κατὰ τὴν διαστολὴν καὶ μνείαν, ὡς ἐξεθέμεθα τὴν διχηλίαν καὶ τὸν μηρυκισμόν. οὐ γὰρ εἰκῆ καὶ κατὰ τὸ ἐμπεσὸν εἰς ψυχὴν νενομοθέτηται, πρὸς δ᾽ ἀλήθειαν καὶ σημείωσιν ὀρθοῦ λόγου.I have already demonstrated to you the extraordinary nature of the sound reason behind our distinctive characteristic of memory when we expounded the cloven hoof and chewing the cud. It is no chance accident that it has been ordained as part of our very soul; but it is bound up with truth and the expression of the right reason.
162διατάξας γὰρ ἐπὶ βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν καὶ τῶν κατὰ τὰς ἁφὰς ἕκαστα, κελεύει μηθὲν εἰκῆ μήτε πράσσειν μήτε ἀκούειν, μήτε τῇ τοῦ λόγου δυναστείᾳ συγχρωμένους ἐπὶ τὴν ἀδικίαν τρέπεσθαι. After prescribing each set of regulations concerning meats and drinks and matters relating to touch, he commands that no act be done nor word be heard to no purpose and that no use should be made of the power of the (spoken) word to incline toward injustice.
163καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν κνωδάλων δὲ ταὐτὸν ἔστιν εὑρεῖν. κακοποιητικὸς γὰρ ὁ τρόπος ἐστὶ καὶ γαλῆς καὶ τῶν τούτοις ὁμοίων, ὅσα διηγόρευται.The same principle can be found in the case of beasts, because the character of "weasels," and "mice," and all creatures like them which have been described is mischievous.
164πάντα γὰρ λυμαίνονται καὶ κακοποιοῦσι μύες, οὐ μόνον πρὸς τὴν ἑαυτῶν τροφήν, ἀλλὰ καὶ εἰς τὸ παντελῶς ἄχρηστον γίνεσθαι ἀνθρώπῳ, ὅ τι ἂν δή ποτ᾽ οὖν ἐπιβάληται κακοποιεῖν.Mice pollute and defile everything not only for their own nourishment, but also to the extent of rendering absolutely useless for human beings everything which comes their way to defile.
165τό τε τῆς γαλῆς γένος ἰδιάζον ἐστί· χωρὶς γὰρ τοῦ προειρημένου ἔχει λυμαντικὸν κατάστημα· διὰ γὰρ τῶν ὤτων συλλαμβάνει, τεκνοποιεῖ δὲ τῷ στόματι.The species of weasel is unique: Apart from the aforementioned characteristic, it has another polluting feature, that of conceiving through its ears and producing its young through its mouth.
166καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ὁ τοιοῦτος τρόπος τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀκάθαρτός ἐστιν· ὅσα γὰρ δι᾽ ἀκοῆς λαβόντες, ταῦτα τῷ λόγῳ σωματοποιήσαντες, κακοῖς ἑτέρους ἐνεκύλισαν οὐ τὴν τυχοῦσαν ἐπετέλεσαν, μιανθέντες αὐτοὶ παντάπασι τῷ τῆς ἀσεβείας μολυσμῷ. καλῶς δὲ ποιῶν ὁ βασιλεὺς ὑμῶν τοὺς τοιούτους ἀναιρεῖ, καθὼς μεταλαμβάνομεν.—So for this reason any similar feature in men is unclean; men who hear anything and give physical expression to it by word of mouth, thus embroiling other people in evil, commit no ordinary act of uncleanliness, and are themselves completely defiled with the taint of impiety. Your king's action in removing such people-for so we are informed-is amply justified.
167Ἐγὼ δ᾽ εἶπα Τοὺς ἐμφανιστὰς οἴομαί σε λέγειν· καὶ γὰρ αἰκίαις καὶ θανάτοις ἐπαλγέσιν αὐτοὺς περιβάλλει συνεχῶς.—Ὁ δέ Τούτους γὰρ καὶ λέγω· ἡ γὰρ ἐπαγρύπνησις ἀνθρώπων ἀπωλείᾳ ἀνόσιος.I said, "You refer to informers, I suppose, for he systematically imposes upon them punishment and painful death." "Indeed I do refer to them," he replied. "Being on the lookout to murder men is unholy.
168ὁ δὲ νόμος ἡμῖν κελεύει μήτε λόγῳ μήτε ἔργῳ μηδένα κακοποιεῖν. καὶ περὶ τούτων οὖν, ὅσον ἐπὶ βραχὺ {διεξῆλθον, προσυποδείξας} σοι διότι πάντα κεκανόνισται πρὸς δικαιοσύνην, καὶ οὐδὲν εἰκῆ κατατέτακται διὰ τῆς γραφῆς οὐδὲ μυθωδῶς, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα δι᾽ ὅλου τοῦ ζῇν καὶ ἐν ταῖς πράξεσιν ἀσκῶμεν δικαιοσύνην πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους, μεμνημένοι τοῦ δυναστεύοντος θεοῦ.Our Law forbids harming anyone in thought or in deed. I have therefore given a brief résumé of these matters, indicating further to you that all the regulations have been made with righteousness in mind, and that no ordinances have been made in scripture without purpose or fancifully, but to the intent that through the whole of our lives we may also practice justice to all mankind in our acts, remembering the all-sovereign God.
169περὶ βρωτῶν οὖν καὶ τῶν ἀκαθάρτων ἑρπετῶν καὶ κνωδάλων καὶ πᾶς λόγος ἀνατείνει πρὸς δικαιοσύνην καὶ τὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων συναναστροφὴν δικαίαν.In the matter of meats, the unclean reptiles, the beasts, the whole underlying rationale is directed toward righteousness and righteous no human relationships."
170Ἐμοὶ μὲν οὖν καλῶς ἐνόμιζε περὶ ἑκάστων ἀπολογεῖσθαι· καὶ γὰρ ἐπὶ τῶν προσφερομένων ἔλεγε μόσχων τε καὶ κριῶν καὶ χιμάρων, ὅτι δεῖ ταῦτα ἐκ βουκολίων καὶ ποιμνίων λαμβάνοντας ἥμερα θυσιάζειν, καὶ μηθὲν ἄγριον, ὅπως οἱ προσφέροντες τὰς θυσίας μηθὲν ὑπερήφανον ἑαυτοῖς συνιστορῶσι, σημειώσει κεχρημένοι τοῦ διατάξαντος. τῆς γὰρ ἑαυτοῦ ψυχῆς τοῦ παντὸς τρόπου τὴν προσφορὰν ποιεῖται ὁ τὴν θυσίαν προσάγων.In my view, he habitually made out a good case for each separate category. For example, in the case of victims offered, calves, rams, and goats, he stated that it was our duty to take them from our herds and flocks, thus sacrificing domestic animals, but not a wild one, to prevent those who offer sacrifices being conscious in themselves of any excess, seeing that they follow the symbol of their legislator. Thus the man who offers the sacrifice makes an offering of every facet of his being.
171καὶ περὶ τούτων οὖν νομίζω τὰ τῆς ὁμιλίας ἄξια λόγου καθεστάναι· διὸ τὴν σεμνότητα καὶ φυσικὴν διάνοιαν τοῦ νόμου προῆγμαι διασαφῆσαί σοι, Φιλόκρατες, δι᾽ ἣν ἔχεις φιλομάθειαν.Indeed, I consider that, on these matters, details of our way of life are worth narrating. Wherefore, in view of your love of learning, I have been induced, Philocrates, to expound to you the solemnity and characteristic outlook of the Law.
172Ὁ δὲ Ἐλεάζαρος ποιησάμενος θυσίαν καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐπιλέξας καὶ πολλὰ δῶρα τῷ βασιλεῖ κατασκευάσας προέπεμψεν ἡμᾶς μετὰ ἀσφαλείας πολλῆς.Eleazar offered sacrifice, selected the men, and made ready an abundance of gifts for the king. He then sent us forth on our journey with a large escort.
173ὡς δὲ παρεγενήθημεν εἰς Ἀλεξάνδρειαν, προσηγγέλη τῷ βασιλεῖ περὶ τῆς ἀφίξεως ἡμῶν. {παρειμένοι} δ᾽ εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν Ἀνδρέας τε καὶ ἐγώ, φιλοφρόνως ἠσπασάμεθα τὸν βασιλέα καὶ τὰς ἐπιστολὰς ἀποδεδώκαμεν τὰς παρὰ τοῦ Ἐλεαζάρου.When we reached Alexandria, news of our arrival was given to the king. Andreas and I were introduced to the court, we paid our warm respects to the king, and presented the letters from Eleazar.
174περὶ πολλοῦ δὲ ποιούμενος τοῖς ἀπεσταλμένοις ἀνδράσιν ἐντυχεῖν, ἐκέλευσε τοὺς λοιποὺς πάντας ἀπολῦσαι τοὺς ἐπὶ τῶν χρειῶν, καλεῖν δὲ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.The king was anxious to meet the members of the deputation, so he gave orders to dismiss all the other court officials, and to summon these delegates.
175οὗ πᾶσι παραδόξου φανέντος—διὰ τὸ κατὰ ἔθος εἶναι, πεμπταίους εἰς πρόσωπον ἔρχεσθαι βασιλεῖ τοὺς περὶ χρήσιμον ἀφικνουμένους, τοὺς δὲ παρὰ βασιλέων ἢ πόλεων ἐν ὑπεροχαῖς μόλις ἐν τριάκοντα εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν παρίεσθαι—τοὺς δὲ ἥκοντας τιμῆς καταξιῶν μείζονος, καὶ τὴν ὑπεροχὴν κρίνων τοῦ πέμψαντος, ἀπολύσας οὓς ἐνόμιζε περισσούς, ὑπέμενε περιπατῶν, ἕως ἂν παραγινομένους ἀσπάσηται.The unprecedented nature of this step was very clear to all, because it was an established procedure that important bona fide visitors should be granted an audience with the king only four days after arrival, while representatives of kings or important cities are rarely admitted to the court within thirty days. However, he deemed the present arrivals to be deserving of greater honor, having regard to the preeminence of him who had sent them. So he dismissed all the officials whom he considered superfluous and remained walking among the delegates until he had greeted the whole delegation.
176παρελθόντων δὲ σὺν τοῖς ἀπεσταλμένοις δώροις καὶ ταῖς διαφόροις διφθέραις, ἐν αἷς ἡ νομοθεσία γεγραμμένη χρυσογραφίᾳ τοῖς Ἰουδαϊκοῖς γράμμασι, θαυμασίως {εἰργασμένου τοῦ ὑμένος}, καὶ τῆς πρὸς ἄλληλα συμβολῆς ἀνεπαισθήτου κατεσκευασμένης, ὡς εἶδεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοὺς ἄνδρας, ἐπηρώτα περὶ τῶν βιβλίων.So they arrived with the gifts which had been sent at their hands and with the fine skins on which the Law had been written in letters of gold in Jewish characters; the parchment had been excellently worked, and the joining together of the letters was imperceptible. When the king saw the delegates, he proceeded to ask questions about the books,
177ὡς δὲ ἀπεκάλυψαν τὰ τῶν ἐνειλημάτων καὶ τοὺς ὑμένας ἀνείλιξαν, πολὺν ἐπιστὰς χρόνον καὶ προσκυνήσας σχεδὸν ἑπτάκις εἶπεν Εὐχαριστοῦ μέν, ἄνδρες, ὑμῖν, τῷ δ᾽ ἀποστείλαντι μᾶλλον, μέγιστον δὲ τῷ θεῷ, οὗτινός ἐστι τὰ λόγια ταῦτα.and when they had shown what had been covered and unrolled the parchments, he paused for a long time, did obeisance about seven times, and said, "I offer to you my thanks, gentlemen, and to him who sent you even more, and most of all to the God whose oracles these are."
178ὁμοθυμαδὸν δὲ πάντων εἰπόντων ὑπὸ μίαν φωνήν, τῶν τε παραγεγονόντων καὶ τῶν συμπαρόντων, Εὖ βασιλεῦ, προήχθη δακρῦσαι τῇ χαρᾷ πεπληρωμένος. ἡ γὰρ τῆς ψυχῆς ἔντασις καὶ τὸ τῆς τιμῆς ὑπερτεῖνον δακρύειν ἀναγκάζει κατὰ τὰς ἐπιτυχίας.They all, visitors and the court present alike, said together and with one voice, "It is well, O King." At this the king was moved to tears, so deeply was he filled with joy. Intensity of feeling coupled with the greatness of the honor received do force men to tears in the moment of success.
179κελεύσας δὲ εἰς τάξιν ἀποδοῦναι τὰ τεύχη, τὸ τηνικαῦτα ἀσπασάμενος τοὺς ἄνδρας εἶπεν Δίκαιον ἦν, θεοσεβεῖς ἄνδρες, ὧν χάριν ὑμᾶς μετεπεμψάμην, ἐκείνοις πρῶτον σεβασμὸν ἀποδοῦναι, μετὰ ταῦτα τὴν δεξιὰν ὑμῖν προτεῖναι· διὸ πεποίηκα τοῦτο πρῶτον.The king commanded the parcels to be returned in order, and then immediately greeted the delegates with these words: "It is (meet and) right, O men of God, first to render homage to the documents for the sake of which I have sent for you, and after that to extend to you the right hand of greeting. This explains my first action.
180μεγάλην δὲ τέθειμαι τὴν ἡμέραν ταύτην, ἐν ᾗ παραγεγόνατε, καὶ κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐπίσημος ἔσται πάντα τὸν τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν χρόνον· συντέτυχε γὰρ καὶ τὰ κατὰ τὴν νίκην ἡμῖν προσπεπτωκέναι τῆς πρὸς Ἀντίγονον ναυμαχίας. διὸ καὶ δειπνῆσαι σήμερον μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν βουλήσομαι.I regard this day of your arrival as of great importance, and it shall be specially marked year by year throughout the time of our life, for by a happy chance it coincides with our victory at sea against Antigonus. It will therefore be my wish to dine with you this day.
181πάντα {δ᾽ ὑμῖν}, εἶπε, παρέσται καθηκόντως, οἷς συγχρήσησθε, κἀμοὶ μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν. τῶν δὲ ἀσμενισάντων ἐκέλευσε καταλύματα δοθῆναι τὰ κάλλιστα πλησίον τῆς ἄκρας αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὰ κατὰ τὸ συμπόσιον ἑτοιμάζειν.Everything of which you partake," he said, "will be served in compliance with your habits; it will be served to me as well as to you." They expressed their pleasure and the king ordered the finest apartments to be given them near the citadel, and the preparations for the banquet to be made.
182Ὁ δὲ {ἀρχεδέατρος} Νικάνωρ Δωρόθεον προσκαλεσάμενος, ὃς {ἦν} ἐπὶ τούτων ἀποτεταγμένος, ἐκέλευσε τὴν ἑτοιμασίαν εἰς ἕκαστον ἐπιτελεῖν. ἦν γὰρ οὕτω διατεταγμένον ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέων, ἃ μὲν ἔτι καὶ νῦν ὁρᾷς· ὅσαι γὰρ πόλεις εἰσίν, {αἳ τοῖς αὐτοῖς} συγχρῶνται πρὸς τὰ ποτὰ καὶ βρωτὰ καὶ στρωμνάς, τοσοῦτοι καὶ προεστῶτες ἦσαν· καὶ κατὰ τοὺς ἐθισμοὺς οὕτως ἐσκευάζετο, ὅταν παραγένοιντο πρὸς τοὺς βασιλεῖς, ἵνα κατὰ μηθὲν δυσχεραίνοντες ἱλαρῶς διεξάγωσιν· ὃ καὶ περὶ τούτους ἐγεγόνει.The chief steward Nicanor summoned Dorotheus, who was appointed in charge of these matters, and bade him complete preparations for each guest. "These," he said, "are the king's orders; some of them you still see now." The number of prominent delegates corresponds to the number of cities, all having the same customs in matters of drink and food and bedding. All preparations were made in accordance with these customs, so that when they came in the presence of the kings they would have a happy visit, with no cause for complaint.
183προσεχέστατος γὰρ ὢν ἄνθρωπος ὁ Δωρόθεος εἶχε τὴν τῶν τοιούτων προστασίαν. συνέστρωσε δὲ πάντα τὰ δι᾽ αὐτοῦ χειριζόμενα, πρὸς τὰς τοιαύτας ὑποδοχὰς διαμεμερισμένα. διμερῆ τε ἐποίησε τὰ τῶν κλισμῶν, καθὼς προσέταξεν ὁ βασιλεύς· τοὺς γὰρ ἡμίσεις ἐκέλευσεν ἀνὰ χεῖρα κατακλῖναι, τοὺς δὲ λοιποὺς μετὰ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ κλισίαν, οὐδὲν ἐλλιπὼν εἰς τὸ τιμᾷν τοὺς ἄνδρας.This was their experience. Dorotheus, who had the charge of such matters, was a most punctilious man. He arranged all the furniture of which he had charge, all reserved for this type of reception. He set out the couches in two lines, in accordance with the royal command, because the king had ordered that half should sit at his right hand, and the rest behind his royal couch, leaving no stone unturned in his desire to do these delegates honor.
184Ὡς δὲ κατεκλίθησαν, ἐκέλευσε τῷ Δωροθέῳ τοῖς ἐθισμοῖς οἷς χρῶνται πάντες οἱ παραγινόμενοι πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας, οὕτως ἐπιτελεῖν. διὸ τοὺς ἱεροκήρυκας καὶ θύτας καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους, οἷς ἔθος ἦν τὰς κατευχὰς ποιεῖσθαι, παρῃτήσατο· τῶν δὲ παραγεγονότων σὺν ἡμῖν Ἐλισσαῖον ὄντα τῶν ἱερῶν πρεσβύτερον ποιήσασθαι κατευχήν, ὃς ἀξιολόγως στὰς εἶπεWhen they had taken their places, he ordered Dorotheus to carry everything out in accordance with the customs practiced by all his visitors from Judea. So Dorotheus passed over the sacred heralds, the sacrificial ministers and the rest, whose habitual role was to offer the prayers. Instead, he invited Eleazar, "the oldest of the priests, our guests," to offer a prayer. He stood and spoke these memorable words:
185Πληρώσαι σε, βασιλεῦ, πάντων τῶν ἀγαθῶν ὧν ἔκτισεν ὁ παντοκράτωρ θεός· καὶ δῴη σοι ταῦτ᾽ ἔχειν καὶ γυναικὶ καὶ τέκνοις καὶ τοῖς ὁμονοοῦσι πάντα ἀνέκλειπτα τὸν τῆς ζωῆς χρόνον."May the almighty God fill you, O King, with all the blessings which he has created-and may he grant you, your wife, and children, and those of the same mind to enjoy all blessings without end all the days of your life."
186Εἰπόνοτος δὲ ταῦτα τούτου κατερράγη κρότος μετὰ κραυγῆς καὶ χαρᾶς εὐφροσύνου πλείονα χρόνον· καὶ τὸ τηνικαῦτα πρὸς τὸ τέρπεσθαι διὰ τῶν ἡτοιμασμένων ἐτράπησαν, τῶν λειτουργιῶν ἁπασῶν διὰ τῆς τοῦ Δωροθέου συντάξεως ἐπιτελουμένων· ἐν οἷς καὶ βασιλικοὶ παῖδες ἦσαν, καὶ τῶν τιμωμένων ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως.At these words from this man thunderous applause broke out with cries and rapturous joy, lasting a long time. Then they straightway turned to the enjoyment provided by the foods which had been made ready, all the service being carried out through the organization of Dorotheus, including the royal pages and the king's honored guests.
187Ὅτε δὲ καιρὸν ἔλαβεν ἐκ διαστήματος, ἠρώτησε τὸν ἔχοντα τὴν πρώτην ἀνάκλισιν (ἦσαν γὰρ καθ᾽ ἡλικίαν τὴν ἀνάπτωσιν πεποιημένοι) Πῶς ἂν τὴν βασιλείαν μέχρι τέλους ἄπταιστον ἔχων διατελοῖ;When after an interval he found an opportunity, (the king) asked the occupant of the first couch (they were seated according to age), "How can one keep his kingdom without offense to the end?"
188βραχὺ δὲ ἐπισχὼν εἶπεν Οὕτως ἂν μάλιστα διευθύνοις, μιμούμενος τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ διὰ παντὸς ἐπιεικές. μακροθυμίᾳ γὰρ χρώμενος, καὶ βλιμάζων τοὺς ἀξίους ἐπιεικέστερον, καθώς εἰσιν ἄξιοι, μετατιθεὶς ἐκ τῆς κακίας καὶ εἰς μετάνοιαν ἄξεις.After a short pause he replied, "You would administer it best by imitating the eternal goodness of God. By using longsuffering and treatment of those who merit (punishment) more leniently than they deserve, you will convert them from evil and bring them to repentance."
189Ἐπαινέσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τὸν ἐχόμενον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν ἕκαστα πράττοι; ὁ δὲ ἀπεκρίθη Τὸ δίκαιον εἰ πρὸς ἅπαντας διατηροῖ, ἑαυτῷ καλῶς τὰ ἕκαστα πράξει, διαλαμβάνων ὅτι πᾶν ἐννόημα σαφές ἐστι θεῷ· καταρχὴν δὲ θείου φόβου λαμβάνων ἐν οὐδενὶ διαπίπτοις.The king commended the answer and asked the next guest, "How should one act in each case?" The reply was, "If he practiced just dealing toward all, he will perform each task well for himself, believing that every thought is manifest to God. Take the fear of God as your guiding principle, and you will not fail in anything."
190Καὶ τοῦτον δὲ εὖ μάλα παραδεξάμενος ἕτερον ἐπηρώτα Πῶς ἂν ὁμοίους ἑαυτῷ ἔχοι τοὺς φίλους; κἀκεῖνος εἶπεν Εἰ θεωροίησαν πολλήν σε πρόνοιαν ποιούμενον ὧν ἄρχεις ὄχλων· σὺ δὲ τοῦτο πράξεις ἐπιβλέπων ὡς ὁ θεὸς εὐεργετεῖ τὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένος, ὁ ὑγείαν αὐτοῖς καὶ τροφὴν καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ κατὰ καιρὸν παρασκευάζων ἅπαντα.He received him warmly and asked another guest, "How can one make his friends like himself?" He replied, "If your friends saw that you showed intense concern for the people whom you rule. This you will do by observing how God blesses the human race, giving them health and food and all other gifts in their season."
191Συνεπιμαρτυρήσας δὲ τούτῷ τὸν ἐχόμενον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν ἐν τοῖς χρηματισμοῖς καὶ διακρίσεσιν εὐφημίας {τυγχάνοι} καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποτυγχανόντων; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εἰ πᾶσιν ἴσος γένοιο τῷ λόγῳ, καὶ μηδὲν ὑπερηφάνως μηδὲ τῇ περὶ σεαυτὸν ἰσχύι πράσσοις κατὰ τῶν ἁμαρτανόντων.He commended him, and asked the next guest, "How in his dealings and judgments can one gain the approbation even of those who lose their cases?" The reply was, "If you are fair to all in what you say, and if you take no action arrogantly or in your own strength against wrongdoers.
192τοῦτο δὲ ποιήσεις τὴν διάταξιν βλέπων τὴν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ· τὰ γὰρ ἱκετευόμενα συντελεῖσθαι τοῖς ἀξίοις, τοῖς δὲ ἀποτυγχανόυσιν ἢ δι᾽ ὀνείρων ἢ πράξεων σημαίνεσθαι τὸ βλαβερὸν αὐτοῖς, οὐ κατὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας οὐδὲ {κατὰ} τὴν μεγαλωσύνην τῆς ἰσχύος τύπτοντος αὐτούς, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπιεικείᾳ χρωμένου τοῦ θεοῦ.This you will achieve if you have regard to the method of God. For the prayers of the deserving are fulfilled, but to those who fail, either through visions or acts, that which is harmful to them is demonstrated, for God does not smite them in proportion to their offenses nor by the greatness of his strength, but exercises clemency."
193Εὖ δὲ καὶ τοῦτον κατεπαινέσας ἠρώτα τὸν ἑξῆς Πῶς ὢν ἐν ταῖς πολεμικαῖς χρείαις ἀήττητος εἴη; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εἰ μὴ πεποιθὼς ὑπάρχοι τοῖς ὄχλοις μηδὲ ταῖς δυνάμεσιν, ἀλλὰ τὸν θεὸν ἐπικαλοῖτο διὰ πάντων, ἵνα τὰς ἐπιβολὰς αὐτῷ κατευθύνῃ δικαίως διεξάγοντι πάντα.(The king) highly approved this guest also, and asked the next guest, "How then can one be undefeated in the necessities of war?" To which he replied, "If he did not place his confidence in his numbers and his forces, but continually invoked God to direct his enterprises aright as he dealt justly in everything."
194Ἀποδεξάμενος δὲ καὶ τοῦτον τὸν ἕτερον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν φοβερὸς εἴη τοῖς ἐχθροῖς; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εἰ τῇ τῶν ὅπλων καὶ δυνάμεων παρασκευῇ πολλῇ χρώμενος {εἰδείη} ταῦτα ὄντα κενὰ ἐπὶ πλείονα χρόνον πρὸς τὸ συμπέρασμα δρᾷ τι· καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς διδοὺς ἀνοχὰς καὶ ἐνδεικνύμενος τὸν τῆς δυναστείας φόβον ἐγκατασκευάζει πάσῃ διανοίᾳ.He commended this guest also, and asked the next one, "How can one be respected by his enemies?" The reply was, "If in spite of deploying his great array of arms and forces, he knew that these things are useless in bringing anything to a lasting conclusion. For God by granting a truce and thus demonstrating the fear of his power implants it in every breast."
195Καὶ τοῦτον δὲ ἐπαινέσας εἶπε πρὸς τὸν ἐχόμενον Τί κάλλιστον αὐτῷ πρὸς τὸ ζῇν ἂν εἴη; κἀκεῖνος ἔφη Τὸ γινώσκειν ὅτι θεὸς δυναστεύει τῶν ἁπάντων, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν καλλίστων πράσεων οὐκ αὐτοὶ κατευθύνομεν τὰ βουλευθέντα· θεὸς δὲ τελειοῖ τὰ πάντων καὶ καθηγεῖται δυναστεύων.He commended this guest also, and said to the next, "What would be for you (lit. him) the supreme blessing for living?" The reply was, "To know that God is Lord over all, and that we do not ourselves direct our plans in the finest of actions, but God brings to completion the affairs of all men and guides (them) with (his) sovereign power."
196Ἐπιφωνήσας δὲ καὶ τούτῳ καλῶς λέγειν τὸν ἕτερον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν ἀκέραια συντηρήσας ἅπαντα τοῖς ἐγγόνοις τὴν αὐτὴν παραδιδοῖ διάθεσιν ἐπὶ τέλει; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εὐχόμενος ἀεὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἀγαθὰς ἐπινοίας λαμβάνειν πρὸς τὰ μέλλοντα πράσσεσθαι, καὶ τοῖς ἐγγόνοις παρακελευόμενος μὴ ἐκπλήττεσθαι τῇ δόξῃ μηδὲ τῷ πλούτῴ θεὸν γὰρ εἶναι τὸν χαριζόμενον ταῦτα, καὶ οὐ δι᾽ ἑαυτοὺς ἔχει τὴν ὑπεροχὴν ἁπάντων.He acknowledged to this guest also that he spoke well, and asked the next guest, "Supposing one observed all (these principles) in their entirety, how can one transmit the same attitude to his descendants in the end?" His reply was, "By continual prayer to God that he may receive good designs for what is to be done, and by exhorting his descendants not to be dazzled by fame or riches-the bestower of these things is God himself, and men do not have excess of anything through their own merits."
197Ἐπιμαρτυρήσας δὲ τούτοις τοῦ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐπυνθάνετο Πῶς ἂ τὰ συμβαίνοντα μετρίως φέροι; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφησεν Εἰ πρόληψιν λαμβάνοις, ὅτι γέγοναν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πάντες ἄνθρωποι μετασχεῖν τῶν μεγίστων κακῶν, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ ἀγαθῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄνθρωπον ὄντα τούτων ἀμιγῆ γενέσθαι· ὁ θεὸς δὲ τὴν εὐψυχίαν δίδωσιν, ὃν ἱκετεύειν ἀναγκαῖον.(The king) commended these sentiments and inquired of the next guest, "How can one endure with equanimity what happens?" His reply was, "Only if you adopted as a basic principle that all men have been created by God to share the greatest ills as well as the greatest blessings, and that it is impossible, being a man, to be without some of both. But God, to whom we must pray, gives good courage."
198Φιλοφρονηθεὶς δὲ καὶ τοῦτον καλῶς εἶπεν ἅπαντας ἀποφαίνεσθαι· ἐπερωτήσας δὲ ἔτι ἕνα καταλήξω τὸ νῦν ἔχον, ἵνα καὶ πρὸς τὸ τέρπεσθαι τραπέντες ἡδέως διεξάγωμεν. ἐν δὲ ταῖς μετὰ ταῦτα ἓξ ἑξῆς ἡμέραις καὶ παρὰ τῶν λοιπῶν ἑξῆς μαθήσομαί τι πλέον.He was pleased with this guest too, and said that everyone gave good answers. "I will question yet one more," (he said), "after which I will cease for the time being, so that we can turn our attention to enjoying (the banquet) and pass the time pleasantly. In the next six days following I will learn a little more from the others in turn."
199εἶτ᾽ ἐπηρώτα τὸν ἄνδρα Τί πέρας ἀνδρείας ἐστίν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εἰ τὸ βουλευθὲν ὀρθῶς ἐν ταῖς τῶν κινδύνων πράξεσιν ἐπιτελοῖτο κατὰ πρόθεσιν. τελειοῦται δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πάντα σοι καλῶς βουλευομένῳ, βασιλεῦ, συμφερόντως.Then he asked the (next) man, "What is the boundary of courage?" The reply was, "If the intent were rightly accomplished as planned in acts involving risks. If your intentions are honorable, O King, everything is brought to pass advantageously for you by God."
200Ἐπιφωνησάντων δὲ πάντων καὶ κρότῳ σημηναμένων πρὸς τοὺς φιλοσόφους εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς (οὐκ ὀλίγοι γὰρ παρῆσαν τούτοις) Οἴομαι διαφέρειν τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀρετῇ καὶ συνιέναι πλεῖον, οἵτινες ἐκ τοῦ καιροῦ τοιαύτας ἐρωτήσεις λαμβάνοντες, ὡς δέον ἐστὶν ἀποκέκρινται, πάντες ἀπὸ θεοῦ τοῦ λόγου τὴν καταρχὴν ποιούμενοι.All the assembled company acclaimed and applauded loudly, and the king said to the philosophers, of whom there were many among them, "I think that these men excel in virtue and have a fuller understanding, because when asked questions of this sort unexpectedly they give appropriate answers, all making God the basis of their argument."
201Μενέδημος δὲ ὁ Ἐρετριεὺς φιλόσοφος εἶπε Ναί, βασιλεῦ· προνοίᾳ γὰρ τῶν ὅλων διοικουμένων, καὶ ὑπειληφότων ὀρθῶς τοῦτο, ὅτι θεόκτιστόν ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος, ἀκολουθεῖ πᾶσαν δυναστείαν καὶ λόγου καλλονὴν ἀπὸ θεοῦ κατάρχεσθαι.The philosopher Menedemus of Eritrea said, "Yes, indeed, O King, for since the whole universe is governed by providence, and on the correct assumption that man is a creature of God, it follows that all power and beauty of argument has its origin in God."
202τοῦ δὲ βασιλέως ἐπινεύσαντος τὰ περὶ τούτων ἔληξεν, ἐτράπησαν δὲ πρὸς εὐφροσύνην. ἐπιλαβούσης δὲ τῆς ἑσπέρας τὸ συμπόσιον ἐλύθη.The king agreed, and this questioning ceased. They then turned to the enjoyment of the feast, and the banquet came to an end when the evening had come.
203Τῇ δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα πάλιν κατὰ τὴν αὐτὴν διάταξιν τὰ τῆς ἀναπτώσεως καὶ συμποσίας ἐπετελεῖτο. καθὸ δὲ ἐνόμιζεν ὁ βασιλεὺς εὔκαιρον εἶναι πρὸς τὸ πυνθάνεσθαί τι τῶν ἀνδρῶν, ἐπηρώτα τοὺς ἑξῆς τῶν ἀποκεκριμένων τῇ προτέρᾳ ἡμέρᾳ.On the day afterward the seating and banqueting arrangements were again carried out in the same order. When the king considered it opportune to put some questions to the men, he proceeded to ask the neighbors of those who had answered on the previous day.
204πρὸς τὸν ἑνδέκατον δὲ ἤρξατο τὴν κοινολογίαν ποιεῖσθαι· δέκα γὰρ ἦσαν οἱ ἠρωτημένοι τῇ προτέρᾳ. σιγῆς δὲ γενομένης ἐπυνθάνετο Πῶς ἂν πλούσιος διαμένοι;He began a dialogue with the eleventh. (On the previous day ten had been questioned.) When silence reigned he inquired, "How can (one) remain rich?"
205βραχὺ δὲ ἐπισχὼν ὁ τὴν ἐρώτησιν ἐκδεχόμενος εἶπεν Εἰ μηδὲν ἀνάξιον τῆς ἀχῆς μηδὲ ἀσελγὲς πράσσοι, μηδὲ δαπάνῃ εἰς τὰ κενὰ καὶ μάταια συντελοῖ, τοὺς {δὲ} ὑποτεταγμένους εὐεργεσίᾳ πρὸς εὔνοιαν ἄγοι τὴν ἑαυτοῦ· καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς πᾶσιν αἴτιος ἀγαθῶν ἐστιν, ᾧ κατακολουθεῖν ἀναγκαῖον.After a short pause the guest who received the question said, "If he did nothing outrageous or unworthy of his sovereignty, and did not by his spending contribute to vain and pointless objectives, while at the same time by well-doing attracting the goodwill of his subjects toward him. For the source of blessings to everyone is God himself, who must be followed."
206Ἐπαινέσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦτον ἕτερον ἐπηρώτα Πῶς ἂν τὴν ἀλήθειαν διατηροῖ; ὁ δὲ πρὸς τοῦτο ἀπεκρίθη Γινώσκων ὅτι μεγάλην αἰσχύνην ἐπιφέρει τὸ ψεῦδος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις, πολλῷ δὲ μᾶλλον τοῖς βασιλεῦσιν· ἐξουσίαν γὰρ ἔχοντες ὃ βούλονται πράσσειν, τίνος ἕνεκεν ἂν ψεύσαιντο; προσλαμβάνειν δὲ δεῖ τοῦτό σε, βασιλεῦ, διότι φιλαλήθης ὁ θεός ἐστιν.The king commended this man and asked the next guest, "How can one maintain the truth?" The answer to this was, "By realizing that the lie brings terrible disgrace upon every man, and much more so upon kings. For if they have the power to do what they wish, what reason would they have for telling lies? It is your duty, O King, to accept this further principle that God loves the truth."
207Ἀποδεξάμενος δὲ εὖ μάλα καὶ τοῦτον ἐπιβλέψας εἶπεν Τί ἐστι σοφίας διδαχή; ὁ δὲ ἕτερος ἀπεφήνατο Καθὼς οὐ βούλει σεαυτῷ τὰ κακὰ παρεῖναι, μέτοχος δὲ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ὑπάρχειν ἁπάντων, εἰ πράσσοις τοῦτο πρὸς τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους καὶ τοὺς ἁμαρτάνοντας, εἰ τοὺς καλοὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐπιεικέστερον νουθετοῖς· καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἅπαντας ἐπιεικείᾳ ἄγει.He warmly approved this man also, and looking closely at the next guest said, "What does wisdom teach?" This next guest replied, "Insofar as you do not wish evils to come upon you, but to partake of every blessing, (it would be wisdom) if you put this into practice with your subjects, including the wrongdoers, and if you admonished the good and upright also mercifully. For God guides all men in mercy."
208Ἐπαινέσας αὐτὸν τῷ μετ᾽ αὐτὸν εἶπε Πῶς ἂν φιλάνθρωπος εἴη; κἀκεῖνος ἔφη Θεωρῶν ὡς ἐν πολλῷ χρόνῳ καὶ κακοπαθείαις μεγίσταις αὔξει τε καὶ γεννᾶται τὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένος· ὅθεν οὔτε εὐκόπως δεῖ κολάζειν, οὔτε αἰκίαις περιβάλλειν· γινώσκων ὅτι τὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ζῇν ἐν ὀδύναις τε καὶ τιμωρίαις καθέστηκεν. ἐπινοῶν οὖν ἕκαστα πρὸς τὸν ἔλεον τραπήσᾐ καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ἐλεήμων ἐστιν.The king commended him (for his answer) and said to the guest after him, "How might one be a friend of man?" He replied, "By observing that the human race increases and is created over many years and in painful suffering, so that it is your duty neither to inflict punishments easily nor to submit men to torments, knowing that the life of mankind is constituted in pain and punishment. If you bear in mind each set of facts, you will be inclined to mercy, even as God is merciful."
209Ἀποδεξάμενος δὲ τοῦτον ἐπυνθάνετο τοῦ κατὰ τὸ ἑξῆς Τίς ἀναγκαιότατος τρόπος βασιλείας; Τὸ συντηρεῖν, εἶπεν, αὑτὸν ἀδωροδόκητον, καὶ νήφειν τὸ πλεῖον μέρος τοῦ βίου, καὶ δικαιοσύνην προτιμᾷν καὶ τοὺς τοιούτους φιλοποιεῖσθαι· καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς φιλοδίκαιός ἐστιν.(The king) welcomed this man's answer and inquired of the next guest, "What is the most needful characteristic of kingship?" The reply was, "That (the king) should keep himself incorruptible, practice moderation throughout all his life, respect justice beyond all else, and cultivate such men as friends, because God himself loves justice."
210Ἐπισημήνας καὶ τοῦτον πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον εἶπε Τί τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας ἐστὶ κατάστημα; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Τὸ διαλαμβάνειν ὅτι πάντα διὰ παντὸς ὁ θεὸς ἐνεργεῖ καὶ γινώσκει, καὶ οὐθὲν ἂν λάθοι ἄδικον ποιήσας ἢ κακὸν ἐργασάμενος ἄνθρωπος· ὡς γὰρ θεὸς εὐεργετεῖ τὸν ὅλον κόσμον, οὕτως καὶ σὺ μιμούμενος ἀπρόσκοπος ἂν εἴης.He commended this guest also, and said to his neighbor, "What is the essence of godliness?" He replied, "The realization that God is continually at work in everything and is omniscient, and that man cannot hide from him an unjust deed or an evil action. For, as God does good to the whole world, so you by imitating him would be without offense."
211Ἐπιφωνήσας δὲ τούτῳ πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον εἶπε Τίς ὄρος τοῦ βασιλεύειν ἐστίν; ὁ δὲ ἔφη Τὸ καλῶς ἄρχειν ἑαυτοῦ, καὶ μὴ τῷ πλούτῳ καὶ τῇ δόξῃ φερόμενον ὑπερήφανον καὶ ἄσχημόν τι ἐπιθυμῆσαι, εἰ καλῶς λογίζοιο. πάντα γάρ σοι πάρεστιν ὡς οὐδέν. ὁ θεὸς δὲ ἀπροσδεής ἐστι καὶ ἐπιεικής. καὶ σὺ καθόσον ἄνθρωπος ἐννόει, καὶ μὴ πολλῶν ὀρέγου, τῶν δὲ ἱκανῶν πρὸς τὸ βασιλεύειν.(The king) agreed with him and said to the next guest, "What is the definition of kingship?" The reply was, "Real self-mastery, not being carried away by wealth and glamour, nor having, as a result, overweening or unworthy ambitions-(that would be kingship) if you reasoned well. You have everything you need at hand. God likewise does not want anything and yet is merciful. You too must think in human terms, do not desire overmuch, but only what is sufficient for reigning."
212Κατεπαινέσας δὲ αὐτόν, ἐπηρώτα τὸν ἕτερον Πῶς ἂν τὰ κάλλιστα διαλογίζοιτο; ἀπεκρίθη δὲ ἐκεῖνος Εἰ τὸ δίκαιον ἐπὶ παντὸς προβάλλοι συνεχῶς, καὶ νομίζοι τὴν ἀδικίαν τοῦ ζῇν στέρησιν εἶναι· καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς διὰ παντὸς τοῖς δικαίοις ἀγαθὰ προσημαίνει μέγιστα.He complimented him, and asked the next guest, "How would one think the finest thoughts?" He replied, "By setting justice before him continually in everything, and thinking that injustice is negation of life. For God always provides for the just the greatest blessings."
213Τοῦτον δὲ ἐπαινέσας εἶπε πρὸς τὸν ἑξῆς Πῶς ἂν ἐν τοῖς ὕπνοις ἀτάραχος εἴη; ὁ δὲ ἔφη Δυσαπολόγητον ἠρώτηκας πρᾶγμα. συναναφέρειν γὰρ οὐ δυνάμεθα ἐν τούτοις τοῖς κατὰ τὸν ὕπνον ἑαυτούς, ἀλλὰ περιεχόμεθα ἀλογίστῳ κατὰ {τάδε} αἰσθήσει.He commended this guest and said to the next, "How can one sleep undisturbed?" He replied, "You have asked a question on a matter which is difficult to answer, because self-consciousness is impossible in this realm of sleep, and we are confined in this sphere to a sensation which goes beyond the rational.
214πάσχομεν γὰρ κατὰ τὴν ψυχὴν ἐπὶ τοῖς ὑποπίπτουσιν ὡς θεωρουμένους· ἀλογιστοῦμεν δέ, καθόσον ὑπολαμβάνομεν καὶ ἐπὶ πέλαγος καὶ ἐν πλοίοις ἢ πολεῖν, ἢ πέτασθαι φερομένους καὶ διαίρειν εἰς ἑτέρους τόπους, καὶ τοιαῦτα ἕτερα, καὶ ὁ ταῦθ᾽ ὑπολαμβάνων μὴ καθεστάναι.Deep down in us, our experience of the things that happen (in sleep) is just as if they were actually seen; nevertheless we are irrational insofar as we imagine that we are on the sea and in boats, or that we are carried aloft on wings and fly to other places, and other suchlike things, and we think this is really happening.
215πλὴν ὅσον ἔμοιγε ἐφικτόν, οὕτω διείληφα· κατὰ πάντα τρόπον σέ, βασιλεῦ, καὶ τὰ λεγόμενα καὶ τὰ πραττόμενα πρὸς εὐσέβειαν ἐπανάγειν, οὕτως {ἑαυτῷ} συνιστορῇς, ὅτι τὸ κατ᾽ ἀρετὴν συντηρῶν οὔτε χαρίζεσθαι προαιρῇ παρὰ λόγον, οὐδὲ ἐξουσίᾳ χρώμενος τὸ δίκαιον αἴρεις.I have stated this as clearly as I can. In every respect, O King, I beg you to lift up your words and actions to reverence for God, so that your conscience may be quite clear that you are following the path of virtue. Do not deliberately show favors unreasonably, nor destroy justice in your exercise of power.
216ἐπὶ πλεῖον γάρ, ἐν οἷς ἕκαστος πράγμασιν ἐγρηγορὼς τὴν διαγωγὴν ποιεῖται, καὶ καθ᾽ ὕπνον ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς ἡ διάνοια τὴν ἀναστροφὴν ἔχει, ὡς δὲ πάντα διαλογισμὸν καὶ πρᾶξιν ἐπὶ τὰ κάλλιστα τρεπομένην κατευθύνει καὶ ἐγρηγορὼς καὶ ἐν ὕπνῳ. διὸ καὶ περὶ σὲ διὰ παντός ἐστιν εὐστάθεια.For the most part, indeed, the matters which occupy each man in his waking hours are those on which the mind dwells in sleep as well, and God directs a man's every thought and action, awake or asleep, when aimed at the highest (goals). Hence the stability which continually surrounds you."
217Κατευφημήσας δὲ καὶ τοῦτον εἶπε πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον Ἐπεὶ σὺ δέκατος τὴν ἀπόκρισιν ἔχεις, ὡς ἂν ἀποφήνῃ, πρὸς τὸ δεῖπνον τραπησόμεθα.(The king) complimented this guest also, and said to the next one, "Since you are the tenth one to answer we will turn our attention to dinner (after this question)." So he asked him, "How can we avoid doing anything unworthy of ourselves?"
218ἠρώτα δέ Πῶς ἂν μηδὲν ἀνάξιον ἑαυτῶν πράσσοιμεν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἐπίβλεπε διὰ παντὸς εἰς τὴν σεαυτοῦ δόξαν καὶ τὴν ὑπεροχήν, ἵνα τούτοις ἀκόλουθα καὶ λέγῃς καὶ διανοῇ, γινώσκων ὅτι πάντες ὧν ἄρχεις περὶ σοῦ καὶ διανοοῦνται καὶ λαλοῦσιν.The reply was, "Always have an eye to your glory and prominence, so that you may say and think what is consistent with it, knowing that all your subjects have you in mind and speak of you.
219οὐ γὰρ ἐλάχιστόν σε δεῖ τῶν ὑποκριτῶν φαίνεσθαι· τὸ γὰρ πρόσωπον, {ὃ δέον αὐτοῖς} ἐστιν ὑποκρίνεσθαι, τοῦτο συνθεωροῦντες ἀκόλουθα πάντα πράσσουσι· σὺ δὲ οὐχ ὑπόκρισιν ἔχεις, ἀλλ᾽ ἀληθῶς βασιλεύεις, θεοῦ δόντος σοι καταξίως τῶν τρόπων τὴν ἡγεμονίαν.You must really be not the least among the actors! They observe the character which they have to portray and do all their actions consistently with it. Yours however is no acting role, you are really a king, God having granted you authority as your manner deserves."
220Τοῦ δὲ βασιλέως εὖ μάλα συγκροτήσαντος μετὰ φιλοφροσύνης ἐπὶ πλείονα χρόνον, τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καθυπνοῦν παρεκάλουν. καὶ τὰ μὲν πρὸς τούτους ὡς ἔληξεν, ἐπὶ τὴν ἑξῆς ἐτράπησαν τῆς συμποσίας διάταξιν.The king responded with prolonged hearty and genial applause, after which they invited the guests to sleep. When he had finished entertaining them, they turned (their) attention to the next day's arrangements for the banquet.
221Τῇ δὲ ἐχομένῃ, τῆς αὐτῆς διατάξεως γενηθείσης, ὅτε καιρὸν ὑπελάμβανεν ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶναι τοῦ πυνθάνεσθαί τι τῶν ἀνδρῶν, ἠρώτα τὸν πρῶτον τῶν ἀπολιπόντων πρὸς τὴν ἑξῆς ἐρώτησιν Τίς ἐστιν ἀρχὴ κρατίστη;On the next day, the same arrangement was made, and when the king deemed it an appropriate time to ask the guests questions, he asked the first of those left over for subsequent questioning, "What is the highest form of sovereignty?"
222ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Τὸ κρατεῖν ἑαυτοῦ καὶ μὴ συγκαταφέρεσθαι ταῖς ὁρμαῖς. πᾶσι γὰρ ἀνθρώποις φυσικὸν εἶναι τὸ πρός τι τὴν διάνοιαν ῥέπειν·He replied, "Control of oneself, and not being carried away by one's impulses." He said that it was quite natural for all men to incline their thoughts in one direction (or another).
223τοῖς μὲν οἶν πολλοῖς ἐπὶ τὰ βρωτὰ καὶ ποτὰ καὶ τὰς ἡδονὰς εἰκός ἐστι κεκλίσθαι, τοῖς δὲ βασιλεῦσιν ἐπὶ χώρας κατάκτησιν, κατὰ τὸ τῆς δόξης μέγεθος· πλὴν ἐν πᾶσι μετριότης καλόν. ἃ δὲ ὁ θεὸς δίδωσι, ταῦτα λαμβάνων σύνεχε· τῶν δ᾽ ἀνεφίκτων μὴ ἐπιθύμει."The majority are likely to incline toward things to eat and drink and pleasure, but kings toward territorial conquest, depending on the greatness of their standing. And yet, in everyone moderation is a good thing. What therefore God gives you, take and keep; do not covet the unattainable."
224Τοῖς δὲ ῥηθεῖσιν ἀρεσθεὶς πρὸς τὸν ἐχόμενον εἶπε Πῶς ἂν ἐκτὸς εἴη φθόνου; διαλιπὼν δὲ ἐκεῖνος ἔφη Πρῶτον εἰ νοήσαι, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς πᾶσι μερίζει δόξαν τε καὶ πλούτου μέγεθος τοῖς βασιλεῦσι, καὶ οὐδεὶς περὶ ἑαυτόν ἐστι βασιλεύς· πάντες γὰρ θέλουσι μετασχεῖν ταύτης τῆς δόξης, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ δύνανται· θεοῦ γάρ ἐστι δόμα.(The king) was pleased with this reply and said to the next guest, "How could one be free from envy?" After a pause he replied, "First of all, by realizing that God assigns glory and greatness of wealth to kings, each and every one, and that no king is independent. All of them wish to share this glory, but they cannot-it is a gift of God."
225Ἐπαινέσας δὲ τὸν ἄνδρα διὰ πλειόνων ἐπηρώτα τὸν ἕτερον Πῶς ἂν καταφρονοίη τῶν ἐχθρῶν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἠσκηκὼς πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εὔνοιαν καὶ κατεργασάμενος φιλίας, λόγον οὐθενὸς ἂν ἔχοις· τὸ δὲ κεχαριτῶσθαι πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους καὶ καλὸν δῶρον εἰληφέναι παρὰ θεοῦ τοῦτ᾽ ἔστι κράτιστον.(The king) gave a long commendation to this guest, and asked the next, "How can one despise his enemies?" He replied, "By practicing goodwill to all men and by forming friendships, you would owe no obligation to anyone. To practice goodwill to all men, and to receive a handsome gift from God-this is the highest good."
226Συναινέσας δὲ τούτοις τὸν ἑξῆς ἐκέλευσεν ἀποκριθῆναι, πρὸς αὐτὸν εἰπών Πῶς ἂν δοξαζόμενος διαμένοι; εἶπε δὲ Τῇ προθυμίᾳ καὶ ταῖς χάρισι πρὸς τοὺς ἄλλους μεταδοτικὸς ὢν καὶ μεγαλομερὴς οὐδέποτ᾽ ἂν ἀπολίποι δόξης· ἵνα δὲ τὰ προειρημένα σοι διαμένῃ, τὸν θεὸν ἐπικαλοῦ διὰ παντός.He approved these words, and bade the next guest answer, asking him, "How can one maintain the honor he received?" The reply was, "If by earnestness and favors he showed munificence and liberality toward others, he would never lack honor. Pray God continually that these qualities which I have mentioned may abide with you."
227Εὐφημήσας δὲ τοῦτον ἕτερον ἠρώτα Πῶς τινα δεῖ φιλότιμον εἶναι; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Πρὸς τοὺς φιλικῶς ἔχοντας ἡμῖν οἴονται πάντες ὅτι πρὸς τούτους δέον· ἐγὼ δ᾽ ὑπολαμβάνω, πρὸς τοὺς ἀντιδοξοῦντας φιλοτιμίαν δεῖν χαριστικὴν ἔχειν, ἵνα τούτῳ τῷ τρόπῳ μετάγωμεν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τὸ καθῆκον καὶ συμφέρον ἑαυτοῖς. δεῖ δὲ τὸν θεὸν λιτανεύειν, ἵνα ταῦτ᾽ ἐπιτελῆται· τὰς γὰρ ἁπάντων διανοίας κρατεῖ.He complimented him, and asked the next guest, "To whom must a man be generous?" "It is a man's duty," he replied, "(to be generous) toward those who are amicably disposed to us. That is the general opinion. My belief is that we must (also) show liberal charity to our opponents so that in this manner we may convert them to what is proper and fitting to them. You must pray God that these things be brought to pass, for he rules the minds of all."
228Συνομολογήσας δὲ τούτοις τὴν ἕκτον ἐκέλευσεν ἀποφήνασθαι πυνθανόμενος Τίσι δεῖ χαρίζεσθαι; ἐκεῖνος δ᾽ ἀπεκρίθη Γονεῦσι διὰ παντός, καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς πεποίηται ἐντολὴν μεγίστην περὶ τῆς τῶν γονέων τιμῆς. ἑπομένως δὲ τὴν τῶν φίλων ἐγκρίνει διάθεσιν, προσονομάσας ἴσον τῇ ψυχῇ τὸν φίλον. σὺ δὲ καλῶς ποιεῖς ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς φιλίαν πρὸς ἑαυτὸν καθιστῶν.(The king) consented to these words, and asked the sixth guest to answer. His question was, "To whom must one show favor?" The answer was, "To his parents, always, for God's very great commandment concerns the honor due to parents. Next (and closely connected) he reckons the honor due to friends, calling the friend an equal of one's own self. You do well if you bring all men into friendship with yourself."
229Παρακαλέσας δὲ καὶ τοῦτον ἐπυνθάνετο καὶ τοῦ μετέπειτα Τί καλλονῆς ἄξιόν ἐστιν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εὐσέβεια. καὶ γὰρ αὕτη καλλονή τίς ἐστι πρωτεύουσα. τὸ δὲ δυνατὸν αὐτῆς ἐστιν ἀγάπη· αὕτη γὰρ θεοῦ δόσις ἐστιν· ἣν καὶ σὺ κέκτησαι πάντα περιέχων ἐν αὐτῇ τὰ ἀγαθά.(The king) commended this guest too, and inquired of the next one, "What deserves to be regarded as beauty?" He replied, "Piety, for this is a preeminent form of beauty. Its dynamic is love, a divine gift which you too have acquired, including in it all blessings."
230Λίαν δὲ φιλοφρόνως ἐπικροτήσας εἶπε πρὸς ἕτερον Πῶς ἂν πταίσας πάλιν τῆς αὐτῆς κρατήσαι δόξης; ὁ δὲ ἔφη Σὲ μὲν οὐ δυνατόν ἐστι πταῖσαι, πᾶσι γὰρ χάριτας ἔσπαρκας, αἳ βλαστάνουσιν εὔνοιαν, ἣ τὰ μέγιστα τῶν ὅπλων κατισχύουσα περιλαμβάνει τὴν μεγίστην ἀσφάλειαν·(The king) applauded him very warmly and said to his neighbor, "How can one after a false step recover once more the same glory?" The reply was, "For you, a fall is impossible, because you have bestowed on everyone favors which produce goodwill, and this, because it is stronger than the greatest of weapons, produces the greatest security.
231εἰ δέ τινες πταίουσιν, ἐφ᾽ οἷς πταίουσιν, οὐκέτι χρὴ ταῦτα πράσσειν, ἀλλὰ φιλίαν κατακτησαμένους δικαιοπραγεῖν. θεοῦ δὲ δῶρον ἀγαθῶν ἐργάτην εἶναι καὶ μὴ τῶν ἐναντίων.If, however, some do slip, they must avoid in future the course of action which caused their fall, win friends, and act justly. It is a gift of God to be a doer of good works and not of the opposite."
232Συναρεσθεὶς δὲ τούτοις πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον εἶπε Πῶς ἂν ἐκτὸς γένοιτο λύπης; ὁ δὲ ἔφησεν Εἰ μηδένα βλάπτοι, πάντες δὲ ὠφελοῖ, τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ κατακολουθῶν· τοὺς γὰρ ἀπ᾽ αὐτῆς καρποὺς ἀλυπίαν κατασκευάζειν.He was pleased with these words, and said to the next guest, "How can (one) be free from sorrow?" The reply was, "By pursuing righteousness, doing no harm to anyone, and helping everyone. The fruits of righteousness make for freedom from sorrow.
233ἱκετεύειν δὲ τὸν θεόν, ἵνα μὴ τὰ παρὰ τὴν προαίρεσιν ἡμῶν ἀνακύπτοντα βλάπτῃ, λέγω δὴ οἷον θάνατοί τε καὶ νόσοι καὶ λῦπαι καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα. {αὐτῷ} δὲ σοὶ εὐσεβεῖ καθεστῶτι τούτων οὐδὲν ἂν προσέλθοι.You must," he said, "pray God that harm may not come to you from occurrences inconsistent with our conduct-I mean, death, disease, pain, and suchlike. As for you, God fearing as you are, none of these evils would befall you."
234Καλῶς δὲ καὶ τοῦτον ἐπαινέσας τὸν δέκατον ἠρώτα Τί μέγιστόν ἐστι δόξης; ὁ δὲ εἶπε Τὸ τιμᾷν τὸν θεόν· τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐστὶν οὐ δώροις οὐδὲ θυσίαις, ἀλλὰ ψυχῆς καθαρότητι καὶ διαλήψεως ὁσίας, καθὼς ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πάντα κατασκευάζεται καὶ διοικεῖται κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ βούλησιν· ἣν καὶ σὺ διατελεῖς ἔχων γνώμην, ᾗ πάρεστι σημειοῦσθαι πᾶσιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπὸ σοῦ συντετελεσμένων καὶ συντελουμένων.(The king) praised him generously and asked the tenth guest, "What is the highest form of glory?" The reply was, "Honoring God. This is not done with gifts or sacrifices, but with purity of heart and of devout disposition, as everything is ordained by God and ordered according to his will. This is also your attitude, evidence of which can be seen by all from your past and present accomplishments."
235Μετὰ μείζονος δὲ φωνῆς πάντας αὐτοὺς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἠσπάζετο καὶ παρεκάλει, συνεπιφωνούντων τῶν παρόντων, μάλιστα δὲ τῶν φιλοσόφων. καὶ γὰρ ταῖς ἀγωγαῖς καὶ τῷ λόγῳ πολὺ προέχοντες αὐτῶν ἦσαν, ὡς ἂν ἀπὸ θεοῦ τὴν καταρχὴν ποιούμενοι. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ὁ βασιλεὺς εἰς τὸ φιλοφρονεῖσθαι προῆλθε διὰ τῶν προπόσεων.With a loud voice the king complimented and encouraged them all; the audience raised their voices in approval, and especially the philosophers, for these men far surpassed them in attitudes and eloquence, their starting point being God himself. After this the king led the way in showing goodwill to them in the toasts.
236Τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ τῆς διατάξεως τοῦ συμποσίου γενομένης, καθὼς εὔκαιρον ἐγένετο τῷ βασιλεῖ, τοὺς ἑξῆς ἐρώτα τῶν προαποκεκριμένων, εἶπε δὲ τῷ πρώτῳ Τὸ φρονεῖν εἰ διδακτόν ἐστιν; ὃς δ᾽ εἶπε Ψυχῆς ἐστιν κατασκευὴ διὰ θείας δυνάμεως ἐπιδέχεσθαι πᾶν τὸ καλόν, ἀποστρέφεσθαι δὲ τἀναντία.On the following day the arrangements for the banquet were the same as before, and when it seemed suitable to the king he began to question the guests next to those who had already replied, and said to the first, "Can (practical) wisdom be taught?" The reply was, "It is a disposition of the soul, mediated by the power of God, to accept everything of beauty, and to reject its opposite."
237Συνομολογήσας δὲ τὸν ἐχόμενον ἠρώτα Τί πρὸς ὑγείαν μάλιστα συντείνει; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Σωφροσύνη· ταύτης δὲ οὐκ ἔστι τυχεῖν, ἐὰν μὴ θεὸς κατασκευάσῃ τὴν διάνοιαν εἰς τοῦτο.He concurred, and proceeded to ask the next guest, "What makes the greatest contribution to health?" He replied, "Self-control, which it is impossible to achieve unless God disposes the heart and mind toward it."
238Παρακαλέσας δὲ τοῦτον πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον ἔφη Πῶς ἂν γονεῦσι τὰς ἀξίας ἀποδῴη χάριτας; ὃς δὲ εἶπε Μηδὲν αὐτοὺς λυπήσας· τοῦτο δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν, εἰ μὴ θεὸς τῆς διανοίας ἡγεμὼν γένοιτο πρὸς τὰ κάλλιστα.(The king) congratulated this guest, and said to the next, "How can one show toward his parents the gratitude which they deserve?" The reply was, "By causing them no pain-which is impossible unless God guides the mind toward the noblest ends."
239Προσεπινεύσας δὲ τούτῳ τὸν ἑξῆς ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν φιλήκοος εἴη; ἐκεῖνος δὲ εἶπε Διαλαμβάνων ὅτι πάντα συμφέρει γινώσκειν, ὅπως ἂν πρὸς τὰ συμβαίνοντα ἐκλεγόμενός τι τῶν ἠκροαμένων ἀνθυποτιθεὶς πρὸς τὰ τῶν καιρῶν ἂν ἀντιπράσσηται, σὺν χειραγωγίᾳ θεοῦ· τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐστίν, αἱ τῶν πράξεων τελειώσεις ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ.He nodded approval of this man, and asked the next guest, "How can one be an attentive listener?" He replied, "By perceiving that all knowledge is of value, so that in the face of events a man can select one of the lessons he has heard, counteract the immediate situation and so remedy if with the guidance of God-this means that the fulfillment of our deeds comes through him."
240Τοῦτον δὲ ἐπαινέσας πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον εἶπε Πῶς ἂν μηθὲν παράνομον πράσσοι; πρὸς τοῦτο ἔφησε Γινώσκων ὅτι τὰς ἐπινοίας ὁ θεὸς ἔδωκε τοῖς νομοθετήσασι πρὸς τὸ σώζεσθαι τοὺς βίους τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἀκόλουθος εἴης ἂν αὐτοῖς.(The king) commended this man, and said to the next, "How can one avoid doing anything contrary to the Law?" To this he replied, "By realizing that God has given to legislators the purpose of saving men's lives, you would follow them."
241Ἀποδεξάμενος δὲ αὐτὸν πρὸς ἕτερον εἶπε Τίς ὠφέλεια συγγενείας ἐστίν; ὁ δὲ ἀπεφήνατο Ἐὰν τοῖς συμβαίνουσι νομίζωμεν ἀτυχοῦσιν μὲν ἐλαττοῦσθαι, καὶ κακοπαθῶμεν ὡς αὐτοί, φαίνεται τὸ συγγενὲς ὅσον ἰσχῦόν ἐστι—(The king) approved this guest, and said to the next, "What is the value of the family?" He replied, "If we think that we are afflicted by adverse circumstances, and suffer as they do, the great strength of the family bond is manifest,
242τελουμένων δὲ τούτων καὶ δόξα καὶ προκοπὴ παρὰ τοῖς τοιούτοις ὑπάρξει· τὸ γὰρ συνεργὲς εὐνόως γινόμενον ὡς ἐξ ἑαυτοῦ ἀδιάλυτον πρὸς ἅπαντα—μετὰ δὲ εὐημερίας, μηδὲν προσδεῖσθαι τῶν ἐκεῖνων· ἀλλὰ δέον {θεὸν} ἱκετεύειν, πάντα ἀγαθοποιεῖν.and when that trouble is over, glory and success will be ours in the eyes of such folk, for cooperation when given with goodwill is of itself indestructible in the face of everything; with prosperity, there is no further need of their help, except that you must pray God to bestow every blessing."
243Ὡσαύτως δὲ ἐκεῖνοις ἀποδεξάμενος αὐτὸν ἄλλον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἀφοβία γίνεται; εἶπε δέ Συνιστορούσης τῆς διανοίας μηδὲν κακὸν πεπραχέναι, θεοῦ κατευθύνοντος εἰς τὸ καλῶς ἅπαντα βουλεύεσθαι.(The king) gave him the same welcome as the others, and then asked another guest, "How does fearlessness come about?" He replied, "When the mind is conscious that it has done no evil, for God directs men toward good deliberations on everything."
244Τούτῳ δὲ ἐπιφωνήσας πρὸς ἄλλον εἶπε Πῶς ἂν προχείρως ἔχοι τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Εἰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀτυχήματα διὰ παντὸς ἐπιβλέποι· γινώσκων ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀφαιρεῖται τὰς εὐημερίας, ἑτέρους δὲ δοξάζων εἰς τὸ τιμᾶσθαι προάγει.(The king) approved this man and said to the next, "How can one have the right reasoning at hand?" He replied, "By always having an eye to the misfortunes of mankind, knowing that God takes away prosperity (from some) while magnifying others and promoting them to receive honor."
245Καλῶς δὲ καὶ τοῦτον ἀποδεξάμενος τὸν ἑξῆς ἀποκριθῆναι παρεκάλει Πῶς ἂν μὴ εἰς ῥᾳθυμίαν, μηδὲ ἐπὶ τὰς ἡδονὰς τρέποιτο; ὁ δὲ Προχείρως ἔχων, εἶπεν, ὅτι μεγάλης βασιλείας κατάρχει καὶ πολλῶν ὄχλων ἀφηγεῖται, καὶ οὐ δεῖ περὶ ἕτερόν τι τὴν διάνοιαν εἶναι, τῆς δὲ τούτων ἐπιμελείας φροντίζειν· θεὸν δὲ ἀξιοῦν, ὅπως μηθὲν ἐλλίπῃ τῶν καθηκόντων.(The king) warmly approved this man also, and asked the next guest to answer, "How can one avoid having recourse to idleness and pleasures?" "By having in the forefront of his mind," he said, "that he rules a large kingdom and leads many people, and it is his duty not to have his mind centered on anything else but thinking of their care. He should ask God that no part of his duties be lacking."
246Ἐπαινέσας δὲ καὶ τοῦτον τὸν δέκατον {ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν ἐπιγινώσκοι} τοὺς δόλῳ τινὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν πράσσοντας; ὁ δὲ ἀπεφήνατο πρὸς τοῦτο Εἰ παρατηροῖτο τὴν ἀγωγὴν ἐλευθέριον οὖσαν, καὶ τὴν εὐταξίαν διαμένουσαν ἐν τοῖς ἀσπασμοῖς καὶ συμβουλίαις καὶ τῇ λοιπῇ συναναστροφῇ τῶν σὺν αὐτῷ, καὶ μηθὲν ὑπερτείνοντας τοῦ δέοντος ἐν ταῖς φιλοφρονήσεσι καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς τοῖς κατὰ τὴν ἀγωγήν.(The king) commended this man also and asked the tenth guest, "How can one recognize those who are acting falsely toward him?" The reply to this question was, "By observing whether their conduct was generous, and whether their orderly behavior persisted in the greetings and consultations and the rest of the social life of his companions; and (seeing that) they do not go beyond the proper limit in their entertainments and the other features of their conduct.
247θεὸς δὲ τὴν διάνοιαν {ἄξει} σοι, βασιλεῦ, πρὸς τὰ κάλλιστα. Συγκροτήσας πάντας τ᾽ ἐπαινέσας κατ᾽ ὄνομα, καὶ τῶν παρόντων ταὐτὰ ποιούντων, ἐπὶ τὸ μέλπειν ἐτράπησαν.God will direct your mind, O King, to the noblest ends." He applauded them all and congratulated them by name; the company present followed suit, and so they turned to celebrations.
248Τῇ δὲ ἐχομένῃ τὸν καιρὸν λαβὼν ἐπηρώτα τὸν ἑξῆς Τίς ἐστιν ἀμέλεια μεγίστη; πρὸς τοῦτ᾽ ἔφη Εἰ τέκνων ἄφροντίς τις εἴη, καὶ μὴ κατὰ πάντα τρόπον ἀγαγεῖν {σπεύδοι}· εὐχόμεθα γὰρ ἀεὶ πρὸς τὸν θεόν, οὐχ οὕτως περὶ ἑαυτῶν ὡς περὶ τῶν ἐγγόνων, ἵνα παρῇ πάντα αὐτοῖς τὰ ἀγαθά. τὸ δὲ ἐπιδεῖσθαι παιδία σωφροσύνης μετασχεῖν, θεοῦ δυνάμει τοῦτο γίνεται.On the following day (the king) seized the opportunity and asked the next guest, "What is the worst (type of) neglect?" To this he replied, "If a man were neglectful of children, and did not use every endeavor to bring them up. For we continually pray to God for ourselves as also for our children, that all blessings may rest upon them. The petition that children may have some discretion is something which comes to pass only by the power of God."
249Φήσας δὲ εὐλογεῖν ἄλλον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν φιλόπατρις εἴη; Προτιθέμενος, εἶπεν, ὅτι καλὸν ἐν ἰδίᾳ καὶ ζῇν καὶ τελευτᾷν. ἡ δὲ ξενία τοῖς μὲν πένησι καταφρόνησιν ἐργάζεται, τοῖς δὲ πλουσίοις ὄνειδος, ὡς διὰ κακίαν ἐκπεπτωκόσιν. εὐεργετῶν οὖν ἅπαντας, καθὼς συνεχῶς τοῦτ᾽ ἐπιτελεῖς, θεοῦ διδόντος σοὶ πρὸς πάντα χάριν, φιλόπατρις φανήσῃ.(The king) said that he spoke well, and asked another guest, "How can one be a patriot?" He replied, "By adopting the view that it is a noble thing to live and to die in one's own country. A foreign country produces for the poor contempt, and for the rich disgrace, as for men exiled for crimes. By doing good to all, while you continually carry out this policy, you will undoubtedly be a patriot, God giving you favor in the sight of all."
250Τούτου δὲ ἀκούσας τοῦ κατὰ τὸ ἑξῆς ἐπυνθάνετο Πῶς {ἂν} ἁρμόσαι γυναικί; {Γινώσκων} ὅτι μὲν θρασύ ἐστιν, ἔφη, τὸ θῆλυ γένος, καὶ δραστικὸν ἐφ᾽ ὃ βούλεται πρᾶγμα, καὶ μεταπῖπτον εὐκόπως διὰ παραλογισμοῦ, καὶ τῇ φύσει κατεσκεύασται ἀσθενές· δέον δ᾽ ἐστὶ κατὰ τὸ ὑγιὲς χρῆσθαι, καὶ μὴ πρὸς ἔριν ἀντιπράσσειν.He heard this man, and then asked the next guest in order, "How can one reach agreement with a woman?" "By recognizing," he replied, "that the female sex is bold, positively active for something which it desires, easily liable to change its mind because of poor reasoning powers, and of naturally weak constitution. It is necessary to have dealings with them in a sound way, avoiding provocation which may lead to a quarrel.
251κατορθοῦται γὰρ βίος, ὅταν ὁ κυβερνῶν εἰδῇ, πρὸς τίνα σκοπὸν δεῖ τὴν διέξοδον ποιεῖσθαι. θεοῦ δ᾽ ἐπικλήσει καὶ βίος κυβερνᾶται κατὰ πάντα.Life prospers when the helmsman knows the goal to which he must make the passage. Life is completely steered by invocation of God."
252Συνανθομολογησάμενος δὲ τούτῳ τὸν ἑξῆς ἠρώτα Πῶς {ἂν} ἀναμάρτητος εἴη; ὁ δὲ ἔφησεν Ὡς ἅπαντα πράσσων καὶ μετὰ διαλογισμοῦ καὶ μὴ πειθόμενος διαβολαῖς, ἀλλ᾽ αὐτὸς ὢν δοκιμαστὴς τῶν λεγομένων καὶ κρίσει κατευθύνων τὰ τῶν ἐντεύξεων καὶ διὰ κρίσεως ἐπιτελῶν ταῦτα ἀναμάρτητος, ἔφησεν, ἂν εἴης, ὦ βασιλεῦ. τὸ δ᾽ ἐπινοεῖν ταῦτα καὶ ἐν τούτοις ἀναστρέφεσθαι θείας δυνάμεώς ἐστιν ἔργον.(The king) gave assent to this man, and asked the next guest, "How can one be without fault?" The reply was, "By doing everything with considered judgment, not influenced by misrepresentations, but being your own judge of what is said, and in your judgment directing aright matters concerned with petitions made to you, and through your judgment bringing them to pass-that is how you would be without fault, O King. To have these intentions and to conduct oneself in the light of them is a task involving God's power."
253Διαχυθεὶς δὲ τοῖς εἰρημένοις τὸν ἕτερον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν ἐκτὸς θυμοῦ γένοιτο; πρὸς τοῦτ᾽ εἶπε Γινώσκων ὅτι πάντων ἐξουσίαν ἔχει, καί, εἰ χρήσαιτο θυμῷ, θάνατον ἐπιφέρει· ὅπερ ἀνωφελὲς καὶ ἀλγεινόν ἐστιν, εἰ τὸ ζῇν ἀφελεῖται πολλῶν, διὰ τὸ κύριον εἶναι. πάντων δ᾽ ὑπηκόων ὄντων καὶ μηδενὸς ἐναντιουμένου, τίνος χάριν θυμωθήσεται;He was cheered by what was said, and asked the next guest, "How can one avoid anger?" To this the reply was, "By realizing that he has absolute power, and that any recourse to anger brings death, which is indeed a useless and painful thing to do if many are deprived of life simply because he is lord. But if all are obedient and there is no opposition, what will be the point of getting angry?
254γινώσκειν δὲ δεῖ, διότι θεὸς τὸν πάντα κόσμον διοικεῖ μετ᾽ εὐμενείας καὶ χωρὶς ὀργῆς ἁπάσης· τούτῳ δὲ κατακολουθεῖν ἀναγκαῖόν ἐστί σε, ἔφησεν, ὦ βασιλεῦ.You must know that God governs the whole universe with kindliness and without any anger, and you, O King," he said, "must follow him."
255Καλῶς δὲ ἀποκεκρίσθαι φήσας τοῦτον ἐπυνθάνετο τοῦ μετέπειτα Τί ἐστιν εὐβουλία; Τὸ καλῶς ἅπαντα πράσσειν, ἀπεφήνατο, μετὰ διαλογισμοῦ, κατὰ τὴν βουλὴν παρατιθέντα καὶ {τὰ} βλαβερὰ τῶν κατὰ τὸ ἐναντίον τοῦ λόγου διάστημα, ἵνα πρὸς ἕκαστον ἐπινοήσαντες ὦμεν εὖ βεβουλευμένοι, καὶ τὸ προτεθὲν ἡμῖν ἐπιτελῆται. τὸ δ᾽ αὖ κράτιστον, θεοῦ δυναστείᾳ πᾶν βούλευμα {τελείωσιν ἕξει} σοι τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἀσκοῦντι.He said that he had given a good answer, and inquired of the next guest, "What is sound judgment?" "Doing everything well," was the reply, "with due consultation, in your deliberation taking into account as well the harmful features of the opposite side of the argument, in order that after paying attention to each detail our deliberations may be good and our object achieved. What is most important, by the power of God your every purpose will be accomplished if you practice piety."
256Κατωρθωκέναι δὲ καὶ τοῦτον εἰπὼν ἄλλον ἠρώτα Τί ἐστι φιλοσοφία; Τὸ καλῶς διαλογίζεσθαι πρὸς ἕκαστον τῶν συμβαινόντων, ἀπεφήνατο, καὶ μὴ ἐκφέρεσθαι ταῖς ὁρμαῖς, ἀλλὰ τὰς βλάβας καταμελετᾷν τὰς ἐκ τῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν ἐκβαινούσας, καὶ τὰ πρὸς τὸν καιρὸν πράσσειν δεόντως μετριοπαθῆ καθεστῶτα. ἵνα δ᾽ ἐπίστασιν τούτων λαμβάνωμεν, θεραπεύειν δεῖ τὸν θεόν.(The king) said that this man also had done well, and asked another guest, "What is philosophy?" "To have a well-reasoned assessment of each occurrence," was the reply, "and not to be carried away by impulses but to study carefully the harmful consequences of the passions, and by exercising proper and necessary restraint in carrying out what the occasion demands. But in order to have due care for these things, it is necessary to serve God."
257Ἐπισημήνας δὲ καὶ τοῦτον ἕτερον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν ἀποδοχῆς {ἐν ξενιτείᾳ} τυγχάνοι; Πᾶσιν ἴσος γινόμενος, ἔφη, καὶ μᾶλλον ἥττων ἢ καθυπερέχων φαινόμενος πρὸς οὓς ξενιτεύει. κοινῶς γὰρ ὁ θεὸς τὸ ταπεινούμενον προσδέχεται κατὰ φύσιν, καὶ τὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένος τοὺς ὑποτασσομένους φιλανθρωπεῖ.(The king) applauded this man, and asked another guest, "How can one find welcome abroad among strangers?" "By equal treatment to everyone," he replied, "and by appearing inferior rather than superior to those among whom he is a stranger. For, in general, God by his very nature welcomes that which is humbled, and the human race deals kindly with those in subjection."
258Ἐπιμαρτυρήσας δὲ τούτοις ἄλλον ἠρώτα Πῶς {ἃ} ἂν κατασκευάσῃ καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο διαμένῃ; πρὸς τοῦτ᾽ εἶπεν Εἰ μεγάλα καὶ σεμνὰ ταῖς ποιήσεσιν ἐπιτελοῖ, πρὸς τὸ φείσασθαι τοὺς θεωροῦντας διὰ τὴν καλλονήν, καὶ μηθένα τῶν κατεργαζομένων τὰ τοιαῦτα παραπέμποι, μηδὲ τοὺς ἄλλους ἀμισθὶ συντελεῖν ἀναγκάζοι τὰ πρὸς τὴν χρείαν.(The king) bore witness to these sentiments and asked another, "How will the structure which one builds survive in the future as well?" To this the reply was, "If his accomplishments by his actions are great and glorious, so that those who see them show forbearance because of their beauty; and if he does not neglect a single one of those who carry out such works, and does not compel the rest to complete their part of the business without any payment.
259διανοούμενος γὰρ ὡς θεὸς πολυωρεῖ τὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένος, χορηγῶν αὐτοῖς καὶ ὑγείαν καὶ εὐαισθησίαν καὶ τὰ λοιπά, καὶ αὐτὸς ἀκόλουθόν τι πράξει τῶν κακοπαθειῶν ἀποδιδοὺς τὴν ἀντάμειψιν. τὰ γὰρ ἐκ δικαιοσύνης τελούμενα, ταῦτα καὶ διαμένει.By considering how God cares for the human race in providing them with health and discernment and suchlike, he will himself do something accordingly by paying some compensation for sufferings endured. For the deeds which are of permanent value are those performed out of righteousness."
260Εὖ δὲ καὶ τοῦτον εἰρηκέναι φήσας τὸν δέκατον ἠρώτα Τί ἐστι σοφίας καρπός; ὁ δὲ εἶπε Τὸ μὴ συνιστορεῖν ἑαυτῷ κακὸν πεπραχότι, τὸν δὲ βίον ἐν ἀληθείᾳ διεξάγειν.(The king) said that this man had spoken well, and asked the tenth guest, "What is the fruit of wisdom?" His reply was, "A clear conscience of no evil done, and of living one's life in truth.
261ἐκ τούτων γὰρ κρατίστη χαρὰ καὶ ψυχῆς εὐστάθειά σοι γίνεται, μέγιστε βασιλεῦ, καὶ ἐλπίδες ἐπὶ θεῷ καλαὶ κρατοῦντί σοι τῆς ἀρχῆς εὐσεβῶς. Ὡς δὲ συνήκουσαν πάντες ἐπεφώνησαν σὺν κρότῳ πλείονι. καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα πρὸς τὸ προπιεῖν ὁ βασιλεὺς [λαμβάνειν] ἐτράπη, χαρᾷ πεπληρωμένος.From these result for you the greatest joy and steadfast self-possession, O mighty King, and good hopes in God as you rule your realm with due reverence." When they heard this, all voiced their approval with loud applause. After this the king, filled with joy, proceeded to drink their health.
262Τῇ δ᾽ ἑξῆς καθὼς πρότερον ἡ διάταξις ἦν τῶν κατὰ τὸν πότον ἐπιτελουμένων, καιροῦ δὲ γενομένου τοὺς ἀπολιπόντας ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπηρώτα. πρὸς τὸν πρῶτον δὲ ἔφη Πῶς ἂν μὴ τραπείη τις εἰς ὑπερηφανίαν;On the next day the arrangement was the same as before for the details of the banquet, and when an opportunity presented itself the king began to question the remainder (of the guests). To the first he said, "How can a man avoid giving way to arrogance?"
263ἀπεκρίθη δὲ Εἰ τὴν ἰσότητα τηροῖ, καὶ παρ᾽ ἕκαστον ἑαυτὸν ὑπομιμνήσκοι, καθὼς ἄνθρωπος ὢν ἀνθρώπων ἡγεῖται. καὶ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς ὑπερηφάνους καθαιρεῖ, τοὺς δὲ ἐπιεικεῖς καὶ ταπεινοὺς ὑψοῖ.The reply was, "By maintaining impartiality, and by reminding himself in the case of each individual that he is a ruler of men and still a man himself. Moreover, God destroys the proud, and exalts the gentle and humble."
264Παρακαλέσας δὲ αὐτὸν τὸν ἑξῆς ἐπηρώτα Τίσι δεῖ συμβούλοις χρῆσθαι; τοῖς διὰ πολλῶν, ἔφη, πεπειραμένοις πραγμάτων καὶ τὴν εὔνοιαν συντηροῦσιν ἀκέραιον πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ τῶν τρόπων ὅσοι μετέχουσιν αὐτῷ. θεοῦ ἐπιφάνεια γίνεται πρὸς τὰ τοιαῦτα τοῖς ἀξίοις.(The king) commended him, and asked the next guest, "Of whom must one avail himself as counselors?" "Those who have won experience in many affairs of state," he said, "and still maintain untarnished their loyalty to him and to all who share his ways. God manifests himself to such qualities in those who deserve it."
265Ἐπαινέσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἄλλον ἠρώτα Τίς ἐστι βασιλεῖ κτῆσις ἀναγκαιοτάτη; Τῶν ὑποτεταγμένων φιλανθρωπία καὶ ἀγάπησις, ἀπεκρίνατο. διὰ γὰρ τούτων ἄλυτος εὐνοίας δεσμὸς γίνεται. τὸ δὲ γίνεσθαι κατὰ προαίρεσιν ταῦτα ὁ θεὸς ἐπιτελεῖ.He congratulated him and asked another guest, "What is the possession most essential for a king?" "The love and affection of his subjects," he replied. "By these means the bond of goodwill is unbreakable. As for the realization of these aims, God fulfills them according to his will."
266Κατεπαινέσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἑτέρου διεπυνθάνετο Τί πέρας ἐστὶ λόγου; κἀκεῖνος δὲ ἔφησε Τὸ πεῖσαι τὸν ἀντιλέγοντα, διὰ τῆς ὑποτεταγμένης τάξεως τὰς βλάβας ἐπιδεικνύντα· οὕτω γὰρ λήψῃ τὸν ἀκροατὴν οὐκ ἀντικείμενος, συγχρώμενος δὲ ἐπαίνῳ πρὸς τὸ πεῖσαι. θεοῦ δὲ ἐνεργείᾳ κατευθύνεται πειθώ.(The king) commended him and inquired of another guest, "What is the purpose of speaking?" "To persuade your opponent in debate," was his reply, "by pointing out his errors in an orderly list. In this way you will win over your listener, not being antagonistic but using some commendation to persuade him. And persuasion succeeds through the activity of God."
267Εὖ δὲ λέγειν φήσας αὐτὸν ἕτερον ἠρώτα Πῶς ἂν, παμμιγῶν ὄχλων ὄντων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ, τούτοις {ἁρμόσαι}; Τὸ πρέπον ἑκάστῳ συνυποκρινόμενος, εἶπε, καθηγεμόνα λαμβάνων δικαιοσύνην· ὡς καὶ ποιεῖς θεοῦ σοι διδόντος εὖ λογίζεσθαι.(The king) said that he spoke well, and asked the next guest, "In view of the heterogeneous multitudes in the kingdom, how can one be in harmony with them?" "By adopting the role appropriate to each one, with justice as your guiding principle-as indeed is now your practice, God granting you sound reasoning."
268Φιλοφρονηθεὶς δὲ τούτῳ πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον εἶπεν Ἐπὶ τίσι δεῖ λυπεῖσθαι; πρὸς ταῦτα ἀπεκρίθη Τὰ συμβαίνοντα τοῖς φίλοις ὅταν θεωρῶμεν πολυχρόνια καὶ ἀνέκφευκτα γινόμενα. τελευτήσασι μὲν γὰρ καὶ κακῶν ἀπολελυμένοις οὐχ ὑπογράφει λύπην ὁ λόγος· ἀλλὰ ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτοὺς ἀναφέροντες καὶ τὸ πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς συμφέρον λυποῦνται πάντες ἄνθρωποι. τὸ δ᾽ ἐκφυγεῖν πᾶν κακὸν θεοῦ δυνάμει γίνεται.(The king) was pleased with this man, and said to the next guest, "At what things ought one to feel pain?" To which he replied, "At the misfortunes of our friends, when we see them long-drawn-out and incurable. When they are dead and released from evils, reason does not indicate for them any pain. But when human beings attribute to themselves even what is to their advantage, everyone suffers. The escape from every evil takes place only through the power of God."
269Ὡς ἔδει δὲ φήσας αὐτὸν ἀποκρίνεσθαι πρὸς ἕτερον εἶπε Πῶς ἀδοξία γίνεται; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφησεν Ὅταν ὑπερηφανία καθηγῆται καὶ θράσος ἄληκτον, ἀτιμασμὸς ἐπιφύεται καὶ δόξης ἀναίρεσις. θεὸς δὲ δόξης πάσης κυριεύει, ῥέπων οὗ βούλεται.(The king) declared that this man replied as he ought to have done, and said to the next guest, "How does unpopularity arise?" He replied, "When arrogance and boundless self-confidence are predominant, dishonor ensues and destruction of good reputation. God controls all reputation, directing it where he wishes."
270Καὶ τούτῳ δ᾽ ἐπικυρώσας τὰ τῆς ἀποκρίσεως τὸν ἑξῆς ἠρώτα Τίσι δεῖ πιστεύειν ἑαυτόν; Τοῖς διὰ τὴν εὔνοιαν, εἶπε, συνοῦσί σοι, καὶ μὴ διὰ τὸν φόβον μηδὲ διὰ πολυωρίαν, ἐπανάγουσι πάντα πρὸς τὸ κερδαίνειν. τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀγαπήσεως σημεῖον, τὸ δὲ δυσνοίας καὶ καιροτηρησίας· ὃς γὰρ ἐπὶ τὸ πλεονεκτεῖν {ὁρμᾶται} προδότης πέφυκε. σὺ δὲ πάντας εὐνόους ἔχεις θεοῦ σοι καλὴν βουλὴν διδόντος.He confirmed this man's answer and asked the next guest, "To whom must one entrust himself?" "To those who are drawn to you by loyalty," he replied, "and not through fear or flattery, with (personal) gain as their only objective. The former is a sign of affection, the latter of disaffection and expediency. The man whose aim is mere success is a natural traitor. As for you, you have the goodwill of all, as God bestows upon you sound counsels."
271οφῶς δὲ αὐτὸν εἰπὼν ἀποκεκρίσθαι, ἑτέρῳ εἶπε Τί βασιλείαν διατηρεῖ; πρὸς τοῦτ᾽ ἔφη Μέριμνα καὶ φροντίς, ὡς οὐδὲν κακουργηθήσεται διὰ τῶν ἀποτεταγμένων εἰς τοὺς ὄχλους ταῖς χρείαις· καθὼς σὺ τοῦτο πράσσεις θεοῦ σοι τὴν σεμνὴν ἐπίνοιαν διδόντος.He declared that this man's answer was wise, and said to another guest, "What preserves a kingdom?" To this the reply was, "Concern and care that no harm shall come upon the multitudes through the officials appointed to serve their needs-which indeed is your policy, God bestowing upon you such noble intent."
272Θαρσύνας δὲ τοῦτον ἕτερον ἐπηρώτα Τί διαφυλάσσει χάριτα καὶ τιμήν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἀρετή. καλῶν γὰρ ἔργων ἐστὶν ἐπιτέλεια, τὸ δὲ κακὸν ἀποτρίβεται· καθὼς σὺ διατηρεῖς τὴν πρὸς ἅπαντας καλοκἀγαθίαν παρὰ θεοῦ δῶρον τοῦτ᾽ ἔχων.(The king) gave this man a word of encouragement, and asked another guest, "What maintains favor and respect?" He said, "Virtue, for it accomplishes good works and renounces evil; just as you keep your noble integrity toward all, having this gift from God."
273Κεχαρισμένως δὲ καὶ τοῦτον ἀποδεξάμενος τὸν ἑνδέκατον ἐπηρώτα (διὰ τὸ δύο πλεονάζειν τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα) Πῶς ἂν κατὰ ψυχὴν καὶ ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις εἰρηνικῶς ἔχοι; ὁ δὲ ἀπεφήνατο Διαλαμβάνων ὅτι κακὸν οὐδὲν εἴργασται τῶν ὑποτεταγμένων οὐθενί, πάντες δὲ ἀγωνιοῦνται περὶ τῶν εὐεργετημάτων, εἰδότες, κἂν ἐκ τοῦ ζῇν ἀποτρέχωσιν, ἐπιμελητήν σε τῶν βίων.(The king) gave this man a favorable reception, and asked the eleventh guest (there being two over the seventy), "How can one be peacefully disposed at heart even in war?" The answer was, "By the knowledge that no evil has been committed upon any of your subjects, and that all are fighting for blessings received, knowing that even if they give their lives, you will take care of their property.
274οὐ γὰρ διαλείπεις ἐπανορθῶν ἅπαντας τοῦ θεοῦ σοι καλοφροσύνην δεδωκότος. Ἐπισημήνας δὲ κρότῳ πάντας αὐτοὺς ἀπεδέξατο φιλοφρονούμενος, καὶ προπίνων ἑκάστῳ πλεῖόν τι πρὸς τὸ τερφθῆναι {ἐτράπη}, μετ᾽ εὐφροσύνης τοῖς ἀνδράσι συνὼν καὶ χαρᾶς πλείονος.You do not cease helping everyone, for God has given you the gift of kindliness." (The king) applauded them all heartily and greeted them with acclamation, drank the health of each one, and turned his attention to enjoying (the feast), mingling among the guests with geniality and great delight.
275Τῇ ἑβδόμῃ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν, πλείονος παρασκευῆς γενομένης, προσπαραγινομένων πλειόνων ἑτέρων ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων (ἦσαν γὰρ ἱκανοὶ πρέσβεις), ἐπηρώτησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καιροῦ γενομένου τὸν πρωτεύοντα τῶν ἀπολιπόντων τῆς ἐρωτήσεως Πῶς ἂν ἀπαραλόγιστος {εἴη};On the seventh day, after much preparation, and amid the additional company of many others from the cities-for there was a large number of delegates-the king, at a suitable opportunity, asked the first of those who had not yet been questioned, "How can one avoid being deceived?"
276ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Δοκιμάζων καὶ τὸν λέγοντα καὶ τὸ λεγόμενον καὶ περὶ τίνος λέγει, καὶ ἐν πλείονι χρόνῳ τὰ αὐτὰ δι᾽ ἑτέρων τρόπων ἐπερωτῶν. τὸ δὲ νοῦν ἔχειν ὀξὺν καὶ δύνασθαι κρίνειν ἕκαστα θεοῦ δώρημα καλόν ἐστιν· ὡς σὺ τοῦτο κέκτησαι, βασιλεῦ.The reply was, "By investigating the speaker, his speech and the subject of it, and by making the same inquiries over a longer period by other means. The possession of an acute mind and the ability to discern everything, that is an excellent gift from God-which indeed you possess, O King."
277Κρότῳ δὲ ἐπισημηνάμενος ὁ βασιλεὺς ἕτερον ἐπηρώτα Διὰ τί τὴν ἀρετὴν οὐ παραδέχονται τῶν ἀνθρώπων οἱ πλείονες; Ὅτι φυσικῶς ἅπαντες, εἶπεν, ἀκρατεῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τὰς ἡδονὰς τρεπόμενοι γεγόνασιν· ὧν χάριν ἀδικία πέφυκε καὶ τὸ τῆς πλεονεξίας χύμα.The king heartily applauded, and asked the next guest, "Why do not the majority of human beings recognize virtue?" "Because all men," he said, "have become naturally intemperate, and inclined to pleasures, as a result of which injustice came about and the mass of greed.
278τὸ δὲ τῆς ἀρετῆς κατάστημα κωλύει τοὺς ἐπιφερομένους ἐπὶ τὴν ἡδονοκρασίαν, ἐγκράτειαν δὲ κελεύει καὶ δικαιοσύνην προτιμᾷν. ὁ δὲ θεὸς πάντων ἡγεῖται τούτων.The virtuous disposition, on the other hand, restrains those who are attracted to the rule of pleasure, and commands them to respect self-control and justice more highly. God directs all these matters."
279Εὖ δὲ ἀποκεκρίσθαι τοῦτον εἰπὼν ὁ βασιλεὺς ἠρώτα Τίσι δεῖ κατακολουθεῖν τοὺς βασιλεῖς; ὁ δὲ ἔφη Τοῖς νόμοις, ἵνα δικαιοπραγοῦντες ἀνακτῶνται τοὺς βίους τῶν ἀνθρώπων· καθὼς σὺ τοῦτο πράσσων ἀένναον μνήμην καταβέβλησαι σεαυτοῦ, θείῳ προστάγματι κατακολουθῶν.The king affirmed that this man had given a good answer, and asked (the next guest), "Whose guidance must kings follow?" The answer was, "The laws, so that by practicing justice they may improve the lives of men. In the same way that you by doing this have established an everlasting memory of yourself, following the commandment of God."
280Εἰπὼν δὲ καὶ τοῦτον καλῶς λέγειν τὸν ἐχόμενον ἠρώτα Τίνας δεῖ καθιστάνειν στρατηγούς; ὃς δὲ εἶπεν Ὅσοι μισοπονηρίαν ἔχουσι, καὶ τὴν ἀγωγὴν αὐτοῦ μιμούμενοι, πρὸς τὸ διὰ παντὸς εὐδοξίαν ἔχειν αὐτούς, τὰ δίκαια πράσσουσι· καθὼς σὺ τοῦτο ἐπιτελεῖς, εἶπε, μέγιστε βασιλεῦ, θεοῦ σοι στέφανον δικαιοσύνης δεδωκότος.He said that this man also gave a good answer, and asked the next guest, "Whom ought one appoint as chief ministers?" He replied, "Men who hate wickedness, and in imitation of his way of life do justice, so as to earn themselves good repute continually-just as you, O mighty King," he said, "achieve this aim, God having granted you a crown of righteousness."
281Ἀποδεξάμενος δὲ αὐτὸν μετὰ φωνῆς ἐπὶ τὸν ἐχόμενον ἐπιβλέψας εἶπε Τίνας δεῖ καθιστάνειν ἐπὶ τῶν δυνάμεων ἄρχοντας; ὁ δὲ ἀπεφήνατο Τοὺς ἀνδρείᾳ διαφέροντας καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ, καὶ περὶ πολλοῦ ποιουμένους τὸ σώζειν τοὺς ἄνδρας ἢ τὸ νικᾷν, τῷ θράσει {παραβάλλοντας} τὸ ζῇν. ὡς γὰρ ὁ θεὸς εὖ ἐργάζεται πᾶσι, καὶ σὺ τοῦτον μιμούμενος εὐεργετεῖς τοὺς ὑπὸ σεαυτόν.He loudly approved him, looked toward the next guest, and said, "Whom must one appoint as commanders of his forces?" He replied, "Men of outstanding bravery and justice, who prefer saving men's lives to victory at the reckless risk of lives. As God showers blessings upon all, you too in imitation of him are a benefactor to your subjects."
282Ὁ δὲ ἀποκεκρίσθαι φήσας αὐτὸν εὖ, ἄλλον ἠρώτα Τίνα θαυμάζειν ἄξιόν ἐστιν ἄνθρωπον; ὁ δὲ ἔφη Τὸν κεχορηγημένον δόξῃ καὶ πλούτῳ καὶ δυνάμει, καὶ ψυχὴν ἴσον πᾶσιν ὄντα· καθὼς σὺ τοῦτο ποιῶν ἀξιοθαύμαστος εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ σοι διδόντος εἰς ταῦτα τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν.(The king) said that he had given a good answer, and asked another guest, "What man deserves admiration?" The reply was, "The man endowed with glory and wealth and power, who deep at heart is the equal of everyone. Just as you by your conduct deserve admiration, God giving you the gift of caring for these things."
283Ἐπιφωνήσας δὲ καὶ τούτῳ πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον εἶπεν Ἐν τίσι δεῖ πράγμασι τοὺς βασιλεῖς τὸν πλείω χρόνον διάγειν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἐν ταῖς ἀναγνώσεσι καὶ ἐν ταῖς τῶν πορειῶν ἀπογραφαῖς διατρίβειν, ὅσαι πρὸς τὰς βασιλείας ἀναγεγραμμέναι τυγχάνουσι πρὸς ἐπανόρθωσιν καὶ διαμονὴν ἀνθρώπων. ὃ σὺ πράσσων ἀνέφικτον ἄλλοις δόξαν κέκτησιν θεοῦ σοι τὰ βουλήματα συντελοῦντος.(The king) commended this man also, and said to the next guest, "On what matters ought kings to spend most of their time?" He said, "Time should be spent on reading and on the accounts of travels, which have been written and dedicated to thrones for the permanent betterment of mankind. This indeed you do, thereby winning glory beyond the reach of others, with God fulfilling your plans."
284Ἐνεργῶς δὲ καὶ τοῦτον προσειπὼν ἕτερον ἠρώτα Τίνας δεῖ ποιεῖσθαι τὰς διαγωγὰς ἐν ταῖς ἀνέσεσι καὶ ῥᾳθυμίαις; ὁ δὲ ἔφη Θεωρεῖν ὅσα {παίζεται} μετὰ περιστολῆς καὶ πρὸ ὀφθαλμῶν τιθέναι τὰ τοῦ βίου μετ᾽ εὐσχημοσύνης καὶ καταστολῆς γινόμενα {βίῳ συμφέρον καὶ καθῆκον}. ἔνεστι γὰρ καὶ ἐν τούτοις ἐπισκευή τις.(The king) warmly commended this man also, and asked another guest, "What must be one's conduct in relaxation and leisure?" The reply was, "Be a spectator of entertainments which exercise restraint and keep before your eyes things in life done with decency and moderation-that is suitable and appropriate to life. There is indeed a therapeutic value in these things,
285πολλάκις γὰρ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἐλαχίστων αἱρετόν τι δείκνυται. σὺ δὲ πᾶσαν ἠσκηκὼς καταστολὴν διὰ τῶν ἐνεργεῖν φιλοσοφεῖς διὰ καλοκἀγαθίαν ὑπὸ θεοῦ τιμώμενος.for often even from the smallest items something worthwhile stands out. You are well versed in all restraint, and show love of wisdom in your activities, receiving your reward from God because of your moral goodness."
286Εὐαρεστήσας δὲ τοῖς προειρημένοις πρὸς τὸν ἔνατον εἶπε Πῶς δεῖ διὰ τῶν συμποσίων διεξάγειν; ὁ δὲ ἔφησε Παραλαμβάνοντα τοὺς φιλομαθεῖς καὶ δυναμένους ὑπομιμνήσκειν τὰ {χρήσιμα τῇ βασιλείᾳ} καὶ τοῖς τῶν ἀρχομένων βίοις—ἐμμελέστερον ἢ μουσικώτερον οὐκ ἂν εὕροις τι τούτων·(The king) was well pleased with what had just been said, and addressed the ninth guest, "How ought one to conduct himself at banquets?" The reply was, "By inviting men of learning, with the ability to remind him of matters advantageous to the kingdom and to the lives of the subjects.
287οὗτοι γὰρ θεοφιλεῖς εἰσι πρὸς τὰ κάλλιστα πεπαιδευκότες τὰς διανοίας—καθὼς καὶ σὺ τοῦτο πράσσεις, ὡς ἂν ὑπὸ θεοῦ σοι κατευθυνομένων ἅπαντων.Better harmony or music than these you would never find, because these men are beloved of God, having trained their minds for the noblest ends. This is your practice also, all your plans being directed aright by God."
288Διαχυθεὶς δὲ ἐπὶ τοῖς εἰρημένοις, ἐπυνθάνετο τοῦ μετέπειτα Τί κάλλιστόν ἐστι τοῖς ὄχλοις, ἐξ ἰδιώτου βασιλέα κατασταθῆναι {ἐπ᾽} αὐτῶν, ἢ ἐκ βασιλέως βασιλέα; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Τὸ ἄριστον τῇ φύσει.He was delighted at these words, and inquired of the next guest, "What is thought finer by the multitude, to have a king set over them who was once a commoner, or a king of royal blood?" He replied, "The alternative which is by nature best.
289καὶ γὰρ ἐκ βασιλέων βασιλεῖς γινόμενοι πρὸς τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους ἀνήμεροί τε καὶ σκληροὶ καθίστανται· πολλῷ δὲ μᾶλλον καί τινες τῶν ἰδιωτῶν καὶ κακῶν πεπειραμένοι καὶ πενίας μετεσχηκότες ἄρξαντες ὄχλων χαλεπώτεροι τῶν ἀνοσίων τυράννων ἐξέβησαν.Some kings of royal birth show themselves hard and cruel to their subjects; much worse-some kings of common origin with their experience of misfortune and their share of poverty, when given rule over people, have turned out to be more harsh than the foulest tyrants.
290ἀλλὰ ὡς προεῖπον, ἦθος χρηστὸν καὶ παιδείας κεκοινωνηκὸς δυνατὸν ἄρχειν ἐστί· καθὼς σὺ βασιλεὺς μέγας ὑπάρχεις, οὐ τοσοῦτον τῇ δόξῃ τῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ πλούτῳ προσχών, ὅσον ἐπιεικείᾳ καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ πάντας ἀνθρώπους ὑπερῆρκας τοῦ θεοῦ σοι δεδωρημένου ταῦτα.But, as I said before, a noble character which has had its share of (suitable) education is capable of ruling. Just as you rule, O mighty King, and are distinguished not so much by the outstanding glory and wealth of your kingdom but because you excel all men in your moderation and humanity-God having endowed you with these gifts."
291Ἐπὶ πλείονα χρόνον καὶ τοῦτον ἐπαινέσας τὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν ἠρώτα Τί μέγιστόν ἐστι βασιλείας; πρὸς τοῦτο εἶπε Τὸ διὰ παντὸς ἐν εἰρήνῃ καθεστάναι τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους, καὶ κομίζεσθαι τὸ δίκαιον ταχέως ἐν ταῖς διακρίσεσι.(The king) congratulated this man also with long applause, and asked the last guest of all, "What is the most important feature in a kingdom?" To this he replied, "To establish the subjects continually at peace, and guarantee that they obtain justice quickly in verdicts.
292ταῦτα δὲ γίνεται διὰ τὸν ἡγούμενον, ὅταν μισοπόνηρος ᾖ καὶ φιλάγαθος καὶ περὶ πολλοῦ ποιούμενος ψυχὴν ἀνθρώπου σώζειν· καθὼς καὶ σὺ μέγιστον κακὸν ἥγησαι τὴν ἀδικίαν, δικαίως δὲ πάντα κυβερνῶν ἀένναον τὴν περὶ σεαυτὸν δόξαν κατεσκευάσας, τοῦ θεοῦ σοι διδόντος ἔχειν ἁγνὴν καὶ ἀμιγῆ παντὸς κακοῦ τὴν διάνοιαν.The sovereign brings about these aims when he hates evil and loves good and holds in high esteem the saving of a human life. In the same way that you consider injustice the greatest evil, and by your just government in all things have won glory for yourself which is imperishable--God granting you to have a pure mind untainted by any evil."
293Καταλήξαντος δὲ τούτου κατερράγη κρότος μετὰ φωνῆς καὶ χαρᾶς ἐπὶ πλείονα χρόνον. ὡς δὲ ἐπαύσατο, ὁ βασιλεὺς λαβὼν ποτήριον ἐπεχέατο καὶ τῶν παρόντων ἁπάντων καὶ τῶν εἰρημένων λόγων. ἐπὶ πᾶσι δὲ εἶπε Τὰ μέγιστά μοι γέγονεν ἀγαθὰ παραγενηθέντων ὑμῶν·When he had finished speaking there was a long burst of applause accompanied by delighted cheers. When it subsided, the king took a cup and drank a toast to all the assembled company and to the speeches which they had made. He addressed them all thus: "The greatest benefits have fallen on me through your visit.
294πολλὰ γὰρ ὠφέλημαι, καταβεβλημένων ὑμῶν διδαχὴν ἐμοὶ πρὸς τὸ βασιλεύειν. ἑκάστῳ δὲ τρία τάλαντα προσέταξεν ἀργυρίου δοθῆναι καὶ τὸν ἀποκαταστήσοντα παῖδα. συνεπιφωνησάντων δὲ πάντων, χαρᾶς ἐπληρώθη τὸ συμπόσιον, ἀδιαλείπτως τοῦ βασιλέως εἰς εὐφροσύνην τραπέντος.I have been assisted a great deal by your giving me essential teaching on kingship." He commanded that three talents of silver should be given to each one, together with the slave who would hand it over to him. All joined in the acclamation, the guests were filled with rejoicing, and the king turned his attention to festivities unreservedly.
295Ἐγὼ δὲ {εἰ πεπλεόνακα,} τούτοις, ὦ Φιλόκρατες, συγγνώμην ἔχειν. τεθαυμακὼς γὰρ τοὺς ἄνδρας ὑπὲρ τὸ δέον, ὡς ἐκ τοῦ καιροῦ τὰς ἀποκρίσεις ἐποιοῦντο πολλοῦ χρόνου δεομένας,If I have dwelt at length on these matters, Philocrates, I beg your pardon. I admired these men tremendously, the way in which they gave immediate answers which needed a long time (to ponder),
296καὶ τοῦ μὲν ἐρωτῶντος μεμεριμνηκότος ἕκαστα, τῶν δὲ ἀποκρινομένων καταλλήλως ἐχόντων τὰ πρὸς τὰς ἐρωτήσας, ἄξιοι θαυμασμοῦ κατεφαίνοντό μοι καὶ τοῖς παροῦσι, μάλιστα δὲ τοῖς φιλοσόφοις. οἴομαι δὲ καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς παραληψομένοις τὴν ἀναγραφὴν ἄπιστον φανεῖται.and while the questioner had thought out details in each case, those answering gave their replies immediately one after another-they were manifestly deserving of admiration to me and to the audience, but especially to the philosophers. All who will inherit this narrative will, I think, find it incredible.
297ψεύσασθαι μὲν οὖν οὐ καθῆκόν ἐστι περὶ τῶν ἀναγραφομένων· εἰ δὲ καί τι παραβαίην, οὐχ ὅσιον ἐν τούτοις· ἀλλ᾽, ὡς γέγονεν, οὕτως διασαφοῦμεν ἀφοσιούμενοι πᾶν ἁμάρτημα. διόπερ ἐπειράθην ἀποδεξάμενος αὐτῶν τὴν τοῦ λόγου δύναμιν παρὰ τῶν ἀναγραφομένων ἕκαστα τῶν γινομένων ἔν τε τοῖς χρηματισμοῖς τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ ταῖς συμποσίαις μεταλαβεῖν.To tell lies concerning matters which are being chronicled is inappropriate: If I were to make a single error, it would be impious in these matters. On the contrary, we narrate things as they happened, eschewing any error. I therefore, heartily accepting the force of their argument, have tried to present from the records the details of events at the audiences with the king and at the banquets.
298ἔθος γάρ ἐστι, καθὼς καὶ σὺ γινώσκεις, ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἂν [ἡμέρας] ὁ βασιλεὺς ἄρξηται χρηματίζειν, μέχρις οὗ κατακοιμηθῇ, πάντα ἀναγράφεσθαι τὰ λεγόμενα καὶ πρασσόμενα, καλῶς γινομένου καὶ συμφερόντως.It is, as you know, the custom that, from the beginning of the king's audiences until he retires to bed, a record be made of everything said and done. This is an excellent and worthwhile procedure,
299τῇ γὰρ ἐπιούσῃ τὰ τῇ πρότερον πεπραγμένα καὶ λελαλημένα πρὸ τοῦ χρηματισμοῦ παραναγινώσκεται, καί, εἴ τι μὴ δεόντως γέγονε, διορθώσεως τυγχάνει τὸ πεπραγμένον.because on the next day, before the (day's) business begins, all that was done and spoken is read out, and if any action needs it, it is corrected.
300πάντ᾽ οὖν ἀκριβῶς {παρὰ τῶν} ἀναγεγραμμένων, ὡς ἐλέχθη, μεταλαβόντες κατακεχωρίκαμεν, εἰδότες ἣν ἔχεις φιλομάθειαν εἰς τὰ χρήσιμα.So this whole account we have produced by accurate reference to the records, as I have said, knowing your keen desire to learn what is of value.
301Μετὰ δὲ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ὁ Δημήτριος παραλαβὼν αὐτούς, καὶ διελθὼν τὸ τῶν ἑπτὰ σταδίων ἀνάχωμα τῆς θαλάσσης πρὸς τὴν νῆσον, καὶ διαβὰς τὴν γέφυραν, καὶ προσελθὼν ὡς ἐπὶ τὰ βόρεια μέρη, συνέδριον ποιησάμενος εἰς κατεσκευασμένον οἶκον παρὰ τὴν ἠϊόνα, διαπρεπῶς ἔχοντα καὶ πολλῆς ἡσυχίας ἔφεδρον, παρεκάλει τοὺς ἄνδρας τὰ τῆς ἑρμηνείας ἐπιτελεῖν, παρόντων ὅσα πρὸς τὴν χρείαν ἔδει καλῶς.Three days afterward, Demetrius took the men with him, traversed the mile-long jetty into the sea toward the island, crossed the bridge, and went in the direction of the north. There he assembled them in a house which had been duly furnished near the shore-a magnificent building in a very quiet situation-and invited the men to carry out the work of translation, all that they would require being handsomely provided.
302οἱ δὲ ἐπετέλουν ἕκαστα σύμφωνα ποιοῦντες πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς ταῖς ἀντιβολαῖς· τὸ δὲ ἐκ τῆς συμφωνίας γινόμενον πρεπόντως ἀναγραφῆς οὕτως ἐτύγχανε παρὰ τοῦ Δημητρίου.They set to completing their several tasks, reaching agreement among themselves on each by comparing versions. The result of their agreement thus was made into a fair copy by Demetrius.
303καὶ μέχρι μὲν ὥρας ἐνάτης τὰ τῆς συνεδρείας ἐγίνετο· μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα περὶ τὴν τοῦ σώματος θεραπείαν ἀπελύοντο γίνεσθαι, χορηγουμένων αὐτοῖς δαψιλῶς ὧν προῃροῦντο πάντων.The business of their meeting occupied them until the ninth hour, after which they were free for bodily rest and relaxation, everything which they desired being furnished on a lavish scale.
304ἐκτὸς δὲ καὶ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν, ὅσα βασιλεῖ παρεσκευάζετο, καὶ τούτοις ὁ Δωρόθεος ἐπετέλει· προστεταγμένον γὰρ ἦν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βασιλέως. ἅμα δὲ τῇ πρωΐᾳ παρεγίνοντο εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν, καὶ ποιησάμενοι τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τοῦ βασιλέως, ἀπελύοντο πρὸς τὸν ἑαυτῶν τόπον.Apart from all this, Dorotheus also provided for them all that was prepared for the king-this was the order which he had received from the king. At the first hour of the day they attended the court daily, and after offering salutations to the king, retired to their own quarters.
305ὡς δὲ ἔθος ἐστὶ πᾶσι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις, {ἀπονιψάμενοι} τῇ θαλάσσῃ τὰς χεῖρας, ὡς ἂν εὔξωνται πρὸς τὸν θεόν, ἐτρέποντο πρὸς τὴν ἀνάγνωσιν καὶ τὴν ἑκάστου διασάφησιν.Following the custom of all the Jews, they washed their hands in the sea in the course of their prayers to God, and then proceeded to the reading and explication of each point.
306Ἐπηρώτησα δὲ καὶ τοῦτο Τίνος χάριν ἀπονιζόμενος τὰς χεῖρας τὸ τηνικαῦτα εὔχονται; διεσάφουν δέ, ὅτι μαρτύριόν ἐστι τοῦ μηδὲν εἰργάσθαι κακόν· πᾶσα γὰρ ἐνέργεια διὰ τῶν χειρῶν γίνεται· καλῶς καὶ ὁσίως μεταφέροντες ἐπὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην καὶ τὴν ἀλήθειαν πάντα.I asked this question: "What is their purpose in washing their hands while saying their prayers?" They explained that it is evidence that they have done no evil, for all activity takes place by means of the hands. Thus they nobly and piously refer everything to righteousness and truth.
307καθὼς δὲ προειρήκαμεν, οὕτως καθ᾽ ἑκάστην εἰς τὸν τόπον, ἔχοντα τερπνότητα διὰ τὴν ἠσυχίαν καὶ καταύγειαν, συναγόμενοι τὸ προκείμενον ἐπετέλουν. συνέτυχε δὲ οὕτως ἐν ἡμέραις ἑβδομήκοντα δυσὶ τελειωθῆναι τὰ τῆς μεταγραφῆς, οἱονεὶ κατὰ πρόθεσίν τινα τοῦ τοιούτου γεγενημένου.In this way, as we said previously, each day they assembled in their quarters, which were pleasantly situated for quiet and light, and proceeded to fulfill their prescribed task. The outcome was such that in seventy-two days the business of translation was completed, just as if such a result was achieved by some deliberate design.
308Τελείωσιν δὲ ὅτε ἔλαβε, συναγαγὼν ὁ Δημήτριος τὸ πλῆθος τῶν Ἰουδαίων εἰς τὸν τόπον, οὗ καὶ τὰ τῆς ἑρμηνείας ἐτελέσθη, παρανέγνω πᾶσι, παρόντων καὶ τῶν διερμηνευσάντων, οἵτινες μεγάλης ἀποδοχῆς καὶ παρὰ τοῦ πλήθους ἔτυχον, ὡς ἂνμεγάλων ἀγαθῶν παραίτιοι γεγονότες.When it was completed, Demetrius assembled the company of the Jews in the place where the task of the translation had been finished, and read it to all, in the presence of the translators, who received a great ovation from the crowded audience for being responsible for great blessings.
309ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ τὸν Δημήτριον ἀποδεξάμενοι παρεκάλεσαν μεταδοῦναι τοῖς ἡγουμένοις αὐτῶν, μεταγράψαντα τὸν πάντα νόμον.Likewise also they gave an ovation to Demetrius and asked him, now that he had transcribed the whole Law, to give a copy to their leaders.
310καθὼς δὲ ἀνεγνώσθη τὰ τεύχη, στάντες οἱ ἱερεῖς καὶ τῶν ἑρμηνέων οἱ πρεσβύτεροι καὶ τῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ πολιτεύματος οἵ τε ἡγούμενοι τοῦ πλήθους εἶπον Ἐπεὶ καλῶς καὶ ὁσίως διηρμήνευται καὶ κατὰ πᾶν ἠκριβωμένως, καλῶς ἔχον ἐστίν, ἵνα διαμείνῃ ταῦθ᾽ οὕτως ἔχοντα, καὶ μὴ γένηται μηδεμία διασκευή.As the books were read, the priests stood up, with the elders from among the translators and from the representatives of the "Community," and with the leaders of the people, and said, "Since this version has been made rightly and reverently, and in every respect accurately, it is good that this should remain exactly so, and that there should be no revision."
311πάντων δ᾽ ἐπιφωνησάντων τοῖς εἰρημένοις, ἐκέλευσαν διαράσασθαι, καθὼς ἔθος αὐτοῖς ἐστιν, εἴ τις διασκευάσει προστιθεὶς ἢ μεταφέρων τι τὸ σύνολον τῶν γεγραμμένων ἢ ποιούμενος ἀφαίρεσιν, καλῶς τούτο πράσσοντες, ἵνα διὰ παντὸς ἀένναα καὶ μένοντα φυλάσσηται.There was general approval of what they said, and they commanded that a curse should be laid, as was their custom, on anyone who should alter the version by any addition or change to any part of the written text, or any deletion either. This was a good step taken, to ensure that the words were preserved completely and permanently in perpetuity.
312Προσφωνηθέντων δὲ καὶ τούτων τῷ βασιλεῖ μεγάλως ἐχάρη· τὴν γὰρ πρόθεσιν, ἣν εἴχεν, ἀσφαλῶς ἔδοξε τετελειῶσθαι. παρανεγνώσθη δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ πάντα, καὶ λίαν ἐξεθαύμασε τὴν τοῦ νομοθέτου διάνοιαν. καὶ πρὸς τὸν Δημήτριον εἶπε Πῶς τηλικούτων συντετελεσμένων οὐδεὶς ἐπεβάλετο τῶν ἱστορικῶν ἢ ποιητῶν ἐπιμνησθῆναι;When the king received messages about these events, he rejoiced greatly, because it seemed that the purpose which he shared had been safely accomplished. All of the version was read by him, and he marveled profoundly at the genius of the lawgiver. He said to Demetrius, "How is it that after such great works were (originally) completed, none of the historians or poets took it upon himself to refer to them?"
313ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔφη Διὰ τὸ σεμνὴν εἶναι τὴν νομοθεσίαν καὶ διὰ θεοῦ γεγονέναι· καὶ τῶν ἐπιβαλλομένων τινὲς ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πληγέντες τῆς ἐπιβολῆς ἀπέστησαν.He said, "Because the legislation was holy and had come from God, and indeed, some of those who made the attempt were smitten by God, and refrained from their design."
314καὶ γὰρ ἔφησεν ἀκηκοέναι Θεοπόμπου, διότι μέλλων τινὰ τῶν προηρμηνευμένων ἐπισφαλέστερον ἐκ τοῦ νόμου προσιστορεῖν ταραχὴν λάβοι τῆς διανοίας πλεῖον ἡμερῶν τριάκοντα· κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἄνεσιν ἐξιλάσκεσθαι τὸν θεόν, σαφὲς αὐτῷ γενέσθαι, τίνος χάριν τὸ συμβαῖνόν ἐστι.Moreover, he said that he had heard Theopompus declare that, just when he was about to quote in a misleading way some of the previously translated passages from the Law, he had a mental upset for more than thirty days; at its abatement, he besought God to make clear to him the cause of this occurrence.
315δι᾽ ὀνείρου δὲ σημανθέντος, ὅτι τὰ θεῖα βούλεται περιεργασάμενος εἰς κοινοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐκφέρειν, ἀποσχόμενον δὲ οὕτως ἀποκαταστῆναι.It was revealed to him in a dream that it was due to his meddlesome desire to disclose the things of God to common man, and then-he said-he ceased and so recovered.
316καὶ παρὰ Θεοδέκτου δὲ τοῦ τῶν τραγῳδιῶν ποιητοῦ μετέλαβον ἐγώ, διότι παραφέρειν μέλλοντός τι τῶν ἀναγεγραμμένων ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ πρός τι δρᾶμα τὰς ὄψες ἀπεγλαυκώθη· καὶ λαβὼν ὑπόνοιαν, ὅτι διὰ τοῦτ᾽ αὐτῷ τὸ σύμπτωμα γέγονεν, ἐξιλασάμενος τὸν θεὸν ἐν πολλαῖς ἡμέραις ἀποκατέστη.I have also received from Theodectus the tragic poet (the report) that when he was about to include in a play a passage from what is written in the Bible, he was afflicted with cataract of the eyes. He suspected that this was why the affliction had befallen him, so he besought God for many days and recovered.
317Μεταλαβὼν δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς, καθὼς προεῖπον, περὶ τούτων τὰ παρὰ τοῦ Δημητρίου, προσκυνήσας ἐκέλευσε μεγάλην ἐπιμέλειαν ποιεῖσθαι τῶν βιβλίων καὶ συντηρεῖν ἁγνῶς.When the king had received, as I previously mentioned, Demetrius' account on these matters, he bowed and gave orders for great care to be taken of the books and for their hallowed preservation.
318παρακαλέσας δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἑρμηνεῖς, ἵνα παραγίνωνται πυκνότερον πρὸς αὐτόν, ἐὰν ἀποκατασταθῶσιν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίων,—δίκαιον γὰρ εἶπε τὴν ἐκπομπὴν αὐτῶν γενέσθαι· παραγενηθέντες δέ, ὡς θέμις, ἕξειν αὐτοὺς φίλου·, καὶ {πολυωρία} τῆς μεγίστης τεύξεσθαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ.He invited the translators to visit him often after their return to Judea. It was, he said, only fair for their departure to take place, but when they returned he would, as was right, treat them as friends, and they would receive the most liberal hospitality at his hands.
319τὰ δὲ πρὸς τὴν ἐκπομπὴν αὐτῶν ἐκέλευσεν ἑτοιμάζειν, μεγαλομερῶς τοῖς ἀνδράσι χρησάμενος. ἑκάστῳ γὰρ στολὰς ἔδωκε τῶν κρατίστων τρεῖς καὶ χρυσίου τάλαντα δύο καὶ κυλίκιον ταλάντου καὶ τρικλίνου πᾶσαν κατάστρωσιν.He ordered preparations to be made for their departure, and treated the men magnificently, presenting to each one three robes of the finest materials, two talents of gold, a cup worth a talent, and complete furnishing for a dining room.
320ἔπεμψε δὲ καὶ τῷ Ἐλεαζάρῳ μετὰ τῆς ἐκπομπῆς αὐτῶν ἀργυρόποδας κλίνας δέκα καὶ τὰ ἀκόλουθα πάντα καὶ κυλίκιον ταλάντων τριάκοντα καὶ στολὰς δέκα καὶ πορφύραν καὶ στέφανον διαπρεπῆ καὶ βυσσίνων ὀθονίων ἱστοὺς ἑκατὸν καὶ φιάλας καὶ τρυβλία καὶ κρατῆρας χρυσοῦς δύο πρὸς ἀνάθεσιν.He also sent to Eleazar, along with their luggage, ten silver-footed couches, with all accessories to go with them, a cup worth thirty talents, ten robes, purple cloth, a magnificent crown, one hundred lengths of finest linen, vessels, bowls, and two golden goblets for a dedication.
321ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ παρακαλῶν, ἵνα, ἐάν τινες τῶν ἀνδρῶν προαιρῶνται πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀνακομισθῆναι, μὴ κωλύσῃ, περὶ πολλοῦ ποιούμενος τοῖς πεπαιδευμένοις συνεῖναι, καὶ εἰς τοιούτους τὸν πλοῦτον κατατίθεσθαι δαψιλῶς, καὶ οὐκ εἰς μάταια.He also wrote with an invitation that if any of the men desired to return to him, there would be no impediment, because he attached great importance to the company of men of culture, and invested his wealth liberally in such men, and not in useless expenditure.
322Σὺ δέ, καθὼς ἐπηγγειλάμην, ἀπέχεις τὴν διήγησιν, ὦ Φιλόκρατες. τέρπειν γὰρ οἴομαί σε ταῦτα ἢ τὰ τῶν μυθολόγων βιβλία. νένευκας γὰρ πρὸς περιεργίαν τῶν δυναμένων ὠφελεῖν διάνοιαν, καὶ ἐν τούτοις τὸν πλείονα χρόνον διατελεῖς. πειράσομαι δὲ καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν ἀξιολόγων ἀναγράφειν, ἵνα διαπορευόμενος αὐτὰ κομίζῃ τοῦ βουλήματος τὸ κάλλιστον ἔπαθλον.There you have, Philocrates, as I promised, my narrative. These matters I think delight you more than the books of the mythologists, for your inclination lies in the direction of concern for things that benefit the mind, and to them you devote the greater time. I will also attempt to write down the remainder of what is worthwhile, in order that in going through it you may achieve the very noble reward of your purpose.

Manuscript of the letter of Aristeas