ψυχῆς ἀγῶνα ὑπέμειναν, ὡς ἐγὼ εἰς χεῖρας ἐμπεσών, 2ὦ θεοί, τῆς μιαρωτάτης Φανομάχης. ἐπεὶ γὰρ ἔγνω τὸν ἑαυτῆς ἄνδρα προσκείμενον τῇ Ἰωνικῇ παιδίσκῃ τῇ τὰς σφαίρας ἀναρριπτούσῃ καὶ τὰς λαμπάδας περιδινούσῃ, ὑπετόπησεν ἐμὲ πρόξενον εἶναι τῆς κοινωνίας, καὶ διὰ τῶν οἰκετῶν ἀναρπάσασα παραχρῆμα μὲν ἐν κυσοδόχῃ δήσασα κατέσχεν, εἰς τὴν ὑστεραίαν δὲ παρὰ τὸν ἑαυτῆς ἦγε πατέρα, τὸν σκυθρωπὸν Κλεαίνετον, ὃς τὰ νῦν δὴ ταῦτα πρωτεύει τοῦ συνεδρίου καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν 3ὁ Ἄρειος πάγος ἀποβλέπουσιν. ἀλλ᾿ ὅταν τινὰ θέλωσιν οἱ θεοὶ σώζεσθαι, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀνασπῶσι βαράθρων,1 ὡς κἀμὲ τοῦ τρικαρήνου κυνός, ὅν φασιν ἐφεστάναι ταῖς ταρταρείαις2 πύλαις, ἐξήρπασαν. οὐκ ἔφθη γὰρ τὰ κατ᾿ ἐμὲ ὁ δεινὸς ἐκεῖνος πρεσβύτης τῇ βουλῇ κοινούμενος, καὶ ἠπιάλῳ συσχεθεὶς 4εἰς τὴν ἕνην3 ἀπέψυξε. καὶ ὁ μὲν ἐκτάδην κεῖται, πρὸς τὴν ἐκφορὰν τῶν οἴκοι παρασκευαζομένων, ἐγὼ δὲ4 ᾗ5 ποδῶν εἶχον ᾠχόμην καὶ σώζομαι, οὐχ ὑπὸ τοῦ τῆς Ἀτλαντίδος Μαίας παιδὸς ψυχαγωηθεὶς6 ἀλλ᾿ ὑπὸ τῶν ποδῶν καὶ τοῦ τολμήματος τὴν ἐλευθερίας7 πορίσας ἀτραπόν.8
so near to losing their lives as I did when I fell into the hands (ye gods!) of that loathsome Phanomache.a When she learned that her husband was attached to2 the Ionian lass who tosses balls and juggles torches, she suspected that I was the go-between in their intrigue, and with her servants’ aid she kidnapped me. For the moment she made me fast in the stocks, but the next day she took me to her father, the sullen Cleaenetus,a who at the present time holds first place in the Council and is highly regarded by the Areopagus. But when the gods wish to save a man they3 pluck him even out of the very Pit, and so it was that they snatched me away from the three-headed dog that they say stands guard at the gates of Tartarus. For that terrible old fellow had no more than laid my case before the Council when he was seized with an ague, and two days later he breathed his last.b And4 now his body is laid out and his household are preparing for the funeral. And as for me, I made off as fast as my feet could carry me. And here I am, safe and sound; I was not led down to the lower world by the son c of Atlas’ daughter Maia; no, my feet and my fearless spirit found me the path to freedom.
- aMeiser points out (Sitzungsb. 1905, p. 203) that in Lucian’s Navigium there is a Cleaenetus (§ 22) and a Phanomachus (§ 27).
- bIt is unnecessary to suppose that the first part of the letter was intended to give the effect of having been written before Cleaenetus’s death; perhaps Alciphron here, as in iv. 13, had no clear idea of the situation he was describing.
- cHermes, son of Maia and Zeus.