Diagorus, Fragments

LCL 461: 344-345

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Greek Lyric



738 Philodem. De Piet. (p. 85s. Gomperz: v. A. Henrichs, Cronache ercolanesi 4 (1974) 21s.)

. . . ἀνθρ[ο][ι]δεῖς γὰρ ἐκεῖνό ε <οὐ> νομίζουσιν ἀλλὰ ἀρας αὶ πύματα αὶ αθέρας, ὥστ᾿ ἔγωγε [κ]ἂ̣ τεθαρ[ρ]ηκότως εἴπαιμι τούτους Διαγόρου [μ]ᾶλλον πληνμελεῖν· ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἔπαεν, εἴπερ ἄρα καὶ τοῦθ᾿ ὑ[γι]ς ἐστ[ι] λ᾿ οὐκ ἐπεννεκται, αθάπ[ερ ἐ] τοῖς Μα[ν]ινέων Ἔθε[σ]ιν Ἀριστόξενός φησιν (fr. 127a Wehrli), ἐν δὲ τῆι ποιήσει τῆι μόνηι δοκούσηι κατ᾿ ἀλήθειαν ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ γεγφθαι τ[ο]ῖς ὅλοις οὐ[δ]ὲν ἀσεβὲς παρενέφ[ην]εν ἀλλ᾿ ἐστὶν εὔφημος ὡς [π]ητὴς εἰς τὸ δ[α]ιμόνιον, καθάπερ ἄλλα τε μαρτυρεῖ καὶ τὸ γεγρα[μ]μένον εἰς Ἀριάνθην τὸν Ἀργεῖον·

(1) θεὸς θεὸς πρὸ παντὸς ἔργου βροτείο[υ] νωμᾶι φρέν᾿ ὑπερτάταν, <αὐτοδαὴς δ᾿ ἀρετὰ βραχὺν οἶμον ἕρπει>,

καὶ τὸ εἰς Νκόδωρον τὸν Μαντινέα·

(2) κατὰ δαίμονα καὶ τύχαν τὰ πάντα βροτοῖσιν ἐκτελεῖται.

τὰ πααπλήσια δ᾿ αὐτῶνι ερ[έ] [καὶ τ]ὸ Μαντινέω[ν] ἐκώμιον.

cf. Didym. Alexandr. De Trinit. III 1 (P.G. 39. 784s.) ὥς που καὶ Διαγόρας ὁ Μήλιος ἔφησεν· θεὸς πρὸ παντὸς ἔργου βροτείου νομαφρενα (sic) ὑπερτάταν· αὐτοδαὴς δεαρεταβραχυν (sic) οἶμον ἕρπειν.

(1) 3 ἕρπει Mingarelli (2) 2 Schneidewin: ἐκτελεῖσθαι Philodem.




738 Philodemus, On Piety

For they (sc. the Stoics) do not regard the gods as having human form but as airs and breaths and skies; and so I can confidently assert that their offence is greater than that of Diagoras: for Diagoras spoke in jest—if indeed this1 is correct, not merely imputed to him as Aristoxenus has it in his Customs of the Mantineans; in his poetry, on the other hand, which alone seems genuinely to have been composed by him, he gave not the slightest hint of impiety, but speaks of divinity with a poet’s reverence. His lines to Arianthes of Argos are particularly good evidence:

(1) It is God, God, who wields his supreme mind before any mortal deed is done; man’s excellence of itself makes little headway2;

and by his words to Nicodorus3 of Mantinea:

(2) It is in accordance with God and fortune that all the deeds of mortals are performed.

There is similar material in his Encomium of the Mantineans.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diagorus-fragments.1992