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Dio Chrysostom

ΔΙΩΝ ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΣ

12. ΟΛΥΜΠΙΚΟΣ Η ΠΕΡΙ ΤΗΣ ΠΡΩΤΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΝΝΟΙΑΣ

1Ἀλλ᾿ ἦ τὸ λεγόμενον, ὦ ἄνδρες, ἐγὼ καὶ παρ᾿ ὑμῖν καὶ παρ᾿ ἑτέροις πλείοσι πέπονθα τὸ τῆς γλαυκὸς ἄτοπον καὶ παράδοξον πάθος; ἐκείνην γὰρ οὐδὲν σοφωτέραν αὐτῶν οὖσαν οὐδὲ βελτίω τὸ εἶδος, ἀλλὰ τοιαύτην ὁποίαν ἴσμεν, ὅταν δήποτε φθέγξηται λυπηρὸν καὶ οὐδαμῶς ἡδύ, περιέπουσι τὰ ἄλλα ὄρνεα, καὶ ὅταν γε ἴδῃ μόνον, τὰ μὲν καθιζόμενα ἐγγύς, τὰ δὲ κύκλῳ περιπετόμενα, ὡς μὲν ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ, καταφρονοῦντα τῆς φαυλότητος καὶ τῆς ἀσθενείας· οἱ δὲ ἄνθρωποί φασιν ὅτι θαυμάζει τὴν γλαῦκα τὰ ὄρνεα.

2Πῶς δὲ οὐ τὸν ταῶ μᾶλλον ὁρῶντα θαυμάζει, καλὸν οὕτω καὶ ποικίλον, ἔτι δ᾿ αὖ τοι1 ἐπαιρόμενον

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The Twelfth, Or Olympic, Discourse

Dio Chrysostom

The Olympic Discourse: or, on Man’s First Conception of God

Can it be, Sirs, that here before you, just as before many another audience—to use a familiar saying1—I have met with the strange and inexplicable experience of the owl? For though she is no whit wiser than the other birds nor more beautiful in appearance, but on the contrary only what we know her to be, yet whenever she utters her mournful and far from pleasing note, they all flock to her2—yes, and even when they merely see her, some alighting near and others circling about her, the reason being, as it seems to me, that they look with scorn upon her insignificance and weakness; and yet people in general say that the birds admire the owl.

Surely, however, the birds ought rather to admire the peacock when they see him, beautiful and many-coloured as he is, and then again truly when he lifts

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dio_chrysostom-discourses_12_mans_first_conception_god.1939