ὁ δ᾿ ἄρτι θάλλων σάρκα διοπετὴς ὅπως ἀστὴρ ἀπέσβη, πνεῦμ᾿ ἀφεὶς ἐς αἰθέρα.Plutarch, 416d and (ὁ δ᾿—ἀπέσβη) 1090b 2 ἀπέσβη Plut. 416d: ἀπέστη Plut. 1090b 972
πολλαῖσι μορφαῖς οἱ θεοὶ σοφισμάτων σφάλλουσιν ἡμᾶς κρείσσονες πεφυκότες.Plutarch, 20f and (in part) 431a; Stobaeus 3.3.36 973
μάντις δ᾿ ἄριστος ὅστις εἰκάζει καλῶς.Plutarch, 432c, paraphrased at 399a; Arrian, 7.16.6; Appian, 2.152; Cicero, 7.13.4, translated in 2.12; other citations 974
τῶν ἄγαν γὰρ ἅπτεται θεός, τὰ μικρὰ δ᾿ εἰς τύχην ἀφεὶς ἐᾷ.Plutarch, 811d, slightly adapted at 464a 2 ἀφεὶς Plut. 464a: ἀνεὶς Plut. 811c: παρεὶς Kannicht 975
χαλεποὶ πόλεμοι γὰρ ἀδελφῶν.Plutarch, 480d; Aristotle, 7.1328a15
The one whose bodily strength was flourishing just now is Quenched1 like a swift comet; he has given up his breath to the heaven.972
The gods trip us up with clever devices of many forms: for they are superior in nature.1973
The best prophet is one who figures things well.974
For the god seizes on excess, but lets small things pass and leaves them to chance.1975
Wars between brothers are cruel.1
- 1Paraphrased with ‘has passed away’ by Plutarch 1090b. Similar alternative readings at Medea 1218, where ‘breath to the heaven’ also occurs: cf. Chrysippus F 839.8–11, Suppliant Women 531–6. The fragment is assigned to Phaethon by some (cf. Pha. 214–5).
- 1The gods ‘trip us up’: Archelaus F 254.1, Auge F 273.
- 1For this commonplace cf. adesp. F 353 (Zeus), Cicero, Nature of the Gods 2.167. The variant readings have almost identical meaning.
- 1Probably from a choral passage (anapaestic metre), possibly from Telephus (cf. Tel. F 722–3 and perhaps 713).