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Isocrates

8.ΤΟΙΣ ΜΥΤΙΛΗΝΑΙΩΝ ΑΡΧΟΥΣΙΝ

Οἱ παῖδες οἱ Ἀφαρέως, ὑιδεῖς δ᾿ ἐμοί, παιδευθέντες ὑπ᾿ Ἀγήνορος τὰ περὶ τὴν μουσικήν, ἐδεήθησάν μου γράμματα πέμψαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ὅπως ἄν, ἐπειδὴ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τινὰς κατηγάγετε φυγάδων, καὶ τοῦτον καταδέξησθε καὶ τὸν πατέρα καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφούς. λέγοντος δέ μου πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι δέδοικα μὴ λίαν ἄτοπος εἶναι δόξω καὶ περίεργος, ζητῶν εὑρίσκεσθαι τηλικαῦτα τὸ μέγεθος παρ᾿ ἀνδρῶν οἷς οὐδὲ πώποτε πρότερον οὔτε διελέχθην οὔτε συνήθης ἐγενόμην, ἀκούσαντες ταῦτα πολὺ 2μᾶλλον ἐλιπάρουν. ὡς δ᾿ οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς ἀπέβαινεν ὧν ἤλπιζον, ἅπασιν ἦσαν καταφανεῖς ἀηδῶς διακείμενοι καὶ χαλεπῶς φέροντες. ὁρῶν δ᾿ αὐτοὺς λυπουμένους μᾶλλον τοῦ προσήκοντος, τελευτῶν ὑπεσχόμην γράψειν τὴν ἐπιστολὴν καὶ πέμψειν ὑμῖν. ὑπὲρ μὲν οὖν τοῦ μὴ δικαίως ἂν δοκεῖν μωρὸς εἶναι μηδ᾿ ὀχληρὸς ταῦτ᾿ ἔχω λέγειν.

3

Ἡγοῦμαι δὲ καλῶς ὑμᾶς βεβουλεῦσθαι καὶ διαλλαττομένους τοῖς πολίταις τοῖς ὑμετέροις, καὶ πειρωμένους τοὺς μὲν φεύγοντας ὀλίγους ποιεῖν, τοὺς δὲ συμπολιτευομένους πολλούς, καὶ μιμουμένους

460

To The Rulers Of The Mytilenaeans

Letter 8. To the Rulers of the Mytilenaeans

The sons of Aphareus,a my grandsons, who were instructed in music by Agenor,b have asked me to write to you and beg that, since you have restored some of the other exiles, you will also allow Agenor, his father, and his brothers to return home. When I told them that I feared I should appear ridiculous and meddlesome in seeking so great a favour from men with whom I have never before spoken or been acquainted, they, upon hearing my reply, were all the more insistent. And when they could obtain nothing of what they hoped, they clearly showed to all that they were displeased and sorely disappointed. So when I saw that they were unduly distressed I finally promised to write the letter and send it to you. That I may not justly seem foolish and irksome I make this explanation.

I think you have been well advised both in becoming reconciled to your fellow-citizens and, while trying to reduce the number of exiles, in increasing that of the participants in public life and also in imitating

  • aAphareus, son of the sophist Hippias and the son-in-law and adoptive son of Isocrates, was a tragic poet of some distinction.
  • bAgenor and his school were well known as musicians before Aristoxenus.
461
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.isocrates-letters_8_rulers_mytilenaeans.1945