The Works of Lucian

ἔργῳ δὲ πῶς; κλάουσιν ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὴν αὑτῶν τύχην ὀδύρονται καὶ Κάδμῳ καταρῶνται πολλάκις, ὅτι τὸ Ταῦ ἐς τὸ τῶν στοιχείων γένος παρήγαγε· τῷ γὰρ τούτου σώματί φασι τοὺς τυράννους ἀκολουθήσαντας καὶ μιμησαμένους αὐτοῦ τὸ πλάσμα ἔπειτα σχήματι τοιούτῳ ξύλα τεκτήναντας ἀνθρώπους ἀνασκολοπίζειν ἐπ᾿ αὐτά· ἀπὸ δὲ1 τούτου καὶ τῷ τεχνήματι τῷ πονηρῷ τὴν πονηρὰν ἐπωνυμίαν συνελθεῖν. τούτων οὖν ἁπάντων ἕνεκα πόσων θανάτων τὸ Ταῦ ἄξιον εἶναι νομίζετε; ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ οἶμαι δικαίως τοῦτο μόνον ἐς τὴν τοῦ Ταῦ τιμωρίαν ὑπολείπεσθαι, τὸ τῷ σχήματι τῷ αὑτοῦ τὴν δίκην ὑποσχεῖν.2


The Consonants at Law

speech is concerned, but look at the material injury he has done them! Men weep and bewail their lot and curse Cadmus over and over for putting Tau into the alphabet, for they say that their tyrants, following his figure and imitating his. build, have fashioned timbers in the same shape and crucify men upon them; and that it is from him that the sorry device gets its sorry name (stauros, cross). For all this do you not think that Tau deserves to die many times over? As for me, I hold that in all justice we can only punish Tau by making a T of him. 1

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lucian-consonants_law.1913