Solon, Fragments

LCL 258: 108-109

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Elegiac Poetry


1–3. Σαλαμίς

1 Plut. Sol. 8.1–3

ἐπεὶ δὲ μακρόν τινα καὶ δυσχερῆ πόλεμον οἱ ἐν ἄστει περὶ τῆς Σαλαμινίων νήσου Μεγαρεῦσι πολεμοῦντες ἐξέκαμον, καὶ νόμον ἔθεντο μήτε γράψαι τινὰ μήτ᾿ εἰπεῖν αὖθις ὡς χρὴ τὴν πόλιν ἀντιποιεῖσθαι τῆς Σαλαμῖνος, ἢ θανάτῳ ζημιοῦσθαι, βαρέως φέρων τὴν ἀδοξίαν ὁ Σόλων καὶ τῶν νέων ὁρῶν πολλοὺς δεομένους ἀρχῆς ἐπὶ τὸν πόλεμον, αὐτοὺς δὲ μὴ θαρροῦντας ἄρξασθαι διὰ τὸν νόμον, ἐσκήψατο μὲν ἔκστασιν τῶν λογισμῶν, καὶ λόγος εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας διεδόθη παρακινητικῶς ἔχειν αὐτόν· ἐλεγεῖα δὲ κρύφα συνθεὶς καὶ μελετήσας ὥστε λέγειν




1–3. Salamis

1 Plutarch, Life of Solon

When the Athenians grew tired of waging a long and difficult war with Megara over the island Salamis, they passed a law that in future no one, on pain of death, was to propose in writing or orally that the city should lay claim to Salamis. Solon found the disgrace hard to bear and when he saw that many of the young men wanted to renew the war, but lacked the courage to do so themselves because of the law, he pretended to be out of his mind and word was passed from his household to the city that he showed signs of madness. He secretly composed elegiac verses and after practising so as to recite them from memory, he suddenly

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.solon-fragments.1999