Xenophon of Athens, Hiero

LCL 183: 2-3

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Ι. Σιμωνίδης ὁ ποιητὴς ἀφίκετό ποτε πρὸς Ἱέρωνα τὸν τύραννον. σχολῆς δὲ γενομένης ἀμφοῖν εἶπεν ὁ Σιμωνίδης· Ἆρ᾿ ἄν μοι ἐθελήσαις, ὦ Ἱέρων, διηγήσασθαι ἃ εἰκὸς εἰδέναι σε βέλτιον ἐμοῦ;

Καὶ ποῖα ταῦτ᾿ ἐστίν, ἔφη ὁ Ἱέρων, ὁποῖα δὴ ἐγὼ βέλτιον ἂν εἰδείην σοῦ οὕτως ὄντος σοφοῦ ἀνδρός;

2Οἶδά σε, ἔφη, ἐγὼ καὶ ἰδιώτην γεγενημένον καὶ νῦν τύραννον ὄντα· εἰκὸς οὖν ἀμφοτέρων πεπειραμένον καὶ εἰδέναι σε μᾶλλον ἐμοῦ, πῆ διαφέρει ὁ τυραννικός τε καὶ ὁ1 ἰδιωτικὸς βίος εἰς εὐφροσύνας τε καὶ λύπας ἀνθρώποις.

3Τί οὖν, ἔφη ὁ Ἱέρων, οὐχὶ καὶ σύ, ἐπεὶ νῦν γε ἔτι ἰδιώτης εἶ, ὑπέμνησάς με τὰ ἐν τῷ ἰδιωτικῷ βίῳ; οὕτως γὰρ ἄν σοι οἶμαι μάλιστα ἐγὼ δύνασθαι δηλοῦν τὰ διαφέροντα ἐν ἑκατέρῳ.

4Οὕτω δὴ ὁ Σιμωνίδης εἶπε· Τοὺς μὲν δὴ ἰδιώτας ἔγωγε, ὦ Ἱέρων, δοκῶ μοι καταμεμαθηκέναι διὰ μὲν τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν ὁράμασιν ἡδομένους τε καὶ ἀχθομένους, διὰ δὲ τῶν ὤτων ἀκούσμασι, διὰ δὲ τῶν ῥινῶν ὀσμαῖς, διὰ δὲ τοῦ στόματος σίτοις τε καὶ ποτοῖς, τὰ δ᾿ ἀφροδίσια δι᾿ ὧν δὴ πάντες 5ἐπιστάμεθα· τὰ δὲ ψύχη καὶ θάλπη καὶ σκληρὰ καὶ μαλακὰ καὶ κοῦφα καὶ βαρέα ὅλῳ τῷ σώματί μοι δοκοῦμεν, ἔφη, κρίνοντες ἥδεσθαί τε


Hiero, i.

Xenophon’s Hiero

I. Simonides, the poet, once paid a visit to Hiero, the despot. When both found time to spare, Simonides said: “Hiero, will you please explain something to me that you probably know better than I?”

“And pray what is it,” said Hiero, “that I can know better than one so wise as yourself?”

“I know you were born a private citizen,” he2 answered, “and are now a despot. Therefore, as you have experienced both fortunes, you probably know better than I how the lives of the despot and the citizen differ as regards the joys and sorrows that fall to man’s lot.”

“Surely,” said Hiero, “seeing that you are still3 a private citizen, it is for you to remind me of what happens in a citizen’s life; and then, I think, I could best show you the differences between the two.”

“Well,” said Simonides, taking the suggestion,4 “I think I have observed that sights affect private citizens with pleasure and pain through the eyes, sounds through the ears, smells through the nostrils, meat and drink through the mouth, carnal appetites—of course we all know how. In the case of cold5 and heat, things hard and soft, light and heavy, our sensations of pleasure and pain depend on the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.xenophon_athens-hiero.1925