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The proselyte · 3591 dagen geleden by Ad van den Ende

THE PROSELYTE (ca. 450 – 440 B.C.)

Herodotus 4, 78-80


[1] Ἀριαπείθεϊ (γὰρ) τῷ Σκυθέων βασιλέι
For Ariapeithes the king of the Scythians
γίνεται μετ᾽ ἄλλων παίδων Σκύλης·
is born with other sons Skyles.
ἐξ Ἰστριηνῆς δὲ γυναικὸς οὗτος γίνεται
of a woman who was of Istria he was born,
καὶ οὐδαμῶς ἐγχωρίης·
and certainly not a native (of Scythia);
τὸν ἡ μήτηρ αὕτη γλῶσσάν τε Ἑλλάδα
him this mother taught the language of Hellas
καὶ γράμματα ἐδίδαξε.
and the letters (of Hellas).

[2] μετὰ δὲ χρόνῳ ὕστερον
Afterwards in course of time
Ἀριαπείθης μὲν τελευτᾷ δόλῳ
Ariapeithes died by treachery
ὑπὸ Σπαργαπείθεος
at the hands of Spargapeithes
τοῦ Ἀγαθύρσων βασιλέος,
the king of the Agathyrsians,
Σκύλης δὲ τήν τε βασιληίην παρέλαβε
and Skyles took the kingdom
καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ πατρός, τῇ οὔνομα ἦν Ὀποίη·
and also the wife of his father;
ἦν δὲ αὕτη ἡ Ὀποίη ἀστή,
she was Opoia, a native (Scythian),
ἐξ ἧς ἦν Ὄρικος Ἀριαπείθεϊ παῖς.
from her was born Oricos to Ariapeithes.

[3] βασιλεύων δὲ Σκυθέων ὁ Σκύλης
Now when Skyles was king of the Scythians,
διαίτῃ οὐδαμῶς ἠρέσκετο Σκυψικῇ,
he by no means was satisfied with the Scythian manner of life,
ἀλλὰ πολλὸν πρὸς τὰ Ἑλληνικὰ μᾶλλον τετραμμένος ἦν
but was much more inclined towards Hellenic ways
ἀπὸ παιδεύσιος τῆς ἐπεπαίδευτο,
because of the education with which he had been brought up,
εὖτε ἀγάγοι τὴν στρατιὴν τὴν Σκυθέων
ἐποίεέ τε τοιοῦτο·
and he used to do this:

ἐς τὸ Βορυσθενειτέων ἄστυ
to the city of the Borysthenites
(οἱ δὲ Βορυσθενεῖ̈ται οὗτοι λέγουσι
(these Borysthenites say
σφέας αὐτοὺς εἶναι Μιλησίους),
that they are of Miletos)
ἐς τούτους ὅκως ἔλθοι ὁ Σκύλης,
as soon as Skyles came to these,
τὴν μὲν στρατιὴν καταλίπεσκε ἐν τῷ προαστείῳ,
he left his band in the environs,

[4] αὐτὸς δὲ ὅκως ἔλθοι ἐς τὸ τεῖχος
ad he himself, as soon as he came to the wall
καὶ τὰς πύλας ἐγκλῄσειε,
and the gates closed,
τὴν στολὴν ἀποθέμενος τὴν Σκυθικὴν
having laid aside his Scythian equipments
λάβεσκε ἂν Ἑλληνίδα ἐσθῆτα,
he would take Hellenic dress,

ἔχων δ᾽ ἂν ταύτην ἠγόραζε
and wearing them he would frequent the market-place
οὔτε δορυφόρων ἑπομένων
with no lance-bearers following (him),
οὔτε ἄλλου οὐδενός· τὰς δὲ πύλας ἐφύλασσον,
nor any other watched the gates,
μή τίς μιν Σκυθέων ἴδοι
that none of the Scythians might see him
ἔχοντα ταύτην τὴν στολήν·
wearing this dress;
καὶ τά τε ἄλλα ἐχρᾶτο διαίτη Ἑλληνικῇ
aso in other respects he adopted Hellenic manners of life,
καὶ θεοῖσι ἱρὰ ἐποίεε
and to the gods he used to perform worship
κατὰ νόμους τοὺς Ἑλλήνων.
according to the customs of the Hellenes.

[5] ὅτε δὲ διατρίψειε μῆνα ἡ πλέον τούτου,
When he had stayed a month or more than that,
ἀπαλλάσσετο ἐνδὺς τὴν Σκυθικὴν στολήν.
he went away having put on the Scythian dress.
ταῦτα ποιέεσκε πολλάκις
This he did often,
καὶ οἰκία τε ἐδείματο ἐν Βορυσθένεϊ
and he both built a house in Borysthenes
καὶ γυναῖκα ἔγημε ἐς αὐτὰ ἐπιχωρίην.
and took to it as his wife a woman of the place.

LXXIX. [1] ἐπείτε δὲ ἔδεέ
Because however it was fated
οἱ κακῶς γενέσθαι,
that evil should happen to him,
ἐγίνετο ἀπὸ προφάσιος τοιῆσδε.
it happened by this occasion:
ἐπεθύμησε Διονύσῳ Βακχείῳ τελεσθῆναι·
he wished to be initiated in the rites of Bacchus-Dionysos,
μέλλοντι δέ οἱ ἐς χεῖρας ἄγεσθαι τὴν τελετὴν
and as he was just about to receive the initiation,
ἐγένετο φάσμα μέγιστον.
there happened a very great portent.

[2] ἦν οἱ ἐν Βορυσθενεϊτέων τῇ πόλι
He had in the city of the Borysthenites
οἰκίης μεγάλης καὶ πολυτελέος περιβολή,
the size of a great house and of great expense,
τῆς καὶ ὀλίγῳ τι πρότερον τούτων μνήμην εἶχον,
of which also a little before this I made mention ,
τὴν πέριξ λευκοῦ λίθου σφίγγες
round which sphinxes of white marble
τε καὶ γρῦπες ἕστασαν·
and griffins were placed;

ἐς ταύτην ὁ θεὸς ἐνέσκηψε βέλος.
upon this the god let fall a thunderbolt;
καὶ ἣ μὲν κατεκάη πᾶσα,
and it burnt down altogether,
Σκύλης δὲ οὐδὲν τούτου εἵνεκα ἧσσον
but Skyles none the less for this
ἐπετέλεσε τὴν τελετήν.
completed his initiation.

[3] Σκύθαι δὲ τοῦ βακχεύειν
Now the Scythians, from being in exstasy,
πέρι Ἕλλησι ὀνειδίζουσι·
make a reproach against the Hellenes;
οὐ γὰρ φασὶ οἰκὸς εἶναι
for they say that it is not fitting
θεὸν ἐξευρίσκειν τοῦτον
to invent such a god,
ὅστις μαίνεσθαι ἐνάγει ἀνθρώπους.
who impels men to frenzy.

[4] ἐπείτε δὲ ἐτελέσθη τῷ Βακχείῳ ὁ Σκύλης,
So when Skyles had been initiated into the rites of Bacchus,
διεπρήστευσε τῶν τις Βορυσθενειτέων
one of the Borysthenites did give a shock
πρὸς τοὺς Σκύθας λέγων
to the Scythians, saying:

«ἡμῖν γὰρ καταγελᾶτε, ὦ Σκύθαι,
“Why do you laugh at us, o Scythians,
ὅτι βακχεύομεν
because we perform the rite of Bacchus
καὶ ἡμέας ὁ θεὸς λαμβάνει·
and the god seizes us,

νῦν οὗτος ὁ δαίμων
now this divinity
καὶ τὸν ὑμέτερον βασιλέα λελάβηκε,
also your king has seized,
καὶ βακχεύει
and he performs the rite of Bacchus
τε καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ μαίνεται.
and by the influence of the god he maddened.

εἰ δέ μοι ἀπιστέετε, ἕπεσθε,
If you disbelieve me, follow
καὶ ὑμῖν ἐγὼ δέξω.»
and I will show you.”

[5] εἵποντο τῶν Σκύθεων οἱ προεστεῶτες,
They followed, the chief men of the Scythians,
καὶ αὐτοὺς ἀναγαγὼν ὁ Βορυσθενεΐτης λάθρῃ
and the Borysthenite leading them secretly up ἐπὶ πύργον κατεῖσε.
Posted them upon a tower.

ἐπείτε δὲ παρήιε σὺν τῷ θιάσῳ ὁ Σκύλης
So when Skyles passed by with the procession
καὶ εἶδόν μιν βακχεύοντα οἱ Σκύθαι,
and the Scythians saw him performing the rite of Bacchus,
κάρτα συμφορὴν μεγάλην ἐποιήσαντο,
they took it as a very grave calamity;
ἐξελθόντες δὲ ἐσήμαινον πάσῃ τῇ στρατιῇ
and having gone out they declared to the whole band
τὰ ἴδοιεν.
that which they had seen.

LXXX. [1] ὡς δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα
When, after this,
ἐξήλαυνε ὁ Σκύλης ἐς ἤθεα τὰ ἑωυτοῦ,
Skyles was riding out to his own camping grounds,
οἱ Σκύθαι προστησάμενοι
the Scythians, having taken for their leader
τὸν ἀδελφεὸν αὐτοῦ Ὀκταμασάδην,
his brother Octamasades,
γεγονότα ἐκ τῆς Τήρεω θυγατρός,
born out of the daughter of Teres,
ἐπανιστέατο τῷ Σκύλῃ.
made insurrection against Skyles.

[2] ὁ δὲ μαθὼν τὸ γινόμενον ἐπ᾽ ἑωυτῷ
He then, having perceived that which was being done to him
καὶ τὴν αἰτίην δι᾽ ἣν ἐποιέετο,
and the reason for which it was done,
καταφεύγει ἐς τὴν Θρηίκην.
fled for refuge to Thrace;

πυθόμενος δὲ ὁ Ὀκταμασάδης ταῦτα
and Octamasades, having heard that,
ἐστρατεύετο ἐπὶ τὴν Θρηίκην.
marched upon Thrace.

ἐπείτε δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ Ἴστρῳ ἐγένετο,
So when he had arrived at the (river) Ister
ἠντίασάν μιν οἱ Θρήικες,
approached him the Thracians;
μελλόντων δὲ αὐτῶν συνάψειν
and as they were about to engage battle
ἔπεμψε Σιτάλκης παρὰ τὸν Ὀκταμασάδην
Sitalkes sent (a messenger) to Octamasades,
λέγων τοιάδε.
saying this:

[3] «τι δεῖ ἡμέας ἀλλήλων πειρηθῆναι;
“Why must we make trial of one another in fight?
εἶς μέν μευ τῆς ἀδελφεῆς παῖς,
You are the son of my sister,
ἔχεις δέ μευ ἀδελφεόν.
and you have my brother.
σὺ δέ μοι ἀπόδος τοῦτον,
You give him back to me,
καὶ ἐγὼ σοὶ τὸν σὸν Σκύλην παραδίδωμι·
and I deliver to you your (brother) Skyles;
στρατιῇ δὲ μήτε σὺ κινδυνεύσῃς μήτ᾽ ἐγώ.»
Let you not set your armie in danger, nor I (mine).

[4] ταῦτά οἱ πέμψας
That, having sent him (a messenger)
ὁ Σιτάλκης ἐπεκηρυκεύετο·
Sitalkes proposed;
ἦν γὰρ παρὰ τῷ Ὀκταμασάδη
for there was with Octamasades
ἀδελφεὸς Σιτάλκεω πεφευγώς.
a brother of Sitalkes, who had gone into exile.
ὁ δὲ Ὀκταμασάδης καταινέει ταῦτα,
And Octamasades agreed to that,
ἐκδοὺς δὲ τὸν ἑωυτοῦ μήτρωα Σιτάλκη
and by giving up his own mother’s brother to Sitalkes
ἔλαβε τὸν ἀδελφεὸν Σκύλην.
he received his brother Skyles.

[5] καὶ Σιτάλκης μὲν παραλαβὼν τὸν ἀδελφεὸν
and Sitalkes, having received his brother,
led him away;
Σκύλεω δὲ Ὀκταμασάδης αὐτοῦ ταύτῃ ἀπέταμε
Octamasades cut off of Skyles there upon the spot
τὴν κεφαλήν.
the head.

οὕτω μὲν περιστέλλουσι τὰ σφέτερα νόμαια Σκύθαι,
So the Scythians carefully guard their own constitutions,
τοῖσι δὲ παρακτωμένοισι ξεινικοὺς νόμους
and to those who acquire foreign customs
τοιαῦτα ἐπιτίμια διδοῦσι. 
such penalties they give.