Monday, April 4, 2011

Image: Demades Orator et Fabella


M0870 - M0871 - M0872

871. Demades Orator et Fabella. Demades orator, cum Athenis olim contionem haberet, nec eum cives animis attentis audirent, sed potius, ut Aesopicam aliquam fabellam narraret, enixe rogarent, ita demum exorsus est: “Ceres, hirundo, et anguilla iter una faciebant. Cum vero ad quemdam fluvium pervenissent, hirundo quidem supervolavit, anguilla amnem subiit ...” Tum ipsis, quid Ceres egisset, interrogantibus, “Vobis,” inquit, “vehementer illa succensuit quod, rei publicae curis neglectis, Aesopicam fabulam lubentius audiatis.”


M0871 = Perry063. Source: De Furia 54. This is Perry 63. Demades (d. 319 BCE) was an Athenian orator and diplomat. The Aesop’s fable he uses to taunt his audience here is not attested elsewhere, so we don’t know what happened next, and Demades is of course mocking us across the centuries for our curiosity about that! Compare the fable where Demosthenes taunts his audience with an Aesop’s fable, #240.

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