Graham | 26 | Grad student researching ancient & modern slavery.

Here, I translate a bit, but I blog more regularly about my music addiction over at http://jotcamp.com

 

Hesiod, Works and Days, lines 619-20
 Πληιάδες σθένος ὄβριμον Ὠαρίωνος / φεύγουσαι πίπτωσιν ἐς ἠεροειδέα πόντον. The Pleiades, fleeing from the might of heroic Orion, plunge into the misty sea

Hesiod, Works and Days, lines 619-20

Πληιάδες σθένος ὄβριμον Ὠαρίωνος / φεύγουσαι πίπτωσιν ἐς ἠεροειδέα πόντον. The Pleiades, fleeing from the might of heroic Orion, plunge into the misty sea

Source: the-beast-king

Lesis Writes Home. Possibly the only first person slave narrative from ancient Greece.

Λῆσις [ις ] ἐπιστέλλει Ξενοκλεῖ καὶ τῆι μητρὶ μηδαμῶς περιιδν αὐτὸν ἀπολόμενον ἐν τῶι χαλκείωι, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸς δεσπότας αὐτ ἐλθν καὶ ἐνευρέσθαι τι βέλτιον αὐτῶι. Ἀνθρώπωι γὰρ παραδέδομαι πάνυ πονηρῶι· μαστιγόμενος ἀπόλλυμαι· δέδεμαι· προπηλακίζομαι· μᾶλλον μᾶλ[λ]ον.

Lesis(is) writes to Xenokles and his mother to overlook in no way that he is dying in the foundry, but to come to his masters and find something better for him. For I have been given to a very toilsome man. I’m dying! Being whipped! I’ve been tied up! I’m trampled! More and more!

(Translation is mine. The Greek text is rendered as it is presented in Jordan, David. A Personal Letter Found in the Athenian Agora. Hesperia, Vol. 69, No. 1 (2000), p. 95) Lesis might just be an apprentice though. It’s hard to say.

Aristotle, Athenian Constitution 2.1-3

μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα συνέβη στασιάσαι τούς τε γνωρίμους καὶ τὸ πλῆθος πολὺν χρόνον. [2] ἦν γὰρ αὐτῶν ἡ πολιτεία τοῖς τε ἄλλοις ὀλιγαρχικὴ πᾶσι, καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐδούλευον οἱ πένητες τοῖς πλουσίοις καὶ αὐτοὶ καὶ τὰ τέκνα καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες: καὶ ἐκαλοῦντο πελάται καὶ ἑκτήμοροι: κατὰ ταύτην γὰρ τὴν μίσθωσιν ἠργάζοντο τῶν πλουσίων τοὺς ἀγρούς (ἡ δὲ πᾶσα γῆ δι᾽ ὀλίγων ἦν), καὶ εἰ μὴ τὰς μισθώσεις ἀποδιδοῖεν, ἀγώγιμοι καὶ αὐτοὶ καὶ οἱ παῖδες ἐγίγνοντο: καὶ οἱ δανεισμοὶ πᾶσιν ἐπὶ τοῖς σώμασιν ἦσαν μέχρι Σόλωνος: οὗτος δὲ πρῶτος ἐγένετο τοῦ δήμου προστάτης. [3] χαλεπώτατον μὲν οὖν καὶ πικρότατον ἦν τοῖς πολλοῖς τῶν κατὰ τὴν πολιτείαν τὸ δουλεύειν: οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἐδυσχέραινον: οὐδενὸς γὰρ ὡς εἰπεῖν ἐτύγχανον μετέχοντες.

After these things it happened that the Many protested the Notables for a long time, [2] for their politea (~constitution) was an oligarchy in all other ways, and indeed the poor, man, woman, and child, were enslaved to the wealthy. They were called pelatai (~serfs) and hektemoroi (sixth-share men), because of the rent they paid for the fields of the wealthy, and the land was split between (δι᾽+gen) a few men. If they did not pay their rent, they and even their children became seizable. Money-lending in every corner was [secured] upon bodies until Solon: this man became the first defender of the demos. [3] So constitutional slavery was, for many of them, the harshest and most piercing [affront], not that they weren’t disgusted in other respects, according to other men; for, so to speak, they happened to have a share of nothing.

Iliad 14.341-51

τὴν δ’ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη νεφεληγερέτα Ζεύς·
Ἥρη μήτε θεῶν τό γε δείδιθι μήτέ τιν’ ἀνδρῶν
ὄψεσθαι· τοῖόν τοι ἐγὼ νέφος ἀμφικαλύψω
χρύσεον· οὐδ’ ἂν νῶϊ διαδράκοι Ἠέλιός περ,
οὗ τε καὶ ὀξύτατον πέλεται φάος εἰσοράασθαι.

ἦ ῥα καὶ ἀγκὰς ἔμαρπτε Κρόνου παῖς ἣν παράκοιτιν·
τοῖσι δ’ ὑπὸ χθὼν δῖα φύεν νεοθηλέα ποίην,
λωτόν θ’ ἑρσήεντα ἰδὲ κρόκον ἠδ’ ὑάκινθον
πυκνὸν καὶ μαλακόν, ὃς ἀπὸ χθονὸς ὑψόσ’ ἔεργε.
τῷ ἔνι λεξάσθην, ἐπὶ δὲ νεφέλην ἕσσαντο
καλὴν χρυσείην· στιλπναὶ δ’ ἀπέπιπτον ἔερσαι.

Zeus, cloud-gatherer, spoke, answering her:
"Hera, don’t worry. Neither one of the gods nor one of mankind
will see; for your sake I will wrap us round in a sort of cloud,
but golden; and even Helios won’t see us,
whose light is the most piercing to be seen.

So the son of Kronos took his wife in his arms,
and the divine earth beneath them sprouted fresh-budding grass,
dew-kissed clover and saffron and hyacinths,
arranged and soft, that cushioned them aloft above the ground.
The two laid entwined, shrouded within a cloud
beautiful, golden; and a glistening dew drizzled out.

Iliad 14.329-40

τὸν δὲ δολοφρονέουσα προσηύδα πότνια Ἥρη·
αἰνότατε Κρονίδη ποῖον τὸν μῦθον ἔειπες.
εἰ νῦν ἐν φιλότητι λιλαίεαι εὐνηθῆναι
Ἴδης ἐν κορυφῇσι, τὰ δὲ προπέφανται ἅπαντα·
πῶς κ’ ἔοι εἴ τις νῶϊ θεῶν αἰειγενετάων
εὕδοντ’ ἀθρήσειε, θεοῖσι δὲ πᾶσι μετελθὼν
πεφράδοι; οὐκ ἂν ἔγωγε τεὸν πρὸς δῶμα νεοίμην
ἐξ εὐνῆς ἀνστᾶσα, νεμεσσητὸν δέ κεν εἴη.
ἀλλ’ εἰ δή ῥ’ ἐθέλεις καί τοι φίλον ἔπλετο θυμῷ,
ἔστιν τοι θάλαμος, τόν τοι φίλος υἱὸς ἔτευξεν
Ἥφαιστος, πυκινὰς δὲ θύρας σταθμοῖσιν ἐπῆρσεν·
ἔνθ’ ἴομεν κείοντες, ἐπεί νύ τοι εὔαδεν εὐνή.

To him spoke forth Queen Hera, snare-minded:
"Oh, son of Kronos, you dog! You’ve told me quite the fantasy.
If you crave to lay limb-in-limb now
on the summit of Ida, everything will be in clear view;
and how would it feel if one of the gods everlasting
watched us sleeping, and, skulking off to all the gods,
told them? I’d be too tired to go to your home
rising from the cough, and that would be shameful.
But if you wish it so, and it is dear to your heart,
a chamber belongs to me, which for you my dear son wrought,
Hephaestus, setting locked doors on door-posts;
Let’s go there and lay, since the bed is sure to please you.”

lionofchaeronea:

Atlas and the Hesperides, John Singer Sargent, 1922-25

 κατὰ γὰρ τὴν Ἑσπερῖτιν ὀνομαζομένην χώραν φασὶν ἀδελφοὺς δύο γενέσθαι δόξῃ διωνομασμένους, Ἕσπερον καὶ Ἄτλαντα. τούτους δὲ κεκτῆσθαι πρόβατα τῷ μὲν κάλλει διάφορα, τῇ δὲ χρόᾳ ξανθὰ καὶ χρυσοειδῆ: ἀφ᾽ ἧς αἰτίας τοὺς ποιητὰς τὰ πρόβατα μῆλα καλοῦντας ὀνομάσαι χρυσᾶ μῆλα. τὸν μὲν οὖν Ἕσπερον θυγατέρα γεννήσαντα τὴν ὀνομαζομένην Ἑσπερίδα συνοικίσαι τἀδελφῷ, ἀφ᾽ ἧς τὴν χώραν Ἑσπερῖτιν ὀνομασθῆναι: τὸν δ᾽ Ἄτλαντα ἐκ ταύτης ἑπτὰ γεννῆσαι θυγατέρας, ἃς ἀπὸ μὲν τοῦ πατρὸς Ἀτλαντίδας, ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς μητρὸς Ἑσπερίδας ὀνομασθῆναι.
Down in the land called Hesperitis they say there were two brothers renowned for glory: Hesperos and Atlas. They tended sheep, remarkable in their beauty, blonde and golden in colour; for which reason the poets, calling the sheep mela, name them Golden Mela. Now Hesperos, having produced a daughter named Hespera, wed her to his brother. For her sake the land is called Hesperitis, and from her Atlas begot seven daughters, whom they call Atlantides from their father, but Hesperides from their mother.

lionofchaeronea:

Atlas and the Hesperides, John Singer Sargent, 1922-25

κατὰ γὰρ τὴν Ἑσπερῖτιν ὀνομαζομένην χώραν φασὶν ἀδελφοὺς δύο γενέσθαι δόξῃ διωνομασμένους, Ἕσπερον καὶ Ἄτλαντα. τούτους δὲ κεκτῆσθαι πρόβατα τῷ μὲν κάλλει διάφορα, τῇ δὲ χρόᾳ ξανθὰ καὶ χρυσοειδῆ: ἀφ᾽ ἧς αἰτίας τοὺς ποιητὰς τὰ πρόβατα μῆλα καλοῦντας ὀνομάσαι χρυσᾶ μῆλατὸν μὲν οὖν Ἕσπερον θυγατέρα γεννήσαντα τὴν ὀνομαζομένην Ἑσπερίδα συνοικίσαι τἀδελφῷ, ἀφ᾽ ἧς τὴν χώραν Ἑσπερῖτιν ὀνομασθῆναι: τὸν δ᾽ Ἄτλαντα ἐκ ταύτης ἑπτὰ γεννῆσαι θυγατέρας, ἃς ἀπὸ μὲν τοῦ πατρὸς Ἀτλαντίδας, ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς μητρὸς Ἑσπερίδας ὀνομασθῆναι.

Down in the land called Hesperitis they say there were two brothers renowned for glory: Hesperos and Atlas. They tended sheep, remarkable in their beauty, blonde and golden in colour; for which reason the poets, calling the sheep mela, name them Golden Mela. Now Hesperos, having produced a daughter named Hespera, wed her to his brother. For her sake the land is called Hesperitis, and from her Atlas begot seven daughters, whom they call Atlantides from their father, but Hesperides from their mother.

Iliad 14.312-328

τὴν δ’ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη νεφεληγερέτα Ζεύς·
Ἥρη κεῖσε μὲν ἔστι καὶ ὕστερον ὁρμηθῆναι,
νῶϊ δ’ ἄγ’ ἐν φιλότητι τραπείομεν εὐνηθέντε.
οὐ γάρ πώ ποτέ μ’ ὧδε θεᾶς ἔρος οὐδὲ γυναικὸς
θυμὸν ἐνὶ στήθεσσι περιπροχυθεὶς ἐδάμασσεν,
οὐδ’ ὁπότ’ ἠρασάμην Ἰξιονίης ἀλόχοιο,
ἣ τέκε Πειρίθοον θεόφιν μήστωρ’ ἀτάλαντον·
οὐδ’ ὅτε περ Δανάης καλλισφύρου Ἀκρισιώνης,
ἣ τέκε Περσῆα πάντων ἀριδείκετον ἀνδρῶν·
οὐδ’ ὅτε Φοίνικος κούρης τηλεκλειτοῖο,
ἣ τέκε μοι Μίνων τε καὶ ἀντίθεον Ῥαδάμανθυν·
οὐδ’ ὅτε περ Σεμέλης οὐδ’ Ἀλκμήνης ἐνὶ Θήβῃ,
ἥ ῥ’ Ἡρακλῆα κρατερόφρονα γείνατο παῖδα·
ἣ δὲ Διώνυσον Σεμέλη τέκε χάρμα βροτοῖσιν·
οὐδ’ ὅτε Δήμητρος καλλιπλοκάμοιο ἀνάσσης,
οὐδ’ ὁπότε Λητοῦς ἐρικυδέος, οὐδὲ σεῦ αὐτῆς,
ὡς σέο νῦν ἔραμαι καί με γλυκὺς ἵμερος αἱρεῖ.

Answering her, Zeus cloud-gather, spoke:
"Hera, so it is permitted that you rush thither later,
but, come, let’s have our fill of laying in sex.
For never yet has Eros for a goddess or mortal woman,
flooding so, overpowered the spirit in my chest,
not when I lusted after the wife of Ixion,
who bore Peirinthos, a counselor equal to the gods,
nor after Danae, the fair-ankled daughter of Akrision,
who bore Perseus, the most glorious of all men;
nor after the daughter of far-famed Pheonix,
who bore to me Minos and the godlike Rhadamanthys;
nor even after Semele, nor after Alcmene in Thebes,
who birthed my boy Herakles, the most strong of heart;
Semele, who bore Dionysos, the source of joy for mortals;
nor yet after Demeter, her hair beautiful, a Lady;
nor after famed Leta, nor after you yourself,
not as I lust after you now and sweet love seizes me.”

Iliad 14.300-311

τὸν δὲ δολοφρονέουσα προσηύδα πότνια Ἥρη·
ἔρχομαι ὀψομένη πολυφόρβου πείρατα γαίης,
Ὠκεανόν τε θεῶν γένεσιν καὶ μητέρα Τηθύν,
οἵ με σφοῖσι δόμοισιν ἐῢ τρέφον ἠδ’ ἀτίταλλον·
τοὺς εἶμ’ ὀψομένη, καί σφ’ ἄκριτα νείκεα λύσω·
ἤδη γὰρ δηρὸν χρόνον ἀλλήλων ἀπέχονται
εὐνῆς καὶ φιλότητος, ἐπεὶ χόλος ἔμπεσε θυμῷ.


ἵπποι δ’ ἐν πρυμνωρείῃ πολυπίδακος Ἴδης
ἑστᾶσ’, οἵ μ’ οἴσουσιν ἐπὶ τραφερήν τε καὶ ὑγρήν.
νῦν δὲ σεῦ εἵνεκα δεῦρο κατ’ Οὐλύμπου τόδ’ ἱκάνω,
μή πώς μοι μετέπειτα χολώσεαι, αἴ κε σιωπῇ
οἴχωμαι πρὸς δῶμα βαθυρρόου Ὠκεανοῖο.

To him spoke Queen Hera, snare-minded:
"I am going to see the ends of the bountiful earth,
Oceanos and Tethys, mother, source of the gods,
who in their home raised and nurtured me so well;
and I will see them and untangle their endless strife;
for already they have been apart too long from one another
from bed, from sex, since hate invaded their spirt.

My horses at the foot of many-springs Ida
are standing; they will bear me over dry land and wet sea.
But now, on your account, I have come here, down from Olympus,
lest you rage at me somehow afterward, should in silence
I leave for the house of deep-flowing Oceanos.”

Aristotle, Politics 1327b.36ff

δεῖ διανοητικούς τε εἶναι καὶ θυμοειδεῖς τὴν φύσιν τοὺς μέλλοντας εὐαγώγους ἔσεσθαι τῷ νομοθέτῃ πρὸς τὴν ἀρετήν.

It is necessary that they be both cunning and high-spirited in nature, those destined to be led easily by the law-giver to excellence.

Iliad 5.767-772

                                     …θεὰ λευκώλενος Ἥρη,
μάστιξεν δ᾽ ἵππους: τὼ δ᾽ οὐκ ἀέκοντε πετέσθην
μεσσηγὺς γαίης τε καὶ οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος.
ὅσσον δ᾽ ἠεροειδὲς ἀνὴρ ἴδεν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν
ἥμενος ἐν σκοπιῇ, λεύσσων ἐπὶ οἴνοπα πόντον,
τόσσον ἐπιθρῴσκουσι θεῶν ὑψηχέες ἵπποι.

                    …The goddess, white-armed Hera,
whipped her steeds: and the pair, not unwilling, soared
the mid-course between earth and star-lit heaven.
However far into the distance a man sees with his eyes,
sitting on high, gazing upon the wine-coloured sea,
so far do the horses of the gods, loud-galloping, leap.