Vite Parallele. Vol. 2

By Plutarch

Spesso un breve episodio, una parola, un motto di spirito mette in luce il carattere molto meglio che non battaglie con migliaia di morti, grandissimi schieramenti di eserciti, assedi di città. Di vite e non di storia s'impegna a scrivere Plutarco, autore di lingua greca tra i più importanti e fecondi del mondo classico. Nato a Cheronea intorno al 50 d.C., durante il regno dell'imperatore Claudio, egli fu cittadino dell'Impero romano e condusse una lunga vita: morì ottantenne, dopo essere stato studioso, politico, filosofo, scrittore e sacerdote del dio Apollo a Delfi. Consapevole di vivere in una fase della storia caratterizzata dalla necessità di riunire sotto un unico cielo due mondi distinti, quello greco e quello latino, Plutarco reinterpretò in modo originale los angeles tradizione romana della biografia aneddotica, modificandone l. a. forma e l. a. struttura in line with venire incontro alle nuove esigenze di un impero che aveva sempre meno frontiere tra Oriente e Occidente. Le Vite Parallele raccolgono così, a coppie, le biografie di un uomo illustre greco e di un suo corrispettivo latino, scelti secondo criteri di somiglianza nel carattere o nel destino, allo scopo, di natura morale, di mettere in luce l'uomo.

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6] Τοῖς δ’ Ἀϑηναίοις ἐπῆλϑε γελάσαι μέγα μᾶλλον ἢ πιστεῦσαι· ϰαὶ γὰρ ἄλλως εἰώϑεσαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ϰουφότητα ϰαὶ μανίαν φέρειν μετὰ παιδιᾶς οὐϰ ἀηδῶς. [7] Λέγεται γὰρ ἐϰϰλησίας ποτ’ οὔσης τὸν μὲν δῆμον ϰαϑήμενον ἄνω περιμένειν πολὺν χρόνον, ὀψὲ δ’ εἰσελϑεῖν ἐϰεῖνον ἐστεφανωμένον ϰαὶ παραϰαλεῖν ὑπερϑέσϑαι τὴν ἐϰϰλησίαν εἰς αὔριον· "ἀσχολοῦμαι γάρ" ἔφη "σήμερον, ἑστιᾶν μέλλων ξένους ϰαὶ τεϑυϰὼς τοῖς ϑεοῖς"· τοὺς δ’ Ἀϑηναίους γελάσαντας ἀναστῆναι ϰαὶ διαλῦσαι τὴν ἐϰϰλησίαν. [ 8,1] Οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ ϰαὶ τότε τύχη χρησάμενoς ἀγαϑῇ ϰαὶ στρατηγήσας ἄριστα μετὰ Δημοσϑένους, ἐντὸς οὗ προεῖπε χρόνου τῶν Σπαρτιατῶν ὅσοἱ μὴ ϰατὰ μάχην ἔπεσον τὰ ὅπλα παραδόντας ἤνεγϰεν αἰχμαλώτους44[2] ϰαὶ τοῦτο τῷ Νιϰίᾳ μεγάλην ἤνεγϰεν ἀδοξίαν. Οὐ γὰρ ἀσπίδος ῥῖψις45, ἀλλ’ αἴσχιόν τι ϰαὶ χεῖρον ἐδóϰει τὸ δειλίᾳ τὴν στρατηγίαν ἀποβαλεῖν ἑϰουσίως, ϰαὶ προέσϑαι τῷ ἐχϑρῷ τηλιϰούτου ϰατορϑώματoς ἀφορμάς, αὑτὸν ἀποχειροτονήσαντα τῆς ἀρχῆς. [3] Σϰώπτει δ’ αὐτὸν εἰς ταῦτα πάλιν ’A ριστοφάνης ἐν μὲν ῍Oρνισιν οὕτω πως λέγων· ϰαὶ μὴν μὰ τὸν Δί’ οὐχὶ νυστάζειν ἔτι ὥρα ’στὶν ἡμῖν οὐδὲ μελλονιϰιᾶν46, [4] ἐν δὲ Γεωργοῖς ταῦτα γράφων 〈Α. 〉 ᾿Eϑέλω γεωργεῖν. 〈Β〉 Εἶτα τίς σε ϰωλύει; 〈Α. 〉 ῾Υμεῖς· ἐπεὶ δίδωμι χιλίας δραχμάς, ἐάν με τῶν ἀρχῶν ἀφῆτε. 〈Β. 〉 Δεχόμεϑα δισχίλιαι γάρ εἰσι σὺν ταῖς Νιϰίου47. [5] Καὶ μέντοι ϰαὶ τὴν πόλιν ἔβλαψεν οὐ μιϰρά, τῷ Κλέωνι τοσοῦτον προσγενέσϑαι δόξης ἐάσας ϰαὶ δυνάμεως, ὑφ᾿ ἧς εἰς βαρὺ φρόνημα ϰαὶ ϑράσoς ἐμπεσὼν ἀϰάϑεϰτον, ἂλλας τε τῇ πόλει προσετρίψατο συμφοράς, ὧν οὐχ ἥϰιστα ϰαὶ αὐτὸς ἀπέλαυσε, [6] ϰαὶ τὸν ἐπὶ τόν βήματoς ϰόσμον ἀνελὼν ϰαὶ πρώτὅς ἐν τῷ δημηγορεῖν ἀναϰραγὼν ϰαὶ περισπάσας τὸ ἱμάτιον48 ϰαὶ τὸν μηρὸν πατάξας ϰαὶ δρόμῳ μετὰ τοῦ λέγειν ἅμα χρησάμενος, τὴν ὀλίγον ὕστερον ἅπαντα τὰ πράγματα συγχέασαν εὐχέρειαν ϰαὶ ὀλιγωρίαν τοῦ πρέποντος ἐνεποίησε τοῖς πολιτευομδένοις. [ 9,1] ῍Hδη δέ πoυ ϰαì, ᾿Αλϰιβιάδης49 ἐνεφύετο τηνιϰαῦτα τοῖς Ἀϑηναίοις, δημαγωγὸς οὐχ ὁμοίως ἄϰρατος, ἀλλ᾿ οἷον ἡ Αἰγυπτίων χώρα λέγεται δι᾿ ἀρετὴν ἐϰφέρειν ὁμοῦ φάρμαϰα πολλὰ μὲν ἐσϑλὰ μεμειγμένα, πολλὰ δὲ λυγρά50, οὕτως ἡ ᾿Αλϰιβιάδου φύσις ἐπ᾿ ἀμφότερα πολλὴ ῥυεῖσα ϰαὶ λαμπρά, μεγάλων ἐνέδωϰεν ἀρχὰς νεωτερισμῶν. [2] ῞Οϑεν οὐδ᾿ ὑπαλλαγεìς τοῦ Κλέωνoς ὁ Νιϰίας ϰαιρὸν ἔσχε παντάπασιν ἀναπαῦσαι ϰαὶ ϰαταστορέσαι τὴν πόλιν, ἀλλ’ εἰς οδόν τὰ πράγματα σωτήριον ϰαταστήσας ἐξέπεσε, ῥύμῃ ϰαὶ σφοδρότητι τῆς ᾿Αλϰιβιάδου φιλὅτιμίας αὖϑις ἐξωσϑεὶς εἰς τὸν πόλεμον. [3] ῾Eπράχϑη δ᾿ οὕτως. Οἱ μάλιστα προσπολεμοῦντες τῇ εἰρήνῃ τῆς ῾Ελλάδoς Κλέων ϰαὶ Βρασίδας51 ἦσαν, ὧν ὁ πόλεμoς τοῦ μὲν ἀπέϰρυπτε τὴν ϰαϰίαν, τοῦ δὲ τὴν ἀρετὴν ἐϰóσμει. Τῷ μὲν γὰρ ἀδιϰημάτων μεγάλων, τῷ δὲ ϰατορϑωμάτων ἀφορμὰς παρεῖχε. [4] Τoύτων οὖν ἅμα πεσόντων ἐν μάχη μιᾷ. περὶ ᾿Αμφίπολιν, εὐϑὺς ὁ Νιϰίας παραλαβὼν τοὺς μὲν Σπαρτιάτας ἔϰπαλαι τῆς εἰρήνης ὀρεγομένους, τοὺς δ᾿ ᾿Αϑηναίους οὐϰέτι τῷ πολέμῳ ϑαρροῦντας, ἀμφοτέρους δ᾿ οἷον ἐϰλελυμένους ϰαὶ παραϰαϑιέντας ἑϰουσίως τὰς χεῖρας, ἔπραττεν ὅπως εἰς φιλίαν τὰς πόλεις συναγαγών, ϰαὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ῝Ελληνας ἀπαλλάξας ϰαϰῶν ϰαὶ ἀναπαυσάμενος, βέβαιον οὕτω τὸ τῆς εὐτυχίας ὄνομα πρὸς τὸν αὖϑις χρόνον ποιοῖτο52.

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