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Early Indo-European Texts

Classical Greek

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Classical Greek with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Classical Greek Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Classical Greek language and its speakers' culture.

from Pausanias' Description of Greece, Attica 22: 4-5

καί ἐς δέ τὴν ἀκρόπολίν ἐστιν ἔσοδος μία. ἑτέραν δὲ οὐ παρέχεται, πᾶσα ἀπότομος οὖσα καὶ τεῖχος ἔχουσα ἐχυρόν. τὰ δὲ προπύλαια λίθου λευκοῦ τὴν ὀροφὴν ἔχει καὶ κόσμῳ καὶ μεγέθει τῶν λίθων μέχρι γε καὶ ἐμοῦ προεῖχε. τὰς μὲν οὖν εἰκόνας τῶν ἱππέων οὐκ ἔχω σαφῶς εἰπεῖν, εἴτε οἱ παῖδές εἰσιν οἱ Ξενοφῶντος εἴτε ἄλλως ἐς εὐπρέπειαν πεποιημέναι. τῶν δὲ προπυλαίων ἐν δεξίᾳ Νίκης ἐστὶν Ἀπτέρου ναός. ἐντεῦθεν ἡ θάλασσά ἐστι σύνοπτος, καὶ ταύτῃ ῥίψας Αἰγεὺς ἑαυτὸν ὡς λέγουσιν ἐτελεύτησεν. ἀνήγετο μὲν γὰρ ἡ ναῦς μέλασιν ἱστίοις ἡ τοὺς παῖδας φέρουσα ἐς Κρήτην. Θησεὺς δὲ -- ἔπλει γὰρ τόλμης τι ἔχων ἐς τὸν Μίνω καλούμενον ταῦρον πρὸς τὸν πατέρα προεῖπε χρήσεσθαι τοῖς ἱστίοις λευκοῖς, ἤν ὀπίσω πλέῃ τοῦ ταύρου κρατήσας. τούτων λήθην ἔσχεν Ἀριάδνην ἀφῃρημένος. ἐνταῦθα Αἰγεὺς ὡς εἶδεν ἱστίοις μέλασι τὴν ναῦν κομιζομένην, οἷα τὸν παῖδα τεθνάναι δοκῶν, ἀφεὶς αὐτὸν διαφθείρεται.

Translation

There is only one entry to the Acropolis. It does not provide another, being precipitous everywhere and having a strong wall. And the gateway has a roof of white marble, and is unexcelled for the beauty and size of its stones to my day. Regarding the statues of the horsemen, I cannot truly say whether they are the sons of Xenophon or whether they were produced especially for beauty. And on the right of the gateway is the temple of Wingless Victory. From here the sea is visible, and here, as they say, Aegeus throwing himself down died. For the ship carrying the children to Crete put out to sea with black sails. But Theseus, was sailing on something of a venture against the bull of Minos, so called. He had said to his father beforehand that he would sail back with white sails, having conquered the bull. But having lost Ariadne caused him to forget these things. Then Aegeus, when from this point he saw the ship traveling with black sails, thinking that his son had died, throwing himself down killed himself.