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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 ʼέσοδος μία. ἑτέραν δὲ οὐ παρέχεται, πα̂σα ἀπότομος οʼυ̂σα καὶ τει̂χος ʼέχουσα ἐχυρόν. τὰ δὲ προπύλαια λίθου λευκου̂ τὴν ὀροφὴν ʼέχει καὶ κόσμῳ καὶ μεγέθει τω̂ν λίθων μέχρι γε καὶ ἐμου̂ προει̂χε. τὰς μὲν οʼυ̂ν εἰκόνας τω̂ν ἱππέων οὐκ ʼέχω σαφω̂ς εἰπει̂ν, εʼίτε οἱ παι̂δές εἰσιν οἱ Ξενοφω̂ντος εʼίτε ʼάλλως ἐς εὐπρέπειαν πεποιημέναι. τω̂ν δὲ προπυλαίων ἐν δεξίᾳ Νίκης ἐστὶν ʼΑπτέρου ναός. ἐντευ̂θεν ἡ θάλασσά ἐστι σύνοπτος, καὶ ταύτῃ ῥίψας Αἰγεὺς ἑαυτὸν ὡς λέγουσιν ἐτελεύτησεν. ἀνήγετο μὲν γὰρ ἡ ναυ̂ς μέλασιν ἱστίοις ἡ τοὺς παι̂δας φέρουσα ἐς Κρήτην. Θησεὺς δὲ -- ʼέπλει γὰρ τόλμης τι ʼέχων ἐς τὸν Μίνω καλούμενον ταυ̂ρον πρὸς τὸν πατέρα προει̂πε χρήσεσθαι τοι̂ς ἱστίοις λευκοι̂ς, ʼήν ὀπίσω πλέῃ του̂ ταύρου κρατήσας. τούτων λήθην ʼέσχεν ʼΑριάδνην ἀφῃρημένος. ἐνταυ̂θα Αἰγεὺς ὡς εʼι̂δεν ἱστίοις μέλασι τὴν ναυ̂ν κομιζομένην, οʽι̂α τὸν παι̂δα τεθνάναι δοκω̂ν, 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.