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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 Herodotus' History, Book 1

Hêrodotou Halikarnêsseos historiês apodexis hêde, hôs mête ta genomena ex anthrôpôn tô chronô exitêla genêtai, mête erga megala te kai thômasta, ta men Hellêsi ta de barbaroisi apodechthenta, aklea genêtai, ta te alla kai di' hên aitiên epolemêsan allêloisi. Deuterê de legousi geneê meta tauta Alexandron ton Priamou, akêkoota tauta, ethelêsai hoi ek tês Hellados di' harpagês genesthai gunaika, epistamenon pantôs hoti ou dôsei dikas. outô dê harpasantos autou Helenên. toisi Hellêsi doxai prôton pempsantas aggelous apaiteein te Helenên kai dikas tês harpagês aiteein. tous de, proisomenôn tauta, propherein sphi Mêdeiês tên harpagên. hôs ou dontes autoi dikas oude ekdontes apaiteontôn bouloiato sphi par' allôn dikas ginesthai. Mechri men ôn toutou harpagas mounas einai par' allêlôn. to de apo toutou Hellênas dê megalôs aitious genesthai. proterous gar arxai strateuesthai es tên Asiên ê spheas es tên Eurôpên. Hellênas de Lakedaimoniês heineken gunaikos stolon megan sunageirai kai epeita elthontas es tên Asiên tên Priamou dunamin katelein. apo toutou aiei hêgêsasthai to Hellênikon sphisi einai polemion, tên gar Asiên kai ta enoikeonta ethnea barbara oikêieuntai hoi Persai, tên de Eurôpên kai to Hellênikon hêgêntai kechôristhai.


This is the exposition of the history of Herodotus, the Halicarnassian, (produced) so that neither the events be forgotten by humans in time, nor the great and wonderful deeds done by Greeks and foreigners may be without fame, and especially the reason why they fought with one another.
Then in the second generation after these things, they say that Paris, the son of Priam, having heard these things, wanted to get for himself a wife out of Greece through rapine, believing full well that he would not make amends. And so indeed he carried off Helen. It was resolved first by the Greeks that messengers that were sent should demand back Helen and request reparations. When they proposed these things, the Trojans brought up the rape of Medea, and they reminded the Greeks that they had not given satisfaction nor given what was requested but asked that reparations be given to them by others. Up to this point there were only robberies from one another. But after this (the Persians say) the Greeks became greatly blameworthy. For they began to make war against Asia before they themselves did against Europe. --- The Greeks for the sake of a Lacedaemonian woman brought together a great army and then coming to Asia destroyed the power of Priam. From this time on we have always regarded the Greeks as hostile us. The Persians claim Asia and the foreign nations living there for themselves and consider Europe and the Greeks to be separate.