War (6) – sacrilege

War (6) – sacrilege

Just before the expedition to Sicily (415 BCE), stone Hermae in Athens had their faces mutilated; no one knew who had done it

ἐν δὲ τούτῳ, ὅσοι Ἑρμαῖ ἦσαν λίθινοι ἐν τῇ πόλει τῇ Ἀθηναίων (εἰσὶ δὲ κατὰ τὸ ἐπιχώριον, ἡ τετράγωνος ἐργασία, πολλοὶ καὶ ἐν ἰδίοις προθύροις καὶ ἐν ἱεροῖς), μιᾷ νυκτὶ οἱ πλεῖστοι περιεκόπησαν τὰ πρόσωπα. καὶ οὐδείς τοὺς δράσαντας ᾔδει, ἀλλὰ μεγάλοις μηνύτροις δημοσίᾳ οὗτοί τε ἐζητοῦντο καὶ προσέτι ἐψηφίσαντο, καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλο τι οἶδεν ἀσέβημα γεγενημένον, μηνύειν ἀδεῶς τὸν βουλόμενον καὶ ἀστῶν καὶ ξένων καὶ δούλων. καὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα μειζόνως ἐλάμβανον: τοῦ τε γὰρ ἔκπλου οἰωνὸς ἐδόκει εἶναι καὶ ἐπὶ συνωμοσίᾳ ἅμα νεωτέρων πραγμάτων καὶ δήμου καταλύσεως γεγενῆσθαι. (6.27 adapted)
Ἑρμαῖ – Herms
λίθινος – stone
τὸ ἐπιχώριον – custom
τετράγωνος – square
ιδιος – private
το προθυρον – porch
μιᾷ νυκτὶ – in one night
περιεκόπησαν – mutilate
το προσωπον – face
δράσαντας – having done
ᾔδει – know
το μηνυτρον – reward
δημοσίᾳ – at public expense
προσέτι – besides
ἐψηφίσαντο – vote
το ασεβημα – act of impiety
μηνύειν – to inform
ἀδεῶς – without fear
‛ο αστος – citizen
μειζόνως – to a greater degree, more seriously
‛ο εκπλους – expedition
‛ο οἰωνὸς – omen
‛η συνωμοσια – conspiracy
νεωτερος – revolutionary
‛η καταλυσις – dissolving

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