Etext prepared by John Bickers, jbickers@templar.actrix.gen.nz.


by Xenophon

Translation by H. G. Dakyns

Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a
pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans,
and was exiled from Athens. Sparta gave him land
and property in Scillus, where he lived for many
years before having to move once more, to settle
in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C.


This was typed from Dakyns' series, "The Works of Xenophon," a
four-volume set. The complete list of Xenophon's works (though
there is doubt about some of these) is:

Work Number of books

The Anabasis 7
The Hellenica 7
The Cyropaedia 8
The Memorabilia 4
The Symposium 1
The Economist 1
On Horsemanship 1
The Sportsman 1
The Cavalry General 1
The Apology 1
On Revenues 1
The Hiero 1
The Agesilaus 1
The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians 2

Text in brackets "{}" is my transliteration of Greek text into
English using an Oxford English Dictionary alphabet table. The
diacritical marks have been lost.


by Xenophon

Translation by H. G. Dakyns

The Hiero is an imaginary dialogue, c. 474 B.C.,
between Simonides of Ceos, the poet; and Hieron,
of Syracuse and Gela, the despot.


A Discourse on Despotic Rule


Once upon a time Simonides the poet paid a visit to Hiero the
"tyrant,"[1] and when both obtained the liesure requisite, Simonides
began this conversation:

[1] Or, "came to the court of the despotic monarch Hiero." For the
"dramatis personae" see Dr. Holden's Introduction to the "Hieron"
of Xenophon.

Would you be pleased to give me information, Hiero, upon certain
matters, as to which it is likely you have greater knowledge than

[2] Or, "would you oblige me by explaining certain matters, as to
which your knowledge naturally transcends my own?"

And pray, what sort of things may those be (answered Hiero), of which
I can have greater knowledge than yourself, who are so wise a man?

I know (replied the poet) that you were once a private person,[3] and
are now a monarch. It is but likely, therefore, that having tested
both conditions,[4] you should know better than myself, wherein the
life of the despotic ruler differs from the life of any ordinary
person, looking to the sum of joys and sorrows to which flesh is heir.

[3] Or, "a common citizen," "an ordinary mortal," "a private

[4] Or, "having experienced both lots in life, both forms of

Would it not be simpler (Hiero replied) if you, on your side,[5] who
are still to-day a private person, would refresh my memory by
recalling the various circumstances of an ordinary mortal's life? With
these before me,[6] I should be better able to describe the points of
difference which exist between the one life and the other.

[5] Simonides is still in the chrysalis or grub condition of private
citizenship; he has not broken the shell as yet of ordinary

[6] Lit. "in that case, I think I should best be able to point out the
'differentia' of either."

Thus it was that Simonides spoke first: Well then, as to private
persons, for my part I observe,[7] or seem to have observed, that we
are liable to various pains and pleasures, in the shape of sights,
sounds, odours, meats, and drinks, which are conveyed through certain
avenues of sense--to wit, the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth. And there
are other pleasures, those named of Aphrodite, of which the channels
are well known. While as to degree of heat and cold, things hard and
soft, things light and heavy, the sense appealed to here, I venture to
believe, is that of the whole body;[8] whereby we discern these
opposites, and derive from them now pain, now pleasure. But with
regard to things named good and evil,[9] it appears to me that
sometimes the mind (or soul) itself is the sole instrument by which we
register our pains and pleasures; whilst at other times such pains and
pleasures are derived conjointly through both soul and body.[10] There
are some pleasures, further, if I may trust my own sensations, which
are conveyed in sleep, though how and by what means and when
precisely, are matters as to which I am still more conscious of my
ignorance. Nor is it to be wondered at perhaps, if the perceptions of
waking life in some way strike more clearly on our senses than do
those of sleep.[11]

[7] Or, "if I may trust my powers of observation I would say that
common men are capable of pains and pleasures conveyed through
certain avenues of sense, as sight through our eyes, sounds
through our ears, smells through our noses, and meats and drinks
through our mouths."

[8] Cf. Cic. "de N. D." ii. 56, S. 141.

[9] Reading {edesthai te kai lupeisthai . . .} or if with Breit
reading {ote d' au lupeisthai}, transl. "then as to good and evil
we are affected pleasurably or painfully, as the case may be:
sometimes, if I am right in my conclusion, through the mind itself
alone; at other times . . ."

[10] Or, "they are mental partly, partly physical."

[11] Lit. "the incidents of waking life present sensations of a more
vivid character."

To this statement Hiero made answer: And I, for my part, O Simonides,
would find it hard to state, outside the list of things which you have
named yourself, in what respect the despot can have other channels of
perception.[12] So that up to this point I do not see that the
despotic life differs in any way at all from that of common people.

[12] i.e. "being like constituted, the autocratic person has no other
sources of perception: he has no claim to a wider gamut of
sensation, and consequently thus far there is not a pin to choose
between the life of the despot and that of a private person."

Then Simonides: Only in this respect it surely differs, in that the
pleasures which the "tyrant" enjoys through all these several avenues
of sense are many times more numerous, and the pains he suffers are
far fewer.

To which Hiero: Nay, that is not so, Simonides, take my word for it;
the fact is rather that the pleasures of the despot are far fewer than
those of people in a humbler condition, and his pains not only far
more numerous, but more intense.

That sounds incredible (exclaimed Simonides); if it were really so,
how do you explain the passionate desire commonly displayed to wield
the tyrant's sceptre, and that too on the part of persons reputed to
be the ablest of men? Why should all men envy the despotic monarch?

For the all-sufficient reason (he replied) that they form conclusions
on the matter without experience of the two conditions. And I will try
to prove to you the truth of what I say, beginning with the faculty of
vision, which, unless my memory betrays me, was your starting-point.

Well then, when I come to reason[13] on the matter, first of all I
find that, as regards the class of objects of which these orbs of
vision are the channel,[14] the despot has the disadvantage. Every
region of the world, each country on this fair earth, presents objects
worthy of contemplation, in quest of which the ordinary citizen will
visit, as the humour takes him, now some city [for the sake of
spectacles],[15] or again, the great national assemblies,[16] where
sights most fitted to entrance the gaze of multitudes would seem to be
collected.[17] But the despot has neither part nor lot in these high
festivals,[18] seeing it is not safe for him to go where he will find
himself at the mercy of the assembled crowds;[19] nor are his home
affairs in such security that he can leave them to the guardianship of
others, whilst he visits foreign parts. A twofold apprehension haunts
him:[20] he will be robbed of his throne, and at the same time be
powerless to take vengeance on his wrongdoer.[21]

[13] {logizomenos}, "to apply my moral algebra."

[14] {en tois dia tes opseos theamasi}. See Hartman, "An. Xen. Nova,"
p. 246. {theamasi} = "spectacular effects," is perhaps a gloss on
"all objects apprehensible through vision." Holden (crit. app.)
would rather omit {dia tes opseos} with Schneid.

[15] The words are perhaps a gloss.

[16] e.g. the games at Olympia, or the great Dionysia at Athens, etc.

[17] Omitting {einai}, or if with Breit. {dokei einai . . .
sunageiresthai}, transl. "in which it is recognised that sights
are to be seen best fitted to enchain the eyes and congregate vast
masses." For other emendations see Holden, crit. app.; Hartm. op.
cit. p. 258.

[18] "Religious embassies"; it. "Theories." See Thuc. vi. 16; "Mem."
IV. viii. 2.

[19] Lit. "not stronger than those present."

[20] Or, "The dread oppresses him, he may be deprived of his empire
and yet be powerless."

[21] Cf. Plat. "Rep." ix. 579 B: "His soul is dainty and greedy; and
yet he only of all men is never allowed to go on a journey, or to
see things which other free men desire to see; but he lives in his
hole like a woman hidden in the house, and is jealous of any other
citizen who goes into foreign parts and sees things of interest"

Perhaps you will retort: "Why should he trouble to go abroad to seek
for such things? They are sure to come to him, although he stops at
home." Yes, Simonides, that is so far true; a small percentage of them
no doubt will, and this scant moiety will be sold at so high a price
to the despotic monarch, that the exhibitor of the merest trifle looks
to receive from the imperial pocket, within the briefest interval, ten
times more than he can hope to win from all the rest of mankind in a
lifetime; and then he will be off.[22]

[22] Lit. "to get from the tyrant all in a moment many times more than
he will earn from all the rest of mankind in a whole lifetime, and

To which Simonides: Well, granted you have the worst of it in sights
and sightseeing; yet, you must admit you are large gainers through the
sense of hearing; you who are never stinted of that sweetest of all
sounds,[23] the voice of praise, since all around you are for ever
praising everything you do and everything you say. Whilst, conversely,
to that most harsh and grating of all sounds, the language of abuse,
your ears are sealed, since no one cares to speak evil against a
monarch to his face.

[23] Cf. Cic. "pro Arch." 20, "Themistoclem illum dixisse aiunt cum ex
eo quaereretur, 'quod acroama aut cujus vocem libentissime
audiret': 'ejus, a quo sua virtus optime praedicaretur.'"

Then Hiero: And what pleasure do you suppose mere abstinence from evil
words implies, when it is an open secret that those silent persons are
cherishing all evil thoughts against the tyrant?[24] What mirth, do
you imagine, is to be extracted from their panegyrics who are
suspected of bestowing praise out of mere flattery?

[24] "One knows plainly that these dumb attendants stand there like
mutes, but harbour every evil thought against their autocratic

Simonides made answer: Yes, I must indeed admit, I do concede to you,
that praise alone is sweetest which is breathed from lips of free men
absolutely free. But, look you, here is a point: you will find it hard
to persuade another, that you despots, within the limits of those
things whereby we one and all sustain our bodies, in respect, that is,
of meats and drinks, have not a far wider range of pleasures.

Yes, Simonides (he answered), and what is more, I know the explanation
of the common verdict. The majority have come to the conclusion that
we monarchs eat and drink with greater pleasure than do ordinary
people, because they have got the notion, they themselves would make a
better dinner off the viands served at our tables than their own. And
doubtless some break in the monotony gives a fillip of pleasure. And
that explains why folk in general look forward with pleasure to high
days and holy days--mankind at large, but not the despot; his well-
stocked table groaning from day to day under its weight of viands
admits of no state occasions. So that, as far as this particular
pleasure, to begin with, goes, the pleasure of anticipation, the
monarch is at disadvantage compared with private people.

And in the next place (he continued), I am sure your own experience
will bear me out so far: the more viands set before a man at table
(beyond what are sufficient),[25] the more quickly will satiety of
eating overtake him. So that in actual duration of the pleasure, he
with his many dishes has less to boast of than the moderate liver.

[25] {ta peritta ton ikanon}. These words Hartm. op. cit. p. 254,
regards as an excrescence.

Yes, but good gracious! surely (broke in Simonides), during the actual
time,[26] before the appetite is cloyed, the gastronomic pleasure
derived from the costlier bill of fare far exceeds that of the cheaper

[26] Lit. "so long as the soul (i.e. the appetite) accepts with
pleasure the viands"; i.e. there's an interval, at any rate,
during which "such as my soul delights in" can still apply and for
so long.

But, as a matter of plain logic (Hiero retorted), should you not say,
the greater the pleasure a man feels in any business, the more
enthusiastic his devotion to it?

That is quite true (he answered).

Hiero. Then have you ever noticed that crowned heads display more
pleasure in attacking the bill of fare provided them, than private
persons theirs?

No, rather the reverse (the poet answered); if anything, they show a
less degree of gusto,[27] unless they are vastly libelled.

[27] "No, not more pleasure, but exceptional fastidiousness, if what
people say is true." {agleukesteron}, said ap. Suid. to be a
Sicilian word = "more sourly."

Well (Hiero continued), and all these wonderfully-made dishes which
are set before the tyrant, or nine-tenths of them, perhaps you have
observed, are combinations of things acid to the taste, or pungent, or
astringent, or akin to these?[28]

[28] Lit. "and their congeners," "their analogues," e.g. "curries,
pickles, bitters, peppery condiments."

To be sure they are (he answered), unnatural viands, one and all, in
my opinion, most alien to ordinary palates.[29]

[29] Or, "unsuited to man's taste," "'caviare to the general' I name

Hiero. In fact, these condiments can only be regarded as the
cravings[30] of a stomach weakened by luxurious living; since I am
quite sure that keen appetites (and you, I fancy, know it well too)
have not the slightest need for all these delicate made things.

[30] Cf. Plat. "Laws," 687 C; "Hipp." ii. 44. Lit. "can you in fact
regard these condiments as other than . . ." See Holden ad loc.
(ed. 1888); Hartm. op. cit. p. 259, suggests {enthumemata},

It is true, at any rate (observed Simonides), about those costly
perfumes, with which your persons are anointed, that your neighbours
rather than yourselves extract enjoyment from them; just as the
unpleasant odour of some meats is not so obvious to the eater as to
those who come in contact with him.

Hiero. Good, and on this principle we say of meats, that he who is
provided with all sorts on all occasions brings no appetite to any of
them. He rather to whom these things are rarities, that is the man
who, when some unfamiliar thing is put before him, will take his fill
of it with pleasure.[31]

[31] {meta kharas}. Cf. Aesch. Fr. 237, {stomatos en prote khara}, of
a hungry man; "Od." xvii. 603.

It looks very much (interposed Simonides) as if the sole pleasure left
you to explain the vulgar ambition to wear a crown, must be that named
after Aphrodite. For in this field it is your privilege to consort
with whatever fairest fair your eyes may light on.

Hiero. Nay, now you have named that one thing of all others, take my
word for it, in which we princes are worse off than lesser people.[32]

[32] Reading {saph' isthi}, or if as Cobet conj. {saphestata}, transl.
"are at a disadvantage most clearly by comparison with ordinary

To name marriage first. I presume a marriage[33] which is contracted
with some great family, superior in wealth and influence, bears away
the palm, since it confers upon the bridegroom not pleasure only but
distinction.[34] Next comes the marriage made with equals; and last,
wedlock with inferiors, which is apt to be regarded as degrading and

[33] Cf. "Hunting," i. 9. Holden cf. Eur. "Rhes." 168; "Androm." 1255.

[34] Cf. Dem. "in Lept." S. 69, p. 499. See Plat. "Rep." 553 C.

Now for the application: a despotic monarch, unless he weds some
foreign bride, is forced to choose a wife from those beneath him, so
that the height of satisfaction is denied him.[35]

[35] Al. "supreme content, the quintessential bliss, is quite unknown
to him."

The tender service of the proudest-souled of women, wifely rendered,
how superlatively charming![36] and by contrast, how little welcome is
such ministration where the wife is but a slave--when present, barely
noticed; or if lacking, what fell pains and passions will it not

[36] Or, "the gentle ministrations of loftiest-thoughted women and
fair wives possess a charm past telling, but from slaves, if
tendered, the reverse of welcome, or if not forthcoming . . ."

And if we come to masculine attachments, still more than in those
whose end is procreation, the tyrant finds himself defrauded of such
mirthfulness,[37] poor monarch! Since all of us are well aware, I
fancy, that for highest satisfaction,[38] amorous deeds need love's
strong passion.[39]

[37] "Joys sacred to that goddess fair and free in Heaven yclept

[38] For {polu diapherontos} cf. Browning ("Abt Vogler"), not indeed
of Aphrodisia conjoined with Eros, but of the musician's gift:

That out of three sounds he frame not a fourth sound, but a

[39] i.e. "Eros, the Lord of Passion, must lend his hand." "But," he
proceeds, "the god is coy; he has little liking for the breasts of
kings. He is more likely to be found in the cottage of the peasant
than the king's palace."

But least of all is true love's passion wont to lodge in the hearts of
monarchs, for love delights not to swoop on ready prey; he needs the
lure of expectation.[40]

[40] Or, "even on the heels of hoped-for bliss he follows."

Well then, just as a man who has never tasted thirst can hardly be
said to know the joy of drinking,[41] so he who has never tasted
Passion is ignorant of Aphrodite's sweetest sweets.

[41] Reading with Holden (after H. Steph.) {osper oun an tis . . .} or
with Hartm. (op. cit. p. 259) {osper ouk an tis . . .}

So Hiero ended.

Simonides answered laughingly: How say you, Hiero? What is that?
Love's strong passion for his soul's beloved incapable of springing up
in any monarch's heart? What of your own passion for Dailochus,
surnamed of men "most beautiful"?

Hiero. That is easily explained, Simonides. What I most desire of him
is no ready spoil, as men might reckon it, but rather what it is least
of all the privilege of a tyrant to obtain.[42] I say it truly, I--the
love I bear Dailochus is of this high sort. All that the constitution
of our souls and bodies possibly compels a man to ask for at the hands
of beauty, that my fantasy desires of him; but what my fantasy
demands, I do most earnestly desire to obtain from willing hands and
under seal of true affection. To clutch it forcibly were as far from
my desire as to do myself some mortal mischief.

[42] Lit. "of tyrant to achieve," a met. from the chase. Cf.
"Hunting," xii. 22.

Were he my enemy, to wrest some spoil from his unwilling hands would
be an exquisite pleasure, to my thinking. But of all sweet favours the
sweetest to my notion is the free-will offering of a man's beloved.
For instance, how sweet the responsive glance of love for love; how
sweet the questions and the answers;[43] and, most sweet of all, most
love-enkindling, the battles and the strifes of faithful lovers.[44]
But to enjoy[45] one's love perforce (he added) resembles more an act
of robbery, in my judgment, than love's pastime. And, indeed, the
robber derives some satisfaction from the spoils he wins and from the
pain he causes to the man he hates. But to seek pleasure in the pain
of one we love devoutly, to kiss and to be hated, to touch[46] and to
be loathed--can one conceive a state of things more odious or more
pitiful? For, it is a certainty, the ordinary person may accept at
once each service rendered by the object of his love as a sign and
token of kindliness inspired by affection, since he knows such
ministry is free from all compulsion. Whilst to the tyrant, the
confidence that he is loved is quite foreclosed. On the contrary,[47]
we know for certain that service rendered through terror will
stimulate as far as possible the ministrations of affection. And it is
a fact, that plots and conspiracies against despotic rulers are
oftenest hatched by those who most of all pretend to love them.[48]

[43] "The 'innere Unterhaltung'"; the {oarismos}. Cf. Milton, "P. L.":

With thee conversing, I forget all time.

[44] Cf. Ter. "Andr." iii. 3. 23, "amantium irae amoris

[45] "To make booty of."

[46] For {aptesthai} L. & S. cf. Plat. "Laws," 840 A; Aristot. "H. A."
v. 14. 27; Ep. 1 Cor. vii. 1.

[47] Reading {au}. "If we do know anything it is this, that," etc.

[48] Or, "do oftenest issue from treacherous make-believe of warmest
friendship." Cf. Grote, "H. G." xi. 288; "Hell." VI. iv. 36.


To these arguments Simonides replied: Yes, but the topics you have
named are to my thinking trifles; drops, as it were, in the wide
ocean. How many men, I wonder, have I seen myself, men in the deepest
sense,[1] true men, who choose to fare but ill in respect of meats and
drinks and delicacies; ay, and what is more, they voluntarily abstain
from sexual pleasures. No! it is in quite a different sphere, which I
will name at once, that you so far transcend us private citizens.[2]
It is in your vast designs, your swift achievements; it is in the
overflowing wealth of your possessions; your horses, excellent for
breed and mettle; the choice beauty of your arms; the exquisite finery
of your wives; the gorgeous palaces in which you dwell, and these,
too, furnished with the costliest works of art; add to which the
throng of your retainers, courtiers, followers, not in number only but
accomplishments a most princely retinue; and lastly, but not least of
all, in your supreme ability at once to afflict your foes and benefit
your friends.

[1] Lit. "many among those reputed to be men." Cf. "Cyrop." V. v. 33;
"Hell." i. 24, "their hero"; and below, viii. 3. Aristoph. "Ach."
78, {oi barbaroi gar andras egountai monous} | {tous pleista
dunamenous phagein te kai piein}: "To the Barbarians 'tis the test
of manhood: there the great drinkers are the greatest men"
(Frere); id. "Knights," 179; "Clouds," 823; so Latin "vir." See
Holden ad loc.

[2] "Us lesser mortals."

To all which Hiero made answer: That the majority of men, Simonides,
should be deluded by the glamour of a despotism in no respect
astonishes me, since it is the very essence of the crowd, if I am not
mistaken, to rush wildly to conjecture touching the happiness or
wretchedness of people at first sight.

Now the nature of a tyrrany is such: it presents, nay flaunts, a show
of costliest possessions unfolded to the general gaze, which rivets
the attention;[3] but the real troubles in the souls of monarchs it
keeps concealed in those hid chambers where lie stowed away the
happiness and the unhappiness of mankind.

[3] There is some redundancy in the phraseology.

I repeat then, I little marvel that the multitude should be blinded in
this matter. But that you others also, you who are held to see with
the mind's eye more clearly than with the eye of sense the mass of
circumstances,[4] should share its ignorance, does indeed excite my
wonderment. Now, I know it all too plainly from my own experience,
Simonides, and I assure you, the tyrant is one who has the smallest
share of life's blessings, whilst of its greater miseries he possesses

[4] Lit. "the majority of things"; al. "the thousand details of a

For instance, if peace is held to be a mighty blessing to mankind,
then of peace despotic monarchs are scant sharers. Or is war a curse?
If so, of this particular pest your monarch shares the largest moiety.
For, look you, the private citizen, unless his city-state should
chance to be engaged in some common war,[5] is free to travel
wheresoe'er he chooses without fear of being done to death, whereas
the tyrant cannot stir without setting his foot on hostile territory.
At any rate, nothing will persuade him but he must go through life
armed, and on all occasions drag about with him armed satellites. In
the next place, the private citizen, even during an expedition into
hostile territory,[6] can comfort himself in the reflection that as
soon as he gets back home he will be safe from further peril. Whereas
the tyrant knows precisely the reverse; as soon as he arrives in his
own city, he will find himself in the centre of hostility at once. Or
let us suppose that an invading army, superior in force, is marching
against a city: however much the weaker population, whilst they are
still outside their walls, may feel the stress of danger, yet once
within their trenches one and all expect to find themselves in
absolute security. But the tyrant is not out of danger, even when he
has passed the portals of his palace. Nay! there of all places most,
he feels, he must maintain the strictist watch.[7] Again, to the
private citizen there will come eventually, either through truce or
terms of peace, respite from war; but for the tyrant, the day of peace
will never dawn. What peace can he have with those over whom he
exercises his despotic sway?[8] Nor have the terms of truce been yet
devised, on which the despotic ruler may rely with confidence.[9]

[5] {koinon}, i.e. making demands upon the eneriges of all the
citizens in common, as opposed to the personal character of war as
conducted by a despot = "public," "patriotic," "national" war. Al.
borne by the particular {polis} as member of a league, whether of
states united for the time being in a {summakhia}, or permanently
in a confederacy = a "federal" war.

[6] "Even if serving on a campaign in the enemy's country."

[7] Or, "he has to exercise the utmost vigilance."

[8] "With those who are 'absolutely governed,' not to say tyrannically

[9] Or, "which the tyrant may accept in faith and go his way

Wars doubtless there are,[10] wars waged by states and wars waged by
autocratic monarchs against those whom they have forcibly enslaved,
and in respect of these wars there is no hardship which any member of
the states at war[11] can suffer but the tyrant will feel it also.
That is to say, both must alike be under arms, keep guard, run risks;
and whatever the pains of defeat may be, they are equally sustained by
both. Up to this point there is no distinction. The "bitters" are
equal. But when we come to estimate the "sweets" derivable from
warfare between states,[12] the parallel ceases. The tyrant, if he
shared the pains before, no longer shares the pleasures now. What
happens when a state has gained the mastery in battle over her
antagonist? It would be hard (I take it) to describe the joy of that
occurrence: joy in the rout, joy in the pursuit, joy in the slaughter
of their enemies; and in what language shall I describe the exultation
of these warriors at their feats of arms? With what assumption they
bind on their brows the glittering wreath of glory;[13] with what
mirth and jollity congratulate themselves on having raised their city
to newer heights of fame. Each several citizen claims to have shared
in the plan of the campaign,[14] and to have slain the largest number.
Indeed it would be hard to find where false embellishment will not
creep in,[15] the number stated to be the slain exceeding that of
those that actually perished. So truly glorious a thing it seems to
them to have won a great victory.[16]

[10] Lit. "and further, wars there are, waged against forcibly-
subjected populations whether by free states"--e.g. of Olynthus,
"Hell." V. ii. 23, or Athens against her "subject allies" during
the Pel. war--"or by despotic rules"--Jason of Pherae ("Hell."
VI.) Al. "wars waged by free states against free states, and wars
waged by tyrants against enslaved peoples."

[11] Does {o en tais polesi} = "the citizen"? So some commentators; or
(sub. {polemos}) = "the war among states" (see Hartman, op. cit.
p. 248)? in which case transl. "all the hardships involved in
international war come home to the tyrant also." The same
obscurity attaches to {oi en tais polesi} below (the commonly
adopted emend. of the MS. {oi sunontes polesi} = "the citizens,"
or else = "international wars."

[12] "The pleasures incidental to warfare between states"; al. "the
sweets which citizens engaged in warfare as against rival states
can count upon."

[13] Reading {analambanousin}, or, if after Cobet, etc.,
{lambanousin}, transl. "what brilliant honour, what bright credit
they assume."

[14] "To have played his part in counsel." See "Anab." passim, and M.
Taine, "Essais de Critique," "Xenophon," p. 128.

[15] Lit. "they do not indulge in false additions, pretending to have
put more enemies to death than actually fell."

[16] Cf. "Hipparch," viii. 11; "Cyrop." VIII. iii. 25; "Thuc." i. 49.

But the tyrant, when he forebodes, or possibly perceives in actual
fact, some opposition brewing, and puts the suspects[17] to the sword,
knows he will not thereby promote the welfare of the state
collectively. The cold clear fact is, he will have fewer subjects to
rule over.[18] How can he show a cheerful countenance?[19] how magnify
himself on his achievement? On the contrary, his desire is to lessen
the proportions of what has taken place, as far as may be. He will
apologise for what he does, even in the doing of it, letting it appear
that what he has wrought at least was innocent;[20] so little does his
conduct seem noble even to himself. And when those he dreaded are
safely in their graves, he is not one whit more confident of spirit,
but still more on his guard than heretofore. That is the kind of war
with which the tyrant is beset from day to day continually, as I do

[17] See Hold. (crit. app.); Hartman, op. cit. p. 260.

[18] Cf. "Mem." I. ii. 38.

[19] Cf. "Anab." II. vi. 11; "Hell." VI. iv. 16.

[20] "Not of malice prepense."

[21] Or, "Such then, as I describe it, is the type of war," etc.


Turn now and contemplate the sort of friendship whereof it is given to
tyrants to partake. And first, let us examine with ourselves and see
if friendship is truly a great boon to mortal man.

How fares it with the man who is beloved of friends? See with what
gladness his friends and lovers hail his advent! delight to do him
kindness! long for him when he is absent from them![1] and welcome him
most gladly on his return![2] In any good which shall betide him they
rejoice together; or if they see him overtaken by misfortune, they
rush to his assistance as one man.[3]

[1] Reading {an ate}, or if {an apie}, transl. "have yearning hearts
when he must leave them."

[2] See Anton Rubinstein, "Die Musik and ihre Meister," p. 8, "Some
Remarks on Beethoven's Sonata Op. 81."

[3] Cf. "Cyrop." I. vi. 24 for a repetition of the sentiment and

Nay! it has not escaped the observation of states and governments that
friendship is the greatest boon, the sweetest happiness which men may
taste. At any rate, the custom holds[4] in many states "to slay the
adulterer" alone of all "with impunity,"[5] for this reason clearly
that such miscreants are held to be destroyers of that friendship[6]
which binds the woman to the husband. Since where by some untoward
chance a woman suffers violation of her chastity,[7] husbands do not
the less honour them, as far as that goes, provided true affection
still appear unsullied.[8]

[4] Lit. "many of the states have a law and custom to," etc. Cf. "Pol.
Lac." ii. 4.

[5] Cf. Plat. "Laws," 874 C, "if a man find his wife suffering
violence he may kill the violator and be guiltless in the eye of
the law." Dem. "in Aristocr." 53, {ean tis apokteine en athlois
akon . . . e epi damarti, k.t.l. . . . touton eneka me pheugein

[6] See Lys. "de caed Eratosth." S. 32 f., {outos, o andres, tous
biazomenous elattonos zemias axious egesato einai e tous
peithontas . ton men gar thanaton kategno, tois de diplen epoiese
ten blaben, egoumenos tous men diaprattomenous bia upo ton
biasthenton miseisthai, tous de peisantas outos aution tas psukhas
diaphtheirein ost' oikeioteras autois poiein tas allotrias
gunaikas e tois andrasi kai pasan ep' ekeinois ten oikian
gegonenai kai tous paidas adelous einai opoteron tugkhanousin
ontes, ton andron e ton moikhon . anth' on o ton nomon titheis
thanaton autois epoiese ten zemian}. Cf. "Cyrop." III. i. 39;
"Symp." viii. 20; Plut. "Sol." xxiii., {olos de pleisten ekhein
atopian oi peri ton gunaikon nomoi to Soloni dokousi. moikhon men
gar anelein tio labonti dedoken, ean d' arpase tis eleutheran
gunaika kai biasetai zemian ekaton drakhmas etaxe' kan proagogeue
drakhmas aikosi, plen osai pephasmenos polountai, legon de tas
etairas. autai gar emphanos phoitosi pros tous didontas}, "Solon's
laws in general about women are his strangest, for he permitted
any one to kill an adulterer that found him in the act; but if any
one forced a free woman, a hundred drachmas was the fine; if he
enticed her, twenty;--except those that sell themselves openly,
that is, harlots, who go openly to those that hire them" (Clough,
i. p. 190).

[7] Or, "fall a victim to passion through some calamity," "commit a
breach of chastity." Cf. Aristot. "H. A." VII. i. 9.

[8] Or, "if true affection still retain its virgin purity." As to this
extraordinary passage, see Hartman, op. cit. p. 242 foll.

So sovereign a good do I, for my part, esteem it to be loved, that I
do verily believe spontaneous blessings are outpoured from gods and
men on one so favoured.

This is that choice possession which, beyond all others, the monarch
is deprived of.

But if you require further evidence that what I say is true, look at
the matter thus: No friendship, I presume, is sounder than that which
binds parents to their children and children to their parents,
brothers and sisters to each other,[9] wives to husbands, comrade to

[9] Or, "brothers to brothers."

If, then, you will but thoughtfully consider it, you will discover it
is the ordinary person who is chiefly blest in these relations.[10]
While of tyrants, many have been murderers of their own children, many
by their children murdered. Many brothers have been murderers of one
another in contest for the crown;[11] many a monarch has been done to
death by the wife of his bosom,[12] or even by his own familiar
friend, by him of whose affection he was proudest.[13]

[10] Or, "that these more obvious affections are the sanctities of
private life."

[11] Or, "have caught at the throats of brothers"; lit. "been slain
with mutually-murderous hand." Cf. Pind. Fr. 137; Aesch. "Sept. c.
Theb." 931; "Ag." 1575, concerning Eteocles and Polynices.

[12] See Grote, "H. G." xi. 288, xii. 6; "Hell." VI. iv. 36; Isocr.
"On the Peace," 182; Plut. "Dem. Pol." iii. (Clough, v. p. 98);
Tac. "Hist." v. 8, about the family feuds of the kings of Judaea.

[13] "It was his own familiar friend who dealt the blow, the nearest
and dearest to his heart."

How can you suppose, then, that being so hated by those whom nature
predisposes and law compels to love him, the tyrant should be loved by
any living soul beside?


Again, without some moiety of faith and trust,[1] how can a man not
feel to be defrauded of a mighty blessing? One may well ask: What
fellowship, what converse, what society would be agreeable without
confidence? What intercourse between man and wife be sweet apart from
trustfulness? How should the "faithful esquire" whose faith is
mistrusted still be lief and dear?[2]

[1] "How can he, whose faith's discredited, the moral bankrupt . . ."

[2] Or, "the trusty knight and serving-man." Cf. "Morte d'Arthur,"
xxi. 5, King Arthur and Sir Bedivere.

Well, then, of this frank confidence in others the tyrant has the
scantiest share.[3] Seeing his life is such, he cannot even trust his
meats and drinks, but he must bid his serving-men before the feast
begins, or ever the libation to the gods is poured,[4] to taste the
viands, out of sheer mistrust there may be mischief lurking in the cup
or platter.[5]

[3] Or, "from this . . . is almost absolutely debarred."

[4] "Or ever grace is said."

[5] Cf. "Cyrop." I. iii. 4.

Once more, the rest of mankind find in their fatherland a treasure
worth all else beside. The citizens form their own body-guard[6]
without pay or service-money against slaves and against evil-doers. It
is theirs to see that none of themselves, no citizen, shall perish by
a violent death. And they have advanced so far along the path of
guardianship[7] that in many cases they have framed a law to the
effect that "not the associate even of one who is blood-guilty shall
be accounted pure." So that, by reason of their fatherland,[8] each
several citizen can live at quiet and secure.

[6] "Are their own 'satellites,' spear-bearers." Cf. Thuc. i. 130;
Herod. ii. 168; vii. 127.

[7] "Pushed so far the principle of mutual self-aid."

[8] "Thanks to the blessing of a fatherland each citizen may spend his
days in peace and safety."

But for the tyrant it is again exactly the reverse.[9] Instead of
aiding or avenging their despotic lord, cities bestow large honours on
the slayer of a tyrant; ay, and in lieu of excommunicating the
tyrannicide from sacred shrines,[10] as is the case with murderers of
private citizens, they set up statues of the doers of such deeds[11]
in temples.

[9] "Matters are once more reversed precisely," "it is all 'topsy-

[10] "And sacrifices." Cf. Dem. "c. Lept." 137, {en toinun tois peri
touton nomois o Drakon . . . katharon diorisen einai}. "Now in the
laws upon this subject, Draco, although he strove to make it
fearful and dreadful for a man to slay another, and ordained that
the homicide should be excluded from lustrations, cups, and drink-
offerings, from the temples and the market-place, specifying
everything by which he thought most effectually to restrain people
from such a practice, still did not abolish the rule of justice,
but laid down the cases in which it should be lawful to kill, and
declared that the killer under such circumstances should be deemed
pure" (C. R. Kennedy).

[11] e.g. Harmodius and Aristogeiton. See Dem. loc. cit. 138: "The
same rewards that you gave to Harmodius and Aristogiton,"
concerning whom Simonides himself wrote a votive couplet:

{'E meg' 'Athenaioisi phoos geneth' enik' 'Aristogeiton
'Ipparkhon kteine kai 'Armodios.}

But if you imagine that the tyrant, because he has more possessions
than the private person, does for that reason derive greater pleasure
from them, this is not so either, Simonides, but it is with tyrants as
with athletes. Just as the athlete feels no glow of satisfaction in
asserting his superiority over amateurs,[12] but annoyance rather when
he sustains defeat at the hands of any real antagonist; so, too, the
tyrant finds little consolation in the fact[13] that he is evidently
richer than the private citizen. What he feels is pain, when he
reflects that he has less himself than other monarchs. These he holds
to be his true antagonists; these are his rivals in the race for

[12] Or, "It gives no pleasure to the athlete to win victories over
amateurs." See "Mem." III. viii. 7.

[13] Or, "each time it is brought home to him that," etc.

Nor does the tyrant attain the object of his heart's desire more
quickly than do humbler mortals theirs. For consider, what are their
objects of ambition? The private citizen has set his heart, it may be,
on a house, a farm, a servant. The tyrant hankers after cities, or
wide territory, or harbours, or formidable citadels, things far more
troublesome and more perilous to achieve than are the pettier
ambitions of lesser men.

And hence it is, moreover, that you will find but few[14] private
persons paupers by comparison with the large number of tyrants who
deserve the title;[15] since the criterion of enough, or too much, is
not fixed by mere arithmetic, but relatively to the needs of the
individual.[16] In other words, whatever exceeds sufficiency is much,
and what falls short of that is little.[17]

[14] Reading as vulg. {alla mentoi kai penetas opsei oukh outos
oligous ton idioton os pollous ton turannon}. Lit. "however that
may be, you will see not so few private persons in a state of
penury as many despots." Breitenbach del. {oukh}, and transl.,
"Daher weist du auch in dem Masse wenige Arme unter den Privat-
leuten finden, als viele unter den Tyrannen." Stob., {penetas
opsei oligous ton idioton, pollous de ton turannon}. Stob. MS.
Par., {alla mentoi kai plousious opsei oukh outos oligous ton
idioton os penetas pollous ton turannon}. See Holden ad loc. and
crit. n.

[15] Cf. "Mem." IV. ii. 37.

[16] Or, "not by the number of things we have, but in reference to the
use we make of them." Cf. "Anab." VII. vii. 36.

[17] Dr. Holden aptly cf. Addison, "The Spectator," No. 574, on the
text "Non possidentem multa vocaveris recte beatum . . ."

And on this principle the tyrant, with his multiplicity of goods, is
less well provided to meet necessary expenses than the private person;
since the latter can always cut down his expenditure to suit his daily
needs in any way he chooses; but the tyrant cannot do so, seeing that
the largest expenses of a monarch are also the most necessary, being
devoted to various methods of safeguarding his life, and to cut down
any of them would be little less than suicidal.[18]

[18] Or, "and to curtail these would seem to be self-slaughter."

Or, to put it differently, why should any one expend compassion on a
man, as if he were a beggar, who has it in his power to satisfy by
just and honest means his every need?[19] Surely it would be more
appropriate to call that man a wretched starveling beggar rather, who
through lack of means is driven to live by ugly shifts and base

[19] i.e. "to expend compassion on a man who, etc., were surely a
pathetic fallacy." Al. "Is not the man who has it in his power,
etc., far above being pitied?"

Now it is your tyrant who is perpetually driven to iniquitous
spoilation of temples and human beings, through chronic need of money
wherewith to meet inevitable expenses, since he is forced to feed and
support an army (even in times of peace) no less than if there were
actual war, or else he signs his own death-warrant.[20]

[20] "A daily, hourly constraint is laid upon him to support an army
as in war time, or--write his epitaph!"


But there is yet another sore affliction to which the tyrant is
liable, Sinmonides, which I will name to you. It is this. Tyrants no
less than ordinary mortals can distinguish merit. The orderly,[1] the
wise, the just and upright, they freely recognise; but instead of
admiring them, they are afraid of them--the courageous, lest they
should venture something for the sake of freedom; the wise, lest they
invent some subtle mischief;[2] the just and upright, lest the
multitude should take a fancy to be led by them.

[1] The same epithets occur in Aristoph. "Plut." 89:

{ego gar on meirakion epeiles' oti
os tous dikaious kai sophous kai kosmious
monous badioimen.}

Stob. gives for {kasmious} {alkimous}.

[2] Or, "for fear of machinations." But the word is suggestive of
mechanical inventions also, like those of Archimedes in connection
with a later Hiero (see Plut. "Marcel." xv. foll.); or of
Lionardo, or of Michael Angelo (Symonds, "Renaissance in Italy,"
"The Fine Arts," pp. 315, 393).

And when he has secretly and silently made away with all such people
through terror, whom has he to fall back upon to be of use to him,
save only the unjust, the incontinent, and the slavish-natured?[3] Of
these, the unjust can be trusted as sharing the tyrant's terror lest
the cities should some day win their freedom and lay strong hands upon
them; the incontinent, as satisfied with momentary license; and the
slavish-natured, for the simple reason that they have not themselves
the slightest aspiration after freedom.[4]

[3] Or, "the dishonest, the lascivious, and the servile."

[4] "They have no aspiration even to be free," "they are content to
wallow in the slough of despond." The {adikoi} (unjust) correspond
to the {dikaioi} (just), {akrateis} (incontinent) to the {sophoi}
(wise) (Breit. cf. "Mem." III. ix. 4, {sophian de kai sophrosunen
ou diorizen}), {andrapododeis} (servile) to the {kasmioi},
{andreioi} (orderly, courageous).

This, then, I say, appears to me a sore affliction, that we should
look upon the one set as good men, and yet be forced to lean upon the

And further, even a tyrant cannot but be something of a patriot--a
lover of that state, without which he can neither hope for safety nor
prosperity. On the other hand, his tyrrany, the exigencies of despotic
rule, compel him to incriminate his fatherland.[5] To train his
citizens to soldiery, to render them brave warriors, and well armed,
confers no pleasure on him; rather he will take delight to make his
foreigners more formidable than those to whom the state belongs, and
these foreigners he will depend on as his body-guard.

[5] Or, "depreciate the land which gave him birth." Holden cf.
"Cyrop." VII. ii. 22. See Sturz, s.v.

Nay more, not even in the years of plenty,[6] when abundance of all
blessings reigns, not even then may the tyrant's heart rejoice amid
the general joy, for the greater the indigence of the community the
humbler he will find them: that is his theory.

[6] "In good seasons," "seasons of prosperity." Cf. Aristot. "Pol." v.
6. 17.


He continued: I desire to make known to you, Simonides,[1] those
divers pleasures which were mine whilst I was still a private citizen,
but of which to-day, nay, from the moment I became a tyrant, I find
myself deprived. In those days I consorted with my friends and
fellows, to our mutual delectation;[2] or, if I craved for
quietude,[3] I chose myself for my companion. Gaily the hours flitted
at our drinking-parties, ofttimes till we had drowned such cares and
troubles as are common to the life of man in Lethe's bowl;[4] or
ofttimes till we had steeped our souls in song and dance[5] and
revelry; ofttimes till the flame of passion kindled in the breasts of
my companions and my own.[6] But now, welladay, I am deprived of those
who took delight in me, because I have slaves instead of friends as my
companions; I am robbed of my once delightful intercourse with them,
because I discern no vestige of goodwill towards me in their looks.
And as to the wine-cup and slumber--these I guard against, even as a
man might guard against an ambuscade. Think only! to dread a crowd, to
dread solitude, to dread the absence of a guard, to dread the very
guards that guard, to shrink from having those about one's self
unarmed, and yet to hate the sight of armed attendants. Can you
conceive a more troublesome circumstance?[7] But that is not all. To
place more confidence in foreigners than in your fellow-citizens, nay,
in barbarians than in Hellenes, to be consumed with a desire to keep
freemen slaves and yet to be driven, will he nill he, to make slaves
free, are not all these the symptoms of a mind distracted and amazed
with terror?

[1] Or, "I wish I could disclose to you (he added) those heart-easing
joys." For {euphrosunas} cf. "Od." vi. 156; Aesch. "P. V." 540;
Eur. "Bacch." 376. A favourite word with our author; see "Ages."
ix. 4; "Cyrop." passim; "Mem." III. viii. 10; "Econ." ix. 12.

[2] Lit. "delighting I in them and they in me."

[3] Or, "when I sought tranquility I was my own companion."

[4] Or, "in sheer forgetfulness."

[5] Or, "absorbed our souls in song and festal cheer and dance." Cf.
"Od." viii. 248, 249, {aiei d' emin dais te phile kitharis te
khoroi te} | {eimata t' exemoiba loetra te therma kau eunai}, "and
dear to us ever is the banquet and the harp and the dance, and
changes of raiment, and the warm bath, and love and sleep"
(Butcher and Lang).

[6] Reading as vulg. {epithumias}. Breit. cf. "Mem." III. ix. 7; Plat.
"Phaed." 116 E, "he has eaten and drunk and enjoyed the society of
his beloved" (Jowett). See "Symp." the finale; or if, after Weiske
and Cobet, {euthumias}, transl. "to the general hilarity of myself
and the whole company" (cf. "Cyrop." I. iii. 12, IV. v. 7), but
this is surely a bathos rhetorically.

[7] Or, "a worse perplexity." See "Hell." VII. iii. 8.

For terror, you know, not only is a source of pain indwelling in the
breast itself, but, ever in close attendance, shadowing the path,[8]
becomes the destroyer of all sweet joys.

[8] Reading {sumparakolouthon lumeon}. Stob. gives {sumparomarton
lumanter}. For the sentiment cf. "Cyrop." III. i. 25.

And if you know anything of war, Simonides, and war's alarms; if it
was your fortune ever to be posted close to the enemy's lines,[9] try
to recall to mind what sort of meals you made at those times, with
what sort of slumber you courted rest. Be assured, there are no pains
you then experienced, no horrors to compare with those that crowd upon
the despot, who sees or seems to see fierce eyes of enemies glare at
him, not face to face alone, but from every side.

[9] Or, "in the van of battle, opposite the hostile lines."

He had spoken so far, when Simonides took up the thread of the
discourse, replying: Excellently put. A part I must admit, of what you
say; since war is terrible. Yet, Hiero, you forget. When we, at any
rate, are out campaigning, we have a custom; we place sentinels at the
outposts, and when the watch is set, we take our suppers and turn in

And Hiero answered: Yes, I can well believe you, for the laws are the
true outposts,[10] who guard the sentinels, keeping their fears alive
both for themselves and in behalf of you. Whereas the tyrant hires his
guards for pay like harvest labourers.[11] Now of all functions, all
abilities, none, I presume, is more required of a guard than that of
faithfulness; and yet one faithful man is a commodity more hard to
find than scores of workmen for any sort of work you like to name;[12]
and the more so, when the guards in question are not forthcoming
except for money's sake;[13] and when they have it in their power to
get far more in far less time by murdering the despot than they can
hope to earn by lengthened service in protecting him.

[10] Or, "beyond the sentinels themselves is set the outpost of the
laws, who watch the watch."

[11] Or, "ten-day labourers in harvest-time."

[12] Or, "but to discover one single faithful man is far more
difficult than scores of labourers in any field of work you

[13] Or, "are merely hirelings for filthy lucre's sake."

And as to that which roused your envy--our ability, as you call it, to
benefit our friends most largely, and beyond all else, to triumph over
our foes--here, again, matters are not as you suppose.

How, for instance, can you hope to benefit your friends, when you may
rest assured the very friend whom you have made most your debtor will
be the happiest to quit your sight as fast as may be? since nobody
believes that anything a tyrant gives him is indeed his own, until he
is well beyond the donor's jurisdiction.

So much for friends, and as to enemies conversely. How can you say
"most power of triumphing over our enemies," when every tyrant knows
full well they are all his enemies, every man of them, who are
despotically ruled by him? And to put the whole of them to death or to
imprison them is hardly possible; or who will be his subjects
presently? Not so, but knowing they are his enemies, he must perform
this dexterous feat:[14] he must keep them at arm's length, and yet be
compelled to lean upon them.

[14] Lit. "he must at one and the same moment guard against them, and
yet be driven also to depend upon them."

But be assured, Simonides, that when a tyrant fears any of his
citizens, he is in a strait; it is ill work to see them living and ill
work to put them to the death. Just as might happen with a horse; a
noble beast, but there is that in him makes one fear he will do some
mischief presently past curing.[15] His very virtue makes it hard to
kill the creature, and yet to turn him to account alive is also hard;
so careful must one be, he does not choose the thick of danger to work
irreparable harm. And this, further, doubtless holds of all goods and
chattels, which are at once a trouble and a benefit. If painful to
their owners to possess, they are none the less a source of pain to
part with.

[15] Lit. "good but fearful (i.e. he makes one fear), he will some day
do some desperate mischief."


Now when he had heard these reasonings, Simonides replied: O Hiero,
there is a potent force, it would appear, the name of which is honour,
so attractive that human beings strain to grasp it,[1] and in the
effort they will undergo all pains, endure all perils. It would
further seem that even you, you tyrants, in spite of all that sea of
trouble which a tyranny involves, rush headlong in pursuit of it. You
must be honoured. All the world shall be your ministers; they shall
carry out your every injunction with unhestitating zeal.[2] You shall
be the cynosure of neighbouring eyes; men shall rise from their seats
at your approach; they shall step aside to yield you passage in the
streets.[3] All present shall at all times magnify you,[4] and shall
pay homage to you both with words and deeds. Those, I take it, are
ever the kind of things which subjects do to please the monarch,[5]
and thus they treat each hero of the moment, whom they strive to

[1] Lit. "that human beings will abide all risks and undergo all pains
to clutch the bait."

[2] Cf. "Cyrop." II. iii. 8; VIII. i. 29.

[3] Cf. "Mem." II. iii. 16; "Cyrop." VII. v. 20.

[4] {gerairosi}, poetic. Cf. "Cyrop." VIII. i. 39; "Hell." I. vii. 33;
"Econ." iv. 8; "Herod." v. 67; Pind. "O." iii. 3, v. 11; "N." v.
15; "Od." xiv. 437, 441; "Il." vii. 321; Plat. "Rep." 468 D,
quoting "Il." vii. 321.

[5] Reading {tois turannois}, or if {tous turannous}, after Cobet,
"That is how they treat crowned heads."

[6] Cf. Tennyson, "Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington":

With honour, honour, honour to him,
Eternal honour to his name.

Yes, Hiero, and herein precisely lies the difference between a man and
other animals, in this outstretching after honour.[7] Since, it would
seem, all living creatures alike take pleasure in meats and drinks, in
sleep and sexual joys. Only the love of honour is implanted neither in
unreasoning brutes[8] nor universally in man. But they in whose hearts
the passion for honour and fair fame has fallen like a seed, these
unmistakably[9] are separated most widely from the brutes. These may
claim to be called men,[10] not human beings merely. So that, in my
poor judgment, it is but reasonable you should submit to bear the
pains and penalties of royalty, since you are honoured far beyond all
other mortal men. And indeed no pleasure known to man would seem to be
nearer that of gods than the delight[11] which centres in proud

[7] Or, "in this strong aspiration after honour." Holden aptly cf.
"Spectator," No. 467: "The love of praise is a passion deeply
fixed in the mind of every extraordinary person; and those who are
most affected with it seem most to partake of that particle of the
divinity which distinguishes mankind from the inferior creation."

[8] {alogous}, i.e. "without speach and reason"; cf. modern Greek {o
alogos} = the horse (sc. the animal par excellence). See
"Horsemanship," viii. 14.

[9] {ede}, "ipso facto."

[10] See "Anab." I. vii. 4; Frotscher ap. Breit. cf. Cic. "ad Fam." v.
17. 5, "ut et hominem te et virum esse meminisses."

[11] Or, "joyance."

To these arguments Hiero replied: Nay, but, Simonides, the honours and
proud attributes bestowed on tyrants have much in common with their
love-makings, as I described them. Like honours like loves, the pair
are of a piece.

For just as the ministrations won from loveless hearts[12] are felt to
be devoid of grace, and embraces forcibly procured are sweet no
longer, so the obsequious cringings of alarm are hardly honours. Since
how shall we assert that people who are forced to rise from their
seats do really rise to honour those whom they regard as malefactors?
or that these others who step aside to let their betters pass them in
the street, desire thus to show respect to miscreants?[13] And as to
gifts, it is notorious, people commonly bestow them largely upon those
they hate, and that too when their fears are gravest, hoping to avert
impending evil. Nay, these are nothing more nor less than acts of
slavery, and they may fairly be set down as such.

[12] Or, "the compliance of cold lips where love is not reciprocated
is . . ."

[13] Or, "to rank injustice."

But honours have a very different origin,[14] as different to my mind
as are the sentiments to which they give expression. See how, for
instance, men of common mould will single out a man, who is a man,[15]
they feel, and competent to be their benefactor; one from whom they
hope to reap rich blessings. His name lives upon their lips in praise.
As they gaze at him, each one among them sees in him a private
treasure. Spontaneously they yield him passage in the streets. They
rise from their seats to do him honour, out of love not fear; they
crown him for his public[16] virtue's sake and benefactions. They
shower gifts upon him of their own free choice. These same are they
who, if my definition holds, may well be said to render honour to
their hero by such service, whilst he that is held worthy of these
services is truly honoured. And for my part I can but offer my
congratulations to him. "God bless him," say I, perceiving that so far
from being the butt of foul conspiracy, he is an object of anxiety to
all, lest evil should betide him; and so he pursues the even tenour of
his days in happiness exempt from fears and jealousy[17] and risk. But
the current of the tyrant's life runs differently. Day and night, I do
assure you, Simonides, he lives like one condemned by the general
verdict of mankind to die for his iniquity.

[14] Lit. "Honours would seem to be the outcome and expression of
conditions utterly remote from these, in fact their very

[15] Cf. Napoleon's accost of Goethe, "Vous etes un homme," and "as
Goethe left the room, Napoleon repeated to Berthier and Daru,
'Voila un homme!'" ("The Life of Goethe," Lewes, p. 500).

[16] Reading {koines}, which ought to mean "common to them and him";
if with Cobet {koine}, "in public crown him for his virtue's sake,
a benefactor."

[17] Or, "without reproach."

Now when Simonides had listened to these reasonings to the end,[18] he
answered: How is it, Hiero, if to play the tyrant is a thing so
villainous,[19] and that is your final judgment, how comes it you are
not quit of so monstrous an evil? Neither you, nor, for that matter,
any monarch else I ever heard of, having once possessed the power, did
ever of his own free will divest himself of sovereignty. How is that,

[18] Cf. "Econ." xi. 1.

[19] Or, "if to monarchise and play the despot."

For one simple reason (the tyrant answered), and herein lies the
supreme misery of despotic power; it is not possible even to be quit
of it.[20] How could the life of any single tyrant suffice to square
the account? How should he pay in full to the last farthing all the
moneys of all whom he has robbed? with what chains laid upon him make
requital to all those he has thrust into felons' quarters?[21] how
proffer lives enough to die in compensation of the dead men he has
slain? how die a thousand deaths?

[20] Holden aptly cf. Plut. "Sol." 14, {kalon men einai ten torannida
khorion, ouk ekhein de apobasin}, "it was true a tyrrany was a
very fair spot, but it had no way down from it" (Clough, i. p.

[21] Or, "how undergo in his own person the imprisonments he has
inflicted?" Reading {antipaskhoi}, or if {antiparaskhoi}, transl.
"how could he replace in his own person the exact number of
imprisonments which he has inflicted on others?"

Ah, no! Simonides (he added), if to hang one's self outright be ever
gainful to pour mortal soul, then, take my word for it, that is the
tyrant's remedy: there's none better suited[22] to his case, since he
alone of all men is in this dilemma, that neither to keep nor lay
aside his troubles profits him.

[22] Or, "nought more profitable to meet the case." The author plays
on {lusitelei} according to his wont.


Here Simonides took up the thread of the discourse[1] as follows: That
for the moment, Hiero, you should be out of heart regarding tyranny[2]
I do not wonder, since you have a strong desire to be loved by human
beings, and you are persuaded that it is your office which balks the
realisation of your dream.

[1] Al. "took up the speaker thus."

[2] "In reference to despotic rule."

Now, however, I am no less certain I can prove to you that
government[3] implies no obstacle to being loved, but rather holds the
advantage over private life so far. And whilst investigating if this
be really so, let us not embarass the inquiry by asking whether in
proportion to his greater power the ruler is able to do kindness on a
grander scale. But put it thus: Two human beings, the one in humble
circumstances,[4] the other a despotic ruler, perform a common act;
which of these twain will, under like conditions,[5] win the larger
thanks? I will begin with the most trifling[6] examples; and first a
simple friendly salutation, "Good day," "Good evening," dropped at
sight of some one from the lips of here a ruler, there a private
citizen. In such a case, whose salutation will sound the pleasanter to
him accosted?

[3] {to arkhein}. Cf. "Cyrop." passim.

[4] "A private person."

[5] Lit. "by like expenditure of power."

[6] {arkhomai soi}. Lit. "I'll begin you with quite commonplace
examples." Holden cf. Shakesp. "Merry Wives," i. 4. 97, "I'll do
you your master what good I can"; "Much Ado," ii. 3. 115, "She
will sit you." For the distinction between {paradeigmaton} =
examples and {upodeigmata} = suggestions see "Horsem." ii. 2.

Or again,[7] let us suppose that both should have occasion to
pronounce a panegyric. Whose compliments will carry farther, in the
way of delectation, think you? Or on occasion of a solemn sacrifice,
suppose they do a friend the honour of an invitation.[8] In either
case it is an honour, but which will be regarded with the greater
gratitude, the monarch's or the lesser man's?

[7] "Come now."

[8] Cf. "Mem." II. iii. 11 as to "sacrifices as a means of social
enjoyment." Dr. Holden cf. Aristot. "Nic. Eth." VIII. ix. 160,
"And hence it is that these clan communites and hundreds solemnise
sacrifices, in connection with which they hold large gatherings,
and thereby not only pay honour to the gods, but also provide for
themselves holiday and amusement" (R. Williams). Thuc. ii. 38,
"And we have not forgotten to provide for our weary spirits many
relaxations from toil; we have regular games and sacrifices
throughout the year" (Jowett). Plut. "Them." v., {kai gar
philothuten onta kai lampron en tais peri tous xenous dapanais
. . .} "For loving to sacrifice often, and to be splendid in his
entertainment of strangers, he required a plentiful revenue"
(Clough, i. 236). To which add Theophr. "Char." xv. 2, "The
Shameless Man": {eita thusas tois theois autos men deipnein par'
etero, ta de krea apotithenai alsi pasas, k.t.l.}, "then when he
has been sacrificing to the gods, he will put away the salted
remains, and will himself dine out" (Jebb).

Or let a sick man be attended with a like solicitude by both. It is
plain, the kind attentions of the mighty potentate[9] arouse in the
patient's heart immense delight.[10]

[9] "Their mightinesses," or as we might say, "their serene
highnesses." Cf. Thuc. ii. 65.

[10] "The greatest jubilance."

Or say, they are the givers of two gifts which shall be like in all
respects. It is plain enough in this case also that "the gracious
favour" of his royal highness, even if halved, would more than
counterbalance the whole value of the commoner's "donation."[11]

[11] Or, "half the great man's 'bounty' more than outweighs the small
man's present." For {dorema} cf. Aristot. "N. E." I. ix. 2,
"happiness . . . a free gift of God to men."

Nay, as it seems to me, an honour from the gods, a grace divine, is
shed about the path of him the hero-ruler.[12] Not only does command
itself ennoble manhood, but we gaze on him with other eyes and find
the fair within him yet more fair who is to-day a prince and was but
yesterday a private citizen.[13] Again, it is a prouder satisfaction
doubtless to hold debate with those who are preferred to us in honour
than with people on an equal footing with ourselves.

[12] Lit. "attends the footsteps of the princely ruler." Cf. "Cyrop."
II. i. 23, Plat. "Laws," 667 B, for a similar metaphorical use of
the word.

[13] {to arkhein}, "his princely power makes him more noble as a man,
and we behold him fairer exercising rule than when he functioned
as a common citizen." Reading {kallio}, or if {edion}, transl. "we
feast our eyes more greedily upon him."

Why, the minion (with regard to whom you had the gravest fault to find
with tyranny), the favourite of a ruler, is least apt to quarrel[14]
with gray hairs: the very blemishes of one who is a prince soon cease
to be discounted in their intercourse.[15]

[14] Lit. "feels least disgust at age"; i.e. his patron's years and

[15] Cf. Plat. "Phaedr." 231 B.

The fact is, to have reached the zenith of distinction in itself lends
ornament,[16] nay, a lustre effacing what is harsh and featureless and
rude, and making true beauty yet more splendid.

[16] Or, "The mere prestige of highest worship helps to adorn." See
Aristot. "N. E." xi. 17. As to {auto to tetimesthai m. s.} I think
it is the {arkhon} who is honoured by the rest of men, which
{time} helps to adorn him. Others seem to think it is the
{paidika} who is honoured by the {arkhon}. If so, transl.: "The
mere distinction, the privilege alone of being highly honoured,
lends embellishment," etc.

Since then, by aid of equal ministrations, you are privileged to win
not equal but far deeper gratitude: it would seem to follow,
considering the vastly wider sphere of helpfulness which lies before
you as administrators, and the far grander scale of your largesses, I
say it naturally pertains to you to find yourselves much more beloved
than ordinary mortals; or if not, why not?

Hiero took up the challenge and without demur made answer: For this
good reason, best of poets, necessity constrains us, far more than
ordinary people, to be busybodies. We are forced to meddle with
concerns which are the very fount and springhead of half the hatreds
of mankind.

We have moneys to exact if we would meet our necessary expenses.
Guards must be impressed and sentinels posted wherever there is need
of watch and ward. We have to chastise evil-doers; we must put a stop
to those who would wax insolent.[17] And when the season for swift
action comes, and it is imperative to expedite a force by land or sea,
at such a crisis it will not do for us to entrust the affair to easy-

[17] Or, "curb the over-proud in sap and blood."

Further than that, the man who is a tyrant must have mercenaries, and
of all the burdens which the citizens are called upon to bear there is
none more onerous than this, since nothing will induce them to believe
these people are supported by the tyrant to add to his and their
prestige,[18] but rather for the sake of his own selfishness and

[18] Reading with Breit. {eis timas}, or if the vulg. {isotimous},
transl. "as equal merely to themselves in privilege"; or if with
Schenkl (and Holden, ed. 3) {isotimias}, transl. "their firm
persuasion is these hirelings are not supported by the tyrant in
the interests of equality but of undue influence."


To these arguments Simonides in turn made answer: Nay, Hiero, I am far
from stating that you have not all these divers matters to attend to.
They are serious duties,[1] I admit. But still, what strikes me is, if
half these grave responsibilities do lend themselves undoubtedly to
hatred,[2] the remaining half are altogether gratifying. Thus, to
teach others[3] arts of highest virtue, and to praise and honour each
most fair performance of the same, that is a type of duty not to be
discharged save graciously. Whilst, on the other hand, to scold at
people guilty of remissness, to drive and fine and chasten, these are
proceedings doubtless which go hand in hand with hate and bitterness.

[1] Cf. "Econ." vii. 41.

[2] Or, "tend indisputably to enmity."

[3] Or, "people," "the learner."

What I would say then to the hero-ruler is: Wherever force is needed,
the duty of inflicting chastisement should be assigned to others, but
the distribution of rewards and prizes must be kept in his own

[4] Cf. "Cyrop." VIII. ii. 27; ib. i. 18; "Hipparch," i. 26.

Common experience attests the excellence of such a system.[5] Thus
when we[6] wish to set on foot a competition between choruses,[7] it
is the function of the archon[8] to offer prizes, whilst to the
choregoi[9] is assigned the duty of assembling the members of the
band;[10] and to others[11] that of teaching and applying force to
those who come behindhand in their duties. There, then, you have the
principle at once: The gracious and agreeable devolves on him who
rules, the archon; the repellent counterpart[12] on others. What is
there to prevent the application of the principle to matters politic
in general?[13]

[5] Or, "current incidents bear witness to the beauty of the

[6] {emin}. The author makes Simonides talk as an Athenian.

[7] Lit. "when we wish our sacred choirs to compete."

[8] Or, "magistrate"; at Athens the Archon Eponymos. See Boeckh, "P.
E. A." p. 454 foll. Al. the {athlethetai}. See Pollux, viii. 93;
cf. Aeschin. "c. Ctes." 13.

[9] Or more correctly at Athens the choragoi = leaders of the chorus.

[10] i.e. the choreutai.

[11] Sc. the choro-didaskaloi, or chorus-masters.

[12] {ta antitupa}, "the repellent obverse," "the seamy side." Cf.
Theogn. 1244, {ethos ekhon solion pistios antitupon}. "Hell." VI.
iii. 11.

[13] Or, "Well then, what reason is there why other matters of
political concern--all other branches of our civic life, in fact--
should not be carried out on this same principle?"

All states as units are divided into tribes ({thulas}), or regiments
({moras}), or companies ({lokhous}), and there are officers
({arkhontes}) appointed in command of each division.[14]

[14] e.g. Attica into ten phylae, Lacedaemon into six morae, Thebes
and Argos into lochi. See Aristot. "Pol." v. 8 (Jowett, i. 166);
"Hell." VI. iv. 13; VII. ii. 4.

Well then, suppose that some one were to offer prizes[15] to these
political departments on the pattern of the choric prizes just
described; prizes for excellence of arms, or skill in tactics, or for
discipline and so forth, or for skill in horsemanship; prizes for
prowess[16] in the field of battle, bravery in war; prizes for
uprightness[17] in fulfilment of engagements, contracts, covenants. If
so, I say it is to be expected that these several matters, thanks to
emulous ambition, will one and all be vigorously cultivated.
Vigorously! why, yes, upon my soul, and what a rush there would be!
How in the pursuit of honour they would tear along where duty called:
with what promptitude pour in their money contributions[18] at a time
of crisis.

[15] See "Revenues," iii. 3; A. Zurborg, "de. Xen. Lib. qui {Poroi}
inscribitur," p. 42.

[16] Cf. "Hell." III. iv. 16; IV. ii. 5 foll.

[17] "In reward for justice in, etc." See "Revenues," l.c.; and for
the evil in question, Thuc. i. 77; Plat. "Rep." 556.

[18] {eispheroien}, techn. of the war-tax at Athens. See "Revenues,"
iii. 7 foll.; iv. 34 foll.; Thuc. iii. 19; Boeckh, "P. E. A." pp.
470, 539. Cf. Aristot. "Pol." v. 11. 10, in illustration of the
tyrant's usual method of raising money.

And that which of all arts is the most remunerative, albeit the least
accustomed hitherto to be conducted on the principle of
competition[19]--I mean agriculture--itself would make enormous
strides, if some one were to offer prizes in the same way, "by farms
and villages," to those who should perform the works of tillage in the
fairest fashion. Whilst to those members of the state who should
devote themselves with might and main to this pursuit, a thousand
blessings would be the result. The revenues would be increased; and
self-restraint be found far more than now, in close attendance on
industrious habits.[20] Nay further, crimes and villainies take root
and spring less freely among busy workers.

[19] Al. "and what will be the most repaying . . . being a department
of things least wont," etc.

[20] Or, "soundness of soul much more be found allied with

Once more, if commerce[21] is of any value to the state, then let the
merchant who devotes himself to commerce on the grandest scale receive
some high distinction, and his honours will draw on other traders in
his wake.

[21] Cf. "Revenues," l.c.

Or were it made apparent that the genius who discovers a new source of
revenue, which will not be vexatious, will be honoured, by the state,
a field of exploration will at once be opened, which will not long
continue unproductive.[22]

[22] Lit. "that too is an inquiry which will not long lie fallow."

And to speak compendiously, if it were obvious in each department that
the introducer of any salutary measure whatsoever will not remain
unhonoured, that in itself will stimulate a host of pople who will
make it their business to discover some good thing or other for the
state. Wherever matters of advantage to the state excite deep
interest, of necessity discoveries are made more freely and more
promptly perfected. But if you are afraid, O mighty prince, that
through the multitude of prizes offered[23] under many heads, expenses
also must be much increased, consider that no articles of commerce can
be got more cheaply than those which people purchase in exchange for
prizes. Note in the public contests (choral, equestrian, or
gymnastic)[24] how small the prizes are and yet what vast expenditure
of wealth and toil, and painful supervision these elicit.[25]

[23] Reading {protithemenon} with Cobet.

[24] Lit. "hippic, gymnic, and choregic contests."

[25] e.g. "in the choral dances (1) money on the part of the choragoi;
(2) pains on the part of the choreutai; (3) supervising care on
the part of the choro-didaskoi, and so mutatis mutandis of the
hippic and gymnic."


And Hiero replied: Thus far you reason prettily, methinks, Simonides;
but about these mercenary troops have you aught to say? Can you
suggest a means to avoid the hatred of which they are the cause? Or
will you tell me that a ruler who has won the affection of his
subjects has no need for body-guards?

Nay, in good sooth (replied Simonides), distinctly he will need them
none the less. I know it is with certain human beings as with horses,
some trick of the blood they have, some inborn tendency; the more
their wants are satisfied, the more their wantonness will out. Well
then, to sober and chastise wild spirits, there is nothing like the
terror of your men-at-arms.[1] And as to gentler natures,[2] I do not
know by what means you could bestow so many benefits upon them as by
means of mercenaries.

[1] Lit. "spear-bearers"; the title given to the body-guard of kings
and tyrants.

[2] Lit. "the beautiful and good," the {kalois kagathois}. See "Econ."
vi. 11 foll.

Let me explain: You keep them, I presume, in the first instance, for
yourself, as guards of your own person. But for masters, owners of
estates and others, to be done to death with violence by their own
slaves is no unheard-of thing. Supposing, then, the first and foremost
duty laid on mercenary troops were this: they are the body-guards of
the whole public, and bound as such to come to the assistance of all
members of the state alike, in case they shall detect some mischief
brewing[3] (and miscreants do spring up in the hearts of states, as we
all know); I say then, if these mercenary troops were under orders to
act as guardians of the citizens,[4] the latter would recognise to
whom they were indebted.

[3] "If they become aware of anything of that sort." Is not this
modelled on the {krupteia}? See Pater, "Plato and Platonism," ch.
viii. "Lacedaemon," p. 186.

[4] Or, "as their police." {toutous}, sc. "the citizens"; al. "the
evil-doers." If so, transl. "to keep watch and ward on evil-doers;
the citizens would soon recognise the benefit they owe them for
that service."

But in addition to these functions, such a body might with reason be
expected to create a sense of courage and security, by which the
country labourers with their flocks and herds would greatly benefit, a
benefit not limited to your demesne, but shared by every farm
throughout the rural district.

Again, these mercenaries, if set to guard strategic points,[5] would
leave the citizens full leisure to attend to matters of more private

[5] Or, "as garrisons of critical positions," like Phyle or Decelia
near Athens.

And again, a further function: Can you conceive a service better
qualified to gain intelligence beforehand and to hinder the secret
sudden onslaughts of a hostile force, than a set of troopers always
under arms and fully organised?[6]

[6] Or, "trained to act as one man." See Sturz, s.v.

Moreover, on an actual campaign, where will you find an arm of greater
service to the citizens than these wage-earning troops?[7] than whom,
it is likely, there will none be found more resolute to take the
lion's share of toil or peril, or do outpost duty, keeping watch and
ward while others sleep, brave mercenaries.

[7] The author is perhaps thinking of some personal experiences. He
works out his theory of a wage-earning militia for the protection
of the state in the "Cyropaedia." See esp. VII. v. 69 foll.

And what will be the effect on the neighbour states conterminous with
yours?[8] Will not this standing army lead them to desire peace beyond
all other things? In fact, a compact force like this, so organised,
will prove most potent to preserve the interests of their friends and
to damage those of their opponents.

[8] Or, "that lie upon your borders," as Thebes and Megara were "nigh-
bordering" to Athens. Cf. Eur. "Rhes." 426; Soph. "Fr." 349.

And when, finally, the citizens discover it is not the habit of these
mercenaries to injure those who do no wrong, but their vocation rather
is to hinder all attempts at evil-doing; whereby they exercise a
kindly providence and bear the brunt of danger on behalf of the
community, I say it must needs be, the citizens will rejoice to pay
the expenses which the force entails. At any rate, it is for objects
of far less importance that at present guards[9] are kept in private

[9] "Police or other."


But, Hiero, you must not grudge to spend a portion of your private
substance for the common weal. For myself, I hold to the opinion that
the sums expended by the monarch on the state form items of
disbursement more legitimate[1] than those expended on his personal
account. But let us look into the question point by point.

[1] {eis to deon}. Holden cf. "Anab." I. iii. 8. Aristoph. "Clouds,"
859, {osper Periklees eis to deon apolesa}: "Like Pericles, for a
necessary purpose, I have lost them."

First, the palace: do you imagine that a building, beautified in every
way at an enormous cost, will afford you greater pride and ornament
than a whole city ringed with walls and battlements, whose furniture
consists of temples and pillared porticoes,[2] harbours, market-

[2] Reading {parastasi}, properly "pillasters" (Poll. i. 76. 10. 25) =
"antae," hence "templum in antis" (see Vitruv. iii. 2. 2); or more
widely the entrance of a temple or other building. (Possibly the
author is thinking of "the Propylea").Cf. Eur. "Phoen." 415; "I.
T." 1159. = {stathmoi}, Herod. i. 179; Hom. "Il." xiv. 167; "Od."
vii. 89, {stathmoi d' argureoi en khalkeo estasan oudio}.

The brazen thresholds both sides did enfold
Silver pilasters, hung with gates of gold (Chapman).

Al. {pastasi}, = colonnades.

Next, as to armaments: Will you present a greater terror to the foe if
you appear furnished yourself from head to foot with bright emlazonrie
and horrent arms;[3] or rather by reason of the warlike aspect of a
whole city perfectly equipped?

[3] Or, "with armour curiously wrought a wonder and a dread." {oplois
tois ekpaglotatois}, most magnificent, awe-inspiring, a poetical
word which appears only in this passage in prose (Holden). L. & S.
cf. Hom. "Il."i. 146, xxi. 589, of persons; "Od." xiv. 552, of
things. Pind. "Pyth." iv. 140; "Isth." 7 (6), 30.

And now for ways and means: On which principle do you expect your
revenues to flow more copiously--by keeping your own private
capital[4] employed, or by means devised to make the resources of the
entire state[5] productive?

[4] Reading {idia}, al. {idia}, = "your capital privately employed."

[5] Lit. "of all citizens alike," "every single member of the state."

And next to speak of that which people hold to be the flower of
institutions, a pursuit both noble in itself and best befitting a
great man--I mean the art of breeding chariot-horses[6]--which would
reflect the greater lustre on you, that you personally[7] should train
and send to the great festal gatherings[8] more chariots than any
Hellene else? or rather that your state should boast more racehorse-
breeders than the rest of states, that from Syracuse the largest
number should enter to contest the prize?

[6] Cf. Plat. "Laws," 834 B.

[7] Breit. cf. Pind. "Ol." i. 82; "Pyth." i. 173; ii. 101; iii. 96.

[8] "Our solemn festivals," e.g. those held at Olympia, Delphi, the
Isthmus, Nemea.

Which would you deem the nobler conquest--to win a victory by virtue
of a chariot, or to achieve a people's happiness, that state of which
you are the head and chief? And for my part, I hold it ill becomes a
tyrant to enter the lists with private citizens. For take the case he
wins, he will not be admired, but be envied rather, when is is thought
how many private fortunes go to swell the stream of his expenditure;
while if he loses, he will become a laughing-stock to all mankind.[9]

[9] Or, "you will be mocked and jeered at past all precedence," as
historically was the fate of Dionysus, 388 or 384 B.C. (?); and
for the possible connection between that incident and this
treatise see Lys. "Olymp."; and Prof. Jebb's remarks on the
fragment, "Att. Or." i. p. 203 foll. Grote, "H. G." xi. 40 foll.;
"Plato, iii. 577.

No, no! I tell you, Hiero, your battlefield, your true arena is with
the champion presidents of rival states, above whose lesser heads be
it your destiny to raise this state, of which you are the patron and
supreme head, to some unprecedented height of fortune, which if you
shall achieve, be certain you will be approved victorious in a contest
the noblest and the most stupendous in the world.

Since what follows? In the first place, you will by one swift stroke
have brought about the very thing you have set your heart on, you will
have won the affection of your subjects. Secondly, you will need no
herald to proclaim your victory; not one man only, but all mankind,
shall hymn your virtue.

Wherever you set foot you shall be gazed upon, and not by individual
citizens alone, but by a hundred states be warmly welcomed. You shall
be a marvel, not in the private circle only, but in public in the
sight of all.

It shall be open to you, so far as safety is concerned, to take your
journey where you will to see the games or other spectacles; or it
shall be open to you to bide at home, and still attain your object.

Before you shall be gathered daily an assembly, a great company of
people willing to display whatever each may happen to possess of
wisdom, worth, or beauty;[10] and another throng of persons eager to
do you service. Present, regard them each and all as sworn allies; or
absent, know that each and all have one desire, to set eyes on you.

[10] Or, "to display their wares of wisdom, beauty, excellence."

The end will be, you shall not be loved alone, but passionately
adored, by human beings. You will not need to woo the fair but to
endure the enforcement of their loving suit.

You shall not know what fear is for yourself; you shall transfer it to
the hearts of others, fearing lest some evil overtake you. You will
have about you faithful lieges, willing subjects, nimble servitors.
You shall behold how, as a matter of free choice, they will display a
providential care for you. And if danger threatens, you will find in
them not simply fellow-warriors, but champions eager to defend you
with their lives.[11]

[11] Not {summakhoi}, but {promakhoi}.

Worthy of many gifts you shall be deemed, and yet be never at a loss
for some well-wisher with whom to share them. You shall command a
world-wide loyalty; a whole people shall rejoice with you at your good
fortunes, a whole people battle for your interests, as if in very deed
and truth their own. Your treasure-houses shall be coextensive with
the garnered riches of your friends and lovers.

Therefore be of good cheer, Hiero; enrich your friends, and you will
thereby heap riches on yourself. Build up and aggrandise your city,
for in so doing you will gird on power like a garment, and win allies
for her.[12]

[12] Some commentators suspect a lacuna at this point.

Esteem your fatherland as your estate, the citizens as comrades, your
friends as your own children, and your sons even as your own soul. And
study to excel them one and all in well-doing; for if you overcome
your friends by kindness, your enemies shall nevermore prevail against

Do all these things, and, you may rest assured, it will be yours to
own the fairest and most blessed possession known to mortal man. You
shall be fortunate and none shall envy you.[13]

[13] Al. "It shall be yours to be happy and yet to escape envy." The
concluding sentence is gnomic in character and metrical in form.
See "Pol. Lac." xv. 9.


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