Friday, April 14, 2006

Quotes on Aletheia

Ah Moisa, I beg you, and Alatheia (Truth) daughter of Zeus, with your right hand upraised shield me from this reproach of a pledge broken and a friend’s dues dishonoured.
- Pindar, Odes Olympian 11 str1
Alatheia (Truth), who art the beginning of great virtue, keep my good-faith from stumbling against rough falsehood.
- Pindar, Frag 205
Alatheia (Truth) is from the same city as the gods; she alone lives with the gods.
- Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides, Frag 57
A man was journeying in the wilderness and he found Veritas-Aletheia (Truth) standing there all alone. He said to her, 'Ancient lady, why do you dwell here in the wilderness, leaving the city behind?' From the great depths of her wisdom, Veritas (Truth) replied, 'Among the people of old, lies were found among only a few, but now they have spread throughout all of human society!
-Aesop, Fables 531 (from Babrius 126)
Prometheus, that potter who gave shape to our new generation, decided one day to sculpt the form of Veritas (Truth) [Aletheia], using all his skill so that she would be able to regulate people's behaviour. As he was working, an unexpected summons from mighty Jupiter [Zeus] called him away. Prometheus left cunning Dolus (Trickery) in charge of his workshop, Dolus had recently become one of the god's apprentices. Fired by ambition, Dolus (Trickery) used the time at his disposal to fashion with his sly fingers a figure of the same size and appearance as Veritas (Truth) [Aletheia] with identical features. When he had almost completed the piece, which was truly remarkable, he ran out of clay to use for her feet. The master returned, so Dolus (Trickery) quickly sat down in his seat, quaking with fear. Prometheus was amazed at the similarity of the two statues and wanted it to seem as if all the credit were due to his own skill. Therefore, he put both statues in the kiln and when they had been thoroughly baked, he infused them both with life: sacred Veritas (Truth) walked with measured steps, while her unfinished twin stood stuck in her tracks. That forgery, that product of subterfuge, thus acquired the name of Mendacium (Falsehood) [Pseudologos], and I readily agree with people who say that she has no feet: every once in a while something that is false can start off successfully, but with time Veritas (Truth) is sure to prevail.
- Aesop, Fables 530 (from Phaedrus App. 5)
He beguiled Veritas (Truth) herself with his many [false] expressions of affection.
- Apuleias, The Golden Ass 8.7


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