Epigram 14.10

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λέβητας ἔγνων μὴ σιωπᾶν εἰδότας,
πλὴν ἄρτια τὸν χαλκὸν ἠχεῖν προτρέπειν,
ἀντικτυποῦντος τοῦ πρώτου τῷ δευτέρῳ,
καὶ μεταδιδόντος τῷ τετάρτῳ τοῦ τρίτου.

ἐὰν δὲ τὸ κινοῦν ἠρεμῇ καὶ μὴ πνέῃ,
ἄφωνος ὁ λέβης: τῇ φύσει γὰρ οὐ λάλος.
τῶν σῶν δὲ λεβήτων ἡ φύσις μὲν εὔστομος:
σῇ ^ δ᾽ ἐντυχοῦσα γίνετ᾽ εὐστομωτέρα,
σιγῶς1᾽ ὅταν δεῖ, καὶ λαλοῦς1᾽ ὅταν δέοι.

— Paton edition

I know of caldrons that cannot be silent, but incite the brass to sound articulately, the first responding to the second, and the third transferring the sound to the fourth. But if the motive force is still and does not blow, the caldron is voiceless, for it is not gifted with speech by nature. But the nature of your caldrons is well spoken, and meeting with your own nature it becomes more so, keeping silence when meet and speaking when meet.

— Paton edition






“Those badly written Byzantine verses refer to the cauldrons hung up in a row at Dodone, which knocked against each other when agitated by the wind, and from the sound of which oracles were devised. By ‘your cauldrons’ in l. 8 the writer means simply the organs of speech.” (W.R. Paton, Greek Anthology volume 5, pp. 32-33)


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Epigram 14.10: Addition of Comment (PK 905) by “LuizCapelo

Epigram 14.10: Association of énigme (1447) by “LuizCapelo

Epigram 14.10: Addition of [eng] I know of caldrons that cannot … by “LuizCapelo

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