Frasi di Temistocle

 Temistocle foto
4  5

Temistocle

Data di nascita: 524 a.C.
Data di morte: 459 a.C.

Pubblicità

Temistocle del demo di Frearri è stato un politico e militare ateniese.

Tra i primi politici di spicco della giovane democrazia di Atene, condusse una politica a favore del popolo, ricevendo perciò il supporto delle classi meno abbienti della città, e generalmente in contrasto con le famiglie nobili. Eletto arconte nel 493 a.C., fu l'artefice della potenza navale di Atene, la cui flotta diventerà la più grande e potente di tutta l'antica Grecia.

Negli anni successivi alla battaglia di Maratona e durante la seconda guerra persiana diventò il politico più influente di Atene. Continuò a sostenere la necessità di una grande forza navale e nel 483 a.C. persuase gli Ateniesi a costruire una flotta di 200 triremi, che si sarebbe rivelata fondamentale nel successivo conflitto con la Persia. Comandò la flotta ateniese nelle battaglie di capo Artemisio e di Salamina.

Contrastato nel suo programma di avvicinamento ad Argo e sospettato di atteggiamenti tirannici, fu ostracizzato circa nel 472 a.C. dagli avversari politici Alcmeonidi e Filaidi, più propensi ad appoggiare Cimone, sostenitore dell'alleanza con Sparta. Prese allora dimora ad Argo da dove cercò, insieme a Pausania, di sollevare nel Peloponneso un moto democratico contro Sparta per procurare ad Atene il dominio dell'Ellade. Scoperta la sua trama, gli Spartani lo accusarono di aver tentato, insieme a Pausania, un'alleanza con la Persia; condannato a morte, fuggì dapprima in Magna Grecia; più tardi venne accolto dal re Artaserse I di Persia. Alla fine trovò dimora a Magnesia, dove morì in date e circostanze sconosciute, secondo molti suicida per non tener fede alle promesse fatte al re persiano.

Sarà Pericle a riabilitare la sua memoria e a riconoscerlo come un eroe della causa ateniese. In accordo col giudizio di Plutarco, può essere considerato "l'uomo che più di tutti ha contribuito alla salvezza della Grecia" dalla minaccia persiana.

La sua politica navale ebbe un impatto a lungo termine sulla storia di Atene, permettendo ai suoi successori la creazione dell'impero ateniese.

Frasi Temistocle

„Colpiscimi, ma almeno ascoltami.“

—  Temistocle
citato in Plutarco, Vita di Temistocle, 11

Pubblicità

„For the Athenians command the rest of Greece, I command the Athenians; your mother commands me, and you command your mother.“

—  Themistocles
Statement to his son, as quoted in [http://books.google.com/books?id=pus-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA723 Familiar Quotations 9th Edition (1894) edited by J. Bartlett, p. 723] Originally quoted in Plutarch, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0074%3Achapter%3D18%3Asection%3D5 Themistocles] (18.5): (5) Of his son, who lorded it over his mother, and through her over himself, he said, jestingly, that the boy was the most powerful of all the Hellenes; for the Hellenes were commanded by the Athenians, the Athenians by himself, himself by the boy's mother, and the mother by her boy. (Bernadotte Perrin, Ed., via Perseus Project) Original [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0074%3Achapter%3D18%3Asection%3D5 Greek]: "(5) ποῦ ἂν ἦτε νῦν ὑμεῖς;’ τὸν δὲ υἱὸν ἐντρυφῶντα τῇ μητρὶ καὶ δι᾽ ἐκείνην αὐτῷ σκώπτων ἔλεγε πλεῖστον τῶν Ἑλλήνων δύνασθαι: τοῖς μὲν γὰρ Ἕλλησιν ἐπιτάττειν Ἀθηναίους, Ἀθηναίοις δ᾽ αὐτόν, αὐτῷ δὲ τὴν ἐκείνου μητέρα, τῇ μητρὶ δ᾽ ἐκεῖνον."

„I never learned how to tune a harp, or play upon a lute; but I know how to raise a small and inconsiderable city to glory and greatness.“

—  Themistocles
As quoted by Plutarch, in [http://books.google.com/books?id=UFROAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA84 Lives as translated by J. Langhorne and W. Langhorne (1836), p. 84] Variant translation: 'Tis true, I never learned how to tune a harp, or play upon a lute, but I know how to raise a small and inconsiderate city to glory and greatness. [http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0007.tlg010.perseus-eng1:2 Plutarch's Themistocles, 2:3] "...tuning the lyre and handling the harp were no accomplishments of his, but rather taking in hand a city that was small and inglorious and making it glorious and great" "...λύραν μὲν ἁρμόσασθαι καὶ μεταχειρίσασθαι ψαλτήριον οὐκ ἐπίσταται, πόλιν δὲ μικρὰν καὶ ἄδοξον παραλαβὼν ἔνδοξον καὶ μεγάλην ἀπεργάσασθαι." (at Perseus Project)

„May I never sit on a tribunal where my friends shall not find more favor from me than strangers.“

—  Themistocles
As quoted by Plutarch, in [http://books.google.com/books?id=jaBfAAAAMAAJ Lives as translated by J. Langhorne and W. Langhorne (1850)], p. 225

„I have with me two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion.“

—  Themistocles
As quoted in [http://books.google.com/books?id=4cl5c4T9LWkC The Columbia Book of Quotations (1993) edited by R. Andrews], p. 894. Original quote from Herodotus, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Hdt.%208.111&lang=original The Histories] (8.111): "(2)...for the men of that place, the first islanders of whom Themistocles demanded money, would not give it. When, however, Themistocles gave them to understand that the Athenians had come with two great gods to aid them, Persuasion and Necessity, and that the Andrians must therefore certainly give money, they said in response, “It is then but reasonable that Athens is great and prosperous, being blessed with serviceable gods." Herodotus: [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0125%3Abook%3D8%3Achapter%3D111 Original Greek]: (2) πρῶτοι γὰρ Ἄνδριοι νησιωτέων αἰτηθέντες πρὸς Θεμιστοκλέος χρήματα οὐκ ἔδοσαν, ἀλλὰ προϊσχομένου Θεμιστοκλέος λόγον τόνδε, ὡς ἥκοιεν Ἀθηναῖοι περὶ ἑωυτοὺς ἔχοντες δύο θεοὺς μεγάλους, πειθώ τε καὶ ἀναγκαίην, οὕτω τέ σφι κάρτα δοτέα εἶναι χρήματα, ὑπεκρίναντο πρὸς ταῦτα λέγοντες ὡς κατὰ λόγον ἦσαν ἄρα αἱ Ἀθῆναι μεγάλαι τε καὶ εὐδαίμονες, αἳ καὶ θεῶν χρηστῶν ἥκοιεν εὖ... (via Perseus Project) Herodotus is quoted by Plutarch in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0066%3Achapter%3D21%3Asection%3D1 Themistocles] (21.1): he said he came escorting two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion. ([http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0074%3Achapter%3D21%3Asection%3D1 Greek]: "δύο γὰρ ἥκειν ἔφη θεοὺς κομίζων, Πειθὼ καὶ Βίαν") NOTE the two different sets of "gods" in the Original Greek: [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=*peiqw%5C&la=greek&can=*peiqw%5C0&prior=komi/zwn&d=Perseus:text:2008.01.0074:chapter=21:section=1&i=1 πειθώ] τε καὶ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=a%29nagkai%2Fhn&la=greek&can=a%29nagkai%2Fhn0&prior=kai\&d=Perseus:text:1999.01.0125:book=8:chapter=111&i=1 ἀναγκαίην] (Herodotus); [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=*peiqw%5C&la=greek&can=*peiqw%5C0&prior=komi/zwn&d=Perseus:text:2008.01.0074:chapter=21:section=1&i=1 Πειθὼ] καὶ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=*bi%2Fan&la=greek&can=*bi%2Fan0&prior=kai\&d=Perseus:text:2008.01.0074:chapter=21:section=1&i=1 Βίαν] (Plutarch)

Pubblicità

„Strike, if you will, but hear.“

—  Themistocles
As quoted in [http://books.google.com/books?id=pus-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA723 Familiar Quotations, 9th Edition (1894) edited by J. Bartlett, p. 723] Originally quoted by Plutarch in [Themistocles] (11.3): (3) And when Eurybiades lifted up his staff as though to smite him, Themistocles said: ‘Smite, but hear me.’ Then Eurybiades was struck with admiration at his calmness, and bade him speak, and Themistocles tried to bring him back to his own position. (Bernadotte Perrin, Ed., via Perseus Project) Original [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0007.tlg010.perseus-grc1:11.3 Greek]: [3] ἐπαραμένου δὲ τὴν βακτηρίαν ὡς πατάξοντος, ὁ Θεμιστοκλῆς ἔφη: ‘πάταξον μέν, ἄκουσον δέ.’ θαυμάσαντος δὲ τὴν πρᾳότητα τοῦ Εὐρυβιάδου καὶ λέγειν κελεύσαντος, ὁ μὲν Θεμιστοκλῆς ἀνῆγεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν λόγον.

„He who controls the sea controls everything.“

—  Themistocles
As quoted in [http://www.australiandefence.com.au/CE98DE40-F806-11DD-8DFE0050568C22C9 Australia Defence] Originally quoted by Cicero in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0008%3Abook%3D10%3Aletter%3D8%3Asection%3D4 Letters to Atticus] (10, 8, 4.): ... cuius omne consilium Themistocleum est. existimat enim qui mare teneat eum necesse esse rerum potiri. [http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=PerseusLatinTexts&getid=1&query=Cic.%20Att.%2010.8 Translation]: "On the contrary, his view is entirely that of Themistocles: for he holds that the master of the sea must inevitably be master of the empire."

„I choose the likely man in preference to the rich man; I want a man without money rather than money without a man.“

—  Themistocles
As quoted in [http://books.google.com/books?id=QnDvIsNKNIwC The Quotable Intellectual (2010) edited by P. Archer, p. 152]

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