Off to the Piraeus!


Well, I’m off (not directly) to the Piraeus, not (as would be fitting for Athens’s port) by trireme, but by train, then bus, then aeroplane, then metro/bus!

Here is a bit of Aristophanes to celebrate my nascent travels – it’s about the Piraeus!

Aristophanes, Knights 813-819

Ἀλλαντοπώλης

ὦ πόλις Ἄργους κλύεθ᾽ οἷα λέγει. σὺ Θεμιστοκλεῖ ἀντιφερίζεις; 

ὃς ἐποίησεν τὴν πόλιν ἡμῶν μεστὴνεὑρὼν ἐπιχειλῆ, 

καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἀριστώσῃ τὸν Πειραιᾶ προσέμαξεν, 

ἀφελών τ᾽ οὐδὲν τῶν ἀρχαίων ἰχθῦς καινοὺς παρέθηκεν: 

σὺ δ᾽ Ἀθηναίους ἐζήτησας μικροπολίτας ἀποφῆναι 

διατειχίζων καὶ χρησμῳδῶν, ὁ Θεμιστοκλεῖ ἀντιφερίζων. 

κἀκεῖνος μὲν φεύγει τὴν γῆν σὺ δ᾽Ἀχιλλείων ἀπομάττει.

SAUSAGE-SELLER: Oh! citizens of Argos, do you hear what he says? You dare to compare yourself to Themistocles, who found our city half empty and left it full to overflowing, who one day gave us the Piraeus for dinner, and added fresh fish to all our usual meals. You, on the contrary, you, who compare yourself with Themistocles, have only sought to reduce our city in size, to shut it within its walls, to chant oracles to us. And Themistocles goes into exile, while you gorge yourself on the most excellent fare.

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