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Langue Grec
Auteur Dion Chrysostome
Références Diogène (ou Discours Isthmique; discours IX), par. 14-22
Sujet Diogène en dialogue avec un vainqueur aux jeux Isthmiques : Quelle est la valeur d'une victoire à la course?
Descripteurs jeux Isthmiques; Diogène; vainqueur; victoire; course; mérite; valeur; animaux; hommes; oiseaux;chien; aigle; Hercule; Achille; Hector; renard; alouette; rossignol;
Extrait Grec
(9,14) µet? d? t??t? ?d?? t??a ?? t?? stad??? ßad????ta µet? p????? p?????? 
?a? µ?d? ?p?ßa????ta t?? ???, ???? ?????? fe??µe??? ?p? t?? ?????, t??? d? 
t??a? ?pa?????????ta? ?a? ß???ta?, ?????? d? p?d??ta? ?p? ?a??? ?a? t??
?e??a? a????ta? p??? t?? ???a???, t??? d? ?p?ß?????ta? a?t? stef????? ?a? 
ta???a?, ?te ?d????? p??se??e?? ??et? t?? ?st?? ? ????ß?? ? pe?? a?t?? ?a? t? 
(9,15) ? d? ?f?, ????µe?, {????e?e?,} ß??t?ste ??d???, t? st?d???. ???t? d? t? 
?st??; e?pe?? ?? ??? d? f????µ?te??? ?????a? ??d? µ?????, ?t? ?f?asa? t??? 
s??t?????ta?, ??d? s?f????ste??? ??? ? p??te??? ??d? de???? ?tt??, ??d´ 
??att?? ???e?? ??d´ ??att???? de?s? t? ???p?? ??d? ???p?te??? ß??s?.
(9,16) ?? ??a, e?pe?, ???? t?? ????? ??????? ta??tat?? e?µ? p??t??. ???´ ?? 
t?? ?a???, ?f? ? ????????, ??d? t?? ???f??? ?a?t?? ta?ta t? ????a p??t?? 
?st? {t???sta ?a?} de???tata, ?a? t??? ?????p??? ?a? t??? ???a? ?a? t??? 
?et??? f?ße?ta?, ?a? ?? ß??? ??????. ??? ??s?a, ?f?, ?t? t? t???? de???a? s?µe??? 
?st?; t??? ??? a?t??? ????? s?µß?ß??e ta??st??? te e??a? ?a? ??a?d??t?t???.
(9,17) ? ???? ??a???? d?? t? ß?ad?te??? e??a? p????? ?a? µ? d??as?a? ?at? 
p?da? a??e?? t??? ?a????????, d?? t??t? ?f??e? t??a ?a? t??t??? ????t? ?p? t??? 
fe????ta?. ?a? ??, ???? t?? ??????a, ?f?, ta??? ??ta, f?s?? ? p???t?? 
??d?e??tat?? e??a?. ?a? p??, ?f?, ??s?a ?t? ta??? ?? ? ?????e??; t?? µ?? ??? 
??t??a ??e?? ??? ?d??at? ?at? t?? ?µ??a? ???? d?????. 
(9,18) ??? a?s????, ?f?, ?p? p???µat? seµ????µe???, ?? ? t?? fa???t?t?? 
?????? ?e???? p?f??a?; ??µa? ??? se µ?d? ???pe?a d??as?a? f??sa?. p?s??
d? t? ?a? ?f?asa?; ?a?´ ??????, e?pe?, ? ????e?e?. t??t? ??? t?? ?a? t? 
?a?µast?? ????et? t?? ?????. ?ste, ?f?, pa?´ ?? ß?µa e?da?µ?? ?????a?. 
?pa?te? ??? ?? ???t?st?? ?µe? ?? t?????te?.  ?? d? ????d??  ??  p???? t??? 
??tt?? ?µ?? d??????ta? t? st?d???; ?t???? ??? e?s??, e?pe?. 
(9,19) ??????, ?f? ? ????????, e?pe? t? ta??tat?? e??a? ???t?st?? ?st?, p??? 
ß??t??? ????d?? e??a? s?ed?? ? ?????p??? ?ste t?? ??d??a? ??d?? t? de? 
???t??e?? ??d? t??? ?p?pa?, ?t? ?????e? ??????t? ?? ?????p??, ?? ?p? t?? 
µ???? ???e?ta?. ???´ ???, ?f?, ?????p?? ?? ?????p?? ta??tat?? e?µ?. t? d?; 
???? ?a? ?? t??? µ??µ????, e?pe?, e???? ????? ????? ta??te??? e??a?; µ? ??? 
?a?µ????s?? a?t??; ? ?? d??e? s?? ?e????? e??a?, e? t?? ??a?µa?e µ??µ??a ?p? 
 [9,20] t? d?; e? ????? p??te? ?sa? ?? t?????te?, ????? se µ??a f???e??, ?t? 
?????? {??} ????? ?f???; t??a?ta d? p??? t?? ?????p?? d?a?e??µe??? p??????
?p???se t?? pa???t?? ?ataf????sa? t?? p???µat??, ???e???? a?t?? 
??p??µe??? ?pe??e?? ?a? p??? tape???te???. 
(9,21) t??t? d? ?? µ????? pa?e??e t??? ?????p???, ?p?te ?d?? t??? µ?t?? 
?pa???µe??? ?a? d?? p???µa ??de??? ????? ??? t?? f???e??, s?ste??a? ?p? 
ß?a?? ?a? ?fe??? µ????? t? t?? ????a?, ?spe? ?? t? pef?s?µ??a ?a? ??d???ta 
???a?te? ? se?sa?te?.
(9,22) ?? d? t??t? ?eas?µe??? ?pp??? ?? t? a?t? dedeµ?????, ?pe?ta 
µa??µ????? te ?a? ?a?t????ta? a?t???, ?a? p???? ????? pe??est?ta? ?a? 
?e?µ?????, ??? ?aµ?? ? ?te??? ?f??e? ?p?????a? p??se???? ?stef???se t?? 
µ????ta ?a? ??e????tte? ?? ?s?µ???????, ?t? ?a?t???? ?????se?. ?p? t??t? 
????? ?a? ????ß?? ?? ?p??t??, ?a? t?? ???????? p????? ??a?µa??? ?a? t?? 
????t?? ?ate?????, ?a? t??a? ?pe??e?? fas?? ??? ?d??ta? a?t???—?s??
?a??? ?s?????? ? ?a? t??t?? ?p?????.
Traduction française
And on a later occasion when he saw a person leaving the race-track surrounded by 
a great mob and not even walking on the earth, but carried shoulder high by the 
throng, with some following after and shouting, others leaping for joy and lifting 
their hands towards heaven, and still others throwing garlands and ribbons upon 
him, he asked, when he was able to get near, what was the meaning of the tumult 
about him, and what had happened. 15 The victor replied, "I have won the two 
hundred yards dash for men, Diogenes." "And what does that amount to?" he 
inquired; "for you certainly have not become one whit more intelligent for having 
outstripped your competitors, nor more temperate than you were, nor less cowardly, 
nor are you less discontented, nor will your wants be less in the future or your life 
freer from grief and pain." 16 "No, by heavens," said he, "but I am the fastest on foot 
of all the Greeks." "But not faster than rabbits," said Diogenes, "nor deer; and yet 
these animals, the swiftest of all, are also the most cowardly. They are afraid of men 
and dogs and eagles and lead a wretched life. Do you not know," he added, "that 
speed is a mark of cowardice? It is in the order of things that the swiftest animals are 
likewise the most timid. 17 Heracles, for instance, (p413) on account of being slower 
than many and unable to catch evil-doers by running, used to carry a bow and 
arrows and to employ them against those who ran from him." "But," was the reply, 
"the poet states that Achilles, who was very swift-footed, was, nevertheless, very 
brave." "And how," exclaimed Diogenes, "do you know that Achilles was swift-
footed? For he was unable to overtake Hector although he pursued him all day.  
18 "Are you not ashamed," he continued, "to take pride in an accomplishment in 
which you are naturally outclassed by the meanest beasts? I do not believe that you 
can outstrip even a fox. And by how much did you beat the man after all?" "By just a 
little, Diogenes," said he; "for you know that is what made the victory so marvellous." 
"So," replied Diogenes, "you are fortunate by just one stride." "Yes, for all of us who 
ran were first-rate runners." "How much more quickly, however, does a crested lark 
get over the course than you?" "Ah, but it has wings," he said. 19 "Well," replied 
Diogenes, "if the swiftest thing is the best, it is much better, perhaps, to be a lark than 
to be a man. So then we need not pity the nightingale  or the hoopoe because they 
were changed from human beings into birds according to the myth." "But," replied 
he, "I, a man, am the fleetest of men." "What of it? Is it not probable that among ants 
too," Diogenes rejoined, "one is swifter than another? Yet they do not admire it, do 
they? Or would it not seem absurd to you if one admired (p415) an ant for its speed? 

[9,20] Then again, if all the runners had been lame, would it have been right for you 
to take on airs because, being lame yourself, you had outstripped lame men?" As he 
spoke to the man in this vein, he made the business of foot-racing seem cheap in the 
eyes of many of the bystanders and caused the winner himself to go away sorrowing 
and much meeker. 21 And this was no small service which he rendered to mankind 
whenever he discovered anyone who was foolishly puffed up and lost to all reason 
on account of some worthless thing; for he would humble the man a little and 
relieve him of some small part of his folly, even as one pricks or punctures inflated 
and swollen parts. 
22 On this occasion he saw two horses that were hitched together fall to fighting and 
kicking each other, with a large crowd standing by and looking on, until one of the 
animals, becoming exhausted, broke loose and ran off. Then Diogenes came up and 
placed a crown upon the head of the horse that had stood its ground and proclaimed 
it winner of an Isthmian prize, because it had "won in kicking." At this there was a 
general laugh and uproar, while many applauded Diogenes and derided the athletes. 
They say, too, that some persons actually left without witnessing their performances 
those who had poor lodgings or none. 

Trad. anglaise : J.W. COHOON - H. Lamar CROSBY, Dio Chrysostom. 
Vol. II. London, Heinemann, 1939
Date : 03-12-2008

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Dernière mise à jour : 17/02/2002