Not even the gods fight against necessity.
- ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
- O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti teide
keimetha tois keinon rhemasi peithomenoi.
- [Word-for-word translation]
O stranger, announce to the Lacadaemonians [Spartans] that here
We lie, to their words [or laws] obedient.
- Go, tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.
- Epitaph on the Cenotaph of Thermopylae, recorded by Herodotus.
- Note: There is a long unsolved dispute around the interpretation of the word rhemasi, such as laws, words or orders.
- Go, tell the Spartans, thou who passest by,
That here obedient to their laws we lie.
- Stranger, go tell the men of Lacedaemon
That we, who lie here, did as we were ordered.
- Stranger, bring the message to the Spartans that here
We remain, obedient to their orders.
- Oh foreigner, tell the Lacedaemonians
That here we lie, obeying their words.
- Go, tell the Spartans, passerby,
that here by Spartan law we lie.
- Here lies Megistias, who died
When the Medes crossed Spercheius' tide.
A great seer, yet he scorned to save
Himself, and shared the Spartans' grave.
- Epitaph of the Spartan Diviner, Megistias, at Thermopylae
- ἀνάγκῃ δ᾽ οὐδὲ θεοὶ μάχονται
- Not even the gods fight against necessity.
- Quoted by Plato in the dialogue Protagoras, 345d (Simonides Fr. 37.1.27 ff.).
- The gods do not fight against necessity.
- Not even the gods war against necessity.
- I praise and love all men who do no sin willingly; but with necessity even the gods do not contend.
- We did not flinch but gave our lives to save Greece when her fate hung on a razor's edge.
- From the Cenotaph at the Isthmos
- … ζωγραφίαν ποίησιν σιωπῶσαν προσαγορεύει [sc. ὁ Σιμωνίδης], τὴν δὲ ποίησιν ζωγραφίαν λαλοῦσαν.
- Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks.
- Quoted by Plutarch, De gloria Atheniensium 3.346f.
- Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.
- Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting.
- See also: Ut pictura poesis