1 The mares that carry me as far as my (their?) spirit might reach
2 Were conducting [me]; when leading (carrying) me they put me onto a many-voiced road
3 Of a goddess (daimōn
), who through all cities
bears the man of understanding.
4 On this I was carried, for on this the much-indicating mares were carrying me
5 Pulling the chariot at full stretch, and maidens led the way.
6 The axle in the wheel-boxes was sending forth the sound of a surinx
7 Burning, for it was being pressed down by its two turned
8-9 Wheels at both ends, as the Sun-maidens (Hēliades
) hastened to convey me, leaving behind the houses of Night,
10 Into [the] light, having pushed the veils from their heads with their hands.
11 There are the gates of the paths of Night and Day
12 And a lintel and a threshold of stone hold them together at both sides (top and bottom),
13 Themselves being filled by vast doors;
14 Of these many-penaltied Dikē
(Justice) holds the keys of exchange (alternation).
15 Her indeed the maidens blandishing with gentle words
16-17 Persuaded cleverly to push the bolted bar swiftly from the gates for them; and they of the doors,
17-19 Spreading, made a yawning gap, turning the much-bronzed posts in their sockets in turn
20 Closely fixed to them with pegs and nails. Right away straight through the gates
21 Along the carriage-road the maidens guided the chariot and mares.
22-23 And the goddess (thea) received me willingly, and took my right hand in hers, and spoke to me and addressed me thus:
24 "Young man in the company of immortal charioteers
25 And mares which carry you, arriving at our house,
26 Welcome, since in no way a bad fate (moira
) has sent you forth to go
27 On this road - for truly it is far from the beaten path of humans -,
28 But rather Themis
(Right) and Dikē
(Justice). You must hearken to (learn) everything,
29 Both the unshaking heart of well-rounded (persuasive?) Alētheiē
30 And the opinions of mortals, in which there is no true assurance.
31 But nevertheless you shall learn these things also, how the things that are believed (OR: the things that seem)
32 Must really be altogether [going] throughout all things (OR: Must really be accepted to be continually (continuously) pervading everything).
1 Come now, I will speak, and do you carry this speech away with you once heard,
2 Just which are the only roads of inquiry (seeking) to conceive [of] (OR: for thinking; noēsai
3 The one, how it is
and how it is not not to be (OR: how it is not possible for it not to be),
4 Is the path of Peithō
(Persuasion) - for Alētheiē (Truth) attends upon her;
5 The other, how it is not and how it is necessary [for it] not to be,
6 This indeed I indicate to you to be an all-not-inquirable-into straight track:
7 For neither would you know what is not (not-being) - for that is not accomplished -
8 Nor would you indicate it.
1 ...for the same thing is for conceiving (awareness; noein
) [of] and for being
(OR:...for the same thing is to conceive (be aware) [of] and to be)
1 Nevertheless gaze steadily with noos
on what is absent and on what is present;
(OR:...gaze on/ observe steadily what is absent to noos
and on what is present [to noos
2 For you will not sever what is (being) from holding to what is (being),
3 Neither by scattering it altogether in every way according to an order
(OR:...in every way throughout the universe)
4 Nor by bringing it together.
1 ...It is the same (common) to me
2 From what place I should begin, for to that place I shall come back again.
1 It is fitting (OR: necessary) to say and noein eon
(being; what is) is; for it is (for this can be; for it is) for being (OR: to be),
(OR:It is necessary/fitting to say and noein
(OR:...; for to be is,)
2 By no means is it not. These things I bid you to indicate to yourself;
(OR:Nothing is not....)
3 For from this first road of inquiry I bar you,
4 But also from the road on which mortals understanding nothing
5-6 Wander two-headed, for helplessness in their own breasts drives their wandering noos straight, and they are borne lurching along
7 Deaf and blind equally, dazed, a tribe without judgment,
8 By whom it is held that pelein
(to be; to go on) and ouk einai
(not to be) are the same
9 And not the same, but the path of all is back-turning.
1 For never is this to be forced, that things that are not (mē eonta
2 But do keep (hold back) your thought from this road of inquiry:
3 Neither allow many-experienced (much-experienced) habit to force you along this road,
4 To ply an aimless (heedless) eye and a roaring hearing (ear)
5 And tongue, but pick out (judge; distinguish; krinai
) for yourself by means of reason (an account; logos
) a much-contesting refutation
6 Out of what I said.
1 ...One account (story; muthos
) of a road yet
2 Is left: how it is. On this signs are,
3 Very many, how it is [a] being (eon
) unborn and indestructible,
(OR:...,how what is (being; eon
) is unborn and indestructible,)
4 Whole, unique and unmoving and complete (or: without issue, unaccompanied);
5 Neither was it ever nor will it be, since it is now all together (common),
(OR:There is not was or will be, since...)
6 One, continuous; for what parentage (birth) will you seek out for it?
7-8 How and whence grown? Nor will I allow you to say nor yet to conceive (think, take it, etc.; noein
) that it was out of what is not (out of not being; ek mē eontos
); for it is neither sayable (phaton
) nor perceptible to noos
9 That (How) it (what is; eon
) is = it is not. And what necessity would have started it (this; min
(OR:[That] it (eon
) is how (in the manner of) it is not. And...)
(OR:That (How) it (eon
) is is not. And...)
10 Later or sooner, beginning from nothing, to spring up?
11 Thus it is necessary either to be entirely (wholly), or not [to be].
12 Nor will strength of assurance ever allow, out of what is not (out of not being; ek mē eontos
13 Something to come to be beside it; on account of (for the sake of) this neither coming to be
14 Nor perishing does Dikē
(Justice) allow by loosening the shackles,
15 But she holds; and in this is the distinction regarding these:
16 It is or it is not; for it has in fact been decided, just as is necessary,
17 To permit that the latter road is unconceived [-of] (anoēton
) and unnamed (nameless) - for not a true (genuine; real)
18 Road is it, and to permit that the former is to be and to be genuine (true).
(OR:...to grant the former to be thus: to be genuine (true).)
19 How could what is (being; to eon
) perish? How could it come to be (be born)?
20 For if it came to be, it is (was) not, nor if it is ever about to come to be.
21 In this way coming to be has been extinguished and destruction is not heard of.
22 Neither is it divisible, since it is all alike (like);
(OR:..., since all is alike (like)
23 Nor is it in any way more in any one place, which would keep it from holding itself together;
24 Nor is it in any way less; but all is full of what is (being; eontos
25 Therefore all is continuous; for what is (being; eon) comes near to what is (being; eonti
(OR:Therefore it is all continuous; for...)
26 But unmoving in limits of mighty bonds
27 It is without beginning and without cease, since coming to be and destruction
28 Wandered very far off, and (but) true assurance pushed them away.
29 Remaining the same and in the same place (way), it lies by (according to) itself
30 And thus it stands fast on the spot, for mighty Anankē
31 Holds it in bonds of limit, which shuts it in all around (on both sides).
32 Wherefore (Since) it is not right (lawful, meet; themis
) for what is (being; to eon
) to be incomplete:
(OR:Wherefore (Since) it is right (etc.; themis
) for what is (to eo
n) to be not incomplete:)
33 For it is not lacking; if it were, it would lack everything.
34 The same thing is for conceiving (thinking, awareness, etc; noein
) [of] and is wherefore (for the sake of which) there is that which is conceived (thought, etc.; noēma
(OR:...and is wherefore (for the sake of which) there is conceiving (thought, awareness, etc.; noēm
(OR:...and is wherefore (for the sake of which) it (i.e., eon
) is [a] noēma
35 For not without that which is (being; tou eontos
), on which what is expressed depends
36 Will you find conceiving (awareness, etc.; noein
). For nothing either is or will be
37 Besides that which is (being; tou eontos
), since Moira
(Fate, Portion) bound it
38 To be whole and unmoving; with respect to this everything has been named (specified; reading onomastai )
(OR:...with respect to this it has been named (reading onomastai)
(OR:...with respect to this everything will be a name (reading onoma estai))
39 As many as (As much as) mortals having laid down trusting to be true
40 To come to be (Coming to be) and to be destroyed (being destroyed), to be and not to be,
41 And to change place and to exchange bright surface colors.
42 But since a limit is outermost, it (i.e., what is) is completed (perfected),
43 From every side like the bulk of a well-rounded sphere,
44-45 In all ways equally balanced from the middle, for it is necessary that it be neither something greater nor something smaller in one way or another (in this or that);
46 Nor does what is (being; eon
) not exist, which would prevent it from attaining
47-48 To the same thing; nor is what is (being; eon
) such that it could be more than (of) what is (being; eon
) in some way (place) and less in another, since it is all (since all is) inviolate.
49 For from all sides (in all ways) equal to itself, it proves to be uniformly within limits.
50 At this point I cease my trustworthy speech and thought to you
51-52 About (On both sides of) truth. From this point onward learn by hearing from me in addition the opinions of mortals, a deceptive order;
(OR:...From this point onward learn mortal opinions by hearing in addition from me a deceptive order;)
53 For two judgments (opinions, marks) they laid down to name (specify) appearances (forms),
54 One of which it is necessary not [to name? to lay down?] - in respect to this they have wandered (are misled) -
55 They distinguished (picked out; ekrinanto
) for themselves opposites in respect to form and laid down signs for themselves
56 Separate from one another; here on the one hand [they laid down the sign] ethereal (high-up) flaming fire,
57 Being mild (A mild thing), extremely light in weight, the same as itself in every way,
58 And not the same as the other [one]. But that (the latter) one in conformity with itself
59 Oppositely [is? they laid down the sign?] obscure (unlearnable) night, a solid and weighty form.
60 I tell you about this whole fitting arrangement
61 In order that at no time may any opinion of mortals overtake (surpass) you.
1 But since in fact all things have been named light and night
2 And these each according to their own powers have been given as names to these things and to those,
3 All is full of light and invisible night together
4 Both equally, since nothing has a share in neither one (OR: since neither has a share of nothing).
1-3 You will know the celestial nature and all the constellations in the sky and the destructive (unseen?) deeds of the clear bright sun's torch and whence it came into being,
4 And you will learn the wandering (revolving) deeds of the round-eyed moon
5 And its nature, and also you will know whence the sky holding (embracing) on both sides (all around)
6 Came to be, and how Anankē
(Necessity) leading it bound it
7 To hold in bonds of stars.
1 ...how earth and sun and moon
2 And common aether and the Milky Way and furthest (eschatos
, line 3) Olympus
3 And the hot force of stars were set in motion
4 To come to be.
1 For the narrower [rings] are filled with unmixed fire,
2 The ones next to these are of night, and a portion of flame is discharged;
3 In the middle of these is the divinity (daimōn
) who steers everything;
4 For she rules over the painful birth and mixing (mingling) of all,
5 Sending female to male to join together (in sexual intercourse) and then in turn contrariwise
6 Male to female.
1 First of all the gods she