When once you see
the glint of wine shining at the feasts of women,
then you may be sure the festival is rotten.
ὅπου βότρυος ἐν δαιτὶ γίγνεται γάνος,
οὐχ ὑγιὲς οὐδὲν ἔτι λέγω τῶν ὀργίων.]
Bacchæ [Βάκχαι], l. 260ff [Pentheus/Πενθεύς] (405 BC) [tr. Arrowsmith (1960)]
(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:
For when women
Share at their feasts the grape's bewitching juice;
From their licentious orgies, I pronounce
No good results.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]
For where women have the delight of the grape-cluster at a feast, I say that none of their rites is healthy any longer.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]
For where ’mong women
The grape’s sweet poison mingles with the feast,
Nought holy may we augur of such worship.
[tr. Milman (1865)]
When women drain the wine-cup at the feast,
Foul is the orgie, dangerous the disease.
[tr. Rogers (1872)]
For where the gladsome grape is found at women’s feasts, I deny that their rites have any longer good results.
[tr. Coleridge (1891)]
In women's feasts the cluster's pride hath part,
No good, say I, comes of their revelry.
[tr. Way (1898)]
When once the gleam
Of grapes hath lit a Woman's Festival,
In all their prayers is no more health at all!
[tr. Murray (1902)]
For where women
have the sparkle of the vine in their festivities,
there, I say, nothing wholesome remains in their rituals.
[tr. Kirk (1970)]
As for women, my opinion is this: when the sparkle of sweet wine appears at their feasts, no good can be expected from their ceremonies.
[tr. Vellacott (1973)]
I tell you, when women
have the cluster’s refreshment at banquets,
there’s nothing healthy left about their orgies.
[tr. Neuburg (1988)]
Take my word,
when women are allowed to fast on wine, there is no
telling to what lengths their filthy minds will go!
[tr. Cacoyannis (1982)]
I say that feast where a woman takes
The gleaming grape is most diseased.
[tr. Blessington (1993)]
For whenever the liquid joy
of the grape comes into women's festivals, then, I assure, you,
there's nothing wholesome in their rites.
[tr. Esposito (1998)]
Because when women
get their sparkle at a feast from wine,
I say the entire ritual is corrupt.
[tr. Woodruff (1999)]
For when the women have
The bright grape-cluster gleaming at their feasts,
There’s nothing healthy in these rites, I say.
[tr. Gibbons/Segal (2000)]
Wherever women get the gleaming grape to drink in their feasts, everything about their rites is diseased.
[tr. Kovacs (2002)]
I’m telling you both, no good comes out of drunk women.
Wine wisdom and orgies are dangerous.
[tr. Theodoridis (2005)]
For whenever the pleasure of the grape's
cluster comes shimmering to women in feast, I say no-
thing is left wholesome in their orgies!
[tr. Valerie (2005)]
Whenever women at some banquet start to take pleasure in the gleaming wine, I say there's nothing healthy in their worship.
[tr. Johnston (2008)]
It's always the same: as soon as you allow drink and women at a festival, everything gets sordid.
[tr. Robertson (2014)]
When women start getting into the wine, I say it’s gone too far. It’s not healthy.
[tr. Pauly (2019)]
There is no good in these festivals where shimmering wine corrupts women.
[tr. Behr/Foster (2019)]
For where women have the delight of the grape at a feast, I say that none of their rites is healthy any longer.
[tr. Buckley/Sens/Nagy (2020)]
Added on 31-Jan-23 | Last updated 31-Jan-23
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