God's mill grinds slow, but sure –> ο Θεός αργεί αλλά δε λησμονεί | ο Θεός αργεί αλλά δεν λησμονεί


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God's mill grinds slow, but sure –> ο Θεός αργεί αλλά δε λησμονεί, ο Θεός αργεί αλλά δεν λησμονεί

The proverbial expression of the mills of God grinding slowly refers to the notion of slow but certain divine retribution.

Plutarch (1st century AD) alludes to the metaphor as a then-current adage in his Moralia (De sera numinis vindicta "On the Delay of Divine Vengeance"):

"Thus, I do not see what use there is in those mills of the gods said to grind so late as to render punishment hard to be recognized, and to make wickedness fearless."
Plutarch no doubt here makes reference to a hexameter by an unknown poet, cited by sceptic philosopher Sextus Empiricus (2nd century) in his Adversus Grammaticos as a popular adage:

Ὀψὲ θεῶν ἀλέουσι μύλοι, ἀλέουσι δὲ λεπτά.
"The millstones of the gods grind late, but they grind fine."
The same expression was invoked by Celsus in his (lost) True Discourse. Defending the concept of ancestral fault, Celsus reportedly quoted "a priest of Apollo or of Zeus":

Ὀψὲ, φησι, θεῶν ἀλέουσι μύλοι, κἆϛ παίδων παῖδας τοί κεν μετόπισθε γένωνται.
'The mills of the gods grind slowly', he says, even 'To children's children, and to those who are born after them.'
The Sibylline Oracles (c. 175) have Sed mola postremo pinset divina farinam ("but the divine mill will at last grind the flour").

The proverb was in frequent use in the Protestant Reformation, often in the Latin translation Sero molunt deorum molae due to Erasmus of Rotterdam (Adagia, 1500), but also in German translation.

The expression was anthologised in English translation by George Herbert in his collection of proverbs entitled Jacula Prudentum (1652), as "God's mill grinds slow but sure" (no. 743). German epigrammatist Friedrich von Logau, in his Sinngedichte (c. 1654), composed an extended variant of the saying under the title "Göttliche Rache" (divine retribution),

Gottes Mühlen mahlen langsam, mahlen aber trefflich klein,
ob aus Langmut er sich säumet, bringt mit Schärf 'er alles ein.
translated into English by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("Retribution", Poetic Aphorisms, 1846):

Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience He stands waiting, With exactness grinds He all.
Mills of God - Wikipedia
« Last Edit: 25 Jul, 2021, 20:31:30 by spiros »


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