42
The Third Directive [61-63]

was also a recasting. One day we must consider in what regions of essence and out of what background this Romanizing of Greece came to pass. The transformation of ψεῦδος, i.e., the appropriation of "concealing" into the sense of "bringing to a fall," extends so far that the Latin language even adopts the construction and the use of the Greek word λανθάνω, "I am concealed." This transformative adoption is favored through the Indo-germanic affinity between the Greek and Latin languages. Greek says: λανθάνει ἤχων, we correctly translate: "He comes unnoticed." But thought in the Greek way it says: "He is concealed as the one who is coming." The Roman historiographer Livy says: fallit hostis incedens. In our language: "The enemy approaches unnoticed." Closer to the Latin: "The enemy deceives as the one who is approaching." But what the sentence really says is: "The enemy, as the one approaching, brings to a fall." That is absurd and makes sense only if fallere, as bringing to a fall, is thought in the sense of subterfuge, which in turn is thought as deceiving and then as hiding. The Greek ψεῦδος was appropriated, but without an experience of the essential domain of concealment that is normative here. Similarly, Livy speaks of a man, qui natus moriensque fefellit. Our German language would render it: "who was born unknown and died unknown." According to the Roman way of thinking: "who at his birth and at his death brought men to a fall and misled them." But what Livy says can be made meaningful if thought in the Greek manner: "At his birth and at his death concealedness surrounded him." A newborn is unlikely, at his birth, to "trip up" his fellow men, though that is precisely what the Latin word says, and bring them to a fall, or even simply deceive them. But surely, on the contrary, he can dwell in concealedness. The Latin fefellit signifies another realm of essence than that of the Greek ἐλάνθανε. The Latin falsum is alien to the Greek ψεῦδος.

The domination of the Romans and their transformation of Hellenism are in no way limited, however, to individual institutions of the Greek world or to single attitudes and "modes of expression" of Greek humanity. Nor does the Latinization of the Greek world by the Romans amount simply to the sum of everything they have appropriated. What is decisive is that the Latinization occurs as a transformation of the essence of truth and Being within the essence of the Greco-Roman domain of history. This transformation is distinctive in that it remains concealed but nevertheless determines everything in advance. This transformation of the essence of truth and Being is the genuine event of history. The imperial as the mode of Being of a historical humanity is nevertheless not the basis of the essential transformation of ἀλήθεια into veritas, as rectitudo, but is its consequence, and as this consequence it is in turn a possible came and occasion for the development of the true in the sense of the correct. To speak of the "transformation of the essence