back

Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 48.1330


IN PRAISE OF HALIKARNASSOS


Greek text: SEG_48.1330
Date:   c. 128-100 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription, which was found near the Salmakis fountain (see web page, with photographs and a Danish translation), was first published by S. Isager in 1998 ( PDF ). The inscription contains a poem in elegiac couplets.

The translation is by H. Lloyd-Jones, who has provided a full commentary on the poem in "The Pride of Halicarnassus" ( ZPE, 1999 - PDF ). The identity of the author and the exact date of the poem are unknown.



Tell me, Schoinitis, dear tamer of our cares, you, Kypris, who bring close to us Desires scented with myrrh, what is it that brings honour to Halikarnassos? For I have never been told this. What words does she utter when she proudly boasts?

She brought forth an illustrious crop of earth-born men, to lodge beside mighty Zeus of the Height, who first in secret placed the new-born child of Rhea, Zeus, beneath the hollow ridge, caring for him, in the shrine of Gaia, when Kronos of the crooked counsels had failed to get him into the depths beneath his throat in time. And Zeus made the sons of Gē his honoured priests, who care for his awesome house. Nor was the reward they got from Zeus one of ingratitude, for they got good things in return for their good deeds.

And Halikarnassos settled the delightful hill beside the stream of Salmakis, sung of as dear to the immortals, and her domain includes the desirable home of the nymph, she who once received our child in her kindly arms and reared Hermaphroditos the all-excellent, he who invented marriage and was first to bind together wedded couples by his law, and she herself beneath the holy waters in the cave that she pours forth makes gentle the savage minds of men.

And Pallas brought the tamer of Pegasos, moving in the sky, to be a noble settler, after the time when she trod in the tracks of Bellerophontes and fixed the boundaries of the land of Pedasos. Yes, indeed, the mighty strength of Kranaos settled noble sons of Kekrops in the land of holy Salmakis. And the valiant hero Endymion with his regal spear brought choice men from the land of Apis {Peloponnese}.

[And Anthes,] Poseidonís son, [came from Troizen] . . . . . was father of the Antheadai . . . . rising up fiercely . . . . . . . . . placed the offspring of Phoebus . . . . the new foundation . . . . . . brought Ariadne from the land of . . . . . . . left the child . . . . . . . planted . . . . . as a settler . . . . . . . caring for . . . . . with . . . hand placed that same crown . . . . . . by the command of Phoibos.

She brought forth Herodotos, the prose Homer in the realm of history; she nourished the renowned power of Andron, she was the mother of Panyassis, the glorious lord of verse, she gave birth to Kyprias, the poet of the tale of Ilion. It is she who brought up Menestheus, excelling in the realm of the Muses, she who gave birth to the holy spirit of Theaitetos, she who was mother of Dionysios, the poet of comedy, she who created Zenodotos, skilful in tragic verses, she who made the servant of Dionysos, Phanostratos, a poet delighting in the sacred garlands of the sons of Kekrops, who made Nossos an indicator of time in his histories, who gave birth to Timokrates, the accomplished poet. And she bore other noble sons of noble fathers; Time the infinite shall never cease to tell of the deeds by which they won their fame. She has done many glorious deeds on land, and at sea has won many a noble prize with the commanders of the Greeks. The guerdon of the righteous, that brings all honours, is hers, and by means of her noble doings she lays claim to the most glorious of garlands.


Attalus' home page   |   20.12.16   |   Any comments?