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Greek Anthology: Book 13

EPIGRAMS IN VARIOUS METRES


This selection from Book 13 of the Greek Anthology contains all the epigrams written before the middle of the first century A.D., as listed in three editions:
(H)     A.S.F.Gow & D.L.Page, "The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams"
(Ph)   A.S.F.Gow & D.L.Page, "The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams"
(F)     D.L.Page, "Further Greek Epigrams"
The labels in green are the numbers assigned to the epigrams in one of these editions. The labels in red are their numbers within the Anthology.

Translations of most of the epigrams are already available elsewhere, as indicated by the links. The translations of the remaining epigrams are taken from the edition by W.R.Paton (1916-18), but have been modified to remove some of the archaic language.   Click on G to go to the Greek text of each epigram.


[1]

Philippus

[2] PHAEDIMUS   { H 2 }   G

(Iambic trimeters)

Callistratus dedicated to you, Hermes, messenger of Zeus, this statue of a youth of like age with himself, the common image of you and him. The young man is of the deme of Cephissia. Rejoicing in his gift, O Lord, protect the son of Apollodorus and his native place.

[3]

Theocritus (XIX)

[4] ANACREON   { - }   G

(Trochaic tetrameters)

I pity thee, Aristocleides, first among all my valiant friends. Thou didst lose your young life, defending your country from enslavement.

[5] PHALAECUS   { H 2 }   G

(Iambic trimeters with the last syllable missing)

(1) I conquered in the stadion.   (2) And I in wrestling.   (3) And I in the pentathlon.   (4) And I in boxing.   - And who are you?   (1) Timodemus.   (2) And I Cres.   (3) And I Crethus.   (4) And I Diocles.   - And who was your father?   (1) Cleinus.   (2, 3 & 4) And ours too.   - And where did you win?   (1) At Isthmus. And you where?   (2) In the Nemean grove and by the home of Hera. *

*   i.e. in the Heraea at Argos. The dialogue is between a passer-by and the statues of four brother athletes. There seems to be something missing at the end.

[6] PHALAECUS   { H 3 }   G

(Hendecasyllable trimeters)

This admirable portrait of the comedian, crowned for a triumph with ivy and garlands, I set up that it might stand as a monument on Lycon's grave. For this memorial of him who was so charming in familiar talk and over the wine, this depiction of his features, is offered by me to preserve the memory among posterity also of how the glorious man entertained us. (?)

[7]

Callimachus (38)

[8]

Theodoridas

[9]

Callimachus

[10]

Callimachus

[11]

Simonides

[12] HEGESIPPUS   { H 6 }   G

(Hexameters followed by iambic trimeters)

Alas that day and that fatal moonless night, that dreadful roaring of the wind-beaten sea, that cast ashore the ship on which Abderion, so sweet a soul, was making ineffectual vows to the gods. For she, an utter wreck, was carried by the waves on to the rugged rocks of Seriphus, whence he, having received fire from the hands of his city's reverend hosts, came to his home Abdera, lapped in a brazen urn.

[14]

Simonides

[17]

Simonides

[18] PARMENON   { F 1 }   G

(Hexameters followed by hendecasyllables)

You work of brass, be known as the prize of the swift filly, who when, torn by the spur, she had thrown her jockey, ran unmounted round the level course. And therefore did Parmenon gain golden victory. Phocritus, to your son did the Lords of Amyclae *   grant to win in the race like his father.

*   The Dioscuri.

[19]

Simonides

[20]

Simonides

[21]

Theodoridas

[22] PHAEDIMUS   { H 3 }   G

(Complete trimeters followed by epodes - shorter verses - consisting of heroic tetrameters season in the penultimate syllable)

O king, Far-shooter, curb the force of your bow with which you laid low the Giant's might. Open not your wolf-slaying quiver, but aim at these young men the arrow of Love, that strong in the friendship of their youthful peers, they may defend their country ; for it sets courage afire, and He is ever of all gods the strongest to exalt the hearts of the foremost in the fight. *   But may you, whom the Schoenians reverence as their ancestral god, accept the gifts Melistion proffers.

*   Melistion was evidently one of the celebrated sacred band of Thebes. It consisted of lovers and beloved. Schoenus was a village near Thebes.

[23]

Asclepiades

[24]

Callimachus (39)

[25]

Callimachus (40)

[26]

Simonides

[27] PHALAECUS   { H 4 }   G

(Tetrameters alternating with hexameters and followed by iambic trimeters)

Phocus perished in a strange land ; for the black ship did not escape or . . . the waves, but went down into the great deep of the Aegean sea when the south-west wind had stirred the water up from its depths. But in the land of his fathers he got an empty tomb; and by it his mother, Promethis, like in her suffering to the mournful bird halcyon, bewails evermore her son, calling "aiai," telling how he perished before his time.

[27a] CALLIMACHUS   { - }   G

(The same tetrameter followed by a decasyllable)

{ The epigram is missing. }

[28] ANTIGENES   { F 1 }   G

(The same tetrameter followed by a tetrameter . . . but with an extra syllable : in the fourth foot it has not an iambus but an anapaest)

Often in truth, in the choruses of the tribe Acamantis, did the Hours, the companions of Dionysus, shout in triumph at the ivy-crowned dithyrambs, and cover the bright locks of skilled poets with fillets and rose blossoms. The chorus has now set up this tripod as a witness of their Bacchic contest. Antigenes was the poet who trained those men to sing his verses, *   and Ariston of Argos, clearly pouring dulcet breath into the Doric flute, nursed well the sweet voice of the singers. The leader of their honey-voiced circle was Hipponicus, son of Struthon, riding in the chariot of the Graces, who established for him among men a name renowned, and the fame of glorious victory, for the sake of the violet-crowned Muses.

*   The epigram is attributed to Bacchylides or Simonides, but is most probably the work of the poet Antigenes himself.

[29] NICAENETUS   { H 5 }   G

(An iambic trimeter following a hexameter)

Wine is a swift horse to the poet who would charm, but, drinking water, you shall not give birth to anything that is clever. This Cratinus said, *   Dionysus, and breathed the perfume not of one bottle but of all the cask ; therefore was he great, loaded with crowns, and his forehead, like yours, was yellow with the ivy.

*   cp. Hor. Ep. i. 19, 1.

[30]

Simonides

[31] TIMOCREON OF RHODES   { - }   G

(Similar)

This nonsense from Ceos has reached me against my wish. *

*   Timocreon evidently alludes to No. 30 (Simonides was a citizen of Ceos), which must have reflected on a poem of his own.


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