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Literary Papyri: Elegiac and Iambic Poems

These poems and fragments are taken from volume 3 of "Select Papyri", edited and translated by D.L.Page. Some, but not all, of the translator's learned notes are shown after each poem.



101   -   MIMNERMUS,   SMYRNEIS

This fragment comes from a commentary on Antimachus, in which we are told that Mimnermus wrote a Smyrneis ; cf. Paus. ix. 29. 4. Mimnermus wrote elegiacs about the war between Smyrna and the Lydians under Gyges. This war occurred a generation before the time of Mimnermus ; who is therefore the first Greek known to have written an historical poem about events in the recent past.

So from the king, when he made known his order, they darted, fenced in their hollow shields.

ὣς οἳ πὰρ βασιλῆος, ἐπε[ί ῥ'] ἐ[ν]εδέξατο μῦθο̣ν,
   ἤ[ϊξ]α̣ν κοίληι[ς ἀ]σπίσι φραξάμενοι.




102   -   EPICHARMEA,   probably by AXIOPISTUS   {Iambic}

(c) Preface to a book of Sententiae, perhaps the work of one Axiopistus (Athen. xiv. 648 d), who flourished about 300 B.C. : this papyrus is dated between 280 and 240 B.C.

Crönert shews that the extant gnomai ascribed to Epicharmus can easily be distributed under the headings of the opening lines of this fragment, and maintains that they are parts of the book to which our fragment is the preface. Fr. 254 (Kaibel) may belong to the end of this preface.

(a) In character, I tell you, women are worse than animals. Give food or water to a lion, or Molossian dog, or . . ., and the beasts wag their tails and make friends with their benefactors. But the first hand the woman bites is the one that feeds her.

(b) The wise man is . . . Here is a proof : lands and houses and kingdoms and wealth and strength and beauty, if they fall to a fool, become absurd. Pleasures are the godless pirates of mankind : let pleasure catch you, and you sink at once.

(c) Within this book are many and manifold advices for you to use towards a friend or foe, while speaking in the courts, or the assembly, towards the rogue or the gentleman, towards the stranger, towards the quarrelsome, the drunkard, and the vulgar, or any other plagues that you may find - for them too there's a sting within my book.

Within it too are maxims wise ; obey them, and you will be a cleverer and a better man for all events. You need no lengthy speech, only a single one of these proverbs ; bring round to your subject whichever of them is apt. Men used to censure me because, though shrewd enough in other ways, I was a lengthy speaker - could not express my thoughts with brevity. To this charge I lent an ear, and I composed this book of rules, * to make the world exclaim "Epicharmus was a philosopher, who uttered many witty sayings of many kinds in single verses : himself he lets us test his skill in brevity of speech as well !"

He who learns these maxims well shall appear a wise man to the world, and never talk but good sense, if he remembers every word. If one who takes this book shall be offended by some word within it - not, of course, because his own conduct is ill-considered and in conflict with my counsel - let me tell him, a broader mind is a blessing and a boon. . .

{ Traces of two lines )

Different people, different pleasures : we do not all judge alike. Each man should . . . these advices, as he deems expedient ; then speak them freely as the time requires.

*   "Work of art" (ed.pr.).

A   τοὺς τρόπους χείρω γυναῖ]κα φαμ' ἐγὼ τῶν θηρίων
εἶμεν· ὅστις γὰρ λέοντι σῖτον ἢ ποτὸν [φέρει
ἢ κυσὶν Μολοσσικοῖσ[ιν ἢ
θῆρε]ς ἀικάλλοντι τοῖσι[ν εὖ ποεῦσιν εὐμενεῖς.
ἁ γυνὰ δὲ τὸν τρέφοντα [πρῶτον εἴθισται δακεῖν.


B   †ταλεας† γάρ ἐσθ ὁ φρόνιμος. ὡς δὲ τοῦθ' οὗτως ἔχει,
χῶρος οἰκία τυραννὶς πλοῦτος ἰσχὺς καλλονὰ
ἄφρονος ἀνθρώπου τυχόντα καταγέλαστα γίνεται.
ἁδοναὶ δ' ἐισὶν βροτοῖσιν ἀνόσιοι λαιστήριοι·
καταπεπόντισται γὰρ εὐθὺς ἁδοναῖς ἀνὴρ ἁλούς.


C   τεῖδ‎ʼ ἔνεστι πολλὰ καὶ παν‎[τ‎]οῖα‎, τοῖς χρήσαιό κα‎
ποτὶ φίλον‎, πὸτ ἐχθρόν‎, ἐν δίκαι λέγων‎, ἐν ἀλίαι‎,
ποτὶ πονηρόν‎, ποτὶ καλόν τε κἀγαθόν‎, ποτὶ ξένον‎,
ποτὶ δύσηριν‎, ποτὶ πάροινον‎, ποτὶ βάιναυσον‎, αἴτε τις‎
ἄλλ‎ʼ ἔχει κακόν τι‎, καὶ τούτοισι κέντρα τεῖδ‎ʼ ἔνο‎.
ἐν δὲ καὶ γνῶμαι σοφαὶ τεῖδ‎ʼ, αἷσιν α‎[ἰ‎] πίθοιτό τις‎,
δεξιώτερός τε κ‎ʼ εἴη βελτίων τ‎ʼ ἐς πά‎[ν‎]τ‎ʼ ἀνήρ‎.
κο‎]ὔτι πολλὰ δεῖ λέγ‎[ε‎]ιν‎, ἀλλ‎' ἓν μόνον‎ [τ‎]ούτων ἔπος‎
πὸτ τὸ πρᾶγμα ποτιφέροντα τῶνδ‎ʼ ἀε‎[ὶ‎] τὸ συμφέρον‎.
10 αἰτίαν γὰρ ἦχον ὡς ἄλλως μὲν εἴην‎ [δ‎]έξιος‎,
μακρολόγος δὲ κοὐ δυναίμαν ἐν β‎[ρ‎]αχεῖ γνώμα‎[ς λέγ‎]ειν‎.
ταῦτα δὴ‎ 'γὼν εἰσακούσας συντίθημι τὰν τέχναν‎
τάνδ‎ʼ, ὅ‎[π‎]ως εἴπηι τις‎· "Ἐπίχαρμος σοφός τις ἐγένετο‎,
πολλὰ δ‎ʼ εἶ‎]π̣‎ʼ ἀστεῖα καὶ παντοῖα καθ‎ʼ ἓν‎ [ἔπος‎] λέγων‎
πεῖραν‎] αὐταυτοῦ διδοὺς ὡς καὶ β‎[ραχ‎έα καλῶς λέγοι.
εὖ δὲ τάδ]ε μαθὼν ἅπας ἀνὴρ φαν[ήσεται σοφός,
οὐδὲ ληρ]ήσει ποτ' οὐδέν, ἔπος ἅπ[αν μεμναμένος.
εἰ δὲ τὸν λαβ]όντα λυπήσει τι τῶνδ[ε τῶν λόγων,
οὔτι μὰν ἄσκεπτ]α δρῶντα τοῖσδ[έ θ' ἧσσον ὁμότροπα
20 ἀγαθὸν ἴστω συμφ]ορόν τε πολυμαθῆ [νόον τρέφειν
      { Traces of two lines }
ἄλλος ἄλλωι γὰρ γέγαθε, κοὔτι ταὐτὰ κρίνομες.
. . . . . . . δ]ὲ πάντα δεῖ τάδ' ὡς ἑ[κάστωι φαινέται
συμφέρειν, ἔ]πειτα δ' ἐν καιρῶι λέ[γειν ἐλευθέρως.
. . . . . . .




103   -   ANONYMOUS,   EPIGRAM FOR A MERRY COMPANY   {3 B.C.}

An early Hellenistic epigram, preface to the opening of a sympotic gathering, and to the recitation of further pieces suitable to the occasion. Cf. Xenophanes fr. 1, Theognis 467.

Hail to you, companion revellers ! With good omen I begin, and with good omen I will end my speech. When friends are come together for such purpose, they must laugh and play, behaving bravely, and rejoice in their company, and make sport of each other and utter such jests as bring laughter with them. Earnest converse must follow, and we must listen to each speaker in his turn : therein is the virtue of a merry company. And let us give ear to the leader of our revels : such is the conduct of good men, and the source of honest reputation.

Χαίρετε συμπόται ἄνδρες ὁμήλικες, ἐξ ἀγαθοῦ γάρ
  ἀρξάμενος τελέω τὸν λόγον εἰς ἀγαθόν.
Χρὴ δ', ὃταν εἰς τοιοῦτο συνέλθωμεν φίλοι ἄνδρες
  πρᾶγμα, γελᾶν, παὶζειν χρησαμένους ἀρετῇ,
ἥδεσθαί τε συνόντας, ἐς ἀλλήλους τε φλυαρεῖν,
  καὶ σκώπτειν τοιαῦθ', οἷα γέλωτα φέρει.
Ἡ δὲ σπουδὴ ἑπέσθω, ἀκούωμέν τε λεγόντων
  ἐν μέρει· ἦδ' ἀρετὴ συμποσίου πέλεται.
Τοῦ δὲ ποταρχοῦντος πειθώμεθα· ταῦτα γάρ ἐστιν
  ἔργ' ἀνδρῶν ἀγαθῶν εὐλογίαν τε φέρει.




104   -   POSEIDIPPUS,   TWO EPIGRAMS

(a) Epigram composed to celebrate the erection (282-281 B.C.) of the lighthouse on the island Pharos (which was said to have been dedicated to Proteus, cf. v. 1), in the reign of Ptolemy I Soter. (See Suidas, s.v. Pharos, Strabo xvii. 791, ed. pr. p. 28 for details.) This famous building stood on the eastern extremity of the island, in front of the port of Alexandria. The architect was Sostratus of Cnidus. See esp. Thiersch, Pharos, pp. 82-83.

(b) Epigram composed to celebrate the foundation of a shrine to his wife Arsinoe by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The building was a chapel {naiskos} containing an image of Arsinoe, who was worshipped there as Arsinoe-Aphrodite : it stood on Cape Zephyrium, between Alexandria and Canopus. (See Strabo xvii. 800, Athen. vii. 318, ed. pr. p. 29.) For Callicrates v. Hiller von Gaertringen, p. 40.

(a) Lord Proteus : the saviour of Hellenes, this watchman of Pharos, was built by Sostratus, son of Dexiphanes, a Cnidian. In Egypt there are no mountain-peaks, as in the islands : but low lies the breakwater where ships may harbour. Therefore this tower, cleaving the sky straight and upright, shines in the daytime countless leagues away : and all night long the sailor who runs with the waves shall see a great light blazing from its summit. And he may run even to the Bull's Horn, * and yet not miss the God of Safety **, O Proteus, whosoever sails this way.

*   One of the narrow and dangerous channels leading to the port of Alexandria; Pliny, N.H. v. 31 (128).
**   The lighthouse was inscribed θεοῖς σωτῆρσιν.

(b) Midway between the beach of Pharos and the mouth of Canopus I have my place amid surrounding waters, this windy breakwater of pastoral Libya, facing the western wind from Italy. Here Callicrates established me and called me the Temple of Queen Arsinoe-Aphrodite. Chaste daughters of Hellenes, hither come to her that shall be named Zephyritis-Aphrodite * : come, men that labour on the seas. Our Captain ** has made this temple a safe harbour from all the waters.

*   From Zephyrion, name of the promontory on which the temple stands.
**   Callicrates; cf. Callim. ap. Athen. vii. 318.


a   Ἑλλήνων σωτῆρα, Φάρου σκοπόν, ὦ ἄνα Προτεῦ,
  Σώστρατος ἔστησεν Δεξιφάνους Κνίδιος·
 οὐ γὰρ ἐν Αἰγύπτωι σκοπαὶ οὔρεος οἷ᾿ ἐπὶ νήσων,
  ἀλλὰ χαμαὶ χηλὴ ναύλοχος ἐκτέταται.
τοῦ χάριν εὐθεῖάν τε καὶ ὄρθιον αἰθέρα τέμνειν
  πύργος ὅδ᾿ ἀπλάτων φαίνετ᾿ ἀπὸ σταδίων
ἤματι, παννύχιος δὲ θοῶς ἐν κύματι ναύτης
  ὄψεται ἐκ κορυφῆς πῦρ μέγα καιόμενον,
καί κεν ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸ δράμοι Ταύρου Κέρας, οὐδ᾿ ἂν ἁμάρτοι
  Σωτῆρος, Πρωτεῦ, Ζηνὸς ὁ τῆιδε πλέων.


b   μέσσον ἐγὼ Φαρίης ἀκτῆς στόματός τε Κανώπου
  ἐν περιφαινομένωι κύματι χῶρον ἔχω,
τήνδε πολυρρήνου Λιβύης ἀνεμώδεα χηλήν,
  τὴν ἀνατεινομένην εἰς Ἰταλὸν Ζέφυρον,
ἔνθα με Καλλικράτης ἱδρύσατο καὶ βασιλίσσης
  ἱερὸν tρσινόης Κύπριδος ὠνόμασεν.
ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ τὴν Ζεφυρῖτιν ἀκουσομένην Ἀφροδίτην,
  Ἑλλήνων ἁγναὶ βαίνετε, θυγατέρες,
οἵ θ᾿ ἁλὸς ἐργάται ἄνδρες· ὁ γὰρ ναύαρχος ἔτευξεν
  τοῦθ᾿ ἱερὸν παντὸς κύματος εὐλίμενον.




105   -   ANONYMOUS,   TWO EPIGRAMS   {late 3 B.C.}

(a) Description of a fountain, written by an Alexandrian epigrammatist in the 3rd century B.C. Among the sculptures there were images of the king (v. 12) and of the queen (v. 13 : Arsinoe Philadelphus or Philopator).

The details of the description are very obscure. I append a few notes to justify my renderings : -

V.5. "Having set free the bright water-drop" : see ed. pr. p. 22 for reference to epigrams which were written in celebration of the revival of obsolete fountains.

Vv. 6-9. The following is a brief and inadequate summary of the views of Professor D. S. Robertson. I am most grateful for his assistance, and fortunate to be able to publish so important a contribution to the understanding of this obscure passage.

(1) zōnē is the low semi-circular bounding-wall of the basin ; this wall carried one or more columns {it is possible, perhaps likely, that one of a set of identical columns is being described as a typical example). The semicircle may be conceived as projecting in front of a straight rear wall.

(2) "hollow moulding" is the characteristic cavetto moulding of the typical Attic-Ionic base.

(5) pternai are also parts of this base - presumably the two convex mouldings which frame the cavetto moulding.

(6) thesis, v. 9 means "foundation" or "base" in a non-technical sense, i.e. all that has hitherto been described as the support for the column-shaft.

(b) An epigram, composed in the same era as the preceding one, celebrating a person distinguished in poetry and warfare. This person is undoubtedly Ptolemy IV Philopator, who won a great victory over Antiochus III at Raphia in 217 B.C., and was at the same time ambitious in the world of letters, writing a tragedy Adonis (Schol. Ar. Thesm. 1059) and setting up a temple to Homer (Aelian, V.H. 13. 22). This poem refers to a dedication to Homer (vv 2-5) : we can hardly suppose it to be other than the dedication of that temple to Homer. The parents of vv. 6-7 are then Ptolemy III Euergetes {hence euergetai, v. 6) and his wife Berenice.

(a) (vv. 3 sqq.) Gladly . . . accept the gift . . . who also set up a work in stone, an ample building for your house, having first set the bright water free. He made it into the form of a semicircle ; the Parian * boundary-wall supports the column-base in Ionian style, and within the hollow moulding speckled Syenite glistens near the heels ; such is the foundation of the column. Through stone from Hymettus **gushes forth the draught of spring-water, taking up the flood from caves, itself drenched therewith. Your image he modelled from rich white marble, smooth-wrought, and in the midst he set Arsinoe, who shares the Nymphs's fortune every year. Come with good order to the fountain, Nymphs of spring-waters !

(b) Blessed Ptolemy . . . set this up to Homer . . . who wrote of old the ageless song of Iliad and Odyssey from his immortal mind. O happy benefactors of mankind ! You sowed the seed of a king who excels with spear and among the Muses !

*   Lit. "the lamp-stone," because Parian marble was quarried underground by lamp-light.
**   Fashioned, evidently, into the shape of a lion's head, through which the water poured.


a   . . .   . . . ]ηρια καὶ Πτολεμ[αι
  ἀσπάσιοι βα[ . . .   . . . ] δέχοισθε γέρας
ὃς καὶ λάινον [ἔργον ἐθ]ήκατο δαψιλὲς οἴκωι
  κτίσμα, πά[ρος λ]ευκὴν ἐκποδίσας σταγόνα,
εἰς ἡμίσφαιρο[ν τ]εύξας θέσιν· ἡ δὲ λυχνῖτις
  ζωνὴ στυλοῦται πέζαν ἴωνι τύπωι·
ῥάβδου κοίλης ἔντος ἀποστίλβει δὲ συηνὶς
  στικτὴ πρὸς πτερναῖς· κιόνος ἥδε θέσις.
ἡ δ' ἀφ' Ὑμηττοῦ πέτρος ἐρευγομένη πόμα κρήνης
  ἐκδέχεται σπιλάδων ὑγρὰ διαινομένη.
εἰκόνα δ' ὑμετέρην ἐτυπώσατο πίονι λύγδωι
  πρηύνας, μέσσην δ' ἥρμοσεν Ἀρσινόην
σύηκληρον νύμφας κατὰ πᾶν ἔτος, ἀλλ' ἐπὶ πηγὴν
  τήνδε μετ' ἐυνομίης βαίνετε Κρηνηιάδες.


b   εὐαίων Πτολεμαῖος . . . τοῦτο δ' Ὁμήρωι
  εἵσαθ' ὑπὲρ διδ . . . . ατοναρτεμενος
τῶι πρὶν Οδυσσείας τε [καὶ Ἰλ]ιάδος τὸν ἀγήρω
  ὕμνον ἀπ' ἀθανάτων γραψαμένωι πραπρίδων.
ὄλβιοι ὦ θνατῶν ἐυεργέται, [οἳ] τὸν ἄριστον
  ἐν δορὶ καὶ Μούσαις κοίρανον ἠρόσατε.




106   -   EPIGRAM ON THE DEATH OF PHILICUS   {3 B.C.}

An epigram on the death of Philicus (for whom see Sel.Pap. 3.90), written by a rather tedious and affected contemporary. N.B. the form of the name Philikos (not Philiskos). Interesting for the reference to the poet's convivial habits and cheerful temperament in old age (Philicus was a "Phaeacian" as well in character as by birth). See further ed. pr. pp. 548-549.

Go your path, blest wayfarer, go your path, Philicus, to see the fair land of the god-fearing dead. Your head crowned with ivy, rolling forth your lines of lovely song, begone with revel to the Islands of the Blest. Happy, that you saw the festive old-age of an Alcinous, the Phaeacian, a man who knew how to live. Born of Alcinous's line . . . from Demodocus . . . *

*   It was evidently suggested that descent from Homer's Demodocus explained the poetic genius of Philicus.

ἔρχεο δὴ μακάριστος ὁδοιπόρος ἔρχεο καλοὺς
  χώρους ἐυσεβέων ὀψόμενος, Φίλικε,
ἐκ κισσηρεφέος κεφαλῆς εὔυμνα κυλίων
  ῥήματα, καὶ νήσους κώμασον εἰς μακάρων,
εὖ μὲν γῆρας ἰδὼν εὐέστιον Ἀλκινόοιο
  Φαίηκος, ζώειν ἀνδρὸς ἐπισταμένου·
Ἀλκινόου τις ἐὼν ἐξ ἀἵματος . . .
  . . .   . . . ἀπ[ὸ Δη]μοδόκου . . .
. . .




107   -   AMYNTAS,   LEONIDAS,   ANTIPATER

The first column of this papyrus contains ends of lines of epigrams by Leonidas (= Anth. Pal. vii. 163) and Antipater (= Anth. Pal. vii. 164). The second column contains two poems by Amyntas (a poet hitherto unknown : evidently an Alexandrian epigrammatist of the 2nd century B.C.) ; one concerned with a Samian woman named Prexo, who is the subject of the two epigrams in col. i. (and also of Anth. Pal. vii. 165, ascribed to Antipater or Archias) ; the other concerned with the capture of Sparta by Philopoemen in 188 B.C. (a variant of Anth. Pal. vii. 723). The third column contains two new dedicatory epigrams by Leonidas and Antipater, composed for one Glenis; and the first word {or two words) of another epigram, apparently also by Leonidas ; at this point the scribe stopped abruptly, and wrote no more in this column. Thus it is clear that this anthology was arranged by subject-variation (i.e. poems which were variations on the same theme were put together). And it is also clear (from the evidence of the first column) that this anthology was an ancestor, however partial and remote, of the Palatine Anthology. Now it is commonly believed that the celebrated Anthology of Meleager was arranged κατὰ στίχον, i.e. alphabetically, according to the first letter of the poem. We must therefore either revise our views about the nature of the arrangement of poems in Meleager's anthology, or admit that there existed early in the 1st century A.D. a different collection of Alexandrian epigrams, which (like Meleager's) was taken up into the corpus which ultimately developed into our Palatine Anthology.

AMYNTAS

(1)
Say, lady, who you are, and who your father, and tell your country, and of what grievous sickness you died.
"Stranger, my name is Praxo, of Samos ; I was the daughter of Calliteles ; but I died in childbirth"
Who set up the tomb ?  "Theocritus, to whom they gave me as wife."  To what age did you come ?
"Thrice seven and one years old was I."  Childless ?  "No ; I left at home a child three years of age."

(2) Lacedaemon, of old the dauntless, at whose single-handed might and warfare many a time and oft the War-God shuddered . . . now is cast headlong and defenceless by thrice ten thousand foes, beneath unconquered Philopoemen and the Achaean spears. The birds look on the smoking ruins and mourn, and the oxen go not upon her plain. And seeing the smoke leap up beside Eurotas where men bathe, Hellas mourns her citadel.

1  φράζε, γύναι, τίς ἐοῦσα καὶ ἐκ τίνος, εἰπέ τε πάτρην,
  καὶ ποίας ἔθανες νούσου ὑπ᾿ ἀργαλέης.
οὔνομα μὲν Πραξὼ Σαμίη, ξένε, ἐκ δὲ γονῆος
  Καλλιτέλευς γενόμαν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔθανον τοκετῶι.
τίς δὲ τάφον στάλωσε; Θεόκριτος, ὧι με σύνευνον
ἀνδρὶ δόσαν. ποίην δ᾿ ἦλθες ἐς ἡλικίην;
ἑπταέτις τρὶς ἑνὸς γενόμαν ἔτι. ἦ ῥά γ᾿ἄτεκνος;
  οὔκ, ἀλλὰ τριετῆ παῖδα δόμωι λιπόμαν.


2  τὰν πάρος ἄτρεστον Λακεδαίμονα, τᾶς χέρα μούνας
  πολλάκι τ' ἐν πολέσιν δῆριν ἔφριξεν Ἄρης
. . .   . . .
νῦν ὑπ' ἀνικάτωι Φιλοποίμεμι δουρί τ' Αχαιῶν
  πρήνης ἐκ τρισσᾶν ἤριπεν μυριάδων
ἄσκεπος. ὀιωνοὶ δὲ περισμυχηρὸν ἰδόντες
  μύρονται, πεδίον δ' οὐκ ἐπίασι βόες.
καπνὸν δ' ἐκθρώισκοντα παρ' Ευρώταο λοετροῖς
  Ἑλλὰς δερκομνένα μύρεται ἀκρόπολιν.


LEONIDAS

(3) To Pan of Acroria * and the . . . nymphs, neighbour Glenis dedicated gifts from the chase : - this head and . . . hide and these swift feet. O Pan, O nymphs, prosper the clever hunter Glenis . . . !

*   Acroria: name of a mountain in Sicyon; Acroreites was the local epithet of Dionysus (Steph.Byz.).

Ἀκρωρίται Πανὶ καὶ ἐνπα . . . νύμφαις
  Γλῆνις ὁ συνγείτνων δῶρα κ[υνηγεσί]ης
ταύτην τε προτομὰν καὶ . . .
  βύρσαν καὶ ῥοθίους τούσ[δ' ἀνέθηκε] πόδας.
Πὰν ὦ καὶ Νύμφαι, τὸν δ[εξιὸν ἀγ]ρευτῆρα
  Γλῆνιν ἀεξήσαιθ' ἀιεδ . . .


ANTIPATER OF SIDON

(4) To the Silens' mates * that dwell in caves, and to their chieftain, horned Pan of Acroria, a scatheless head and this new bearskin, that not even steel has rent, were hung up by Glenis, son of mighty Onasiphanes, who shewed these thank-offerings for a fine quarry.

*   The nymphs.

Σιληνῶν ἀλόχοις ἀντρηίσιν ἠδὲ κεράστᾳ
  ταῦτ' ἀκρωρίτᾳ Πανὶ καθηγεμόνι,
καὶ προτομὰν ἀκμῆτα καὶ αὐτὸ νέον τόδε κάπρου,
  δέρμα τὸ μηδ' αὐτῷ ῥηγνύμενον χάλυβι,
Γλῆνις ἀνηέρτησε καλᾶς χαριτήσ[ιο]ν ἄγρας
  δεικνὺς ἰφθίμου κοῦρος Ὀνα(σι)φάνευς.




108   -   ANONYMOUS, EPIGRAM   {3 B.C.}

Fragment of a long epigram, of Hellenistic date, composed in praise of a dedicated statue.

. . . cut with a sickle's edge, and made it a club (?)... wrought it to a fine size. You dedicators in the shrine fashioned by a folk god-fearing of old, you conquer your antagonists, and, with skill that never lets you down, in every point you vanquish even the champion sculptor in the ring. - Apelles, who once beheld the golden Cyprian rising naked from the dark sea . . . . *

{ Fragments of two more lines }

*   The Anadyomene of Apelles.

. . .
  . . . ἀκμῆι] δρεπάνου θῆκε τεμὼν ῥόπαλον
. . . ] τεχνᾶτο γὰρ εὖ μέγα· τοὶ δ' ἀναθέντ[ες
  σηκὸν ὅπου λαὸς τ]εῦχε παληοσέβης,
νικᾶτ' ἀν]τιπάλους ἀπτῶσι τ' ἐλέγχετε παντᾶι
  εὐτεχνίαις] πλάσταν καὶ τὸν ἀριστοπάλαν·
. . .   . . . ] χρυσῆν θηήσατα Κ[ύπ]ριν Ἀπελλῆς
  γυμνὴν ἐκ μέλανος πό]ντου ἀνερχ[ομ]ένην
. . .
  . . .




109   -   ANONYMOUS, TWO EPIGRAMS   {3 B.C.}

Two epitaphs for a dog named Tauron, who died from his wounds after killing a wild boar which attacked his master Zenon. Zenon was the agent of Apollonius, who was financial minister to Ptolemy Philadelphus and Ptolemy Euergetes : he had been sent to Fayum (the nome of Arsinoe, cf. v. 5) to superintend the work on a great estate given to Apollonius by the king.

These are good compositions ; probably the work of a professional Alexandrian poet. It is likely that both pieces were inscribed on the dog's tombstone. The composition of two epitaphs, one elegiac and the other iambic, was a common practice at this time.

(1) This tomb proclaims that Indian Tauron lies dead. But his slayer saw Hades first. - Like a wild beast to behold, like a relic of the Calydonian boar, it grew in the fertile plains of Arsinoe immovable, shaking from its neck the mane in masses in its lair, and dashing the froth from its jaws. Engaging the fearless dog, readily it ploughed a furrow in its breast : then immediately laid its own neck upon the ground. For Tauron, fastening upon the massive nape, with mane and all, loosed not his teeth again until he sent it down to Hades. So he saved hunter Zenon from distress, unschooled * ; and earned his gratitude in his tomb below the earth.

*   It was a very young dog; cf. σκύλαξ , v. 7.

(2) A dog is buried beneath this tomb, Tauron, who did not despair in conflict with a killer. When he met a boar in battle face to face, the latter, unapproachable, puffed out its jaws and, white with froth, ploughed a furrow in his breast. The other planted two feet about its back, and fastened upon the bristling monster from the middle of its breast, and wrapped him in the earth. He gave the murderer to Hades and died, as a good Indian should. He rescued Zenon, the hunter whom he followed ; and here in this light dust he is laid to rest.

1   Ἰνδὸν ὅδ᾿ ἀπύει τύμβος Ταύρωνα θανόντα
  κεῖσθαι, ὁ δὲ κτείνας πρόσθεν ἐπεῖδε Ἀίδαν·
θὴρ ἅπερ ἄντα δρακεῖν, συὸς ἦ ῥ᾿ ἀπὸ τᾶς Καλυδῶνος
  λείψανον, εὐκάρποις ἐμ πεδίοις τρέφετο
Ἀρσινόας ἀτίνακτον, ἀπ᾿ αὐχένος ἀθρόα φρίσσων
  [λ]ό̣χμαις καὶ γε̣[ν]ύων ἀφρὸν ἀμ̣εργόμενος·
σὺν δὲ πεσὼν σκύλακος τόλμαι στήθη μὲν ἑτοίμως
  ἠλόκισε, οὐ μέλλων δ᾿ αὐχέν' ἔθηκ' ἐπὶ γᾶν,
[δ]ρ̣α̣ξ̣ά̣μενος γὰρ ὁμοῦ λοφιᾶι μεγάλοιο τένοντος
  [ο]ὐ πρὶ̣ν̣ ἔμυσεν ὀδόντα ἔστε ὑπέθηκε Ἀίδαι.
σώιζει δὲ] Ζ̣̣ή̣[νω]να̣ πονῶ̣ν̣ ἀδίδακτα κυναγόν,
  καὶ κατὰ γᾶς τύμβωι τὰν χάριν ἠργάσατο.


2   σκύλαξ ὁ τύμβωι τῶιδ᾿ ὕπ᾿ ἐκτερισμένος
Ταύρων, ἐπ᾿ αὐθένταισιν οὐκ ἀμήχανος·
κάπρωι γὰρ ὡς συνῆλθεν ἀντίαν ἔριν,
ὁ μέν τις ὡς ἄπλατος οἰδήσας γένυν
στῆθος κατηλόκιζε λευκαίνων ἀφρῶι·
ὁ δ᾿ ἀμφὶ νώτωι δισσὸν ἐμβαλὼν ἴχνος
ἐδράξατο φρίσσοντος ἐκ στέρνων μέσων
καὶ γᾶι συνεσπείρασεν· Ἀίδαι δὲ δοὺς
τὸν αὐτόχειρα ἔθναισκεν, Ἰνδὸν ὡς νόμος.
σώιζων δὲ τὸν κυναγὸν ὧι παρείπετο
Ζήνωνα ἐλαφρᾶι τᾶιδ᾿ ὑπεστάλη κόνει.




110   -   ANONYMOUS, ELEGY ABOUT A WAR   {3 B.C.}

This much is certain : (a) part at least of the poem was addressed to a returned ambassador, v. 2, (b) whose report is made to a king, v. 6. (c) The news exasperates the king, who utters threats against the persons about whom the ambassador reported, vv. 7-10. (d) There is a reference to Medes and to a Gaul, vv. 13-14. To the further question, can we identify the king and the occasion, we must return an emphatic negative. It is possible that the Gaul is the object of the king's anger (Wilam., Momigliano, Powell, Korte) ; and that the king threatens him with the fate which had previously befallen the Medes. If so, the king cannot be Attalus, but may still be a Macedonian, a Seleucid, or even a Ptolemy in Egypt (reference to Gallic mercenaries of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Paus. i. 7. 2, Powell). But it is only one possibility: it is not a necessary inference from the text. As the lines stand, it is more probable that the king is saying that he, who defeated the valiant Gauls before, will now easily overcome the effeminate Medes. In that case the king would probably be a Seleucid ; but might still be Ptolemy Philadelphus, e.g. on the occasion of his irruption into the Seleucid empire.

If the Gauls are here the objects of the king's anger, the identity of the king and the date of the occasion are still impossible to determine. The poem might refer to the war of Antiochus I against the Gauls in 277-276, again in 275 ; or to the revolt of Ptolemy II's Gallic mercenaries in 274 ; or to any one of numerous conflicts between the Seleucid empire and those Gauls who, since 275, had been settled in northern Asia Minor ; or to the war of Attalus against the Gauls in 230 ; or possibly even to a war of Antiochus III against the Gauls (Momigliano, quoting Suidas, s.v. Simonides Magnes). There are other interesting possibilities ; but enough has been said to shew that without further evidence a precise identification of the king and of the occasion is absolutely impracticable.

... in front of the gate and wall . . . you fulfilled this embassage ... "... my king, the beginning of speech upon my lips . . . shoots of an holy plant . . . crops of dirty (weed ?) * . . . " . . . you brought back the message to your king, and thus you spoke. But he, when he heard all, was angry, and lifted up his voice in strong utterance :- "The men are insolent and fools, but they shall quickly win the wages of their presumption. They shall learn and understand, since we have set others better than them to harshest slavery. . . . Alike to the wealthy Medes . . . the valiant Gaul. . . . in purple raiment, nor amid perfumes . . . letting his soft skin grow sleek, . . . his bed . . .

{ fragments of a line }

*  τρίβολον : described by Dioscorides iv. 15, Pliny xxi. 98. The point of this obscure couplet may have been, "the beginning of my report is pleasant, but there is bad news at the end (ὀπίσω)," or "the king's message was noble, the answer to it is mean and base."

. . . . πρόσθε πύλης καὶ τείχεος α[
  . . . . . .ην ταύτην ἤνυες ἀγγελίην.
. . . . . . . . ]νης, ὦνα, διὰ στόματος λόγου [ἀρχή,
  . . .   . . .   . . . ἱ[ερῆς ἔρνεα φυταλίης
. . . . . . . . ὀ]πίσω ῥυπαρῆς στάχυες τρι[βόλοιο.
  εἶπας ἀ]ναγγέλλων ἐις βασιλῆα λόγο[ν.
χὠ μὲν] ἐπεὶ μάλα πάντα δι' οὔατος ἔκ[λυε μῦθον,
  ὠργίσθη, βρι]αρὸν δ' ἀυτίκ' ἀνέσχε λόγ[ον·
ἁνέρε]ς ὑβρισταί τε καὶ ἄφρονες, ἀλλὰ μ[άλ' ὦκα
  οἴσουσι]ν ταύτης μισθὸν ἀτασθαλίης·
γνώσον]ται δὲ μαθόντες, ἐπεὶ καὶ ἀρεί[ονας ἄλλους
  ἡμεῖς εἰς κρατερὴν δουλοσύνην ἔθεμ[εν.
. . . . .ης Μήδοισι βαθυκτεάνοισιν ὁ[μοίως
  . . . . . . σασθαι θοῦρος ἀνὴρ Γαλάτης.
. . . . πο]ρφυρέοισιν ἐν εἵμασιν οὐδὲ μύροισ[ιν
  . . . . . . μαλακὸν χρῶτα λιπαινόμενο[ς,
. . . . χά]μευνα Διός τε καὶ αἰθριάαι ἐνι[αυτόν
  . . .   . . .




111   -   ANONYMOUS, POEM IN PRAISE OF AN OFFICER   {end 3 B.C.}

Fragment of an Hellenistic poem, praising an officer of the royal court at Alexandria. Probably not part of a drama : but Tragic models in Eur. Hic. 860-908, esp. 867-871 ; Or. 918-922.

Each man admire his many virtues ! All goodness lives in him : good, noble, and honest, loyal to his king, courageous, great in trust, modest, a patriot, gentle, affable, hater of wickedness, worshipper of truth. . . .

ἀγαπᾶτε ταῦτα πάντες ὅσ' ἔχει· τἀγαθὰ
ἅπαντ' ἐν ἀυτῶι· χρηστός, εὐγενής, ἁπλοῦς,
φιλοβασιλεὺς, ἀνδρεῖος, ἐν πίστει μέγας,
σώφρων, φιλέλλην, πραύς, εὐπροσήγορος,
τα πανοῦργα μισῶν, τὴν [δ' ἀ]λήθειαν σέβων.
. . .   . . .




112   -   ANONYMOUS, PREFACE TO AN ASTRONOMICAL TREATISE   {2 B.C.}

An acrostic preface, in correct "tragic" iambics, to a treatise on astronomy by Eudoxus. Vv. 6-8 mean : "There is one line for each month of the year (there are in fact 12 lines)) and each letter counts one day" {in fact each line contains 30 letters; except the last, which consists of 35. Total, 365 = a Great Year (v. 8, here simply a year of 365 days, as opposed to the lunar year of 364). Thus ed. pr.}. The first letters of the lines spell perpendicularly ΕΥΔΟΞΟΥ ΤΕΧΝΗ ("Eudoxus' Book of Rules") : for parallels to this "acrostic" cf. Nicander, Dionysius Periegeta, P. Oxy. 1795 ; P. Amh. 23.

Herewith I will reveal to you all the subtle composition of the heavens, and give you certain knowledge of our science in a few words. There is nobody so wanting in intelligence that it will seem strange to him, if he understands these verses well. The line stands for a month, the letter for a day ; the letters provide you with a number equal to the days which a Great Year brings. Time brings to men a yearly circle, as it governs the starry signs : of which none outrivals another, but always all come to the same point, when the time comes round.

Ἐν τῷδε δείξω πᾶσιν ἐκμαθεῖν σοφήν
Ὑμῖν πόλου σύνταξιν ἐν βραχεῖ λόγῳ
Δοὺς τῆσδε τέχνης εἰδέναι σαφῆ πέρι.
Οὐδεὶς γάρ ἐστιν ἐνδεὴς γνώμης ὅτῳ
Ξένον φανεῖται τῷδ’ ἐὰν ξυνῇ καλῶς.
Ὁ  μὲν στίχος μεῖς ἐστί, γράμμα δ’ ἡμέρα.
Ὑμῖν ἀριθμὸν δ’ ἴσον ἔχει τὰ γράμματα 
Ταῖς ἡμέραισιν ἃς ἄγει μέγας χρόνος, 
Ἐνιαύσιον βροτοῖσι περίοδον τ’ ἔχει 
Χρόνος διοικῶν ἀστέρων γνωρίσματα.
Νικᾷ δὲ τούτων οὐθεὶς ἕτερον, ἀλλ’ ἀεί
Ἥκει τὰ πάντα ἐς τὸ αὐτὸ ὃτ’ ἀνέλθῃ ὁ χρόνος.




113   -   ANONYMOUS, EPIGRAM ON ACTIAN APOLLO   {1 A.D.}

An epigram to a statue of Actian Apollo erected at Alexandria in commemoration of the victory of Octavian ( = Caesar, v. 1) at the battle of Actium : which battle was fought in sight of a temple of Apollo, cf. "Apollo Actius" on Greek coins of Nero's era.

Master of Actium, sea-fighting lord, memorial of Caesar's deeds and witness of his prosperous labours; whose name is on the lips of Time, for in your honour Caesar calmed the storm of war and the clash of shields, and there he cut short the sufferings of fair Peace, and came rejoicing to the land of Nile, heavy-laden with the cargo of Law and Order, and Prosperity's abundant riches, like Zeus the god of Freedom ; and Nile welcomed his lord with arms of bounty, and his wife *, whom with golden arms ** the river laves, received the shower, apart from stress or strife, that came from her Zeus of Freedom, and truly the very name of war was extinguished. - Hail, Lord of Leucas, one and only noble president at the victorious deeds wrought by Augustus, our Zeus the son of Cronus !

*   Egypt.
**   The "arms" are the floods which the Nile puts forth to embrace the land; "golden," because of the cornfields and other bright harvests which arise: the χρυσέοις πήχεσι are the same as the δωροφόροις χέρεσσιν of the previous line. The blessing of the flooding of the Nile was commonly ascribed to the king.


Ἄκτιον ἀμ[φιέπων, ἄνα ν]αύμαχε, Κ(αί)σαρος ἔργων
  μνῆμα κ(αὶ) ἐ[ὐτυ]χέων μαρτυρίη καμάτων,
Αῖωνος σ[τό]μασιν βεβοημένε· σοὶ γὰρ Ἄρηος
  π[νεύ]μματα καὶ σακέων ἐστόρεσεν πάταγον,
Εἰρήνης μόχθους εὐώπιδος ἔνθα κλαδεύσας
  γῆν ἐπὶ Νειλῶτιν νίσε(τ)ο γηθαλέος,
εὐνο[μίης] φόρτοισι καὶ εὐθενίης βαθυπλούτου
  βρι[θό]μενος βύζην Ζεὺς ἅτ' ἐλευθέριος,
δωροφόροις δὲ χέρεσσιν ἐδέξατο Νεῖλος ἄνακτα
  κ(αὶ) δάμαρ ἡ χρυσέοις πήχεσι λουομένη
ἀπτόλεμον καὶ ἄδηριν ἐλευθερίου Διὸς ὄμβρον
  ἀτρεκὲς ἐσβέσθη δ' οὔνομα κ(αὶ) πολέμου·
χαῖρε, μάκαρ Λευκᾶτα, Διὸς [Κρον]ίδαο Σεβαστοῦ
  νικ(αί)ων ἔργων ἓν πρυτάνευμα καλόν.




114   -   POSEIDIPPUS, ELEGY ON OLD AGE  

From a poem about the misfortune of old age. The writer asks the Muses to come to Thebes : therefore he is writing the poem in Thebes. The tablets were found in Egypt : therefore Thebes is Egyptian Thebes, unless we suppose that the author, a Macedonian (vv. 14, 16), is writing his poem during a temporary residence in Boeotian Thebes, and later travels to Egypt, taking his poem with him. Schubart's supposition, that "Pimplean Thebes" may stand here for some Macedonian town, is altogether unconvincing. He objects to the reference to Egyptian Thebes on the grounds (1) that that city was a place of small importance in the 1st century A.D. ; (2) that its market-place was so insignificant that statues of poets were not likely to be set up in it ; (3) that the outlook of vv. 14-15 is that of a man living in Hellas, or in Macedon, not in Luxor or Karnak. These are surely insufficient grounds : the city was small enough, but still people lived there ; the market-place to which the poet refers may well be that of his native town in Macedon ; the outlook of the Macedonian does not change because he happens to be staying for a time in Egypt.

The composition is seen, since Schubart's drastic revision of the text, to be conventional enough in metre and diction, though there are some faults which Beazley thinks (and I am loath to disagree) could never have been part of the original text, esp. 11, 13, 16-17. Vv. 11-14 were savagely crossed out in a moment of grace - not necessarily by the author himself.

Muses of our city, if you have heard a song of beauty from Phoebus, god of the golden lyre, listeners undefiled, in the ravines of snowy Parnassus or at Olympus, starting for Bacchus his triennial ceremonies, - now join Poseidippus in his song of hateful Age, inscribing the golden leaves of your tablets. Leave your peaks, Muses of Helicon, and come, Castalian maids, to the walls of Pimplean *Thebes. You also, god of Cynthus, loved Poseidippus once, son of Leto . . . an utterance, where the snow-white house of the Parian *stands. With such immortal speech make answer, and let your voice, O lord, ring loud from the sanctuary, even in my ears : that the Macedonians and the peoples of the islands and the neighbours of all the Asiatic shore, may honour me. Pellaean is my family : may I be set in the crowded market-place, unwinding in both hands a book. ** Yet on the nightingale's cheek there are the floods of mourning ; I sit in darkness, and warm tears I shed, and I make moan, yes, my own lips . . . So none must shed a tear ; no, I am fain in old age to go the mystic path to Rhadamanthys, missed by my people and all the community, on my feet without a stick to support me, sure of speech, among the throng, leaving to my children my house and my happiness.

*   Apollo, god of the Delphic temple, so called because his statue there was made of Parian marble? Apollo is to declare from his wshrine tht Poseidippus is a great poet.
*   The poet desires that his statue, as a poet, book in hand, may be erected.


εἴ τι καλόν, Μοῦσαι πολιήτιδες, ἢ π[α]ρὰ Φοίβου
  χρυσαλύρεω καθαροῖς οὔασιν ἐκλ[ύ]ετε
Παρνησοῦ νιφόεντος ἀ[ν]ὰ πτύχ[α]ς ἢ παρ’ Ὀλύμπωι
  Βάκχωι τὰς τριετεῖς ἀρχόμεναι θυμέλα[ς
νῦν δὲ Ποσειδίππωι στυγερὸν συναείρατε γῆρας
  γραψάμεναι δέλτων ἐν χρυσέαις σελίσιν.
λιμπάνετε σκοπιὰς Ἑλικωνίδας, εἰς δὲ τὰ θήβης
  τείχεα Πι(μ)π[λ]ε̣ί̣ης βαίνετε, (Κα)σταλίδες.
καὶ σὺ Ποσείδιππόν ποτ’ ἐφίλα(ο), Κύνθιε, Λητοῦς
  ὑὲ . . .   . . .
  (φήμη τις νιφόεντ’ οἰκία τοῦ Παρίου·
τοίην ἐκχρήσαις τε καὶ ἐξ ἀδύτων καναχήσαι[ς
  φωνὴν ἀθανάτην, ὦ ἄνα, καὶ [κα]τ’ ἐμοῦ,)
ὄφρα με τιμήσωσι Μακηδόνες, οἵ τ’ ἐπὶ ν̣ήσ[ων
  οἵ τ’ Ἀσίης πάσης γείτονες ἠϊόνος.
Πελλαῖον γένος ἀμόν· ἔοιμι δὲ βίβλον ἑλίσσων
  ἄφνω λαοφόρωι κείμενος εἰν ἀγορ[ῆι.
ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ μὲν Παρίηι δὸς ἀηδόνι λυγρὸν ἐφ[
  νᾶμα· κατ' ἀχλὺν ἐὼν δάκρυα θε[ρ]μὰ χέω,
καὶ στενάχω, ναί, ἐμὸν δὲ φίλον στόμα [
  . . .   . . .
. . .   . . .
  μηδέ τις οὖν χεύαι δάκρυον· αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ
γήραϊ μυστικὸν οἶμον ἐπὶ Ῥαδάμανθυν ἱκοίμην
  δήμωι καὶ λαῶι παντὶ ποθεινὸς ἐών,
ἀσκίπων ἐν ποσσὶ καὶ ὀρθοεπὴς ἀν’ ὅμιλον
  καὶ λείπων τέκνοις δῶμα καὶ ὄλβον ἐ[μ]όν.




115   -   ANONYMOUS, MORAL FABLE   {2 A.D.}

Fragment of a moral fable. A school text of a type very popular at this era, represented by the fables of Babrius, maxims of Menander, extracts from Hesiod, sayings of wise men, etc. After the end of our fragment there doubtless followed the reply of Anacharsis - a philosophic maxim preferring the simple life to luxury, piety to pride.

A father once took his son, who was wealthy but refused him any gift at all, to Scythian Anacharsis for judgement. The son, unwilling to keep his father, cried : "Has he not a house and properties and loads of gold ? What tyrant, then, what judge or ancient lawgiver will justly say . . . ?

π]ατήρ ποθ᾿ υἱὸν εὐποροῦντα τῶι βίωι
καὶ μηδὲν αὐτῶι τὸ σύνολον δωρούμενον
ἐπὶ τὸν Σκύθην Ἀνάχαρσιν ἦγεν εἰς κρίσιν.
ἐβόα δ᾿ ὅ γ᾿ υἱὸς μὴ θέλων τοῦτον τρέφειν·
οὐκ οἰκίαν οὐ κτήματ᾿ οὐ πλούτου βάρος;
ποῖός τις οὖν τύραννος ἢ ποῖος κριτὴς
ἢ νομοθέτης ἀρχαῖος ἐνδίκως ἐρεῖ
. . .   . . .




116   -   ANONYMOUS, MORAL MAXIMS   {4 A.D.}

Ten of 24 monostich sententiae (the other fourteen were already known to us) : from a schoolboy's copybook.

(1) Letters are the first and foremost guide to understanding.

(2) Honour the aged man : he is the image of your god.

(3) Love is the oldest of all the gods.

(4) Possessions, I say, are the fairest things of all.

(5) Receiving, give again : that you may receive whenever you will.

(6) Our mind is our greatest god of divination,

(7) Father is he who rears, not he who begets.

(8) Your own hand must rescue you from evil estate.

(9) Render a timely service back to your friends in turn.

(10) O gratitude, most abundant of all riches !

ἀρχὴ μεγίστη τοῦ φρονεῖν τὰ γράμματα.
γέροντα τίμα τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν εἰκονα.
ἔρως ἁπαντων τῶν θεῶν παλαίτατος.
κάλλιστά φημι χρημάτων τὰ κτήματα.
λαβὼν πάλιν δός, ἵνα λάβηις ὅταν θέληις.

ὁ νοῦς ἐν ἡμῖν μαντικώτατος θεός.
πατὴρ ὁ θρέψας κοὐχ ὁ γεννήσας πατήρ.
σῶσον σεαυτὸν ἐκ πονηρῶν πραγμάτω(ν).
χάριν φίλοις εὐκαιρον ἀπόδος ἐν μέρει.
ὦ τῶν ἁπάντων χρημάτων πλείστη χάρις.




117   -   ANONYMOUS, EPITAPHS FOR EUPREPIUS, BY HIS DAUGHTER   {3 A.D.}

A series of epitaphs written for one Euprepius, apparently by his daughter. Euprepius is described as a tall man, distinguished in service of state and court. He was wealthy, and is alleged to have been wise. His daughter may have had these pieces composed by a professional poet : however that may be, the epitaphs, though uninspired, are tolerably free from technical flaws. They imitate the style of the "Ionic" epigram at Alexandria - direct, simple phrases, pointed conclusion - and here and there emerges something original and powerful.

(1) The form and figure proclaim him no small man, . . . daughter . . . but the very best and brightest in prosperity and wealth ; and his name, Euprepius.

(2) Here is set up the painting of the likeness of Euprepius ; but his soul is in the gatherings of the Blessed. Never yet went such a man to Acheron : for holy men, Elysium is the end. To live there was the lot he won of old from some blessed Destiny. And it is said that good men do not die.

(3) Here, stranger, you behold that happy man, Euprepius the wise, the friend even of kings. His daughter made this dedication, even to the dead repaying her debt of nurture : I was not found wanting in gratitude.

(4) Even though the painter has not placed in him a voice, still you would have said that Euprepius is speaking now. For if a passer-by should come near the portrait, he will give ear as though about to hear.

(5) Euprepius am I ; the little one is my daughter's . . .

(6) When he was among men, he trod not that path which the law of Virtue has not purified. Wherefore he departed to heaven and immortality, putting off this offending flesh.

1   ἀγ]γέλλει τὸ σχῆμα κ(αὶ) ἴ[νδαλμ'] ὀυ βραχὺν ἄνδρα·
  τοῦτο γ . . . ου . . . . . δρυ . . . . η θυγάτηρ·
ἀλλὰ διαρρήδην ἐπισημ[ότατον] καὶ ἄριστον
  ὄλβωι καὶ πλού[τωι], τοὔνομα δ' Εὐπρέπιον.


2   ἐνθάδε μὲν κεῖται τῆς εἰκ[όνος] ἡ γραφὴ ἀὕτη
  Εὐπρεπίου· ψυχὴ δ' ἐν μακάρων ἀγοραῖς.
οὐ γάρ πω τοιοῦτος ἀνήλυθεν εἰς Αχέροντα·
  τῶν ὁσίων ἀνδρῶν Ἠλύσιον τὸ τέλος·
ἔνθα διατρίβειν ἔλαχεν πάλαι ἔκ τινος ἐσθλῆς
  μοίρης· οὐδὲ θανεῖν τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς λέγεται.


3   τόνδ' ἐσορᾶις, ὦ ξεῖνε, τὸν ὄλβιον ἀνέρα κεῖνον,
  τ(ὸν) σοφὸν Εὐπρέπιον καὶ βασιλιεῦσι φίλον.
ἡ θυγάτηρ δ' ἀνέθηκε τάδε θρεπτήρια δοῦσα
  καὶ φθιμένωι· χάριτος δ' ὀυδὲν ἔλειψεν ἐμοί.


4   εἰ καὶ φωνὴν ὁ ζωιγράφος ὧδ' ἐνέθηκεν,
  εἶπες ἂν ὡς ἤδη φθέγγεται Εὐπρέπιος·
εἰ γάρ τις παριὼν τῆς εἰκόνος ἐγγύθεν ἔλθοι,
  οὔατα παρθήσει ὥσπερ ἀκουσόμενος.


5   Εὐ]πρέπιος μὲν ἐγών, ὁ δὲ νήπιός ἐστι [θυγα]τρὸς

6   ο]ὐ γὰρ ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν ἐὼν ἐβάδιζεν ἐκείνην
  τὴν ὁδὸν ἣν ἀρετῆς οὐκ ἐκάθηρε θέμις·
ἔνθεν ἐς ἀθανάτους καὶ ἀείζωον βίον ἦλθεν,
  τοῦτο τὸ μοχθηρὸν σῶμ' ἀποδυσάμενος.



Attalus' home page   |   30.06.20   |   Any comments?