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PHILIPPUS OF THESSALONICA : EPIGRAMS

Philippus was a Greek writer of epigrams, who lived in the middle of the first century A.D.   He produced a compilation of his own epigrams and epigrams by various other poets of the preceding 150 years, which was called the "Garland of Philip"; much of this compilation has been preserved, because it was incorporated into the Greek Anthology.

All of his surviving epigrams are shown here, in the order that they appear scattered throughout the Anthology. The labels in red at the start of each epigram are their numbers within the Anthology. The labels in green are the numbers assigned to the epigrams in the edition by A.S.F.Gow & D.L.Page, "The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams". To go to a specific epigram in the Gow-Page edition, type the number in the box below, and hit [go].
  → (in range 1 - 80):  
 

The translations are taken from the edition by W.R.Paton (1916-18), but have been modified to remove some of the archaic language. The translator's notes are shown in green.   Click on G to go to the Greek text of each epigram.



[4.2]   { G-P 1 }   G

The introduction to the "Garland of Philip".

Plucking for you flowers of Helicon and the first-born blooms of the famous Pierian forests, reaping the ears of a newer page, I have in my turn plaited a garland to be like that of Meleager. You know, excellent Camillus, the famous writers of old ; learn to know the less abundant verses of our younger ones. Antipater will beautify the garland like an ear of corn, Crinagoras like a cluster of ivy-berries ; Antiphilus shall shine like a bunch of grapes, Tullius like melilot and Philodemus like amaracus, Parmenion like myrtle and Antiphanes like a rose ; Automedon is ivy, Zonas a lily, Bianor oak-leaves, Antigonus olive leaves, and Diodorus a violet. You may compare Euenus to a laurel, and many others whom I have inwoven to what freshly flowered blooms you like.


[6.5]   { G-P 8 }   G

Piso the fisherman, weighed down by long toil and his right hand already shaky, gives to Hermes these his rods with the lines hanging from their tips, his oar that swam through the sea, his curved hooks whose points bite the fishes' throats, his net fringed with lead, the float that announced where his fishing-basket lay, his two wicker creels, the flint pregnant with fire that sets the tinder alight, and his anchor, the trap that holds fast wandering ships.


[6.36]   { G-P 9 }   G

These trusses from the furrows of his little field did Sosicles the husbandman dedicate to you, Demeter, who love the corn ; for this is a rich harvest of grain he hath gathered. But another time, too, may he bring back his sickle blunted by reaping.


[6.38]   { G-P 10 }   G

To you Poseidon, Lord of the sea, did Amyntichus give these his last gifts, when he ceased from his toil on the deep - his nets edged with lead that plunge into the sea, his oar still drunk with the brine, his spear for killing sea-monsters, strong lance of the waters, his weel ever betrayed by floats, his anchor, firm hand of his boat, and the flint, dear to sailors, that has the art of guarding the seed of fire.


[6.62]   { G-P 11 }   G

Callimenes, on giving up his work, now old age has veiled his eyes, dedicates to the Muses his circular lead *   which marks off the margin of the pages, and the knife that sharpens his pointed pens, his longest ruler, and the pumice from the beach, the dry porous stone of the sea.

*   The conclusion imposed by the phraseology is that the lead (for which we now use a pencil) was a thin disc of lead with a sharp edge, rotating on its axis, and fixed to a holder held in the hand.


[6.90]   { G-P 12 }   G

Poseidon, King of the sea, to you does Archides, now he has ceased to wander along the beach, dedicate his anchor that rests in the seaweed and secures his boat, his two oars that repel the water, the leads over which his net forms a vault, *   his fishing-baskets marked by floats, his broad-brimmed rainproof hat, and the flint that generates light for mariners in the evening.

*   The amphiblēstron.


[6.92]   { G-P 13 }   G

Demophon the goldsmith, his eyes misty with age, dedicates to Hermes the windy bellows of his forge, the keen-biting file that scrapes the gold, the double-clawed fire-tongs, and these hare's pads that gather up the shavings.


[6.94]   { G-P 14 }   G

Clytosthenes, his feet that raced in fury now enfeebled by age, dedicates to you, Rhea of the lion-cart, his tambourines beaten by the hand, his shrill hollow-rimmed cymbals, his double-flute that calls through its horn, on which he once made shrieking music, twisting his neck about, and the two-edged knife with which he opened his veins.


[6.99]   { G-P 15 }   G

Philoxenides the worthy goatherd dedicated you, the Pan he carved from a barkless beech trunk, after sacrificing an old he-goat and making your holy altar drunk with the first milk of a she-goat. In reward for which the goats in his fold shall all bear twins in the womb and escape the sharp tooth of the wolf.


[6.101]   { G-P 16 }   G

Timasion, whose limbs have now lost their lustiness, dedicated to you, slow-footed Hephaestus, his knives that have slaughtered many beasts, his windy bellows that feed the fire, his pierced strainer and that four-footed bridge of fire, the charcoal pan on which the meat is set, his ladle that skims off the foaming fat, together with his iron-fingered flesh-hook.


[6.102]   { G-P 17 }   G

To you, Priapus, who love the wayfarer, did the gardener Lamon, praying that his trees and his own limbs may flourish, dedicate a yellow-coated pomegranate, figs wrinkled like old men, half-ripe reddening grapes plucked from a cluster, a sweet-scented quince with a fleece of fine down, a walnut peeping from its green outer skin, a cucumber wont to lie embedded in its leaves with the bloom on it, and a golden-smocked olive already ripe.


[6.103]   { G-P 18 }   G

Imitation of No. 205

Leontichus, when time had stripped from his limbs all bloom, gave to you, grey-eyed Athene, his taut plumb-line weighted with lead, his hammer that strikes planks, his curved bow-drill with its string attached to it at both ends, his sturdy axe for hewing tree-trunks, his straight-running saw that follows the drops of red ochre, his augers worked by the hand, his gimlets, and his taut ochre-stained line just touched by the extreme edge of the rule.


[6.104]   { G-P 19 }   G

Lysixenus, deprived of the use of his limbs by much ploughing, suspends to Demeter with the wreath of corn, his seed-bag carried on the shoulder, his mallet for breaking clods, his curved sickle that gathers the corn, his sharp-toothed threshing "trebbia," *   his plough-tree with the curved plough and the share that loves the earth, his goad that pricks the oxen in the rear, the traces attached to their legs that make them turn, and his wooden winnowing-fork, the hand of the husbandman.

*   A harrow-shaped threshing implement.


[6.107]   { G-P 20 }   G

The huntsman Gelon dedicates to Pan, the ranger of the forest, me, his spear, the edge of which time has worn by use, also the old rags of his twisted hunting-nets, his nooses that throttle the neck, his foot-traps, made of sinews, quick to nip beasts by the leg, and the collars, masters of his dogs' necks; for Time has overcome his strength, and he has now renounced wandering over the hills.


[6.114]   { - }   G

We hang in the porch, a gift of the king to Heracles, the skin and mighty horns, fourteen palms long, of a wild bull, which when it confronted Philip, *   glorying in its strength, his terrible spear brought to ground, on the spurs of Orbelus, the land of wild cattle. Blest indeed is Macedon, which is ruled by such a chief.

*   Philip V, king of Macedon 221-179 B.C.


[6.203]   { G-P 76 }   G

The old lame serving-woman, hearing the good news of the healing water, came limping with an oaken staff that propped her stricken body. Pity seized the Nymphs who dwelt on the skirts of bellowing Etna in the watery house of their father, eddying Symaethus. The hot spring of Etna restored the strength of her lame legs, and to the Nymphs, who granted her prayer that they would send her back unsupported, she left her staff, and they rejoiced in the gift.


[6.231]   { G-P 21 }   G

Queen of black-soiled Egypt, goddess with the linen robe {Isis}, come to my well-appointed sacrifice. On the wood ashes a crumbling cake is laid for you and there is a white pair of water-haunting geese, and powdery nard round many-grained figs, and wrinkled raisins and sweet-scented frankincense. But if, O queen, you save Damis from poverty, as you did from the deep, he will sacrifice a kid with gilded horns.


[6.236]   { G-P 2 }   G

See how the brazen beaks, voyage-loving weapons of ships, here preserved as relics of the fight at Actium, shelter, like a hive, the waxy gift of the bees, weighted all round by the humming swarm. Beneficent indeed is the righteous rule of Caesar ; he has taught the arms of the enemy to bear the fruits of peace, not war.


[6.240]   { G-P 3 }   G

Archer daughter of Zeus and Leto, Artemis, watcher of wild creatures, who dwells in the recesses of the hills, this very day send the hated sickness away from our best of emperors as far as the Hyperboreans. For Philippus will offer over your altars smoke of frankincense, sacrificing a mountain boar.


[6.247]   { G-P 22 }   G

Pallantian Maid who loves the loom {Athene}, Aesione, now bowed with age, suspends to you the gift of her poverty, her weaving-comb that sings like the early-chattering swallows, with the prongs of which weaver Pallas smooths the thread, her comb for dressing the wool, her spindle worn by the fingers, swimming (?) with the twirling thread, and her wicker basket which the wool dressed by her teeth once filled.


[6.251]   { G-P 7 }   G

Phoebus, who dwells on the sheer height of Leucas visible from afar to sailors, and washed by the Ionian sea, accept from the seamen a feast of barley cake kneaded by the hand, and a libation mixed in a small cup, the poor light too of this lamp, imbibed by its half-satisfied mouth from a parsimonious oil-flask. In return for which be kind to us, and send to our sails a favourable breeze carrying us with it to the shore of Actium.


[6.259]   { G-P 23 }   G

A. Who set you up, the beardless Hermes, by the starting point of the course ?   B. Hermogenes.   A. Whose son ?   B. Daimenes'.   A. From whence ?   B. From Antioch.   A. Why did he honour you ?   B. As his helper in the race.   A. What race ?   B. At Isthmus and Nemea.   A. He ran there, then?   B. Yes, and came in first.   A. Whom did he beat?   B. Nine other boys, and he flew as if he had my feet.


[7.186]   { G-P 24 }   G

But now the sweet flute was echoing in the bridal chamber of Nicippis, and the house rejoiced in the clapping of hands at her wedding. But the voice of wailing burst in upon the bridal hymn, and we saw her dead, the poor child, not yet quite a wife. O tearful Hades, why did you divorce the bridegroom and bride, you who yourself take delight in ravishment ?


[7.187]   { G-P 77 }   G

Aged Nicō garlanded the tomb of maiden Melite. Hades, was your judgement righteous ?


[7.234]   { G-P 31 }   G

Aelius, the bold captain, whose neck was hung with the golden torques he had won in the wars, when crippled by wasting disease, ran back in his mind to the history of his past deeds of valour, and drove his sword into his vitals, saying but this : "Men perish by the sword, cowards by disease."


[7.362]   { G-P 78 }   G

Here the sarcophagus holds the holy head of good Aetius, the distinguished orator. To the house of Hades went his body, but his soul in Olympus rejoices with Zeus and the other gods , but neither eloquence nor God can make man immortal.


[7.382]   { G-P 25 }   G

You gave me up dead to the land, cruel sea, and now you are carrying off the little remnant of my ashes. I alone am shipwrecked even in Hades, and not even on land shall I cease to be dashed on the dreadful rocks. Either bury me, hiding (?) me in your waters, or if you give me up to the land, steal not a corpse that now belongs to the land.


[7.383]   { G-P 32 }   G

Look on this corpse of a most unhappy man scattered on the beach shredded by the sea-dashed rocks. Here lies the hairless and toothless head and here the five fingers of a hand, here the fleshless ribs, the feet without their sinews and the disjointed legs. This man of many parts once was one. Blest indeed are those who were never born to see the sun!


[7.385]   { G-P 33 }   G

Hero Protesilaus, for that you first initiated Ilium into looking on the wrath of Greek spears, the tall trees also that grow round your tomb are all big with hatred of Troy. If from their topmost branches they see Ilium, they wither and cast off the beauty of their foliage. How great was your boiling wrath against Troy, if tree-trunks preserve the spite you bore your foes. *  

*   cp. 7.141 (Antiphilus).


[7.394]   { G-P 26 }   G

The miller possessed me also during his life, the deep-voiced revolving stone, the wheat-crushing servant of fertile Demeter, and on his death he set me up on this tomb, an emblem of his calling. So he finds me ever heavy, in his work while he lived, and now he is dead, on his bones.


[7.405]   { G-P 34 }   G

Avoid, O stranger, this terrible tomb of Hipponax, which hails forth verses, Hipponax whose very ashes cry in iambics his hatred of Bupalus, lest you wake the sleeping wasp, who not even in Hades has lulled his spite to rest, but in a halting *   measure launches straight shafts of song.

*   He wrote in iambics called "lame" {choliambi} because ending in a spondee.


[7.554]   { G-P 27 }   G

The mason Architeles with mourning hands constructed a tomb for Agathanor his son. Alas ! alas ! this stone no chisel cut, but drenched by many tears it crumbled. O tablet, rest lightly on the dead, that he may say "Of a truth it was my father's hand which placed this stone on me."


[9.11]   { G-P 35 }   G

One man was maimed in his legs, while another had lost his eyesight, but each contributed to the other that of which mischance had deprived him. For the blind man, taking the lame man on his shoulders, kept a straight course by listening to the other's orders. It was bitter, all-daring necessity which taught them all this, instructing them how, by dividing their imperfections between them, to make a perfect whole.


[9.22]   { G-P 36 }   G

The temple servants destined as an acceptable sacrifice to Latona's daughter a heifer big with young ; but happy birth-pangs anticipated her approaching death, and she was sent to the herd to bear her child in freedom. For the goddess who presides over child-bed deemed it not right to slay creatures in labour, having learnt to pity them.


[9.56]   { G-P 37 }   G

The child, treading on the frozen stream of Thracian Hebrus, did not escape death ; but when he slipped into the river, now less solidly frozen, his tender neck was cut through by the ice. The rest of his body was carried away, but the head which remained on the ice gave of necessity cause for a funeral. Unhappy she whose offspring was divided between fire and water and seeming to belong to both, belongs not wholly to either. *  


[9.83]   { G-P 38 }   G

The dolphins, the fish-eating dogs of the sea, were sporting round the ship as she moved rapidly on her course. A boar-hound, taking them for game, dashed, poor fellow, into the sea, as he would have dashed on land. He perished for the sake of a chase that was strange to him ; for not all dogs are light of foot in the sea.


[9.85]   { G-P 39 }   G

The sea destroyed my boat, but Heaven bestowed on me, as I was carried hither and thither, a more welcome natural boat. For seeing my father's body coming to me opportunely, I climbed on it, a solitary oarsman, a burden which it was its duty to bear. The old man bore me to the harbour, thus giving life to me twice, on land as a babe and again at sea.


[9.88]   { G-P 40 }   G

I, the honey-voiced nightingale, was flying over the sea, complaining of Boreas (for not even the wind that blows from Thrace is kind to me), *   when a dolphin received me on his back, the sea-creature serving as the chariot of the winged one. Borne by this most faithful boatman, I charmed the oarless sailor by the lyre of my lips. The dolphins ever served as oarsmen to the Muses without payment. The tale of Arion is not untrue.

*   Philomela, before she was changed into a nightingale, had suffered at the hands of her Thracian brother-in law Tereus.


[9.89]   { G-P 41 }   G

Ancient Nico, fending off distressful famine, was gleaning the ears of corn with the girls, and perished from the heat. Her fellow-labourers piled up for her a woodless funeral pyre from the straw of the corn. Be not wrathful, Demeter, if the maidens clothed a child of Earth in the fruits of the earth.


[9.232]   { G-P 42 }   G

I am the neck of an Adriatic wine-jar, once honey-voiced when I bore in my belly the gift of Bacchus. But now I am broken I stand here as a strong support for a newly-planted vine which reaches up to climb over this delicate arbour. Ever do I serve Bacchus ; either I guard him faithfully in his old age, or rear him in his youth.


[9.240]   { G-P 43 }   G

A ram with crumpled horns was rushing fiercely to butt Calyptra's little boy, who had strayed from his mother, when the boar of Heracles, *   breaking his tether, buried his tusks in the ram's belly and gave the child its life. Is it because he remembers Hera's cruelty that Heracles pities children of tender age ?

*   Probably a boar about to be sacrificed to Heracles.


[9.247]   { G-P 44 }   G

I am a fine plane-tree that the furious blasts of the south wind uprooted and laid low on the ground. But after a bath of wine I stand again erect, vivified both in summer and winter by a rain sweeter than that of heaven. By death I lived, and I alone, after drinking the juice of Bacchus which makes others bend, am seen to stand straighter.


[9.253]   { G-P 45 }   G

Splendid in Thebes was the marriage of Cadmus, but that of Oedipus was abominable. Bacchus welcomed the orgies which Pentheus, after ridiculing, bewailed. The walls arose to the music of strings, but groaned as they crumbled to the flute's. Holy were the birth-pangs of Antiope, but Iocasta's heavy with doom. Ino loved her child, but Athamas was impious. The city was always famous (?). See how for good or evil History always had plenty to tell of Thebes.


[9.254]   { G-P 28 }   G

I, Philaenis, who bore children but to feed the funeral pyre, the mother weighed down by grief, who had seen the burial of three, sought refuge in the fruit of another womb ; for, indeed, I was confident that the son I had not borne myself would live. So, though I had given birth to so many, I brought up an adopted son. But Fate would not allow me to possess even the gift of another mother; for no sooner was he called mine than he died, and now I have become a cause of mourning even to other mothers.


[9.255]   { G-P 46 }   G

cp. 9.150 (Antipater of Thessalonica)

Needy Aristeides reckoned his possessions as great ; his one sheep was a flock, his one cow a herd. But he lost both ; a wolf killed the ewe, and the cow died in calving. So that the stock of his poor farm was gone, and the luckless man, noosing his neck in the strap of his wallet, perished by his shed that no longer echoed to the sound of bleating.


[9.262]   { G-P 29 }   G

All once counted Aristodicē to be a proud mother, for six times had she been delivered of her womb's burden. But water vied with earth in afflicting her ; for three sons perished by sickness, and the rest closed their eyes in the sea. The tearful woman is ever seen complaining like a nightingale by the grave-stones, and upbraiding the deep like a halcyon. *  

*   See the story of Ceyx and Alcyone in Ovid (Metam. xi.).


[9.264]   { - }   G

-- By APOLLONIDES or PHILIPPUS

The cicada used to sit on the highest boughs of the shrubs, and in the burning noon-tide sun, beating its belly with its wings, by the sweet variations of its self-wrought strains filled all the wilderness with music. But Criton of Pialia, the fowler who disdains no kind of game, caught this fleshless thing by its back with his limed twig. But he suffered punishment ; for his daily craft now plays him false, and he wanders about not catching even a feather.


[9.265]   { - }   G

-- By APOLLONIDES or PHILIPPUS

The bird of Zeus, pierced by an arrow, avenged himself on the Cretan for his archery, returning arrow for arrow from heaven. With the returning shaft it slew the slayer at once from the sky, and falling, killed as it died. No longer boast, you Cretans, of your unerring arrows ; let the deadly aim of Zeus, too, be celebrated.


[9.267]   { G-P 30 }   G

Sailing of late on the Icarian sea, Damis, the son of Nicaretus, slipped from the deck and fell into the sea. Sore did his father pray to the immortals, and call on the water, beseeching the waves for his son. But, devoured by the sea, he perished miserably. That is a sea that of old, too, was deaf to a father's prayers. *  

*   i.e. to the prayers of Daedalus for his son Icarus


[9.274]   { G-P 47 }   G

The young cow, obeying the goad that pricks her thighs, cuts the recurring furrows of the field, and again, after her ploughing-labour under the yoke, suffers fresh pain in suckling her newly-born calf. Do not drive her hard, husbandman. This little calf of hers, if you spare the mother, will grow up for you and become a steer.


[9.285]   { G-P 4 }   G

No longer does the mighty-tusked elephant, with turreted back and ready to fight phalanxes, charge unchecked into the battle ; but in fear he has yielded his thick neck to the yoke, and draws the car of divine Caesar. The wild beast knows the delight of peace ; discarding the accoutrement of war, he conducts instead the father of good order.


[9.290]   { G-P 48 }   G

When with the blasts of the Libyan wind, the fierce Sirocco, the sea grew dark and belched up the sand from her profoundest depths, when every mast had fallen into the hollow of the deep and the lost merchant ship was drifting to Hades, Lysistratus called on the gods who help mariners, and they, for the sake of the temple ministrant alone, lulled the savage waves.


[9.293]   { G-P 49 }   G

Xerxes, looking on the great frame of self-slain Leonidas, clothed it in a purple cloak. Then Sparta's great hero called from the dead : "I accept not the reward due to traitors. My shield is the best ornament of my tomb. Away with the Persian frippery, and I shall go even to Hades as a Spartan."


[9.299]   { G-P 50 }   G

We meek-necked oxen, the ploughers of the field, endure in the sea the labour of the land. We both draw in the water a furrow not cut by iron, the long ropes attached to the seine. We toil now for fish, not for corn. Ah, long-suffering creatures ! Oxen have begun to plough the sea too for its fruits.


[9.307]   { G-P 5 }   G

Daphne, who once refused Phoebus, now lifts up her dark-leaved bough from the altar of Caesar, having found a better god than that former one. Though she hated the son of Leto, she desires Zeus the son of Aeneas. She struck root not in the Earth, her mother, but in a stone. Not even stone can refuse to bear offspring to Caesar. *  

*   The inhabitants of Tarraco announced to Augustus that a palm (not as here a laurel) had sprung from his altar : "That shows how often you light fires on it," said he.


[9.311]   { G-P 51 }   G

A bitch, that vied in swiftness with the deer, was wounded, when heavy with young, in her generative organs. The scab of the wound in a short time entirely closed the orifice, and the pains of labour were at hand. But a man operated on her, terribly though she howled, and the dear little ones leapt forth from her womb. The gracious aid of Artemis in labour is a thing of the past, and Ares, on the other hand, has begun to practise midwifery.


[9.416]   { G-P 52 }   G

On the Same

I am a ship built from the business of Cypris, and betake me to the sea that gave birth to that goddess; for the man who made me was a merchant of beauty, and christened me Courtesan, for I am friendly to all. Board me confidently ; I don't demand a heavy fare ; I receive all comers. I carry both natives and foreigners ; you can row me either on land or in the sea.


[9.438]   { G-P 53 }   G

When the burrowing ants, the army of the earth, nibbled at the rustic bee-keeper's sweet dainty, the old man in anger set the jar in a dish of water, thinking that, being creatures of the land, they would not get to it. But they, setting up fresh stalks of straw against it, quickly found their way, without anyone to steer them, to the vessel. So their dear belly induced even these tiny creatures to migrate from earth to water, the very newest variety of boatmen.


[9.543]   { G-P 54 }   G

The well-mounted troupe of bull-fighters from Thessaly, armed against the beasts with no weapons but their hands, spur their horses to run alongside the galloping bull, bent on throwing round its neck the noose of their arms. At the same time pulling it towards the ground by thus hanging themselves at the end of its neck and weighing down its head, they roll over even such a powerful brute. *  

*   It is implied, of course, that the man throws himself off his horse. In Heliodorus (x. 30) the man is described as throwing his arms round the bull's neck and burying his face between its horns, and this seems to be what is meant here.


[9.553]   G

On the Foundation of Nicopolis by Augustus

To replace Leucas, and fertile Ambracia, and Thyrrheium, and Anactorium, and Amphilochian Argos, and all the surrounding cities that the furious onslaught of war destroyed, Caesar founded me, Nicopolis, a divine city. Phoebus receives this reward for the victory of Actium.


[9.561]   { G-P 55 }   G

What desert, sunless hill of Northern Scythia nourished you, wild vine ? Or was it the eternal ice of the snowy Celtic Alps or the iron-bearing soil of Spain - you, who didst bear the sour grapes, the unripened clusters - that yielded this harsh juice ? I seek for your hands, Lycurgus, to tear up by the roots the whole plant of that vine, the mother of crude fruit.


[9.575]   { G-P 56 }   G

Heaven shall sooner quench its stars and the sun make bright the face of night ; the sea shall sooner provide sweet water for mortals to draw, and the dead return to the land of the living, than oblivion of those ancient pages shall rob us of the glorious name of Homer.


[9.708]   { G-P 57 }   G

The barbarian bridged the Hellespont in his daring folly, but Time dissolved all that labour. Now Dicaearchia has made the sea a continent, and given the depths the form of dry land. She fixed firmly in the depths a vast supporting structure of stone, and with the hands of the Giants made the water beneath stand still. We could always sail over the sea, but insecure as it was for sailors who travelled on it, it has now promised to remain secure for foot-travellers. *  

*   cp. 7.379 (Antiphilus), of which this is an imitation.


[9.709]   { G-P 63 }   G

On the Bronze Statue of the Eurotas by Eutychides

The artist moulded Eurotas fresh from his bath of fire, as if still wet and immersed in his stream. For all his limbs are pliant and liquid as water, and he moves flowingly from his head to the tips of his fingers and toes. Art vied with the river. Who was it that coaxed the bronze statue to riot along more liquidly than water?


[9.742]   { G-P 79 }   G

Take off from my neck, husbandman, the collar, and free me from the iron furrow-cutter ; for Myron did not make my bronze into flesh, but his art gave me the aspect of being alive, so that often I even wished to low. He did not, however, let me go to work, but tied me to a base.


[9.777]   { G-P 64 }   G

Look how proudly the art of the worker in bronze makes this horse stand. Fierce is his glance as he arches his neck and shakes out his wind-tossed mane for the course. I believe that if a charioteer were to fit the bit to his jaws and prick him with the spur, your work, Lysippus, would surprise us by running away ; for Art makes it breathe.


[9.778]   { G-P 6 }   G

On a Tapestry

In me Carpo, imitating all by her shuttle's labour at the loom, depicted accurately all the fruitful land, encompassed by Ocean, that obeys great Caesar, and the blue sea as well. I come to Caesar as a present . . . ., for it was the queen's duty to offer the gift long due to the gods. *  

*   i.e. to the emperors. The corrupt word in I. 5 (or possibly in 1. 3, where Karpō is a conjecture) conceals the clue to the identity of the queen. She was probably Oriental.


[11.33]   { G-P 58 }   G

Secretly advancing, O ivy, your twisted creeping foot, you throttle me, the vine, sweet gift of Bacchus, mother of clusters. But you do not so much fetter me as you destroy your own honour ; for who would set ivy on his brows without pouring out wine ?


[11.36]   { G-P 59 }   G

When you were pretty, Archestratus, and the hearts of the young men were burnt for your wine-red cheeks, there was no talk of friendship with me, but sporting with others you spoilt your prime like a rose. Now, however, when you begin to blacken with horrid hair, you would force me to be your friend, offering me the straw after giving the harvest to others.


[11.173]   { G-P 80 }   G

If you have lent out some of it, and give some now, and are going to give some more, you are never master of your money.


[11.321]   { G-P 60 }   G

Grammarians, you children of Stygian Momus, you book-worms feeding on thorns, *   demon foes of books, dogs of Zenodotus, soldiers of Callimachus from whom, though you hold him out as a shield, you do not refrain your tongue, hunters of melancholy conjunctions who take delight in min and sphin and in enquiring if the Cyclops had dogs, may you wear yourselves away for all eternity, you wretches, muttering abuse of others ; then come and quench your venom in me.

*   On thorny passages of authors, as we should say.


[11.347]   { G-P 61 }   G

Farewell you whose eyes ever range over the universe, and you thorn-gathering book-worms of Aristarchus' school. What serves it me to enquire what path the Sun has run, and whose son was Proteus and who Pygmalion ? Let me know works whose lines are clear, *   but let dark lore waste away the devotees of Callimachus.

*   Literally, "white."


[13.1]   { G-P 62 }   G

Hail, Paphian goddess ! For all mortals, creatures of the day, ever honour by all fair words and works your power and immortal beauty and loveable majesty. For ever and to all you do manifest your dignity.


[16.25]   { G-P 65 }   G

If you have ever heard of Demostratus from Sinope, who twice won the Isthmian pine-wreath, it is he whom you are looking on, he whose back never left its seal on the sand from a fall in limber wrestling bouts. Gaze at his countenance animated by pluck like a savage beast's, how it preserves its ancient look of keenness to win. And the bronze says, "Let my base set me free, and like a living man I will prepare myself again for the combat." *  

*   Literally "I will powder myself again" as wrestlers did before a match.


[16.52]   { G-P 66 }   G

Perhaps, O stranger, seeing me thus with a belly like a bull and with solidly built limbs, like a second Atlas, you marvel, doubting if I am of mortal nature. But know that I am Heras of Laodiceia, the all-round fighter, crowned by Smyrna and the oak of Pergamum, by Delphi, Corinth, Elis, *   Argos, and Actium. But if you enquire as to my victories in other contests you would number also the sands of Libya.

*   i.e. Olympia.


[16.81]   { G-P 67 }   G

On the Statue of Zeus at Olympia

Either God came from Heaven to Earth to show you His image, Pheidias, or you went to see God.


[16.93]   { G-P 68 }   G

The Labours of Heracles

I slew the vast wild beast of Nemea, I slew the hydra and the bull, and smashed the jaw of the boar ; when I had torn off the girdle *   I took the horses of Diomedes. After plucking the golden apples I captured Geryon. Augeas learnt to know me, the hind did not escape me, and I killed the birds. I led Cerberus, and myself dwell in Olympus.

*   Of Hippolyte.


[16.104]   { G-P 69 }   G

On a Statue of Heracles

So Hera, then, wished for this to crown all his labours, the sight of doughty Heracles stripped of his arms ! Where is the lion-skin cloak, where the quiver of loud-whizzing arrows on his shoulder and the heavy-footed branch, the slayer of beasts ? Love has stripped you of all, and it is not strange that, having made Zeus a swan, he deprived Heracles of his weapons.


[16.137]   { G-P 70 }   G

On the Picture of Medea in Rome

Who, lawless Colchian, chronicled your wrath in the picture ? Who created you, thus barbarous even in your image ? Do you yet thirst for your babes' blood ? Is some second Jason or another Glaucē your pretext ? Begone, murderess of your children, even in the painted wax! For the very picture feels that jealousy of yours that passed all bounds.


[16.141]   { G-P 71 }   G

{To a swallow which had built its nest on the picture of Medea}

How, twittering swallow, did you suffer to have as nurse of your children the Colchian woman, the vengeful destroyer of her babes, from whose bloodshot eye still flashes murderous fire, from whose jaws white foam still drips, whose sword is freshly bathed in blood ? Fly from the fatal mother, who even in the wax is still slaying her children.


[16.177]   { G-P 72 }   G

On the Armed Aphrodite in Sparta

Laughter-loving Aphrodite, minister of the bridal chamber, who armed you, honey-sweet goddess that you are, with the weapons of war? To thee the Paean is dear, and golden-haired Hymenaeus and the dulcet charm of shrill-voiced flutes. Why have you put on these engines of murder? Is it that you have despoiled bold Ares to boast how great is the might of Cypris ?


[16.193]   { G-P 73 }   G

A. May I touch the cabbage, Cyllenian ?   B. No, traveller.   A. Why grudge some greens ?   B. It is not grudging, but it is the law to keep pilfering hands from other people's property.   A. Well ! that is strange. Hermes *   has made a new law against stealing.

*   The patron of thieves.


[16.215]   { G-P 74 }   G

On statues of Loves

Look how the Loves, having plundered Olympus, deck themselves in the arms of the immortals, exulting in their spoils. They bear the bow of Phoebus, the thunderbolt of Zeus, the shield and helmet of Ares, the club of Heracles, the three-pronged spear of the sea-god, the thyrse of Bacchus, Hermes' winged sandals, and Artemis' torches. Mortals need not grieve that they must yield to the arrows of the Loves, if the gods have given them their arms wherewith to busk themselves.


[16.240]   { G-P 75 }   G

On statue of Priapus

A. {a traveller} I see the figs are ripe. Won't you let me take a few ?   B. {Priapus} Don't touch a single one. A. How angry Priapus is !   B. You will say so still, and you will have come to no purpose. *   A. Indeed, I beseech you.   B. Give me ; for I, too, am in want of something.   A. What ! do you want anything from me?   B. There is a law, I think, " Give and take."   A. Even though you are a god, are you greedy for money ?   B. It is another thing that I am fond of.   A. What is that ?   B. If you eat my figs, give me with a good grace that fig you have behind.

*   Little sense can be made of line 3 as it stands.


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