Greek Anthology: Book 7


This selection from Book 7 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.











[9] DAMAGETUS   { H 2 }   G

On the poet Orpheus, son of Oeagrus and Calliope

The tomb on the Thracian skirts of Olympus holds Orpheus, son of the Muse Calliope ; whom the trees disobeyed not and the lifeless rocks followed, and the herds of the forest beasts ; who discovered the mystic rites of Bacchus, and first linked verse in heroic feet; who charmed with his lyre even the heavy sense of the implacable Lord of Hell, and his unyielding wrath.

[10] Anonymous   { F 31 }   G

On the Same

The fair-haired daughters of Bistonia shed a thousand tears for Orpheus dead, the son of Calliope and Oeagrus ; they stained their tattooed arms with blood, and dyed their Thracian locks with black ashes. The very Muses of Pieria, with Apollo, the master of the lute, burst into tears mourning for the singer, and the rocks moaned, and the trees, that once he charmed with his lovely lyre.



[12] Anonymous   { F 39 }   G

On Erinna

Just as you were giving birth to the spring of your honeyed hymns, and beginning to sing with your swan-like voice, Fate, mistress of the distaff that spins the thread, bore you over the wide lake of the dead to Acheron. But the beautiful work, Erinna, of your verse cries aloud that you are not dead, but join in the dance of the Muses.







[16] PINYTUS   { Ph 1 }   G

On Sappho

The tomb holds the bones and the dumb name of Sappho, but her skilled words are immortal.

[17] TULLIUS LAUREAS   { Ph 1 }   G

On the Same

When you pass, O stranger, by the Aeolian tomb, say not that I, the Lesbian poetess, am dead. This tomb was built by the hands of men, and such works of mortals are lost in swift oblivion. But if you enquire about me for the sake of the Muses, from each of whom I took a flower to lay beside my nine flowers of song, *   you shall find that I escaped the darkness of death, and that no sun shall dawn and set without memory of lyric Sappho.

*   i.e. books of verse.







[21] SIMIAS   { H 4 }   G

On Sophocles

O Sophocles, son of Sophillus, singer of choral odes, Attic star of the tragic Muse, whose locks the curving ivy of Acharnae often crowned in the orchestra and on the stage, a tomb and a little portion of earth hold you ; but your exquisite life shines yet in your immortal pages.

[22] SIMIAS   { H 5 }   G

On the Same

Gently over the tomb of Sophocles, gently creep, O ivy, flinging forth your green curls, and all about let the petals of the rose bloom, and the vine that loves her fruit shed her pliant tendrils around, for the sake of that wise-hearted beauty of diction that the Muses and Graces in common bestowed on the sweet singer.











[28] Anonymous   { F 35a }   G

On Anacreon

O stranger, who pass this tomb of Anacreon, pour a libation to me in going by, for I am a wine-bibber.











[36] ERYCIAS   { Ph 11 }   G

On Sophocles

Ever, O divine Sophocles, may the ivy that adorns the stage dance with soft feet over your polished monument. Ever may the tomb be encompassed by bees that bedew it, the children of the ox, and drip with honey of Hymettus, that there be ever store of wax flowing for you to spread on your Attic writing tablets, and that your locks may never want a wreath.



[38] DIODORUS   { Ph 12 }   G

On Aristophanes

Divine Aristophanes lies dead beneath me. If you ask which, it is the comic poet who keeps the memory of the old stage alive.



[40] DIODORUS   { Ph 13 }   G

On Aeschylus

This tombstone says that Aeschylus the great lies here, far from his own Attica, by the white waters of Sicilian Gelas. What spiteful grudge against the good is this, alas, that ever besets the sons of Theseus ?

[41] Anonymous   { F 43 }   G

On Callimachus

Hail blessed one, even in the house of Hades, Callimachus, dearest companion of the divine Muses.

[43] ION   { F 1 }   G

On Euripides

Hail, Euripides, dwelling in the chamber of eternal night in the dark-robed valleys of Pieria! Know, though you are under earth, that your renown shall be everlasting, equal to the perennial charm of Homer.

[44] ION   { F 2 }   G

On the Same

Though a tearful fate befell you, O Euripides, devoured by wolf-hounds, you, the honey-voiced nightingale of the stage, the ornament of Athens, who mingled the grace of the Muses with wisdom, yet you were laid in the tomb at Pella, that the servant of the Pierian Muses should dwell near the home of his mistresses.


On the Same

All Hellas is the monument of Euripides, but the Macedonian land holds his bones, for it sheltered the end of his life. His country was Athens, the Hellas of Hellas, and as by his verse he gave exceeding delight, so from many he receives praise.

[46] Anonymous   { F 37 }   G

On the Same

This is not your monument, Euripides, but you are the memorial of it, for by your glory is this monument encompassed.



[50] ARCHIMEDES   { F 1 }   G

On the Same

Tread not, O poet, the path of Euripides, neither essay it, for it is hard for man to walk therein. Smooth it is to look on, and well beaten, but if one sets his foot on it, it is rougher than if set with cruel stakes. Scratch but the surface of Medea, *   Aeëtes' daughter, and you shall lie below forgotten. Hands off his crowns.

*   By retouching.

[51] ADAEUS   { Ph 3 }   G

On the Same

Neither dogs slew you, Euripides, nor the rage of women, you enemy of the secrets of Cypris, but Death and old age, and under Macedonian Arethusa you lie, honoured by the friendship of Archelaus. Yet it is not this that I account your tomb, but the altar of Bacchus and the buskin-trodden stage.

[52] DEMIURGUS   { F 1 }   G

On Hesiod

I hold Hesiod of Ascra the glory of spacious Hellas and the ornament of Poesy.





[60] SIMIAS   { H 6 }   G

On Plato

Here lies the divine Aristocles, *   who excelled all mortals in temperance and the ways of justice. If anyone gained from all men much praise for wisdom it was he, and no envy therewith.

*   Plato's original name .

[61] SPEUSIPPUS   { F 1a }   G

On the Same

The earth in her bosom hides here the body of Plato, but his soul has its immortal station among the blest, the soul of Ariston's son, whom every good man, even if he dwell in a far land, honours in that he saw the divine life.



[66] HONESTUS   { Ph 2 }   G

On Diogenes

The staff, and wallet, and thick cloak, were the very light burden of wise Diogenes in life. I bring all to the ferryman, for I left nothing on earth. But you, Cerberus dog, fawn on me, the Dog.





[71] GAETULICUS   { F 4 }   G

On Archilochus

This tomb by the sea is that of Archilochus, who first made the Muse bitter dipping her in vipers' gall, staining mild Helicon with blood. Lycambes knows it, mourning for his three daughters hanged. Pass quietly by, O way-farer, lest haply you arouse the wasps that are settled on his tomb.

[72] MENANDER   { F 1 }   G

On Epicurus and Themistocles

Hail, you twin-born sons of Neocles, of whom the one saved his country from slavery the other from folly.

[73] GEMINUS   { Ph 1 }   G

On Themistocles

In place of a simple tomb put Hellas, and on her put ships to signify the destroyed barbaric fleets; and round the frieze of the tomb paint the Persian host and Xerxes - thus bury Themistocles. And Salamis shall stand thereon, a pillar telling of my deeds. Why lay you so great a man in a little space?

[74] DIODORUS   { Ph 14 }   G

On Themistocles

The people of Magnesia raised to Themistocles this monument in a land not his own, when after saving his country from the Medes, he was laid in foreign earth under a foreign stone. Verily Envy so willed, and deeds of valour have less privilege than she.








On Eratosthenes

A mild old age, no darkening disease, put out your light, Eratosthenes son of Aglaus, and, your high studies over, you sleep the appointed sleep. Cyrene your mother did not receive you into the tombs of your fathers, but you are buried on this fringe of Proteus' shore, *   beloved even in a strange land.

*   i.e. at Alexandria.




Callimachus (2)




Callimachus (1)

[99] PLATO   { F 10 }   G

On Dion

The Fates decreed tears for Hecabe and the Trojan women even at the hour of their birth ; and after you, Dion, had triumphed in the accomplishment of noble deeds, the gods spilt all your far-reaching hopes. But you lie in your spacious city, honoured by your countrymen, Dion, who maddened my soul with love.

[100] PLATO   { F 6 }   G

On Alexis and Phaedrus {not an epitaph}

Now when I said nothing except just that Alexis is fair, he is looked at everywhere and by everyone when he appears. Why, my heart, do you point out bones to dogs and have to sorrow for it afterwards ? Was it not thus that I lost Phaedrus ?

[103] ANTAGORAS   { H 1 }   G

On Polemon and Crates

Stranger, as you pass by, tell that this tomb holds god-like Crates and Polemon, great-hearted kindred spirits, from whose inspired mouths the holy word rushed. A pure pursuit *   of wisdom, obedient to their unswerving doctrines, adorned their divine lives.

*   "Life" in the Greek, but English will not bear the repetition.   Polemon and Crates were Academic philosophers of the early 3rd century B.C.

[117] ZENODOTUS   { H 1 }   G

On Zenon the Stoic

Zenon, reverend grey-browed sage, you did found the self-sufficient life, abandoning the pursuit of vainglorious wealth ; for virile (and you trained yourself to foresight) was the school of thought you instituted, the mother of dauntless freedom. If your country were Phoenicia what reproach is that ? Cadmus too, from whom Greece learnt writing, was a Phoenician.

[125] Anonymous   { F 35b }   G

On Epicharmus

Even as the great burning sun surpasses the stars and the sea is stronger than the rivers, so I say that Epicharmus, whom this his city Syracuse crowned, excells all in wisdom.




On Hector

Hector, constant theme of Homer's books, strongest bulwark of the god-built wall, Homer rested at your death and with that the pages of the Iliad were silenced.

[139] Anonymous   { F 40 }   G

On the Same and on Alexander of Macedon

With Hector perished Troy and no longer raised her hand to resist the attack of the Danaans. And Pella, too, perished with Alexander. So fatherlands glory in men, their sons, not men in their fatherlands.









[154] Anonymous   { F 87 }   G

On Coroebus

I am set here, an image common to the Megarians and the Argives, the avenger of unhappy Psamathe. A ghoul, a denizen of the tomb am I, and he who slew me was Coroebus; here under my feet he lies, all for the tripod. For even so did the voice of Delphi decree, that I should be the monument of Apollo's bride and tell her story. *  

*   Apollo, to avenge the death of the child which Psamathe the Argive princess bore him, sent a female demon {Poinē} which carried off babies. This demon was killed by Coroebus. He was pardoned by Apollo and ordered to settle wherever a tripod he carried fell. This was near Megara, and on his tomb at Megara he was represented killing the Poinē.

[156] ISIDORUS OF AEGAE   { Ph 1 }   G

By his bird-lime and canes Eumelus lived on the creatures of the air, simply but in freedom. Never did he kiss a strange hand for his belly's sake. This his craft supplied him with luxury and delight. Ninety years he lived, and now sleeps here, having left to his children his bird-lime, nets and canes.



[160] ANACREON   { F 2 }   G

Valiant in war was Timocritus, whose tomb this is. War is not sparing of the brave, but of cowards.

















[169] Anonymous   { F 68 }   G

On the statue of a heifer that stands opposite Byzantium in Chrysopolis. Inscribed on the column.

I am not the image of the Argive heifer, nor is the sea that faces me, the Bosporus, called after me. She of old was driven to Pharos by the heavy wrath of Hera; but I here am a dead Athenian woman, I was the bed-fellow of Chares, and sailed with him when he sailed here to meet Philip's ships in battle. *   I was called Boeïdiŏn {"little cow"} then, and now I, bed-fellow of Chares, enjoy a view of two continents.

*   B.C. 340.


Poseidippus (VI)







[174] ERYCIUS   { Ph 7 }   G

On the same theme as epigram 173

No longer, Therimachus, do you play your shepherds' tunes on the pipes near this crooked-leaved plane. Nor shall the horned cattle listen again to the sweet music you did make, reclining by the shady oak. The burning bolt of heaven slew you, and they at nightfall came down the hill to their byre driven by the snow.









[179] Anonymous   { F 25 }   G

Now, too, underground I remain faithful to you, master, as before, not forgetting your kindness - how thrice when I was sick you set me safe upon my feet, and have laid me now under sufficient shelter, announcing on the stone my name, Manes, a Persian. Because you have been good to me you shall have slaves more ready to serve you in the hour of need.



[181] ANDRONICUS   { F 1 }   G

Sore pitied, dear Democrateia, did you go to the dark house of Acheron, leaving your mother to lament. And she, when you were dead, shore the grey hairs from her old head with the newly-sharpened steel.



[183] PARMENION   { Ph 3 }   G

{As she had just loosed her maiden girdle} . . . Death came first and took the maidenhood of Crocale. The bridal song ended in wailing, and the fond anxiety of her parents was set to rest not by marriage but by the tomb.

[184] PARMENION   { Ph 4 }   G

I am the tomb of the maiden Helenē, and in mourning too for her brother who died before her I receive double tears from their mother. To her suitors I left a common grief ; for the hope of all mourned equally for her who was yet no one's.







[188] ANTONIUS THALLUS   { Ph 3 }   G

Unhappy Cleanassa, you were ripe for marriage, being in the bloom of your age. But at your wedding attended not Hymenaeus to preside at the feast, nor did Hera who links man and wife come with her torches. Black-robed Hades burst in and by him the fell Erinys chanted the dirge of death. On the very day that the lights were lit around your bridal bed you came to no wedding chamber, but to your funeral pyre.


No longer, shrill-voiced locust, shall the sun look on you, as you sing in the wealthy house of Alkis, for now you have flown to the meadows of Hades and the dewy flowers of golden Persephone.







[193] SIMIAS   { H 2 }   G

{Not an Epitaph}

This locust crouching in the leaves of a vine I caught as I was walking in this copse of fair trees, so that in a well-fenced home it may make noise for me, chirping pleasantly with its tongueless mouth.







[197] PHAENNUS   { H 2 }   G

I am the locust who brought deep sleep to Democritus, when I started the shrill music of my wings. And Democritus, O wayfarer, raised for me when I died a seemly tomb near Oropus.



[199] TYMNES   { H 4 }   G

On an unknown bird called elaeus

Bird, nursling of the Graces, who didst modulate your voice till it was like unto a halcyon's, you are gone, dear elaeus, and the silent ways of night possess your gentleness and your sweet breath.

[200] NICIAS   { H 4 }   G

No longer curled under the leafy branch shall I delight in sending forth a voice from my tender wings. For I fell into the . . . hand of a boy, who caught me stealthily as I was seated on the green leaves.

[201] PAMPHILUS   { H 1 }   G

No longer perched on the green leaves do you shed abroad your sweet call, for as you were singing, noisy cicada, a foolish boy with outstretched hand slew you.



[203] SIMIAS   { H 1 }   G

No longer, my decoy partridge, do you shed from your throat your resonant cry through the shady coppice, hunting your pencilled fellows in their woodland feeding-ground ; for you are gone on your last journey to the house of Acheron.









[211] TYMNES   { H 5 }   G

The stone tells that it contains here the white Maltese dog, Eumelus' faithful guardian. They called him Bull while he still lived, but now the silent paths of night possess his voice.















[219] POMPEIUS THE YOUNGER   { Ph 1 }   G

Lais, whose bloom was so lovely and delightful in the eyes of all, she who alone culled the lilies of the Graces, no longer looks on the course of the Sun's golden-bitted steeds, but sleeps the appointed sleep, having bid farewell to revelling and young men's rivalries and lovers' torments and the lamp her confidant.



[223] THYILLUS   { F 2 }   G

The castanet dancer Aristiŏn, who used to toss her hair among the pines in honour of Cybele, carried away by the music of the horned flute ; she who could empty one upon the other three cups of untempered wine, rests here beneath the poplars, no more taking delight in love and the fatigue of the night-festivals. A long farewell to revels and frenzy ! It lies low, the holy head that was once covered by garlands of flowers.

[226] ANACREON OF TEOS   { F 1 }   G

This whole city acclaimed Agathon, the doughty warrior, as he lay on the pyre after dying for Abdera ; for Ares greedy of blood slew no other young man like to him in the whirlwind of the dreadful fight.

[227] DIOTIMUS   { H 2 }   G

Not even a lion is as terrible in the mountains, as was Micon's son Crinagoras in the clash of the shields. If this his covering be little, find no fault thereat ; little is this land, but it bears men brave in war.

[228] Anonymous   { H 44 }   G

Androtion built me for himself, his children and his wife. As yet I am no one's grave and so may I remain for long ; but if it must be so, may I give earlier welcome to the earlier born.



[230] ERYCIUS OF CYZICUS   { Ph 12 }   G

Demetrius, when your mother received you after your flight from the battle, all your fine arms lost, herself she straightway drove the death-dealing spear through your sturdy side, and said "Die and let Sparta bear no blame ; it was no fault of hers if my milk reared cowards."

[231] DAMAGETUS   { H 4 }   G

Thus for Ambracia's sake the warrior Aristagoras, son of Theopompus, holding his shield on high, chose death rather than flight. Wonder not thereat: a Dorian cares for his country, not for the loss of his young life.







[235] DIODORUS OF TARSUS   { Ph 11 }   G

Measure not by this Magnesian tomb the greatness of the name, nor forget the deeds of Themistocles. Judge of the patriot by Salamis and the ships, and thereby shall you find him greater than Athens herself.



[237] ALPHEIUS OF MITYLENE   { Ph 6 }   G

Carve on my tomb the mountains and the sea, and midmost of both the sun as witness ; yea, and the deep currents of the ever-flowing rivers, whose streams sufficed not for Xerxes' host of the thousand ships. Carve Salamis too, here where the Magnesian people proclaim the tomb of dead Themistocles. *  

*   The last line does not seem to me to have much meaning, if any, as it stands. We expect "that the Magnesians may duly honour the tomb."

[238] ADDAEUS   { Ph 4 }   G

I, Philip, who first set the steps of Macedonia in the path of war, lie here clothed in the earth of Aegae. No king before me did such deeds, and if any have greater to boast of, it is because he is of my blood. *  

*   This refers to Alexander.

[239] PARMENION   { Ph 5 }   G

It is a lying report that Alexander is dead if Phoebus be true. Not even Hades can lay hand on the invincible. *  

*   Phoebus had proclaimed him invincible.

[240] ADDAEUS   { Ph 5 }   G

If one would sing of the tomb of Alexander of Macedon, let him say that both continents are his monument.





[243] LOLLIUS BASSUS   { Ph 2 }   G

Look on this tomb beside the Phocian rock. I am the monument of those three hundred who were slain by the Persians, who died far from Sparta, having dimmed the might of Media and Lacedaemon alike. As for the image of an ox-slaying (?) beast *   say "It is the monument of the commander Leonidas."

*   i.e. a lion.

[244] GAETULICUS   { F 5 }   G

Fierce Ares drew these our swords, the three hundred from Argos and as many from Sparta, there where we fought out the fight from which no messenger returned, falling dead one upon another. Thyreae was the prize of the battle. *  

*   On the celebrated fight for Thyreae between three hundred Argives and as many Spartans. See Herodotus, i. 82, and Nos. 431, 432, below.





















[255] AESCHYLUS   { F 1 }   G

Dark Fate likewise slew these staunch spearmen, defending their country rich in flocks. Living is the fame of the dead, who steadfast to the last lie clothed in the earth of Ossa.

[256] PLATO   { F 12 }   G

Leaving behind the sounding surge of the Aegean we lie on the midmost of the plains of Ecbatana. Farewell, Eretria, once our glorious country; farewell, Athens, the neighbour of Euboea ; farewell, dear Sea. *  

*   On the Eretrians settled in Persia by Darius. See Herod, vi. 119





[259] PLATO   { F 11 }   G

We are Eretrians from Euboea and we lie near Susa, alas ! how far from our own land. *  

*   See No. 256.

[260] CARPHYLLIDES   { H 1 }   G

Find no fault with my fate, traveller, in passing my tomb ; not even in death have I anything that calls for mourning. I left children's children, I enjoyed the company of one wife who grew old together with me. I married my three children, and many children sprung from these unions I lulled to sleep on my lap, never grieving for the illness or loss of one. They all, pouring their libations on my grave, sent me off on a painless journey to the home of the pious dead, to sleep the sweet sleep.

[261] DIOTIMUS   { H 4 }   G

What profits it to labour in childbirth and bring forth children if she who bears them is to see them dead ! So his mother built the tomb for her little Bianor, while he should have done this for his mother.


Theocritus (XXIII)

[263] ANACREON   { F 3 }   G

And you too, Clenorides, homesickness drove to death when you entrusted yourself to the wintry blasts of the south wind. That faithless weather stayed your journey and the wet seas washed out your lovely youth.



[265] PLATO   { F 19 }   G

I am the tomb of a shipwrecked man, and that opposite is the tomb of a husbandman. So death lies in wait for us alike on sea and land.




Poseidippus (VII)

[268] PLATO   { F 18 }   G

I whom you look upon am a shipwrecked man. The sea pitied me, and was ashamed to bare me of my last vesture. It was a man who with fearless hands stripped me, burdening himself with so heavy a crime for so light a gain. Let him put it on and take it with him to Hades, and let Minos see him wearing my old coat.

[269] PLATO   { F 20 }   G

Mariners, may you be safe on sea and land ; but know that this tomb you are passing is a shipwrecked man's.




Callimachus (19)


Callimachus (20)



[274] HONESTUS OF BYZANTIUM   { Ph 22 }   G

I announce the name of Timocles and look round in every direction over the salt sea, wondering where his corpse may be. Alas ! the fishes have devoured him ere this, and I, this useless stone, bear this idle writing carved on me.

[275] GAETULICUS   { F 6 }   G

The Peloponnesus and the perilous sea of Crete and the blind cliffs of Cape Malea when he was turning it were fatal to Astydamas son of Damis the Cydonian. Ere this he has gorged the bellies of sea monsters. But on the land they raised me his lying tomb. What wonder! since "Cretans are liars," and even Zeus has a tomb there. *  

*   He refers to some verses of Callimachus in his Hymn to Zeus (v. 8). "Cretans are always liars" was a proverb found also in the verse quoted by St. Paul (Titus, i. 12).

[276] HEGESIPPUS   { H 7 }   G

The fishermen brought up from the sea in their net a half-eaten man, a most mournful relic of some sea-voyage. They sought not for unholy gain, but him and the fishes too they buried under this light coat of sand. You have, O land, the whole of the shipwrecked man, but instead of the rest of his flesh you have the fishes who fed on it.


Callimachus (59)



[279] Anonymous   { F 53 }   G

Cease to paint ever on this tomb oars and the beaks of ships over my cold ashes. The tomb is a shipwrecked man's. Why would you remind him who is under earth of his disfigurement by the waves.

[280] ISIDORUS OF AEGAE   { Ph 2 }   G

This hummock is a tomb ; you there ! hold in your oxen and pull up the ploughshare, for you are disturbing ashes. On such earth shed no seed of corn, but tears.

[281] HERACLIDES   { Ph 1 }   G

Hands off, hands off, labourer ! and cut not through this earth of the tomb. This clod is soaked with tears, and from earth thus soaked no bearded ear shall spring.







[285] GLAUCUS OF NICOPOLIS   { H 2 }   G

Not this earth or this light stone that rests thereon is the tomb of Erasippus, but all this sea whereon you look. For he perished along with his ship, and his bones are rotting somewhere, but where only the gulls can tell.









[290] STATYLLIUS FLACCUS   { Ph 3 }   G

The shipwrecked mariner had escaped the whirlwind and the fury of the deadly sea, and as he was lying on the Libyan sand not far from the beach, deep in his last sleep, naked and exhausted by the unhappy wreck, a baneful viper slew him. Why did he struggle with the waves in vain, escaping then the fate that was his lot on the land ?

[291] XENOCRITUS OF RHODES   { F 1 }   G

The salt sea still drips from your locks, Lysidice, unhappy girl, shipwrecked and drowned. When the sea began to be disturbed, fearing its violence, you fell from the hollow ship. The tomb proclaims your name and that of your land, Cyme, but your bones are wave-washed on the cold beach. A bitter sorrow it was to your father Aristomachus, who, escorting you to your marriage, brought there neither his daughter nor her corpse.

[293] ISIDORUS OF AEGAE   { Ph 3 }   G

No tempest, no stormy setting of a constellation overwhelmed Nicophemus in the waters of the Libyan Sea. But alas, unhappy man ! stayed by a calm he was burnt up by thirst. This too was the work of the winds. Ah, what a curse are they to sailors, whether they blow or be silent !

[294] TULLIUS LAUREAS   { Ph 2 }   G

Gryneus, the old man who got his living by his sea-worn boat, busying himself with lines and hooks, the sea, roused to fury by a terrible southerly gale, swamped and washed up in the morning on the beach, his hands eaten off. Who would say that they had no sense, the fish who ate just those parts of him by which they used to perish ?



[297] POLYSTRATUS   { H 2 }   G

Lucius *   has smitten sore the great Achaean Acrocorinth, the star of Hellas, and the twin parallel shores of the Isthmus. One heap of stones covers the bones of those slain in the rout; and the sons of Aeneas left unwept and unhallowed by funeral rites the Achaeans who burnt the house of Priam.

*   Mummius, who sacked Corinth 146 B.C.

[298] Anonymous   { H 49 }   G

Woe is me ! this is the worst of all, when men weep for a bride or bridegroom dead ; but worse when it is for both, as for Eupolis and good Lycaeniŏn, whose chamber falling in on the first night extinguished their wedlock. There is no other mourning to equal this by which you, Nicis, bewailed your son, and you, Theodicus, your daughter.

[299] NICOMACHUS   { H 1 }   G

This (why say I "this ?") is that Plataea which a sudden earthquake tumbled down utterly: only a little remnant was left, and we, the dead, lie here with our beloved city laid on us for a monument.









[304] PISANDER OF RHODES   { F 1 }   G

The man's name was Hippaemon, the horse's Podargus, the dog's Lethargus, and the serving-man's Babes, a Thessalian, from Crete, of Magnesian race, the son of Haemon. He perished fighting in the front ranks. *

*   A real epitaph, it seems to me, very naively expressed. Much fun was made of it in antiquity, as the complicated description of the "état civil" of Hippaemon was maliciously interpreted as comprising the "état civil" of the animals - see the comments of D.L.Page on this epigram ( Google Books ).

[305] ADDAEUS OF MITYLENE   { Ph 11 }   G

The fisherman, Diotimus, whose boat, one and the same, was his faithful bearer at sea and on land the abode of his penury, fell into the sleep from which there is no awakening, and rowing himself, came to relentless Hades in his own ship ; for the boat that had supported the old man in life paid him its last service in death too by being the wood for his pyre.

[306] Anonymous   { F 28 }   G

I was Abrotonŏn, a Thracian woman ; but I say that I bare for Greece her great Themistocles.

[312] ASINIUS QUADRATUS   { F 1 }   G

On those slain by Sulla

They who took up arms against the Romans lie exhibiting the tokens of their valour. Not one died wounded in the back, but all alike perished by a secret treacherous death.

[314] PTOLEMAEUS   { F 2 }   G

314 - 320 are all on Timon the Misanthrope

Learn not whence I am nor my name; know only that I wish those who pass my monument to die.

[315] ZENODOTUS (or RHIANUS?)   { H 3 }   G

Dry earth, grow a prickly thorn to twine all round me, or the wild branches of a twisting bramble, that not even a bird in spring may rest its light foot on me, but that I may repose in peace and solitude. For I, the misanthrope, Timon, who was not even beloved by my countrymen, am no genuine dead man even in Hades. *  

*   I cannot be regarded as a real citizen of Hades, being the enemy of my fellow ghosts.




Callimachus (5)


Callimachus (4)

[320] HEGESIPPUS   { H 8 }   G

All around the tomb are sharp thorns and stakes ; you will hurt your feet if you go near. I, Timon the misanthrope, dwell in it. But pass on - wish me all evil if you like, only pass on.

[321] Anonymous   { F 47 }   G

Dear Earth, receive old Amyntichus in your bosom, mindful of all his toil for you. Many an evergreen olive he planted in you and with the vines of Bacchus he decked you ; he caused you to abound in corn, and guiding the water in channels he made you rich in pot-herbs and fruit. Therefore lie gently on his grey temples and clothe yourself with many flowers in spring.

[323] Anonymous   { F 50 }   G

One tomb holds two brothers, for both were born and died on the same day.

[324] Anonymous   { F 27 }   G

Beneath this stone I lie, the celebrated woman who loosed my girdle to one man alone.

[329] Anonymous   { F 51 }   G

I am Myrtas who quaffed many a generous cup of unwatered wine beside the holy vats of Dionysus, and no light layer of earth covers me, but a wine-jar, the token of my merrymaking, rests on me, a pleasant tomb.

[336] Anonymous   { F 49 }   G

Worn by age and poverty, no one stretching out his hand to relieve my misery, on my tottering legs I went slowly to my grave, scarce able to reach the end of my wretched life. In my case the law of death was reversed, for I did not die first to be then buried, but I died after my burial.





[345] AESCHRION OF SAMOS   { H 1 }   G

I Philaenis, celebrated among men, have been laid to rest here, by extreme old age. You silly sailor, as you round the cape, make no sport and mockery of me ; insult me not. For by Zeus I swear and the Infernal Lords I was not lascivious with men or a public woman ; but Polycrates the Athenian, a trickster in speech and an evil tongue, wrote whatever he wrote ; for I know not what it was. *  

*   A certain obscene book was attributed to Philaenis. The author of this poem is unidentified in the manuscripts, but it is attributed to Aeschrion by Athenaeus (8.335c).





[350] Anonymous   { F 52 }   G

Ask not, sea-farer, whose tomb I am, but yourself chance upon a kinder sea.







[354] GAETULICUS   { F 7 }   G

This is the tomb of Medea's children, whom her burning jealousy made the victims of Glauce's wedding. To them the Corinthian land ever sends peace-offerings, propitiating their mother's implacable soul.

[355] DAMAGETUS   { H 8 }   G

Bid good Praxiteles "hail," you passers-by, that cheering and honouring word. He was well gifted by the Muses and a jolly after-dinner companion. Hail, Praxiteles of Andros !

[356] Anonymous   { F 29 }   G

On one who was killed by a robber and then buried by him

You robbed me of my life, and then you give me a tomb. But you hide me, you don't bury me. May you have the benefit of such a tomb yourself!

epigrams 362-748

Attalus' home page   |   26.02.18   |   Any comments?