Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hippolytus Reborn: A Christian Author's Account of Hippolytus

Hippolytus perished by the savage accusation of his stepmother

& was ripped to shreds by his own chariot

When sea monsters were stirring up the waves.

Diana’s wrath refused to tolerate the assault on his purity*;  

She brought Hippolytus back from the dead,

But now he exists with the name Virbius.


  -- Theodolus, Eclogue 125-128 [dated to the 10th century CE]


* pudicitia refers both to his physical chastity as well as his reputation.


Hippolytus saeva perit accusante noverca

Discerptus bigis, focas agitantibus undis.

Damna pudicitiae non pertulit ira Dianae:

Hippolytum revocat; modo nomine Virbius extat.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Two Inscriptions On the Worship of Antinous

#32 

ANTINOΣ ΣΥΝΘΡΟΝΩ ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΑΙΓΥΠΤΩ ΘΕΩΝ Μ ΟΥΛΠΙOC AΠΟΛΛΩNIOΣ ПРОФТНС

Antinoi, pariter-regnans apud Aegyptios deos, M. Oulpios Apollonius Sacerdos

To Antinous, equal-throned among the Egyptian gods, Marcus Oulpius Apollonius Sacerdos Dedicates This...

#31

ANTINOΣ ΣΥΝΘΡΟΝΩ ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΑΙΓΥ...

Antinoi, pariter-regnans apud Aegy...

To Antinous, equal-throned among the Egy...


--Cagnat, R., ed. Inscriptiones Graecae ad Res Romanas Pertinentes, Vol 1.31-32 (1911)


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

How Many Kisses, Catullus? Catullus 7

 

Lesbia, you ask me how many kisses

I want—and how many are too many for me.

I want as great a number as sands in the Saharan desert

Between the Oracle of Ammon

And the sacred tomb of ol’ Battus.

As great a number of stars in the dead of night

That watch over the meetings of secret lovers.

That’s the number of kisses your Catullus wants to kiss,

Enough kisses that nosy people cannot count

Nor evil tongues can curse.

--Catullus 7


 Quaeris, quot mihi basiationes

tuae, Lesbia, sint satis superque.

quam magnus numerus Libyssae harenae

lasarpiciferis iacet Cyrenis

oraclum Iovis inter aestuosi

et Batti veteris sacrum sepulcrum;

aut quam sidera multa, cum tacet nox,

furtivos hominum vident amores:

tam te basia multa basiare

vesano satis et super Catullo est,

quae nec pernumerare curiosi

possint nec mala fascinare lingua.



CATULLUS

MAP:

Name:  Gaius Valerius Catullus

Date:  84 – 54 BCE

Works:  Poems

 

REGION  1

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans


BIO:

Timeline:

Catullus was a Roman statesman born in Verona  (Cisalpine Gaul, located in northern Italy) who lived during the tumultuous last days of the Roman Republic.  His poetry offers rare insight into the mores of the time period. Like Propertius and Tibullus, Catullus used a pseudonym for the objects of his attention; many of his love poems were addressed to either “Lesbia” or “Juventius.”

 GOLDEN AGE

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE



Monday, May 27, 2024

A Christian View Against the Deification of Antinous: Tatian, Against the Greeks 10

NOTE: Tatian's argument here is not against Antinous being Hadrian's lover, but only that his worship was idolatry against God.

Habent illi fatum suum: ego stellas erraticas adorare nolo. Quid est quod de crine Berenices traditur? Aut ubi stellae illius erant, antequam ipsa moreretur? Quomodo item Antinous speciosus adolescens in Luna collatus est? Aut quis eum eo levavit? Aliquis scilicet Deos irridens, hunc etiam in caelum ascendisse fingendo, sicut Reges olim quosdam mercede nimiurum conductus & pejerans, homines qui id crederent invenit, & Homericam Theologiam imitatus, honore muneribusque affectus est. Cur estis in Deum sacrilegi? Cur eiusdem opus ignominiose tractatis? Tu mactas ovem & eandem adoras. Taurus in caelo est, tu simile ei animal obtruncas.

Ἐχέτωσαν οὗτοι τὴν εἱμαρμένην· τοὺς πλανήτας προσκυνεῖν οὐ βούλομαι. Τίς ἐστιν ὁ Βερενίκης πλόκαμος; Ποῦ δὲ οἱ ἀστέρες αὐτῆς πρὶν τὴν προειρημένηνἀποθανεῖν; Πῶς δὲ ὁ τεθνεὼς Ἀντίνοος μειράκιον ἐν τῇ σελήνῃ ὡραῖον καθίδρυται; Τίς ὁ ἀναβιβάσας αὐτόν, εἰ μή τις καὶ τοῦτον, ὡς τοὺς βασιλέας μισθοῦ δι ἐπιορκίας τις, τοὺς θεοὺς καταγελῶν, εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνεληλυθέναι φήσας πεπίστευται, κατὰ τὸ ὅμοιον θεολογήσας τιμῆς καὶ δωρεᾶς ἠξίωται; Τί μοι τὸν θεον σεσυλήκατε; Τί δὲ αὐτοῦ τὴν ποίησιν ἀτιμάζετε; Θύεις πρόβατον, τὸ δ αὐτὸ προσκυνεῖς· ταῦρός ἐστιν ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα σφάττεις αὐτοῦ. 

--Tatian, Oratio Contra Graecos 10, (1700) ed. Wilhelmus Worth

Others have their own choice: but I refuse to worship constellations. What is it they say about the Lock of Berenice? Or, rather, where were those stars, before Berenice died? How did the marvelous youth Antinous wind up on the moon? Who brought him there? Unless, instead, it was someone who scoffs at the gods, who lied under the prospect of financial reward and said Antinous ascended to heaven, just like they made kings into gods in ancient times? Why are you being so wicked against God? Why do you slander His works? You kill a sheep, but worship another [in the sky]. There’s a bull in the sky, but you kill another one like him [in sacrifice].

Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Amazons, As Explained by a Christian Writer: Orosius, Historia 1.15

Medio autem tempore apud Scythas duo regii iuvenes Plynos et Scolopetius, per factionem optimatium domo pulsi, ingentem iuventutem secum traxere et in Cappadociae Ponticae ora iuxta amnem Thermodontem consederunt campis Themiscyriis sibi subiectis; ubi diu proxima quaeque populati conspiratione finitimorum per insidias trucidantur. Horum uxores exilio ac viduitate permotae arma sumunt et, ut omnibus par ex simili condicione animus fieret, viros qui superfuerant interficiunt atque accensae in hostem sanguine suo ultionem caesorum coniugum finitimorum excidio consequuntur. Tunc pace armis quaesita externos concubitus ineunt, editos mares mox enecant, feminas studiose nutriunt inustis infantium dexterioribus mammillis, ne sagittarum iactus impedirentur; unde "Amazones" dictae. Harum duae fuere reginae, Marpesia et Lampeto, quae agmine diuiso in duas partes vicissim curam belli et domus custodiam sortiebantur. Igitur cum Europam maxima e parte domuissent, Asiae vero aliquantis ciuitatibus captis, ipsae autem Ephesum aliasque urbes condidissent, praecipuam exercitus sui partem onustam opulentissima praeda domum reuocant, reliquae ad tuendum Asiae imperium relictae cum Marpesia regina concursu hostium trucidantur. Huius locum Sinope filia capessit, quae singularem virtutis gloriam perpetua uirginitate cumulauit. Hac fama excitas gentes tanta admiratio et formido invaserat, ut Hercules quoque cum iussus fuisset a domino suo exhibere arma reginae quasi ad ineuitabile periculum destinatus, universam Graeciae lectam ac nobilem iuventutem contraxerit, nouem longas naues praepararit, nec tamen contentus examine virium ex inprouiso adgredi et insperatas circumuenire maluerit.Duae tunc sorores regno praeerant, Antiope et Orithyia. Hercules mari advectus incautas inermesque et pacis incuria desides oppressit. Inter caesas captasque complurimas duae sorores Antiopae, Melanippe ab Hercule, Hippolyte a Theseo retentae. Sed Theseus Hippolyten matrimonio adscivit, Hercules Melanippen sorori reddidit et arma reginae pretio redemptionis accepit. Post Orithyiam Penthesilea regno potita est, cuius Troiano bello clarissima inter viros documenta virtutis accepimus.

--Orosius, Historia Adversum Paganos 1.15 

While all that was happening, this was happening in Scythia: there were two princes named Plynos and Scolopetius who were expelled from their throne by a coup of the nobles. They migrated with a large group of youths to the shores of Cappadocia on the Black Sea by the Thermodon River. They conquered the territory of Themiscyra and settled there. They stayed there until ultimately being killed by treachery by their neighboring countries.

Moved by exile and their widowhood, their wives took up arms and, in order to rival their husbands’ courage, killed the remaining men in their group and repaid their enemy neighbors in blood for the blood of their slaughtered husbands. Then, after imposing peace through threat of violence, they used their neighbors for breeding purposes, killing the boys they birthed, and nursing their girls with their right breast [for they burn off their left breast in order to shoot arrows unimpeded]. This is why they are called ‘breastless,’ [A-mazons].

Of these Amazons, there were two queens, Marpesia and Lampeto, who divided the group into two parts: one group would take care of war, while the other group would stay home to guard their home. When they had conquered a great part of Europe, even capturing some nations in Asia, they founded the city of Ephesos and other cities.

While a large part of the army was returning home with splendid treasure, and the rest of the army remaining behind to guard their territory in Asia, Queen Marpesia was killed in a skirmish with the enemy. Her daughter, Sinope, who cherished her lifelong chastity, took control of this region.

There was so much admiration and respect for these Amazons that even Hercules, when he was ordered by his lord* to bring back the armor of the Amazon queen, realized the terrible danger he was in. He assembled all of the nobles of Greece, prepared nine longboats, yet still was unimpressed with his swarm of men warriors, and instead strategized to catch the Amazons off guard. At that time, two sisters were in power named Antiope and Orithya. Hercules came ashore, and caught the Amazons off guard, attacking them unarmed, and without a thought to diplomacy. Among these casualties who were captured and killed were two sisters of Antiope. Melanippe was captured by Hercules, and Hippolyte was captured by Theseus. Theseus married his captive Hippolyte, but Hercules returned Melanippe to her sister, ransoming her for the queen’s armor.

Penthesilea ruled after Orithyia [died], and we all know the story of her glorious deeds during the Trojan War.

 


* Referring to his famous Twelve Labors

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

M/M: I Love Those Who Love You, Fronto, Ad M. Caes. 4.1

Sed meliora, quaeso, fabulemur. Amo Julianum (inde enim hic sermo defluxit), amo omnis, qui te diligunt, amo deos, qui te tutantur, amo vitam propter te, amo litteras tecum: Inprimis eis mihi amorem tui ingurgito.

--Marcus Aurelius to Fronto. Fronto, ad Caesarem 4.1


But I beg you, let us talk about better things. I love Julianus (the reason we started this conversation). I love everyone who loves you, I love the gods who protect you, I love life because of you, I love our letters together: especially in the ones where I gush my love for you.



FRONTO

MAP:

Name:  Marcus Cornelius Fronto  

Date:  100 – 160 CE

Works: Letters

 

REGION  3

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans


BIO:

Timeline:

Fronto was a Roman statesman born in Cirta (Numidia, located in northern Africa) whose rhetorical and literary abilities earned him the nickname “Second Cicero.” He was tutor and mentor to the future Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus; his correspondence with them provides unique insight into the personal lives of much of the Antonine dynasty.

 SILVER AGE LATIN

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE





Tuesday, May 14, 2024

M/M: United in Death: Carpos & Calamos

 

[48] nec calamis s. aeq. s. v. m. videtur allegoria quasi ad Theocritum et Vergilium respicere: hinc est 'tu nunc eris alter ab illo'. fabula de calamo talis est: veteres Zephyro vento unam ex horis coniugem adsignant, ex qua et Zephyro Carpon filium pulcherrimi corporis editum dicunt. quem cum Calamus, Maeandri fluvii filius, amaret, a Carpo mutua vice etiam ipse adamatus est. sed Carpos cum in Maeandrum fluvium cadens esset extinctus, Calamus, patrem propter hoc scelus aversatus, aufugit rogavitque Iovem, ut finem suis luctibus daret sibique mortem praestaret, ut amato post obitum iungeretur. quem miseratione Iuppiter ductus in harundinales calamos verti iussit, qui semper circa oras fluminum nasci solent, Carpon vero in fructus rerum omnium vertit, ut semper renasceretur.

 --Servius, In Ecl. 5.48Nor did Calamus...

Seems to be an allegory referring to Theocritus & Vergil repeats, like “you will now be another of him.” The story of Calamos is as follows: ancient authors say that the wind Zephyr married one of the Hours, and had a very handsome son named Carpos. Calamos, the son of the river god Meander, fell in love with him, and they loved each other intensely. However, when Carpos fell into the Meander river and drowned, Calamos was horrified by his father’s deed and ran away. He begged Jupiter to end his grief and let him die as well, so that he could join his beloved in death. Moved to pity, Jupiter ordered Calamos to be transformed into a reed, which is accustomed to bloom around riverbanks, and transformed Carpos into the fruit of all things, so he could always be reborn.

 

 

 



SERVIUS
MAP:
Name:  Maurus Servius Honoratus
Date:  4th – 5th c. CE (???)
Works:  In Vergilii carmina comentarii

REGION  1
Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

BIO:
Timeline:
 Little is known about the author or manuscript tradition for the grammatical commentary of Vergil’s Aeneid.
 BYZANTINE / LATE LATIN
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE