Tuesday, December 31, 2019

M/M: The Myth of Sylvanus and Cyparissus, Vat. Myth. I.6

Sylvanus deus est silvarum. Hic amavit puerum Cyparissum nomine qui habebat mansuetissimam cervam. Hanc cum Silvanus nescius occidisset, puer extinctus est dolore. Quem amator deus in cypressum arborem nominis eius convertit quam pro solatio portare dicitur.

--Vatican Mythographers I.6

Sylvanus was the god of the forest. He loved a youth (puer) named Cyparissus who had a pet doe. When Sylvanus unintentionally killed it, Cyparissus died of grief. Silvanus transformed him into a cypress tree and is said to carry its branches as a mourning token.

Name:  ???
Date:  10th c. CE (?)
Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

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

Little is known about the author or origin of the collection of myths known as the Vatican Mythographers, but the work’s first editor Angelo Mai found the collection on a manuscript dating back to the 10th century CE. This volume is a collection of three different mythographers who have assembled various Greco-Roman myths; although many of these myths are basic summaries in Latin, some of them are either analyzed as allegories or compared to Christian thought.  
 LATE LATIN (10th c. CE ?)
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