Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Equal to Men: Quintus of Smyrna, Posthomerica 1.407-434


Inspired by the Amazon Penthesilea's Fighting, Tisiphone Encourages the Trojan Women to Join Their Men in Battle 

“Amicae, fortem pectoribus animum infigite,

Non minus quam viri nostri, qui pro patria

Contra hostes parentum et nostrae salutis causa propugnant,

Nunquam ab aerumnis respirantes, Agedum et ipsae,

Indita pectoribus fiducia, ad similem nos pugnam accingamus!

Non enim multum a iuvenibus absumus robustis,

Sed quale ipsis est robur, nobis etiam est,

Paresque oculi, et genua, et omnia similia:

Lux etiam omnibus communis, et liquidus aer,

Nec diversum est nutrimentum. Et quid aliud viris, Quo nos praecellant,

Adposuit Deus? Ideo certamen hostile nequaquam defugiamus.

Nonne videtis feminam viris longe praestare

Bellacibus? Cuius neque familia in propinquo est,

Neque urbs sua: sed pro rege externo,

Ex animo belligeratur. Nec magnifacit viros,

Eam pectore virtutem, tam imperterritum complexa est animum.

Nobis autem aliunde aliae ante pedes miseriae obiectae sunt,

Aliis enim cari liberi et mariti ante urbem

Perierunt. Aliae parentes deploramus non ultra superstites,

Aliae ob fratrum et propinquorum necem

Animi se discruciant. Nulla enim a calamitosissima infelicitate

Immunis est. Addite, quod metuendum, ne diem servitute gravem

Videamus. Ideo nulla pugnandi mora

Sit tantopere adflictis. Satius est in proelio

Occumbere , quam ab alienigenis postmodum, necessitate

Tristi coactas, una cum infantibus liberis abduci
Urbe incendio absumta, et viris e medio sublatis.”

‘ὦ φίλαι, ἄλκιμον ἦτορ ἐνὶ στέρνοισι λαβοῦσαι
ἀνδράσιν ἡμετέροισιν ὁμοίιον, οἳ περὶ πάτρης
δυσμενέσιν μάρνανται ὑπὲρ τεκέων τε καὶ ἡμέων,
οὔποτ᾽ ἀναπνείοντες ὀϊζύος—ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐταὶ
παρθέμεναι φρεσὶ θυμὸν ἴσης μνησώμεθα χάρμης:
οὐ γὰρ ἀπόπροθέν εἰμεν ἐϋσθενέων αἰζηῶν,
ἀλλ᾽ οἷον κείνοισι πέλει μένος ἔστι καὶ ἡμῖν:
ἶσοι δ᾽ ὀφθαλμοὶ καὶ γούνατα, πάντα δ᾽ ὁμοῖα,
ξυνὸν δ᾽ αὖ πάντεσσι φάος καὶ νήχυτος ἀήρ,
φορβὴ δ᾽ οὐχ ἑτέρη: δί δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀνδράσι λώιον ἄλλο
θῆκε θεός; τῷ μή τι φεβώμεθα δηιοτῆτα.
ἢ οὐχ ὁράατε γυναῖκα μέγ᾽ αἰζηῶν προφέρουσαν
ἀγχεμάχων; τῆς δ᾽ οὔτι πέλει σχεδὸν οὔτε γενέθλη
οὔτ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἑὸν πτολίεθρον, ὑπὲρ ξείνοιο δ᾽ ἄνακτος
μάρναται ἐκ θυμοῖο καὶ οὐκ ἐμπάζεται ἀνδρῶν
ἐνθεμένη φρεσὶ θάρσος ἀταρτηρόν τε νόημα:
ἡμῖν δ᾽ ἄλλοθεν ἄλλα παραὶ ποσὶν ἄλγεα κεῖται:
τῇς μὲν γὰρ φίλα τέκνα καὶ ἀνέρες ἀμφὶ πόληι
ὤλλυνθ᾽, αἱ δὲ τοκῆας ὀδυρόμεθ᾽ οὐκέτ᾽ ἐόντας:
ἄλλαι δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ ἀκάχηνται ἀδελφειῶν ἐπ᾽ ὀλέθρῳ
καὶ πηῶν: οὐ γάρ τις ὀϊζυρῆς κακότητος
ἄμμορος: ἐλπωρὴ δὲ πέλει καὶ δούλιον ἦμαρ
εἰσιδέειν: τῷ μή τις ἔτ᾽ ἀμβολίη πολέμοιο
εἴη τειρομένῃσιν: ἔοικε γὰρ ἐν δαῒ μᾶλλον
τεθνάμεν ἢ μετόπισθεν ὑπ᾽ ἀλλοδαποῖσιν ἄγεσθαι
νηπιάχοις ἅμα παισὶν ἀνιηρῇ ὑπ᾽ ἀνάγκῃ
ἄστεος αἰθομένοιο καὶ ἀνδρῶν οὐκέτ᾽ ἐόντων.’

--Quintus of Smyrna, Posthomerica 1.407 - 434; translated into Latin by Laurentius Rhodomannus

"Friends, instill courage into your hearts,
like our husbands, who never waiver in their fight against the enemy to keep us safe.
Come on, now,
let us take up the mantle of bravery, let us join the fight alongside them!
For we are not so different from these men in strength; we also have strength in our bodies. Our eyes are the same, our knees are the same, everything is the same!
We share the same daylight, the same fresh air, the same food. What difference has God given to them, to make them so much better than us?
So let's not shirk our role in this fight.
[Look at the Amazon Penthesilea fighting:]
Don't you see this lone woman holding her own against men on the battlefield? She's not doing this for her family or neighbors. She's not even fighting for her homeland; she's merely fighting as a mercenary for a foreign king, just for her own personal benefit.  She doesn't care whom she fights, she's not afraid, she has virtue in her heart, and a fearless mind. 
But we and other women
are groveling and beset with misery, while our dear children and husbands die in front of us. Some of us weep for parents no longer alive,  some of us weep for a dead brother or neighbor. No one here is free from this wretched suffering.
  And what's more, we must fear the life of servitude at war's end.  So let's stop dithering and fight! It is more fulfilling to die in battle than to die as someone's slave!  Compelled by such sorrowful necessity, we would be taken as slaves from our burning homeland, with orphaned infants in our arms, their fathers dead upon the ground."





Helpful Vocabulary (Hippodamia):

a / ab: away, from, by
abduco, ere, -duxi, -ductum: to kidnap,
abduct, lead away, seduce
absum, abesse: to be absent, to be far
absumo, -ere, -sumpsi, -sumptum: to destroy
accingo, -ere, -cinxi, -cinctum: to equip, arm,
ready
ad + acc:towards,to
addo, -ere, -didi, -ditum: to add, join, consider
adfligo, -ere, -flixi, -flictum: to weaken,
knockdown
adpono, -ere, -posui, -positum: to add, fit
aer, aeris: air, heaven, mist
aerumna, -ae: hardship, toil, labor
agedum:alright, well, oh
alienigenus, -a, -um: heterogenous, mixed
aliunde: from another direction, from
somewhereelse
alius, -a, -ud: other, another
amica, -ae: friend (female)
animus, -i: heart, soul, mind
ante + acc: in front of, before
autem: however, but
bellax, -cis: warlike, martial
belligero, -are: to wage war
calamitosus, -a, -um: destructive, miserable
carus, -a, -um: dear
causa + gen.for the sake of
certamen, -inis: constest, struggle
cogo, -ere, coegi, -actum: to compel, force,
drive
communis, -e: common, public
complector, -i, -xus sum: to encompass,
embrace, master, comprehend
contra + acc:against
cum + abl: with
defugio, -ere, -fugi: to flee, avoid
deploro, -are: to weep, lament, mourn
deus, -i: god
dies, diei: day
discrucio, -are: to torture
diversus, -a, -um: remote, different
e / ex + abl:from,out ofout
eam:that
enim:for
est: form of sum, esse,to be
et: and
etiam: even, also, yet
externus, -a, -um: foreign
familia, -ae: household
femina, -ae: woman
fiducia, -ae: confidence, trust
fortis, -e: strong, brave
frater, fratris: brother
genu, -us: knee
gravis, -e: serious
hostilis, -e: hostile
hostis, -is: enemy
ideo: therefore
immunis, -e: devoid of, separate from, not
sharing
imperterritus, -a, -um: fearless
in + acc, abl: in, on, into, against
incendium, -i: fire
indo, -ere, -didi, -ditum: to cause, introduce,
to put on, insert
infans, -ntis: infant, child
infelicitas, -atis: misfortune
infigo, -ere, -fixi, -fixum: to fasten, fix, imprint
ipse, -a, -um-self(emphatic, not reflexive)
iuvenis, -is: youth, teenager
liberi, -orum:children
liquidus, -a, -um: liquid, flowing
lux, lucis: light
longus, -a, -um: long, far
magnifico, -are: to glorify, esteem
maritus, -i: husband
medius, -a, -um: middle
metuo, -ere, metui: to be afraid, to fear
minus: less
miseria, -ae: misery, unhappiness
mora, -ae: delay
multus, -a, -um: many, much
ne / ni + Subjunctive:so that  not,lest,
dont
nec: nor, not
necessitas, -atis: necessity, urgency,
connection,relationship
nequaquam: by no means, not at all
neque: nor, and not; neque…neque…
neither…nor
nex, necis: death
non: not
nonne:dont…?
nos (nostrum, nobis): us, we
noster, -a, -um: our
nullus, -a, -um: none, no
numquam: never
nutrimentum, -i: nourishment, support
ob + acc: because of, on account of
obicio, -ere, -eci, -ectum: to replace
occumbo, -ere, -cubui, -cubitum: to fall,
succumb
oculus, -i: eye
omnis, -e: all, every
par, paris: equal
parens, -ntis: parent
patria, -ae: country, homeland
pectus, -oris: heart, chest
pereo, -ire: to destroy, die, perish
pes, pedis: foot
postmodum: soon
praecello, -are: to surpass, rule over
praesto, -are: to excel, surpass
pro + abl:on behalf of,for,instead of
proelium, -i: battle
propinquus, -a, -um: nearby, neighboring,
kin
propugno, -are: to defend
pugna, -ae: battle, fight
pugno, -are: to fight
qualis, -e: such, such a sort, such a quality
quam:how, than
que as suffix:and
qui, quae, quod:who, which, that
quid:what,why
quo: when , how, where
respiro, -are: to abate, decline, recover
rex, regis: king
robor, -is: strength, choice
robustus, -a, -um: oaken, strong, powerful
salus, -utis: safety, welfare
satis:enough
se (sui, sibi, sese): -self
sed:but
servitus, -utis: slavery
si*: Present Subjunctive form of sum, esse
similis, -e: similar, like
superstes, -itis: survivor, witness
suus, -a, -um: one’s own, personal
tam:so
tantopere: so greatly, so much
tollo, -ere, sustuli, sublatum: to remove, raise,
acknowledge
tristis, -e: sad
ultra: beyond, farther, more
una:together
urbs, urbis: city
video, ere, visi, visum: to see
vir, -i: man, husband
virtus, -utis: virtue, bravery


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