Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Punished, then Rewarded, for his Asexuality: Hippolytus' Tale in Vat. Myth. II.151

Trigger Warning: false rape accusation, suicide

Theseus, Egei et Etre filius, mortua Hippolite, Phaedram Minois et Pasiphae filiam superduxit Hippolito, qui cum de stupro illam interpellantem contempsisset, ab illa falso accusatus est apud patrem quod vim et voluisset inferre. Theseus autem Egeum patrem tunc marinum deum rogavit ut se ulcisceretur, qui agitanti currus Hippolito immisit focam in littore, qua equi territi eum curru proiectum discerpserunt. Sed Hippolito interempto Phaedra amoris impatientia laqueo vitam finivit. Diana autem castitate Hipppoliti commota revocavit eum in vitam per Aesculapium filium Apollonis et Coronidis filiae Phlegie natum exsecto matris ventre. ..Sed Diana Hippolitum revocatum ab inferis in Aricia nyphae commendavit Egerie et eum “Virbium quasi bis virum iussit vocari. Sed haec fabulosa sunt, nam hic cum castus ubique introductus sit et solus semper habitaverat, habuisse tamen filium dicitur. ... Variantur autem a poetis fabulae, nam Virgilius perhibet Hippolitum ab inferis esse revocatum, Horatius econtra: neque enim Diana pudicum Liberat Hippolitum (Horace, Odes IV.7.25)


--Vatican Mythographers II.151

After [Hippolytus' Amazon mother] Hippolyta died, Theseus put [his son] Hippolytus in the care of [his new wife] Phaedra. When Hippolytus rejected Phaedra’s sexual advances, she falsely accused him of rape. Theseus beseeched his own father Egeus (at that time a sea god)* for vengeance, who sent a seal [sea monster?] into Hippolytus’ path as he was driving his chariot on the shore. This terrified Hippolytus' horses; and after he was ejected from his chariot, he was trampled to death.  

Once Hippolytus was killed, Phaedra could not longer endure her love [for him] and hanged herself.

Moved by Hippolytus’ chastity, Diana brought him back to life with the help of Asclepius, (a man born via C-section)…

Once he was brought back to life, Diana put him into the care of the nymph Egeria in Aricia. She ordered him to be renamed “Virbius” [“twice-a man,” i.e., “reborn”].

But the following is nonsense: although Hippolytus is always depicted as chaste and always lives alone, he nevertheless is generally thought to have a son.

There are some variations of this myth: in Virgil’s version, Hippolytus was allowed to come back from the dead, but Horace says the opposite: “Diana couldn’t free the chaste Hippolytus [from death].”

* Theseus canonically has one mother (Aethra) and two fathers: a human father Egeus and a godly father Neptune. This myth conflates both parents. 

VATICAN MYTHOGRAPHERS

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions


BIO:

Timeline:

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 ?)

Timeline of Roman Literature with "Byzantine  / Late Latin" era highlighted


Saturday, August 22, 2020

M/M: Dangerous Beauty: Dionysus' fears over Ampelos, Nonnus, Dion. X.250-264

Trigger Warning: Violence, Rape


Verum ubi thyrsum sustulit contra rabiosam ursam
aut forti virga iaculatus esset Leanam
in occasum oculos intendit, in aera oblique cernens
Ne Zephyri spiraret iterum mortifere venatio.
Quemadmodum prius adolescentem occiderat gravis ventus
discum iaculatorem convertens Hyacinthi.
Timebat ne Saturnii venator avis amorum
inprovisus incomprehensibilis super Tmolo appareret
recentibus? potentibus unguibus in aere puerum attollens
Troium ut puerum suorum pincernam poculorum.
Formidabat etiam infelicem in amore rectorem maris
ne post Tantalidem aureorum conscensorem curruum
ne cursum aeriuagum duens alatum vehiculum
Ampelum raperet amore furiosus Neptunus. 


ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε θύρσον ἄειρε καταντία λυσσάδος ἄρκτου

ἢ βριαρῷ νάρθηκα κατηκόντιζε λεαίνης,
εἰς δύσιν ὄμμα τίταινε ἐς ἠέρα λοξὰ δοκεύων,
μὴ Ζεφύρου πνεύσειε πάλιν θανατηφόρος αὔρη, 
ὡς πάρος ἡβητῆρα κατέκτανε πικρὸς ἀήτης
δίσκον ἀκοντιστῆρα καταστρέψας Ὑακίνθου:
δείδιε, μὴ Κρονίδης ἐρασίπτερος ὄρνις Ἐρώτων
ἀπροΐδὴς ἀκίχητος ὑπὲρ Τμώλοιο φανείη
φειδομένοις ὀνύχεσσιν ἐς ἠέρα παῖδα κομίζων,
Τρώιον οἷά τε κοῦρον ἑῶν δρηστῆρα κυπέλλων:
ἔτρεμε καὶ δυσέρωτα κυβερνητῆρα θαλάσσης,
μὴ μετὰ Τανταλίδην χρυσέων ἐπιβήτορα δίφρων
εἰς δρόμον ἠερόφοιτον ἄγων πτερόεσσαν ἀπήνην

ἄμπελον ἁρπάξειεν ἐρωμανέων ἐνοσίχθων.

 


--Nonnus, Dionysiaca, X.250-264


Whenever Bacchus raised his thyrsus against a raging she-bear,
or tossed his wooden spear against a lioness, 
he kept his eyes to the west, watching the skies,
lest once again the death-bringing West-Wind Zephyr blow again,
as it had killed Hyacinthus by changing the course of a discus.
And he used to fear that Jupiter would come flying over Tmolus as a lovesick bird,
snatching his lover away with his 
gentle claws and carrying him off to heaven to be his new cupbearer,
the way he did with Trojan Ganymede.
And he was afraid that the unlucky-in-love ruler of the waves Neptune would grab up the youth in his winged chariot, 
seizing Ampelos the way he did to Pelops.  

NONNUS

MAP:

Name:  Nonnus of Panopolis

Date:  4th – 5th c. CE

Works:  Dionysiaca

REGION  4

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions

 

BIO:

Timeline:

 Nonnus was an Egyptian born Roman citizen who composed the Dionysiaca, a massive 48 volume epic about the life of the god Dionysus.

 POST-CONSTANTINOPLE

Timeline of Greek Literature with "POST CONSTANTINOPLE" era highlighted

 

 

Love Me Like You Do: Fronto, Ad Ant. Imp. I.3 & 1.4

Although modern concepts of masculinity tend to discourage affection between men, this was not the case in ancient Rome. The correspondence between the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his mentor Marcus Cornelius Fronto reveals intimate details of their loving, supportive friendship.

Domino meo Antonino Augusto Fronto. 
1 Vidi pullulos tuos, quod quidem libentissime in vita mea viderim, tam simili facie tibi, ut nihil sit hoc simili similius. Feci prorsus compendium itineris Lorium usque, compendium viae lubricae, compendium clivorum arduorum. Tamen vidi te non exadversum modo, sed locupletius sive me ad dexteram sive ad sinistram convertissem. 2 Sunt autem dis juvantibus colore satis salubri, clamore forti. Panem alter tenebat bene candidum, ut puer regius, alter autem cibarium, plane ut a patre philosopho prognatus. Deos quaeso sit salvus sator, salva sint sata, salva seges sit, quae tam similes procreat. Nam etiam voculas quoque eorum audivi tam dulcis, tam venustas, ut orationis tuae lepidum illum et liquidum sonum nescio quo pacto in utriusque pipulo adgnoscerem. Jam tu igitur, nisi caves, superbiorem aliquanto me experiere: Habeo enim, quos pro te non oculis modo amem, sed etiam auribus. 

 Magistro meo salutem.
1 Vidi filiolos meos, cum eos tu vidisti; vidi et te, cum litteras tuas legerem. Oro te, mi magister, ama me, ut amas; ama me sic etiam quomodo istos parvolos nostros amas; nondum omne dixi, quod volo: Ama me, quomodo amasti*. 2 Haec ut scriberem, tuarum litterarum mira jucunditas produxit; nam de elegantia quid dicam, nisi te Latine loqui, nos ceteros neque Graece neque Latine. Domino meo fratri peto scriptites. Valde vult, ut hoc a te impetrem; desideria autem illius intemperantem me et violentum faciunt. Vale, mi jucundissime magister. nepotem tuum saluta. 
 
*amasti: ama[vi]sti 

--Fronto, Ad Anton. Imp. I.3, I.4 

  I, Fronto, greet my lord the Emperor Antoninus: 
I saw your little chickadees—the best sight I could ever see, since they look so much like you! It isn’t possible for there to be anything else closer to how you look. I took a shortcut on my way to Lorium, but it was slippery and a rough climb. I didn’t see you face-to-face, but I did see you every time I turned my head. The gods have blessed [your children] with healthy coloring and healthy lungs. One of your kids was holding a piece of white bread like the little princeling that he is; the other one held peasant bread, perfect for a philosopher’s son. God bless the farmer [Marcus], the field [his wife Faustina], and the harvest [their kids] he reaped so similar to himself. I even heard their little voices so sweet and charming, and somehow I recognized the charm of your mannerisms and the cadence of your voice coming from their little mouths. You’d better watch out, or you’ll find me even more boastful; for now I have little ones that I love as much as you, whom I love with not only my eyes, but with my ears as well. 

Hi to my mentor! 
Reading your letter, I could picture my little children as you saw them; I even saw you, too. I beg you, my mentor, love me as you do; love me as you love my little kids; I haven’t finished what I want to say: love me, as you have loved me. The utter joy of reading your letter has made me write this to you. For what can I say about the elegance of your letter, except that you are speaking Latin, but the rest of us speak neither Latin nor Greek. Please keep writing to my lord brother [Lucius Verus]. He wanted me to ask you, and his constant begging is making me aggravated and moody. Farewell, my most delightful mentor. Say hi to your grandson for me.

FRONTO

MAP:

Name:  Marcus Cornelius Fronto  

Date:  100 – 160 CE

Works: Letters

 

REGION  3

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions


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

Timeline of Roman Literature with "SILVER AGE" era highlighted



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Daughter of Simon (or Eumenus or Eerigytius or Ecyrtus or Semus): Sappho, Suda S.107

It is important to note how the author of the Suda defines Sappho by the men she is connected to (her father, her brothers, her husband, and her peers); her achievements are added as an afterthought. Although this article provides information from lost sources about the poet's life, it is important to note that it was written over a thousand years after Sappho's lifetime by a Christian scholar who may have deliberately suppressed information on Sappho's life in order for her to align with the mores of his contemporary readers.


Sappho: Simonis filia: vel ut alii, Eunomini: ut alii Eerigyi: ut alii Ecryti: ut alii Semi: ut alii Camonis: ut alii Etarchi: ut alii Scamandronymi. Matrem habuit Clidem: fuitque Lesbia, Eresso oriunda & Lyrica. Vixit Olympiade XLII quo tempore & Alcaeus & Stesichorus & Pittacus floruerunt. Fratres eius tres fuerunt, Larychus, Charaxus, Eurygius. Nupsit cuidam Cercolae, viro ditissimo, Andrio; ex quo suscepit filiam, quae Clis vocabatur. Sodales eius & amicae fuerunt tres, Atthis, Telesippa, Megara: cum quibus etiam turpem consuetudinem habuisse dicebatur. Discipulae eius fuerunt Anagora Milesia, Gongyla Colophonia, Eunica Salaminia. Scripsit carminum Lyricorum libros IX & prima plectrum invenit. Scripsit etiam Epigrammata & Elegias & Iambos & Monodias.

Σαπφώ, Σίμωνος, οἱ δὲ Εὐμήνου, οἱ δὲ Ἠεριγύου, οἱ δὲ Ἐκρύτου, οἱ δὲ Σήμου, οἱ δὲ Κάμωνος, οἱ δὲ Ἐτάρχου, οἱ δὲ Σκαμανδρωνύμου: μητρὸς δὲ Κλειδός: Λεσβία ἐξ Ἐρεσσοῦ, λυρική, γεγονυῖα κατὰ τὴν μβ# Ὀλυμπιάδα, ὅτε καὶ Ἀλκαῖος ἦν καὶ Στησίχορος καὶ Πιττακός. ἦσαν δὲ αὐτῇ καὶ ἀδελφοὶ τρεῖς, Λάριχος, Χάραξος, Εὐρύγιος. ἐγαμήθη δὲ ἀνδρὶ Κερκύλᾳ πλουσιωτάτῳ, ὁρμωμένῳ ἀπὸ Ἄνδρου, καὶ θυγατέρα ἐποιήσατο ἐξ αὐτοῦ, ἣ Κλεὶς ὠνομάσθη. ἑταῖραι δὲ αὐτῆς καὶ φίλαι γεγόνασι τρεῖς, Ἀτθίς, Τελεσίππα, Μεγάρα: πρὸς ἃς καὶ διαβολὴν ἔσχεν αἰσχρᾶς φιλίας. μαθήτριαι δὲ αὐτῆς Ἀναγόρα Μιλησία, Γογγύλα Κολοφωνία, Εὐνείκα Σαλαμινία. ἔγραψε δὲ μελῶν λυρικῶν βιβλία θ#. καὶ πρώτη πλῆκτρον εὗρεν. ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ ἐπιγράμματα καὶ ἐλεγεῖα καὶ ἰάμβους καὶ μονῳδίας.

--Suda S.107, Translated into Latin by Christian Wolf. 

Sappho: The daughter of Simon (or, as others assert: the daughter of Eunominus, or Eertius, or Semus, or Camon, or Etarchus, or Scamandronymus). Her mother’s name was Cleis. She was from the island of Lesbos, born in Eressus, and was a lyric poet. She lived during the 42nd Olympiad, and was a contemporary of Alcaeus, Stesichorus, and Pittacus. She had three brothers: Larychus, Charaxus, and Eurygius. She married a man named Cercylas, a very wealthy man from the island of Andros; together they had a daughter named Cleis. She had three “friends”: Atthis, Telesippa, and Megara. It is said that she had an affair with them. Anagora of Miletis, Gongyla of Colophon, and Eunica of Salamis were her students. She wrote nine books of lyric poetry, and invented the plectrum*. She also wrote epigrams, elegies, iambic poetry, and monodies. 


* The plectrum is similar to a guitar pick.

SAPPHO

MAP:

Name:  Σαπφώ / Sappho

Date:  630 – 570 BCE

Works:  <lost: only fragments remain>

 

REGION  5

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions


BIO:

Timeline:

Sappho was universally applauded by the ancient world as the “Tenth Muse.” Because she was one of the earliest Greek lyric poets, there is very little definitive information on Sappho’s life.  It is generally agreed that Sappho was a wealthy noblewoman from the island of Lesbos who had three brothers and a daughter named Kleis. She used her prominent social position to support a cohort of other women artists, and composed many poems about them, expressing her love for them, praising their beauty, and celebrating their marriages. Whereas earlier Greek poetry was epic poetry with serious themes of gods, warfare, and the state, Sappho’s lyric poetry is emotional, intimate and personal. Her poetry centers around womanhood and womanly love, providing rare insight into social mores of the time period. The modern term “lesbian” (a woman who is attracted to another woman) reveals the longevity of her impact upon western culture [NOTE: Although “lesbian” is the accepted term in modern English, authors in the ancient world used a different word for a homosexual woman, and only occasionally used the term “lesbian” euphemistically]. Unfortunately, although her poetry was universally revered by the Greeks and Romans alike, Sappho’s works only exist as fragments, adding mysterious allure to her larger-than-life status but unfortunately hindering our understanding of her life and thoughts.

 Archaic Greek

Timeline of Greek Literature with "ARCHAIC" era hightlighted


SUDA

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE

Works:  Suda

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions


BIO:

Timeline:

 The Suda is a literary encyclopedia created in the 10th century CE by an anonymous Byzantine scholar.

 BYZANTINE GREEK

Timeline of Greek Literature with "BYZANTINE / LATE" era highlighted



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Challenging Gender Roles: Corinna, Greek Poet: Suda K.2087

Corinna, Achelodori & Procratiae filia, Thebana vel Tanagrea, discipula Myrtidis, Myia cognominata: Lyrica. Quinquies, ut ferunt, Pindarum vicit. Scripsit (carminum) libros V. itemque epigrammata & cantica lyrica.

Κορίννα, Ἀχελῳοδώρου καὶ Προκρατίας, Θηβαία ἢ Ταναγραία, μαθήτρια Μύρτιδος: ἐπωνόμαστο δὲ Μυῖα: λυρική. ἐνίκησε δὲ πεντάκις ὡς λόγος Πίνδαρον. ἔγραψε βιβλία ε#, καὶ ἐπιγράμματα καὶ νόμους λυρικούς.

--Suda K.2087. Translated into Latin by Christian Wolf.

 

Corinna: The daughter of Achelodorus & Procratia. She was either Theban or Tanagrean. She was a student of Myrtis. Her nickname was Myia (“the fly”). She was a lyric poet. It is said that she beat the poet Pindar five times in a competition. She wrote five books of poetry, both of epigrams and pastoral poems.


SUDA

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE

Works:  Suda

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions



BIO:

Timeline:

 The Suda is a literary encyclopedia created in the 10th century CE by an anonymous Byzantine scholar.

 BYZANTINE GREEK

Timeline of Greek Literature with "BYZANTINE / LATE" era highlighted



Thursday, August 6, 2020

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Cicero's view on "ominous" births: Cicero, de Div. 2.xxviii.60


XXVIII 60 An vero illa nos terrent, si quando aliqua portentosa aut ex pecude aut ex homine nata dicuntur? Quorum omnium, ne sim longior, una ratio est. Quicquid enim oritur, qualecumque est, causam habeat a natura necesse est, ut, etiamsi praeter consuetudinem exstiterit, praeter naturam tamen non possit exsistere. Causam igitur investigato in re nova atque admirabili, si poteris; si nullam reperies, illud tamen exploratum habeto, nihil fieri potuisse sine causa, eumque terrorem, quem tibi rei novitas adtulerit, naturae ratione depellito. Ita te nec terrae fremitus nec caeli discessus nec lapideus aut sanguineus imber nec traiectio stellae nec faces visae terrebunt. 


--Cicero, de Divinatione II.xxviii.60


 Are you really frightened by “omens” of unusual animal or human births? Long story short: all of these occur for one reason, and one reason only. Anything that is born, whatever it is, is caused naturally; even if it happens to be unusual (praeter consuetudinem), it cannot occur “unnaturally” (praeter naturam). Whenever something new and rare occurs, go ahead and investigate the cause, if you can. Even if you analyze the facts and still cannot find the reason, remember that nothing can occur without reason, and put aside the kneejerk panic that the novelty of the occurrence gave you.  Once you do this, nothing will frighten you: not earthquakes, not weather patterns, not rain showers of blood or stones, not falling stars, nor will-‘o-the-wisps.

CICERO
MAP:
Name:  Marcus Tullius Cicero
Date:  106 BCE – 43 BCE
Works: de Amicitia
               de Divinatione*
               Epistles
               In Catilinam
              Pro Archiam, etc.

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:
 Cicero was an Italian-born Roman statesman and author who lived during the complexities of Rome’s transition from Republic to monarchy. Cicero spent most of his life in service of his country, serving as both a lawyer, senator, and even consul [Roman equivalent of president]. He is known for his suppression of the failed governmental coup in 63 BCE known as the Catilinarian conspiracy that occurred during his consulship. After the rise of Octavian [later known as the first Roman emperor Augustus], his views fell out of favor and he was eventually put to death during the proscriptions under the Second Triumvirate (Octavian, Marc Antony and Lepidus). He was a prolific author with a wide range in genres, and his literary style was adopted by Petrarch as the default model for the Latin language.
 GOLDEN AGE ROME
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: after 410 CE