Sunday, September 27, 2020

I Never Shall Marry: Artemis, Callimachus' Hymn to Artemis, 1.1-25

 Dianam (grave enim canentibus oblivisci)

Canimus, cui arcus venationesque cordi,

Et chorus magnus & in montibus ludi.

Incipientes inde, ut in patris sedens genubus,

Puela adhuc parvula, sic allocuta est patrem:

Da mihi virginitatem, Pater, aeternam servare

et nomina multa, ne mihi se praeferat Phoebus.

Da etiam saggitas & arcum: sine Pater. Non te pharetram,

aut magnam posco arcum: mihi Cyclopes sagittas

statim elaborabunt, mihi etiam flexilem arcum:

sed ut faces geram, et ad genua usque tunica

succingar virgata, ferasque perimam.

Da mihi porro sexaginta Oceaninas, quae mecum choros agant,

Omnes iuvenculas, omnes adhuc puellas impuberes

da etiam ministras, viginti nymphas Amnisidas,

quae mihi venatica calceamenta & cum lyncas

cervosque venari desidero, veloces canes recte curent.

Da mihi denique montes omnes: urbem autam unam attribue,

quamcumque. Raro enim in urbem veniet Diana.

In montibus habitabo: urbes autem accedam

tum modo, cum mulieres, accutis partus doloribus,

vexatae, auxiliatricem vocent, quibus me Parcae,

ut primum nata sum, destinarun opem ferre:

quod me pariens ferensque (utero) non doluit,

Mater, sed sine labore doposuit gremio."

Ἄρτεμιν (οὐ γὰρ ἐλαφρὸν ἀειδόντεσσι λαθέσθαι)

ὑμνέομεν, τῆι τόξα λαγωβολίαι τε μέλονται

καὶ χορὸς ἀμφιλαφὴς καὶ ἐν οὔρεσιν ἑψιάασθαι,

ἄρχμενοι, ὡς ὅτε πατρὸς ἐφεζομένη γονάτεσσι

παῖς ἔτι κουρίζουσα τάδε προσέειπε γονῆα

'δός μοι παρθενίην αἰώνιον ἄππα φυλάσσειν,

καὶ πολυωνυμίην, ἵνα μή μοι Φοῖβος ἐρίζηι.

δὸς δ᾽ ἰοὺς καὶ τόξα — ἔα πάτερ, οὔ σε φαρέτρην

οὐδ᾽ αἰτέω μέγα τόξον: ἐμοὶ Κύκλωπες ὀιστοὺς

αὐτίκα τεχνήσονται, ἐμοὶ δ᾽ εὐκαμπὲς ἄεμμα:

ἀλλὰ φαεσφορίην τε καὶ ἐς γόνυ μέχρι χιτῶνα

ζώννυσθαι λεγνωτόν, ἵν᾽ ἄγρια θηρία καίνω.

δὸς δέ μοι ἑξήκοντα χορίτιδας Ὠκεανίνας,

πάσας εἰνέτεας, πάσας ἔτι παῖδας ἀμίτρους.

δὸς δέ μοι ἀμφιπόλους Ἀμνισίδας εἴκοσι νύμφας,

αἵ τέ μοι ἐνδρομίδας τε καί, ὁππότε μηκέτι λύγκας

μήτ᾽ ἐλάφους βάλλοιμι, θοοὺς κύνας εὖ κομέοιεν,

δὸς δέ μοι οὔρεα πάντα: πόλιν δέ μοι ἥντινα νεῖμον

ἥντινα λῆις: σπαρνὸν γὰρ ὅτ᾽ Ἄρτεμις ἄστυ κάτεισιν:

οὔρεσιν οἰκήσω, πόλεσιν δ᾽ ἐπιμείξομαι ἀνδρῶν

μοῦνον ὅτ᾽ ὀξείηισιν ὑπ᾽ ὠδίνεσσι γυναῖκες

τειρόμεναι καλέουσι βοηθόον, ἧισί με Μοῖραι

γεινομένην τὸ πρῶτον ἐπεκλήρωσαν ἀρήγειν,

ὅττι με καὶ τίκτουσα καὶ οὐκ ἤλγησε φέρουσα

μήτηρ, ἀλλ᾽ ἀμογητὶ φίλων ἀπεθήκατο γυίων᾽.

--Callimachus, Hymn to Artemis, 1-25


I sing of Diana (for who can forget her in song?!),

Whose heart is full of archery & hunting,

her flock of followers, and her mountain-adventures.

While still a girl, she sat upon her father’s lap, and began as follows:

“Father, give me control over my virginity, so that I may keep it forever.

Give me may names, so Phoebus may not look down upon me.

Give me a bow & arrows: please, Father!

I’m not asking you for a quiver, or a great bow:

The Cyclops will build these for me straightaway,

But let me be a bringer of light, and let me wear my skirt knee-length

And I will be a slayer of wild beasts.

Give me sixty Ocean-maidens, who can join me on my quest,

All of them still young, still girls,

And give me also an entourage of maidens, twenty nymphs of Amnisius

Who can take care of my hunting boots and my hunting dogs

Whenever I want to hunt lynxes & stags

And give me all mountains: and whatever city you want, I guess.

For Diana does not like the cities.

I shall dwell in the mountains: I’ll only enter cities

Whenever women are having difficulties in childbirth

And call upon me to help. That’s something the Fates

Gave me the ability to help with: as soon as I was born,

When she gave birth, my Mother did not have labor pains,

But birthed me from her belly without pain.”

CALLIMACHUS / Καλλίμαχος


Name:  Callimachus

Date:  305 – 240 BCE

Works:  Aitia (Causes)


             Pinakes (Table of Contents)

REGION  3 / 4

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions



 Callimachus is often regarded as one of the best Alexandrian [Greek] poets. Born in raised in Cyrene, Libya, he spent a majority of his career at the famous Library of Alexandria, where he used the resources there to create refined, artful poetry. Although much of his poetry is lost, the fragments that remain are a testament to both his talent as an artist and his erudition as a scholar.


ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); HELLENISTIC: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)

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