Sunday, September 27, 2020

W/W: Artemis' Love Among the Ladies, Callimachus, Hymn to Artemis, 183-219

The poet Callimachus portrays Artemis as both asexual / chaste as well as the lover of women. 

Quae autem, quaeso, insularum, quique mons placuit maxime?

Quique lacus? Quaeque urbs? Quamque inprimis Nympham

amas, & quas heroinas habuisti sodales?

Dic, Dea, tu quidem nobis, ego vero aliis canam.

Ex insulis quidem Doliche, ex urbibus autem tibi placuit Perga,

Teugetus e montibus, portusque Euripi.

Prae ceteris autem Gortyniam adamasti Nympham,

Cervorum interfectricem, Britomartin, bene collimantem: cuius quondam Minos

Percussus amore, pererravit montes Cretae.

Nympha autem modo sub umbrosis latebus querubus comantibus,

modo in paludibus. Ille vero per novem menses erravit

in saxis & rupibus; neque destiti persequi,

Donec, propemodum deprensa, desiluit in mare

Rupe de summa, insiluitque in piscatorum

Retia, per quae est servata. Unde postea Cydones

Nympham quidem Dictynnam, montem autem, unde desiluit Nympha,

Dictaeum vocarunt, dedicaruntque aras

et sacra faciunt. Sertum autem illa die

aut pinus est, aut lentiscus: myrto autem manus sunt intactae.

Nam tum myrteo ramo adhaesit peplum

puellae, cum fugeret, eaque propter valde indignata est myrto.

Upi regina, pulcra, faces gestans, etiam te illa

Cretenses cognomine vocant a nympha.

Enimvero etiam Cyrenen sodalem sumsisti, cui aliquando dedisti

ipsa duos canes venaticos, per quos virgo

Hypseis ad tumulum Iolcium adepta est palmam.

Etiam Cephali flavam uxorem Deionidae,

Veneranda, comitem venationum tuarum fecisti: atque etiam te dicunt

pulchram Anticleam, ut oculos tuos, amasse,

Quae primae celeres arcus, inque humeris pharetras

sagittiferas tulerunt: cum nudus ipsis humerus

Dexter, nudaque semper extaret mamma

Amasti praeterea valde pedibus celerem Atalantam,

Filiam Iasii apricidam Arcasidae,

eamque & venari & sagittis scite uti docuisti.

τίς δέ νύ τοι νήσων, ποῖον δ᾽ ὄρος εὔαδε πλεῖστον,

τίς δὲ λιμήν, ποίη δὲ πόλις; τίνα δ᾽ ἔξοχα νυμφέων

185φίλαο, καὶ ποίας ἡρωίδας ἔσχες ἑταίρας;

εἰπὲ θεὴ σὺ μὲν ἄμμιν, ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἑτέροισιν ἀείσω.

νήσων μὲν Δολίχη, πολίων δέ τοι εὔαδε Πέργη,

Τηύγετον δ᾽ ὀρέων, λιμένες γε μὲν Εὐρίποιο.

ἔξοχα δ᾽ ἀλλάων Γορτυνίδα φίλαο νύμφην,

190ἐλλοφόνον Βριτόμαρτιν ἐύσκοπον: ἧς ποτε Μίνως

πτοιηθεὶς ὑπ᾽ ἔρωτι κατέδραμεν οὔρεα Κρήτης.

ἣ δ᾽ ὁτὲ μὲν λασίηισιν ὑπὸ δρυσὶ κρύπτετο νύμφη,

ἄλλοτε δ᾽ εἱαμενῆισιν: ὃ δ᾽ ἐννέα μῆνας ἐφοίτα

παίπαλά τε κρημνούς τε καὶ οὐκ ἀνέπαυσε διωκτύν,

195μέσφ᾽ ὅτε μαρπτομένη καὶ δὴ σχεδὸν ἥλατο πόντον

πρηόνος ἐξ ὑπάτοιο καὶ ἔνθορεν εἰς ἁλιήων

δίκτυα, τά σφ᾽ ἐσάωσαν: ὅθεν μετέπειτα Κύδωνες

νύμφην μὲν Δίκτυναν, ὄρος δ᾽ ὅθεν ἥλατο νύμφη

Δικταῖον καλέουσιν, ἀνεστήσαντο δὲ βωμούς

200ἱερά τε ῥέζουσι: τὸ δὲ στέφος ἤματι κείνωι

ἢ πίτυς ἢ σχῖνος, μύρτοιο δὲ χεῖρες ἄθικτοι:

δὴ τότε γὰρ πέπλοισιν ἐνέσχετο μύρσινος ὄζος

τῆς κούρης, ὅτ᾽ ἔφευγεν: ὅθεν μέγα χώσατο μύρτωι.

Οὖπι ἄνασσ᾽ εὐῶπι φαεσφόρε, καὶ δὲ σὲ κείνην

205Κρηταέες καλέουσιν ἐπωνυμίην ἀπὸ νύμφης.

καὶ μὴν Κυρήνην ἑταρίσσαο, τῆι ποτ᾽ ἔδωκας

αὐτὴ θηρητῆρε δύω κύνε, τοῖς ἔνι κούρη

Ὑψηὶς παρὰ τύμβον Ἰώλκιον ἔμμορ᾽ ἀέθλου.

καὶ Κεφάλου ξανθὴν ἄλοχον Δηιονίδαο

210πότνια σὴν ὁμόθηρον ἐθήκαο: καὶ δὲ σὲ φασί

καλὴν Ἀντίκλειαν ἴσον φαέεσσι φιλῆσαι,

αἳ πρῶται θοὰ τόξα καὶ ἀμφ᾽ ὤμοισι φαρέτρας

ἰοδόκους ἐφόρησαν: ἀσύλλωτοι δέ φιν ὦμοι

δεξιτεροὶ καὶ γυμνὸς ἀεὶ παρεφαίνετο μαζός.

215ἤινησας δ᾽ ἔτι πάγχυ ποδορρώρην Ἀταλάντην,

κούρην Ἰασίοιο συοκτόνον Ἀρκασίδαο,

καί ἑ κυνηλασίην τε καὶ εὐστοχίην ἐδίδαξας.

--Callimachus, Hymn to Artemis, 183-217; translated into Latin by Jo. Augustus Ernest

Tell me, what island pleases you most? 

What mountain? What lake? What city?

What nymph do you love the most, 

what heroines do you keep as companions?

Tell me, Goddess, and I will tell others.

Doliche is your favorite island, Perga is your favorite city,

Taygeton is your favorite mountain, and Euripis is your favorite strait.

Of all the nymphs, you passionately loved the Gortynian Britomartis,

The amazing archer and slayer of deer. Once, Minos was smitten by her, 

and he wandered over the mountains of Crete in search of her.

The nymph hid under the leafy oak trees and in marshes.

He searched for her among the stones and craigs for nine months;

He never stopped searching for her, until

Nearly captured by him, she leapt into the sea from a tall cliff

Landed in a fisherman’s net, and was saved.

Thereafter the Cretans called the nymph “Dictynna,”  [Net Lady]

And called the cliff that she jumped from “Dictaen” [Net Cliff];

They made a dedicatory altar there and made their sacrifices.

On that holiday, they make garlands of pine or mastic tree, but never myrtle.

For while she was fleeing, her tunic was caught on a myrtle branch

And so Britomartis *hates* the myrtle tree.

Upis, o beautiful light-bringer, the Cretans even call you this, too.

Then you took up Cyrene as your companion, and you gave her

Two of your hunting dogs, which Hypseis’ daughter used to gain victory

At Iolchus’ tomb.

You also loved the golden-haired wife of Cephalus,  

And made her your hunting companion:

And they say that you loved  the beautiful Anticlea more than your own eyes;

These women were the first to wear their hunting bow

And quiver upon their naked shoulder;

Their right shoulder was always naked,

Their right breast was always exposed.

You really loved swift-footed Atalanta,

The boar-slaying daughter of Arcadian Iasius,

You taught her to hunt and use her arrows with skill.

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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