Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Life and Afterlife of the Asexual Hippolytus, Vatican Mythographers I.46

Theseus, mortua Hippolyte, Phaedram Minois et Pasiphae filiam superduxit Hippolyto, qui cum de strupro illam interpellante contempsisset, falso delatus ad patrem est quod ei vi vellet inferre. Theseus Aegeum patrem [rogavit] ut se ulcisceretur, qui agitanti currus Hippolyto immisit focam in littore, qua equi territi eum distraxerunt. Tunc Diana eius castitate commota revocavit eum in vita per Aesculapium filium Apollinis et Coronidis, qui natus erat exsecto matris ventre...[Myth of Coronis follows]. Sed Diana Hippolytum revocatum ab inferis nymphae commendavit Egeriae et eum Virbium quasi "bis virum" iussit vocari.

--Vatican Mythographers I.46

When Hippolyte died, Theseus put Phaedra [the daughter of Minos and Pasiphae] in charge of Hippolytus. When Hippolytus rejected her sexual advances, he was falsely accused of rape and brought to his father for punishment.  Theseus asked his father Aegeus to avenge him, and he sent a monster [sea-dog] onto the shore where Hippolytus was driving his chariot. This monster spooked Hippolytus’ horses and killed him.  Then Diana, moved by his purity, used Asclepius [Apollo and Coronis’ son, who was born by C-section] to restore him to life. Once Diana brought Hippolytus back from the dead, she entrusted his care to the nymph Egeria, and ordered that he now be called “Virbius” [“twice a man”].


VATICAN MYTHOGRAPHERS

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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:

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




Saturday, November 27, 2021

M/M: Polyptoton: Anacreon fr. 359

Polyptoton is a rhetorical device where the same word is used throughout a passage, but in various noun cases. In this fragment of Anacreon, the poem's subject Kleoboulos / Cleoboulus is used in the genitive, dative, and accusative case. 


Κλουβέλου μεν έγωγή ερεώ

Κλευβέλω δ έπι μαίνομαι

Κλεύβαλον δε διοσκεώ.

 

Cleobouli amore uror!

Cleoboulus me furit!

Cleoboulem contueor!


 --Anacreon fr.359; translated into Latin by K. Masters 


I yearn for Kleoboulos!

I’m crazy about Kleoboulos!

I gaze upon Kleoboulos!

 

ANACREON

MAP:

Name:  Anacreon

Date:  582 – 485 BCE

Works:  [fragments]

 

REGION  5

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:

 Anacreon was a Greek poet who lived during the 6th century BCE. He was born in Teos (modern Turkey) during a period of intense conflict between the Ionian and Persian forces, and did not remain in his homeland for long. Sources indicate that he found success and fame for his poetry in Samos and Athens, but little is known about his life beyond anecdotes written hundreds of years after his death.  His poetry was exceedingly popular, to the extent that an entire genre of poetry was dedicated to his style of writing; the Anacreonta are a collection of poems written in imitation of his writing style composed by Greek authors throughout the centuries. Despite Anacreon’s immense popularity and influence on literature, only fragments remain of his poetry today.

 ARCHAIC GREEK LITERATURE

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)



Clothing Makes The Man? Tertullian, De Pallio IV.8-9

 TRIGGER WARNING: homophobia, misogyny

TRIGGER WARNING: The Christian author Tertullian's de Pallio is a fascinating document that advocates shifting the local dress code from the toga to the pallium. It discusses everything from sequential hermaphroditism of animals to shifts in gender roles and social mores across numerous cultures. It is important to note that although this work is marked with the author's personal biases (including homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny), Tertullian's attack preserves evidence of the increasing flexibility in Roman attire and shifts in social norms that were occurring during the time period.



Enimvero iamdudum censoriae intentionis episcynio disperso, quantum denotatui passivitas offert? Libertinos in equestribus, subverbustos in liberalibus, dediticios in ingenuis, rupices in urbanis, scurras in forensibus, paganos in militaribus: vespillo, leno, lanista tecum vestiuntur.

[9] Converte et ad feminas. Habes spectare, quod Caecina Seuerus graviter senatui impressit, matronas sine stola in publico. Denique, Lentuli auguris consultis, quae ita sese exauctorasset, pro stupro erat poena; quoniam quidem indices custodesque dignitatis habitus, ut lenocinii factitandi impedimenta, sedulo quaedam desuefecerant. At nunc in semetipsas lenocinando, quo planius adeantur, et stolam et supparum et crepidulum et caliendrum, ipsas quoque iam lecticas et sellas, quis in publico quoque domestice ac secrete habebantur, eieravere. Sed alius extinguit sua lumina, alius non sua accendit. Aspice lupas, popularium libidinum nundinas, ipsas quoque frictrices, et si praestat oculos abducere ab eiusmodi propudiis occisae in publico castitatis, aspice tamen vel sublimis, iam matronas videbis.

--Tertullian, De Pallio, IV.8-9

Now that the eyebrow-arching, pearl-clutching of the Censor has lost its clout, how much social order can exist in this time of liberal behaviors*?  Freedmen are dressed as the middle class, slaves are dressed as freedmen, foreigners are dressed as native-born citizens, country bumpkins are dressed as city folk, the unemployed are dressed as businessmen, civilians dressed as soldiers! Undertakers, pimps, gladiator trainers are dressed just! Like! You!

(9) Look at women! You have in mind what Caecina Severus imposed upon the senate: there are women in public without their stola**! This is what augur Lentulus imposed upon women as a punishment for vice; since the stola is a proof and a protection of a woman’s reputation, it got in the way of a working woman’s ability to ply her trade, and so it quickly fell out of use.

And now women have gotten rid of all the things that kept them out of the public eye: their stola, their linen garments, their sun hats, their weaves, even their litters and their rickshaws!

But while some tarnish their own dignity, others tarnish the dignity of others. Look at prostitutes, the public displays of indecency, the lesbians***, and even if you turn your eyes away from decency being slaughtered by such shameful behavior, from a bird’s eye view, they look like housewives!

 

*passivitas, ‘passivity / allowance of looser gender roles and social constructs’

**The stola is a garment of class status and dignity

***Tertullian uses a slur here that will not be translated.

TERTULLIAN

MAP:

Name:  Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus

Date:  2nd century CE

Works:  Apologia

De Pallio

 

REGION  3

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:

 Tertullian was an early Christian theologian who lived in Carthage [modern Tunisia] during the 2nd century CE. He was one of the most prolific authors of his age; more than thirty of his treatises are extant. These works shaped the core beliefs of the early Christian church. Although some of his beliefs were later deemed heretical, he was nevertheless granted sainthood for his profound impact on Christianity. 

 AGE OF CONFLICT

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


 



Going Back to School: Roman Masculinity and Fatherhood, Pliny the Younger, Ep. II.18

 Roman men could form loving, parental bonds with their friends' children.

C. PLINIUS MAURICO SUO S.

1 Quid a te mihi iucundius potuit iniungi, quam ut praeceptorem fratris tui liberis quaererem? Nam beneficio tuo in scholam redeo, et illam dulcissimam aetatem quasi resumo: sedeo inter iuvenes ut solebam, atque etiam experior quantum apud illos auctoritatis ex studiis habeam. 2 Nam proxime frequenti auditorio inter se coram multis ordinis nostri clare iocabantur; intravi, conticuerunt; quod non referrem, nisi ad illorum magis laudem quam ad meam pertineret, ac nisi sperare te vellem posse fratris tui filios probe discere. 3 Quod superest, cum omnes qui profitentur audiero, quid de quoque sentiam scribam, efficiamque quantum tamen epistula consequi potero, ut ipse omnes audisse videaris. 4 Debeo enim tibi, debeo memoriae fratris tui hanc fidem hoc studium, praesertim super tanta re. Nam quid magis interest vestra, quam ut liberi - dicerem tui, nisi nunc illos magis amares - digni illo patre, te patruo reperiantur? quam curam mihi etiam si non mandasses vindicassem. 5 Nec ignoro suscipiendas offensas in eligendo praeceptore, sed oportet me non modo offensas, verum etiam simultates pro fratris tui filiis tam aequo animo subire quam parentes pro suis. Vale.

--Pliny the Younger, Ep. II.18


To: Mauricus

From: Pliny

What can be a more fun favor for me to do for you, than to find a tutor for your brother’s kids? For now, thanks to you, I can go back to school & return to the best days of my life: I get to sit in on classes with the youngins, as I used to, and I get to experience their respect for me in their studies. (2) Recently, I entered the noisy classroom where they were all chatting amongst each other with their peers, and as soon as I entered the room, they quieted down. I’m only mentioning this to show off their good behavior, not my own, and because I don’t want to you worry about your brother’s kids not getting a good education. (3) I’ll observe the teachers and I’ll tell you what I think about them in a letter that is so detailed that you’ll think you’ve heard them teaching yourself. (4) I’m going to do this with concern and care, because I owe this to you and to the memory of your brother. For what’s more important for these kids—I would say *your* kids, because I know how much you love them as your own—than that they get the education that is worthy of their father, and worthy of you, their uncle? And I’ll do this for you, even if you haven’t asked me to. (5) I know that when I find the perfect tutor for these kids, I’ll make whoever isn’t chosen angry, but I don’t care. Let them be mad. This is for your brother’s kids, and I’ll deal with it calmly as if they were my own.

PLINY THE YOUNGER

MAP:

Name: Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus  

Date:  61 BCE – 113 CE

Works:  Letters

 

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:

 Pliny the Younger was an Italian born noble and nephew of the famous natural historian Pliny the Elder. He is best known for publishing his private correspondence, in which he flouts his connections with other illustrious Romans (including the Emperor Trajan and the author Tacitus). Two of the most famous examples of these are his “eyewitness” account of the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE and his letter to the emperor Trajan regarding the treatment of Christians.

 SILVER AGE LATIN

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



Friday, November 26, 2021

In Praise of Sappho: Greek Anthology 9.521

Non sane tibi exiguum decus praebuit Parca

die quo primo lucem vidisti solis,

Sappho. Tibi enim loquelam annuimus ut sempiterna sit,

unaqe pater omnium annuit late-sonans;

celebraberis in omnibus cantu-digna hominibus,

neque inclytae famae eris expers.


εἰς Σαπφῶ παρὰ τῶν Μουσῶν

οὐκ ἄρα σοί γε ὄλιζον ἐπὶ κλέος ὤπασε Μοῖρα

ἤματι, τῷ πρώτῳ φῶς ἴδες ἀελίου,

Σαπφοῖ: σοὶ γὰρ ῥῆσιν ἐνεύσαμεν ἄφθιτον εἶμεν,

σὺν δὲ πατὴρ πάντων νεῦσεν ἐρισφάραγος:

μέλψῃ δ᾽ ἐν πάντεσσιν ἀοίδιμος ἁμερίοισιν,

οὐδὲ κλυτᾶς φάμας ἔσσεαι ἠπεδανά


Sappho, the Fates granted you not a little fame for your talent

When you first saw the light of day.

For we all agree that

Your words will last forever.

Even the Thundering Father of Us All agrees:

You will be praised by all art-loving mankind

You will never lose your well-deserved praise.

--Greek Anthology 9.521; Translated into Latin by Hugo Grottius


<Anonymous>

MAP:

Name:  ????

Date: 

Works:  Greek Anthology; Anthologia Graeca; Florilegii Graecii

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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:

 The Greek Anthology is a modern collection of Greek lyric poetry compiled from various sources over the course of Greco-Roman literature. The current collection was created from two major sources, one from the 10th century CE and one from the 14th century CE. The anthology contains authors spanning the entirety of Greek literature, from archaic poets to Byzantine Christian poets. 

 Byzantine Greek

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)



Saturday, November 20, 2021

M/M: A Hymn for the Sacred Band of Thebes, Greek Anthology XIII.22

Arcum quidem, quo Gigantis deiecisti robur,

cohibe a violentia, longinque-iaculans regnator;

non tibi pharetra aperiatur luporum-interfect[or];

sed hos in adolescentes sagittam

verte Amoris, ut auxilientur patriae,

impavidi amore iuvenum.

Ignis est vis ille est et deorum supremus

usque hic ad propugnatores excitandos.

Melistionis autem, o patrium numen

Schoeniensium, studium tui accipe.


τόξον μέν, ᾧ Γίγαντος ὤλεσας σθένος,

ἴσχε βίης, Ἑκάεργ᾽ ἀνάσσων:

† οὒ οἱ φαρέτρη λύεται λυκοκτόνος:

τοῖσδε δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἠιθέοις ὀιστὸν ^

στρέφειν Ἔρωτος, τόφρ᾽ ἀλέξωνται πάτρῃ,

θαρσαλέοι φιλότατι κούρων

πυροῖ γὰρ ἀλκήν,^ καὶ θεῶν ὑπέρτατος

αἰὲν ὅδε προμάχους ἀέξειν.

Μελιστίωνος δ᾽, ὦ πατρώιον σέβας

Σχοινιέων, ἐπίηρα δέχθαι.


---Phaedimus, Greek Anthology XIII.22; Translated into Latin by Hugo Grottius

My lord, Far-Shooter,

Hold back the bow

you used to bring down the hearts of giants!

Do not open the quiver of the Wolf Slayer!

Instead use the arrows of Love

On our youth  

So this courageous love of these young men

May defend our homeland!

This love kindles their courage,

O Greatest of the gods,

Ever improving these champions.

O Guardian of Schoenians [Thebans],

Accept this gift of Melistion.


<Anonymous>

MAP:

Name:  ????

Date: 

Works:  Greek Anthology; Anthologia Graeca; Florilegii Graecii

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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:

 The Greek Anthology is a modern collection of Greek lyric poetry compiled from various sources over the course of Greco-Roman literature. The current collection was created from two major sources, one from the 10th century CE and one from the 14th century CE. The anthology contains authors spanning the entirety of Greek literature, from archaic poets to Byzantine Christian poets. 

 Byzantine Greek

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)


 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Beloved Hylas is Missing! Codex Salmasianus 57

    57. DE HYLA ET HERCVLE

 
  Raptus amatus Hylas: nympharum gaudia crescunt.
  Herculis ira tumet: raptus amatus Hylas.

 --Codex Salmasianus LVII

Beloved Hylas has been kidnapped!

The nymphs’ joy abounds!

Beloved Hylas has been kidnapped!

Hercules’ wrath abounds!


CODEX SALMASIANUS

MAP:

Name:  Codex Salmasianus

Date:  6th Century CE

Works:  ---

 

REGION  3

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:

 The Codex Salmasianus is a manuscript of Latin poetry that preserves poetry from 6th century CE and earlier. It was named after Claude de Saumaise, a 17th century scholar who owned the manuscript.

 BYZANTINE / LATE LATIN

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



Clothes Make the (Wo)Man: Tertullian on Achilles' Year at Skyros, De Pallio IV.2

 TRIGGER WARNING: The Christian author Tertullian's de Pallio is a fascinating document that advocates shifting the local dress code from the toga to the pallium. It discusses everything from sequential hermaphroditism of animals to shifts in gender roles and social mores across numerous cultures. It is important to note that although this work is marked with the author's personal biases (including homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny), Tertullian's attack on famous examples of gender fluidity is meant to challenge the hero-worship of historical and mythical heroes that were generally well regarded prior to the influence of Christianity on Roman thought. 

 

Naturam itaque concussit Larissaeus heros in uirginiem mutando, ille ferarum medullis educatus (unde et nominis concilium, quandoquidem, labiis uacuerat ab uberum gustu), ille apud rupicem et siluicolam et monstrum eruditorem scrupea schola eruditus. Feras, si in puero, matris sollicitudinem patiens; certe iam histriculus, certe iam uirum alicui clanculo functus adhuc sustinet stolam fundere, comam struere, cutem fingere, speculum consulere, collum demulcere, aurem quoque foratu effeminatus, quod illi apud Sigeum strongyla seruat.

Plane postea miles est, necessitas enim reddidit sexum. De proelio sonuerat, nec arma longe. Ipsum, inquit, ferrum uirum attrahit. Ceterum, si post incentiuum quoque puellam persuerasset, potuit et nubere. Ecce itaque mutatio. Monstrum equidem geminum, de uiro femina, mox de femina uir, quando neque ueritas negari debuisset neque fallacia confiteri. Vterque habitus mutandi malus, alter aduersus naturam, alter contra salutem.

--Tertullian, de Pallio IV.2

Achilles, the hero from Larissa, shook Nature to the core by turning into a maiden. This guy, brought up by the marrow of beasts (where he gets his name, since he wasn’t breastfed)! This guy, raised by a shaggy, forest-dwelling monster Chiron and schooled in a stony cave—now a girl!

You could understand this phase if it happened if he was a little boy, when he was henpecked by an anxious mother. But he was already a grownup! He had already secretly proved his manhood*; and yet despite this, he put on a dress, dolled up his hair, put on makeup, primped himself in a mirror, exfoliated his neck, pierced his ears—his sculpture in Sigeum still documents even this!

But later on, he’s clearly a soldier! Necessity restores his gender. The battle cry echoes; he had weapons at hand. The blade itself brought out the hero in him, or so the story goes. If Odysseus’ trick** hadn’t worked, he might even have gotten married to a man [nubere]! Just look at this transformation! He’s twice a monster—going from man to woman, then back from woman to man, a feat neither provable nor disprovable. Both change of dress [habitus mutandi] were bad; one went against his nature, the other went against his safety.

 

* i.e., he had already had a romantic partner to Deidamia and become the parent of Neoptolemus

** According to the story, Odysseus lures Achilles out of hiding by pretending to be a merchant selling womanly wares to Deidamia’s handmaidens. Among these goods is a single sword; while the other handmaidens are distracted by the trinkets, Achilles gravitates towards the sword. Suddenly, a battle cry is heard, and Achilles takes up the sword and pulls off his dress, ready to fight. Once he is recognized as Achilles, Odysseus invites him to join the fight at Troy.

 


TERTULLIAN

MAP:

Name:  Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus

Date:  2nd century CE

Works:  Apologia

De Pallio

 

REGION  3

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:

 Tertullian was an early Christian theologian who lived in Carthage [modern Tunisia] during the 2nd century CE. He was one of the most prolific authors of his age; more than thirty of his treatises are extant. These works shaped the core beliefs of the early Christian church. Although some of his beliefs were later deemed heretical, he was nevertheless granted sainthood for his profound impact on Christianity.  

 AGE OF CONFLICT



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

 


Sunday, November 7, 2021

M/M: The Story of Branchus, Vatican Mythographers II.107 & I.80

De Brancho

Hic [Branchus] cum in silvis Apollinem osculatus esset, ab eo est comprehensus, et accepta corona virgaque vaticinari coepit, et subito nusqam comparuit. Templum ei factum Branchiadon est nominatum. Et Apollini templa consecrantur, quae ab osculo Branchi philesia nuncupantur.

 

--Vatican Mythographer II.107 & I.80


When Branchus was in the forest, he kissed Apollo. Apollo was smitten by him, and offered him a crown and a staff. And so Branchus began to prophecy, and suddenly disappeared. A temple was made for him named Branchiadon. People also dedicated temples to Apollo, which are called “Loving” temples after Branchus’ kiss.


VATICAN MYTHOGRAPHERS

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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:

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


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

M/M: The Story of Cyparissus, Vatican Mythographers II.204

 Cyparissus speciosus puer dum in silva venaretur, in amore sui Apollinem compulit: a quo accepit munus cervum pulcherrimum et mansuetum: quem cum diligeret, lassus somnum sub arbore carpere coepit. Subito excitatus strepitu cervum longe vidit; quem credens silvestrem, missa sagitta eum interemit: agnitoque in tantum extabuit, ut ab omni cibo et potu abstineret. Quo tabescente, Apollo misertus eius, vertit eum in arborem sui nominis cupressum.

--Vatican Mythographers II.204

While the handsome lad Cyparissus was hunting in the forest, Apollo fell in love with him. Apollo gave him a beautiful and tame pet stag as a gift. Cyparissus loved the deer. Growing drowsy, he dozed off under a tree. When he was woken up by a sudden noise, he saw a deer far off, and shot it with an arrow, thinking it was a wild deer. Once he realized what he had done, he panicked, and starved himself to death. As he died, Apollo pitied him, and turned him into the tree that shares his name [the cypress tree]. 

 

VATICAN MYTHOGRAPHERS

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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:

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


M/M: The Story of Hyacinthus, Vatican Mythographers II.208

 Hyacinthus puer adamatus est tam a Borea quam ab Apolline. Qui cum magis Apollinis amore laetaretur, dum exerceretur disco, ab irato Borea eodem disco est interemptus, in florem sui nominis mutatus. Hic autem flos rubet, quasi lilium designans primam Hyakinthou literam.

--Vatican Mythographers II.208

Hyacinth was loved by both Boreas and Apollo, but he enjoyed Apollo’s affection more. While he was training, he was killed by his own discus by a spiteful Boreas. He was changed into a flower named after him. This flower is reddish, a type of lily but it spells the first letter of Hyacinth’s name.


VATICAN MYTHOGRAPHERS

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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:

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


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Alone in a Crowd: Cicero, Ad Att. I.18.1

The letters of Cicero reveal insights into aspects of ancient Roman masculinity. By reading these letters, we see that Roman men often had deep, loving and affectionate friendships with their peers. There is no shame or stigma in expressing love and support to one another.


I.XVIII (18)
Cicero Attico Sal.
[Rome, January 20, 60]

Nihil mihi nunc scito tam deesse uam hominem eum, quocum omnia, que me cura aliqua adficiunt, uno communicem, qui me amet, qui sapiat, quicum ego cum loquar, nihil fingam, nihil dissimulem, nihil obtegam. Abest enim frater aphelestatos et amantissimus. Metellus non homo, sed "litus atque aer et solitudo mera." Tu autem, qui saepissime curam et angorem animi mei sermone et consilio levasti tuo, qui mihi et in publica re socius et in privatis omnibus conscius et omnium meorum sermonum et consiliorum particeps esse soles, ubinam es? Ita sum ab omnibus destitutus. ut tantum requietis habeam, quantum cum uxore et filiola et mellito Cicerone consumitur. Nam illae ambitiosae nostrae fucosaeque amicitiae sunt in quodam splendore forensi, fructum domesticum non habent. Itaque, cum bene completa domus est tempore matutino, cum ad forum stipati gregibus amicorum descendimus, reperire ex magna turba neminem possumus, quocum aut iocari libere aut suspirare familiariter possimus. Quare te exspectamus, te desideramus, te iam etiam arcessimus. Multa sunt enim, quae me sollicitant anguntque; quae mihi videor aures nactus tuas unius ambulationis sermone exhaurire posse.

--Cicero, Ad Atticum I.xviii.1


Cicero to Atticus:

Seriously, the only thing I need right now is one person that I can unload my troubles to, who cares for me, who knows me, who can talk to me. I need someone I don’t have to be fake around, someone I don’t have to lie to, someone I don’t have to walk on eggshells around.

Right now my brother—my breath of fresh air, my dearest one—isn’t here. Metellus isn’t really a person, but a “deserted beach and air and empty desert.”

And you—who have so often comforted my anxiety and my stress with your kind words and advice, you who are my right-hand man in politics, you who know my every private thought, you who are usually by my side in all my dealings and all my business—where are you?

I have been so utterly forsaken by everybody, that the only refuge I can find is with my wife and my little girl and my sweet son Junior.

All of those social-climbing and fake “friends” I have in public don’t exist in private. Although my home office is full during business hours, and when I travel to the Forum I’m surrounded by a flock of “friends,” out of that giant flock of people, I can’t really find a single person with whom I can laugh or cry with.

And so I wait for you. I long for you. I’m begging for you. I’m really stressed right now. I feel like if I could just talk with you for a little bit, I’d be ok.

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 and Late Latin: after 410 CE