Saturday, May 1, 2021

From Bride to Groom: Greek Anthology 9.602


Quae olim virgineis propitiabam palmis

Cypriam, et cum taedis etiam prolem precabar,

nuptiales iam thalamo solvens tunicas,

viri statim e femoribus edidi formas:

ac sponsus ex sponsa vocor, et post Aphroditam

Martem et aras redimio Herculis.

Thebae Tiresiam narrabant olim; nunc vero me Chalcis

illam prius in mitra salutavit in chlamyde.

ἅ ποτε παρθενικαῖσιν ἱλασκομένα παλάμῃσιν

Κύπριδα, σὺν πεύκαις καὶ γάμον εὐξαμένα,

κουριδίους ἤδη θαλάμῳ λύσασα χιτῶνας,

ἀνδρὸς ἄφαρ μηρῶν ἐξελόχευσα τύπους:

νυμφίος ἐκ νύμφης δὲ κικλήσκομαι, ἐκ δ᾽ Ἀφροδίτης

Ἄρεα καὶ βωμοὺς ἔστεφον Ἡρακλέους.

Θῆβαι Τειρεσίην ἔλεγόν ποτε: νῦν δέ με Χαλκὶς

τὴν πάρος ἐν μίτραις ἠσπάσατ᾽ ἐν χλαμύδι.

--Evenus, Greek Anthology IX.603; translated into Latin by Friedrich Duebner, 1872

I who once raised my virgin hands

In worship of Aphrodite, I who often prayed

For a wedding and a pregnancy,

I who laid aside my wedding gown

and entered a marriage bed,

I—suddenly transformed into a man’s body 

(ἀνδρὸς τύπους, a man’s shape).

And now I am called “groom,” not “bride,”

And I no longer worship Aphrodite, but

Ares & Hercules!

Long ago, the Thebans told the story of Tiresias:

Now Chalcis will tell my story,

Who went from ball gown to baseball cap.*

* The original poem uses gendered articles of clothing as contrasting imagery of the transformation



Name:  ????


Works:  Greek Anthology; Anthologia Graeca; Florilegii Graecii



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



 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)


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