Sunday, August 29, 2021

M/M: Harmodius & Aristogeiton, Defenders of Liberty. Athenaeus, Deipnosoph. XV.l

Athenaeus preserves several songs that honored the couple Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who became symbols of freedom and liberty.


In myrti ramo gladium feram,

sicut Harmodius Aristogitonque,

quum tyrannum occiderunt,

liberasque Athenas praestiterunt.

ἐν μύρτου κλαδὶ τὸ ξίφος φορήσω, 

ὥσπερ Ἁρμόδιος καὶ Ἀριστογείτων,

ὅτε τὸν τύραννον κτανέτην

ἰσονόμους τ᾽ ' Ἀθήνας ἐποιησάτην.


Carissime Harmodie, non utique mortuus es:

beatorum sed in insulis te aiunt esse,

ubi velox pedibus Achilles,

Tydidemque ubi aiunt esse Diomedem.


φίλταθ᾽ Ἁρμόδι᾽, οὒ τί που τέθνηκας

νήσοις δ᾽ ἐν μακάρων σέ φασιν εἶναι,

ἵνα περ ποδώκης Ἀχιλεύς,

Τυδείδην τέ φασι τὸν ἐσθλὸν Διομήδεα.


In myrti ramo gladium feram

sicut Harmodius Aristogitonque,

Minervae cum in sacrificiis

virum tyrannum Hipparchum occiderunt.

 ἐν μύρτου κλαδὶ τὸ ξίφος φορήσω,

ὥσπερ Ἁρμόδιος καὶ Ἀριστογείτων,

ὅτ᾽ Ἀθηναίης ἐν θυσίαις

ἄνδρα τύραννον Ἵππαρχον ἐκαινέτην.


Semper vester honos in terra durabit,

carissime Harodie & Aristogiton;

quod tyrannum sustulistis,

liberasque praestitistis Athenas.

ig' αἰεὶ σφῷν κλέος ἔσσεται κατ᾽ αἶαν,

φίλταθ᾽ Ἁρμόδιος καὶ ι Ἀριστογείτων:

ὅτι τὸν τύραννον κτανέτην

ἰσονόμους τ᾽ Ἀθήνας ἐποιησάτην.

--Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XV.l; Translated into Latin by Iohannes Schweighaeuser (1805)


 I carry a sword hidden in a myrtle branch,

Just like Harmodius and Aristogeiton did

When they killed the tyrant

And stood up for a free Athens.


Dearest Harmodius, you are not dead;

Rather, they say you live on the Isle of the Blessed

Where swift-footed Achilles lives,

Where Diomedes lives.


I carry a sword hidden in a myrtle branch

Just like Harmodius and Aristogeiton did

When during Minerva’s sacrifices

They slaughtered the tyrant Hipparchus.


Dearest Harmodius and Aristogeiton,

The earth will forever honor you

Because you removed a tyrant

And stood up for a free Athens. 



Name:  Athenaeus

Date:  2nd c. CE

Works:  Deipnosophists



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



 Athenaeus was a scholar who lived in Naucratis (modern Egypt) during the reign of the Antonines. His fifteen volume work, the Deipnosophists, are invaluable for the amount of quotations they preserve of otherwise lost authors, including the poetry of Sappho.


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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