Quoniam vero mentionem feci Alexandriae, memini etiam in pulchra hac urbe Antinoeam nominari coronam quamdam; quae fit ex loto qui ibi vocatur. Nascitur autem hic in paludibus, media aestate. Floris duplex color: alter rosae similis, e quo nexa corona proprie Antinoea vocatur: altera corona lotina nominatur, caeruleum (sive, ut corrigunt nonnulli, niveum) habens colorem. Et Pancrates quidem, indigena poeta, quem etiam nos cognitum habuimus, Adriano Imperatori, Alexandriae versanti, roseum lotum veluti miraculum quoddam ostentavit; dicens debere illum Antinoeam nominari, editum tunc e terra, cum sanguinem illa accepisset Mauri leonis, quem Adrianus in Libya Alexandriae finitima, cum venaretur, prostraverat; ingentem belvam, quae diu Libyam ita vastaverat, ut magnam eius partem desertam reddidisset hic leo. Delectatus igitur Adrianus commenti inventione ac novitate, concessit poetae ut publico sumptu in Museo aleretur.
ἐπεὶ δὲ Ἀλεξανδρείας ἐμνημόνευσα, οἶδά τινα ἐν τῇ καλῇ ταύτῃ πόλει καλούμενον στέφανον ΑΝΤΙΝΟΕΙΟΝ γινόμενον ἐκ τοῦ αὐτόθι καλουμένου λωτοῦ. φύεται δ᾽ οὗτος ἐν λίμναις θέρους ὥρᾳ, καὶ εἰσὶν αὐτοῦ χροιαὶ δύο, ἣ μὲν τῷ ῥόδῳ ἐοικυῖα: ἐκ τούτου δὲ ὁ πλεκόμενος στέφανος κυρίως Ἀντινόειος καλεῖται: ὁ δὲ ἕτερος λώτινος ὀνομάζεται, κυανέαν ἔχων τὴν χροιάν. καὶ Παγκράτης τις τῶν ἐπιχωρίων ποιητής, ὃν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἔγνωμεν, Ἀδριανῷ τῷ αὐτοκράτορι ἐπιδημήσαντι τῇ Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ μετὰ πολλῆς τερατείας ἐπέδειξεν τὸν ῥοδίζοντα λωτόν, φάσκων αὐτὸν δεῖν καλεῖν Ἀντινόειον, ἀναπεμφθέντα ὑπὸ τῆς γῆς ὅτε τὸ αἷμα ἐδέξατο τοῦ Μαυρουσίου λέοντος, ὃν κατὰ τὴν πλησίον τῇ Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ Λιβύην ἐν κυνηγίῳ καταβεβλήκει ὁ Ἀδριανός, μέγα χρῆμα ὄντα καὶ πολλῷ χρόνῳ κατανεμηθέντα πᾶσαν τὴν Λιβύην, ἧς καὶ πολλὰ ἀοίκητα ἐπεποιήκει οὗτος ὁ λέων. ἡσθεὶς οὖν ἐπὶ τῇ τῆς ἐννοίας εὑρέσει καὶ καινότητι τὴν ἐν Μουσῶν αὐτῷ σίτησιν ἔχειν ἐχαρίσατο.
--Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XV.xxi; Translated into Latin by Iohannes Schweighaeuser (1805)
Now that I mention Alexandria, I recall that in that beautiful city there is a certain type of garland called the “Antinous,” made from a type of lotus flower. It grows in the marshlands in the middle of the summer. It comes in two colors, one similar to a rose (this is the kind they use for the Antinous garland), the other color called a lotus garland, and those flowers are bluish. Pancrates, a poet from there (an acquaintance of mine), presented this garland to Emperor Hadrian when he was sightseeing in Alexandria, and claimed it was a marvel. He told the emperor that this ought to be called the “Antinous garland,” since it sprung from the ground where the blood of the Mauritanian lion that Hadrian [and Antinous] had killed when they were hunting in nearby Libya. The lion was a mighty beast which was menacing Africa so much that made a large portion of the land uninhabitable. Hadrian was delighted by the suggestion and the novelty of the idea, and granted that the poet live in the Museum at public expense.
Date: 2nd c. CE
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.
ROMAN GREEK LITERATURE