Saturday, October 2, 2021

"Where Are My Roses?" Lyrics to a Slow Dance, Athenaeus, Deipn. xiv.27

Erat vero etiam apud privatos saltatio quae flores vocabatur. Hanc saltabant, cum mimico motu verba haec pronunciantes:

Ubi mihi rosae? Ubi mihi violae?

Ubi mihi apia pulcra?

Ubi mihi rosae hae? Violae hae?

Apia haec pulchra?


ἦν δὲ καὶ παρὰ τοῖς ἰδιώταις ἡ καλουμένη ἄνθεμα. ταύτην δὲ ὠρχοῦντο μετὰ λέξεως τοιαύτης μιμούμενοι καὶ λέγοντες:


ποῦ μοι τὰ ῥόδα, ποῦ μοι τὰ ἴα, ποῦ μοι τὰ καλὰ σέλινα;

ταδὶ τὰ ῥόδα, ταδὶ τὰ ἴα, ταδὶ τὰ καλὰ σέλινα.

--Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XIV.27; Translated into Latin by Iohannes Schweighaeuser (1805)

There is a slow dance for couples called “The Flowers,” where they act out a dance as they say,

“Where are my roses?

Where are my violets?

Where is my beautiful parsley?”

“Here are your roses,

Here are your violets,

Here is your beautiful parsley.”



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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