Friday, December 31, 2021

A Statue of Hermaphroditus, Greek Anthology II.102-3, 5

Although intersex people were not treated well throughout Roman history [cf. Pliny NH vii.iii.34], Greco-Roman authors were fascinated by the concept of a person who could transcend the rigid gender roles imposed by society. The following is a description of a statue of Hermaphroditus:

Hermaphroditus adest, nec vir nec femina totus,

Mixta sed effigies: consectu corporis ipsum

Mercurio dices & pulchra Cypride natum....

Mixta gerens gemino de sexu signa decoris.

ἵστατο δ᾽ Ἑρμαφρόδιτος ἐπήρατος, οὔθ᾽ ὅλος ἀνήρ,

οὐδὲ γυνή: μικτὸν γὰρ ἔην βρέτας ἦ τάχα κοῦρον

Κύπριδος εὐκόλποιο καὶ Ἑρμάωνος ἐνίψεις:...

ξυνῆς ἀγλαΐης κεκερασμένα σήματα φαίνων.

--Greek AnthologII.102-3, 5 [V.21 in previous edition]; Translated into Latin by Hugo Grotius

And here’s a statue of Hermaphroditus, who is neither entirely male or female;

Rather they are a mixture.  At first glance, you’d think,

“This is Hermes’ & Venus’ kid.”…

Hermaphroditus’ body mixes the beauty of every sex.



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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