Friday, December 31, 2021

In Praise of Sappho & Erinna: Greek Anthology 2.69-71 & 2.106-108

The following poem depicts statues that were on display in public in Thebes:


Pierica clara-voce apis sedebat Sappho

Lesboa, quieta; melos autem canorum texere

videbatur, animo ad silentes Musas intent

Πιερικὴ δὲ μέλισσα λιγύθροος ἕζετο Σαπφὼ

Λεσβιάς, ἠρεμέουσα: μέλος δ᾽ εὔϋμνον ὑφαίνειν

σιγαλέαις δοκέεσκεν ἀναψαμένη φρένα Μούσαις.

And the Muse-like, famous-voiced honeybee Sappho

Of Lesbos sat there; it seemed like she was working on a honey-sweet song;

Her heart set on the Muses.


Hic Erinna sedet, virgo cantare perita:

pensa manu non tractat: apis sed sedula more

Pierium tacito destillat pectore nectar.

παρθενικὴ δ᾽ Ἤριννα λιγύθροος ἕζετο κούρη,

οὐ μίτον ἀμφαφόωσα πολύπλοκον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐνὶ σιγῇ

Πιερικῆς ῥαθάμιγγας ἀποσταλάουσα μελίσσης

Here sits Erinna, a maiden who was a talented singer;

There wasn’t a Distaff* in her hand, but bee-like

She quietly dripped nectar from her silent heart.

* This is a pun of her famous poem, The Distaff

--Greek Anthology II.69-71, 106-108; Translated into Latin by Hugo Grotius



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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