Saturday, May 21, 2022

W/W: Double Harness, Sappho fr. 213

One of the most powerful symbols of love in Classical literature is the image of the yoke that binds a couple together (One example can be seen here ).  In one of the fragments of Sappho's poetry, a grammarian preserved the poet's use of the yokemate (συνδυγος) to describe two women: 


 ...…σε εμα κἈρχεανασ

σα Γοργω.  συνδυγος.

 

αντι του

συνζυξ. η Πλειστοδικη

τηι Γοργοι συνζυξ μετα της Γογγυλης

ονομασθησεται ...

 

mea Archaeanassaque

Gorgonis coniuga.

 

Coniuga, pro “coniunx.” Pleistodika nominatur Gorgonis coniunx, cum Gongula.

 

--Sappho fr. 213; P. Oxy. 2292; Translated into Latin by K. Masters



My [missing name] and Gorgo’s yokemate,* Archeanassa.

* Feminine form of yokemate, instead of masculine form. Pleistodike is named Gorgo’s yokemate, as well as Gongula. . . 


SAPPHO

MAP:

Name:  Σαπφώ / Sappho

Date:  630 – 570 BCE

Works:  <lost: only fragments remain>

 

REGION  5

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


BIO:

Timeline:

Sappho was universally applauded by the ancient world as the “Tenth Muse.” Because she was one of the earliest Greek lyric poets, there is very little definitive information on Sappho’s life.  It is generally agreed that Sappho was a wealthy noblewoman from the island of Lesbos who had three brothers and a daughter named Kleis. She used her prominent social position to support a cohort of other women artists, and composed many poems about them, expressing her love for them, praising their beauty, and celebrating their marriages. Whereas earlier Greek poetry was epic poetry with serious themes of gods, warfare, and the state, Sappho’s lyric poetry is emotional, intimate and personal. Her poetry centers around womanhood and womanly love, providing rare insight into social mores of the time period. The modern term “lesbian” (a woman who is attracted to another woman) reveals the longevity of her impact upon western culture [NOTE: Although “lesbian” is the accepted term in modern English, authors in the ancient world used a different word for a homosexual woman, and only occasionally used the term “lesbian” euphemistically]. Unfortunately, although her poetry was universally revered by the Greeks and Romans alike, Sappho’s works only exist as fragments, adding mysterious allure to her larger-than-life status but unfortunately hindering our understanding of her life and thoughts.

 Archaic 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)



 

Using Sappho's Words to Express His Love...for Books, Julian, Ep. 23

In this letter, the Roman Emperor Julian mimics Sappho's famous priamel ["Οἰ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον, οἰ δὲ πέσδων, /  οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ’ ἐπὶ γᾶν μέλαιναν / ἔμμεναι κάλλιστον, ἐγὼ δὲ κῆν’ ὄτ- / τω τις ἔραται, / Some say that the prettiest thing in all the world is cavalry; other say it is infantry; others say it is ships. But I say that is whatever you love." fr. 16] to proclaim his love [πόθος] of books.


Εκδικία υπάρχω Αιγύπτου

Αλλοι μεν ίππων, Αλλοι δέ ορνέων, Αλλοι  θηριων έρωσιν, εμοί δέ βιβλίων κλήσεως εκ παιδεαις δενός εντέτηκε πόθος.

 

Ecdicio Praefecto Aegyptii

Quidam equis, alii avibus, nonnulli feris delectantur: ego vero inde usque a pueritia librorum cupiditate arsi.


--Julian, Epistolae XXIII.1; Translated into Latin by Petrus Martinius Morentinus Navarrus (1583)

 

Some people love horses;

Others love birds;

Still others love animals.

But, from the time I was a child,

I have always burned for books.

 


JULIAN

MAP:

Name:  Flavius Claudius Julianus

Date:  331 – 363 CE

Works:  The Caesars (satire)

              Letters

REGION  5

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Also known as “the Apostate,” Emperor Julian ruled the Roman empire from 361 to 363 CE. During that time, he advocated for the return of Rome’s polytheistic state religion. Numerous works of his are extant, including letters, speeches, and satires; these provide unique insight into the perspectives of Roman nobility during that time period.

POST CONSTANTINOPLE

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)




Friday, May 13, 2022

The Many Lives and the Many Genders of Pythagoras: Lucian, Gallus 19-20

 In his satire on Pythagorean philosophy, the author Lucian explores how Pythagoras' soul (now living as a rooster) has experienced a vast spectrum of existence--living as man and woman, Greek and Persian, person and animal, etc. It is important to note that despite the interviewer Mikyllos' cynical and mocking tone, he still follows proper etiquette:  using a person's appropriate pronouns, as well as being sure to not use the Rooster's dead name. 


MICYLLUS: Verum ubi Pythagoram exueras, quem post eum induisti?

GALLUS: Aspasiam Miletensem illam meretricem.

MICYLLUS: Papae! Quid ego audio? Siquidem inter alia mulier quoque fuit Pythagoras. Itane fuit aliquando tempus, quo tu Galle generosissime ova pariebas, cumque Pericle rem habebas, iam Aspasia videlicet, atque ex illo gravida facta es? Praeterea lanam tondebas, tramamque ducebas? Postremo meretricum in morem gestiebas, vultumque componebas?

GALLUS: Ista quidem omnia feci, tametsi non ego solus: verum & ante me tum Tiresias, tum Elati proles Caeneus. Proinde quicquid in me convitii dixeris, tantumdem et in illos dixeris.

MICYLLUS: Age igitur, utra tibi vita erat suavior, quum vir esses, an quum Pericles tecum haberet consuetudinem?

GALLUS: Vides cuiusmodi isthuc est quod percontaris? nempe cui ne Tiresiae quidem expedierit respondere.

MICYLLUS: Atqui si minus fateare tu, tamen isthuc Euripides fatis explicuit, quum ait se malle ter sub clipeo consistere, quam parere semel.

GALLUS: Immo praemoneo te paulo post puerperam fore: siquidem & tu mulier es olim futurus, idque; saepius, longo nimirum saeculorum orbe atque recursu.

MICYLLUS: Non tu pendebis O Galle, qui quidem omneis mortales Milesios aut Samios esse ducas? Nam aiunt te etiam tum quum Pythagoras esses, venusta forma decorum, saepius Aspasiam fuisse tyrano. Verum age, secundum Aspasiam in quem virum aut mulierem denuo renatus es?

GALLUS: In Cratetem Cynicum.

MICYLLUS: O Castor, O Pollux, quam dissimile! ex scorto philosophus?

GALLUS: Deinde rex: deinde pauper: paulo post satrapes: dehinc equus, graculus, rana, aliaque innumerabilia, perlongum enim fuerit singula recensere. Postremo gallus, atque id saepius, nam hoc vitae genere sum delectatus. Interea & aliis diversis mortalibus servivi, regibus, pauperibus, divitibus; postremo nun tecum vivo, rideoque quotidie, quum video te pauperitatis taedio complorantem, eiulantemque, ac divitum admirantem fortunas, propterea quod ignores quantum illis adsit malorum. Alioqui si curas noris quibus illi distringuntur teipsum profecto riseris, qui antea credideris, eum qui sit opulentus, statim felicissimum esse omnium.

MICYLLUS: Ergo Pythagora, aut quod maxime gaudeas appellari, ne confundam orationem, si te nunc hoc, nunc illo nomine compellem.

GALLUS: Nihil intererit, sive Euphorbum, sive Pythagoram, sive vocaris Aspasia, sive Craterem, quandoquidem ista omnium sum unus: nisi quod rectius feceris, si id quod impraesentiarum esse video. Gallum me voces, ne avem hanc parui ducere contenereque videare, praesertim quum tam multas contineat animas.


[19] πατῶν ἀπολιμπάνοις. ἀποδυσάμενος δὲ τὸν Πυθαγόραν τίνα μετημφιέσω μετ᾽ αὐτόν;

Ἀλεκτρυών

Ἀσπασίαν τὴν ἐκ Μιλήτου ἑταίραν

 

Μίκυλλος

φεῦ τοῦ λόγου, καὶ γυνὴ γὰρ σὺν τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁ Πυθαγόρας ἐγένετο, καὶ ἦν ποτε χρόνος ὅτε καὶ σὺ ᾠοτόκεις, ὦ ἀλεκτρυόνων γενναιότατε, καὶ συνῆσθα Περικλεῖ Ἀσπασία οὖσα καὶ ἐκύεις ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔρια ἔξαινες καὶ κρόκην κατῆγες καὶ ἐγυναικίζου ἐς τὸ ἑταιρικόν;

 

Ἀλεκτρυών

πάντα ταῦτα ἐποίουν οὐ μόνος, ἀλλὰ καὶ Τειρεσίας πρὸ ἐμοῦ καὶ ὁ Ἐλάτου παῖς ὁ Καινεύς, ὥστε ὁπόσα ἂν ἀποσκώψῃς εἰς ἐμὲ, καὶ εἰς ἐκείνους ἀποσκώψας ἔσῃ.

 

Μίκυλλος

τί οὖν; πότερος ἡδίων ὁ βίος σοι ἦν, ὅτε ἀνὴρ ἦσθα ἢ ὅτε σε ὁ Περικλῆς ὤπυιεν;

 

Ἀλεκτρυών

ὁρᾷς οἷον τοῦτο ἠρώτησας, οὐδὲ τῷ Τειρεσίᾳ συνενεγκοῦσαν τὴν ἀπόκρισιν;

 

Μίκυλλος

ἀλλὰ κἂν σὺ μὴ εἴπῃς, ἱκανῶς ὁ Εὐριπίδης διέκρινε τὸ τοιοῦτον, εἰπὼν ὡς τρὶς ἂν ἐθέλοι παρ᾽ ἀσπίδα στῆναι ἢ ἅπαξ τεκεῖν.

 

Ἀλεκτρυών

καὶ μὴν ἀναμνήσω σε, ὦ Μίκυλλε, οὐκ εἰς μακρὰν ὠδίνουσαν ἔσῃ γὰρ γυνὴ καὶ σὺ ἐν πολλῇ τῇ περιόδῳ πολλάκις.

 

Μίκυλλος

οὐκ ἀπάγξῃ, ὦ ἀλεκτρυών, ἅπαντας οἰόμενος Μιλησίους ἢ Σαμίους εἶναι; σὲ γοῦν φασι καὶ Πυθαγόραν ὄντα τὴν ὥραν λαμπρὸν πολλάκις 20] Ἀσπασίαν γενέσθαι τῷ τυράννῳ. — τίς δὲ δὴ μετὰ τὴν Ἀσπασίαν ἀνὴρ ἢ γυνὴ αὖθις ἀνεφάνης;

Ἀλεκτρυών

ὁ κυνικὸς Κράτης.

 

Μίκυλλος

' Ὢ Διοσκόρω τῆς ἀνομοιότητος, ἐξ ἑταίρας φιλόσοφος.

 

Ἀλεκτρυών

εἶτα βασιλεύς, εἶτα πένης, καὶ μετ᾽ ὀλίγον σατράπης, εἶτα ἵππος καὶ κολοιὸς καὶ βάτραχος καὶ ἄλλα μυρία μακρὸν ἂν γένοιτο καταριθμήσασθαι ἕκαστα: τὰ τελευταῖα δὲ ἀλεκτρυὼν πολλάκις, ἥσθην γὰρ τῷ τοιούτῳ βίῳ. καὶ παρὰ πολλοῖς [p. 214] ἄλλοις δουλεύσας καὶ πένησι ^ καὶ πλουσίοις, τὰ τελευταῖα καὶ σοὶ νῦν σύνειμι καταγελῶν ὁσημέραι ποτνιωμένου καὶ οἰμώζοντος ἐπὶ τῇ πενίᾳ καὶ τοὺς πλουσίους θαυμάζοντος ὑπ᾽ ἀγνοίας τῶν ἐκείνοις προσόντων κακῶν. εἰ γοῦν ᾔδεις τὰς φροντίδας ἃς ἔχουσιν, ἐγέλας ἂν ἐπὶ σαυτῷ πρῶτον οἰηθέντι ὑπερευδαίμονα εἶναι τὸν πλοῦτον.

 

Μίκυλλος

οὐκοῦν, ὦ Πυθαγόρα — καίτοι τί μάλιστα χαίρεις καλούμενος, ὡς μὴ ἐπιταράττοιμι τὸν λόγον ἄλλοτε ἄλλον καλῶν;

 

Ἀλεκτρυών

διοίσει μὲν οὐδὲν ἤν τε Εὔφορβον ἢ ^ Πυθαγόραν, ἤν τε Ἀσπασίαν καλῇς ἢ Κράτητα: πάντα γὰρ ἐγὼ ταῦτά εἰμι. πλὴν τὸ νῦν ὁρώμενον τοῦτο ἀλεκτρυόνα ὀνομάζων ἄμεινον ἂν ποιοῖς, ὡς μὴ ἀτιμάζοις εὐτελὲς εἶναι δοκοῦν τὸ ὄρνεον, καὶ ταῦτα τοσαύτας ἐν αὑτῷ ψυχὰς ἔχον.


--Lucian, Gallus 19-20 ; Translated into Latin by Erasmus of Rotterdam


M: Once you changed out of Pythagoras, what form did you take next?

Rooster: I was Aspasia, the Courtesan from Miletus.

M: Lol wut? You, Pythagoras, were a woman in your previous lives? Like, at one time, you, a noble rooster, were an egg-laying chicken? And you were Aspasia, who dated Pericles, and got pregnant by him? And you spun wool and then wove it into things? And then you put on makeup to go on dates?

Rooster: Of course I did. But I’m not the only one who did so; there’s also Tiresias before me, and Elatus’ kid* Caeneus. Don’t give me a hard time for it, if you’re cool with them.

M: So, like, which life did you like better? When you were a man, or when you were married to Pericles?

Rooster: Watch out what kind of question you’re asking me—that’s the question that got Tiresias in trouble**.

M: Well, if you don’t say it, Euripides explained it in one of his tragedies. He said that he would prefer to go into battle three times than to give birth once.

Rooster: May I remind you, o Mikyllos, that one day you will be a woman who gives birth; it’ll happen often enough as time goes on.

M: Watch your neck, bird! Do you think that everyone comes from Miletus or Samos?   So, like, they often say that Pythagoras looked good, and Aspasia was good looking in the eyes of her tyrant lover. After Aspasia, were you a man or a woman next?

Rooster: I was the Cynic philosopher Crates.

M: OMG, what a difference! From a hot courtesan to a philosopher***!

Rooster: Then I was a king, then a beggar, then a Persian Satrap, then a horse, then a bird, then a frog, then a bunch of other things, too many to remember, but most recently, a rooster. I like being a rooster the most. I’ve been all these things, and now that I live with you, I think it’s laughable that you admire the rich and worry about poverty—you have no idea what you’re talking about. If you only knew the struggle the wealthy had, you wouldn’t think you’d instantly be happy if you were rich.

M: So, Pythagoras—or what do you wish to be called? So I won’t get mixed up calling you one thing after another.

Rooster: It doesn’t matter. Whether you call me Euphorbus or Pythagoras, or Aspasia, or Crates, I am all of them.  But it might be easier if you just call me “Rooster,” but don’t think that this “paltry poultry” doesn’t contain many souls.

 

 

* Lucian uses the gender neutral term παῖς [“kid / child,” instead of “son” or “daughter”], respecting Caeneus’ gender change by deliberately not using a gendered word.

 

** According to myth, Tiresias was blinded when Zeus and Hera asked him to decide whether men or women enjoyed physical romance more

 

*** Cynic rejected society’s obsession with appearance and beauty, and dressed plainly


LUCIAN

MAP:

Name:  Lucianus Samosatensis

Date:  125 – 180 CE

Works: Dialogue of the Courtesans*

               True History, etc.

REGION  4

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Lucian was a Turkish-born Roman satirist who wrote in ancient Greek. His works are a mixture of sarcasm, wit, and biting social criticism. He is without a doubt one of the most popular authors of the later Roman empire.

 ROMAN GREECE

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)




 


Thursday, May 12, 2022

M/M: Agamemnon and Argynnus, Propertius III.7.61-64

 

sunt Agamemnonias testantia litora curas,
    quae notat Argynni poena Athamantiadae.
[hoc iuvene amisso classem non solvit Atrides,
    pro qua mactatast* Iphigenia mora.]

 *mactatast = mactata est

 

--Propertius El. III.7.61-64

 

This shore is a monument to Agamemnon’s grief;

it testifies to Argynnus’ suffering.

When this youth died, Agamemnon forbade his fleet to set sail,

and the delay* caused the death of Iphigenia.


*According to Trojan War myth:  while the Achaean forces were assembling at Aulis, Agamemnon shot a deer sacred to Artemis. In retaliation, Artemis refused to allow adequate sailing weather unless the king sacrificed his own daughter, Iphigenia.  In Propertius' version of the myth, Agamemnon's mourning caused the Achaean ships to miss the sailing season, but were able to resume their sailing with the sacrifice of Iphigenia.


PROPERTIUS

MAP:

Name:  Sextus Propertius

Date:  50 – 15 BCE

Works:  Elegies

 

REGION  1

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Propertius was an Italian-born Roman lyric poet whose love poetry provides insight into the mores of Augustan Rome. Like Catullus and Tibullus, Propertius used a pseudonym for the object of his attention; many of his love poems were addressed to “Cynthia.”

 GOLDEN AGE ROME

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE



Monday, May 9, 2022

In Praise of Sappho: Demetrius, De Elocutione III.166-167

Quare et Sappho de pulchritudine canens, utitur verbis pulchris, et tota suavis est, & de cupidinibus utique, & de aere, & de halcyone, & omnia [fere] verba pulchra ipsius poesi inexta sunt: nonnulla autem & ipsa facricata est.

Aliter autem irridet agrestem sponsum, & ianitorem qui versatur in nuptiis, valde humiliter & pedestribus potius verbis quam poeticis. Quapropter haec ipsius poemata recitationi magis quam cantui apta sunt: neque accommodari possunt ad chorum, vel ad lyram, nisi sit chorus qui rem aliquam simpliciter enarrat.

 

Διὸ καὶ ἡ Σαπφὼ περὶ μὲν κάλλους ᾄδουσα καλλιεπής ἐστι καὶ ἡδεῖα, καὶ περὶ ἐρώτων δὲ καὶ ἔαρος καὶ περὶ ἁλκυόνος, καὶ ἅπαν καλὸν ὄνομα ἐνύφανται αὐτῆς τῇ ποιήσει, τὰ δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ εἰργάσατο.

Ἄλλως δὲ σκώπτει τὸν ἄγροικον νυμφίον, καὶ τὸν θυρωρὸν τὸν ἐν τοῖς γάμοις, εὐτελέστατα καὶ ἐν πεζοῖς ὀνόμασι μᾶλλον ἢ ἐν ποιητικοῖς, ὥστε αὐτῆς μᾶλλόν ἐστι τὰ ποιήματα ταῦτα διαλέγεσθαι ἢ ᾄδειν, οὐδ̓ ἂν ἁρμόσαι πρὸς τὸν χορὸν ἢ πρὸς τὴν λύραν, εἰ μή τις εἴη χορὸς διαλεκτικός.

--Demetrius of Phaleron, Libro de Elocutione III.166-167; Translated into Latin by Robert Faulis (1743)

Sappho sings about beauty while using beautiful words. She is sweet, and as she sings about love and springtime and halcyon birds, she weaves together just about everything beautiful in her songs that she has composed by her own hand.

But in other poems, when she criticizes a boorish groom or his best man at the wedding, she uses more base words than poetic ones. These sort of poems should be recited, not sung; they aren’t really adequate for either a chorus or a lyre, unless the chorus uses a conversational style.

DEMETRIUS OF PHALERUM

MAP:

Name:  Demetrius of Phaleron

Date:  350 – 280 BCE

Works:  On Style [de Elocutione]

 

REGION  5

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Demetrius of Phaleron was an Athenian philosopher, statesman, and author who lived during the 3rd century BCE. His magnum opus, On Style [de Elocutione], is a valuable resource for preserving poetic works of authors no longer extant.

 HELLENISTIC

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)



Sunday, May 8, 2022

M/M: A Heart Has Found Its Home, Quintus Lutatius Catullus

 Quinti Catuli versus illi fuerunt: [14]

Aufugit mi animus; credo, ut solet, ad Theotimum

Devenit. Sic est: perfugium illud habet.

Qui, si non interdixem, ne illunc fugitivum

Mitteret ad se intro, sed magis eiceret?

Ibimus quaesitum. Verum, ne ipsi teneamur,

Formido. Quid ago? Da Venus consilium.

 

--Quintus Lutatius Catullus, preserved in Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae XIX.X.14

These were the lyrics of Quintus Catulus:

My heart has left me:

I think it’s gone to Theotimus

(that’s what it usually does).

That’s how it goes: that’s its home.

Even if I had put my foot down, forcing my heart to come home,

It’s used to staying at his place.

I’ll go out looking for it,

But I’m afraid that I’ll be caught up in Theotimus’ charms, too.

What’ll I do? Help me, Venus!

 

CATULUS

MAP:

Name:  Quintus Lutatius Catulus

Date:  2nd century BCE

Works:  [lost]

 

REGION  1

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Quintus Lutatius Catulus was a prominent figure in the wars against the Cimbri and the Teutones in the 2nd century BCE. Although he was a prolific author, only fragments remain of his works.

 REPUBLICAN ROMAN ERA

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE



AULUS GELLIUS

MAP:

Name:  Aulus Gellius

Date:  2nd. c. CE

Works:  Attic Nights

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Aulus Gellius lived during the 2nd century CE. His work, the Attic Nights, are a collection of anecdotes about literature, history, and grammar.  From internal evidence, we can deduce that he was in the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ social circle, having close friendships with Herodes Atticus and Fronto.

 SILVER AGE LATIN

 

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE


M/M: Gone Too Soon: Argynnus. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XIII.80

Porro perhibetur Agamemnon amore captus fuisse Argynni, cum in Cephiso nantem eum conspexisset: in quo cum etiam mortuus ille esset (assidue enim in hoc fluvio lavabatur) sepeliit eum, & Veneris Argynnidis templum eodem loco erexit. Licymnius vero Chius in Dithyrambis ait, "Argynni amasium Hymenaeum fuisse."

Ἀγαμέμνονά τε Ἀργύννου ἐρασθῆναι λόγος, ἰδόντα ἐπὶ τῷ Κηφισῷ νηχόμενον: ἐν ᾧ καὶ τελευτήσαντα αὐτὸν ῾συνεχῶς γὰρ ἐν τῷ ποταμῷ τούτῳ ἀπελούετὀ θάψας εἵσατο καὶ ἱερὸν αὐτόθι Ἀφροδίτης Ἀργυννίδος. Λικύμνιος δ᾽ ὁ Χῖος ἐν Διθυράμβοις 'Ἀργύννου φησὶν ἐρώμενον Ὑμέναιον γενέσθαι.


--Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XIII.80; Translated into Latin by Iohannes Schweighaeuser (1805)


They say that Agamemnon fell in love with Argynnus when he saw him swimming in the Cephisus River. When Argynnus died in the river (for he was accustomed to swim there quite often), Agamemnon buried him and built a temple in his honor, for “Argynnian” Venus. Licymnius of Chios, however, explains in his poetry that Argynnus’ lover was Hymenaeus.


ATHENAEUS

MAP:

Name:  Athenaeus

Date:  2nd c. CE

Works:  Deipnosophists

 

REGION  4

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 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

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)



Saturday, May 7, 2022

M/M: Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder: Cicero, de Natura Deorum I.LXXIX

Deinde nobis, qui concedentibus philosophis antiquis adulescentulis delectamur, etiam vitia saepe iucunda sunt. Naevos in articulo pueri delectat Alcaeum; at est corporis macula naevos; illi tamen hoc lumen videbatur. Q. Catulus, huius collegae et familiaris nostri pater, dilexit municipem tuum Roscium, in quem etiam illud est eius:

"constiteram exorientem Auroram forte salutans,
    cum subito a laeva Roscius exoritur.
pace mihi liceat caelestes dicere vestra:
    mortalis visus pulchrior esse deo."

Huic deo pulchrior; at erat, sicuti hodie est, perversissimis oculis: Quid refert, si hoc ipsum salsum illi et venustum videbatur?

 

--Cicero, De Natura Deorum I.LXXIX


For those of us who, following in the footsteps of ancient philosophers, are delighted by young men,* we often even think that their imperfections are cute. Alcaeus was delighted by the birthmark on his boyfriend’s finger. Although a birthmark is a blemish on the body, to Alcaeus, it seemed to be the boy’s best feature. Q. Catulus, the father of a friend and co-worker of mine, loved his fellow citizen Roscius, and composed the following poem about him:

“I stood, welcoming the rising sun

When suddenly Roscius came into view from the left.

Heaven forgive me! I confess

That he, a mortal, seemed prettier than a god.”

Roscius was “prettier than a god,” although he had (and even today, still has) a very bad squint. Why does that matter, if he seemed charming and beautiful in the eyes of his admirer?


* Adulescentulus is used for men in their mid-twenties to early thirties 

CICERO

MAP:

Name:  Marcus Tullius Cicero

Date:  106 BCE – 43 BCE

Works: de Amicitia

               de Divinatione*

               Epistles

               In Catilinam

              Pro Archiam, etc.

 

REGION  1

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 Cicero was an Italian-born Roman statesman and author who lived during the complexities of Rome’s transition from Republic to monarchy. Cicero spent most of his life in service of his country, serving as both a lawyer, senator, and even consul [Roman equivalent of president]. He is known for his suppression of the failed governmental coup in 63 BCE known as the Catilinarian conspiracy that occurred during his consulship. After the rise of Octavian [later known as the first Roman emperor Augustus], his views fell out of favor and he was eventually put to death during the proscriptions under the Second Triumvirate (Octavian, Marc Antony and Lepidus). He was a prolific author with a wide range in genres, and his literary style was adopted by Petrarch as the default model for the Latin language.

 GOLDEN AGE ROME

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE




CATULUS

MAP:

Name:  Quintus Lutatius Catulus

Date:  2nd century BCE

Works:  [lost]

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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



BIO:

Timeline:

 Quintus Lutatius Catulus was a prominent figure in the wars against the Cimbri and the Teutones in the 2nd century BCE. Although he was a prolific author, only fragments remain of his works.

 REPUBLICAN ROMAN ERA

Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE



Thursday, May 5, 2022

Call Me By Your Name: Athena and Pallas, Apollodorus III.xii.3

Huiusmodi de Palladio narratur historia. Aiunt natam Minervam, apud Tritonem, cui filia Pallas erat, educari coepisse: utrasque autem fuisse rei bellica studiosas, et in contentionem aliquando devensisse: Palladi iamiam vulnus illatum (Minervae) Jovem pavefactum Aegidem opposuisse: Palladem vero territam respexisse: atque ita a Minerva vulneratam concidisse. At Minervam eius de causa summo dolore affectam simulacrum illi simil confecisse, ac thoraci, pectorique eius, quam pertimuerat Aegidem, accommodasse, et apud Jovem honoris ergo constituisse. 

 ἱστορία δὲ ἡ περὶ τοῦ παλλαδίου τοιάδε φέρεται: φασὶ γεννηθεῖσαν τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν παρὰ Τρίτωνι τρέφεσθαι, ᾧ θυγάτηρ ἦν Παλλάς: ἀμφοτέρας δὲ ἀσκούσας τὰ κατὰ πόλεμον εἰς φιλονεικίαν ποτὲ προελθεῖν. μελλούσης δὲ πλήττειν τῆς Παλλάδος τὸν Δία φοβηθέντα τὴν αἰγίδα προτεῖναι, τὴν δὲ εὐλαβηθεῖσαν ἀναβλέψαι, καὶ οὕτως ὑπὸ τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τρωθεῖσαν πεσεῖν. Ἀθηνᾶν δὲ περίλυπον ἐπ᾽ αὐτῇ γενομένην, ξόανον ἐκείνης ὅμοιον κατασκευάσαι, καὶ περιθεῖναι τοῖς στέρνοις ἣν ἔδεισεν αἰγίδα, καὶ τιμᾶν ἱδρυσαμένην παρὰ τῷ Διί. 


--Apollodorus, Bibl. III.xii.3; Translated into Latin by Thomas Gale (1675)



This is the story that’s told about the Palladium.  They say that when Athena was born, she was raised by Triton,* who had a daughter named Pallas.    Both women eagerly trained in battle, and at one time, competed with one another in a sparring match. When Pallas almost wounded Athena, Zeus freaked out and revealed the Aegis**. Pallas looked upon it, terrified, and fell by Athena’s attack. Athena became very upset about her [death]. She built a cult statue*** that looked like her, and dressed it with the Aegis breastplate that had caused her so much fear. She placed it in Zeus’ presence and revered it. 


* Triton is a water god associated with Lake Triton in Libya [northern coast of Africa; et Pallas, Libycis Tritonidos edita lymphis, Silvius, Punica II.296]

** the Aegis is a breastplate that depicts a gorgon head

*** a xoanon is an archaic, roughly carved statue of a divinity.


APOLLODORUS

MAP:

Name:  

Date:  1st – 2nd c. CE

Works:  Bibliotheca

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

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


BIO:

Timeline:

 The Bibliotheca is a collection of Greek myths written between the 1st and 2nd century CE. Although originally thought to be written by the Athenian author Apollodorus (2nd c. BCE), it is now thought to be an epitome of a larger work written centuries later.

 ROMAN GREECE

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)