Sunday, May 8, 2022

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.



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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