Monday, July 18, 2022

I'm Getting To Old For This: A Gallus' Dedication, Greek Anthology 6.51

Galli were worshippers of the goddess Cybele who renounced their masculinity by voluntarily undergoing castration. They lived as women, and held a separate legal status from men in ancient Rome. In this poem, the protagonist gallus is dedicating their religious trappings upon their retirement from the fervor of the bacchic rituals.

μῆτερ ἐμή Ῥείη, Φρυγίων θρέπτειρα λεόντων,

Δίνδυμον ἧς μύσταις οὐκ ἀπάτητον ὄρος,

σοὶ τάδε θῆλυς Ἄλεξις ἑῆς οἰστρήματα λύσσης

ἄνθετο, χαλκοτύπου παυσάμενος μανίης,

κύμβαλά τ᾽ ὀξύφθογγα, βαρυφθόγγων τ᾽ ἀλαλητὸν

αὐλῶν, οὓς μόσχου λοξὸν ἔκαμψε κέρας,

τυμπανά τ᾽ ἠχήεντα, καὶ αἵματι φοινιχθέντα

φάσγανα, καὶ ξανθάς, τὰς πρὶν ἔσεισε, κόμας.

ἵλαος, ὦ δέσποινα, τὸν ἐν νεότητι μανέντα

γηραλέον προτέρης παῦσον ἀγριοσύνης.

O mater mea Tellus, Phrygiorum nutrix leonum,

cuius mystis Dindymus mons non incalcatus,

tibi hos [feminaeus] Alexis sui insaniae-instrumenta furoris

dedicavit, aere-pulso-excitata cessans a-rabie,

cymbala acuti-soni, gravisque vocis iubilum

tibiarum, quas vituli obliquum flexit cornu,

et tympana sonora, et sanguine rubro-infectos

gladios, et fulvas, quas pridem iactavit, comas.

Propitia, o domina, hunc-qui in iuventute furente vir,

senem a priore libera feritate.

--Greek Anthology 6.51; Translated into Latin by Hugo Grottius

O Mother Rhea, she who cherishes lions,

Whose sacred mountain no one has befouled with their feet,

The woman* Alexis dedicates to you

Her fury-rousing instruments

Taking a pause from her bronze symbols

The low resounding flutes,

Which turned the heads of calves,

The resounding drum,

The sword dripping with blood,

And the locks of golden hair that used to adorn my shoulders.

Accept this offering, o Lady, which I reveled in during my youth

And free me now from the same wild abandon in my old age.

* masculine form of the Greek word woman (θῆλυς)



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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