Saturday, December 30, 2023

Hestia, Honored and Unwed: Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, 21-31

Nec unquam venerandae nymphae Vestae Veneris opera accepta fuere: quam primam versutus Saturnus sustulit, deinde postremam Iovis sententia venerandam, quam ambiere sponsam Neptunus & Apollo.At illa noluit, verum repulit rigide. Magnum enim iuravit iusiurandum, quod sane perfectum est, Iovis patris caput tangens, ut perpetua virginitate fruieretur diva dearum. At hanc pater Iupiter nuptiarum loco, pulchro donavit dono: atque media domo sedet pinguedinum carpens, ac omnibus in deorum templis prae ceteris honore colitur, ac apud mortales omnes deorum legatione fungitur

οὐδὲ μὲν αἰδοίῃ κούρῃ ἅδε ἔργ᾽ Ἀφροδίτης,

Ἱστίῃ, ἣν πρώτην τέκετο Κρόνος ἀγκυλομήτης,

αὖτις δ᾽ ὁπλοτάτην, βουλῇ Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο,

πότνιαν, ἣν ἐμνῶντο Ποσειδάων καὶ Ἀπόλλων:

ἣ δὲ μαλ᾽ οὐκ ἔθελεν, ἀλλὰ στερεῶς ἀπέειπεν:

ὤμοσε δὲ μέγαν ὅρκον, ὃ δὴ τετελεσμένος ἐστίν,

ἁψαμένη κεφαλῆς πατρὸς Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο,

παρθένος ἔσσεσθαι πάντ᾽ ἤματα, δῖα θεάων.

τῇ δὲ πατὴρ Ζεὺς δῶκε καλὸν γέρας ἀντὶ γάμοιο

30καὶ τε μέσῳ οἴκῳ κατ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἕζετο πῖαρ ἑλοῦσα.

πᾶσιν δ᾽ ἐν νηοῖσι θεῶν τιμάοχός ἐστι

καὶ παρὰ πᾶσι βροτοῖσι θεῶν πρέσβειρα τέτυκται.

--Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, 21-31 Translated into Latin by Raphael Regio Volterranus (1541) 

Nor are the plots of Aphrodite welcome to the sacred virgin Hestia.

She was both the firstborn and youngest of wily Chronus,

Revered by Aegis-wearing Zeus,

Wooed by both Poseidon & Apollo.

But she did not want to get married,

And even stubbornly rejected them.

She swore a great oath, one that was approved by Zeus himself.

She touched Father Zeus’ head,

Vowing to remain a Virgin throughout eternity.

And Father Zeus gave to her, in lieu of a wedding,

A great gift: she would sit in the house at the head of the table.

She has honor in all of the temples of all of the gods

And is revered by all mortal men.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

I Do Not Owe The State Children: Epaminondas to the Thebans, John Tzetzes Hist. 12.412ff

Epaminondas imperator Thebanorum existens,

ut lugebatur mortuus perdolenter a Thebanis

Epaminonda (dicentibus) mortuus es, tecum & Thebae

filium in vita non linquens, filium ex tuis seminibus.

Respondens ad ipsos, haec et moriens dicit:

Haud vero haud morior orbus, sed fecundus pater, o Thebani:

duas enim reliqui ex me filias,

illam in Leuctris victoriam, & illam Mantinaeae.

--Joannes Tzetzes, Historiarum 12.412ff; Translated into Latin by Paulus Lacisius (1546) [Greek text forthcoming]


Epaminondas was an excellent leader of the Thebans.

When he died, he was excessively mourned by them;

They reproached him, saying, “When you die, Thebes will die with you,

For you did not leave behind a son from your loins.”

As he died, he responded to them:

“I do not die childless, fellow countrymen;

Instead, I am a prolific father!

For I leave behind my two daughters,

The victory at Leuctra, and the victory at Mantinea!”




Saturday, December 2, 2023

Christianizing the Myth of Achilles: John Tzetzes' Histories 8.793ff

Achillem Thessalum, velut ex patria Phthia,

Lycomedis recenter nuptiis accipientem puellam

nomine Deidamiam, ex qua filius Pyrrhus,

Ut cum hac commoratus est nuptiis atque thalamo,

fabulas quidam finxerunt, quod Hectoris timore

Thetis hunc abscondit Lycomedis domo,

velut puellam induta veste muliebri,

ne forte profectus cum exercitu Graecorum, occumberet.

 --Joannes Tzetzes, Historiarum --8.793ff; Translated into Latin by Paulus Lacisius (1546) [Greek text forthcoming]


Just because the Thessalian Achilles,

traveling from his homeland Phthia,

And marrying Lycomedes’ daughter Deidamia

[who bore his son Pyrrhus]

Spent time honeymooning with his bride,

 Some people made up stories

That out of fear of Hector

Thetis hid him in Lycomedes’ home,

Clothing him in women’s clothing as if he were a girl

So he wouldn’t set out with the Greek army and die in Troy.