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.

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