Sunday, January 28, 2024

Dangerous Beauty: Christianizing the Abduction of Ganymede, Fulgentius Myth. 1.25

Et raptum Ganymeden aquila non vere volucris, sed bellica praeda. Jupiter enim, ut Anacreon antiquissimus auctor scripsit, dum adverius Titanas, id est Titani filios (qui frater Saturni fuerat) bellum adsumeret, et sacrificium Coelo fecisset, in victoriae auspicium, aquilae sibi adesse prosperum vidit volatum. pro quo tam felici omine, praesertim quia & victoria consecuta est, in signis bellicis sibi aquilam auream fecit, tutelaeque suae virtuti dedicavit. Unde & apud Romanos huiuscemodi signa tracta sunt. Ganymedem vero bellando his signis praeeuntibus rapuit...

--Fulgentius, Myth. 1.25

Ganymede was not abducted by an eagle, but rather was taken as a war prize. For when Jupiter (according to the ancient author Anacreon) was waging war against the Titans (or rather, the sons of Titan, who was the brother of Saturn), he made a sacrifice to Heaven. He saw an eagle flying and took it as a good omen, and after he emerged victorious, created a golden eagle standard and dedicated it as a signal of his divine protection. [This is also the origin of the Roman eagle standard]. Under this banner, Jupiter captured Ganymede as a war prize. 

Name:  Fabius Planciades Fulgentius
Date:  5h – 6th c. CE
Works:  Expositio Sermonum Antiquorum                  Expositio Virgilianae
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

Little is known about the life of Fulgentius, but his writing style and internal evidence from his texts suggest that he was North African. In his three volume work Mythology, he analyzes common Greco-Roman myths, identifying allegorical, rational, or didactical purposes for each myth.
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

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Blessed Are those in love! Bion fr. 8

Beati sunt qui amant, quum pariter redamantur. 

beatus erat Theseus, quum Pirithous adesset,

etsi descendit in implacabilis Plutonis domum.

beatus erat inter asperos barbaros Orestes,

quoties cum eo communia Pylades susceperat itinerat.

erat felix Aeacides socio vivente Achilles

beatus erat moriens, quod ei mortem infeliecem ulciscebatur.

Ὄλβιοι οἱ φιλέοντες, ἐπὴν ἴσον ἀντεράωνται.

ὄλβιος ἦν Θησεὺς τῶ Πειριθόω παρεόντος,

εἰ καὶ ἀμειλίκτοιο κατήλυθεν εἰς Ἀΐδαο.

ὄλβιος ἦν χαλεποῖσιν ἐν Ἀξείνοισιν Ὀρέστας,

5ὥνεκά οἱ ξυνὰς Πυλάδας ᾄρητο κελεύθως.

ἦν μάκαρ Αἰακίδας ἑτάρω ζώοντος Ἀχιλλεύς:

ὄλβιος ἦν θνᾴσκων, ὅτι οἱ μόρον αἰνὸν ἄμυνεν.

--Bion, Fragment 8, Translated into Latin by F.S. Lehrs and Fr. Duebner (1846)

Blessed are those who are in love, especially when it is returned in measure.

Theseus was happy with Pirithous by his side,

Even when he descended into the inescapable halls of Hades.

Orestes was blessed even in the harsh land of his enemies

As long as Pylades was traveling by his side.

Achilles was blessed for as long as his companion Patroclus lived;

And once he died, he resumed his blessed state,

for he used his death to avenge his lover’s.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Athena, Unswayed by Aphrodite. Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite 7 - 15

 Verum tres sunt deae, quarum animum flectere, suaque; fraude convellere haudquaquam potis est: nempe caesiam Minervam Iovis Filiam. Non enim illi aureae Veneris placuere opera: sed bella semper ac Martis opera grata sunt, praeliaque et pugnae, acres tractare splendidas. Prima enim artifices in terra docuit viros scuta construere, variosque ferro currus. Haec quoque teneras virgines intra limen docuit praeclara illa opera conficere, unicuique inflammans animum.

τρισσὰς δ᾽ οὐ δύναται πεπιθεῖν φρένας οὐδ᾽ ἀπατῆσαι:

κούρην τ᾽ αἰγιόχοιο Διός, γλαυκῶπιν Ἀθήνην:

οὐ γὰρ οἱ εὔαδεν ἔργα πολυχρύσου Ἀφροδίτης,

ἀλλ᾽ ἄρα οἱ πόλεμοί τε ἅδον καὶ ἔργον Ἄρηος

ὑσμῖναί τε μάχαι τε καὶ ἀγλαὰ ἔργ᾽ ἀλεγύνειν.

πρώτη τέκτονας ἄνδρας ἐπιχθονίους ἐδίδαξε

ποιῆσαι σατίνας τε καὶ ἅρματα ποικίλα χαλκῷ.

ἣ δέ τε παρθενικὰς ἁπαλόχροας ἐν μεγάροισιν

ἀγλαὰ ἔργ᾽ ἐδίδαξεν ἐπὶ φρεσὶ θεῖσα ἑκάστῃ.

----Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, 7- 15 Translated into Latin by Raphael Regio Volterranus (1541)

 But Aphrodite is not able to persuade three goddesses, nor can she beguile them.

One is the aegis-wearing daughter of Zeus, the bright-eyed Athena.

She doesn’t enjoy the works of golden Aphrodite;

Instead she runs after battles and Ares’ sphere of influence--

Conflicts and skirmishes and the equipment that goes with it.

She was the first to teach men the art of woodcraft outdoors,

And how to make chariots and carriages out of different types of metal.

Yet she also taught tender maidens splendid works indoors,

Granting a different type of knowledge to each person.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Artemis: Unswayed by Aphrodite's Power, Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite 15-20

Neque unquam venatoriam atque aureo insignem arcu Dianae in amore domat ridens Venus. Etenim hanc iuvat arcus montesque ferarum caede inficere, et citharae choreaeque atque sublati clamores, et opaca nemora, et iustis civitas virorum.  

οὐδέ ποτ᾽ Ἀρτέμιδα χρυσηλάκατον, κελαδεινὴν

δάμναται ἐν φιλότητι φιλομμειδὴς Ἀφροδίτη.

καὶ γὰρ τῇ ἅδε τόξα καὶ οὔρεσι θῆρας ἐναίρειν,

φόρμιγγές τε χοροί τε διαπρύσιοί τ᾽ ὀλολυγαὶ

ἄλσεά τε σκιόεντα δικαίων τε πτόλις ἀνδρῶν.

--Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, 14-20 Translated into Latin by Raphael Regio Volterranus (1541)


 …Furthermore, laughter-loving Aphrodite has never made golden-arrowed Artemis settle down in love. For she loves her bow and slaying beasts in the mountains, the lyre and dancing and war cries, shady groves and cities of just men.