Sunday, March 17, 2024

M/M: I Miss You, Buddy: Ausonius to Paulinus 1.16-19

In a letter to Paulinus, Ausonius complains about his absence by comparing their relationship to other great relationships of mythology:

Impie, Pirithoo disiungere Thesea posses,

Euryalumque suo socium secernere Niso!

Te suadente fugam, Pylades liquisset Orestem,

Nec custodisset Siculus vadimonia Damon!

--Ausonius, Ep. Ausonius Paulino 1.16-19

Faithless one! You’d really break up Pirithous and Theseus?

Separate Euryalus from his Nisus?

You’d convince Pylades to abandon Orestes?

And keep the Sicilian Damon from pledging for Pythias’ escape?



Name:  Decimius Magnus Ausonius

Date:  4th century CE

Works:  Letters, Mosella



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



 Ausonius was a Roman poet from Aquitania, Gaul [modern France] who lived during the 4th century CE. He is best known for his epic poem Mosella, which describes the Moselle River, and his Epistles, a series of literary poems between himself and the Christian poet Paulinus.


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


Friday, March 8, 2024

Saying Farewell to a Friend: Anth. Lat. 445

Roman men often had deep, loving and affectionate friendships with their peers. There was no shame or stigma in expressing love and support to one another.


Ablatus mihi Crispus est, amici

pro quo si pretium dari liceret

nostros dividerem libenter annos.

Nunc pars optima me mei reliquit

Crispus, praesidium meum, voluptas,

pectus, deliciae: nihil sine illo

laetum mens mea iam putabit esse.

Consumptus male debilisque vivam:

plus quam dimidium mei recessit.


--Anthologia Latina 445

Friends, my Crispus was taken away from me

If I could give anything to bring him back

I would gladly give half of my life.

Now the best part of me has abandoned me.

Crispus, you were my support, my joy,

My heart, my delight:  

Without him, my mind cannot find anything enjoyable.

I will spend the rest of my life worn out and defeated

Since more than half of me has gone.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

M/M: A Medieval version of the Hyacinthus myth, Hildebert of Levardin XIV

et deus et medicus et amans, rescindere frustra

tentans Aebalidae funera, Phoebus ait;

"parcite, di, puero, si non moriatur uterque;

malo sequi puerum quam superesse deum.

Si prohibetis et hoc, sit pars utriusque superstes,

par cadit, ignoscens sic minor esse deo.

Quisque feret laetus propriae dispendia partis,

dum pars ad manes, pars est ad superos."

--Hildebart of Levardin #IV, Phoebus de Interitu Hyacinthi


Phoebus, being

A god

A healer

And a lover,

Trying in vain to stop Hyacinth from dying, said,

“Gods, please spare my boyfriend!

If we cannot both die,

I’d rather follow him in death

Than remain living as a god.

If you won’t allow this,

Let part of both of us remain together

And part of us die together,

And I will come to terms with losing my godhood.

Both of us will happily adjust to losing part of ourselves,

While part of us falls to the underworld together,

The other part of us flying hand-in-hands to the stars.”