Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Amazons, As Explained by a Christian Writer: Orosius, Historia 1.15

Medio autem tempore apud Scythas duo regii iuvenes Plynos et Scolopetius, per factionem optimatium domo pulsi, ingentem iuventutem secum traxere et in Cappadociae Ponticae ora iuxta amnem Thermodontem consederunt campis Themiscyriis sibi subiectis; ubi diu proxima quaeque populati conspiratione finitimorum per insidias trucidantur. Horum uxores exilio ac viduitate permotae arma sumunt et, ut omnibus par ex simili condicione animus fieret, viros qui superfuerant interficiunt atque accensae in hostem sanguine suo ultionem caesorum coniugum finitimorum excidio consequuntur. Tunc pace armis quaesita externos concubitus ineunt, editos mares mox enecant, feminas studiose nutriunt inustis infantium dexterioribus mammillis, ne sagittarum iactus impedirentur; unde "Amazones" dictae. Harum duae fuere reginae, Marpesia et Lampeto, quae agmine diuiso in duas partes vicissim curam belli et domus custodiam sortiebantur. Igitur cum Europam maxima e parte domuissent, Asiae vero aliquantis ciuitatibus captis, ipsae autem Ephesum aliasque urbes condidissent, praecipuam exercitus sui partem onustam opulentissima praeda domum reuocant, reliquae ad tuendum Asiae imperium relictae cum Marpesia regina concursu hostium trucidantur. Huius locum Sinope filia capessit, quae singularem virtutis gloriam perpetua uirginitate cumulauit. Hac fama excitas gentes tanta admiratio et formido invaserat, ut Hercules quoque cum iussus fuisset a domino suo exhibere arma reginae quasi ad ineuitabile periculum destinatus, universam Graeciae lectam ac nobilem iuventutem contraxerit, nouem longas naues praepararit, nec tamen contentus examine virium ex inprouiso adgredi et insperatas circumuenire maluerit.Duae tunc sorores regno praeerant, Antiope et Orithyia. Hercules mari advectus incautas inermesque et pacis incuria desides oppressit. Inter caesas captasque complurimas duae sorores Antiopae, Melanippe ab Hercule, Hippolyte a Theseo retentae. Sed Theseus Hippolyten matrimonio adscivit, Hercules Melanippen sorori reddidit et arma reginae pretio redemptionis accepit. Post Orithyiam Penthesilea regno potita est, cuius Troiano bello clarissima inter viros documenta virtutis accepimus.

--Orosius, Historia Adversum Paganos 1.15 

While all that was happening, this was happening in Scythia: there were two princes named Plynos and Scolopetius who were expelled from their throne by a coup of the nobles. They migrated with a large group of youths to the shores of Cappadocia on the Black Sea by the Thermodon River. They conquered the territory of Themiscyra and settled there. They stayed there until ultimately being killed by treachery by their neighboring countries.

Moved by exile and their widowhood, their wives took up arms and, in order to rival their husbands’ courage, killed the remaining men in their group and repaid their enemy neighbors in blood for the blood of their slaughtered husbands. Then, after imposing peace through threat of violence, they used their neighbors for breeding purposes, killing the boys they birthed, and nursing their girls with their right breast [for they burn off their left breast in order to shoot arrows unimpeded]. This is why they are called ‘breastless,’ [A-mazons].

Of these Amazons, there were two queens, Marpesia and Lampeto, who divided the group into two parts: one group would take care of war, while the other group would stay home to guard their home. When they had conquered a great part of Europe, even capturing some nations in Asia, they founded the city of Ephesos and other cities.

While a large part of the army was returning home with splendid treasure, and the rest of the army remaining behind to guard their territory in Asia, Queen Marpesia was killed in a skirmish with the enemy. Her daughter, Sinope, who cherished her lifelong chastity, took control of this region.

There was so much admiration and respect for these Amazons that even Hercules, when he was ordered by his lord* to bring back the armor of the Amazon queen, realized the terrible danger he was in. He assembled all of the nobles of Greece, prepared nine longboats, yet still was unimpressed with his swarm of men warriors, and instead strategized to catch the Amazons off guard. At that time, two sisters were in power named Antiope and Orithya. Hercules came ashore, and caught the Amazons off guard, attacking them unarmed, and without a thought to diplomacy. Among these casualties who were captured and killed were two sisters of Antiope. Melanippe was captured by Hercules, and Hippolyte was captured by Theseus. Theseus married his captive Hippolyte, but Hercules returned Melanippe to her sister, ransoming her for the queen’s armor.

Penthesilea ruled after Orithyia [died], and we all know the story of her glorious deeds during the Trojan War.

 


* Referring to his famous Twelve Labors

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

M/M: I Love Those Who Love You, Fronto, Ad M. Caes. 4.1

Sed meliora, quaeso, fabulemur. Amo Julianum (inde enim hic sermo defluxit), amo omnis, qui te diligunt, amo deos, qui te tutantur, amo vitam propter te, amo litteras tecum: Inprimis eis mihi amorem tui ingurgito.

--Marcus Aurelius to Fronto. Fronto, ad Caesarem 4.1


But I beg you, let us talk about better things. I love Julianus (the reason we started this conversation). I love everyone who loves you, I love the gods who protect you, I love life because of you, I love our letters together: especially in the ones where I gush my love for you.



FRONTO

MAP:

Name:  Marcus Cornelius Fronto  

Date:  100 – 160 CE

Works: Letters

 

REGION  3

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


BIO:

Timeline:

Fronto was a Roman statesman born in Cirta (Numidia, located in northern Africa) whose rhetorical and literary abilities earned him the nickname “Second Cicero.” He was tutor and mentor to the future Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus; his correspondence with them provides unique insight into the personal lives of much of the Antonine dynasty.

 SILVER AGE LATIN

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





Tuesday, May 14, 2024

M/M: United in Death: Carpos & Calamos

 

[48] nec calamis s. aeq. s. v. m. videtur allegoria quasi ad Theocritum et Vergilium respicere: hinc est 'tu nunc eris alter ab illo'. fabula de calamo talis est: veteres Zephyro vento unam ex horis coniugem adsignant, ex qua et Zephyro Carpon filium pulcherrimi corporis editum dicunt. quem cum Calamus, Maeandri fluvii filius, amaret, a Carpo mutua vice etiam ipse adamatus est. sed Carpos cum in Maeandrum fluvium cadens esset extinctus, Calamus, patrem propter hoc scelus aversatus, aufugit rogavitque Iovem, ut finem suis luctibus daret sibique mortem praestaret, ut amato post obitum iungeretur. quem miseratione Iuppiter ductus in harundinales calamos verti iussit, qui semper circa oras fluminum nasci solent, Carpon vero in fructus rerum omnium vertit, ut semper renasceretur.

 --Servius, In Ecl. 5.48Nor did Calamus...

Seems to be an allegory referring to Theocritus & Vergil repeats, like “you will now be another of him.” The story of Calamos is as follows: ancient authors say that the wind Zephyr married one of the Hours, and had a very handsome son named Carpos. Calamos, the son of the river god Meander, fell in love with him, and they loved each other intensely. However, when Carpos fell into the Meander river and drowned, Calamos was horrified by his father’s deed and ran away. He begged Jupiter to end his grief and let him die as well, so that he could join his beloved in death. Moved to pity, Jupiter ordered Calamos to be transformed into a reed, which is accustomed to bloom around riverbanks, and transformed Carpos into the fruit of all things, so he could always be reborn.

 

 

 



SERVIUS
MAP:
Name:  Maurus Servius Honoratus
Date:  4th – 5th c. CE (???)
Works:  In Vergilii carmina comentarii

REGION  1
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

BIO:
Timeline:
 Little is known about the author or manuscript tradition for the grammatical commentary of Vergil’s Aeneid.
 BYZANTINE / LATE LATIN
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




Thursday, May 2, 2024

M/M: Addressing a Toxic Relationship, Martial 2.55

Sextus, you want to be worshipped;

But I wanted to love you.

You have to be obeyed—or else!

Because you tell me to, I’ll comply,

But if I have to worship you, I won't--I can't--feel love for you.

--Martial, Epigrams 2.55 

Vis te, Sexte, coli: volebam amare.

Parendum est tibi: quod iubes, coleris;

Sed si te colo, Sexte, non amabo.


MARTIAL
MAP:
Name: Marcus Valerius Martialis
Date:  40 CE – 104 CE
Works:  Epigrammaton Libri XV*
               De Spectaculis

REGION  2 (Hispania)
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

BIO:
Timeline:
Originally from Bilbilis, Hispania, the poet Martial moved to Rome in the 60s CE to advance his career. His two extant works include de Spectaculis, a collection of poems written to commemorate the opening of the Colosseum, and a fifteen volume collection of epigrams. These epigrams provide valuable insight into the mores and private lives of men and women from all of the city’s social classes.     
 SILVER AGE ROME
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