Category Archives: - Epigrams

Gildersleeve and Palladas

Laudator Temporis Acti quotes Basil L. Gildersleeve: Platonic scholars, with rare exceptions, are roughly to be divided into two classes, those who can understand the thought but not the Greek and those who can read the Greek but cannot understand … Continue reading

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If You Are Michael Gilleland (Laudator Temporis Acti), . . .

. . . please e-mail me. My address is gro.oilucruc@oilucruc turned backwards (don’t want to encourage spambots by making it harvestable). If you are not Michael Gilleland, but happen to know his e-mail, that would be good, too. (I can’t … Continue reading

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The Last of Timon’s Last Words

Book VII of the Greek Anthology includes a sequence of eight supposed epitaphs of Timon of Athens, the famous misanthrope, epigrams 313-320. Having already posted seven of them, here is the eighth, by “Zenodotus or Rhianus” (A.P. 7.315), with W. … Continue reading

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More Timonean Rudeness

This is the work of “Leonidas or Antipater” (A.P. 7.316). By including it in Hellenistic Epigrams as Leonidas C, Gow and Page imply that it is likely to be by Leonidas of Tarentum or Antipater of Sidon, not their later … Continue reading

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Two Anonymous Epigrams on Timon

This hexameter couplet purports to be the inscription on Timon’s tomb. It is A.P. 7.313, with the author given as ‘anonymous’, though Plutarch, in his life of Mark Antony (§ 70), says that Timon wrote it himself. Ἐνθαδ᾿ ἀπορρήξας ψυχὴν … Continue reading

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Two More Epigrams on Timon

This is Hegesippus VIII in Gow and Page, Hellenistic Epigrams, A.P. 7.320: Ὀξεῖαι πάντη περὶ τὸν τάφον εἰσὶν ἄκανθαι     καὶ σκόλοπες· βλάψεις τοὺς πόδας, ἢν προσίῃς· Τίμων μισάνθρωπος ἐνοικέω· ἀλλὰ πάρελθε,     οἰμώζειν εἴπας πολλά, πάρελθε μόνον. All around the tomb … Continue reading

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Two Epigrams on Timon the Misanthrope

These are Callimachus LI and LII in Gow and Page, Hellenistic Epigrams, 7.317-318 in the Greek Anthology. The first is a dialogue, with the translation mostly borrowed from Paton’s Loeb: — Τίμων, οὐ γὰρ ἔτ᾿ ἐσσί, τί τοι, σκότος ἢ … Continue reading

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A Boring Epigram

Just to show that even Palladas can be boring, here is the shorter of his two surviving epigrams about grafting pear trees (A.P. 9.6): ᾿Αχρὰς ἔην· θῆκας σέο χερσὶ μυρίπνοον ὄχνην     δένδρῳ πτόρθον ἐνείς· σὴν χάριν εἰς σὲ φέρω. I … Continue reading

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An Ancient Vegan Feast

Not Palladas but Ammianus this time (A.P. 11.413): Ὡς κῆπον τεθυκώς, δεῖπνον παρέθηκεν Ἀπελλῆς,     οἰόμενος βόσκειν ἀντὶ φίλων πρόβατα. ἦν ῥαφανίς, σέρις ἦν, τῆλις, θρίδακες, πράσα, βολβοί,     ὤκιμον, ἡδύσμον, πήγανον, ἀσπάραγος· δείσας δ᾿ ἐκ τούτων μὴ καὶ χόρτον παραθῇ μοι, … Continue reading

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On a Blockish Orator

Palladas again (A.Pl. 317): Κωφὸν ἄναυδον ὁρῶν τὸν Γέσσιον, εἰ λίθος ἐστί,     Δήλιε, μαντεύου, τίς τίνος ἐστὶ λίθος. Looking here on Gessius, dumb and speechless, if he be of stone, tell by thy sooth, Delian Apollo, which is the stone … Continue reading

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Grammatical Humor

Palladas once more (A.P. 9.489): Γραμματικοῦ θυγάτηρ ἔτεκεν φιλότητι μιγεῖσα     παιδίον ἀρσενικόν, θηλυκόν, οὐδέτερον. A grammarian’s daughter, having known a man, gave birth to a child which was masculine, feminine, and neuter. (translated by W. R. Paton)

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By Request

Since Laudator Temporis Acti asks for more, here’s another epigram of Palladas. I teach high school, and my students occasionally read this weblog, so I won’t be able to print the one to which he alludes in his last line … Continue reading

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Late Antique Snobbery

Another epigram of Palladas (A.P. 10.98): Πᾶς τις ἀπαίδευτος φρονιμώτατός ἐστι σιωπῶν,     τὸν λόγον ἐγκρύπτων ὡς πάθος αἰσχρότατον. Every uneducated man is wisest if he remains silent, hiding his speech like a disgraceful disease. (translated by W. R. Paton)

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Half-Empty or Half-Full? Take Your Pick.

Those who found the last epigram a bit morbid may wish to skip the first of this matched pair: “Posidippus, or Plato the Comic Poet” (A.P. 9.359): Ποίην τις βιότοιο τάμῃ τρίβον; εἰν ἀγορῇ μὲν     νείκεα καὶ χαλεπαὶ πρήξιες· ἐν … Continue reading

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More Cheery Greek

Another epigram of Palladas (A.P. 10.85): Πάντες τῷ θανάτῳ τηρούμεθα καὶ τρεφόμεσθα,     ὡς ἀγέλη χοίρων σφαζομένων ἀλόγως. We all are tended and fed for death, like a herd of pigs slaughtered at random.

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Cheerful Thoughts from a Very Late Greek

An epigram of Palladas (A.P. 15.20): Σιγῶν παρέρχου τὸν ταλαίπωρον βίον, αὐτὸν σιωπῇ τὸν χρόνον μιμούμενος· λαθὼν δὲ καὶ βίωσον, εἰ δὲ μή, θανών. Pass by this miserable life in silence, imitating by your silence Time himself. Live likewise unnoticed; … Continue reading

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Callimachus on Heraclitus

Callimachus XXXIV G-P (A.P. 7.80): Εἰπέ τις, Ἡράκλειτε, τεὸν μόρον ἐς δέ με δάκρυ     ἤγαγεν ἐμνήσθην δ᾿ ὁσσάκις ἀμφότεροι ἠέλιον λέσχῃ κατεδύσαμεν. ἀλλὰ σὺ μέν που,     ξεῖν᾿ Ἁλικαρνησεῦ, τετράπαλαι σποδιή, αἱ δὲ τεαὶ ζώουσιν ἀηδόνες, ᾗσιν ὁ πάντων     ἁρπακτὴς Ἀίδης … Continue reading

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The Other Heraclitus

Heraclitus of Halicarnassus I G-P: Ἁ κόνις ἀρτίσκαπτος, ἐπὶ στάλας δὲ μετώπων     σείονται φύλλων ἡμιθαλεῖς στέφανοι. γράμμα διακρίναντες, ὁδοιπόρε, πέτρον ἴδωμεν,     λευρὰ περιστέλλειν ὀστέα φατὶ τίνος. ῾ξεῖν᾿, Ἀρετημιάς εἰμι· πάτρα Κνίδος· Εὔφρονος ἦλθον     εἰς λέχος· ὠδίνων οὐκ ἄμορος γενόμαν, δισσὰ … Continue reading

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