Greek Anthology: Book 6


This selection from Book 6 of the Greek Anthology contains all the epigrams written before the middle of the first century A.D., as listed in three editions:
(H)     A.S.F.Gow & D.L.Page, "The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams"
(Ph)   A.S.F.Gow & D.L.Page, "The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams"
(F)     D.L.Page, "Further Greek Epigrams"
The labels in green are the numbers assigned to the epigrams in one of these editions. The labels in red are their numbers within the Anthology.

Translations of most of the epigrams are already available elsewhere, as indicated by the links. The translations of the remaining epigrams are taken from the edition by W.R.Paton (1916-18), but have been modified to remove some of the archaic language.   Click on G to go to the Greek text of each epigram.

[1] PLATO   { F 8 }   G

I, Lais, whose haughty beauty made mock of Greece, I who once had a swarm of young lovers at my doors, dedicate my mirror to Aphrodite, since I wish not to look on myself as I am, and cannot look on myself as I once was.



[3] DIONYSIUS   { H 5 }   G

Heracles, who tread stony Trachis and Oeta and the headland of Pholoe clothed in deep forest, to you Dionysius offers this club yet green, which he cut himself with his sickle from a wild olive-tree.









[11] SATYRIUS   { F 1 }   G

This and the following five epigrams, as well as Nos. 179-187, are all on the same subject.

The three brothers, skilled in three crafts, dedicate to Pan, Damis the huntsman this long net, Pigres his light-meshed fowling net, and Clitor, the night-rower, his tunic for red mullet. Look kindly on the pious brethren, O Pan, and grant them gain from fowl, fish and venison.









[21] Anonymous   { F 18 }   G

To you, Priapus the gardener, did Potamon, who gained wealth by this calling, dedicate the hoe that dug his thirsty garden, and his curved sickle for cutting vegetables, the ragged cloak that kept the rain off his back, his strong boots of untanned hide, the dibble for planting out young cabbages going straight into the easily pierced soil, and his mattock that never ceased during the dry summer to refresh the thirsty beds with draughts from the channels.

[22] ZONAS   { Ph 1 }   G

The fruit-watcher dedicated to rustic Priapus, carved out of a trunk, this sacrifice from the trees, a newly split pomegranate, this quince covered with fresh down, a navelled fig with wrinkled skin, a purple cluster of thick-set grapes, fountain of wine, and a walnut just out of its green rind.

[23] Anonymous   { F 17 }   G

Hermes, dwelling in this wave-beaten rock-cave, that gives good footing to fisher gulls, accept this fragment of the great seine worn by the sea and scraped often by the rough beach ; this little purse-seine, the round weel that entraps fishes, the float whose task it is to mark where the weels are concealed, and the long cane rod, the child of the marsh, with its horse-hair line, not unfurnished with hooks, wound round it.



[33] MACCIUS   { Ph 6 }   G

Priapus of the beach, the fishermen, after surrounding with their deep-sunk net the circling shoal of tunnies in the green narrows of the sea, dedicated to you these gifts out of the profits of the rich catch they made on this strand - a bowl of beech wood, a stool roughly carved of heath, and a glass wine-cup, so that when your weary limbs are broken by the dance you may rest them and drive away dry thirst.

[34] RHIANUS   { H 6 }   G

Polyaenus hung here as a gift to Pan the club, the bow and these boar's feet. Also to the Lord of the hills he dedicated this quiver and the dog-collar, gifts of thanks for his success in boar-hunting. But do you, O Pan the scout, send home Polyaenus, the son of Symilas, in future, too, laden with spoils of the chase.





[37] Anonymous   { F 77 }   G

The rustic herdsmen cut on the mountain this beech-branch which old age had bent as it bends us, and having trimmed it, set it up by the road, a pretty toy for Pan who protects the glossy cattle.





[43] PLATO   { F 21 }   G

Some traveller, who stilled here his tormenting thirst in the heat, moulded in bronze and dedicated as a vow this servant of the Nymphs, the damp songster who loves the rain, the frog who takes joy in light fountains ; for it guided him to the water, as he wandered, singing opportunely with its amphibious mouth from the damp hollow. Then, not deserting the guiding voice, he found the drink he longed for.



[45] Anonymous   { H 43 }   G

Comaulus hung up alive to Bacchus this hedgehog, its body bristling with sharp spines, the grape-gatherer, the spoiler of the sweet vineyards, having caught it curled up in a ball and rolling on the grapes.





[48] Anonymous   { H 38 }   G

Bitto dedicated to Athena her industrious loom-comb, the implement of her scanty livelihood, for then she conceived a hatred for all toil among workfolk, and for the weaver's wretched cares. To Athena she said, " I will take to the works of Cypris, voting like Paris against you."



[51] Anonymous   { H 42 }   G

To you, my mother Rhea, nurse of Phrygian lions, whose devotees tread the heights of Dindymus, did womanish Alexis, ceasing from furious clashing of the brass, dedicate these stimulants of his madness - his shrill-toned cymbals, the noise of his deep-voiced flute, to which the crooked horn of a young steer gave a curved form, *   his echoing tambourines, his knives reddened with blood, and the yellow hair which once tossed on his shoulders. Be kind, O Queen, and give rest in his old age from his former wildness to him who went mad in his youth.

*   The curved shape of a double Phrygian flute.



[53] BACCHYLIDES   { F 1 }   G

Eudemus dedicated this temple in his field to Zephyr the richest of all winds ; for he came in answer to his prayer to help him winnow quickly the grain from the ripe ears.




Cythereia herself loosed from her breast her delightful girdle and gave it to you, Ino, for your own, so that ever with love-charms that melt the heart you may subdue men ; and surely you have spent them all on me alone.

[89] MACCIUS QUINTUS   { Ph 7 }   G

Priapus, who delight in the sea-worn rocks of this island near the coast, and in its rugged peak, to you Paris the fisherman dedicates this hard-shelled lobster which he overcame by his lucky rod. Its flesh he roasted and enjoyed munching with his half-decayed teeth, but this its shell he gave to you. Therefore give him no great gift, kind god, but enough catch from his nets to still his barking belly.



[91] THALLUS OF MILETUS   { Ph 1 }   G

The shield is the offering of Promachus, the spears of Aconteus, the sword of Eumedes, and this bow is Cydon's. Hippomedon offers the reins, Melantas the helmet, Nico the greaves, Aristomachus the pike, and Philinus the cuirass. Grant to them all, Ares, spoiler of men, ever to win trophies from the foemen.









[96] ERYCIUS   { Ph 1 }   G

Glaucon and Corydon, who keep their cattle on the hills, Arcadians both, drawing back its neck slaughtered for Cyllenian Pan, the mountain-lover, a horned steer, and fixed by a long nail to the goodly plane-tree its horns, twelve palms long, a fair ornament for the pastoral god.



[98] ZONAS   { Ph 2 }   G

To Demeter the Winnower and the Seasons that tread in the furrows Heronax from his scanty tillage offers a portion of the corn from his threshing-floor and these various vegetables on a wooden tripod - very little from a small store ; for he owns but this little plot on the barren hill-side.















[106] ZONAS   { Ph 3 }   G

This skin, O woodland god, did Telamon, the slayer of wolves, suspend to you on the plane-tree in the field, also his staff of wild olive wood which he often sent whirling from his hand. But do you, Pan, god of the hills, receive these not very rich gifts, and open to him this mountain, your domain, to hunt thereon with success.



[108] MYRINUS   { Ph 1 }   G

Ye Pans, keepers of the high mountains, ye jolly horned dancers, lords of grassy Arcadia, make Diotimus rich in sheep and goats, accepting the gifts of his splendid sacrifice.







[112] PERSES   { H 1 }   G

These three heads of Maenalian stags with vast antlers hang in your portico, Apollo. They were shot from horseback by the hands of Gyges, Dailochos and Promenes, the children of valiant Leontiades.


I was formerly one of the two horns of a wild long-haired ibex, and was garlanded with green leaves ; but now the worker in horn has adapted me for Nicomachus, stretching on me the strong sinew of a crumple-horned ox. *  

*   i.e. the horn was made into a bow ; it seems to have served before as a hook on which to hang wreaths.





[116] SAMIUS   { H 1 }   G

As a gift to you, Heracles, sacker of Orchomenus, did Philip dedicate this, the smooth hide, with its horns, of the loud-bellowing bull, whose glorying insolence he quenched in the rough foot-hills of Orbelus. Let envy pine away ; but your glory is increased, in that from your race sprang the Beroean lord of Macedon. *  

*   The author of this epigram, Samius or Samus, was a friend of Philip V, king of Macedonia.

[117] PANCRATES   { H 1 }   G

The hammer from the fire, with the pliers and tongs, is consecrated to you, Hephaestus, the gift of Polycrates, with which often beating on his anvil he gained substance for his children, driving away doleful poverty.



[119] MOERO OF BYZANTIUM   { H 1 }   G

Cluster, full of the juice of Dionysus, you rest under the roof of Aphrodite's golden chamber : no longer shall the vine, your mother, cast her lovely branch around you, and put forth above your head her sweet leaves.




Callimachus (63)

[122] NICIAS   { H 1 }   G

Maenad of Ares, sustainer of war, impetuous spear, who now has set you here, a gift to the goddess who awakes the battle?   "Menius ; for springing lightly from his hand in the forefront of the fight I wrought havoc among the Odrysae on the plain."



[124] HEGESIPPUS   { H 1 }   G

I am fixed here under the roof of warrior Pallas' temple, the shield from the mortal shoulders of Timanor, often befouled with the dust of iron war. Ever did I save my bearer from death.





[127] NICIAS   { H 2 }   G

A Shield speaks

So one day I was fated to leave the hideous field of battle and listen to the song and dance of girls round the temple of Artemis, where Epixenus set me, when white old age began to wear out his limbs.









[132] NOSSIS   { H 2 }   G

These their shields the Bruttians threw from their doomed shoulders, smitten by the swiftly-charging Locrians. Here they hang in the temple of the gods, praising them, the brave, and regretting not the clasp of the cowards they left. *  

*   The exact date of the combats referred to in 129, 131, 132 is unknown.

[133] ARCHILOCHUS   { F 2 }   G

Alcibia dedicated to Hera the holy veil of her hair, when she entered into lawful wedlock.

[134] ANACREON   { F 5 }   G

134-145 are all attributed to Anacreon

Helicomas, she who holds the thyrsus, and Xanthippe next to her, and Glauce, are coming down the mountain on their way to the dance, and they are bringing for Dionysus ivy, grapes, and a fat goat.

[135] ANACREON   { F 6 }   G

This horse of Pheidolas from spacious Corinth is dedicated to Zeus in memory of the might of its legs.

[136] ANACREON   { F 7 }   G

Praxidice worked and Dyseris designed this garment. It testifies to the skill of both.

[137] ANACREON   { F 8 }   G

Apollo of the silver bow, grant willingly your grace to Naucrates, the son of Aeschylus, receiving these his vows.

[138] ANACREON   { F 9 }   G

Calliteles set me here of old, but this his descendants erected, to whom grant your grace in return.

[139] ANACREON   { F 10 }   G

Praxagoras, son of Lycaeus, dedicated these gifts to the gods. Anaxagoras was the craftsman.

[140] ANACREON   { F 11 }   G

Melanthus, the son of Areïphilus, dedicated me to the wreath-loving son of Semele {Bacchus} in memory of his victory in the dance.

[141] ANACREON   { F 12 }   G

The shield that saved Python from the dread battle-din hangs in the precinct of Athena.

[142] ANACREON   { F 13 }   G

Echecratidas, the ruler of Thessaly, dedicated me in honour of Bacchus and as a splendid ornament for his city.

[143] ANACREON   { F 14 }   G

On a Statue of Hermes

Pray that the herald of the gods may be kind to Timonax, who placed me here to adorn this lovely porch, and as a gift to Hermes the Lord. In my gymnasium I receive whosoever wishes it, be he citizen or stranger.

[144] ANACREON   { F 15 }   G

Leocrates, son of Stroebus, when you dedicated this statue to Hermes, neither the beautiful-haired Graces were heedless of it, nor joyous Academy, in whose bosom I tell of your beneficence to all who approach.

[145] ANACREON   { F 16 }   G

Sophocles, who won the highest glory of the tragic Muse, first dedicated these altars to the gods.


Callimachus (54)


Callimachus (55)


Callimachus (56)


Callimachus (57)


Callimachus (58)

[151] TYMNES   { H 1 }   G

Miccus of Pellene hung in the temple of Ilian Athena this deep-toned flute of Ares, *   the Tyrrhenian instrument by which he formerly uttered many a loud message of peace or war.

*   i.e. a trumpet.

[152] AGIS   { H 1 }   G

Meidon, O Phoebus, dedicated to you his stakes and winged hare-staves, together with his fowling canes - a small gift from small earnings ; but if you give him something greater he will repay you with far richer gifts than these.











[158] SABINUS GRAMMATICUS   { Ph 2 }   G

Exercise on the Theme of 154

A triple gift did Biton dedicate under the green-wood tree, to Pan a goat, roses to the Nymphs, and a thyrsus to Bacchus. Receive with joy his gifts, ye gods, and increase, Pan, his flock, ye Nymphs his fountain, and Bacchus his cellar.













[165] FLACCUS ?   { F 1 }   G

Euanthe, when she transferred her hand from the unsteady service of the thyrsus to the steady service of the wine-cup, dedicated to Bacchus her whirling tambourine that stirs the rout of the Bacchants to fury, this dappled spoil of a flayed fawn, her clashing brass corybantic cymbals, her green thyrsus surmounted by a pine-cone, her light, but deeply-booming drum, and the winnowing-basket she often carried raised above her snooded hair.



[169] Anonymous   { F 19 }   G

Comaulus, seeing the porcupine carrying grapes on its spines, slew it in this vineyard, and having dried it, he dedicated to Dionysus, who loves untempered wine, the spoiler of Dionysus' gift.

[170] THYILLUS   { F 1 }   G

The elms, and these lofty willows, and the holy spreading plane, and the springs, and these shepherds' cups that cure fell thirst, are dedicated to Pan.

[171] Anonymous   { H 58a }   G

To your very self, O Sun, did the people of Dorian Rhodes raise high to heaven this colossus, then, when having laid to rest the brazen wave of war, they crowned their country with the spoils of their foes. Not only over the sea, but on the land, too, did they establish the lovely light of unfettered freedom. For to those who spring from the race of Heracles dominion is a heritage both on land and

[172] Anonymous   { F 20 }   G

Cnidian Porphyris suspends before your chamber, Dionysus, these gauds of her beauty and her madness, her crowns, and this double thyrsus-spear, and her anklet, with all of which she raved her fill whenever she resorted to Dionysus, her ivy-decked fawn-skin knotted on her bosom.

[173] RHIANUS   { H 7 }   G

Achrylis, Rhea's Phrygian lady-in-waiting, who often under the pines loosed her consecrated hair, who often uttered from her lips the sharp cry, painful to hear, that Cybele's votaries use, dedicated her hair here at the door of the mountain goddess, where she rested her burning feet from the mad race.




Theocritus (II)

[178] HEGESIPPUS   { H 2 }   G

Accept me, Heracles, the consecrated shield of Archestratus, so that, resting against your polished porch I may grow old listening to song and dance. Enough of the hateful battle !


179-187 are another set of variants on the theme of epigrams 11-16







Pigres dedicates to you, Pan, his nets for birds, Damis his for mountain beasts, and Cleitor his for those of the deep : a common gift from the brothers for their luck in the various kinds of chase to you who are skilled in the things of sea and land alike. In return for which, and recognising their piety, give one dominion in the sea, the other in the air, the third in the woods.

[183] ZOSIMUS OF THASOS   { F 2 }   G

The hunter brothers suspended these nets to you, Pan, gifts from three sorts of chase ; Pigres from fowls, Cleitor from the sea, and Damis, the crafty tracker, from the land. But may you reward their toil with success in wood, sea, and air.

[184] ZOSIMUS OF THASOS   { F 3 }   G

The three huntsmen, each from a different craft, dedicated these nets in Pan's temple ; Pigres who set his nets for birds, Cleitor who set his for sea-fishes, and Damis who set his for the beasts of the waste. Therefore, Pan, make them more successful, the one in the air, the other in the thicket, and the third on the beach.

[185] ZOSIMUS OF THASOS   { F 4 }   G

This heavy net for forest beasts did Damis dedicate, Pigres his light net that brings death to birds, and Cleitor his simple sweep-net woven of thread for the sea, praying all three to Pan the hunter's god. Therefore, Pan, grant to strong Damis good booty of beasts, to Pigres of fowls, and to Cleitor of fishes.

[186] JULIUS DIOCLES   { Ph 2 }   G

We three brothers of one house have dedicated three nets to you, Pan, from mountain, air, and sea. Cast his nets for this one by the shingly beach, strike the game for this one in the woods, the home of wild beasts, and look with favour on the third among the birds ; for you have gifts, kind god, from all our netting.

[187] ALPHEIUS OF MYTILENE   { Ph 5 }   G

The holy triad of brothers dedicate to Pan each a token of his own craft ; Pigres a portion from his birds, Cleitor from his fish, and Damis from his straight-cut stakes. In return for which grant to the one success by land, to the second by sea, and let the third win profit from the air.



[189] MOERO OF BYZANTIUM   { H 2 }   G

Anigrian nymphs, daughters of the stream, ambrosial beings that ever tread these depths with your rosy feet, all hail, and cure Cleonymus, who set up for you under the pines these fair images.

[190] GAETULICUS   { F 2 }   G

This and the following are in imitation of Leonidas' own poem, No. 300.

Take, honoured Cythereia, these poor gifts from poor Leonidas the poet, a bunch of five fine grapes, an early fig, sweet as honey, from the leafy branches, this leafless olive that swam in brine, a little handful of frugal barley-cake, and the libation that ever accompanies sacrifice, a small drop of wine, lurking in the bottom of the tiny cup. But if, as you have driven away the disease that weighed sore on me, so you do drive away my poverty, I will give you a fat goat.

[191] CORNELIUS LONGUS   { F 1 }   G

Receive, Cypris, these gifts of Leonidas out of a poverty which is, as you know, untempered but honest, these purple gleanings from the vine, this pickled olive, the prescribed sacrifice of barley-cake, a libation of wine which I strained off without shaking the vessel, and the sweet figs. Save me from want, as you have saved me from sickness, and then you shall see me sacrificing cattle. But hasten, goddess, to earn and receive my thanks.





[196] STATYLLIUS FLACCUS   { Ph 2 }   G

The bandy-legged, two-clawed sand-diver, the retrograde, neckless, eight-footed, the solid-backed, hard-skinned swimmer, the crab, does Copasus the line-fisher offer to Pan, as the first-fruits of his catch.



























[210] PHILETAS OF SAMOS   { H 1 }   G

Now past her fiftieth year, amorous Nicias hangs in the temple of Cypris her sandals, locks of her uncoiled hair, her bronze mirror that lacks not accuracy, her precious girdle, and the things of which a man may not speak. But here you see the whole pageant of Cypris.



























[225] NICAENETUS   { H 1 }   G

Heroines of the Libyans, girt with tufted goat-skins, who haunt this mountain chain, daughters of the gods, accept from Philetis these consecrated sheaves and fresh garlands of straw, the full tithe of his threshing ; but even so, all hail to ye, Heroines, sovereign ladies of the Libyans.





[228] ADAEUS OF MACEDON   { Ph 1 }   G

Alcon did not lead to the bloody axe his labouring ox worn out by the furrows and old age, for he reverenced it for its service ; and now somewhere in the deep meadow grass it lows rejoicing in its release from the plough.



[230] QUINTUS   { Ph 1 }   G

To you, Phoebus of the cape, who rule this fringe of the Bithynian land near the beach, did Damis the fisherman who ever rests his horn *   on the sand give this well-protected trumpet-shell with its natural spikes, a humble present from a pious heart. The old man prays to you that he may see death without disease.

*   What this horn object can be I do not know.





[233] MACCIUS   { Ph 8 }   G

The bit that rattles in the teeth, the constraining muzzle pierced on both sides, the well-sewn curb-strap that presses on the jaw, also this correcting whip which urges to violent speed, the crooked biting epipselion *   , the bloody pricks of the spur and the scraping saw-like curry-comb iron-bound - these, Isthmian Poseidon, who delight in the roar of the waves on both shores, are the gifts you have from Stratius.

*   I prefer to leave this word untranslated. It cannot be "curb-chain", as the curb-strap is evidently meant above.

[234] ERYCIUS   { Ph 10 }   G

The long-haired priest of Rhea, the newly gelded, the dancer from Lydian Tmolus whose shriek is heard afar, dedicates, now he rests from his frenzy, to the solemn Mother who dwells by the banks of Sangarius these tambourines, his scourge armed with bones, these noisy brazen cymbals, and a scented lock of his hair.

[235] THALLUS   { Ph 2 }   G

Caesar, *   offspring of the unconquered race of Romulus, joy of the farthest East and West, we sing your divine birth, and round the altars pour glad libations to the gods. But may you, treading in your grandsire's steps, abide with us, even as we pray, for many years.

*   Tiberius. By "grandsire" Julius must be meant.



[237] ANTISTIUS   { Ph 1 }   G

cp. Nos. 217-220

The priest of Rhea dedicated to the mountain-Mother of the gods this raiment and these locks owing to an adventure such as this. As he was walking alone in the wood a savage lion met him and a struggle for his life was imminent. But the goddess put it in his mind to beat his tambourine and he made the ravening brute take flight, dreading the awful din. For this reason his locks hang from the whistling branches.











[243] DIODORUS   { Ph 3 }   G

"Hera, who watch over Samos and to whom belongs Imbrasus, accept, gracious goddess, this birthday sacrifice, these heifer victims, dearest of all to you, if we priests know the law of the blessed gods." Thus Maximus prayed as he poured the libation, and she granted his prayer without fail, nor did the spinning Fates grudge it.



[245] DIODORUS   { Ph 4 }   G

Diogenes, when he saw his yard-arm broken by the blast of Boreas, as the tempest lashed the Carpathian sea by night, vowed, if he escaped death, to hang me, this little cloak, in your holy porch, Boeotian Cabeirus, in memory of that stormy voyage ; and I pray you keep poverty too from his door.

















[254] MYRINUS   { Ph 2 }   G

When Time was about to drag down to Hades limp Statyllius, the effeminate old stump of Aphrodite, he dedicated in the porch of Priapus his light summer dresses dyed in scarlet and crimson, his false hair greasy with spikenard, his white shoes that shone on his shapely ankles, the chest in which reposed his cotton frippery, and his flute that breathed sweet music in the revels of the harlot tribe.

[255] ERYCIUS   { Ph 5 }   G

Saōn of Ambracia, the herdsman, broke off this his straying bull's mutilated horn two cubits long, when, searching for him on the hill-side and leafy gullies, he spied him on the river-bank cooling his feet and sides. The bull rushed straight at him from one side, but he with his club knocked off his curving horn, and put it up on this wild pear-tree by the byre, musical with the lowing of the herd.





[258] ADAEUS   { Ph 2 }   G

This ewe, O Demeter, who preside over the furrows, and this hornless heifer, and the round cake in a basket, upon this threshing-floor on which he winnowed a huge pile of sheaves and saw a goodly harvest, Crethon consecrates to you, Lady of the many heaps. *   Every year make his field rich in wheat and barley.

*   i.e. the heaps of grain on the threshing-floor.



[260] GEMINUS   { Ph 8 }   G

Phryne dedicated to the Thespians the winged Love beautifully wrought, the price of her favours. The work is the gift of Cypris, a gift to envy, with which no fault can be found, and Love was a fitting payment for both. *   I praise for two forms of art the man who, giving a god to others, had a more perfect god in his soul.

*   Phryne and Praxiteles.









[265] NOSSIS   { H 3 }   G

Hera revered, who often descending from heaven look on your Lacinian shrine fragrant with frankincense, accept the linen garment which Theophilis, daughter of Cleocha, wove for you with her noble daughter Nossis.

[266] HEGESIPPUS   { H 3 }   G

This Artemis in the cross-ways did Hagelochia, the daughter of Damaretus, *   erect while still a virgin in her father's house ; for the goddess herself appeared to her, by the weft of her loom, like a flame of fire.

*   The well-known king of Sparta, c. 500 B.C.

[267] DIOTIMUS   { H 1 }   G

Stand here, Artemis the Saviour, with your torch on the land of Pollis, *   and give your delightful light to him and to his children. The task is easy ; for he has from Zeus no feeble knowledge of the unerring scales of Justice. And, Artemis, let the Graces too race over this grove, treading on the flowers with their light sandals.

*   A man learned in the law. who begs that other graces of life too may be his.



[269] Said to be by SAPPHO   { F 1 }   G

Children, though I am a dumb stone, if any ask, then I answer clearly, having set down at my feet the words I am never weary of speaking : "Arista, daughter of Hermocleides the son of Sauneus, dedicated me to Artemis Aethopia. Thy ministrant is she, sovereign lady of women ; rejoice in this her gift of herself, *   and be willing to glorify our race."

*   The statue was one of Arista herself.

[270] NICIAS   { H 3 }   G

The head-kerchief and water-blue veil of Amphareta rest on your head, Eileithyia ; for them she vowed to you when she prayed you to keep dreadful death far away from her in her labour.

[271] PHAEDIMUS   { H 1 }   G

Artemis, the son of Cichesias dedicated the shoes to you, and Themistodice the simple folds of her gown, because that coming in gentle guise without your bow you held your two hands over her in her labour. But Artemis, vouchsafe to see this baby boy of Leon's grow great and strong.

[272] PERSES   { H 2 }   G

Her girdle and flowered frock, and the band that clasps her breasts tight, did Timaessa dedicate, Artemis, to you, when in the tenth month she was freed from the burden and pain of difficult travail.

[273] NOSSIS ?   { H 12 }   G

Artemis, lady of Delos and lovely Ortygia, lay by your stainless bow in the bosom of the Graces, wash you clean in Inopus, and come to Locri to deliver Alcetis from the hard pangs of childbirth.

[274] PERSES   { H 3 }   G

Goddess, saviour of children, blest Eileithyia, receive and keep as your fee for delivering Tisis, who well remembers, from her pangs, this bridal brooch and the diadem from her glossy hair.

[275] NOSSIS   { H 5 }   G

With joy, it is likely, Aphrodite will receive this offering from Symaetha, the caul that bound her hair ; for it is delicately wrought and has a certain sweet smell of nectar, that nectar with which she, too, anoints lovely Adonis.



[277] DAMAGETUS   { H 1 }   G

Artemis, who wield the bow and the arrows of might, by your fragrant temple has Arsinoē, the maiden daughter of Ptolemy, *   left this lock of her own hair, cutting it from her lovely tresses.

*   Probably Arsinoe III, the daughter of Ptolemy III, king of Egypt.

[278] RHIANUS   { H 8 }   G

Gorgus, son of Asclepiades, dedicates to Phoebus the fair this fair lock, a gift from his lovely head. But, Delphinian Phoebus, be gracious to the boy, and establish him in good fortune till his hair be grey.

[279] EUPHORION   { H 1 }   G

When Eudoxus first sheared his beautiful hair, he gave to Phoebus the glory of his boyhood ; and now vouchsafe, O Far-shooter, that instead of these tresses the ivy of Acharnae *   may ever rest on his head as he grows.

*   Acharnae is near Athens. A crown of ivy was the prize in musical contests.

[280] Anonymous   { H 41 }   G

Timareta, the daughter of Timaretus, before her wedding, has dedicated to you, Artemis of the lake, her tambourine and her pretty ball, and the caul that kept up her hair, and her dolls, too, and their dresses ; a virgin's gift, as is fit, to virgin Artemis. *   But, daughter of Leto, hold your hand over the girl, and purely keep her in her purity.

*   In Greek the same word is used for "girl" and "doll".



[282] THEODORUS   { H 1 }   G

To you, Hermes, did Calliteles suspend his felt hat made of well-carded sheep's wool, his double pin, his strigil, his unstrung bow, his worn chlamys soaked with sweat, his arrows (?), *   and the ball he never tired of throwing. Accept, I pray you, friend of youth, these gifts, the souvenirs of a well-conducted adolescence.

*   In this, as in some other epigrams, obscure words are used purposely as by Lycophron.

[283] Anonymous   { H 39 }   G

She who formerly boasted of her wealthy lovers and never bowed the knee to Nemesis, the dread goddess, now weaves on a poor loom cloth she is paid for. Late in the day hath Athena despoiled Cypris.

[284] Anonymous   { H 40 }   G

Philaeniŏn, by sleeping secretly in Agamedes' bosom, wrought for herself the grey robe. Cypris herself was the weaver ; but may women's well-spun thread and spindles lie idle in the work-basket.















[292] HEDYLUS   { H 1 }   G

The snood and purple vest, and the Laconian robes, and the gold piping for the tunic, all fell to (?) Niconoē, for the girl was an ambrosial blossom of the Loves and Graces. Therefore to Priapus, who was judge in the beauty-contest, she dedicates the fawn-skin and this golden jug.



[294] PHANIAS   { H 2 }   G

This poet also uses obscure words on purpose, and much is conjecture.

Callon, his limbs fettered by senile fatigue, dedicates to Hermes the Lord these tokens of his career as a schoolmaster : the staff that guided his feet, his tawse, and the fennel-rod that lay ever ready to his hand to tap little boys with on the head, his lithe whistling bull's knob, his one-soled slipper, and the skull-cap of his hairless pate.

[295] PHANIAS   { H 3 }   G

Ascondas, when he came in for an exciseman's lickerish sop, *   hung up here to the Muses the implements of his penury : his penknife, the sponge he used to line to wipe his Cnidian pens, the ruler for marking off the margins, his paper-weight that marks the place (?), his ink-horn, his compasses that draw circles, his pumice for smoothing, and his blue spectacles (?) that give sweet light.

*   i.e. fat place.



[297] PHANIAS   { H 4 }   G

Alcimus hung up in Athena's porch, when he found a treasure (for otherwise his often-bent back would perhaps have gone down curved to Hades), his toothless rake, a piece of his noisy hoe wanting its olive-wood handle, his . . ., his mallet that destroys the clods, his one-pronged pickaxe, his rake, *   and his sewn baskets for carrying earth.

*   It seems evident that two kinds of rake, which we cannot distinguish, are mentioned.



[299] PHANIAS   { H 5 }   G

To you, wayside Hermes, I offer this portion of a noble cluster of grapes, this piece of a rich cake from the oven, this black fig, this soft olive that does not hurt the gums, some scrapings of round cheeses, some Cretan meal, a heap of crumbling . . . ., and an after-dinner glass of wine. Let Cypris, my goddess, enjoy them too, and I promise to sacrifice to you both on the beach a white-footed kid.




Callimachus (48)



[303] ARISTON   { H 3 }   G

Mice, if you have come for bread, go to some other corner (my hut is ill-supplied), where ye shall nibble fat cheese and dried figs, and get a plentiful dinner from the scraps. But if you sharpen your teeth again on my books you shall suffer for it and find that you come to no pleasant banquet.

[304] PHANIAS   { H 6 }   G

Fisher of the beach, come from the rock on to the dry land and begin the day well with this early buyer. If you have caught in your weel black-tails or some mormyre, or wrasse, or sparus, or small fry, you will call me lucky, who prefer not flesh but the fruit of the sea to make me forget I am munching a dry crust. But if you bring me bony chalcides or some thrissa, *   good-bye and better luck ! I have not got a throat made of stone.

*   I am acquainted with these fish, which retain their names, but am unable to give their scientific names or nearest English equivalent. The thrissa is a fish that goes in shoals, a little like mackerel and not particularly bony ; the chalcis is a kind of bream.



[306] ARISTON   { H 1 }   G

Spinther, the cook, when he shook off the burden of slavery, gave these tokens of his calling to Hermes : his pot, this flesh-hook, his highly-curved pork-spit (?), the stirrer for soup, his feather fan, and his bronze cauldron, together with his axe and slaughtering-knife, his soup-ladle beside the spits, his sponge for wiping, resting beneath the strong chopper, this two-headed pestle, and with it the stone mortar and the trough for holding meat.

[307] PHANIAS   { H 7 }   G

Eugathes of Lapithē cast away with scorn his mirror, his cloth that loves hair, a fragment of his shaving-bowl, his reed scraper, his scissors that have deserted their work, and his pointed nail-file. He cast away, too, his scissors, *   razors, and barber's chair, and leaving his shop ran prancing off to Epicurus to be a garden-student. There he listened as a donkey listens to the lyre, and he would have died of hunger if he had not thought better of it and run home.

*   Two kinds of scissors seem to be mentioned.






Callimachus (49)


Callimachus (50)



[313] BACCHYLIDES   { F 2 }   G

Famous daughter of Pallas, holy Victory, look ever with good will on the beauteous chorus of the Carthaeans, and crown Ceian Bacchylides with many wreaths at the sports of the Muses.


314-320 are couplets of Nicodemus of Heracleia which can be read backwards

Odysseus, his long road finished, brought you this cloak and robe, Penelope.


In thanks for my help Ophelion painted me the goat-footed Pan, the friend of Bacchus and son of Arcadian Hermes.


Ophelion painted the tears of dripping Aerope, *   the remains of the impious feast and the requital.

*   Daughter of Crateus, king of Crete, and subsequently wife of Atreus. Owing to an oracle she was cast into the sea by her father, but escaped. "The impious feast" is the feast of Thyestes by Atreus and "the requital" is the murder of Agamemnon.


Praxiteles carved of Parian marble Danaē and the draped Nymphs, but me, Pan, he carved of Pentelic marble.


We young men, after sacrificing a calf to Aphrodite, the Nurser of youth, conduct the brides with joy from their chambers.


By the light of burning torches in her father's spacious house I received the maiden from the hands of Cypris.


Hail, lovely Ascania, and the golden orgies of Bacchus, and the chief of his initiated.


321-329 are Isopsepha (poems in which the sum of the letters taken as numerical signs is identical in each couplet).

On your birthday, Caesar {? Nero}, the Egyptian Muse of Leonidas offers you these lines. The offering of Calliope *   is ever smokeless ; but next year, if you will, she will offer you a larger sacrifice.

*   i.e. of poets.


Behold again the work of Leonidas' flourishing Muse, this playful distich, neat and well expressed. This will be a lovely plaything for Marcus at the Saturnalia, and at banquets, and among lovers of the Muses.


Not Isopsephon, but can be read backwards.

Oedipus was the brother of his children and his mother's husband, and blinded himself by his own hands.


Who offered to me, Ares the sacker of cities, rich cakes, and grapes, and roses ? Let them offer these to the Nymphs, but I, bold Ares, accept not bloodless sacrifices on my altars.


One sends you, Eupolis, birthday gifts from the hunting-net, another from the air, a third from the sea. From me accept a line of my Muse which will survive for ever, a token of friendship and of learned skill.


Nicis the Libyan, son of Lysimachus, dedicates his Cretan quiver and curved bow to you, Artemis ; for he had exhausted the arrows that filled the belly of the quiver by shooting at does and dappled hinds.


One verse here gives the same figures as the other, not a distich the same as a distich, for I no longer care to be lengthy.


Accept from me, Caesar {? Nero}, the third volume of my thankful gift to you, this token of my skill in making isopsepha, so that the Nile may despatch through Greece to your land this most musical gift.


One will send crystal, another silver, a third topazes, rich birthday gifts. But I, look, having merely made two isopsephon distiches for Agrippina, am content with this my gift that envy shall not damage.

[331] GAETULICUS   { F 3 }   G

Alcon, seeing his child in the coils of a murderous serpent, bent his bow with trembling hand ; yet he did not miss the monster, but the arrow pierced its jaws just a little above where the infant was. Relieved of his fear, he dedicated on this tree his quiver, the token of good luck and good aim.

[332] HADRIAN   { F 1 }   G

To Casian Zeus *   did Trajan, the descendant of Aeneas, dedicate these ornaments, the king of men to the king of gods : two curiously fashioned cups and the horn of a urus mounted in shining gold, selected from his first booty when, tirelessly fighting, he had overthrown with his spear the insolent Getae. But, Lord of the black clouds, entrust to him, too, the glorious accomplishment of this Persian war, that your heart's joy may be doubled as you look on the spoils of both foes, the Getae and the Arsacidae.

*   i.e. it was at Antioch in Syria on his way to the Persian war (A.D. 106) that Trajan made this dedication.








Theocritus (I)


Theocritus (VIII)


Theocritus (X)


Theocritus (XII)


Theocritus (XIII)







[346] ANACREON   { F 4 }   G

Give Tellis a pleasant life, O son of Maia, recompensing him for these sweet gifts ; grant that he may dwell in the justly-ruled deme of Euonymon, enjoying good fortune all his days.


Callimachus (35)

[348] DIODORUS   { Ph 16 }   G

These mournful lines from the skilled pen of Diodorus tell that this tomb was carved for one who died before her time in child-birth, in bearing a boy. I mourn her whom I received, blooming Athenaïs the daughter of Mela, who left sorrow to the ladies of Lesbos and to her father Jason. But you had no care, then, Artemis, but for your hounds deadly to beasts.






Callimachus (36)

[352] ERINNA   { H 3 }   G

This picture is the work of delicate hands ; so, good Prometheus, there are men whose skill is equal to yours. At least if he who painted this girl thus to the life had but added speech, she would be, Agatharchis, your complete self.

[353] NOSSIS   { H 8 }   G

It is Melinna herself. See how her sweet face seems to look kindly at me. How truly the daughter resembles her mother in everything ! It is surely a lovely thing when children are like their parents.

[354] NOSSIS   { H 9 }   G

Even from here this picture of Sabaethis is to be known by its beauty and majesty. Look at the wise house-wife. I hope to look soon from nigh on her gentle self. All hail, blessed among women!



[356] PANCRATES   { H 2 }   G

Aristodice and Ameinō, the two Cretan four-year-old daughters of Cleiō your priestess, Artemis, are dedicated here by their mother. See, O Queen, what fair children she has, and make you two priestesses instead of one.

[357] THEAETETUS   { H 1 }   G

A. May you be blest, O children. Who are your parents, and what pretty names did they give to their pretty ones ?   B. I am Nicanor, and my father is Aepioretus, and my mother Hegeso, and I am a Macedonian.   C. And I am Phila and this is my brother. We are both dedicated here owing to a vow of our parents.

[358] DIOTIMUS   { H 7 }   G

Hail, dainty frock, that Lydian Omphale doffed to go to the bed of Heracles. You were blessed then, frock, and blessed again are you now that you have entered this golden house of Artemis.

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