Tawdry Tuesday: The Judgement of Rufinus

From the Greek Anthology (5.35)

“I judged the asses of three women—they chose themselves
to show me the naked treasure of their limbs.
The first was signed with round dimples
and crowned with a white softness from her thighs.
The snowy flesh of the second reddened as it parted,
blushing darker than a purple rose.
The third, a calm sea furrowed by a quiet wave,
undulated across the surface of her tender skin.
If the goddesses’ judge had seen these rear-ends,
he never would have wished to see those other ones…

Πυγὰς αὐτὸς ἔκρινα τριῶν• εἵλοντο γὰρ αὐταὶ
δείξασαι γυμνὴν ἀστεροπὴν μελέων.
καί ῥ’ ἡ μὲν τροχαλοῖς σφραγιζομένη γελασίνοις
λευκῇ ἀπὸ γλουτῶν ἤνθεεν εὐαφίῃ•
τῆς δὲ διαιρομένης φοινίσσετο χιονέη σὰρξ
πορφυρέοιο ῥόδου μᾶλλον ἐρυθροτέρη•
ἡ δὲ γαληνιόωσα χαράσσετο κύματι κωφῷ,
αὐτομάτη τρυφερῷ χρωτὶ σαλευομένη.
εἰ ταύτας ὁ κριτὴς ὁ θεῶν ἐθεήσατο πυγάς,
οὐκέτ’ ἂν οὐδ’ ἐσιδεῖν ἤθελε τὰς προτέρας.

 

In 5.36, Rufinus uses a similar trope, but focusing on a different body part. For now, I will leave this one untranslated.

῎Ηρισαν ἀλλήλαις ῾Ροδόπη, Μελίτη, ῾Ροδόκλεια,
τῶν τρισσῶν τίς ἔχει κρείσσονα μηριόνην,
καί με κριτὴν εἵλοντο· καὶ ὡς θεαὶ αἱ περίβλεπτοι
ἔστησαν γυμναί, νέκταρι λειβόμεναι.
καὶ ῾Ροδόπης μὲν ἔλαμπε μέσος μηρῶν πολύτιμος
οἷα ῥοδὼν πολλῷ σχιζόμενος ζεφύρῳ …
τῆς δὲ ῾Ροδοκλείης ὑάλῳ ἴσος ὑγρομέτωπος
οἷα καὶ ἐν νηῷ πρωτογλυφὲς ξόανον.
ἀλλὰ σαφῶς, ἃ πέπονθε Πάρις διὰ τὴν κρίσιν, εἰδὼς
τὰς τρεῖς ἀθανάτας εὐθὺ συνεστεφάνουν.

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