Two Epigrams From Grumpy Grammarians

11.140 Loukillios

“To those chattering song-fighters at the feast,
The greased-up grammarians of Aristarchus,
Men who don’t like to joke or drink but lie there
Playing childish games with Nestor and Priam,
Don’t leave me—in their words—to be “booty and spoil”.
Today I am not eating “Goddess, sing the rage…”

Τούτοις τοῖς παρὰ δεῖπνον ἀοιδομάχοις λογολέσχαις,
τοῖς ἀπ’ ᾿Αριστάρχου γραμματολικριφίσιν,
οἷς οὐ σκῶμμα λέγειν, οὐ πεῖν φίλον, ἀλλ’ ἀνάκεινται
νηπυτιευόμενοι Νέστορι καὶ Πριάμῳ,
μή με βάλῃς κατὰ λέξιν „ἕλωρ καὶ κύρμα γενέσθαι”·
σήμερον οὐ δειπνῶ „μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά.”

11.378 Palladas

“I can’t endure a wife and grammar,
Impoverishing grammar, and a wife unjust.
The suffering from both is death and fate.
I have now just barely fled from grammar,
But I cannot retreat from this man-fighting wife:
Our contract and Roman custom forbid it!”

Οὐ δύναμαι γαμετῆς καὶ γραμματικῆς ἀνέχεσθαι,
γραμματικῆς ἀπόρου καὶ γαμετῆς ἀδίκου.
ἀμφοτέρων τὰ πάθη θάνατος καὶ μοῖρα τέτυκται.
τὴν οὖν γραμματικὴν νῦν μόλις ἐξέφυγον,
οὐ δύναμαι δ’ ἀλόχου τῆς ἀνδρομάχης ἀναχωρεῖν·
εἴργει γὰρ χάρτης καὶ νόμος Αὐσόνιος.


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