A Teacher, Under the Earth in His 40s

IG IX,1 880 Kerkyra, 1st BCE/CE

Traveler, stay near this monument for a while
And learn the truth. Know that in this grave
Is one famed as the son of Athenion.
Call him by his imperishable name, Mneseas.

Understand the tales he used to delight in clearly:
He worked through the sacred facts of the universe
And the burning path of the stars through
The upper sky as well as the art of surveying
With geometry. He learned well the eternal
Tablet of Homer whose layers contain
The wandering offspring of Laertes and
The heavy rage. He gained great renown
By learning all these things truly.

He left behind him a son at the right age with skill
And a spouse. He saw the sun for a full forty years
And then went under the earth, missed by his fellow citizens.”

ὁδῖτα, βαιὸν σάματι σταθεὶς πάρα
μάθοις κεν ἀτρέκειαν. ἴσθι δ’ ὡς πατρὸς
Ἀθηνίωνος οὑν ταφῇσι κλῄζεται
καὶ Μνασέαν αὔδασον οὔνομ’ ἄφθιτο[ν],
καὶ γνῶθι μύθους οἷς σοφῶς ἐτέρπετο
ἇι μὲν τὰ κόσμου σεμνὰ καὶ δι’ ἀστέρων
δι[ῆλθ]ε τὰν πυρωπὸν αἰθεροδρόμω[ν]
[κέλευθον, ᾇ δὲ] καὶ γεωμόρον τέχναν
γραμμαῖσιν ἰχνεύτειραν· εὖ <δ’ ἀ>είν<α>ον̣
κατεῖδ’ Ὁμήρου δέλτον, ἇς ἐνὶ πτυχαῖς
ὁ <τρ>ιπλανάτας ἐστὶ Λαρτίου γόνος
καὶ μῆνις ἁ <β>αρ<ε>ῖα· τῶν ἐπ’ ἀτρεκὲς
δα<εὶς> ἁπάντων ἐσθλὸν ἄρατο κλέος·
νέ[ο]ν δ’ ἐν ἀκμᾶι κοῦρον, ὧι πόρεν τέχναν
<σ>υνευν[έτιν τ’ ἔλειψε. τε]τρώκοντα δὴ
ὑπ’ ἀλίωι πλειῶνας εἰσιδὼν φάος
ποθεινὸς ἀστοῖς τάνδ’ ὑπήλυθε χθόνα.

A dark classroom filled with boys on the left side while an elder male teacher sits at a desk on the right side trimming a quill
an Jansz. van Buesem (1600-1649) A classroom interior with the master trimming a quill. O

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