Lock Up Your Winds! A Song for Safe Passage

Anonymous, To The Rhodian Winds [P. Oxy. xi. 1915, no. 1383, p. 236.]

“I used to give orders to the Rhodian winds
And the neighborhoods of the sea
When I wanted to sail
When I wanted to stay there

I used to sing to the corners of the sea:
Don’t let the waters strike me!
Put the waves at the command of the sailors!
The whole wind is pressing on us!

Night, Lock up your winds and
make safe our way.”

Ῥοδίοις ἐκέλευον ἀνέμοις
καὶ μέρεσι τοῖς πελαγίοις
ὅτε πλέειν ἤθελον ἐγώ,
ὅτε μένειν ἤθελον ἐκεῖ,
ἔλεγον μέρε(σιν) πελαγίο(ις)·
μὴ τύπηι τὰ πελάγη·
ἅλ᾿ ὑποτάξατε ναυσιβά[τ]αις.
ὅλος ἄρ᾿ ἄνεμος ἐπείγεται.
ἀπόκλειε τὰ πνεύματα καί, Ν[ύ]ξ,
δὸς τὰ [. .]ατ᾿ εὔβατα.

Black figure vase. Sailing vessel in the middle of a red vase with dolphins around. A beareded figure sits in the middle
Dionysos in a ship, sailing among dolphins. Attic black-figure kylix, ca. 530 BC. From Vulci.

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