Another Casualty of Childbirth

Amyntas, Lit. Pap. 107 = P.Oxy iv.1904

Tell me, woman, who you are, who is your father, and your country.
What kind of great sickness did you die from?

“Stranger, my name is Praksô, and I am Samian
My father was Calliteles and I died giving birth”

Who provided for your tomb? “Theocritus, the man
To whom they married me.” What age did you reach?

“I was three-times-seven plus one.” Were you then childless”
“No, but I left a three year-old child in my home.”

φράζε, γύναι, τίς ἐοῦσα καὶ ἐκ τίνος, εἰπέ τε πάτρην,
καὶ ποίας ἔθανες νούσου ὑπ᾿ ἀργαλέης.
οὔνομα μὲν Πραξὼ Σαμίη, ξένε, ἐκ δὲ γονῆος
Καλλιτέλευς γενόμαν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔθανον τοκετῶι.
τίς δὲ τάφον στάλωσε; Θεόκριτος, ὧι με σύνευνον
ἀνδρὶ δόσαν. ποίην δ᾿ ἦλθες ἐς ἡλικίην;
ἑπταέτις τρὶς ἑνὸς γενόμαν ἔτι. ἦ ῥά γ᾿ἄτεκνος;
οὔκ, ἀλλὰ τριετῆ παῖδα δόμωι λιπόμαν.

Image result for medieval manuscript childbirth
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As If Monday Weren’t Unfunny Enough: Four Fragments from Theopompos

Theopompos was a minor poet composing in the later years of Attic Old Comedy (c. 410-380?). Here are four of his remaining fragments:

Fr. 16 (Diogenes Laertius 3.26)

“One thing is not even one thing,
And two are scarcely one either, according to Plato.”

ἓν γάρ ἐστιν οὐδὲ ἕν,
τὰ δὲ δύο μόλις ἕν ἐστιν, ὥς φησιν Πλάτων.

Fr. 34

“Euripides didn’t say it badly at all:
The truly happy man dines an another’s expense”

Εὐριπίδου τἄρ’ ἐστὶν οὐ κακῶς ἔχον,
τἀλλότρια δειπνεῖν τὸν καλῶς εὐδαίμονα.

Fr. 60

“Eileithuia has been pardoned by women
For being so tight-lipped about her craft.”

ἀλλ’ ἡ μὲν Εἰλείθυια συγγνώμην ἔχει
ὑπὸ τῶν γυναικῶν οὖσα καταπλὴξ τὴν τέχνην.

[Eileithuia was a goddess of childbirth]

Fr. 65

“Stretching out drinking in the three-couched room,
We took turns singing the songs of Telamon to each other”

κατακείμενοι μαλακώτατ’ ἐπὶ τρικλινίῳ
Τελαμῶνος οἰμώζοντες ἀλλήλοις μέλη.