Angry, Sarcastic Grammarians Try to Write Funny Poems

Loukianos, Greek Anthology 11.400

“Praise, Grammar, Giver of life, Praise, you
Who found as a cure for hunger “Goddess, sing the rage.”
It would be right to build a beautiful temple for you too,
And with it an altar with sacrifices always smoking.
For the roads are full of you, the sea is full of you,
And the harbors are full of you—Grammar, mistress of all.”

῞Ιλαθι, Γραμματικὴ φυσίζοε, ἵλαθι, λιμοῦ
φάρμακον εὑρομένη „Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά.”
νηὸν ἐχρῆν καὶ σοὶ περικαλλέα δωμήσασθαι
καὶ βωμὸν θυέων μή ποτε δευόμενον.
καὶ γὰρ σοῦ μεσταὶ μὲν ὁδοί, μεστὴ δὲ θάλασσα
καὶ λιμένες, πάντων δέκτρια Γραμματική.

Apollonarios, 11.399

A grammarian who was riding on a donkey fell down
And, as the story goes, forgot everything of grammar.
Then he lived a normal life after like a commoner [idiotês]
Remembering not a thing of what he previously taught.
But Glukôn suffered the opposite: he was ignorant
Even of the common tongue, and nothing of grammar,
But now that he is riding and falling from Libyan donkeys,
He has suddenly become quite the grammarian.”

Γραμματικός ποτ’ ὄνῳ ἐποχούμενος ἐξεκυλίσθη
καὶ τῆς γραμματικῆς, ὡς λόγος, ἐξέπεσεν·
εἶθ’ ἑξῆς ἐβίου κοινὸν βίον ὡς ἰδιώτης,
ὧν ἐδίδασκεν ἀεί, μηδὲν ἐπιστάμενος.
ἀλλὰ Γλύκων ἔπαθεν τοὐναντίον· ὢν γὰρ ἄπειρος
καὶ κοινῆς γλώττης, οὐχ ὅτι γραμματικῆς,
νῦν Λιβυκοὺς κάνθωνας ὀχούμενος, εἶτ’ ἀποπίπτων
πολλάκις ἐξαίφνης γραμματικὸς γέγονεν.

 

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