Artemis, A Magnificent Name

Sappho fr. 44a [=P. Fouad 239]

“(Phoebus with his golden locks, whom Coeus’ daughter
Bore after having sex with the great-named, high-cloud son of Kronos.

But Artemis swore the great oath of the gods:
“By your head, father, I will remain a maiden
unbroken, hunting over deserted mountain peaks.
Come, agree to this favor for me.”

So she spoke. And the father of the blessed gods assented.
Now gods and men call her the maiden huntress,
The shooter of deer, a magnificent name.
And that limb-loosener love never nears her.”

]σανορε . . [
Φοίβωι χρυσοκό]αι, τὸν ἔτικτε Κόω [όρα
μίγεισ᾿ ὐψινέφει Κρ]ονίδαι μεγαλωνύμι·
Ἄρτεμις δὲ θέων] μέγαν ὄρκον ἀπώμοσε·
νὴ τὰν σὰν κεφά]λαν, ἄϊ πάρθενος ἔσσομαι
ἄδμης οἰοπό]ων ὀρέων κορύφσ᾿ ἔπι
θηρεύοισ᾿· ἄγι καὶ τά]ε νεῦσον ἔμαν χάριν.
ὢς εἶπ᾿· αὐτὰρ ἔνευ]ε θέων μακάρων πάτηρ.
πάρθενον δ᾿ ἐλαφάβ]ολον ἀγροτέραν θέι
ἄνθρωποί τε κάλε]σιν ἐπωνύμιον μέγα.
κήναι λυσιμέλης] Ἔρος οὐδάμα πίλναται…

Carving with a figure facing forward. Somewhat rough with birds on either side. The head is large with large eyes. Represents Artemis as queen of the animals.
Artemis Orthia in the usual stance of Potnia Theron on an archaic ivory votive offering, (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)

Weeping for Youth

Anacreon, fr. 365

“My hair is gray already–
And at my temples it is white.
That charm of youth is no longer present
And my teeth are just old.

The great span of sweet life
isn’t left for me any more.

Now I often weep aloud,
Because I am afraid of Tartaros.
The inner hall of Hades is terrible
And the path to get there is hard.
One thing is certain:
The one who goes down, may not return.”

πολιοὶ μὲν ἡμὶν ἤδη
κρόταφοι κάρη τε λευκόν,
χαρίεσσα δ᾿ οὐκέτ᾿ ἥβη
πάρα, γηραλέοι δ᾿ ὀδόντες,
γλυκεροῦ δ᾿ οὐκέτι πολλὸς
βιότου χρόνος λέλειπται·

διὰ ταῦτ᾿ ἀνασταλύζω
θαμὰ Τάρταρον δεδοικώς·
Ἀίδεω γάρ ἐστι δεινὸς
μυχός, ἀργαλῆ δ᾿ ἐς αὐτὸν
κάτοδος· καὶ γὰρ ἑτοῖμον
καταβάντι μὴ ἀναβῆναι.

An oil painting: Orpheus is at the center next to an outline of eurydice, performing in front of Hades and Persephone in a cavern of sorts. There are other people listening on the margins.
Henryk Siemiradzki, “Orpheus in the underworld”

Anakreon Says, Hit it And Quit

Anacreonta 60b

“Come, my heart, why are you crazed
By that best kind of madness?
Come on, take your shot
So you can hit what you want and leave.

Let go of Aphrodite’s bow–
She used it to conquer the gods.
Imitate Anakreon,
The sweetest singer.
Tip a cup to the boys,
Your gorgeous cup of words.

Once we take some comfort
From the downing nektar,
We can run from the burning dogstar.”

ἄγε, θυμέ, πῇ μέμηνας
μανίην μανεὶς ἀρίστην;
τὸ βέλος, φέρε, κράτυνον,
σκοπὸν ὡς βαλὼν ἀπέλθῃς.

τὸ δὲ τόξον Ἀφροδίτης
ἄφες, ᾧ θεοὺς ἐνίκα.
τὸν Ἀνακρέοντα μιμοῦ,
τὸν ἀοίδιμον μελιστήν.
φιάλην πρόπινε παισίν,

φιάλην λόγων ἐραννήν·
ἀπὸ νέκταρος ποτοῖο
παραμύθιον λαβόντες
φλογερὸν φύγωμεν ἄστρον.

Close up of a red figure vase. Black background with an a nude archer in the foreground, aiming his bow to the left and drawing an arrow.
Archer, side B of an Attic red-figure eye-cup. Signed by Epiktetos as painter and by Pamphaios as potter.

Lust, Longing, and Laughter

Anacreonta 57

“Who shaped the sea?
What maddened craft
Poured waves on its platter?
Who was it over the water’s back
That sketched the shape of soft,
shining Kypris, after turning thoughts
To the gods, the beginning of divine creation?

He made her naked,
Cloaking only as much as it is improper
To see, with the waves.

And she wanders over them,
Like seaweed, pressing
Her soft-skinned body in a voyage
Over the calm white waves,
And shapes a wake in her passing.

A huge wave marks the place
Where her neck meets
Rosy breasts and there
Kypris shines bright amid the calm
In the water’s furrow, like
A lily twisted in the violets.

On the silver surface
Upon dancing dolphins,
Lust, Longing, and Laughter
Ride, sorrowful thoughts for mortals at times,
Along with a curved chorus of fish
Diving into the waves
At play in the very place
Where the Paphian swims while laughing.”

ἄρα τίς τόρευσε πόντον;
ἄρα τίς μανεῖσα τέχνα
ἀνέχευε κῦμα δίσκῳ;
ἐπὶ νῶτα τῆς θαλάττης
ἄρα τίς ὕπερθε λευκὰν
ἁπαλὰν χάραξε Κύπριν
νόον ἐς θεοὺς ἀερθείς,
μακάρων φύσιος ἀρχάν;
ὁ δέ νιν ἔδειξε γυμνάν,
ὅσα μὴ θέμις δ᾿ ὁρᾶσθαι
μόνα κύμασιν καλύπτει.

ἀλαλημένη δ᾿ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὰ
βρύον ὥς, ὕπερθε λευκᾶς
ἁπαλόχροον γαλήνας
δέμας εἰς πλόον φέρουσα,
ῥόθιον παρ᾿ οἶμον ἕλκει.

ῥοδέων δ᾿ ὕπερθε μαζῶν
ἁπαλῆς ἔνερθε δειρῆς
μέγα κῦμα χρῶτα τέμνει.
μέσον αὔλακος δὲ Κύπρις
κρίνον ὣς ἴοις ἑλιχθὲν
διαφαίνεται γαλήνας.

ὑπὲρ ἀργύρου δ᾿ ὀχοῦνται
ἐπὶ δελφῖσι χορευταῖς
† δολερὸν νόον μερόπων †
Ἔρος Ἵμερος γελῶν τε,
χορὸς ἰχθύων τε κυρτὸς
ἐπὶ κυμάτων κυβιστῶν
† Παφίης τε σῶμα † παίζει,
ἵνα νήχεται γελῶσα.

Wall painting. A naked Venus lies in repose on a giant oyster shell over a blue background. Little naked cherubs are on either side
Fresco from Pompei, Casa di Venus, 1st century CE

A Dream to Remember, Repeat

Anacreonta 37

“As I slept through the night
Under sea-purple blankets,
Stretched out, drunk,
I was dreaming I stretched out
Mid-run on a fast course,
On the very tips of my toes.
I was enjoying myself with the girls
But some boys younger
Than Luaios were mocking me,
Teasing me harshly,
Because of those pretty girls.

Then, they all ran away from my dream
When I reached out to kiss them.
They left me alone and poor me,
I only wanted to sleep again.”

διὰ νυκτὸς ἐγκαθεύδων
ἁλιπορφύροις τάπησι
γεγανυμένος Λυαίῳ,
ἐδόκουν ἄκροισι ταρσῶν
δρόμον ὠκὺν ἐκτανύειν
μετὰ παρθένων ἀθύρων,
ἐπεκερτόμουν δὲ παῖδες
ἁπαλώτεροι Λυαίου
δακέθυμά μοι λέγοντες
διὰ τὰς καλὰς ἐκείνας.

ἐθέλοντα δ᾿ ἐκφιλῆσαι
φύγον ἐξ ὕπνου με πάντες·
μεμονωμένος δ᾿ ὁ τλήμων
πάλιν ἤθελον καθεύδειν.

a knight dozes at a table on the left. An angel looks at him. in the center and the right lies a table cluttered with objects, including coins, books, and a skull
Antonio de Pereda “The Knight’s Dream” 1650

Pain-Relieving Dance

Anacreonta 49

“When Zeus’ child, Bacchus,
That pain-reliever Luaios,
That giver of wine, joins my thoughts
He teaches me how to dance.

I get a bit of pleasure too,
As a lover of drinking:
With the dances and the songs
Aphrodite makes me happy.
I want to dance again.”

τοῦ Διὸς ὁ παῖς ὁ Βάκχος,
ὁ λυσίφρων ὁ Λυαῖος,
ὅταν εἰς φρένας τὰς ἐμὰς
εἰσέλθῃ μεθυδώτας,
διδάσκει με χορεύειν.

ἔχω δέ τι καὶ τερπνὸν
ὁ τᾶς μέθας ἐραστάς·
μετὰ κρότων, μετ᾿ ᾠδᾶς
τέρπει με κἀφροδίτα·
πάλιν θέλω χορεύειν.

Anacreonta 43

Let’s get drunk and giggle,
Once we’ve fastened
Rose garlands to our heads.

Have a girl with cute ankles
Dance to the lyre, carrying
A thyrsus with ivy braids.

Have a soft-haired boy
Play alongside her, letting
A clear voice free
from a sweet smelling mouth.

Then golden-haired Love
Along with pretty Luaios
And pretty Aphrodite
Will join the party
An old man might enjoy.”

στεφάνους μὲν κροτάφοισι
ῥοδίνους συναρμόσαντες
μεθύωμεν ἁβρὰ γελῶντες.

ὑπὸ βαρβίτῳ δὲ κούρα
κατακίσσοισι βρύοντας
πλοκάμοις φέρουσα θύρσους
χλιδανόσφυρος χορεύῃ.

ἁβροχαίτας δ᾿ ἅμα κοῦρος
στομάτων ἁδὺ πνεόντων
κατὰ πηκτίδων ἀθύρῃ
προχέων λίγειαν ὀμφάν.

ὁ δ᾿ Ἔρως ὁ χρυσοχαίτας
μετὰ τοῦ καλοῦ Λυαίου
καὶ τῆς καλῆς Κυθήρης
τὸν ἐπήρατον γεραιοῖς
κῶμον μέτεισι χαίρων.

Oil on wood painting, a crowded barn with men and women dancing, drinking and dining
Peter Brueghel the Younger, “The Wedding Dance in a Barn” 1610

The Glory and Story of the Rose

Anacreonta 55

“Along with garland bearing spring
I plan to sing clearly
Of her gentle companion, the rose.

This is the immortals’ breath,
This is delight for mortals,
And the Graces’ pride in all seasons,
The lovely plaything
Of blossoming Loves.

This is a theme for myths,
This charming shoot of the Muses,
Sweet to find when one is making
Their way along prickly paths;
Sweet to take in turn, to warm
In gentle hands, pressing
This light flower of Love.

Could we ever be without
The rose at the tables
And feasts of Dionysus?

Dawn is called rosy-toed,
The Nymphs are rosy-armed,
Aphrodite is tinted-rose
When named by people who know.

This pleasure is the same for the ignorant;
This is helpful to the sick too;
This helps protect the dead and
This even fights against time:
For the old age of roses
Retains the charming scent of something new

Come, let’s talk of its creation:
When from the murky sea
The water was giving birth to
Aphrodite dampened with foam,
And Zeus was displaying on his brow
War-loving Athena
A terror for Olympus to see,
The earth let flower
A new surprising growth of roses,
An intricate creation.

She made the rose to be
Like the blessed gods themselves–
Then Luaios watered it with nektar,
Joining it to the haughty thorn,
a life to last forever.

στεφανηφόρου μετ᾿ ἦρος
μέλομαι ῥόδον τέρεινον
συνέταιρον ὀξὺ μέλπειν.
τόδε γὰρ θεῶν ἄημα,
τόδε καὶ βροτοῖσι χάρμα,
Χάρισίν τ᾿ ἄγαλμ᾿ ἐν ὥραις,
πολυανθέων Ἐρώτων
ἀφροδίσιόν τ᾿ ἄθυρμα·

τόδε καὶ μέλημα μύθοις
χαρίεν φυτόν τε Μουσῶν·
γλυκὺ καὶ ποιοῦντι πεῖραν
ἐν ἀκανθίναις ἀταρποῖς,
γλυκὺ δ᾿ αὖ λαβόντι, θάλπειν
μαλακαῖσι χερσί, κοῦφον
προσάγοντ᾿ Ἔρωτος ἄνθος.

θαλίαις τί κἀν τραπέζαις
Διονυσίαις τ᾿ ἑορταῖς
δίχα τοῦ ῥόδου γένοιτ᾿ ἄν;

ῥοδοδάκτυλος μὲν Ἠώς,
ῥοδοπήχεες δὲ Νύμφαι,
ῥοδόχρους δὲ κἀφροδίτα
παρὰ τῶν σοφῶν καλεῖται.

ἀσόφῳ τόδ᾿ αὐτὸ τερπνόν·
τόδε καὶ νοσοῦσιν ἀρκεῖ,
τόδε καὶ νεκροῖς ἀμύνει,
τόδε καὶ χρόνον βιᾶται·
χαρίεν ῥόδων δὲ γῆρας
νεότητος ἔσχεν ὀδμήν.

φέρε δὴ φύσιν λέγωμεν·
χαροπῆς ὅτ᾿ ἐκ θαλάττης
δεδροσωμένην Κυθήρην
ἐλόχευε πόντος ἀφρῷ
πολεμόκλονόν τ᾿ Ἀθήνην
κορυφῆς ἔδειξεν ὁ Ζεύς,
φοβερὰν θέαν Ὀλύμπῳ,
τότε καὶ ῥόδων ἀγητὸν
νέον ἔρνος ἤνθισε χθών,
πολυδαίδαλον λόχευμα·

μακάρων θεῶν δ᾿ ὅμοιον
ῥόδον ὡς γένοιτο, νέκταρ
ἐπιτέγξας ἀνέθηλεν
ἀγέρωχον ἐξ ἀκάνθης
φυτὸν ἄμβροτον Λυαῖος.

Impressionistic oil painting of pink roses
Pierre August Renoir, “Roses” 1910

Love, And Some of His Own Medicine

Anacreonta 35

“Once, among the roses
Love didn’t notice
A sleeping bee
And it wounded him, biting his finger.
How he howled over his hand!

He rushed and flew
To beautiful Kythera and said
“I am dying, my mother.
I have been killed. I am dying.
That tiny snake struck me
The snake with wings. The one
The farmers call a honey-bee.”

She responded, “if the bee’s
Little sting hurts, then
How much do you imagine
All the people suffer
From your attacks?”

Ἔρως ποτ᾿ ἐν ῥόδοισι
κοιμωμένην μέλιτταν
οὐκ εἶδεν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐτρώθη·
τὸν δάκτυλον παταχθεὶς
τᾶς χειρὸς ὠλόλυξε.

δραμὼν δὲ καὶ πετασθεὶς
πρὸς τὴν καλὴν Κυθήρην
῾ὄλωλα, μῆτερ,’ εἶπεν,
῾ὄλωλα κἀποθνήσκω·
ὄφις μ᾿ ἔτυψε μικρὸς
πτερωτός, ὃν καλοῦσιν
μέλιτταν οἱ γεωργοί.’

ἁ δ᾿ εἶπεν· ῾εἰ τὸ κέντρον
πονεῖ τὸ τᾶς μελίττας,
πόσον δοκεῖς πονοῦσιν,
Ἔρως, ὅσους σὺ βάλλεις;’

Small GReek coin from the city of Ephesus. The side facing the camera shows a bee in the middle with the GReek letters epsilon and phi on other side
394-295 BC – silver tetradrachm – bee – München

Roses, Wine, and Pretty Curls

Anacreonta 44

“Let’s mix the Loves’ rose
In with Dionysus.
Once we fit that fine-leaved
Rose to our temples,
Let’s drink and giggle.

Rose, the best blossom,
Rose, the spring’s crush,
Rose, a pleasure even to gods,
Rose, the flower Aphrodite’s child
Uses to tie up his pretty curls,
When he dances along with the Graces.

Crown me! And while I play
The lyre in your sacred places, Dionysus,
I will dance, my head covered
With garlands of rose
Alongside a deep-chested girl.”

τὸ ῥόδον τὸ τῶν Ἐρώτων
μίξωμεν Διονύσῳ·
τὸ ῥόδον τὸ καλλίφυλλον
κροτάφοισιν ἁρμόσαντες
πίνωμεν ἁβρὰ γελῶντες.

ῥόδον, ὦ φέριστον ἄνθος,
ῥόδον εἴαρος μέλημα,
ῥόδα καὶ θεοῖσι τερπνά,
ῥόδον, ᾧ παῖς ὁ Κυθήρης
στέφεται καλοὺς ἰούλους
Χαρίτεσσι συγχορεύων·

στεφάνου με, καὶ λυρίζων
παρὰ σοῖς, Διόνυσε, σηκοῖς
μετὰ κούρης βαθυκόλπου
ῥοδίνοισι στεφανίσκοις
πεπυκασμένος χορεύσω.

abstract  Oil painting with soldiers drinking, palying games, playing the accordion
Mikhail Larionov, “Dancing Soldiers” 1910

Warm Heart, Calm Thoughts: Yay Wine!

Anacreonta 50

“Whenever I drink wine
My heart gets warm

And begins to sing the Muses.

Whenever I drink wine,
My worries and anxious plans
Are tossed to the winds
That assault the sea.

Whenever I drink wine,
That playful Bacchus
Makes me happier with drink,
Surrounding me with flowery breezes.

Whenever I drink wine,
I weave blossoms into crowns,
Drop them on my head
And sing aloud of life’s peace.

Whenever I drink wine,
I douse my body with perfume
And sing all about Kypris
Holding a girl in my arms.

Whenever I drink wine,
I unfold my mind in the cups
And delight in the partying boys.”

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ πίω τὸν οἶνον,
τότε μὴν ἦτορ ἰανθὲν
. . . . . . . . .
λιγαίνειν ἄρχεται Μούσας.

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ πίω τὸν οἶνον,
ἀπορίπτονται μέριμναι
πολυφρόντιδές τε βουλαὶ
ἐς ἁλικτύπους ἀήτας.

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ πίω τὸν οἶνον,
λυσιπαίγμων τότε Βάκχος
πολυανθέσιν μ᾿ ἐν αὔραις
δονέει μέθῃ γανώσας.

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ πίω τὸν οἶνον,
στεφάνους ἄνθεσι πλέξας,
ἐπιθείς τε τῷ καρήνῳ
βιότου μέλπω γαλήνην.

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ πίω τὸν οἶνον,
μύρῳ εὐώδεϊ τέγξας
δέμας, ἀγκάλαις δὲ κούρην
κατέχων Κύπριν ἀείδω.

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ πίω τὸν οἶνον,
ὑπὸ κυρτοῖς δὴ κυπέλλοις
τὸν ἐμὸν νόον ἁπλώσας
θιάσῳ τέρπομαι κούρων.

Picture of lemur next to wine jug.
Painting be Pisha Larysa French wine 2000