Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology
J. W. Mackail

Part 5 out of 6



Earth and Birth-Goddess, thou who didst bear me and thou who coverest,
farewell; I have accomplished the course between you, and I go, not
discerning whither I shall travel; for I know not either whose or who
I am, or whence I came to you.


Pay no offering of ointments or garlands on my stony tomb, nor make
the fire blaze up; the expense is in vain. While I live be kind to me
if thou wilt; but drenching my ashes with wine thou wilt make mire,
and the dead man will not drink.


A little dust of earth suffices me; let another lie richly, weighed
down by his extravagant tombstone, that grim weight over the dead, who
will know me here in death as Alcander son of Calliteles.


Dear Earth, take old Amyntichus to thy bosom, remembering his many
labours on thee; for ever he planted in thee the olive-stock, and
often made thee fair with vine-cuttings, and filled thee full of corn,
and, drawing channels of water along, made thee rich with herbs and
plenteous in fruit: do thou in return lie softly over his grey temples
and flower into tresses of spring herbage.


A gentler old age and no dulling disease quenched thee, and thou didst
fall asleep in the slumber to which all must come, O Eratosthenes,
after pondering over high matters; nor did Cyrene where thou sawest
the light receive thee within the tomb of thy fathers, O son of
Aglaus; yet dear even in a foreign land art thou buried here, by the
edge of the beach of Proteus.


Even as a vine on her dry pole I support myself now on a staff, and
death calls me to Hades. Be not obstinately deaf, O Gorgus; what is it
the sweeter for thee if for three or four summers yet thou shalt warm
thyself beneath the sun? So saying the aged man quietly put his life
aside, and removed his house to the greater company.


Crantor was delightful to men and yet more delightful to the Muses,
and did not live far into age: O earth, didst thou enfold the sacred
man in death, or does he still live in gladness there?


Naiads and chill cattle-pastures, tell to the bees when they come on
their springtide way, that old Leucippus perished on a winter's night,
setting snares for scampering hares, and no longer is the tending of
the hives dear to him; but the pastoral dells mourn sore for him who
dwelt with the mountain peak for neighbour.


Shepherds who pass over this ridge of hill pasturing your goats and
fleecy sheep, pay to Clitagoras, in Earth's name, a small but kindly
grace, for the sake of Persephone under ground; let sheep bleat by me,
and the shepherd on an unhewn stone pipe softly to them as they feed,
and in early spring let the countryman pluck the meadow flower to
engarland my tomb with a garland, and let one make milk drip from a
fruitful ewe, holding up her milking-udder, to wet the base of my
tomb: there are returns for favours to dead men, there are, even among
the departed.


Even here shall the holy bird rest his swift wing, sitting on this
murmuring plane, since Poemander the Malian is dead and comes no more
with birdlime smeared on his fowling reeds.


Here to thee by the threshing floor, O toiling worker ant, I rear a
memorial to thee of a thirsty clod, that even in death the ear-
nurturing furrow of Demeter may lull thee as thou liest in thy rustic


No more along the shady woodland copse, O hunter partridge, dost thou
send thy clear cry from thy mouth as thou decoyest thy speckled
kinsfolk in their forest feeding-ground; for thou art gone on the
final road of Acheron.


O bird beloved of the Graces, O rivalling the halcyons in likeness of
thy note, thou art snatched away, dear warbler, and thy ways and thy
sweet breath are held in the silent paths of night.


No longer in the wealthy house of Alcis, O shrill grasshopper, shall
the sun behold thee singing; for now thou art flown to the meadows of
Clymenus and the dewy flowers of golden Persephone.


Ah thou poor Thyrsis, what profit is it if thou shalt waste away the
apples of thy two eyes with tears in thy mourning? the kid is gone,
the pretty young thing, is gone to Hades; for a savage wolf crunched
her in his jaws; and the dogs bay; what profit is it, when of that
lost one not a bone nor a cinder is left?


Thirst slew hunter Lampo, Midas' dog, though he toiled hard for his
life; for he dug with his paws in the moist flat, but the slow water
made no haste out of her blind spring, and he fell in despair; then
the water gushed out. Ah surely, Nymphs, you laid on Lampo your wrath
for the slain deer.


Unherded at evenfall the oxen came to the farmyard from the hill,
snowed on with heavy snow; alas, and Therimachus sleeps the long sleep
beside an oak, stretched there by fire from heaven.


I know not whether I shall complain of Dionysus or blame the rain of
Zeus, but both are treacherous for feet. For the tomb holds Polyxenus,
who returning once to the country from a feast, tumbled over the
slippery slopes, and lies far from Aeolic Smyrna: but let one full of
wine fear a rainy footpath in the dark.


Let not this be of too much moment to thee, O Philaenis, that thou
hast not found thine allotted earth by the Nile, but this tomb holds
thee in Eleutherne; for to comers from all places there is an equal
way to Hades.


Strange dust covers thy body, and the lot of death took thee, O
Cleisthenes, wandering in the Euxine sea; and thou didst fail of sweet
and dear home-coming, nor ever didst reach sea-girt Chios.


Alas, why wander we, trusting in vain hopes and forgetting baneful
death? this Seleucus was perfect in his words and ways, but, having
enjoyed his youth but a little, among the utmost Iberians, so far away
from Lesbos, he lies a stranger on unmapped shores.


Already almost in touch of my native land, "To-morrow," I said, "the
wind that has set so long against me will abate"; not yet had the
speech died on my lip, and the sea was even as Hades, and that light
word broke me down. Beware of every speech with to-morrow in it; not
even small things escape the Nemesis that avenges the tongue.


Not even when at anchor trust the baleful sea, O sailor, nor even if
dry land hold thy cables; for Ion fell into the harbour, and at the
plunge wine tied his quick sailor's hands. Beware of revelling on
ship-board; the sea is enemy to Iacchus; this law the Tyrrhenians


Even in death shall the implacable sea vex me, Lysis hidden beneath a
lonely rock, ever sounding harshly by my ear and alongside of my deaf
tomb. Why, O fellow-men, have you made my dwelling by this that reft
me of breath, me whom not trading in my merchant-ship but sailing in a
little rowing-boat, it brought to shipwreck? and I who sought my
living out of the sea, out of the sea likewise drew my death.


Hapless Nicanor, doomed by the grey sea, thou liest then naked on a
strange beach, or haply by the rocks, and those wealthy halls are
perished from thee, and lost is the hope of all Tyre; nor did aught of
thy treasures save thee; alas, pitiable one! thou didst perish, and
all thy labour was for the fishes and the sea.


O man, be sparing of life, neither go on sea-faring beyond the time;
even so the life of man is not long. Miserable Cleonicus, yet thou
didst hasten to come to fair Thasos, a merchantman out of hollow
Syria, O merchant Cleonicus; but hard on the sinking of the Pleiad as
thou journeyedst over the sea, as the Pleiad sank, so didst thou.


Not even in death shall I Theris, tossed shipwrecked upon land by the
waves, forget the sleepless shores; for beneath the spray-beaten
reefs, nigh the disastrous main, I found a grave at the hands of
strangers, and for ever do I wretchedly hear roaring even among the
dead the hated thunder of the sea.


O happy shepherd, would that even I had shepherded on the mountain
along this white grassy hill, making the bleating folk move after the
leader rams, rather than have dipped a ship's steering-rudders in the
bitter brine: so I sank under the depths, and the east wind that
swallowed me down cast me up again on this shore.


Keep eight cubits away from me, O rough sea, and billow and roar with
all thy might; but if thou pullest down the grave of Eumares, thou
wilt find nothing of value, but only bones and dust.


Would that swift ships had never been, for we should not have bewailed
Sopolis son of Diocleides; but now somewhere in the sea he drifts
dead, and instead of him we pass by a name on an empty tomb.


And when shall thy swirling passage be free from fear, say, O sea, if
even in the days of the halcyons we must weep, of the halcyons for
whom Ocean evermore stills his windless wave, that one might think dry
land less trustworthy? but even when thou callest thyself a gentle
nurse and harmless to women in labour, thou didst drown Aristomenes
with his freight.


Thee too, son of Cleanor, desire after thy native land destroyed,
trusting to the wintry gust of the South; for the unsecured season
entangled thee, and the wet waves washed away thy lovely youth.


Not yet were thy tresses cut, nor had the monthly courses of the moon
driven a three years' space, O poor Cleodicus, when thy mother
Nicasis, clasping thy coffin, wailed long over thy lamented grave, and
thy father Pericleitus; but an unknown Acheron thou shalt flower out
the youth that never, never returns.


This girl passed to Hades untimely, in her seventh year, before her
many playmates, poor thing, pining for her baby brother, who at twenty
months old tasted of loveless Death. Alas, ill-fated Peristeris, how
near at hand God has set the sorest griefs to men.


Hades inexorable and inflexible, why hast thou thus reft infant
Callaeschrus of life? Surely the child will be a plaything in the
palace of Persephone, but at home he has left bitter sorrows.


Ah wretched Anticles, and wretched I who have laid on the pyre in the
flower of youth my only son, thee, child, who didst perish at eighteen
years; and I weep, bewailing an orphaned old age: fain would I go to
the shadowy house of Hades; neither is morn sweet to me, nor the beam
of the swift sun. Ah wretched Anticles, struck down by fate, be thou
healer of my sorrow, taking me with thee out of life.


I Philaenion who gave birth but for the pyre, I the woeful mother, I
who had seen the threefold grave of my children, anchored my trust on
another's pangs; for I surely hoped that he at least would live, whom
I had not borne. So I, who once had fair children, brought up an
adopted son; but God would not let me have even a second mother's
grace; for being called ours he perished, and now I am become a woe to
the rest of mothers too.


Ever insatiate Charon, why hast thou wantonly taken young Attalus? was
he not thine, even if he had died old?


Protomachus said, as his father held him in his hands when he was
breathing away his lovely youth, "O son of Timenor, thou wilt never
forget thy dear son, nor cease to long for his valour and his wisdom."


Already the saffron-strewn bride-bed was spread within the golden
wedding-chamber for the bride of Pitane, Cleinareta, and her guardians
Demo and Nicippus hoped to light the torch-flame held at stretch of
arm and lifted in both hands, when sickness snatched her away yet a
maiden, and drew her to the sea of Lethe; and her sorrowing companions
knocked not on the bridal doors, but on their own smitten breasts in
the clamour of death.


Not marriage but Death for bridegroom did Clearista receive when she
loosed the knot of her maidenhood: for but now at even the flutes
sounded at the bride's portal, and the doors of the wedding-chamber
were clashed; and at morn they cried the wail, and Hymenaeus put to
silence changed into a voice of lamentation; and the same pine-brands
flashed their torchlight before the bride-bed, and lit the dead on her
downward way.


In season the bride-chamber held thee, out of season the grave took
thee, O Anastasia, flower of the blithe Graces; for thee a father, for
thee a husband pours bitter tears; for thee haply even the ferryman of
the dead weeps; for not a whole year didst thou accomplish beside
thine husband, but at sixteen years old, alas! the tomb holds thee.


Unhappy, by what first word, by what second shall I name thee?
unhappy! this word is true in every ill. Thou art gone, O gracious
wife, who didst carry off the palm in bloom of beauty and in bearing
of soul; Prote wert thou truly called, for all else comes second to
those inimitable graces of thine.


This last word, O famous city of Phocaea, Theano spoke as she went
down into the unharvested night: "Woe's me unhappy; Apellichus,
husband, what length, what length of sea dost thou cross on thine own
ship! but nigh me stands my doom; would God I had but died with my
hand clasped in thy dear hand."


Heliodorus went first, and Diogeneia the wife, not an hour's space
after, followed her dear husband; and both, even as they dwelt
together, are buried under this slab, rejoicing in their common tomb
even as in a bride-chamber.


Tears I give to thee even below with earth between us, Heliodora, such
relic of love as may pass to Hades, tears sorely wept; and on thy
much-wailed tomb I pour the libation of my longing, the memorial of my
affection. Piteously, piteously, I Meleager make lamentation for thee,
my dear, even among the dead, an idle gift to Acheron. Woe's me, where
is my cherished flower? Hades plucked her, plucked her and marred the
freshly-blown blossom with his dust. But I beseech thee, Earth, that
nurturest all, gently to clasp her, the all-lamented, O mother, to thy


Ah blessed one, dearest companion of the immortal Muses, fare thou
well even in the house of Hades, Callimachus.


May flowers grow thick on thy newly-built tomb, not the dry bramble,
not the evil weed, but violets and margerain and wet narcissus,
Vibius, and around thee may all be roses.


My name--Why this?--and my country--And to what end this?--and I am of
illustrious race--Yea, if thou hadst been of the obscurest?--Having
lived nobly I left life--If ignobly?--and I lie here now--Who art thou
that sayest this, and to whom?


I died, but I await thee; and thou too shalt await some one else: one
Death receives all mortals alike.


Morning Star that once didst shine among the living, now deceased thou
shinest the Evening Star among the dead.




Let us bathe, Prodice, and garland ourselves, and drain unmixed wine,
lifting larger cups; little is our life of gladness, then old age will
stop the rest, and death is the end.


Must I not die? what matters it to me whether I depart to Hades gouty
or fleet of foot? for many will carry me; let me become lame, for
hardly on their account need I ever cease from revelling.


Thou reckonest, poor wretch; but advancing time breeds white old age
even as it does interest; and neither having drunk, nor bound a flower
on thy brows, nor ever known myrrh nor a delicate darling, thou shalt
be dead, leaving thy great treasury in its wealth, out of those many
coins carrying with thee but the one.


All human must pay the debt of death, nor is there any mortal who
knows whether he shall be alive to-morrow; learning this clearly, O
man, make thee merry, keeping the wine-god close by thee for oblivion
of death, and take thy pleasure with the Paphian while thou drawest
thy ephemeral life; but all else give to Fortune's control.


Drink and be merry; for what is to-morrow or what the future? no man
knows. Run not, labour not; as thou canst, give, share, consume, be
mortal-minded; to be alive and not to be alive are no way at all
apart. All life is such, only the turn of the scale; if thou art
beforehand, it is thine; and if thou diest, all is another's, and thou
hast nothing.


Be young, dear my soul: soon will others be men, and I being dead
shall be dark earth.


Five feet shalt thou possess as thou liest dead, nor shalt see the
pleasant things of life nor the beams of the sun; then joyfully lift
and drain the unmixed cup of wine, O Cincius, holding a lovely wife in
thine arms; and if philosophy say that thy mind is immortal, know that
Cleanthes and Zeno went down to deep Hades.


Thou slumberest, O comrade; but the cup itself cries to thee, "Awake;
do not make thy pleasure in the rehearsal of death." Spare not,
Diodorus, slipping greedily into wine, drink deep, even to the
tottering of the knee. Time shall be when we shall not drink, long and
long; nay come, make haste; prudence already lays her hand on our


Men skilled in the stars call me brief-fated; I am, but I care not, O
Seleucus. There is one descent for all to Hades; and if ours comes
quicker, the sooner shall we look on Minos. Let us drink; for surely
wine is a horse for the high-road, when foot-passengers take a by-path
to Death.


Drink now and love, Damocrates, since not for ever shall we drink nor
for ever hold fast our delight; let us crown our heads with garlands
and perfume ourselves, before others bring these offerings to our
graves. Now rather let my bones drink wine inside me; when they are
dead, let Deucalion's deluge sweep them away.


Let us drink an unmixed draught of wine; dawn is an hand-breadth; are
we waiting to see the bed-time lamp once again? Let us drink merrily;
after no long time yet, O luckless one, we shall sleep through the
long night.


Often I sang this, and even out of the grave will I cry it: "Drink,
before you put on this raiment of dust."


Give me the sweet cup wrought of the earth from which I was born, and
under which I shall lie dead.


I would have liked to be rich as Croesus of old was rich, and to be
king of great Asia; but when I look on Nicanor the coffin-maker, and
know for what he is making these flute-cases of his, sprinkling my
flour and wetting it with my jug of wine, I sell all Asia for
ointments and garlands.


Now is rose-time and peas are in season, and the heads of early
cabbage, O Sosylus, and the milky maena, and fresh-curdled cheese, and
the soft-springing leaves of curled lettuces; and do we neither pace
the foreland nor climb to the outlook, as always, O Sosylus, we did
before? for Antagoras and Bacchius too frolicked yesterday, and now
to-day we bear them forth for burial.


Know ye the flowery fields of the Cappadocian nation? thence I was
born of good parents: since I left them I have wandered to the sunset
and the dawn; my name was Glaphyrus, and like my mind. I lived out my
sixtieth year in perfect freedom; I know both the favour of Fortune
and the bitterness of life.


This man, inconsiderable, mean, yes, a slave, this man is loved, and
is lord of another's soul.


Fools and children are mankind to weep the dead, and not the flower of
youth perishing.


Those who have left the sweet light I bewail no longer, but those who
live ever in expectation of death.


Expectation of death is woful grief, and this is the gain of a mortal
when he perishes; weep not then for him who departs from life, for
after death there is no other accident.


I weep not for thee, O dearest of friends; for thou knewest many fair
things; and again God dealt thee thy lot of ill.


Life is a dangerous voyage; for tempest-tossed in it we often strike
rocks more pitiably than shipwrecked men; and having Chance as pilot
of life, we sail doubtfully as on the sea, some on a fair voyage, and
others contrariwise; yet all alike we put into the one anchorage under


Day by day we are born as night retires, no more possessing aught of
our former life, estranged from our course of yesterday, and beginning
to-day the life that remains. Do not then call thyself, old man,
abundant in years; for to-day thou hast no share in what is gone.


Now we flourish as before others did, and soon others will, whose
children we shall never see.


Breathing thin air into our nostrils we live and look on the torch of
the sun, all we who live what is called life; and are as organs,
receiving our spirits from quickening airs. If one then chokes that
little breath with his hand, he robs us of life, and brings us down to
Hades. Thus being nothing we wax high in hardihood, feeding on air
from a little breath.


Infinite, O man, was the foretime until thou camest to thy dawn, and
what remains is infinite on through Hades: what share is left for life
but the bigness of a pinprick, and tinier than a pinprick if such
there be? Little is thy life and afflicted; for not even so it is
sweet, but more loathed than hateful death.


Though thou pass beyond thy landmarks even to the pillars of Heracles,
the share of earth that is equal to all men awaits thee, and thou
shalt lie even as Irus, having nothing more than thine obolus,
mouldering into a land that at last is not thine.


Thou art rich, and what of it in the end? as thou departest, dost thou
drag thy riches with thee, pulling them into the coffin? Thou
gatherest riches at expense of time, and thou canst not heap up more
exceeding measures of life.


Morning by morning passes; then, while we heed not, suddenly the Dark
One will be come, and, some by decaying, and some by parching, and
some by swelling, will lead us all to the one pit.


Naked I came on earth, and naked I depart under earth, and why do I
vainly labour, seeing the naked end?


Mortal is what belongs to mortals, and all things pass by us; and if
not, yet we pass by them.


I was not, I came to be; I was, I am not: that is all; and who shall
say more, will lie: I shall not be.


All is laughter, and all is dust, and all is nothing; for out of
unreason is all that is.


How was I born? whence am I? why did I come? to go again: how can I
learn anything, knowing nothing? Being nothing, I was born; again I
shall be as I was before; nothing and nothing-worth is the human race.
But come, serve to me the joyous fountain of Bacchus; for this is the
drug counter-charming ills.


We all are watched and fed for Death as a herd of swine butchered


Weeping I was born and having wept I die, and I found all my living
amid many tears. O tearful, weak, pitiable race of men, dragged under
earth and mouldering away!


How might one escape thee, O life, without dying? for thy sorrows are
numberless, and neither escape nor endurance is easy. For sweet indeed
are thy beautiful things of nature, earth, sea, stars, the orbs of
moon and sun; but all else is fears and pains, and though one have a
good thing befal him, there succeeds it an answering Nemesis.


Of all things not to be born into the world is best, nor to see the
beams of the keen sun; but being born, as swiftly as may be to pass
the gates of Hades, and lie under a heavy heap of earth.


What path of life may one hold? In the market-place are strifes and
hard dealings, in the house cares; in the country labour enough, and
at sea terror; and abroad, if thou hast aught, fear, and if thou art
in poverty, vexation. Art married? thou wilt not be without anxieties;
unmarried? thy life is yet lonelier. Children are troubles; a
childless life is a crippled one. Youth is foolish, and grey hairs
again feeble. In the end then the choice is of one of these two,
either never to be born, or, as soon as born, to die.


Hold every path of life. In the market-place are honours and prudent
dealings, in the house rest; in the country the charm of nature, and
at sea gain; and abroad, if thou hast aught, glory, and if thou art in
poverty, thou alone knowest it. Art married? so will thine household
be best; unmarried? thy life is yet lighter. Children are darlings; a
childless life is an unanxious one: youth is strong, and grey hairs
again reverend. The choice is not then of one of the two, either never
to be born or to die; for all things are good in life.


Why vainly, O man, dost thou labour and disturb everything when thou
art slave to the lot of thy birth? Yield thyself to it, strive not
with Heaven, and, accepting thy fortune, be content with rest.


If that which bears all things bears thee, bear thou and be borne; and
if thou art indignant and vexest thyself, even so that which bears all
things bears thee.


All life is a stage and a game: either learn to play it, laying by
seriousness, or bear its pains.


It is not living that has essential delight, but throwing away out of
the breast cares that silver the temples. I would have wealth
sufficient for me, and the excess of maddening care for gold ever eats
away the spirit; thus among men thou wilt find often death better than
life, as poverty than wealth. Knowing this, do thou make straight the
paths of thine heart, looking to our one hope, Wisdom.


Where is that backward-bent bow of thine, and the reeds that leap from
thy hand and stick fast in mid-heart? where are thy wings? where they
grievous torch? and why carriest thou three crowns in thy hands, and
wearest another on thy head? I spring not from the common Cyprian, O
stranger, I am not from earth, the offspring of wild joy; but I light
the torch of learning in pure human minds, and lead the soul upwards
into heaven. And I twine crowns of the four virtues; whereof carrying
these, one from each, I crown myself with the first, the crown of


Thou talkest much, O man, and thou art laid in earth after a little:
keep silence, and while thou yet livest, meditate on death.


Greek literature from its earliest historical beginnings to its final
extinction in the Middle Ages falls naturally under five periods.
These are:--(1) Greece before the Persian warbs; (2) the ascendancy of
Athens; (3) the Alexandrian monarchies; (4) Greece under Rome; (5) the
Byzantine empire of the East. The authors of epigrams included in this
selection are spread over all these periods through a space of about
fifteen centuries.

I. Period of the lyric poets and of the complete political
development of Greece, from the earliest time to the repulse of
the Persian invasion, B.C. 480.

MIMNERMUS of Smyrna fl. B.C. 634-600, and was the contemporary of
Solon. He is spoken of as the "inventor of elegy", and was apparently
the first to employ the elegiac metre in threnes and love-poems. Only
a few fragments, about eighty lines in all, of his poetry survive.

ERINNA of Rhodes, the contemporary of Sappho according to ancient
tradition, fl. 600 B.C., and died very young. There are three epigrams
in the Palatine Anthology under her name, probably genuine: see Bergk,
/Lyr. Gr./ iii. p. 141. Besides the fragments given by Bergk, detached
phrases of hers are probably preserved in /Anth. Pal./ vii. 12 and 13,
and in the description by Christodorus of her statue in the gymnasium
at Constantinople, /Anth. Pal./ ii. 108-110. She was included in the
/Garland/ of Meleager, who speaks, l. 12, of the "sweet maiden-fleshed
crocus of Erinna."

THEOGNIS of Megara, the celebrated elegiac and gnomic poet, fl. B.C.
548, and was still alive at the beginning of the Persian wars. The
fragments we possess are from an Anthology of his works, and amount to
about 1400 lines in all. He employed elegiac verse as a vehicle for
every kind of political and social poetry; some of the poems were sung
to the flute at banquets and are more akin to lyric poetry; others,
described as {gnomai di elegeias}, elegiac sentences, can hardly be
distinguished in essence from "hortatory" epigrams, and two of them
have accordingly been included as epigrams of Life in this selection.

ANACREON of Teos in Ionia, B.C. 563-478, migrated with his countrymen
to Abdera on the capture of Teos by the Persians, B.C. 540. He then
lived for some years at the court of Polycrates of Samos (who died
B.C. 522), and afterwards, like Simonides, at that of Hipparchus of
Athens, finally returning to Teos, where he died at the age of eighty-
five. Of his genuine poetry only a few inconsiderable fragments are
left; and his wide fame rests chiefly on the /pseudo-Anacreontea/, a
collection of songs chiefly of a convivial and amatory nature, written
at different times but all of a late date, which have come down to us
in the form of an appendix to the Palatine MS. of the Anthology, and
from being used as a school-book have obtained a circulation far
beyond their intrinsic merit. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 35, speaks
of "the unsown honey-suckle of Anacreon," including both lyrical
poetry ({melisma}) and epigrams ({elegoi}) as distinct from one
another. The Palatine Anthology contains twenty-one epigrams under his
name, a group of twelve together (vi. 134-145) transferred bodily, it
would seem, from some collection of his works, and the rest scattered;
and there is one other in Planudes. Most are plainly spurious, and
none certainly authentic; but one of the two given here (iii. 7) has
the note of style of this period, and is probably genuine. The other
(xi. 32) is obviously of Alexandrian date, and is probably by Leonidas
of Tarentum.

SIMONIDES of Ceos, B.C. 556-467, the most eminent of the lyric poets,
lived for some years at the court of Hipparchus of Athens (B.C. 528-
514), afterwards among the feudal nobility of Thessaly, and was again
living at Athens during the Persian wars. The later years of his life
were spent with Pindar and Aeschylus at the court of Hiero of
Syracuse. He was included in the /Garland/ of Meleager (l. 8, "the
fresh shoot of the vine-blossom of Simonides"); fifty-nine epigrams
are under his name in the Palatine MS., and eighteen more in Planudes,
besides nine others doubtfully ascribed to him. Several of his
epigrams are quoted by Herodotus; others are preserved by Strabo,
Plutarch, Athenaeus, etc. In all, according to Bergk, we have ninety
authentic epigrams from his hand. There were two later poets of the
same name, Simonides of Magnesia, who lived under Antiochus the Great
about 200 B.C., and Simonides of Carystus, of whom nothing definite is
known; some of the spurious epigrams may be by one or other of them.

Beyond the point to which Simonides brought it the epigram never rose.
In him there is complete ease of workmanship and mastery of form
together with the noble and severe simplicity which later poetry lost.
His dedications retain something of the antique stiffness; but his
magnificent epitaphs are among our most precious inheritances from the
greatest thought and art of Greece.

BACCHYLIDES of Iulis in Ceos flourished B.C. 470. He was the nephew of
Simonides, and lived with him at the court of Hiero. There are only
two epigrams in the Anthology under his name. The /Garland/ of
Meleager, l. 34, speaks of "the yellow ears from the blade of
Bacchylides." This phrase may contain an allusion to his dedicatory
epigram to the West Wind, ii. 34 in this selection.

Finally, forming the transition between this and the great Athenian
period, comes AESCHYLUS, B.C. 525-456. That Aeschylus wrote elegiac
verse, including a poem on the dead at Marathon, is certain; fragments
are preserved by Plutarch and Theophrastus, and there is a well-
supported tradition that he competed with Simonides on that occasion.
As to the authorship of the two epigrams extant under his name there
is much difference of opinion. Bergk does not come to any definite
conclusion. Perhaps all that can be said is that they do not seem
unworthy of him, and that they certainly have the style and tone of
the best period. It was not till the decline of literature that the
epoch of forgeries began. It is, however, suspicious that a poet of
his great eminence should not be mentioned in the /Garland/ of
Meleager; for we can hardly suppose these epigrams, if genuine, either
unknown to Meleager or intentionally omitted by him.

II. Period of the ascendancy of Athens, and of the great dramatists
and historians; from the repulse of the Persian invasion to the
extinction of Greek freedom at the battle of Chaeronea, B.C. 480-

In this period the epigram almost disappears, overwhelmed apparently
by the greater forms of poetry which were then in their perfection.
Between Simonides and Plato there is not a single name on our list;
and it is not till the period of the transition, the first half of the
fourth century B.C., that the epigram begins to reappear. About 400
B.C. a new grace and delicacy is added to it by PLATO (B.C. 428-347;
the tradition, in itself probable, is that he wrote poetry when a very
young man). Thirty-two epigrams in the Anthology are ascribed, some
doubtfully, to one Plato or another; a few of obviously late date to a
somewhat mythical PLATO JUNIOR ({o Neoteros}), and one to PLATO THE
COMEDIAN (fl. 428-389), the contemporary and rival of Aristophanes. In
a note to i. 5 in this selection something is said as to the
authenticity of the epigrams ascribed to the great Plato [omitted in
this text--JB.] He was included in the /Garland/ of Meleager, who
speaks, ll. 47-8, of "the golden bough of the ever- divine Plato,
shining everywhere in excellence"--one of the finest criticisms ever
made by a single phrase, and the more remarkable that it anticipates,
and may even in some degree have suggested, the mystical golden bough
of Virgil.

To the same period belongs PARRHASIUS of Ephesus, who fl. 400 B.C.,
the most eminent painter of his time, in whose work the rendering of
the ideal human form was considered to have reached its highest
perfection. Two epigrams and part of a third ascribed to him are
preserved in Athenaeus.

DEMODOCUS of Leros, a small island in the Sporades, is probably to be
placed here. Nothing is known as to his life, nor as to his date
beyond the one fact that an epigram of his is quoted by Aristotle,
/Eth. N./ vii. 9. Four epigrams of his, all couplets containing a
sarcastic point of the same kind, are preserved in the Palatine

III. Period of the great Alexandrian monarchies; from the accession of
Alexander the Great to the annexation of Syria by the Roman
Republic, B.C. 336-65.

Throughout these three centuries epigrammatists flourished in great
abundance, so much so that the epigram ranked as one of the important
forms of poetry. After the first fifty years of the period there is no
appreciable change in the manner and style of the epigram; and so, in
many cases where direct evidence fails, dates can only be ascribed
vaguely. The history of the Alexandrian epigram begins with two groups
of poets, none of them quite of the first importance, but all of great
literary interest, who lived just before what is known as the
Alexandrian style became pronounced; the first group continuing the
tradition of pure Greece, the second founding the new style. After
them the most important names, in chronological order, are Callimachus
of Alexandria, Leonidas of Tarentum, Theocritus of Syracuse, Antipater
of Sidon, and Meleager of Gadara. These names show how Greek
literature had now become diffused with Greek civilisation through the
countries bordering the eastern half of the Mediterranean.

The period may then be conveniently subdivided under five heads--

(1) Poets of Greece Proper and Macedonia, continuing the purely
Greek tradition in literature.
(2) Founds of the Alexandrian School.
(3) The earlier Alexandrians of the third century B.C.
(4) The later Alexandrians of the second century B.C.
(5) Just on the edge of this period, Meleager and his
contemporaries: transition to the Roman period.

(1) ADAEUS or ADDAEUS, called "the Macedonian" in the title of one of
his epigrams, was a contemporary of Alexander the Great. Among his
epigrams are epitaphs on Alexander and on Philip; his date is further
fixed by the mention of Potidaea in another epigram, as Cassander, who
died B.C. 296, changed the name of the city into Cassandrea. Eleven
epigrams are extant under his name, but one is headed "Adaeus of
Mitylene" and may be by a different hand, as Adaeus was a common
Macedonian name. They are chiefly poems of country life, prayers to
Demeter and Artemis, and hunting scenes, full of fresh air and
simplicity out of doors, with a serious sense of religion and
something of Macedonian gravity. The picture they give of the simple
and refined life of the Greek country gentleman, like Xenophon in his
old age at Scillus, is one of the most charming and intimate glimpses
we have of the ancient world, carried on quietly among the drums and
tramplings of Alexander's conquests, of which we are faintly reminded
by another epigram on an engraved Indian beryl.

ANYTE of Tegea is one of the foremost names among the epigrammatists,
and it is somewhat surprising that we know all but nothing of her from
external sources. "The lilies of Anyte" stand at the head of the list
of poets in the /Garland/ of Meleager; and Antipater of Thessalonica
in a catalogue of poetesses (/Anth. Pal./ ix. 26) speaks of {Anutes
stoma thelun Omeron}. The only epigram which gives any clue to her
date is one on the death of three Milesian girls in a Gaulish
invasion, probably that of B.C. 279; but this is headed "Anyte of
Mitylene," and is very possibly by another hand. A late tradition says
that her statue was made by the sculptors Cephisodotus and
Euthycrates, whose date is about 300 B.C., but we are not told whether
they were her contemporaries. Twenty-four epigrams are ascribed to
her, twenty of which seem genuine. They are so fine that some critics
have wished to place her in the great lyric period; but their deep and
most refined feeling for nature rather belongs to this age. They are
principally dedications and epitaphs, written with great simplicity of
description and much of the grand style of the older poets, and
showing (if the common theory as to her date be true) a deep and
sympathetic study of Simonides.

Probably to this group belong also the following poets:

HEGESIPPUS, the author of eight epigrams in the Palatine Anthology,
three dedications and five epitaphs, in a simple and severe style. The
reference in the /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 25, to "the maenad grape-
cluster of Hegesippus" is so wholly inapplicable to these that we must
suppose it to refer to a body of epigrams now lost, unless this be the
same Hegesippus with the poet of the New Comedy who flourished at
Athens about 300 B.C., and the reference be to him as a comedian
rather than an epigrammatist.

PERSES, called "the Theban" in the heading of one epigram, "the
Macedonian" in that of another (no difference of style can be traced
between them), a poet of the same type as Addaeus, with equal
simplicity and good taste, but inferior power. The /Garland/ of
Meleager, l. 26, speaks of "the scented reed of Perses." There are
nine epigrams of his in the Palatine Anthology, including some
beautiful epitaphs.

PHAEDIMUS of Bisanthe in Macedonia, author of an epic called the
/Heracleia/ according to Athenaeus. "The yellow iris of Phaedimus" is
mentioned in the /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 51. Two of the four
epigrams under his name, a beautiful dedication, and a very noble
epitaph, are in this selection; the other two, which are in the
appendix of epigrams in mixed metres at the end of the Palatine
Anthology (Section xiii.) are very inferior and seem to be by another

(2) Under this head is a group of three distinguished poets and

PHILETAS of Cos, a contemporary of Alexander, and tutor to the
children of Ptolemy I. He was chiefly distinguished as an elegiac
poet. Theocritus (vii. 39) names him along with Asclepiades as his
master in style, and Propertius repeatedly couples him in the same way
with Callimachus. If one may judge from the few fragments extant,
chiefly in Stobaeus, his poetry was simpler and more dignified than
that of the Alexandrian school, of which he may be called the founder.
He was also one of the earliest commentators on Homer, the celebrated
Zenodotus being his pupil.

SIMMIAS of Rhodes, who fl. rather before 300 B.C., and was the author
of four books of miscellaneous poems including an epic history of
Apollo. "The tall wild-pear of Simmias" is in the /Garland/ of
Meleager, l. 30. Two of the seven epigrams under his name in the
Palatine Anthology are headed "Simmias of Thebes." This would be the
disciple of Socrates, best known as one of the interlocutors in the
/Phaedo/. But these epigrams are undoubtedly of the Alexandrian type,
and quite in the same style as the rest; and the title is probably a
mistake. Simmias is also the reputed author of several of the
{griphoi} or pattern-poems at the end of the Palatine MS.

ASCLEPIADES, son of Sicelides of Samos, who flourished B.C. 290, one
of the most brilliant authors of the period. Theocritus (l.c. supra)
couples him with Philetas as a model of excellence in poetry. This
passage fixes his date towards the end of the reign of Ptolemy I., to
whose wife Berenice and daughter Cleopatra there are references in his
epigrams. There are forty-three epigrams of his in the Anthology;
nearly all of them amatory, with much wider range and finer feeling
that most of the erotic epigrams, and all with the firm clear touch of
the best period. There are also one or two fine epitaphs. The
reference in the /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 46, to "the wind-flower of
the son of Sicelides" is another of Meleager's exquisite criticisms.

(3) LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM is the reputed author of one hundred and
eleven epigrams in the Anthology, chiefly dedicatory and sepulchural.
In the case of some of these, however, there is confusion between him
and his namesake, Leonidas of Alexandria, the author of about forty
epigrams in the Anthology who flourished in the reign of Nero. In two
epigrams Leonidas speaks of himself as a poor man, and in another, an
epitaph written for himself, says that he led a wandering life and
died far from his native Tarentum. His date is most nearly fixed by
the inscription (/Anth. Pal./ vi. 130, attributed to him on the
authority of Planudes) for a dedication by Pyrrhus of Epirus after a
victory over Antigonus and his Gaulish mercenaries, probably that
recorded under B.C. 274. Tarentum, with the other cities of Magna
Graecia, was about this time in the last straits of the struggle
against the Italian confederacy; this or private reasons may account
for the tone of melancholy in the poetry of Leonidas. He invented a
particular style of dedicatory epigram, in which the implements of
some trade or profession are enumerated in ingenious circumlocutions;
these have been singled out for special praise by Sainte-Beuve, but
will hardly be interesting to many readers. The /Garland/ of Meleager,
l. 15, mentions "the rich ivy-clusters of Leonidas," and the phrase
well describes the diffuseness and slight want of firmness and colour
in his otherwise graceful style.

NOSSIS of Locri, in Magna Graecia, is the contemporary of Leonidas;
her date being approximately fixed by an epitaph on Rhinthon of
Syracuse, who flourished 300 B.C. We know a good many details about
her from her eleven epigrams in the Anthology, some of which are only
inferior to those of Anyte. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 10, speaks
of "the scented fair-flowering iris of Nissus, on whose tablets Love
himself melted the wax"; and, like Anyte, she is mentioned, with the
characteristic epithet "woman-tongued," by Antipater of Thessalonica
in his list of poetesses. She herself claims (/Anth. Pal./ vii. 718)
to be a rival of Sappho.

THEOCRITUS of Syracuse lived for some time at Alexandria under Ptolemy
II., about 280 B.C., and afterwards at Syracuse under Hiero II. From
some allusions to the latter in the Idyls, it seems that he lived into
the first Punic war, which broke out B.C. 264. Twenty-nine epigrams
are ascribed to him on some authority or other in the Anthology; of
these Ahrens allows only nine as genuine.

NICIAS of Miletus, physician, scholar, and poet, was the contemporary
and close friend of Theocritus. Idyl xi. is addressed to him, and the
scholiast says he wrote an idyl in reply to it; idyl xxii was sent
with the gift of an ivory spindle to his wife, Theugenis; and one of
Theocritus' epigrams (/Anth. Pal./ vi. 337) was written for him as a
dedication. There are eight epigrams of his in the Anthology (/Anth.
Pal./ xi. 398 is wrongly attributed to him, and should be referred to
Nicarchus), chiefly dedications and inscriptions for rural places in
the idyllic manner. "The green mint of Nicias" is mentioned, probably
with an allusion to his profession, in the /Garland/ of Meleager, l.

CALLIMACHUS of Alexandria, the most celebrated and the most wide in
his influence of Alexandrian scholars and poets, was descended from
the noble family of the Battiadae of Cyrene. He studied at Alexandria,
and was appointed principal keeper of the Alexandrian library by
Ptolemy II., about the year 260 B.C. This position he held till his
death, about B.C. 240. He was a prolific author in both prose and
verse. Sixty-three epigrams of his are preserved in the Palatine
Anthology, and two more by Strabo and Athenaeus; five others in the
Anthology are ascribed to him on more or less doubtful authority. He
brought to the epigram the utmost finish of which it is capable. Many
of his epigrams are spoiled by over-elaboration and affected
daintiness of style; but when he writes simply his execution is
incomparable. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 21, speaks of "the sweet
myrtle-berry of Callimachus, ever full of acid honey"; and there is in
all his work a pungent flavour which is sometimes bitter and sometimes

POSIDIPPUS, the author of twenty-five extant epigrams, of which twenty
are in the Anthology, is more than once referred to as "the
epigrammatist," and so is probably a different person from the
comedian, the last distinguished name of the New Comedy, who began to
exhibit after the death of Menander in B.C. 291. He probably lived
somewhat later; the /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 45, couples "the wild
corn-flowers of Posidippus and Hedylus," and Hedylus was the
contemporary of Callimachus. One of his epigrams refers to the Stoic
Cleanthes, who became head of the school B.C. 263 and died about B.C.
220, as though already an old master.

With Posidippus may be placed METRODORUS, the author of an epigram in
reply to one by Posidippus (xii. 39, 40 in this selection). Whether
this be contemporary or not, it can hardly be by the same Metrodorus
as the forty arithmetical problems which are given in an appendix to
the Palatine Anthology (Section xiv.), or the epigram on a Byzantine
lawyer, /Anth. Pal./ ix. 712. These may be all by a geometrician of
the name who is mentioned as having lived in the age of Constantine.

MOERO or MYRO of Byzantium, daughter of the tragedian Homerus,
flourished towards the end of the reign of Ptolemy II., about 250 B.C.
She wrote epic and lyric poetry as well as epigrams; a fragment of her
epic called /Mnemosyne/ is preserved in Athenaeus. Antipater of
Thessalonica mentions her in his list of famous poetesses. Of the
"many martagon-lilies of Moero" in the Anthology of Meleager
(/Garland/, l. 5) only two are extant, both dedications.

NICAENETUS of Samos flourished about the same time. There are four
epigrams of his in the Anthology, and another is quoted by Athenaeus,
who, in connexion with a Samian custom, adduces him as "a poet of the
country." He also wrote epic poems. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 29,
speaks of "the myrrh-twigs of Nicaenetus."

EUPHORION of Chalcis in Euboea, grammarian and poet, was born B.C.
274, and in later life was chief librarian at the court of Antiochus
the Great, who reigned B.C. 224-187. His most famous work was his five
books of {KHiliades}, translated into Latin by C. Cornelius Gallus
(Virgil, /Ecl./ vi. 64-73) and of immense reputation. His influence on
Latin poetry provoked the well-known sneer of Cicero (/Tusc./ iii. 19)
at the /cantores Euphorionis/; cf. also Cic. /de Div./ ii. 64, and
Suetonius, /Tiberius/, c. 70. Only two epigrams of his are extant in
the Palatine Anthology. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 23, speaks of
"the rose-campion of Euphorion."

RHIANUS of Crete flourished about 200 B.C., and was chiefly celebrated
as an epic poet. Besides mythological epics, he wrote metrical
histories of Thessaly, Elis, Achaea, and Messene; Pausinias quotes
verses from the last of these, /Messen./ i. 6, xvii. 11. Seutonius,
/Tiberius/, c. 70, mentions him along with Euphorion as having been
greatly admired by Tiberius. There are nine epigrams by him, erotic
and dedicatory, in the Palatine Anthology, and another is quoted by
Athenaeus. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 11, couples him with the

THEODORIDES of Syracuse, the author of nineteen epigrams in the
Anthology, flourished towards the close of the third century B.C., one
of his epigrams being an epitaph on Euphorion. He also wrote lyric
poetry; Athenaeus mentions a dithyrambic poem of his called the
/Centaurs/, and a /Hymn to Love/. The /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 53,
speaks of "the fresh-blooming festal wild-thyme of Theodorides."

A little earlier in date is MNASALCAS of Plataeae, near Sicyon, on
whom Theodorides wrote an epitaph (/Anth. Pal./ xiii. 21), which
speaks of him as imitating Simonides, and criticises his style as
turgid. This criticism is not born out by his eighteen extant epigrams
in the Palatine Anthology, which are in the best manner, with
something of the simplicity of his great model, and even a slight
austerity of style which takes us back to Greece Proper. The /Garland/
of Meleager seizes this quality when it speaks, l. 16, of "the tresses
of the sharp pine of Mnasalcas."

MOSCHUS of Syracuse, the last of the pastoral poets, flourished
towards the end of the third century B.C., perhaps as late as B.C. 200
if he was the friend of the grammarian Aristarchus. A single epigram
of his is extant in Planudes. The Palatine Anthology includes his
idyll of /Love the Runaway/ (ix. 440), and the lovely hexameter
fragment by Cyrus (ix. 136), which has without authority been
attributed to him and is generally included among his poems.

To this period may belong DIOTIMUS, whose name is at the head of
eleven epigrams in the Anthology. One of these is headed "Diotimus of
Athens," one "Diotimus of Miletus," the rest have the name simply.
Nothing is known from other sources of any one of them. An Athenion
Diotimus was one of the orators surrendered to Antipater B.C. 322, and
some of the epigrams might be of that period. A grammarian Diotimus of
Adramyttium is mentioned in an epigram by Aratus of Soli (who fl. 270
B.C.); perhaps he was the poet of the /Garland/ of Meleager, who
speaks, l. 27, of "the quince from the boughs of Diotimus."

AUTOMEDON of Aetolia is the author of an epigram in the Palatine
Anthology, of which the first two lines are in Planudes under the name
of Theocritus; it is in his manner, and in the best style of this
period. There are twelve other epigrams by an Automedon of the Roman
period in the Anthology, one of them headed "Automedon of Cyzicus."
From internal evidence these belong to the reign of Nerva or Trajan.
An Automedon was probably one of the poets in the Anthology of
Philippus (/Garland/, l. 11), but is most probably different from both
of these, as that collection cannot well be put later than the reign
of Nero, and purports to include only poets subsequent to Meleager:
cf. supra p. 17.

THEAETETUS is only known as the author of three epigrams in the
Palatine Anthology (a fourth usually ascribed to him, /Anth. Pal./
vii. 444, should be referred to Theaetetus Scholasticus, a Byzantine
epigrammatist of the period of Justinian) and two more in Diogenes
LaŰrtius. One of these last is an epitaph on the philosopher Crantor,
who flourished about 300 B.C., but is not necessarily contemporaneous.

(4) ALCAEUS of Messene, who flourished 200 B.C., represents the
literary and political energy still surviving in Greece under the
Achaean League. Many of his epigrams touch on the history of the
period; several are directed against Philip III. of Macedonia. The
earliest to which a date can be fixed is on the destruction of Macynus
in Aetolia by Philip, B.C. 218 or 219 (Polyb. iv. 65), and the latest
on the dead at the battle of Cynoscephalae, B.C. 197, written before
their bones were collected and buried by order of Antiochus B.C. 191.
This epigram is mentioned by Plutarch as having given offence to the
Roman general Flaminius, on account of its giving the Aetolians an
equal share with the Romans in the honour of the victory. Another is
on the freedom of Flaminius, proclaimed at the Isthmia B.C. 196. An
Alcaeus was one of the Epicurean philosophers expelled from Rome by
decree of the Senate in B.C. 173, and may be the same. Others of his
epigrams are on literary subjects. All are written in a hard style.
There are twenty-two in all in the Anthology. Some of them are headed
"Alcaeus of Mitylene," but there is no doubt as to the authorship; the
confusion of this Alcaeus with the lyric poet of Mitylene could only
be made by one very ignorant of Greek literature.

Of the same period is DAMAGETUS, the author of twelve epigrams in the
Anthology, and included as "a dark violet" in the /Garland/ of
Meleager, l. 21. They are chiefly epitaphs, and are in the best style
of the period.

DIONYSIUS of Cyzicus must have flourished soon after 200 B.C. from his
epitaph on Eratosthenes, who died B.C. 196. Eight other epigrams in
the Palatine Anthology, and four more in Planudes, are attributed to a
Dionysius. One is headed "Dionysius of Andros," one "Dionysius of
Rhodes" (it is an epitaph on a Rhodian), one "Dionysius the Sophist,"
the others "Dionysius" simply. There were certainly several authors of
the name, which was one of the commonest in Greece; but no distinction
in style can be traced among these epigrams, and there is little
against the theory that most if not all are by the same author,
Dionysius of Cyzicus.

DIOSCORIDES, the author of forty-one epigrams in the Palatine
Anthology, lived at Alexandria early in the second century B.C. An
epitaph of his on the comedian Machon is quoted by Athenaeus, who says
that Machon was master to Aristophanes of Byzantium, who flourished
200 B.C. His style shows imitation of Callimachus; the /Garland/ of
Meleager, l. 23, speaks of him as "the cyclamen of Muses."

ARTEMIDORUS, a grammarian, pupil of Aristophanes of Byzantium and
contemporary of Aristarchus, flourished about 180 B.C., and is the
author of two epigrams in the Palatine Anthology, both mottoes, the
one for a Theocritus, the other for a collection of the bucolic poets.
The former is attributed in the Palatine MS. to Theocritus himself,
but is assigned to Artemidorus on the authority of a MS. of

PAMPHILUS, also a grammarian, and pupil to Aristarchus, was one of the
poets in the /Garland/ of Meleager (l. 17, "the spreading plane of the
song of Pamphilus"). Only two epigrams of his are extant in the

ANTIPATER OF SIDON is one of the most interesting figures of the close
of this century, when Greek education began to permeate the Roman
upper classes. Little is known about his life; part of it was spent at
Rome in the society of the most cultured of the nobility. Cicero,
/Or./ iii. 194, makes Crassus and Catulus speak of him as familiarly
known to them, but then dead; the scene of the dialogue is laid in
B.C. 91. Cicero and Pliny also mention the curious fact that he had an
attack of fever on his birthday every winter. "The young Phoenician
cypress of Antipater," in the /Garland/ of Meleager, l. 42, refers to
him as one of the more modern poets in that collection.

There is much confusion in the Anthology between him and his equally
prolific namesake of the next century, Antipater of Thessalonica. The
matter would take long to disentangle completely. In brief the facts
are these. In the Palatine Anthology there are one hundred and
seventy-eight epigrams, of which forty-six are ascribed to Antipater
of Sidon and thirty-six to Antipater of Thessalonica, the remaining
ninety-six being headed "Antipater" merely. Twenty-eight other
epigrams are given as by one or other in Planudes and Diogenes
LaŰrtius. Jacobs assigns ninety epigrams in all to the Sidonian poet.
Most of them are epideictic; a good many are on works of art and
literature; there are some very beautiful epitaphs. There is in his
work a tendency towards diffuseness which goes with his talent in
improvisation mentioned by Cicero.

To this period seem to belong the following poets, of whom little or
nothing is known: ARISTODICUS of Rhodes, author of two epigrams in the
Palatine Anthology: ARISTON, author of three or four epigrams in the
style of Leonidas of Tarentum: HERMOCREON, author of one dedication in
the Palatine Anthology and another in Planudes: and TYMNES, author of
seven epigrams in the Anthology, and included in the /Garland/ of
Meleager, l. 19, with "the fair-foliaged white poplar" for his

(5) MELEAGER son of Eucrates was born at the partially Hellenised town
of Gadara in northern Palestine (the Ramoth-Gilead of the Old
Testament), and educated at Tyre. His later life was spent in the
island of Cos, where he died at an advanced age. The scholiast to the
Palatine MS. says he flourished in the reign of the last Seleucus;
this was Seleucus VI. Epiphanes, who reigned B.C. 95-93. The date of
his celebrated Anthology cannot be much later, as it did not include
the poems of his fellow-townsman Philodemus, who flourished about B.C.
60 or a little earlier. Like his contemporary Menippus, also a
Gadarene, he wrote what were known as {spoudogeloia}, miscellaneous
prose essays putting philosophy in popular form with humorous
illustrations. These are completely lost, but we have fragments of the
/Saturae Menippeae/ of Varro written in imitation of them, and they
seem to have had a reputation like that of Addison and the English
essayists of the eighteenth century. Meleager's fame however is
securely founded on the one hundred and thirty-four epigrams of his
own which he included in his Anthology. Some further account of the
erotic epigrams, which are about four-fifths of the whole number, is
given above. For all of these the MSS. of the Anthology are the sole

DIODORUS of Sardis, commonly called ZONAS, is spoken of by Strabo, who
was a friend of his kinsman Diodorus the younger, as having flourished
at the time of the invasion of Asia by Mithridates B.C. 88. He was a
distinguished orator. Both of these poets were included in the
Anthology of Philippus, and in the case of some of the epigrams it is
not quite certain to which of the two they should be referred. Eight
are usually ascribed to Zonas: they are chiefly dedicatory and
pastoral, with great beauty of style and feeling for nature.

ERYCIUS of Cyzicus flourished about the middle of the first century
B.C. One of his epigrams is on an Athenian woman who had in early life
been captured at the sack of Athens by Sulla B.C. 80; another is
against a grammarian Parthenius of Phocaea, possibly the same who was
the master of Virgil. Of the fourteen epigrams in the Anthology under
the name of Erycius one is headed "Erycius the Macedonian" and may be
by a different author.

PHILODEMUS of Gadara was a distinguished Epicurean philosopher who
lived at Rome in the best society of the Ciceronian age. He was an
intimate friend of Piso, the Consul of B.C. 58, to whom two of his
epigrams are addressed. Cicero, /in Pis./ ž 68 foll., where he attacks
Piso for consorting with /Graeculi/, almost goes out of his way to
compliment Philodemus on his poetical genius and the unusual literary
culture which he combined with the profession of philosophy: and again
in the /de Finibus/ speaks of him as "a most worthy and learned man."
He is also referred to by Horace, 1 /Sat./ ii. 121. Thirty-two of his
epigrams, chiefly amatory, are in the Anthology, and five more are
ascribed to him on doubtful authenticity.

IV. Roman period; from the establishment of the Empire to the decay of
art and letters after the death of Marcus Aurelius, B.C. 30-A.D.

This period falls into three subdivisions; (1) poets of the Augustan
age; (2) those of what may roughly be called the Neronian age, about
the middle of the first century; and (3) those of the brief and
partial renascence of art and letters under Hadrian, which, before the
accession of Commodus, had again sunk away, leaving a period of some
centuries almost wholly without either, but for the beginnings of
Christian art and the writings of the earlier Fathers of the Church.
Even from the outset of this period the epigram begins to fall off.
There is a tendency to choose trifling subjects, and treat them either
sentimentally or cynically. The heaviness of Roman workmanship affects
all but a few of the best epigrams, and there is a loss of simplicity
and clearness of outline. Many of the poets of this period, if not
most, lived as dependants in wealthy Roman families and wrote to
order: and we see in their work the bad results of an excessive taste
for rhetoric and the practice of fluent but empty improvisation.

(1) ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA, the author of upwards of a hundred
epigrams in the Anthology, is the most copious and perhaps the most
interesting of the Augustan epigrammatists. There are many allusions
in his work to contemporary history. He lived under the patronage of
L. Calpurnius Piso, consul in B.C. 15, and afterwards proconsul of
Macedonia for several years, and was appointed by him governor of
Thessalonica. One of his epigrams celebrates the foundation of
Nicopolis by Octavianus, after the battle of Actium; another
anticipates his victory over the Parthians in the expedition of B.C.
20; another is addressed to Caius Caesar, who died in A.D. 4. None can
be ascribed certainly to a later date than this.

ANTIPHANES the Macedonian is the author of ten epigrams in the
Palatine Anthology; one of these, however, is headed "Antiphanes of
Megalopolis" and may be by a different author. There is no precise
indication of time in his poems.

BIANOR of Bithynia is the author of twenty-two epigrams in the
Anthology. One of them is on the destruction of Sardis by an
earthquake in A.D. 17. He is fond of sentimental treatment, which
sometimes touches pathos but often becomes trifling.

CRINAGORAS of Mitylene lived at Rome as a sort of court poet during
the latter part of the reign of Augustus. He is mentioned by Strabo as
a contemporary of some distinction. In one of his epigrams he blames
himself for hanging on to wealthy patrons; several others are
complimentary verses sent with small presents to the children of his
aristocratic friends: one is addressed to young Marcellus with a copy
of the poems of Callimachus. Others are on the return of Marcellus
from the Cantabrian war, B.C. 25; on the victories of Tiberius in
Armenia and Germany; and on Antonia, daughter of the triumvir and wife
of Drusus. Another, written in the spirit of that age of tourists,
speaks of undertaking a voyage from Asia to Italy, visiting the
Cyclades and Corcyra on the way. Fifty-one epigrams are attributed to
him in the Anthology; one of these, however (/Anth. Pal./ ix. 235), is
on the marriage of Berenice of Cyrene to Ptolemy III. Euergetes, and
must be referred to Callimachus or one of his contemporaries.

DIODORUS, son of Diopeithes of Sardis, also called Diodorus the
Younger, in distinction to Diodorus Zonas, is mentioned as a friend of
his own by Strabo, and was a historian and melic poet besides being an
epigrammatist. Seventeen of the epigrams in the Anthology under the
name of Diodorus are usually ascribed to him, and include a few fine

EVENUS of Ascalon is probably the author of eight epigrams in the
Anthology; but some of these may belong to other epigrammatists of the
same name, Evenus of Athens, Evenus of Sicily, and Evenus Grammaticus,
unless the last two of these are the same person. Evenus of Athens has
been doubtfully identified with Evenus of Paros, and elegiac poet of
some note contemporary with Socrates, mentioned in the /Phaedo/ and
quoted by Aristotle: and it is just possible that some of the best of
the epigrams, most of which are on works of art, may be his.

PARMENIO the Macedonian is the author of sixteen epigrams in the
Anthology, most of which have little quality beyond commonplace

These seven poets were included in the Anthology of Philippus; of the
same period, but not mentioned by name in the proem to that
collection, are the following:--

APOLLONIDES, author of thirty-one epigrams in the Anthology, perhaps
the same with an Apollonides of Nicaea mentioned by Diogenes LaŰrtius
as having lived in the reign of Tiberius. One of his epigrams refers
to the retirement of Tiberius at Rhodes from B.C. 6 to A.D. 2, and
another mentions D. Laelius Balbus, who was consul in B.C. 6, as
travelling in Greece.

GAETULICUS, the author of eight epigrams in the Palatine Anthology
(vi. 154 and vii. 245 are wrongly ascribed to him), is usually
identified with Gn. Lentulus Gaetulicus, legate of Upper Germany,
executed on suspicion of conspiracy by Caligula, A.D. 39, and
mentioned as a writer of amatory poetry by Martial and Pliny. But the
identification is very doubtful, and perhaps he rather belongs to the
second century A.D. No precise date is indicated in any of the

POMPEIUS, author of two or three epigrams in the Palatine Anthology,
also called Pompeius the Younger, is generally identified with M.
Pompeius Theophanes, son of Theophanes of Mitylene, the friend of
Pompey the Great, and himself a friend of Tiberius, according to

To the same period probably belong QUINTUS MAECIUS or MACCIUS, author
of twelve epigrams in the Anthology, and MARCUS ARGENTARIUS, perhaps
the same with a rhetorician Argentarius mentioned by the elder Seneca,
author of thirty-seven epigrams, chiefly amatory and convivial, some
of which have much grace and fancy. Others place him in the age of

(2) PHILIPPUS of Thessalonica was the compiler of an Anthology of
epigrammatists subsequent to Meleager and is himself the author of
seventy-four extant epigrams in the Anthology besides six more
dubiously ascribed to him. He wrote epigrams of all sorts, mainly
imitated from older writers and showing but little original power or
imagination. The latest certain historical allusion in his own work is
one to Agrippa's mole at Puteoli, but Antiphilus, who was included in
his collection, certainly wrote in the reign of Nero, and probably
Philippus was of about the same date. Most of his epigrams being
merely rhetorical exercises on stock themes give no clue to his
precise period.

ANTIPHILUS of Byzantium, whose date is fixed by his epigram on the
restoration of liberty to Rhodes by the emperor Nero, A.D. 53 (Tac.
/Ann./ xii. 58), is the author of forty-nine epigrams in the
Anthology, besides three doubtful. Among them are some graceful
dedications, pastoral epigrams, and sea-pieces. The pretty epitaph on
Agricola (/Anth. Pal./ ix. 549) gives no clue to his date, as it
certainly is not on the father-in-law of Tacitus, and no other person
of the name appears to be mentioned in history.

JULIUS POLYAENUS is the author of a group of three epigrams (/Anth.
Pal./ ix. 7-9), which have a high seriousness rare in the work of this
period. He has been probably identified with a C. Julius Polyaenus who
is known from coins to have been a duumvir of Corinth (Colonia Julia)
under Nero. He was a native of Corcyra, to which he retired after a
life of much toil and travel, apparently as a merchant. The epigram by
Polyaenus of Sardis (/Anth. Pal./ ix. 1), usually referred to the same
author, is in a completely different manner.

LUCILIUS, the author of one hundred and twenty-three epigrams in the
Palatine Anthology (twenty others are of doubtful authorship) was, as
we learn from himself, a grammarian at Rome and a pensioner of Nero.
He published two volumes of epigrams, somewhat like those of Martial,
in a satiric and hyperbolical style.[1]

NICARCHUS is the author of forty-two epigrams of the same kind as
those of Lucilius. Another given under his name (/Anth. Pal./ vii.
159) is of the early Alexandrian period, perhaps by Nicias of Miletus,
as the converse mistake is made in the Palatine MS. with regard to xi.
398. A large proportion of his epigrams are directed against doctors.
There is nothing to fix the precise part of the century in which he

To some part of this century also belong SECUNDUS of Tarentum and
MYRINUS, each the other of four epigrams in the Anthology. Nothing
further is known of either.

(3) STRATO of Sardis, the collector of the Anthology called {Mousa
Paidike Stratonos} and extant, apparently in an imperfect and
mutilated form, as the twelfth section or first appendix of the
Palatine Anthology may be placed with tolerable certainty in the reign
of Hadrian. Besides his ninety-four epigrams preserved in his own
Anthology, five others are attributed to him in the Palatine
Anthology, and one more in Planudes.

AMMIANUS is the author of twenty-nine epigrams in the Anthology, all
irrisory. One of them (/Anth. Pal./ xi. 226) is imitated from Martial,
ix. 30. Another sneers at the neo-Atticism which had become the
fashion in Greek prose writing. His date is fixed by an attack on
Antonius Polemo, a well-known sophist of the age of Hadrian.

THYMOCLES is only known from his single epigram in Strato's Anthology.
It is in the manner of Callimachus and may perhaps be of the
Alexandrian period.

To this or an earlier date belongs ARCHIAS of Mitylene, the author of
a number of miscellaneous epigrams, chiefly imitated from older
writers such as Antipater and Leonidas. Forty-one epigrams in all are
attributed on some authority to one Archias or another; most have the
name simply; some are headed "Archias the Grammarian," "Archias the
Younger," "Archias the Macedonian," "Archias of Byzantium." All are
sufficiently like each other in style to be by the same hand. Some
have been attributed to Cicero's client, Archias of Antioch, but they
seem to be of a later period.

To the age of Hadrian also belongs the epigram inscribed on the Memnon
statue at Thebes with the name of its author, ASCLEPIODOTUS, ix. 19 in
this selection.

CLAUDIUS PTOLEMAEUS of Alexandria, mathematician, astronomer, and
geographer, who gave his name to the Ptolema´c system of the heavens,
flourished in the latter half of the second century. His chief works
are the {Megale Suntaxis tes Astronomias} in thirteen books, known to
the Middle Ages in its Arabian translation under the title of the
/Almagest/, and the {Geographike Uphegesis} in eight books. He also
wrote on astrology, chronology, and music. A single epigram of his on
his favourite science is preserved in the Anthology. Another
commonplace couplet under the name of Ptolemaeus is probably by some
different author.

LUCIAN of Samosata in Commagene, perhaps the most important figure in
the literature of this period, was born about A.D. 120. He practised
as an advocate at Antioch, and travelled very extensively throughout
the empire. He was appointed procurator of a district of Egypt by the
emperor Commodus (reigned A.D. 180-192) and probably died about A.D.
200. Besides his voluminous prose works he is the author of forty
epigrams in the Anthology, and fourteen more are ascribed to him on
doubtful or insufficient authority.

To some part of this period appear to belong ALPHEUS of Mitylene,
author of twelve epigrams, some school-exercises, others on ancient
towns, Mycenae, Argos, Tegea, and Troy, which he appears to have
visited as a tourist; CARPYLLIDES or CARPHYLLIDES, author of one fine
epitaph and another dull epigram in the moralising vein of this age:
GLAUCUS of Nicopolis, author of six epigrams (one is headed "Glaucus
of Athens," but is in the same late imperial style; and in this period
the citizenship of Athens was sold for a trifle by the authorities to
any one who cared for it: cf. the epigram of Automedon (/Anth. Pal./
xi. 319)); and SATYRUS (whose name is also given as Satyrius, Thy´lus,
Thy´llus, and Satyrus Thy´llus), author of nine epigrams, chiefly
dedications and pastoral pieces, some of them of great delicacy and

[1] The spelling /Lucillius/ is a mere barbarism, the /l/ being
doubled to indicate the long vowel: so we find {Statullios}, etc.

V. Byzantine period; from the transference of the seat of empire to
Constantinople, A.D. 330, to the formation of the Palatine
Anthology in the reign of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, about the
middle of the tenth century.

For the first two centuries of this period hardly any names have to be
chronicled. Literature had almost ceased to exist except among
lexicographers and grammarians; and though epigrams, Christian and
pagan, continued to be written, they are for the most part of no
literary account whatever. One name only of importance meets us before
the reign of Justinian.

PALLADAS of Alexandria is the author of one hundred and fifty-one
epigrams (besides twenty-three more doubtful) in the Anthology. His
somber and melancholy figure is one of the last of the purely pagan
world in its losing battle against Christianity. One of the epigrams
attributed to him on the authority of Planudes is an eulogy on the
celebrated Hypatia, daughter of Theon of Alexandria, whose tragic
death took place A.D. 415 in the reign of Theodosius the Second.
Another was, according to a scholium in the Palatine MS., written in
the reign of Valentinian and Valens, joint-emperors, 364-375 A.D. The
epigram on the destruction of Berytus, ix. 27 in this selection, gives
no certain argument of date. Palladas was a grammarian by profession.
An anonymous epigram (/Anth. Pal./ ix. 380) speaks of him as of high
poetical reputation; and, indeed, in those dark ages the harsh and
bitter force that underlies his crude thought and half-barbarous
language is enough to give him a place of note. Casaubon dismisses him
in two contemptuous words as "versificator insulsissimus"; this is
true of a great part of his work, and would perhaps be true of it all
but for the /saeva indignatio/ which kindles the verse, not into the
flame of poetry, but as it were to a dull red heat. There is little
direct allusion in his epigrams to the struggle against the new
religion. One epigram speaks obscurely of the destruction of the idols
of Alexandria by the Christian populace in the archiepiscopate of
Theophilus, A.D. 389; another in even more enigmatic language (/Anth.
Pal./ x. 90) seems to be a bitter attack on the doctrine of the
Resurrection; and a scornful couplet against the swarms of Egyptian
monks might have been written by a Reformer of the sixteenth century.
For the most part his sympathy with the losing side is only betrayed
in his despondency over all things. But it is in his criticism of life
that the power of Palladas lies; with a remorselessness like that of
Swift he tears the coverings from human frailty and holds it up in its
meanness and misery. The lines on the Descent of Man (/Anth. Pal./ x.
45), which unfortunately cannot be included in this selection, fall as
heavily on the Neo-Platonic martyr as on the Christian persecutor, and
remain even now among the most mordant and crushing sarcasms ever
passed upon mankind.

To the same period in thought--beyond this there is no clue to their
date--belong AESOPUS and GLYCON, each the author of a single epigram
in the Palatine Anthology. They belong to the age of the Byzantine
metaphrasts, when infinite pains were taken to rewrite well-known
poems or passages in different metres, by turning Homer into elegiacs
or iambics, and recasting pieces of Euripides or Menander as epigrams.

A century later comes the Byzantine lawyer, MARIANUS, mentioned by
Suidas as having flourished in the reign of Anastasius I., A.D. 491-
518. He turned Theocritus and Apollonius Rhodius into iambics. There
are six epigrams of his in the Anthology, all descriptive, on places
in the neighbourhood of Constantinople.

At the court of Justinian, A.D. 527-565, Greek poetry made its last
serious effort; and together with the imposing victories of Belisarius
and the final codification of Roman law carried out by the genius of
Tribonian, his reign is signalised by a group of poets who still after
three hundred years of barbarism handled the old language with
remarkable grace and skill, and who, though much of their work is but
clever imitation of the antique, and though the verbosity and vague
conventionalism of all Byzantine writing keeps them out of the first
rank of epigrammatists, are nevertheless not unworthy successors of
the Alexandrians, and represent a culture which died hard. Eight
considerable names come under this period, five of them officials of
high place in the civil service or the imperial household, two more,
and probably the third also, practising lawyers at Constantinople.

AGATHIAS son of Mamnonius, poet and historian, was born at Myrina in
Mysia about the year 536 A.D. He received his early education in
Alexandria, and at eighteen went to Constantinople to study law. Soon
afterwards he published a volume of poems called /Daphniaca/ in nine
books. The preface to it (/Anth. Pal./ vi. 80) is still extant, and
many of his epigrams were no doubt included in it. His History, which
breaks off abruptly in the fifth book, covers the years 553-558 A.D.;
in the preface to it he speaks of his own early works, including his
Anthology of recent and contemporary epigrams. One of the most
pleasant of his poems is an epistle to his friend Paulus Silentiarius,
written from a country house on the opposite coast of the Bosporus,
where he had retired to pursue his legal studies away from the
temptations of the city. He tells us himself that law was distasteful
to him, and that his time was chiefly spent in the study of ancient
poetry and history. In later life he seems to have returned to Myrina,
where he carried out improvements in the town and was regarded as the
most distinguished of the citizens (/Anth. Pal./ ix. 662). He is
believed to have died about 582 A.D. Agathias is the author of ninety-
seven epigrams in the Anthology, in a facile and diffuse style; often
they are exorbitantly long, some running to twenty-four and even
twenty-eight lines.

ARABIUS, author of seven epigrams in the Anthology, is called
{skholastikos} or lawyer. Four of his epigrams are on works of art,
one is a description of an imperial villa on the coast near
Constantinople, and the other two are in praise of Longinus, prefect
of Constantinople under Justinian. One of the last is referred to in
an epigram by Macedonius (/Anth. Pal./ x. 380).

eleven epigrams in the Anthology. Three of them are on the destruction
of Berytus by earthquake in A.D. 551: from these it may be conjectured
that he had studied at the great school of civil law there. As to his
name a scholiast in MS. Pal. says, {ethnikon estin enoma. Barboukale
gar polis en tois [entos] Iberos tou potamou}. But this seems to be an
incorrect reminiscence of the name {Arboukale}, a town in Hispania
Tarraconensis, in the lexicon of Stephanus Byzantinus.

JULIANUS, commonly called JULIANUS AEGYPTIUS, is the author of seventy
epigrams (and two more doubtful) in the Anthology. His full title is
{apo uparkhon Aiguptou}, or ex-prefect of a division of Egypt, the
same office which Lucian had held under Commodus. His date is fixed by
two epitaphs on Hypatius, brother of the Emperor Anastasius, who was
put to death by Justinian in A.D. 532.

LEONTIUS, called Scholasticus, author of twenty-four epigrams in the
Anthology, is generally identified with a Leontius Referendarius,
mentioned by Procopius under this reign. The Referendarii were a board
of high officials, who, according to the commentator on the /Notitia
imperii/, transmitted petitions and cases referred from the lower
courts to the Emperor, and issued his decisions upon them. Under
Justinian they were eighteen in number, and were /spectabiles/, their
president being a /comes/. One of the epigrams of Leontius is on
Gabriel, prefect of Constantinople under Justinian; another is on the
famous charioteer Porphyrius. Most of them are on works of art.

MACEDONIUS of Thessalonica, mentioned by Suidas s.v. {Agathias} as
consul in the reign of Justinian, is the author of forty-four epigrams
in the Anthology, the best of which are some delicate and fanciful
amatory pieces.

PAULUS, always spoken of with his official title of SILENTIARIUS,
author of seventy-nine epigrams (and six others doubtful) in the
Anthology, is the most distinguished poet of this period. Our
knowledge of him is chiefly derived from Agathias, /Hist./ v. 9, who
says he was of high birth and great wealth, and head of the thirty
Silentiarii, or Gentlemen of the Bedchamber, who were among the
highest functionaries of the Byzantine court. Two of his epigrams are
replies to two others by Agathias (/Anth. Pal./ v. 292, 293; 299,
300); another is on the death of Damocharis of Cos, Agathias'
favourite pupil, lamenting with almost literal truth that the harp of
the Muses would thenceforth be silent. Besides the epigrams, we
possess a long description of the church of Saint Sophia by him,
partly in iambics and partly in hexameters, and a poem in dimeter
iambics on the hot springs of Pythia. The "grace and genius beyond his
age," which Jacobs justly attributes to him, reach their highest point
in his amatory epigrams, forty in number, some of which are not
inferior to those of Meleager.

RUFINUS, author of thirty-nine (and three more doubtful) amatory
epigrams in the Palatine Anthology, is no doubt of the same period. In
the heading of one of the epigrams he is called Rufinus Domesticus.
The exact nature of his public office cannot be determined from this
title. A Domestic was at the head of each of the chief departments of
the imperial service, and was a high official. But the name was also
given to the Emperor's Horse and Foot Guards, and to the bodyguards of
the prefects in charge of provinces, cities, or armies.

ERATOSTHENES, called Scholasticus, is the author of five epigrams in
the Palatine Anthology. Epigrams by Julianus, Macedonius, and Paulus
Silentiarius, are ascribed to him in other MSS., and from this fact,
as well as from the evidence of the style, he may be confidently
placed under the same date. Nothing further is known of him. Probably
to the same period belongs THEOPHANES, author of two epigrams in the
miscellaneous appendix (xv.) to the Palatine Anthology, one of them in
answer to an epigram by Constantinus Siculus, as to whose date there
is the same uncertainty. Two epitaphs in the Anthology are also
ascribed to Theophanes in Planudes.


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