Antinoeion

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Καὶ Παγκράτης τις τῶν ἐπιχωρίων ποιητής, ὃν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἔγνωμεν, Ἀδριανῷ τῷ αὐτοκράτορι ἐπιδημήσαντι τῇ Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ μετὰ πολλῆς τερατείας ἐπέδειξεν τὸν ῥοδίζοντα λωτόν, φάσκων αὐτὸν δεῖν καλεῖν Ἀντινόειον, ἀναπεμφθέντα ὑπὸ τῆς γῆς, ὅτε τὸ αἷμα ἐδέξατο τοῦ Μαυρουσίου λέοντος, ὃν κατὰ τὴν πλησίον τῇ Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ Λιβύην ἐν κυνηγίῳ καταβεβλήκει ὁ Ἀδριανός, μέγα χρῆμα ὄντα καὶ πολλῷ χρόνῳ κατανεμηθέντα πᾶσαν τὴν Λιβύην, ἧς καὶ πολλὰ ἀοίκητα ἐπεποιήκει οὗτος ὁ λέων. ἡσθεὶς οὖν ἐπὶ τῷ τῆς ἐννοίας εὑρέσει καὶ καινότητι τὴν ἐν Μουσῶν αὐτῷ σίτησιν ἔχειν ἐχαρίσατο. καὶ Κρατῖνος δ’ ὁ κωμῳδιοποιὸς ἐν Ὀδυσσεῦσι κέκληκεν τὸν λωτὸν στεφάνωμα διὰ τὸ πάντα τὰ φυλλώδη ὑπὸ τῶν Ἀθηναίων στεφανώματα λέγεσθαι. ὁ δὲ Παγκράτης ἐν τῷ ποιήματι οὐκ ἀγλαφύρως εἴρηκεν·
“οὔλην ἕρπυλλον, λευκὸν κρίνον ἠδ’ ὑάκινθον
πορφυρέην γλαυκοῦ τε χελιδονίοιο πέτηλα
καὶ ῥόδον εἰαρινοῖσιν ἀνοιγόμενον ζεφύροισιν·
οὔπω γὰρ φύεν ἄνθος ἐπώνυμον Ἀντινόοιο. [Pancrates, fr. 3 Heitsch]
(Athenaus, Deipn. 15.677d-f)

A certain Pancrates, who was a local poet with whom I was personally acquainted, showed the rose-coloured lôtos to the emperor Hadrian when he was visiting Alexandria, and presented it as a great marvel, claiming that it ought to be referred to as an Antinoeios, since the earth had produced it when it was drenched with the blood of the Mauretanian lion Hadrian had killed while hunting the part of Libya near Alexandria; this lion was a huge creature, which had ravaged all of Libya for a long time and rendered much of it uninhabitable. Hadrian was delighted by this novel and original idea, and rewarded Pancrates with maintenance in the Museum. So too the comic poet Cratinus in Odysseuses (fr. 157) refers to the lôtos as a stephanôma, since the Athenians call anything that has leaves a stephanôma*. Pancrates remarks quite elegantly in his poem:
woolly thyme, white lily, and purple
hyacinth, and the petals of the gray-blue chelidonios,
and the rose, which opens when the West Winds blow in spring;
for the flower named for Antinous had not yet appeared.

* An intrusive remark, which interrupts the anecdote about Hadrian and Pancrates and presumably belongs with the lexicographical material cited above.

(tr. Stuart Douglas Olson, with one of his notes)

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