Iētrikē

hippocrates--gettyimages-164084419_1600jpg

Ἔδοξε τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ τῶν Ἀθηναίων. ἐπειδὴ Ἱπποκράτης Κῷος, ἰατρὸς ὑπάρχων καὶ γεγονὼς ἀπὸ Ἀσκληπιοῦ, μεγάλην εὔνοιαν μετὰ σωτηρίας ἐνδέδεικται τοῖς Ἕλλησι, ὅτε καὶ λοιμοῦ ἰόντος ἀπὸ τῆς βαρβάρων ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα, κατὰ τόπους ἀποστείλας τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ μαθητὰς, παρήγγειλε τίσι χρὴ θεραπείαις χρωμένους ἀσφαλῶς διαφεύξασθαι τὸν ἐπιόντα λοιμὸν, ὅπως τε ἰητρικὴ τέχνη Ἀπόλλωνος διαδοθεῖσα τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἀσφαλῶς σώζει τοὺς κάμνοντας αὐτῶν· ἐξέδωκε δὲ καὶ ξυγγράψας ἀφθόνως τὰ περὶ τῆς ἰητρικῆς τέχνης, πολλοὺς βουλόμενος τοὺς σώζοντας ὑπάρχειν ἰητρούς· τοῦ τε Περσῶν βασιλέως μεταπεμπομένου αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τιμαῖς ταῖς κατ’ αὐτὸν ἴσαις καὶ δώροις ἐφ’ οἷς ἂν αὐτὸς Ἱπποκράτης αἱρῆται, ὑπερεῖδε τὰς ὑποσχέσεις τοῦ βαρβάρου, ὅτι πολέμιος καὶ κοινὸς ἐχθρὸς ὑπῆρχε τοῖς Ἕλλησιν. ὅπως οὖν ὁ δῆμος Ἀθηναίων φαίνηται προαιρούμενος τὰ χρήσιμα διὰ παντὸς ὑπὲρ τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ ἵνα χάριν ἀποδῷ πρέπουσαν Ἱπποκράτει ὑπὲρ τῶν εὐεργετημάτων, δεδόκηται τῷ δήμῳ μυῆσαι αὐτὸν τὰ μυστήρια τὰ μεγάλα δημοσίᾳ καθάπερ Ἡρακλέα τὸν Διὸς, καὶ στεφανῶσαι αὐτὸν στεφάνῳ χρυσῷ ἀπὸ χρυσῶν χιλίων· ἀναγορεῦσαί τε τὸν στέφανον Παναθηναίοις τοῖς μεγάλοις ἐν τῷ ἀγῶνι τῷ γυμνικῷ· καὶ ἐξεῖναι πᾶσι Κώων παισὶν ἐφηβεύειν ἐν Ἀθήναις καθάπερ παισὶν Ἀθηναίων, ἐπειδή περ ἡ πατρὶς αὐτῶν ἄνδρα τοιοῦτον ἐγέννησεν· εἶναι δὲ Ἱπποκράτει καὶ πολιτείαν καὶ σίτισιν ἐν Πρυτανείῳ διὰ βίου.
(Dogma Athēnaiōn peri Hippokratous)

It has been decreed by the Council and by the people of Athens: Whereas Hippocrates of Cos, a doctor and descendant of Asclepius, has shown a great and salutary goodwill towards the Greeks by sending his disciples to various places when a plague came upon Greece from the land of the barbarians and has prescribed the treatments to be applied to escape safely from the plague that was coming upon them, thus demonstrating how the healing art of Apollo transmitted to the Greeks saves those among them who are sick: Whereas he has bountifully produced books composed on the art of medicine in his desire that there should be many doctors to save lives: Whereas, when the king of Persia summoned him and offered him honours equal to his own and all the gifts that he, Hippocrates, might ask for, he disdained the promises of the barbarian, because he was an enemy and common foe of the Greeks. Therefore, so that the People of Athens might be manifest in their choosing continued benefits for the Greeks and in order to give a fitting reward to Hippocrates for his services, it has been decreed: To initiate him at state expense into the Great Mysteries, like Herakles, son of Zeus: To crown him with a wreath of gold to the value of one thousand gold coins: To proclaim publicly the crowning at the time of the great Panathenaia, during the gymnastic contest: To allow all the children of the Coans to have ephebes’ training in Athens with the same rights as Athenian children, since their homeland produced such a man: Finally, to give Hippocrates Athenian citizenship and grant him sustenance for life in the Prytaneum. (tr. James Longrigg)

Inculta

autun
Autun

Nam quid ego de ceteris civitatis illius regionibus loquar, quibus illacrimasse te ipse confessus es? vidisti enim non, ut per agros aliarum urbium, omnia fere culta aperta florentia, vias faciles, navigera flumina ipsas oppidorum portas adluentia, sed statim ab eo flexu, e quo retrorsum via ducit in Belgicam, vasta omnia, inculta squalentia muta tenebrosa, etiam militares vias ita confragosas et alternis montibus arduas atque praecipites, ut vix semiplena carpenta, interdum vacua transmittant. ex quo saepe accidit ut obsequia nostra tarda sint, cum paucarum frugum nobis difficilior sit evectio quam ceteris plurimarum. quo magis, imperator, pietati tuae gratias agimus, qui cum scires internum regionum nostrarum habitum atque adspectum tam foedum tamque asperum, tamen illo deflectere et urbem illam sola opis tuae exspectatione viventem inlustrare dignatus es. boni principis est libenter suos videre felices, sed melioris invisere etiam laborantes. di immortales! quisnam ille tum nobis illuxit dies (iam enim ad praedicanda remedia numinis tui ordine suo pervenit oratio), cum tu, quod primum nobis signum salutis fuit, portas istius urbis intrasti!—quae te habitu illo in sinum reducto et procurrentibus utrimque turribus amplexu quodam videbantur accipere.
(Panegyrici Latini 5.7)

For why should I speak about the other districts belonging to that community, over which you yourself confessed to have shed tears? For you did not see, as throughout the territory of other cities, almost everything cultivated, cleared and flowering, with easy roads and navigable rivers washing the very gates of the towns, but right from that turnoff from which the road leads back to Belgica you saw everything devastated, uncultivated, neglected, silent and gloomy, and even the military roads so rough and steep and precipitous, with such a succession of mountains, that half-full wagons, and sometimes even empty ones, may scarcely travel along them. As a result, it often happens that our obligations are discharged late, since the transport of a small harvest is more difficult for us than that of a bountiful one is for others. For this reason, we are the more disposed to give thanks to your piety, O Emperor*, who, although you knew that the internal condition and appearance of our region was so vile and so rough, nonetheless were good enough to turn aside to it, and bring light to that city which lived solely in anticipation of your help. It is the mark of a good ruler that he is happy to see his subjects  prosperous, but of a better one that he visits them even when they are suffering. Immortal gods! What a day then shone upon us (for now my speech has reached in its course the celebration of your divinity’s assistance), when you entered the gates of this city**, which was the first sign of salvation for us. And the gates, drawn back in the likeness of a curve, with towers projecting on either side, seemed to receive you in a kind of embrace.

* Constantine.
** Autun.

(tr. Charles E.V. Nixon and Barbara Saylor Rodgers)

Katepontisan

hesiod

Διατριβῆς δὲ αὐτῷ πλείονος γενομένης ἐν τοῖς Οἰνεῦσιν, ὑπονοήσαντες οἱ νεανίσκοι τὴν ἀδελφὴν αὐτῶν μοιχεύειν τὸν Ἡσίοδον ἀποκτείναντες εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ τῆς Εὐβοίας καὶ τῆς Λοκρίδος πέλαγος κατεπόντισαν. τοῦ δὲ νεκροῦ τριταίου πρὸς τὴν γῆν ὑπὸ δελφίνων προσενεχθέντος, ἑορτῆς τινος ἐπιχωρίου παρ’ αὐτοῖς οὔσης Ῥίου ἁγνείας, πάντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν ἔδραμον, καὶ τὸ σῶμα γνωρίσαντες ἐκεῖνο μὲν πενθήσαντες ἔθαψαν, τοὺς δὲ φονεῖς ἀνεζήτουν. οἳ δέ, φοβηθέντες τὴν τῶν πολιτῶν ὀργήν, κατασπάσαντες ἁλιευτικὸν σκάφος διέπλευσαν εἰς Κρήτην· οὓς κατὰ μέσον τὸν πλοῦν ὁ Ζεὺς κεραυνώσας κατεπόντωσεν, ὥς φησιν Ἀλκιδάμας ἐν Μουσείῳ. Ἐρατοσθένης δέ φησιν ἐν Ἡσιόδῳ [fr. 17 Powell] Κτίμενον καὶ Ἄντιφον τοὺς Γανύκτορος, ἐπὶ τῇ προειρημένῃ αἰτίᾳ ἀνελόντας <τὸν ποιητήν>, σφαγιασθῆναι θεοῖς ξενίοις ὑπ’ Εὐρυκλέους τοῦ μάντεως· τὴν μέντοι παρθένον τὴν ἀδελφὴν τῶν προειρημένων μετὰ τὴν φθορὰν ἑαυτὴν ἀναρτῆσαι· φθαρῆναι δὲ ὑπό τινος ξένου συνόδου τοῦ Ἡσιόδου Δημώδους ὄνομα, ὃν καὶ αὐτὸν ἀναιρεθῆναι ὑπὸ τῶν αὐτῶν φησιν. ὕστερον δ’ Ὀρχομένιοι κατὰ χρησμὸν μετενέγκαντες αὐτὸν παρ’ αὑτοῖς ἔθαψαν, καὶ ἐπέγραψαν ἐπὶ τῷ τάφῳ·
Ἄσκρη μὲν πατρὶς πολυλήϊος, ἀλλὰ θανόντος
ὀστέα πληξίππων γῆ Μινυῶν κατέχει
Ἡσιόδου, τοῦ πλεῖστον ἐν ἀνθρώποις κλέος ἐστίν
ἀνδρῶν κρινομένων ἐν βασάνῳ σοφίης.
(Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi 14)

When he had stayed for some time among the people of Oinoe, the young men came to suspect that Hesiod was fornicating with their sister, and they killed him by drowning him in the sea between Locris and Euboea. His corpse was brought to land by dolphins two days later while a certain local festival was in progress, the Purification of Rhion. Everone ran to the shore and, recognizing the body, mourned him and gave him burial, and began to seek his murderers. They, fearing their fellow citizens’ wrath, pulled a fishing boat down and sailed off towards Crete. In mid voyage Zeus cast a thunderbolt and drowned them, as Alcidamas says in his Museum. Eratosthenes in his Hesiod, however, says that Ganyctor’s sons Ktimenos and Antiphos killed <the poet> for the reason aforesaid, and were slaughtered in sacrifice to the Gods of Hospitality by the seer Eurycles; and that the girl, their sister, hanged herself following her defloration, which had been done by a foreigner travelling with Hesiod, Demodes by name; and he says that this man too was killed by the same pair. Subsequently the Orchomenians transported Hesiod’s body on the basis of an oracle and buried it in their territory, inscribing on the tombstone:
Ascra, the rich cornland, was my home, but my dead bones
the horse-goading Minyans’ country holds:
mine, Hesiod’s, whose fame is greatest in the world
when men are tested by the touchstone of art.
(tr. Martin Litchfield West)

Xenia

Berengar I
Berengar I of Italy (ca. 845-924)

“Non hederam sperare vales laurumve, libelle,
quae largita suis tempora prisca viris.
contulit haec magno labyrinthea fabula Homero
Aeneisque tibi, docte poeta Maro.
atria tunc divum resonabant carmine vatum:
respuet en musam quaeque proseucha tuam;
Pierio flagrabat eis sed munere sanguis:
prosequitur gressum nulla Thalia tuum.
hinc metuo rapidas ex te nigrescere flammas,
auribus ut nitidis vilia verba dabis.”
“quid vanis totiens agitas haec tempora dictis,
carmina quae profers si igne voranda times?
desine; nunc etenim nullus tua carmina curat:
haec faciunt urbi, haec quoque rure viri.
quid tibi praeterea duros tolerasse labores
profuit ac longas accelerasse vias?
endromidos te cura magis victusque fatigat:
hinc fugito nugas, quas memorare paras.”
“irrita saepe mihi cumulas quae murmura, codex,
non poterunt votis addere claustra meis.
seria cuncta cadant, opto, et labor omnis abesto,
dum capiti summo xenia parva dabo.
nonne vides, tacitis abeant ut saecla triumphis,
quos agitat toto orbe colendus homo?
tu licet exustus vacuas solvaris in auras,
pars melior summi scribet amore viri.
supplice sed voto Christum rogitemus ovantes,
quo faveat coeptis patris ab arce meis.
haud moveor plausu populi vel munere circi:
sat mihi pauca viri ponere facta pii.
Christe, poli convexa pio qui numine torques,
da, queat ut famulus farier apta tuus!”
(Gesta Berengarii, prologus)

“Little book of mine, you shouldn’t hope for the ivy and laurels which times of old bestowed upon great men. The labyrinthine Odyssey conferred these gifts on the great Homer, and the Aeneid on you, learned poet Vergil. In those days the emperors’ halls resounded with the songs of poets, but nowadays every shack rejects your verse. The poets’ blood back then was on fire with the inspiration of the muses; today no Thalia follows in your footsteps. I fear therefore that you will soon feed the ravenous flames if you offer your shoddy verse to sophisticated ears.”
“Why do you continue to assail these times with pointless words if you worry that the poems you offer will be devoured by the fire? Stop it; the fact is that nobody now cares for your verse. These days poems are written in the city and in the country. Besides, what good has it done you to suffer those hardships and to hurry down those long roads? Worrying about warm clothing and food exhausts you more, so begone with this rubbish you prepare to relate.”
“This idle prattle you often heap upon me, book of mine, will not be able put my desires in chains. May all serious matters fall aside, that is my wish, and away with all hard work: I shall give small gifts to the supreme chief. Don’t you see how with time all the victories of this illustrious sovereign, who should be praised all over the world, are forgotten? Even if you are burned and dissolved into thin air, more gifted writers will set to work because of their love for this sublime man. But let us address Christ in suppliant prayer and beseech him to favour my undertaking from his father’s castle on high. I am not moved by the people’s applause or the circus’s prize; just to recount a few deeds of this devout leader is enough for me. Christ, you who move the celestial spheres with a pious gesture, grant that your servant may speak worthily of these matters! (tr. David Bauwens)

Asellus

asellus

Rex erat ignote quondam regionis et urbis
sed nomen regis pagina nulla docet.
hic sibi consortem regni thalamique sodalem
sortitus fuerat nobilitate parem.
quos licet imperii maiestas alta bearet
amplaque congeries nobilitaret opum,
hic tamen adversa parum Lucina negaret
gratis enim Veneris excoluere iocos.
hinc dolor, hinc gemitus ambos vexabat,
heredem regni non habuere sui.
denique regina misero compassa marito
tali sive pari voce frequenter ait:
“quid facimus? nil proficimus: iam vivere tedet
nocturnisque piget sepe vacasse iocis.
femina sum misera sterilique simillima terre
qui sine spe messis semina iacta vorat.
pertuso sacco iuste me comparo, qui quod
ore patente capit hoc aliunde vomit.
heu, quid nobilitas, quid opes, quid gloria regni
prosunt, heredem si michi fata negant?”
continuis igitur precibus pia numina pulsans,
ut mater fiat nocte dieque rogat.
quod petit assequitur et fit mater sed aselli!
eius enim partus pulcher asellus erat.
o qualis partus, ubi femina gignit asellum!
o res miranda, plus miseranda tamen!
hoc fetu viso mater, que plauserat olim
se concepisse, iam peperisse dolet.
ergo non esse mater quam mater aselli
mallet, et ut detur piscibus esca iubet.
(Asinarius 1-30)

Once upon a time there was a king of an unknown region and city, and, what is more, no page tells the king’s name. This king had acquired for himself as consort of his realm and companion of his bedchamber a woman who was his peer in nobility. Although the high majesty of an empire blessed them, and an ample mass of wealth ennobled them, all the same Lucina was hostile to them and had denied offspring; for they practiced the games of Venus to no effect. Hence grief and moans afflicted both of them, for the reason that they had no heir for their realm. In the end the queen, taking pity upon her unfortunate husband, said repeatedly in such a speech or one like it: “What are we doing? We are accomplishing nothing. It has become dreary now to live and it is tiresome to have been intent so often on nighttime games. I am an unfortunate woman, most similar to a barren land that without hope of a harvest swallows the seeds that are cast. Rightly do I compare myself to a punctured sack, which spews out elsewhere what it receives with open mouth. Alas, what does nobility avail, what does wealth, what does the glory of the realm, if the fates deny me an heir?” Therefore, entreating the faithful gods with uninterrupted prayers, she asks by night and day that she be made a mother. What she seeks, she obtains and she becomes a mother—but of a little donkey, for her offspring was a beautiful little donkey! O what a delivery, when a woman gives birth to a little donkey! O what a marvelous, yet rather miserable, thing! Having seen this newborn, the mother, who had earlier applauded that she had conceived, now grieves at having given birth. Therefore, rather than to be the mother of a little donkey, she prefers not to be a mother and orders that he be given as food to fishes. (tr. Jan M. Ziolkowski, slightly adapted)

Feminini

female body

This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Veniamus ad indicia corporis feminini. caput breve, capillus niger vel a rubeo fuscior, quem Graeci φαιὰν τρίχα, rario, idem flexibilior ac mollior, cervix exilior eademque longior, color candidus vel cum pallore nigrior, quem Graeci μελάγχλωρον vocant, pupillae, quas Graeci κόρας dicunt, subnigrae vel evidenter nigrae, vultus omnis lenis, inoffensus ac mollis, serenus, affabilis, labia compressa tamquam sint incisa, iuguli cohaerentes atque constricti, ab humeris usque ad umbilicum corpus angustius et brevius, ab umbilico usque ad genua prolixius ac plenius, a genibus usque ad pedum ima deductius, imae manus ac pedes subtiles et eleganter circumscripti, planta concava et a reliquo vestigio elatior, vox tenuis, moderata, acceptissima auribus, sermo volubilis ac facilis, incessus decens, brevibus passis et acceleratis.
(Anonymous, De Physiognomonia 6)

Let us come to the signs of the feminine body. The head is small, the hair black or darker than red, which the Greeks call φαιὰ θρίξ (‘grey hair’), rather thin, at the same time somewhat flexible and soft, the neck is rather slender and also long, the colour is white or rather black with paleness, which the Greeks call μελάγχλωρος, the pupils, which the Greeks call κόραι, are somewhat black or obviously black, the whole face is smooth, placid and soft, calm and affable, the lips are compressed as if incised, the collar-bones are bound and stuck together, the body is narrower and smaller from the shoulders to the navel, from the navel to the knees it is more extended and thicker and from the knees to the ends of the feet it is more drawn in, the ends of the hands and feet are slender and elegantly delineated, the soles are hollow and higher than the rest of the step, the voice is thin, moderate, very pleasing to the ears, the speech is fluent and easy, and the gait is comely, with short and quick steps. (tr. Ian Repath)