Ἡ κομψή, μεῖνόν με. τί σοι καλὸν οὔνομα; ποῦ σε
ἔστιν ἰδεῖν; ὃ θέλεις δώσομεν. οὐδὲ λαλεῖς;
ποῦ γίνῃ; πέμψω μετὰ σοῦ τινα. μή τις ἔχει σε;
ὦ σοβαρή, ὑγίαιν’. οὐδ’ “ὑγίαινε” λέγεις;
καὶ πάλι καὶ πάλι σοι προσελεύσομαι· οἶδα μαλάσσειν
καὶ σοῦ σκληροτέρας. νῦν δ’ ὑγίαινε, γύναι.
(Antiphilus or Philodemus, Anth. Gr. 5.308)

Pretty woman, wait for me. What is your first name? Where can I see you? I will give you what you want.
Won’t you even talk? Where do you live? I will send someone with you. You aren’t claimed by someone, are you?
Well, you stuck-up thing, goodbye.
Won’t you even say goodbye? Then again and again I will accost you; I know how to soften even women more hard-hearted than you; Goodbye, woman—for now.
(tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller)



Ἤδη μοι πολιαὶ μὲν ἐπὶ κροτάφοισιν ἔθειραι,
καὶ πέος ἐν μηροῖς ἀργὸν ἀποκρέμαται·
ὄρχεις δ’ ἄπρηκτοι, χαλεπὸν δέ με γῆρας ἱκάνει.
οἴμοι· πυγίζειν οἶδα, καὶ οὐ δύναμαι.
(Strato, Anth. Gr. 12.240)

Already on my head the hairs grow white,
Between my thighs my doodle dangles too;
My balls are useless. Old age looms in sight.
Though I know how, I can no longer screw.
(tr. Daryl Hine)




Αἰετὸς ὁ Ζεὺς ἦλθεν ἐπ’ ἀντίθεον Γανυμήδην,
κύκνος ἐπὶ ξανθὴν μητέρα τὴν Ἑλένης.
οὕτως ἀμφότερ’ ἐστὶν ἀσύγκριτα· τῶν δύο δ’ αὐτῶν
ἄλλοις ἄλλο δοκεῖ κρεῖσσον, ἐμοὶ τὰ δύο.
(Anth. Gr. 5.65)

As an eagle Zeus came to godlike Ganymede, and as a swan to the blond mother of Helen*. So there is no comparison between the two passions**: some prefer one of the two and others the other. I like both.

* I.e., Leda.
** I.e., for boys or for women.

(tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller; with their notes)



Ἄν μνήμην, ἄνθρωπε, λάβῃς, ὁ πατήρ σε τί ποιῶν
ἔσπειρεν, παύσῃ τῆς μεγαλοφροσύνης.
ἀλλ’ ὁ Πλάτων σοὶ τῦφον ὀνειρώσσων ἐνέφυσεν,
ἀθάνατόν σε λέγων καὶ φυτὸν οὐράνιον.
ἐκ πηλοῦ γέγονας· τί φρονεῖς μέγα; τοῦτο μὲν οὕτως
εἶπ’ ἄν τις, κοσμῶν πλάσματι σεμνοτέρῳ.
εἰ δὲ λόγον ζητεῖς τὸν ἀληθινόν, ἐκ ἀκολάστου
λαγνείας γέγονας καὶ μιαρᾶς ῥανίδος.
(Palladas, Anth. Gr. 10.45)

If you would recall, o man,
just how your father sowed you,
you’d bridle your vain pride.
Yet the dreamer Plato’s deception
has taken root in you,
calling you immortal,
a heavenly plant.
“You come from dirt;
how are you proud?”
So one might ask,
arranging the figure more pompously.
But if you seek the truth,
you were begotten
of unbridled lust
and an unclean drop.
(tr. Daniel Dockery)



Ποιεῖς πάντα, Μέλισσα, φιλανθέος ἔργα μελίσσης·
οἶδα καὶ ἐς κραδίην τοῦτο, γύναι, τίθεμαι·
καὶ μέλι μὲν στάζεις ὑπὸ χείλεσιν ἡδὺ φιλεῦσα,
ἢν δ’ αἰτῇς, κέντρῳ τύμμα φέρεις ἄδικον.
(Marcus Argentarius, Anth. Gr. 5.32)

You do everything, Melissa, that your namesake the flower-loving honeybee does; I know this, woman, and take it to heart. You drip honey from your lips when you sweetly kiss, but when you ask for money, you sting me most unkindly. (tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller)




Χείματος οἰνωθέντα τὸν Ἀνταγόρεω μέγαν οἶκον
ἐκ νυκτῶν ἔλαθεν πῦρ ὑπονειμάμενον·
ὀγδώκοντα δ’ ἀριθμὸν ἐλεύθεροι ἄμμιγα δούλοις
τῆς ἐχθρῆς ταύτης πυρκαϊῆς ἔτυχον.
οὐκ εἶχον διελεῖν προσκηδέες ὀστέα χωρίς·
ξυνὴ δ’ ἦν κάλπις, ξυνὰ δὲ τὰ κτέρεα:
εἷς καὶ τύμβος ἀνέστη· ἀτὰρ τὸν ἕκαστον ἐκείνων
οἶδε καὶ ἐν τέφρῃ ῥηϊδίως Ἀΐδης.
(Theaetetus, Anth. Pal. 7.444)

The secretly creeping flames, on a winter night, when all were heavy with wine, consumed the great house of Antagoras. Free men and slaves together, eighty in all, perished on this fatal pyre. Their kinsmen could not separate their bones, but one common urn, one common funeral was theirs, and one tomb was erected over them. Yet readily can Hades distinguish each of them in the ashes. (tr. William Roger Paton)


Wees vrolijk (doodsmozaïek)

“Ἦ ῥ’ ὑπὸ σοὶ Χαρίδας ἀναπαύεται;” — “εἰ τὸν Ἀρίμμα
τοῦ Κυρηναίου παῖδα λέγεις, ὑπ’ ἐμοί.”
“ὦ Χαρίδα, τί τὰ νέρθε;” — “πολὺ σκότος.” — “αἱ δ’ ἄνοδοι τί;”
“ψεῦδος.” — “ὁ δὲ Πλούτων;” — “μῦθος.” — “ἀπωλόμεθα.”
“οὗτος ἐμὸς λόγος ὔμμιν ἀληθινός, εἰ δὲ τὸν ἡδύν
βούλει, Πελλαίου βοῦς μέγας εἰν Ἀΐδῃ.”
(Callimachus, Ep. 15 = Anth. Gr. 7.524)

‘Art thou the grave of Charidas?’ ‘If for Arimmas’ son,
The Cyrenaean, you inquire, I am the very one.’
‘How goes it, Charidas, below?’ ‘Much gloom.’ ‘And the way back?’
‘A lie, there is none.’ ‘Pluto, then?’ ‘Pluto’s a myth.’ ‘Alack!’
‘I’m telling you the truth. If you want fairy tales instead,
The market price of oxen here is half a crown a head.’
(tr. G.M. Young)


David d’Angers, Jeune fille grecque

Ἠϊθέοις οὐκ ἔστι τόσος πόνος ὁππόσος ἡμῖν
ταῖς ἀταλοψύχοις ἔχραε θηλυτέραις.
τοῖς μὲν γὰρ παρέασιν ὁμήλικες, οἷς τὰ μερίμνης
ἄλγεα μυθεῦνται φθέγματι θαρσαλέῳ,
παίγνιὰ τ’ ἀμφιέπουσι παρήγορα, καὶ κατ’ ἀγυιὰς
πλάζονται, γραφίδων χρώμασι ῥεμβόμενοι .
ἡμῖν δ’ οὐδὲ φάος λεύσσειν θέμις, ἀλλὰ μελάθροις
κρυπτόμεθα, ζοφεροῖς φροντίσι τηκόμεναι.
(Agathias Scholasticus, Anth. Pal. 5.297)

Young men do not have as much suffering as is inflicted upon us tender-hearted women. They have friends of their own age to whom they can confidently tell their cares and sorrows, the games they pursue can cheer them, and they stroll the streets and let their eyes wander from one colorful picture to another. We on the contrary are not even allowed to look on the light, but are kept hidden in dark chambers, the prey of our thoughts. (tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller)



Ὦ μύες, εἰ μὲν ἐπ’ ἄρτον ἐληλύθατ’, ἐς μυχὸν ἄλλον
στείχετ’ (ἐπεὶ λιτὴν οἰκέομεν καλύβην),
οὗ καὶ πίονα τυρὸν ἀποδρέψεσθε καὶ αὔην
ἰσχάδα καὶ δεῖπνον συχνὸν ἀπὸ σκυβάλων·
εἰ δ’ ἐν ἐμαῖς βύβλοισι πάλιν καταθήξετ’ ὀδόντα,
κλαύσεσθ’ οὐκ ἀγαθὸν κῶμον ἐπερχόμενοι.
(Ariston, Anth. Gr. 6.303)

Mice, if you have come for bread, go to some other corner (my hut is ill-supplied), where ye shall nibble fat cheese and dried figs, and get a plentiful dinner from the scraps. But if ye sharpen your teeth again on my books ye shall suffer for it and find that ye come to no pleasant banquet. (tr. William Roger Paton)