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Asclepiades v.169

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Asclepiades v.169

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:15 am

I'm having trouble figuring out how this sentence works, specifically the bit in bold:

ἡδὺ θέρους διψῶντι χιὼν ποτόν, ἡδὺ δὲ ναύταις
ἐκ χειμῶνος ἰδεῖν εἰαρινὸν Στέφανον

Here is what I've deduced so far (but not sure if this is correct):
1. χιων is nominative (ἡ χιων = 'icy water')
2. ποτον is accusative (ὁ ποτος = 'a draught')
3. You have to understand ἰδειν in the first clause, which explains why ποτον is accusative, so: 'it is sweet for the thirsty man during summer to see a draught...'
4. I assume the nominative χιων is therefore to be taken as a comparison i.e. 'it is sweet for the thirsty man during summer to see a draught, like icy water...'

I'm really not sure, so help would be appreciated! Thank you in advance.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby polemistes » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:04 am

If you take ἡδύ with ποτόν as a neutral noun in nominative and predicate to χιών, I think the sense will be clear.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:55 pm

polemistes wrote:If you take ἡδύ with ποτόν as a neutral noun in nominative and predicate to χιών, I think the sense will be clear.

Many thanks! So it works like: 'icy water is a sweet drink in the summer...'?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:06 pm

How nice to see a dialog between a Phoebus Apollo and a polemistes :D .

Phoebus, I think polemistes has shone the correct light on this. Grammatically, exactly as polemistes says, and ἐστι is to be understood in the first clause, not ἰδεῖν from the second (the constructions are different anyway, ἰδεῖν is a subject infinitive). Your "icy water is a sweet drink in the summer" captures that, at least grammatically. Personally, while 'ice/icy water' is certainly a derivative meaning of χιών = snow, in English I prefer to translate χιών with the literal and monosyllabic 'snow' here, because I think it better captures the stark duality of θέρους - χιών (isn't θέρους διψῶντι χιὼν pretty cool!).

To broaden the discussion and ask a few questions of my own, let me print the verse and its Latin translation from the only edition I have looked at, Dübner's 1871 Paris edition w. Greek & Latin translations:

Ἡδὺ θέρους διψῶντι χιὼν ποτὸν· ἡδὺ δὲ ναύταις
. ἐκ χειμῶνος ἰδεῖν εἰαρινὸν ζέφυρον·
ἥδιον δ’ ὁπόταν κρύψῃ μία τοὺς φιλεόντας
. χλαῖνα, καὶ αἰνῆται κύπρις ὑπ’ ἀμφοτέρων.

Dulcis aestate sitienti nix est potio, et dulce nautis
. post hiemem videre vernum Zephyrum :
dulcius vero, quando una occulit amantes
. laena, et probatur venus ab ambobus.

Notes: (1) I wish the Textkit editor wouldn't compress white space (Joel, am I missing anything here?). (2) Your text, Phoebus, has Στέφανον, Dübner's ζέφυρον. Which edition are you using? (3) It is Dübner, not me, that is italicizing est, which I think makes polemistes' point.

My questions:

(1) What is our exegesis of the last stanza? Clearly the play is between the sweet dualities, on the one hand, of θέρους χιὼν and χειμῶνος εἰαρινὸν, and the even sweeter unity of her and me (ourselves a duality) under one cloak.

(2) To get a metrical rendering, I am reading the first foot of the third line out loud as ἥδ’ ὁπό. Any comments, anyone, on the meter here? Is this amount of elision common to the genre or the period?

(3) Speaking of meter, usually as here when I consult the Dübner edition, it seems the Latin translator goes for a relatively literal translation and in the process abandons any attempt at strictly correct meter. I haven't read the praefationes to the edition to see if the editors/translators comments on this themselves. Anyone?

Thanks, Phoebus Apollo, for letting me start off my morning with another sweet piece of Greek verse!

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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby dikaiopolis » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:19 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:(2) To get a metrical rendering, I am reading the first foot of the third line out loud as ἥδ’ ὁπό. Any comments, anyone, on the meter here? Is this amount of elision common to the genre or the period?


The ῑ in ἥδιον is long here, so the line starts — —/— u u/
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:28 pm

The ῑ in ἥδιον is long here, so the line starts — —/— u u/

Thanks! And I see in Smyth now that ῑ is always long in the form of the comparison ῑων, ῑον. Thanks again.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby dikaiopolis » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:02 pm

It's not always long; there are some exceptions, esp. in Hom. (And it's debated whether it should ever be short in tragedy, which has led to the occasional emendation)
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:20 pm

Thanks again!
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:54 pm

Hi Randy,
Not sure what your first question is, about exegesis of “the last stanza.” The epigram’s third item (2nd couplet) caps the first two (1st couplet). A is ηδυ in summer, B in winter; but C is ηδιον than either. It’s close to being a priamel in form, and it has the familiar tricolon crescendo structure. The sense seems unproblematic, with nice contrasts in the first couplet as you point out. He’s playing with very conventional motifs.
Or is it the final clause you’re asking about? Kypris probatur (is commended/approved/validated) by both lovers by the very act of their lovemaking (their κρυπταδιη φιλοτης, as Mimnermus had it).

No metrical problem in 3, as dikaip. points out. The iota is routinely long.

The Latin translation: Looks like he just translates word by word and line by line, perfectly literally, in prose. (He could have written una occultat amores for a nice clausula in 3 but avoids it.) I’d guess the translation is Dübner’s own, but I don’t know.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi Michael. I was asking for any thoughts on the second couplet, which Phoebus hadn't quoted (not thinking it was problematic). Your reply is just what I was looking for, and thanks to you too! (I had to look up "priamel", and my understanding of "the familiar tricolon crescendo structure" is pretty rusty at best.)
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby dikaiopolis » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:11 am

There's a pleasant Latin translation by H.H. Huxley, quoted in Jerry Clack's annotated edition of Asclepiades and Leonidas:

Dulce nives bibere est sitienti aestate; foveri
Post hiemem Zephyro, navita, dulce tibi.
Dulcius at cum palla duos legit unica amantes,
Et Veneri reddunt femina virque decus.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:17 am

RandyGibbons wrote:I wish the Textkit editor wouldn't compress white space (Joel, am I missing anything here?).


It's the fault of HTML. The workaround is to use the CODE tag. I'll see if I can add PRE tags for a nicer appearance.

ἰδεῖν εἰαρινὸν Στέφανον

ἰδεῖν εἰαρινὸν ζέφυρον


Which is the manuscript, and which is the editor? ἰδεῖν ζέφυρον is strange, but ἰδεῖν Στέφανον makes no sense to me (a "wreath" of some kind?).
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:49 am

It’s the constellation, the corona borealis, which in the Med presumably rises to visibility in Spring. I don’t know the manuscript tradition (the epigram may have appeared in more than one anthology?), but it looks the better reading to me.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:29 am

the corona borealis, which in the Med presumably rises to visibility in Spring.

This must be right, just as Zephyrus (Zephyr in English poetry) is the harbinger of spring and servant of Eros. To support this, I did a little research and found that the morning rising of Stephanos appears in Euctemon's parapegma, as taken from Geminus' Calendarium, the text of which Wachsmuth provides in an appendix to his 1898 edition of Lydus' de Ostentis, but unfortunately I can't find the latter on Google Books to check it out for myself. Perhaps our resident astronomer, bedwere, knows?

(My instinct agrees with you, Michael, that Stephanos is the right reading, but Phoebus or dikaiopolis or anyone, do you have a critical apparatus you can report on? dikaiopolis, thanks for the less literal and much more pleasant Latin translation!)
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:59 pm

Στέφανον codd.: Ζέφυρον Alph. Hecker, Commentationis Criticae de Anthologia Graeca Pars Prior (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1852), p. 213


And this is Ovid Fasti III.8. C F

Protinus aspicies venienti nocte Coronam
Cnosida...


So it’s a Spring constellation in the northern hemisphere.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:45 pm

jeidsath wrote: ζέφυρον is strange, but ἰδεῖν Στέφανον makes no sense to me.

mwh wrote:It’s the constellation, the corona borealis, which in the Med presumably rises to visibility in Spring.

What has W.R.Paton (1916-18) done with the second phrase to get;
sweet for sailors after winter's storms to feel the Zephyr of the spring

My current signature talks about the West wind of spring, which can be felt, but back to the point, can ἰδεῖν be a general verb of perception?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:28 pm

I wonder what Hecker had against στεφανον, which seems good to me as marking the end of the stormy season, when sailing can commence (ναυταις). Star settings and risings routinely serve as markers of particular times of year, and you don’t “see” Zephyr, as Joel earlier pointed out. (Paton's "feel" is fudge.)

Ovid’s Fasti line (well found Joel) relates to Vergil’s memorable Cnosiaque ardentis decedat stella Coronae (a “golden line”) in bk.1 of the Georgics (222), in similarly calendaric context. But in a typically Ovidian twist it's used to refer to Corona’s March rising (as in our epigram) instead of its November setting as in Vergil.

What say Gow-Page?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby Hylander » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:09 pm

What say Gow-Page?


They read Στέφανον without even mentioning Hecker's conjecture. And why should they? It's totally unnecessary and makes little sense with ἰδεῖν. Maybe H. didn't know his astronomy.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:31 pm

mwh wrote:I wonder what Hecker had against στεφανον


Image
Image

His argument makes Ζέφυρον more plausible. It seems to be used in very similar contexts, and with εἰαρινόν, and its effects on sails and waves are something that can be seen. The "ἰδεῖν" would be enough justification for someone to emend it to στέφανον, I suppose.

It's also a better poetic image in this context. It does require just a bit of mental effort to call the first sight of the Spring constellation ἡδύ, like a glass of icy water in the summer.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:49 pm

No Joel this just will not do. There can’t be any objection at all to the transmitted στεφανον once it’s recognized that it’s the constellation—the sighting of which above the horizon after winter would indeed be ηδυ ναυταις. The passages Hecker cites in defense of his ζεφυρον are quite inadequate to support the conjecture, and your saying that Zephyr’s effects can be seen is special pleading at its worst. Throughout Greek and Latin literature stars are seen, winds are not.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby Hylander » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:45 am

Pretty much off-topic, but not quite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85tCzdRt6UE
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:31 am

Aratus mentions a different way to tell when the (presumably?? winter) storms are over.

Aratus 995-998 wrote:εὖ δὲ μάλα χρὴ 995
ἐς Φάτνην ὁράᾳν, τὴν Καρκίνος ἀμφιελίσσει,
πρῶτα καθαιρομένην πάσης ὑπένερθεν ὁμίχλης:
κείνη γὰρ φθίνοντι καθαίρεται ἐν χειμῶνι.

Here is the English by Mair & Mair (1921) in the LCL.
Scan well the Manger, whereby wheels the Crab, when first it is freed of every covering cloud. For its clearing marks the waning tempest.

The Manger is Praesaepe (M44)
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:08 pm

Hylander wrote:Pretty much off-topic, but not quite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85tCzdRt6UE


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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:53 pm

Zefiro torna. Lovely (and thanks, Hylander), but a little melancholy as we approach fall :cry: .

Another off topic, but not quite:

In 2016-2017, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) had a fine exhibit of sundials, water clocks, calendaric imagery and the like, called Time and Cosmos in Graeco-Roman Antiquity. The exhibition catalog is well worth having.

ISAW is affiliated with New York University. They have a wonderful small headquarters, library, and museum just a few block away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you're ever in NYC and especially if you're visiting the Metropolitan Museum anyway, check it out. It's one of NYC's treasures.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:13 pm

Back on topic, though I much enjoyed the digression.

Nossis put it more simply: ἅδιον ουδεν ερωτος (another exception to the long iota, btw). Too simply for Asclepiades, a very different kind of epigrammatist, but the message is the same.

εκηβολος’ Aratus passage is from the Weather-signs (Diosemeia), the latter part of the Phaenomena, nothing to do with seasonal markers or the beginning of spring. Aratus’ lines on Corona/Stephanos, Ariadne's crown, are towards the beginning of the Phaenomena proper, 71-75, and they fix its position relative to neighboring constellations in the celestial sphere. You can check it all out on a star map.

Stars are the conventional almanac markers. Hesiod’s Works and Days is full of them. He had used the dusk rising of Arcturus (in Bootes) to fix the time when the first of the farmer’s post-winter tasks (vine-pruning) should begin, 60 days (he says) after the winter solstice. That would be a few weeks earlier than the rising of Corona used by Asclepiades—and no doubt others—to mark the start of the sailing season. (Of course the times would vary according to the observer’s location.)
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby Hylander » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:27 pm

εκηβολος’ Aratus passage is from the Weather-signs (Diosemeia), the latter part of the Phaenomena, nothing to do with seasonal markers or the beginning of spring.


In fact, the Manger (aka the Beehive) is a fall/winter asterism in the evening and night. But I think there is a certain amount of astronomical misinformation in Aratus, who wasn't really an astronomer himself but took his information from someone else and sometimes garbled it.

By the way, there's a very weird chromatic chord progression near the end of the Monteverdi, just before the reprise of the chaconne. I hope those who listened noticed it.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:10 am

Yes there’s a certain amount of misinformation in Aratus, polemically exposed by his first commentator Hipparchus, treating the poem as if it were an astronomical treatise. But I think Aratus’ placing of Corona is accurate enough, and the separate weather-signs section has no bearing on the beginning of spring. As a poem the Phaenomena was highly regarded and remained enormously popular, and its occasional inaccuracies didn’t bother Cicero or Vergil. You should see how Vergil plays fast and loose with Aratus’ weather signs in bk.1 of the Georgics. He makes complete nonsense of them—but not bad poetry.

Thanks for the Monteverdi. I always relish his discords, as in the final duet of l'Incoronazione (which gets us back on topic). That’s more pedestrian, but sets me tingling every time.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:58 am

Here is Chaucer:

What shal I telle more her compleining?
Hit is so long, hit were an hevy thing.
In her epistle Naso telleth al;
But shortly to the ende I telle shal.
The goddes have her holpen, for pitee;
And, in the signe of Taurus, men may see
The stones of her coroun shyne clere.--


However, I can't quite make out his source (beyond the mentioned Heroides). If it's Fasti, why Taurus and not Aries? Is he misreading the Vergil reference, which does mention Taurus?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:44 am

mwh wrote: tricolon crescendo structure. .

A question about the third part of this epigram.

RandyGibbons quoting Asclepiades wrote:ἥδιον δ’ ὁπόταν κρύψῃ μία τοὺς φιλεόντας
χλαῖνα, καὶ αἰνῆται κύπρις ὑπ’ ἀμφοτέρων.

In committing this to memory, I realise that while I understand the meaning of αἰνέεται κύπρις ὑπ’ ἀμφοτέρων, I have no idea what it means.

While it is a bit in the "society and culture area", it may as well be here in the Asclepiades V.169 thread.

While literally αἰνέεται κύπρις ὑπ’ ἀμφοτέρων may mean if both are devotee of Aphrodite, but from context it seems to be a specific reference to what happens under the χλαῖνα ("cover"). Within the patron-client relationship of φιλία, what would this mean? Would it be that both achieve (mutual) gratification of sexual desire, or that the client would gratify the patron? As explained to me, the male homosexual culture here, where I live differentiates between 1's and 0's, but that differentiation seems to be determined by personality, rather than social roles.

Did relationships in Ancient Greece follow that model? I guess that if there was this same distinction between binary numbers in ancient Greece, then this αἰνέεται κύπρις ὑπ’ ἀμφοτέρων might mean that those roles defined, who in a particular relationship was the 1 and who was the 0.

Is this actually so well constructed to mean one man looks forward to drinking a white semi liquid and another hopes to watch something? Or is that taking the interpretation too far?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby RandyGibbons » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:12 am

and its occasional inaccuracies didn’t bother Cicero or Vergil

Nor, as far as I know, did they bother Caesar Germanicus, who besides Cicero also translated Aratus (Aratea, extant).
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby Hylander » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:43 pm

In committing this to memory, I realise that while I understand the meaning of αἰνέεται κύπρις ὑπ’ ἀμφοτέρων, I have no idea what it means.


Euphemism. Use your imagination.

If anyone is interested in more Youtube Monteverdi with classical associations, including another (and more intense) Zefiro torna on a different text, the ending of the Coronation of Poppea mentioned by mwh in a splendid setting that is both exquisitely beautiful and very creepy (fitting the triumph of evil that concludes this opera) and the lament of the owner of the εἰαρινὸν Στέφανον, send me a private message (so that I can avoid hijacking this thread).
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:15 pm

φιλεόντας

or φιλέοντας ? Is there an allowable variability in accent for this form of the verb?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:21 pm

It's just a typo.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:26 pm

Hylander wrote:Euphemism. Use your imagination.


After having read the comment down to the end, I wish he wouldn't.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:25 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Hylander wrote:Euphemism. Use your imagination.


After having read the comment down to the end, I wish he wouldn't.

It's only an exploration of the possible relationship between the imagery of the first two parts of the tripartite structure and what is not being described directly in the third part. I think descriptions of this as "love" poetry very tame - or "Victorian". If we are to use the word "love", it seems to be (homo)erotic love being described here, rather than romantic love. The central theme of both of the first two images seems to be longing, perhaps even desperation followed by a sudden event that changes things for the better. I suppose that at least to that exent the first two images describe some element of the euphemism of the third. The further the parallel is taken, the more it is conjecture. As literature, the reader of course is part of the literary process, and an understanding of the norms of the day could guide any reading - hence the first part of the discussion. I think that modern (or Judeo-Christian) "morality" or even the notion that exclusive (binary and polarised) heterosexuality was in any way normative may have seemed ridiculous.

Is there any reason for not reading this as descriptive erotic poetry?
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Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby Hylander » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:49 pm

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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:07 pm

Those three look more like (emotional) love poems.
"I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes,"
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby mwh » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:51 pm

τους φιλεοντας doesn’t imply that both are male, and the reader would assume different sexes. Most (though not all) of Asclepiades’ epigrams are heterosexual; there’s one (Anth.Gr.5.209) in which Lesbian sex is presented as a perversion, an offense to Kypris. αυτον in 5.169 (linked by Hylander) comes as a great surprise, a deliberate παρα προσδοκιαν (provided it’s right, as I suppose it must be). Are there any other paraclausithura at a male’s door? It's highly unorthodox, if not unique.
As to αινηται (subjunctive, not αινεεται), cf. my first post. Lovemaking is a tribute to the goddess of love (erotic love, of course—Eros). That’s what she wants.

For the future of Poppea, better even than catasterism, see viewtopic.php?f=3&t=61778&p=164439&hilit=poppaea#p164439
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:16 pm

The poet may not have cared to specify, being happy to leave it up to the reader's predilections. After all, they are hidden by a cloak.

But ἥδιον to whom?
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Re: Asclepiades v.169

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:40 pm

mwh wrote:εκηβολος’ Aratus passage is from the Weather-signs (Diosemeia), the latter part of the Phaenomena, nothing to do with seasonal markers or the beginning of spring. Aratus’ lines on Corona/Stephanos, Ariadne's crown, are towards the beginning of the Phaenomena proper, 71-75, and they fix its position relative to neighboring constellations in the celestial sphere. You can check it all out on a star map.

Those other references to the Crown did, as you say, mention its position, but didn't mention anything about it as a marker for the weather. My mention of the beehive was merely because that is what is spoken of by Aratus in that regard. As I hoped in my somewhat clumsily bringing it up, somebody was able to locate it in the zodiacal year.
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