Acontius and Cydippe

Fr. 67

      Αὐτὸς Ἔρως ἐδίδαξεν Ἀκόντιον, ὁππότε καλῇ

           ᾔθετο Κυδίππῃ παῖς ἐπὶ παρθενικῇ,

      τέχνην – οὐ γὰρ ὅγ' ἔσκε πολύκροτος – ὄφρα λέγο. .

           τοῦτο διὰ ζωῆς οὔνομα κουρίδιον.

5    ἦ γάρ, ἄναξ, ὁ μὲν ἦλθεν Ἰουλίδος ἡ δ' ἀπὸ Νάξου,

           Κύνθιε, τὴν Δήλῳ σὴν ἐπὶ βουφονίην,

      αἷμα τὸ μὲν γενεῆς Εὐξαντίδος, ἡ δὲ Προμήθ[ου,

           καλοὶ νησάων ἀστέρες ἀμφότεροι.

      πολλαὶ Κυδίππην ὀλ[ί]γην ἔτι μητέρες υἱοῖς

10       ἑδνῆστιν κεραῶν ᾔτεον ἀντὶ βοῶν·

      κείνης ο[]χ ἑτέρη γὰρ ἐπὶ λασίοιο γέροντος

           Σιληνοῦ νοτίην ἵκετο πιδυλίδα

      ἠοῖ εἰδομένη μάλιον ῥέθος οὐδ' Ἀριήδης

           ἐς χ]ορὸν εὑδούσης ἁβρὸν ἔθηκε πόδα·

15                             ]ήκησ[.].δ' ἔκστασις, οὔτινος αὐτῆς

                                ].ν κε.[             ]ς ἔχειν ϊ[.].ου·

                                                  ]ασιν ᾠκίσ[σα. .].

                                               ]πειπάμεν

                                                ].[.]ν ἐπιτιμ[       ]α

20                                         μ]οῦνον ἔμεν .α

                                                 ].[.]ν ὄθμασιν[

                                                                ].[  

       

Fr. 68

           μέμβλετο δ' εἰσπνήλαις ὁππότε κοῦρος ἴοι

      φωλεὸν ἠὲ λοετρόν

     

Fr. 69

      πολλοὶ καὶ φιλέοντες Ἀκόντιον ἧκαν ἔραζε

           οἰνοπόται Σικελὰς ἐκ κυλίκων λάταγας

     

Fr. 70

                                                  ἀλλ' ἀπὸ τόξου

           αὐτὸς ὁ τοξευτὴς ἄρδιν ἔχων ἑτέρου

     

Fr. 72

      ἄγραδε τῷ πάσῃσιν ἐπὶ προχάνῃσιν ἐφοίτα

     

Fr. 73

     ἀλλ’ ἐνὶ δὴ φλοιοῖσι κεκομμένα τόσσα φέροιτε

       γράμματα, Κυδίππην ὅσσ’ ἐρέουσι καλήν.

     

Fr. 74

     λιρὸς ἐγώ, τί δέ σοι τόνδ’ ἐπέθηκα φόβον;

     

Fr. 75

       ἤδη καὶ κούρῳ παρθένος εὐνάσατο,

     τέθμιον ὡς ἐκέλευε προνύμφιον ὕπνον ἰαῦσαι

       ἄρσενι τὴν τᾶλιν παιδὶ σὺν ἀμφιθαλεῖ.

    Ἥρην γάρ κοτέ φασι— κύον, κύον, ἴσχεο, λαιδρέ

5     θυμέ, σύ γ’ ἀείσῃ καὶ τά περ οὐχ ὁσίη·

     ὤναο κάρτ’ ἕνεκ’ οὔ τι θεῆς ἴδες ἱερὰ φρικτῆς,

       ἐξ ἂν ἐπεὶ καὶ τῶν ἤρυγες ἱστορίην.

     ἦ πολυιδρείη χαλεπὸν κακόν, ὅστις ἀκαρτεῖ

       γλώσσης· ὡς ἐτεὸν παῖς ὅδε μαῦλιν ἔχει.

10  ἠῷοι μὲν ἔμελλον ἐν ὕδατι θυμὸν ἀμύξειν

       οἱ βόες ὀξεῖαν δερκόμενοι δορίδα·

     δειελινὴν τὴν δ’ εἷλε κακὸς χλόος, ἦλθε δὲ νοῦσος,

       αἶγας ἐς ἀγριάδας τὴν ἀποπεμπόμεθα,

     ψευδόμενοι δ’ ἱερὴν φημίζομεν· ἣ τότ’ ἀνιγρή

15   τὴν κούρην Ἀίδεω μέχρις ἔτηξε δόμων.

     δεύτερον ἐστόρνυντο τὰ κλισμία, δεύτερον ἡ πα[

       ἑπτὰ τεταρταίῳ μῆνας ἔκαμνε πυρί.

     τὸ τρίτον ἐμνήσαντο γάμου κάτα, τὸ τρίτον αὖτ[ις

       Κυδίππην ὀλοὸς κρυμὸς ἐσῳκίσατο.

20  τέτρατον [ο]ὐκέτ’ ἔμεινε πατὴρ ἐ. . . .φ. .ο. . .[ 

       Φοῖβον· ὁ δ’ ἐννύχιον τοῦτ’ ἔπος ηὐδάσατο·

     ‘Ἀρτέμιδος τῇ παιδὶ γάμον βαρὺς ὅρκος ἐνικλᾷ·

       Λύγδαμιν οὐ γὰρ ἐμὴ τῆμος ἔκηδε κάσις 

     οὐδ’ ἐν Ἀμυκλαίῳ θρύον ἔπλεκεν οὐδ’ ἀπὸ θήρης

25   ἔκλυζεν ποταμῷ λύματα Παρθενίῳ,

     Δήλῳ δ’ ἦν ἐπίδημος, Ἀκόντιον ὁππότε σὴ παῖς

       ὤμοσεν, οὐκ ἄλλον, νυμφίον ἑξέμεναι.

     ὦ Κήυξ, ἀλλ’ ἤν με θέλῃς συμφράδμονα θέσθαι,

       . .]ν. . τελευτήσεις ὅρκια θυγατέρος·

30  ἀργύρῳ οὐ μόλιβον γὰρ Ἀκόντιον, ἀλλὰ φαεινῷ

       ἤλεκτρον χρυσῷ φημί σε μειξέμεναι.

     Κοδρείδης σύ γ’ ἄνωθεν ὁ πενθερός, αὐτὰρ ὁ Κεῖος

       γαμβρὸς Ἀρισταίου [Ζη]νὸς ἀφ’ ἱερέων 

     Ἰκμίου οἷσι μέμ[η]λεν ἐπ’ οὔρεος ἀμβώνεσσιν

35   πρηΰνειν χαλ[ε]πὴν Μαῖραν ἀνερχομένην,

     αἰτεῖσθαι τὸ δ’ ἄημα παραὶ Διὸς ᾧ τε θαμεινοί

       πλήσσονται λινέαις ὄρτυγες ἐν νεφέλαις.’

     ἦ θεός· αὐτὰρ ὁ Νάξον ἔβη πάλιν, εἴρετο δ’ αὐτήν

       κούρην, ἡ δ’ ἀν’ ἐτῶς πᾶν ἐκάλυψεν ἔπος

40  κἦν αὖ σῶς· . . . λοιπόν, Ἀκόντιε, σεῖο μετελθεῖν

       . . . . . .ηνιδιην ἐς Διονυσιάδα. 

     χἠ θεὸς εὐορκεῖτο καὶ ἥλικες αὐτίχ’ ἑταίρης

       ᾖδον ὑμηναίους οὐκ ἀναβαλλομένους.

     οὔ σε δοκέω τημοῦτος, Ἀκόντιε, νυκτὸς ἐκείνης

45   ἀντί κε, τῇ μίτρης ἥψαο παρθενίης,

     οὐ σφυρὸν Ἰφίκλειον ἐπιτρέχον ἀσταχύεσσιν

       οὐδ’ ἃ Κελαινίτης ἐκτεάτιστο Μίδης

     δέξασθαι, ψήφου δ’ ἂν ἐμῆς ἐπιμάρτυρες εἶεν

       οἵτινες οὐ χαλεποῦ νήιδές εἰσι θεοῦ.

50  ἐκ δὲ γάμου κείνοιο μέγ’ οὔνομα μέλλε νέεσθαι·

       δὴ γὰρ ἔθ’ ὑμέτερον φῦλον Ἀκοντιάδαι

     πουλύ τι καὶ περίτιμον Ἰουλίδι ναιετάουσιν,

       Κεῖε, τεὸν δ’ ἡμεῖς ἵμερον ἐκλύομεν

     τόνδε παρ’ ἀρχαίου Ξενομήδεος, ὅς ποτε πᾶσαν

55   νῆσον ἐνὶ μνήμῃ κάτθετο μυθολόγῳ,

     ἄρχμενος ὡς νύμφῃσι[ν ἐ]ναίετο Κωρυκίῃσιν,

       τὰς ἀπὸ Παρνησσοῦ λῖς ἐδίωξε μέγας,

     (Ὑδροῦσσαν τῷ καί μιν ἐφήμισαν), ὥς τε Κυρή[νης

       . . . .θυσ[.]το. . ᾤκεεν ἐν Καρύαις·

60  ]ς τέ μιν ἐννάσσαντο τέων Ἀλαλάξιος αἰεί 

       Ζεὺς ἐπὶ σαλπίγγων ἱρὰ βοῇ δέχεται

     Κᾶρες ὁμοῦ Λελέγεσσι, μετ’ οὔνομα δ’ ἄλλο βαλέσθ[αι

       Φοίβου καὶ Μελίης ἶνις ἔθηκε Κέως·

     ἐν δ’ ὕβριν θάνατόν τε κεραύνιον, ἐν δὲ γόητας

65   Τελχῖνας μακάρων τ’ οὐκ ἀλέγοντα θεῶν

     ἠλεὰ Δημώνακτα γέρων ἐνεθήκατο δέλτ[οις

       καὶ γρηῢν Μακελώ, μητέρα Δεξιθέης,

     ἃς μούνας, ὅτε νῆσον ἀνέτρεπον εἵνεκ’ ἀλ[ι]τ[ρῆς

       ὕβριος, ἀσκηθεῖς ἔλλιπον ἀθάνατοι·

70 τέσσαρας ὥς τε πόληας ὁ μὲν τείχισσε Μεγακλῆς

       Κάρθαιαν, Χρυσοῦς δ’ Εὔπ[υ]λος ἡμιθέης

     εὔκρηνον πτολίεθρον Ἰουλίδος, αὐτὰρ Ἀκαῖος

       Ποιῆσσαν Χαρίτων ἵδρυμ’ ἐυπλοκάμων,

     ἄστυρον Ἄφραστος δὲ Κορή[σ]ιον, εἶπε δέ, Κεῖε,

75   ξυγκραθέντ’ αὐταῖς ὀξὺν ἔρωτα σέθεν

     πρέσβυς ἐτητυμίῃ μεμελημένος, ἔνθεν ὁ παιδός

       μῦθος ἐς ἡμετέρην ἔδραμε Καλλιόπην.

 

Fr. 67 Harder (= 67 Pf., = 166 Mass.)
  1-21 P.Oxy. 2211, fr. 1 recto, 10-31 [image]
    Trismegistos 59407

  7 EtGen. B s.v. Εὐξαντίδος
  8 Σ bT Il. 19, 1

Fr. 68 Harder (= 68 Pf., = 167 Mass.) EtGen. AB s.v. εἰσπνήλης
   ὁ ἐρώμενος

Fr. 69 Harder (= 69 Pf., = 168 Mass.) Ath. 15. 668b

Fr. 70 Harder (= 70 Pf., = 169 Mass.) EtGen. AB α 1137 s.v.
   ἄρδις

Fr. 72 Harder (= 72 Pf., = 171 Mass.) Σ L R and ed.Rom.
   S. Ant. 80

Fr. 73 Harder (= 73 Pf., 172 Mass.) Σ Ε Γ Ar. Ach. 144

Fr. 74 Harder (= 74 Pf. + Addenda 1, 501, = 173 Mass.)
  1-4 P.Oxy. 2258 B fr. 1 recto [image], Trismegistos 59424
  3 Hsch. λ 547  s.v. λειριόεντα

Fr. 75 Harder (= 75 Pf., = 174 Mass.)
  1-41 P.Oxy. 1011, fol. I verso [image], Trismegistos 59415

  3 Σ L M R S.Ant. 629
  11-15 init. P.Oxy. 4427 [image], Trismegistos 59372
  14 Σ AR 1, 1019
  34 EtGen. AB α 613 s.v. ἄμβον
  42-77 P.Oxy. 1011, fol. 1 recto [image], Trismegistos 59415

  46 Σ Lond. D.T. 532, 2sqq
  50-58 P.Oxy. 2213, fr. 11 a-c [image], Trismegistos 59392

One of the best-preserved fragments (of at least 140 lines), the ostensible purpose of this aition is to explain the peculiar marriage ritual wherein the bride sleeps her prenuptial night with a freeborn youth, both of whose parents were still alive. The bulk of the narrative, though, is a love story. We are indebted to Aristaenetus, a fifth-century AD grammarian, who summarized this tale in one of his so-called erotic epistles (1.10).

Frr. 67-70 give the background on the two lovers: Acontius from Ceos and Cydippe from Naxos. The two are, predictably, the most beautiful children in their communities: Cydippe is sought as a desirable bride (frr. 67-68), while Acontius attracts many male lovers (frr. 68-69) before he is struck by Eros' arrow.  As a result,  Acontius fell in love with Cydippe after catching sight of her during a Delian festival. He tricked her into pledging herself to him by throwing an apple in her path inscribed with the words "I swear by Artemis to marry Acontius." When she read out the inscription, she was bound by her unwitting oath.

Frr. 72-73 belong to a narrative about the lovesick Acontius, who apparently frequents the country and carves Cydippe's name in the bark of trees.

Fr. 75 takes up the story at a time when Cydippe's father, Ceyx, has attempted to arrange a suitable marriage for her, but she became sriously ill with quartan fever before the wedding day. The third time this happened, Ceyx consulted the oracle of Apollo and was advised to marry his daughter to Acontius instead. The story of the tricking of Cydippe is told in Apollo's prophecy (22-37). Their marriage seems to have dynastic implications for the Acontidae.

Callimachus concludes the story by claiming that his source was the Cean historian Xenomedes, and provides précis of Xenomedes' work. He mentions in passing Cyrene's son (by Apollo), who would be Aristaeus, the  recounted the death of the Telchines and Demonax, who foolishly disregarded the gods. He uses a phrase here—γέρων ἐνεθήκετο δέλτ[οις (fr. 75.66)—that returns us to the Prologue, in which Callimachus as an old man reminisces about first placing the tablets on his knees. 

Fr. 75.72, 74: Callimachus alludes to contemporary time with the names of Iulis and its harbor, Coresus. These were important to the Ptolemies.

 

Bibliography

Cessi, Camillo. 1911. “L'elegia erotica ellenistica,” Acropoli 1:529-41.

Clayman, D. 2014. "Historical contexts for two Aitia from book III: Acontius & Cydippe (frr. 67-75 Pf.) and Phrygius and Pieria (frr. 80-83 Pf.)." In Hellenistic Poetry in Context. Hellenistica Groningana 20, edited by M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit, and G. C. Wakker, 85-102.  Leuven: Peeters.

Harder, M. Annette. 1993. ‘Thanks to Aristaenetus…’ In Polyphonia Byzantina: Studies in honour of Willem J. Aerts (Mediaevalia Groningana 13), edited by Hero Hokwerda, Edmé R. Smits and Marinus M. Woesthuis, 3-13. Groningen: Forsten. 

Lang, Philippa. 2009. 'Goats and the sacred disease in Callimachus' Acontius and Cydippe.' Classical Philology 104:85-90.

Rynearson, Nicholas. 2009. 'A Callimachean Case of Lovesickness: Magic, Disease and Desire in Aetia frr. 67-75 Pf.' American Journal of Philology 130:341-65.

Sánchez Ortiz de Landaluce, Manuel. 1996. ‘El aition “Acontio y Cidipa” de Calímaco (frs. 67-75 Pf.): hipótesis de reconstrucción.’ Excerpta Philologica 6:53-67.

Fr. 67

Ἔρως, -ωτος, ὁ: love; the god of love

Ἀκόντιος -ου, ὁ: Acontius, a young man from Ceos

Κυδίππη -ης, ἡ: Cydippe, a young girl  from Naxos

παρθενικός -ή -όν: of or for a maiden (παρθένος)

αἴθω: to light up, kindle, burn; ᾔθετο, imperf ind mid-pass 3rd sg

πολύκροτος -ον: sly, cunning, wily

ὄφρα: that, in order that, to the end that

ζωή -ῆς, ἡ: life

κουρίδιος -α -ον: wedded, lawful; relating to a bridegroom

ἄναξ ἄνακτος, ὁ: lord, master; epithet of Apollo

Ἰουλίς -ίδος, ἡ: Ioulis, a city on the island of Ceos 5

Νάξος, -ου, ἡ: Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands

Κύνθιος -ου, ὁ: Cynthius, an epithet of Apollo who was aid to be born on Mt. Cynthus on Delos

Δῆλος -ου, ἡ: Delos, an island of the Cyclades, the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis 

βουφονίη -ης, ἡ: sacrifice of oxen

γενεή Ion. for γενεά -ᾶς, ἡ: race, stock, family, offspring

Εὐξαντίς -ίδος, η: daughter or descendant of Euxantius

Πρόμηθος -ου, ὁ: Promethus, son of the Athenian king Codrus.  He fled to Naxos after killing his brother.

ἀστήρ -έρος, ὁ: star

ἑδνήστις, ἡ: paid-for-bride, a woman whose suitor pays a bride price for her hand in marriage

κεραός -ά -όν: horned, having horns 10

αἰτέω: ask for (+ acc. of person, and acc. of thing or inf.)

λάσιος -η -ον: hairy, shaggy

Σῑληνός -ου, ὁ: Silenus, companion of Dionysus, father of the Satyrs

νότιος -α -ον: wet, damp, moist, watery

ἱκνέομαι: come

πιδυλίς -ίδος, ἡ: spring, perhaps a spring which flows from a rock

ἠώς ἠοῦς, ἡ: dawn, morning, day

εἴδομαι: appear; look like, resemble (+ dat.)

μάλιον: Ion. for μᾶλλον

ῥέθος -εος, τό: face, countenance

εὕδω: sleep

ἁβρός -ά -όν: graceful, delicate, pretty, luxurious 

Fr. 68

μέλω: (poet.) be a concern to (+ dat. of person); (poet.) take care of, care for (+ gen.); μέμβλετο is Ep. plperf. mid.-pass. 3 sg

εἰσπνήλας -ου, ὁ: a lover

κοῦρος -ου, ὁ: boy, young man

φωλεός -ου, ὁ: den, lair; school

ἠέ: Ep. for ἤ

λοετρόν -οῦ, τό: bath

Fr. 69

ἔραζε: to the ground

οἰνοπότης -ου, ὁ: wine-drinkers

κύλιξ -ικος, ἡ: cup, wine cup

λάταξ -αγος, ἡ: the drops of wine in the bottom of the cup which were thrown into a basin with a splash; lees, dregs

Σικελός -ή -όν: of or from Sicily, a Sicilian

Fr. 70

τόξον -ου, τό: bow

τοξευτής -οῦ, ὁ: bowman, archer

ἄρδις -ιος, ἡ: the point of an arrow

Fr. 72

ἄγραδε: (poet. for ἀγρόνδε) to the country

πάσῃσιν Ep. and Ion. for πάσαις > πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν

προχάνη -ης, ἡ: pretext

φοιτάω: go to and fro, up and down, to stalk

Fr. 73

φλοιός -ου, ὁ: bark

κόπτω κόψω ἔκοψα κέκοφα κέκομμαι: cut, strike, chop, beat

τόσσος -η -ον: Ep. for τόσος: as many; τόσος … ὄσος, as many … as

Fr. 74

λιρός -ά -όν: bold, shameless, lewd

ἐπιτίθημι: lay, put or place upon; add to

Fr. 75

εὐνάζω  -άσω ηὔνᾰσα or εὔνασα: put to bed; (mid., of sexual intercourse) lie with (+ dat.)

τέθμιος -α -ον: (Dor. and Ep. of θέσμιος) fixed, settled, lawful; law, custom

προνύμφιος -ον: pre-nuptial

ὕπνος -ου, ὁ: sleep, slumber

ἰαύω: sleep, pass the night

ἄρσην -ενος, ὁ: male

τᾶλις -ιδος, ἡ: marriageable maiden, bride

ἀμφιθαλής -ές: blooming on both sides (of children who have both parents alive)

ἴσχω: to hold, check, restrain

λαιδρός -ά -όν: bold, impudent

ἀείδω: to sing 5

ὅσιος -α -ον: hallowed, sanctioned, permitted by divine law

ὀνίνημι: profit, benefit, help; (mid.) have profit or advantage; be lucky; ὤναο is imperf ind mid-pass 2nd sg [epic]

κάρτα: (adv.) very, extremely

ἱερός -ά -όν: holy, consecrated; (subst.) sacred objects or rites; the mysteries of Demeter

φρικτός -ή -όν: to be shuddered at, awful, horrible

ἐξερεύγομαι: belch out, disgorge; blurt out

ἱστορία -ας, ἡ: story

πολυϊδρεία -ας, ἡ: much knowledge, wisdom

ἀκαρτέω: not master, not have control of, + gen. (Ion. for ἀκρατέω)

ἐτεός -ά -όν: true, genuine; in truth

μαῦλις -ιδος, ἡ: knife

ἠῷος -α -ον: (adj.) at break of day, of the dawn (dat. ἠῷοι) 10

ἀμύσσω: to scratch, tear, wound, lacerate

δέρκομαι: to see clearly, see

δορίς -ίδος, ἡ: sacrificial knife

δειελινός -ή -όν: at evening

χλόος -η -ον: greenish-yellow color; pallor

νοῦσος: Ep. and Ion. of νόσος, -ου, ἡ

αἴξ αἰγός, ὁ/ἡ: goat

ἀγριάς -άδος: (fem. adj.) wild

ἀποπέμπω: send off

φημίζω: utter, call, name

ψεύδω: lie; (pass.) be deceived or mistaken

ἀνιγρός -ά -όν: grevious

μέχρι: as far as, even to15

τήκω: to melt, melt down; (metaph.) waste away

δόμος -ου , ὁ: house, part of a house

Ἅιδης Ἀίδεω, ὁ: Hades, god of the underworld

στόρνυμι: spread

κλισμίον -ου, τό: a place for lying down, couch; marriage bed (= κλισία -ας, ἡ)

τεταρταῖος -α -ον: on the fourth day, quartan; τ. πυρί, = a quartan fever

μείς μηνός, ὁ: month

κάμνω: work, toil, be hard-pressed, be sick

μνάομαι: be mindful of, turn one's mind to

ὀλοός -ή -όν: destructive, deadly

κρυμός -οῦ, ὁ: icy cold, frost, chill

εἰσοικίζω: bring in as a settler; (mid. and pass.) establish oneself or be established in

Φοῖβος -ου, ὁ: Phoebus (an epithet of Apollo)

ἐννύχιος -α -ον: in the night, by night, nightly 21

αὐδάω: utter sounds, speak

Ἄρτεμις -ιδος, ἡ: Artemis, daughter of Leto and Zeus

γάμος -ου, ὁ: wedding, wedding feast; marriage

ὅρκος -ου, ὁ: oath

ἐνικλάω: break off, frustrate

Λύγδαμις -μεως, ὁ: Lygdamis, king of the Cimmerians; he burned or threatened to burn Artemis' temple at Ephesus when he invaded Ionia and Lydia in the 7th cent. BCE.

τῆμος: then, thereupon

κήδω: trouble, distress, vex

κάσις -ιος, ὁ/ἡ: brother, sister

Ἀμυκλαῖον -ου, τό: the temple of Apollo at Amyclae

θρύον -ου, τό: reed, rush

πλέκω: to plait, twine, twist, weave, braid

θήρη -ης, ἡ: a hunt, the chase (Ion. for θήρα -ας, ἡ)

κλύζω: wash, cleanse 25

λῦμα -ατος, τό: dirt

Παρθένιος -ου, ὁ: Parthenius, a river in Paphlagonia

ἐπίδημος -ον: (adj.) at home

ὄμνυμι: swear; swear to, swear by; swear that (+ inf.)

νυμφίος -ου, ὁ: bridegroom

ἑξέμεναι: Epic future active infinitive of ἔχω

συμφράδμων -ονος, ὁ/ἡ: a counselor

τελευτάω: finish, die, fulfill

ὅρκιον, -ου, τό: an oath

ἄργυρος -ου, ὁ: silver 30

μόλιβος -ου, ὁ: lead

φᾰεινός -ή -όν: shining, radiant

ἤλεκτρον -ου, τό: amber; electrum, an alloy of gold and silver

χρυσός -οῦ, ὁ: gold

Κοδρείδης -ου, ὁ: son or descendant of Codrus

ἄνωθεν: from above, from the beginning, by descent

πενθερός -οῦ, ὁ: father-in-law

αὐτάρ: but, besides, more over

Κεῖος -ου, ὁ: a Cean, a person from Ceos; Acontius

γαμβρός -οῦ, ὁ: any one connected by marriage, son-in-law

ἱερεύς -έως, ὁ: priest, sacrificer, diviner

Ἀρισταῖος -ου, ὁ: Aristaeus, an epithet of both Apollo and Zeus

Ζεύς, gen. Διός or Ζηνός, dat. Διί or Ζηνί, acc. Δία or Ζῆνα: Zeus

Ἰκμίος -ου: Icmian, an epithet of Zeus

μέλω μελήσω ἐμέλησα, Ep. and Lyr. pf. μέμηλα: (3 sing. impers. + dat. + infin.) it is an object of care or thought for x to do y

ἄμβων -ωνος, ὁ: crest

πρηΰνω: make soft, mild, soothe (= πραύνω) 35

Μαῖρα -ας, ἡ: Maera, the Dog-Star, i.e., Sirius in the constellation Canis Major; its rising marked the beginning of summer for the Greeks. It was believed to bring fevers and destroy crops.

ἀνέρχομαι: go up, come up, rise

Ζεύς, gen. Διός or Ζηνός, dat. Διί or Ζηνί, acc. Δία or Ζῆνα: Zeus

ἄημα -ατος, τό: blast, wind

παραί: = παρά

θαμεινός -ή -όν: crowded, frequent, numerous (= θαμινός, -ά, -όν)

πλήσσω: strike with terror; drive

λίνεος -α -ον: of flax or linen

ὄρτυξ -υγος, ὁ: the quail

νεφέλη -ης, ἡ: a cloud, mass of clouds; fine bird-net

ἀνακαλύπτω, aor. ἀνεκάλυψα: uncover; reveal

ἐτεός -ά -όν: true, genuine; (adv.) ἐτῶς, truly

κἦν: καὶ ἦν

σῶς σῶς σῶν: (adj.) safe and sound, alive and well

μετέρχομαι: come or go among 40

ηνιδιην probably = τὴν ἰδίην though the noun it is modifying is uncertain.

Διονυσιάς-άδος: (fem. adj.) of Dionysus, here referring to the island Naxos

χἠ: καὶ ἡ

εὐορκέω: swear truly, take a true oath, keep one's oath by

ἧλιξ -ικος, ὁ/ἡ: companions of the same age

ἀείδω: to sing; impf. ᾖδον

ὑμέναιος -ου, ὁ: wedding or bridal song

ἀναβάλλω: throw up; (mid.) put off, delay

τημοῦτος: then, thereupon (= τῆμος)

μίτρη -ης, ἡ: a belt or girdle (Ep. and Ion. of μίτρα -ας, ἡ) 45

ἅπτω ἅψω ἥψα: fasten; (middle) grasp, touch, take hold of; ἥψαο, aor ind mid 2nd sg [epic]

σφυρόν -οῦ, τό: the ankle

Ἰφίκλειος -α -ον: (adj.) of Iphicles, the son of Phylacus, a famous runner mentioned by Homer and Hesiod

ἐπιτρέχω: run upon

ἄσταχυς -υος, ὁ: ear of wheat

κτεατίζω: to get, gain, win; ἐκτεάτιστο is 3rd singular pluperfect indicative middle

Κελαινίτης -ου, ὁ: from Celaenae, an ancient city in Phrygia

Μίδης -εω, ὁ: Midas, legendary king of Phrygia who was known for his wealth (Ion. of Μίδας, -ου or -α, ὁ)

ψῆφος -ου, ἡ: vote, judgement, opnion

ἐπιμάρτυς -υρος, ὁ: witness (= ἐπιμάρτυρος -ου, ὁ)

νῆις -ιδος: (adj.) unpracticed, ignorant, unknowing

νέομαι: go, come, go back 50

φῦλον -ου, τό: race, tribe, class

περίτιμος -ον: much honored, much revered (= πολύτιμος)

ναιετάω: to dwell

ἵμερος -ου, ὁ: longing, desire, love

κλύω: hear

ἀρχαῖος -α -ον: ancient, old

νῆσος νήσου, ἡ: island 55

μνήμη -ης, ἡ: a remembrance, memory, record

κατατίθημι: place, put or lay down

μυθολόγος -ον: mythological, narrative

ναίω: to dwell, abide

Κωρύκιος -α -ον: Corycian, epithet of the nymphs who lived in a cave on Mt. Parnassus

Παρνησσός -οῦ, ὁ: Mt. Parnassus, a mountain in central Greece near Delphi, sacred to Apollo (Ion. for Παρνασσός)

λίς, ὁ: lion (mostly used in the nominative; Ep. of λέων, -οντος, ὁ)

Ὑδροῦσσα -ας, ἡ: Hydroussa, an ancient name for Ceos

Κυρήνη -ης, ἡ: Cyrene, a Greek city in Libya

Καρύαι -ῶν, αἱ: Caryae, a place in Laconia with a famous temple of Artemis

Ἀλαλάξιος -ου, ὁ: Alalaxios, epithet of Zeus as a war god, also used of Ares 60

σάλπιγξ -ιγγος, ἡ: a war trumpet

ἱερά -ῶν, τά: sacrificial offerings, victims (Ion. ἱρά)

βοή -ῆς, ἡ: loud cry, shout; the sound of musical instruments

Κάρ, gen. Κᾱρός, pl. Κᾶρες: Carian, someone from Caria in Asia Minor

ὁμοῦ: together; (+ dat.) together with, along with

Λέλεγες -ων, οἱ: Leleges, a tribe on the southwest coast of Asia Minor

μεταβάλλω: change, alter

Μελίη -ης, ἡ: Melia, a common name for tree nymphs (Ep. for Μελία -ας, ἡ)

ἶνις, ὁ: son (indecl.)

ὕβρις -εως, ἡ: insolence

κεραύνιος -α -ον: of or by a thunderbolt

γόης -ητος, ὁ: one who howls out enchantments, sorcerer

Τελχίν -ῖνος, ὁ: a Telchine, one of the Telchines; first inhabitants of Crete, first workers of metal 65

μάκαρ, gen. -αρος: (adj.) blessed, happy

ἀλέγω: to trouble oneself, have a care for, pay attention to (+ gen.)

ἠλεός -ή -όν: distraught, crazed; (neuter plural as adv.) foolishly

Δημώναξ -ακτος, ὁ: Demonax, a king of the Telchines

ἐντίθημι: to put in

δέλτος -ου, ἡ: writing tablet

γρηῦς γρηός, ἡ: οld woman (Ion. for γραῦς γρᾱός, ἡ)

Μακελώ -ώνης(?), ἡ: Macelo, prob. Demonax's wife

Δεξιθέη -ης, ἡ: Dexithea (Ep. for Δεξιθέα -ας, ἡ)

ἀνατρέπω: overturn, upset, overthrow, ruin

εἵνεκα: Ep., Ion., and poet. of ἕνεκα

ἀλιτρός -όν: sinful, sinning

ἀσκηθής -ές: unhurt, unharmed, unscathed

τειχίζω: to build 70

Μεγακλῆς -έους, ὁ: Megacles

Κάρθαια -ᾱς, ἡ: Carthaea, a town on Ceos

Χρυσώ -οῦς, ἡ: Chryso

Εὔπυλος -ου, ὁ: Eupylus

ἡμιθέα -ας, ἡ: demi-goddess

εὔκρηνος -ον: well-watered, well-supplied with fountains

πτολίεθρον -ου, τό: town, city, citadel

Ἀκαῖος -ου(?), ὁ: Acaeus (this name is not attested elsewhere)

Ποιῆσσα or Ποιήεσσα -ας, ἡ: Poeessa, a town on Ceos

Χάριτες Χαρίτων, αἱ: the Graces, handmaids of Aphrodite

ἵδρυμα -ατος, τό: establishment, foundation; temple, shrine

εὐπλόκαμος -ον: with beautiful tresses, fair-haired

ἄστυρον -ου, τό: a small town (dim. of ἄστυ)

Ἄφραστος -ου, ὁ: Aphrastus

Κορήσιος or Κορησσός -ου, ἡ: Coresus, the harbor of Iulis

συγκεράννυμι: mix together, comingle 75

ἔρως ἔρωτος, ὁ: love

πρέσβυς -εως, ὁ: old man; elder; ambassador

ἐτητυμία -ας, ἡ: truth

μέλω: (poet.) be a concern to (+ dat. of person); (poet.) take care of, care for (+ gen. or dat.)

τρέχω, fut. δραμοῦμαι or θρέξομαι, aor. ἔδραμον or ἔθρεξα: to run; move quickly

Καλλῐόπη -ης, ἡ: Calliope, the beautiful-voiced, name of the Epic Muse; ἡμετέρη Κ. my Muse, i.e., my poetry

Fr. 75a Harder (=Diegesis Z 1-7 p.71 Pf.) P.Mil.Vogl. I 18 col. Z 1-7 [image], Trismegistos 59371

    ]ς παρθένου ἐκ

    Κυδί]ππης μήλῳ καλ-

       λίστῳ . . . . . . . . . .‘μὰ τὴ]ν Ἄρτεμιν, Ἀκον-

       τίῳ γαμοῦμαι’ . . . . . . . .].σενηδεηδε

5                                       ]νετο• ὡς δε.ε

  ]ηθει[. . .]ιν. .ρω

    ].γαμ[

       (about 35 verses missing)

 

...I swear to Artemis that I shall marry Acontius...

Fr. 67

Eros himself instructed Acontius in the art (of love),  

when the boy burned for the beautiful maiden Cydippe— 

for Acontius was not very cunning—so he could (win)

the title of husband all through his life.

He came, o lord of Cynthos, from Ioulis and she from Naxos5

to attend your sacrifice of oxen at Delos,

he sprung from the family of Euxantius, she of Promethus,

both of them shining stars among the islanders.

Many mothers prayed that little Cydippe 

would a bride for their sons, to be paid for with dowry of horned oxen.10

For no other girl went to the watery spring of hairy old

Silenus with a face more like the dawn,

nor did [another girl] put down her graceful feet

in the dance for the sleeping Ariadne...


Fr. 68

and the boy was noticed by lovers when he would go

to school or to the bath

 

Fr. 69

and of those loving Acontius, many wine-drinkers threw to the ground

the dregs from their cups in the Sicilian manner.

 

Fr. 70

but, from the bow of another,

the archer himself feeling the arrow's point

 

Fr. 72

therefore he went to the countryside on all pretexts

 

Fr. 73

but you may bear so many letters, cut into your bark,

as will tell that Cydippe is beautiful

 

Fr. 74

shameless I, why did I place on you this fear?

 

Fr. 75

and already the girl had slept with a boy,

as there was a law that ordered the bride to lie before

the wedding with a male child who has both parents living.

For they say that once upon a time Hera—dog, dog, restrain yourself, impudent

soul. You will sing even what is against divine law to sing; you are5

very lucky that you did not see the rites of the dread goddess,

because otherwise you would have blurted out that information too.

Much knowledge is truly a difficult evil for whoever does not have

command of his tongue: this man, in truth, is a child with a knife.

At break of (the next) day the oxen were going to rage 10 

seeing the sharp sacrificial knife in the water;

but in the evening an evil pallor seized her, and the illness (epilepsy)

came which we send off to the wild goats (as a magical treatment)

and mistakenly call "holy"; that grievous illness wasted

away the girl even to the doors of the house of Hades.15

A second time the marriage bed was spread; a second time

the girl was sick for seven months with a quartan fever.

A third time they turned their thoughts to marriage; a third

time again a deadly chill settled on Cydippe.

Her father did not wait a fourth time...20

Phoebus; and (Apollo) spoke this word at night;

"A heavy oath sworn to Artemis frustrates the marriage for your child;

for my sister was not troubling Lygdamis then,

nor was she plaiting rushes in the temple at Amyclae,

nor washing off the dirt after the hunt in the river Parthenius,25

but she was at home on Delos when your daughter swore

to have Acontius—no other—as her bridegroom.

But, Ceyx, if you wish to make me your counsellor

... you will fulfill your daughter's oath;

for I tell you, in the person of Acontius you will not be mixing lead with silver30

but electrum with shining gold.

You, the father of the bride, are a descendant of Codrus; he, the Cean

bridegroom, springs from the priests of Zeus Aristaeus the Icmian,

whose job it is to placate difficult Maera

on the mountain tops when she rises35

and to ask from Zeus the wind by which

numerous quails are driven into the linen nets."

So spoke the god. Her father then went back to Naxos and asked

the girl herself, and she revealed the whole story truthfully

and was well again. And the rest, Acontius, it was your task40

... to go to Dionysus' island [to fetch your wife?].

And the oath by the goddess was kept, and at once the girl's

friends of like age sang the wedding songs without delay.

I do not think, Acontius, that you would have

traded that night in which you touched her maiden's girdle,45

not for the ankle of Iphicles who ran on the ears of corn,

nor for the possessions of Midas of Celaenae.

Witnesses of my judgement will be 

all those who are not ignorant of the stern god.

From this marriage a great name was destined to come,50

for your tribe, the Acontiads,

still dwells widely and is much honored in Iulis.

Cean, we heard about this love of yours

from ancient Xenomedes, who once set down

a complete mythological history of the island,55

beginning with how it was inhabited by the Corycian nymphs,

whom a big lion chased from Mt. Parnassus

(and therefore they called it Hydroussa); and how Cyrene's

...lived in Caryae;

and how the people settled on it whose offerings Zeus60

Alalaxios always accepts at the sound of the trumpets—

the Carians together with the Leleges; and how Ceos,

the son of Phoebus and Melia, caused it to change its name.

In his tablets the old man put hubris and death by thunderbolt— 

those sorcerers, the Telchines and Demonax, who65

foolishly did not care about the blessed gods;

and the old woman Macelo, the mother of Dexithea,

the only ones whom the gods left unscathed, when they overthrew

the island because of its sinful hubris. 

And (he told) how, of the four towns, Megacles built Carthaea,70

while Eupylus, the son of Chryso the demi-goddess,

built the well-watered city of Iulis, and Acaeus built

Poeessa, the shrine of the fairhaired Charites,

and Aphrastus built the town of Coresus; and he told, Cean,

amongst these matters, about your passionate love, 75

the old man dedicated to the truth, and from there the

story of the boy made its way into our poetry.

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Suggested Citation

Susan Stephens, Callimachus: Aetia. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-947822-07-8.http://dcc.dickinson.edu/callimachus-aetia/book-3/acontius-and-cydippe