The Lock of Berenice

Fr. 110

      Πάντα τὸν ἐν γραμμαῖσιν ἰδὼν ὅρον ᾗ τε φέρονται

           .       .       .       .       .       .       .

7    †η † με Κόνων ἔβλεψεν ἐν ἠέρι τὸν Βερενίκης

           βόστρυχον ὃν κείνη πᾶσιν ἔθηκε θεοῖς

           .       .       .       .       .       .       .

14       [σύμβολον ἐννυχίης. . .ἀεθλοσύνης?]

           .       .       .       .       .       .       .

26       [μεγάθυμον?]

           .       .       .       .       .       .       .

40       σήν τε κάρην ὤμοσα σόν τε βίον

           .       .       .       .       .       .       .

43                                                    ].[

           ἀμνά]μω[ν Θείας ἀργὸς ὑ]περφέ[ρ]ετ[αι,

45  βουπόρος Ἀρσινόης μητρὸς σέο, καὶ διὰ μέ[σσου

           Μηδείων ὀλοαὶ νῆες ἔβησαν Ἄθω.

      τί πλόκαμοι ῥέξωμεν, ὅτ' οὔρεα τοῖα σιδή[ρῳ

           εἴκουσιν; Χαλύβων ὡς ἀπόλοιτο γένος,

      γειόθεν ἀντέλλοντα, κακὸν φυτόν, οἵ μιν ἔφηναν

50       πρῶτοι καὶ τυπίδων ἔφρασαν ἐργασίην.

      ἄρτι [ν]εότμητόν με κόμαι ποθέεσκον ἀδε[λφεαί,

           καὶ πρόκατε γνωτὸς Μέμνονος Αἰθίοπος

      ἵετο κυκλώσας βαλιὰ πτερὰ θῆλυς ἀήτης,

           ἵππο[ς] ἰοζώνου Λοκρίδος Ἀρσινόης,

55  .[.]ασε δὲ πνοιῇ με, δι' ἠέρα δ' ὑγρὸν ἐνείκας

           Κύπρ]ιδος εἰς κόλπους      ἔθηκε 

      αὐτή μιν Ζεφυρῖτις ἐπιπροέ[ηκεν

           . . . .Κ]ανωπίτου ναιέτις α[ἰγιαλοῦ.

      ὄφρα δὲ] μὴ νύμφης Μινωίδος ο[

60       . . . . .]ος ἀνθρώποις μοῦνον ἐπι.[

      φάεσ]ιν ἐν πολέεσσιν ἀρίθμιος ἀλλ[ὰ φαείνω

           καὶ Βερ]ενίκειος καλὸς ἐγὼ πλόκαμ[ος,

      ὕδασι] λουόμενόν με παρ' ἀθα[νάτους ἀνάγουσα

           Κύπρι]ς ἐν ἀρχαίοις ἄστρον [ἔθηκε νέον.

65                                                                                ]

                                                                             ]

      πρόσθε μὲν ἐρχομεν. .μετοπωρινὸν [Ὠκ]εανόνδε

                                                 ].ο[

                                            ]λλ' εἰ κα[ι                ]. . . . .ν

70                                                  ]. .[.] ιτη[

      μὴ             ]κοτέσῃ[ς,                   οὔτ]ις ἐρύξει

           βοῦς ἔπος        ]η. . .[       ].[    ].βη

                           ].[.]ελε.[         ].θράσος ἀ[στ]έρες ἄλλοι

                            ]νδινειε.[         ]οσοσο[.]τεκ.[.]ω·

75  οὐ τάδε μοι τοσσήνδε φέρει χάριν ὅσ[σο]ν ἐκείνης

           ]σχάλλω κορυφῆς οὐκέτι θιξόμεν[ος,

      ἧς ἄπο, παρ[θ]ενίη μὲν ὅτ' ἦν ἔτι, πολλὰ πέπωκα

           λιτά, γυναικείων δ' οὐκ ἀπέλαυσα μύρων.

           .       .       .       .       .       .       .

89  ο.[

90       με[

      νυ[                  ].[

           το.[                ]νθι[

      γείτ[ονες          ]ως[

           α.[       ]. . Ὑδροχ[όος] καὶ[       Ὠαρίων.

94a χ[αῖρε], φίλη τεκέεσσι.[

94b     .[       ]. . . . .[.].ν.[

 

Fr. 110 Harder (= 110 Pf., = 213 Mass.)
  1 P.Mil.Vogl. I 18 V 40 [image], Trismegistos 59371
  7-8 Σ Arat. 146
  13-14 restored by Pfeiffer from Agathias AP 5.293.17 sq.
  26 restored by Pfeiffer from Hyg. Astr. 2.24.2
  40 EtGen. AB s.v. θῆλυς;

  43-55 P.Oxy. 2258C fr. 1 recto 1-13 [image],
     Trismegistos 59424
  44-64 PSI 1092 [image], Trismegistos 59425;

  48-49 Σ AR 2, 373-376a
  48 Σ AR 1, 1321-1323b
  49 A.D. Adv. 188 19 sq.
  65-78 P.Oxy. 2258C fr. 1 verso, 1-14 [image],
     Trismegistos 59424;
  79-88 ad Cat. 66, 79-88;
  89-94b P.Oxy. 2258C fr. 2 verso, 1-8 [image],
     Trismegistos 59424;

This poem recounts how Berenice dedicated a lock of her hair in the temple of Arsinoe Aphrodite at Cape Zephyrium upon the safe return of her husband, Ptolemy III, from the Third Syrian War. Subsequently, the court astronomer, Conon, announced that the lock had disappeared from the temple and had taken up a new place in the heavens as a constellation. Although a considerable portion of the Greek text has survived, the poem is partially reconstructed on the basis of Catullus 66, which is a Latin rendition of the Lock.

 

Bibliography

Bing, P. 1997. “Reconstructing Berenice’s Lock.” In Collecting Fragments-Fragmente sammeln, edited by G. Most, 78-94. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Gutzwiller, Kathryn J. 1992. ‘Callimachus’ Lock of Berenice. Fantasy, Romance, and Propaganda.’ American Journal of Philology 113:359-85. 

Hollis, Adrian S. 1992. ‘The Nuptial Rite in Catullus 66 and Callimachus’ Poetry for Berenice.’ Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 91:21-8. 

Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd & Stephanie Winder. 2011. 'A key to Berenike's Lock? The Hathoric model of queenship in early Ptolemaic Egypt.' In Creating a Hellenistic World, edited by Andrew Erskine and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, 247-269.  Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales.

Marinone, Nino. 1997. Berenice da Callimaco a Catullo. Testo critico, traduzione e commento. Nuova edizione ristrutturata, ampliata e aggiornata. Testi e manuali per l’insegnamento universitario del latino 49. Bologna: Pàtron. 

Pfeiffer, Rudolf. 1975 ‘Berenikes plokamos.’ In Kallimachos (Wege der Forschung 296), edited by A.D. Skiadas, 100-152. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. 

Prioux, Évelyne. 2011. 'Callimachus' queens.' In Brill's Companion to Callimachus, edited by Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Luigi Lehnus and Susan Stephens, 201-24. Leiden: Brill.

Rossi, Laura. 2000. ‘La Chioma di Berenice. Catullo 66,79-88, Callimaco e la propaganda di corte.’ Rivista di Filologia e di Istruzione Classica 128 (3): 299-312.

Fr. 110

γραμμή -ῆς, ἡ: stroke or line of a pen, line, as in mathematical figures; an astronomical term for the lines by which the sky is divided for study 

ᾗ: (adv.) which way, where, how (dat. sg. fem. of relat. pron. ὅς, ἥ, ὅ)

        .                 .                 .                  .                  .

Κόνων, -ονος: Conon, a Greek astronomer and mathematician from Samos who served in the court of Ptolemy III. Known primarily for naming the constellation Coma Berenices. 7

ἀήρ ἀέρος, ἡ: air; mist, haze (Hom. ἀήρ, gen. ἠέρος, dat. ἠέρι, acc. ἠέρα)

Βερενίκη -ης, ἡ: Berenice II of Egypt

βόστρυκος -ου, ὁ: a curl, lock of hair

σύμβολον -ου, τό: tally, token, symbol 14

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

ἀεθλοσύνη -ης , ἡ: contest, struggle

κάρη -ης, ἡ: head (Ep. and Ion. of  κάρα, τό) 

ὄμνυμι ὀμοῦμαι ὤμοσα: swear; swear to, swear by

        .                 .                 .                  .                  .

ἀμνάμων -ονος, ὁ: descendent 44

ἀργός -ή -όν: shining, glistening

ὑπερφέρω: bear or carry over, surpass; (mid.) move

βουπόρος, -ον: ox-piercing; possibly in reference to an obelisk (see Xenophon, Anabasis 7.8.14 and LSJ s.v. ὀβελίσκος)

Μήδειοι -ων, οἱ: the Medes, i.e., the Persians (= Μῆδοι)

ὀλοός  -ή -όν: destructive, deadly

νηῦς -ος, ἡ: ship (Ep. for ναῦς)

Ἄθως -ω,  acc. Ἄθω or Ἄθων, ὁ: mount Athos, through the peninsula of which Xerxes cut a canal

πλόκαμος -ου, ὁ: a lock of hair

ῥέζω: do, act, deal

ὄρος ὄρεος, τό: mountain; οὔρεα: poet. nom. and acc. pl.

τοῖος τοία τοῖον: such, such as

σίδηρος -ου, ὁ: iron

εἴκω: give way, yield to (+ dat.)

Χάλυψ -υβος, ὁ: one of the nation of the Chalybes

ἀπόλλυμι: kill, lose; (mid.) perish, die

γειόθεν: (adv.) out of, from the earth (= γῆθεν)

ἀντέλλω: make to rise up; bring forth, give birth to (poet. of ἀνατέλλω)

φυτόν -οῦ, τό: growth, plant, tree

τυπίς -ίδος, ἡ: hammer 50

φράζω: point out, show, tell, explain; (mid.) consider, ponder, contrive

ἐργασίη -ης, ἡ: work, daily labor, business (Ion. for ἐργασία)

ἄρτι: (adv.) just now, recently

νεότμητος -ον: newly cut

κόμη -ης, ἡ: hair of the head; locks of hair

ποθέω: long for, yearn after

ἀδελφή -ης , ἡ: sister

πρόκατε: forthwith, straightway, suddenly (= πρόκα)

γνωτός -οῦ, ἡ: kinsman, kinswoman; brother

Mέμνων -ονος, ὁ: Memon, a mythological king of Ethiopia, son of Tithonus and Eos.

Αἰθίοψ -οπος: Ethiopian

κυκλάζω: go round about, surround

βαλιός -ά -όν: spotted, dappled; swift

πτερόν -οῦ, τό: feathers, wing

θῆλυς -εια -υ: female; soft, delicate, gentle

ἀήτης -ου, ὁ: blast, gale, wind

ἰόζωνος -ον: (adj.) with purple girdle

Λοκρικός -ή -όν: Locrian, of Locris

Ἀρσινόη -ης, ἡ: Arsinoe, specifically the deified Arsinoe-Aphrodite who had a temple at cape Zephyrium

πνοιή -ῆς, ἡ: breathing, breath 55

ὑγρός -ά -όν: wet, moist, running, fluid

ἐνείκας: > φέρω, participle aor act masc nom sg [epic]

Κύπρις -ιδος, ἡ: Cypris, an epithet of Aphrodite; here probably used as a cult name of Arsinoe-Aphrodite

κόλπος -ου, ὁ: bosom, lap; gulf

Ζεφυρῖτις -ιδος, ἡ: Zephyritis, an epithet of Arsinoe-Aphrodite derived from the location of her temple at Zephyrium

ἐπιπροίημι: to send forth

ναιέτις -ιδος, ἡ: inhabitant (= ναέτης -ου, ὁ) 58

Κανωπίτος -η -ον: Canopean, of Canopus; Zephyrium was located between Alexandria and Canopus.

αἰγιαλός -οῦ, ὁ: sea-shore, beach

νύμφη -ης, ἡ: young wife, bride

ἀρίθμιος -α -ον: numerical; counted, reckoned 61

φάος φάεος, τό: light, daylight; star

λούω: wash

ἀνάγω: lead or bring up

ἄστρον -ου, τό: the stars (mostly in pl.)

               .                 .                 .                  .                  .

ἀσχάλλω: be vexed at 76

κορυφή -ῆς, ἡ: the head, top, highest point

θιγγάνω θίξομαι ἔθιγον: touch, handle

λιτός -ή -όν: simple, inexpensive, frugal

γυναικεῖος -α -ον: of or belonging to women

ἀπολαύω: have enjoyment of

μύρον -ου, τό: sweet oil, unguent, perfume

Fr. 110a Harder (= Diegesis V 40-4; 1, 123 Pf.) P.Mil.Vogl. I 18 col. V 40-4 [image], Trismegistos 59371

       Πάντα τὸν ἐν γραμμαῖσιν ἰδὼν ὅρον ᾗ τε φέρονται

               Φησὶν ὅτι Κόνων κατηστέρισε τὸν Βερενί-

               κης βόστρυχον, ὃν θεο[ῖς] ἀναθήσειν ὑπέσχε-

               ο κείνη, ἐπειδὰν ἐπανήκῃ ἀπὸ τῆς κατὰ Συ-

5            ρίαν μάχης.

       

"Observing every dividing line in the (star) charts where move"

     He says that Conon made a constellation out of the lock 

    of Berenice, which she promised to dedicate

     to the gods when he returned from the Syrian

     war.5

Fr. 110

Observing every dividing line in the (star) charts where move . . .

Conon saw me also in the sky, me, Berenice's lock of hair7

which she dedicated to all the gods

               .                 .                 .                  .                  .

a token of the contest at night . . .14

               .                 .                 .                  .                  .

I swore by your head and your life40

               .                 .                 .                  .                  .

. . . the shining descendant of Theia carried over,44

the obelisk of Arsinoe, your mother, and the deadly

ships of the Medes sailed through the middle of Mt. Athos.

What can we locks do, when such mountains yield to iron?

May the race of the Chalybes die, 

who first brought it to light, bringing forth from the earth an evil growth, 

and showed the work of hammers.50

My sister locks longed for me just newly cut,

and right away the brother of Memnon, the Ethiopian,

the gentle wind, was hastening, circling his swift wings, 

the Locrian horse of purple-girdled Arsinoe,

. . . me with his breath,  through the moist air55

placed me in the lap of Cypris,

Zephyritis herself had sent him forth

. . . inhabitant the Canopean shore

in order that not only. . . of the Minoan bride . . .

. . . for men,60

counted among the many stars, but I also would shine(?)

the fair lock of Berenike,

Cypris led(?) me, washed in the water(?), to the immortals

and placed(?) me as a new star among the ancient ones.

               .                 .                 .                  .                  .

These things do not bring me so much delight, as much as75

I am grieved that I will no longer touch that head,

from which, when she was still a young girl, I drank many

simple (oils), but I did not enjoy the sweet oils of womanhood.

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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-4/lock-berenice