The Dream

Fr. 2

      ποιμένι μῆλα νέμοντι παρ' ἴχνιον ὀξέος ἵππου

        Ἡσιόδῳ Μουσέων ἑσμὸς ὅτ’ ἠντίασεν

         μ]ὲν οἱ Χάεος γενεσ[

          ]ἐπὶ πτέρνης ὑδα[

5    τεύχων ὡς ἑτέρῳ τις ἑῷ κακὸν ἥπατι τεύχει 

                ]ῶ ζώειν ἄξιον α[ 

          ].εν πάντες σε· τὸ γα[

          ].δε πρήσσειν εὐμα[ 

            ]...ιπὰ ʿ[..].[


Fr. 2 Harder (= 2 Pf., = 3 + 4 Mass.)
  1-9 P.Oxy. 2208, [image], Trismegistos 59406
  1-2 Fronto Epist. ad M. Caes. 1, 4, 6
  5 Ael. VH 8, 9

In a dream Callimachus is transported to Mt. Helicon where he meets and converses with the Muses. A scholium mentions that he is "newly bearded" (ἀρτιγένειος), therefore, a young man when this happens. The sequence is an imitation of Hesiod's poetic initiation in the Theogony 22 ff., and was in turn imitated by Ennius and other Roman poets.

Fr. 2

ποιμήν -ένος, ὁ: shepherd, herdsman

μῆλον -ου, τό: sheep, flocks

νέμω: graze or pasture flocks

ἴχνιον -ου, τό: a track, footprint

ὀξύς -εῖα -ύ: sharp, keen, quick

ἑσμός -οῦ, ὁ: swarm, flock, group

ἀντιάω: go for the purpose of meeting, (+ dat.) meet with, encounter

τεύχω: to make ready, make, prepare, cause 5

ἧπαρ -ατος, τό: liver; the seat of strong emotions like anger and fear; the “gut,” “heart”

Fragment 2d Harder (= Σ. Flor. 15-20, 1, p. 11 Pf.) PSI 1219, [image] fr. 1, 15-20, Trismegistos 59399

[. . . . . .

[ὡς κ]ατ’ ὄναρ συμμείξας ταῖς Μούσ[αις ἐν Ἑ-

λι]κῶνι εἰλήφοι παρ’ αὐτῶν τὴν τῶν αἰτίων [ἐξήγη-

σιν ἀ]ρτιγένειος ὤν, ωνκ´ῦεμνησ.[

. . . .ἀ]π’ αὐτῶν ἀρχὴ[ν] λαβὼν ε´οσ´α[. . . . . .



that, coming together with the Muses on

Mt. Helicon in a dream he received from them the explanation of

the aitia, while still a young man. . .


Fragment 2e Harder (= Σ. Lond. 42-62; 1, p. 7 Pfeiffer) P.Lond.Lit. 181 col. II [image], Trismegistos 59363

2a, 1     δεκάς· . .οξ. ελυς

             παλον. . .τηρ

             παιδ( )πα..οκ.τ.( )

             η Ἀριν(όη) δυω. . .

             ἦν ἄνω(θεν?) ἢ ὅτι δ(ε)κάτη(ν)5

             Μοῦσαν ἐκδ(ε)....( )


Fragment 2f Harder (= fr. 2a; 2, p. 101-5 Pfeiffer) P.Oxy. 2262, [image], fr. 2 (a) col. I, Trismegistos 59387

. . . . . δεκ]άς· ἤτοι ε[.].του( )

        . . .]αριθμ[.].ταῖς Μού-

        σαι]ς ἢ μετὰ τῶν Μου-

        σῶν] τὸν Ἀ[π]όλλωνα

        ση]μαίνει· Μουσηγέ-

10     της] γὰρ ὁ θε[ό]ς· ἢ Ἀρσι-

        νόη]ν προσαριθμεῖ[ ]

        ὅτι] τετίμηται ταῖς

        τῶν] Μουσῶν τιμαῖ[ς

        καὶ] συνίδρυται αὐ-

15     ταῖ]ς ἐν τῷ Μουσείῳ.


         . . . ten: either. . .

         . . . the Muses

         or he reckons Apollo

         among the Muses.

         For the god is called

         Leader of the Muses.10

         Or he adds Arsinoe to their number

         because she was given honors 

         appropriate to the Muses

          and her statue was included 

         with theirs in the Mouseion.15

Fr. 2

When a swarm of Muses met with the shepherd

Hesiod, grazing his flocks by the footprint of the quick horse

 . . . the birth of Chaos . . .

 . . . at the water of the hoof . . .

that anyone causing evil to another, causes evil to his own liver...5

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Suggested Citation

Susan Stephens, Callimachus: Aetia. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-947822-07-8.