The Attic Thesmophoria

Fr. 63

              ]´δοι σὺν παιδί· θ.[. .]. . . .άει. .[. . . . . .]. .[

                        π]ολλὸν κῆρι βαρυ[νομέ]νη

              ]καλέουσα γυνὴ τ.[. . . .]. .[.]υ.άν· . .[. . .].[

                        ].ηι γρηῢς γείτο[ν.].[.]ρχομένη

5            ].' ἰδεῖν οὐ γάρ μιν [. . .]κλήϊσσεν[.]οντα

                       ].ς· ἄφαρ δ' ἀνὰ μὲν θυμὸς []γεντο θε[

              ].τος· πολλὸν δὲ περὶ φρεσὶν ἀχθήνασα

                       ]θη κούρῃ π[ό]τνα χαλεψαμένη.  

      τοὔν]εκεν οὔ πως ἔστιν ἐπ' ὄθμασιν ο[]σιν ἰδέ[σθ]αι

10       παρθενι]καῖς Δηοῦς ὄργια Θεσμοφόρου

              ]πόσιν ἐλθέμεναι πρὶν νύμφια λέκτρα τελέσσαι

                      ]ες ἐκ κείνου χρήματος Ἀκτιάσιν. 


Fr. 63 Harder (= 63 Pf., = 162 Mass.)
  1-3 P.Oxy. 2211 fr. 1 verso a-c  (in margin) [image], 

  Trismegistos 59407
  4-12 P.Oxy. 2211 fr. 1 verso 1-9 [image], Trismegistos 59407

This is a very mutilated fragment on the Attic Thesmophoria; it ostensibly explains why girls are excluded from the Attic rite. It recalls Demeter’s anger at a young girl, though the reason for the goddess’ anger and its repercussions are uncertain.



Magnelli, Enrico. 2006. ‘Callimaco, fr. 63 Pf.: ambiguità sintattiche e autenticità.’ In Callimaco: cent'anni di papiri. Atti del convegno internazionale di studi, Firenze, 9-10 giugno 2005. Studi e testi di papirologia 8, edited by Guido Bastianini and Angelo Casanova, 47-55. Firenze: Istituto Papirologico G. Vitelli.

Fr. 63

κῆρ, dat. κῆρι, τό: heart

βαρύνω βαρυνῶ ἐβάρῡνα: to weigh down, oppress by weight

γρηῦς γρηός, ἡ: old woman

κληΐς -ῖδος, ἡ: bolt, bar; key (Att. κλείς) 5

ἄφαρ: straightway, forthwith, at once, quickly6

φρήν φρενός, ἡ: the heart, mind

ἀχθαίνω aor. ἤχθηνα: to be grieved, angered, vexed (= ἄχθομαι)

κούρη -ης, ἡ: a young girl, an unmarried woman

πότνα short form of πότνια -ας, ἡ: (as subst.) mistress, queen; (as adj.) revered, august, mighty

χαλέπτω, poet. aor. χάλεψα: provoke, enrage; (mid.) be angry

ὄθμα -ατος, τό: eye (= ὄμμα)

παρθένος -ου, ἡ: a maid, maiden, virgin, girl 10

Δηώ -όος, ἡ: Demeter

ὄργια -ίων, τά: secret rites, mysteries

Θεσμοφόρος, -ον: law-giving, law-brining (epithet of Demeter)

πόσις πόσιος, ὁ: husband

νυμφεῖος -α -ον: bridal, nuptial

λέκτρον -ου, τό: a couch, bed

τελέω, fut. τελέσω, aor. ἐτέλεσσα or τέλεσσα: fulfill, accomplish, perform, finish 

Ἀκτιάς -άδος: (fem. adj.) Attic, from Attica

Fr. 63

and at once the goddess's anger  rose 6

. . . and much grieved in her heart

. . . the mighty goddess angered with the girl.

On account of this it is not possible for maidens to see with their own eyes

the mysteries of Law-giving Demeter 10

before a husband comes to them and concludes a marriage

because of that affair . . . for Attic girls

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Suggested Citation

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