aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Callimachus, Hymns 6.111-117

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A cautionary tale: the sad demise of Erysichthon, son of Triopas, who cut down Demeter’s sacred trees and was punished with an insatiable hunger.

μέσφ’ ὅκα μὲν Τριόπαο δόμοις ἔνι χρήματα κεῖτο,
μῶνοι ἄρ’ οἰκεῖοι θάλαμοι κακὸν ἠπίσταντο.
ἀλλ’ ὅκα τὸν βαθὺν οἶκον ἀνεξήραναν ὀδόντες,
καὶ τόχ’ ὁ τῶ βασιλῆος ἐνὶ τριόδοισι καθῆστο
αἰτίζων ἀκόλως τε καὶ ἔκβολα λύματα δαιτός.
Δάματερ, μὴ τῆνος ἐμὶν φίλος, ὅς τοι ἀπεχθής,
εἴη μηδ’ ὁμότοιχος· ἐμοὶ κακογείτονες ἐχθροί.

For as long as there was property in Triopas’ house, only its chambers knew of his trouble. But when his teeth had dried up the house’s abundance, then the king’s son sat at the crossroads, begging for scraps and leftovers thrown out after a banquet. Demeter, may the man who is hateful to you not be my friend, and may he not live next door to me. Evil neighbours are detestable to me.

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Callimachus

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