Theocritus, Idyll 17.1-4
The opening of a poem in honour of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
ἐκ Διὸς ἀρχώμεσθα καὶ ἐς Δία λήγετε Μοῖσαι,
ἀθανάτων τὸν ἄριστον ἐπὴν αὐδῶμεν ἀοιδαῖς.
ἀνδρῶν δ’ αὖ Πτολεμαῖος ἐνὶ πρώτοισι λεγέσθω
καὶ πύματος καὶ μέσσος· ὁ γὰρ προφερέστατος ἄλλων.
Let us begin from Zeus; and, o Muses, end with Zeus, the best of immortals, when we invoke him in our song. But of men let Ptolemy be spoken of among the first, and as the last, and in the middle; for he is more excellent than other men.