Tuesday, July 28, 2015


A Prayer to Artemis

Theognis 11-14 (tr. Douglas E. Gerber):
Artemis, slayer of wild beasts, daughter of Zeus, for whom Agamemnon set up a temple when he was preparing to sail on his swift ships to Troy, give ear to my prayer and ward off the evil death-spirits. For you, goddess, this is a small thing, but for me it is critical.

Ἄρτεμι θηροφόνη, θύγατερ Διός, ἣν Ἀγαμέμνων
    εἵσαθ᾿ ὅτ᾿ ἐς Τροίην ἔπλεε νηυσὶ θοῇς,
εὐχομένῳ μοι κλῦθι, κακὰς δ᾿ ἀπὸ κῆρας ἄλαλκε·
    σοὶ μὲν τοῦτο, θεά, σμικρόν, ἐμοὶ δὲ μέγα.
Carolus Ausfeld, "De Graecorum Precationibus Quaestiones," Jahrbüch für classische Philologie, Suppl. 28 (1903) 503-547, recognized three parts of Greek prayers, which he called invocatio, pars epica, and precatio. Theognis' prayer to Artemis is a succinct example of this tripartite form:
See Jules Labarbe, "Une prière de Théognis (11-14)," L'Antiquité Classique 62 (1993) 23-33.

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