Tuesday, August 07, 2018



Greek Anthology 5.60 (by Rufinus; tr. W. R. Paton, rev. Michael A. Tueller):
A silver-footed maiden was bathing, letting the water fall on the golden apples of her breasts, with flesh like curdled milk. Her rounded buttocks, their flesh more fluid than water, gyrated back and forth. Her outspread hand covered the swelling Eurotas—not all of it, but as much as it could.

Παρθένος ἀργυρόπεζος ἐλούετο, χρύσεα μαζῶν
    χρωτὶ γαλακτοπαγεῖ μῆλα διαινομένη·
πυγαὶ δ᾽ ἀλλήλαις περιηγέες εἱλίσσοντο,
    ὕδατος ὑγροτέρῳ χρωτὶ σαλευόμεναι·
τὸν δ᾽ ὑπεροιδαίνοντα κατέσκεπε πεπταμένη χεὶρ        5
    οὐχ ὅλον Εὐρώταν, ἀλλ᾽ ὅσον ἠδύνατο.
Denys Page, The Epigrams of Rufinus. Edited with an Introduction and Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 91-92:

Barry Baldwin, "Rufinus, AP v 60," Journal of Hellenic Studies 100 (1980) 182-184, challenges Page on several points. See also Regina Höschele and David Konstan, "Eurotas: Wide or Dank? A Note on Rufinus AP 5.60 = 21 Page," Classical Quarterly 55.2 (December, 2005) 623-627.

Perhaps the poem is a portrait from life, but I suspect it might be the ekphrasis of a statue (written before I read Alan Cameron, "Notes on the Erotic Art of Rufinus," Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 22.2 [1981] 179-186 [at 179-183]).

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