Thursday, May 11, 2006
Ancient Dog Epitaphs
This seems similar to an epigram translated by J. W. Mackail, as LIV in his collection Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology (1890):
Thou who passest on this path,Also in Mackail's collection are LV (by Tymnes):
If haply thou dost mark this monument,
Laugh not, I pray thee, though it is a dog's grave.
Tears fell for me, and the dust was heaped above me
By a master's hand.
Here the stone says it holds the white dog from Melita, the most faithful guardian of Eumelus; Bull they called him while he was yet alive; but now his voice is prisoned in the silent pathways of night.and LVII (by Simonides):
Surely even as thou liest dead in this tomb I deem the wild beasts yet fear thy white bones, huntress Lycas; and thy valour great Pelion knows, and splendid Ossa and the lonely peaks of Cithaeron.Mackail's LV is number 7.211 in the Greek Anthology:
Τῇδε τὸν ἐκ Μελίτης ἀργὸν κύνα φησὶν ὁ πέτροςI have not yet tracked down the standard citations of Mackail's LIV and LVII.
ἴσχειν, Εὐμήλου πιστότατον φύλακα.
Ταῦρόν μιν καλέεσκον, ὅτ᾽ ἦν ἔτι· νῦν δὲ τὸ κείνου
φθέγμα σιωπηραὶ νυκτὸς ἔχουσιν ὁδοί.
Julia Lougovaya-Ast, in a review of Reinhold Merkelbach and Josef Stauber, Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten. Band 4: Die Südküste Kleinasiens, Syrien und Palaestina (München/Leipzig: K.G. Saur, 2002), writes:
18/01/28, from Termessos, is a very interesting inscription on a small sarcophagus of a dog named Stephanos. The epitaph seems to have comprised three epigrams, of which the first is largely lost, but the following two survive intact:Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 6.29896 is an epitaph for a dog named Margarita (Pearl):This is the tomb of the dog, Stephanos, who perished,The small sarcophagus was found near the inscribed sarcophagus of Rhodope herself.
Whom Rhodope shed tears for and buried like a human (vv. 4-5).
I am the dog Stephanos, and Rhodope set up a tomb for me (v. 6).
Gallia me genuit nomen mihi divitis undae /It should be noted that Sauvage Noble's second example is a variation on Catullus' dirge for Lesbia's sparrow (3, Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque).
concha dedit formae nominis aptus honos /
docta per incertas audax discurrere silvas /
collibus hirsutas atque agitare feras /
non gravibus vinc(u)lis unquam consueta teneri /
verbera nec niveo corpore saeva pati /
molli namque sinu domini dominaeque iacebam /
et noram in strato lassa cubare toro /
et plus quam licuit muto canis ore loquebar /
nulli latratus pertimuere meos /
sed iam fata subii partu iactata sinistro /
quam nunc sub parvo marmore terra tegit /
I don't have access to Courtney's Musa Lapidaria, but if I recall correctly, it has extensive notes, and probably cites everything above and more.