Thursday, April 09, 2015


Favorite Books

Ptolemy Chennus, New History, quoted by Photius, Library 190 (my translation):
When Demetrius of Scepsis died, the book of Tellis was found next to his head; and they say that the Diving Women of Alcman was found next to the head of Tyronichus of Chalcis, and Eupolis' Vigilantes next to that of Ephialtes, and Cratinus' Sons of Euneus next to that of Alexander king of Macedon, and Hesiod's Works and Days next to that of Seleucus Nicator. The lawgiver of Arcadia, Cercidas, ordered that books I and II of the Iliad be buried with him. Pompey the Great, being an admirer of Agamemnon, never went to war before reading book XI of the Iliad; and Cicero the Roman had his head cut off while being carried in his litter and reading Euripides' Medea.

Τελευτήσαντος Δημητρίου τοῦ Σκηψίου τὸ βιβλίον Τέλλιδος πρὸς τῇ κεφαλῇ αὐτοῦ εὑρέθη· τὰς δὲ Κολυμβώσας Ἀλκμάνους πρὸς τῇ κεφαλῇ Τυρονίχου τοῦ Χαλκιδέως εὑρεθῆναί φασι, τοὺς δ´ Ὑβριστοδίκας Εὐπόλιδος πρὸς τῇ Ἐφιάλτου, τοὺς δὲ Εὐνίδας Κρατίνου πρὸς τῇ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ βασιλέως Μακεδόνων, τὰ δ´ Ἔργα καὶ τὰς Ἡμέρας Ἡσιόδου πρὸς τῇ τοῦ Σελεύκου τοῦ Νικάτορος κεφαλῇ. Ὁ μέντοι νομοθέτης Ἀρκάδων Κερκίδας συνταφῆναι αὑτῷ τὸ αʹ καὶ βʹ τῆς Ἰλιάδος κελεύσειεν. Ὁ δὲ Πομπήϊος ὁ Μάγνος οὐδ´ εἰς πόλεμον προίοι, πρὶν ἂν τὸ λʹ τῆς Ἰλιάδος ἀναγνώσειε, ζηλωτὴς ὢν Ἀγαμέμνονος· ὁ δὲ Ῥωμαῖος Κικέρων Μήδειαν Εὐριπίδου ἀναγινώσκων ἐν φορείῳ φερόμενος ἀποτμηθείη τὴν κεφαλήν.

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