Tuesday, May 02, 2017


Bring Me a Cup

Anacreontea 48 (tr. David A. Campbell):
When Bacchus comes, my worries go to sleep, and I imagine that I have the wealth of Croesus; I want to sing beautifully; I lie garlanded with ivy and in my heart I disdain the world. Prepare the wine and let me drink it. Bring me a cup, boy, for it is far better that I should lie drunk than lie dead.

ὅταν ὁ Βάκχος ἔλθῃ,
εὕδουσιν αἱ μέριμναι,
δοκῶ δ᾿ ἔχειν τὰ Κροίσου.
θέλω καλῶς ἀείδειν·
κισσοστεφὴς δὲ κεῖμαι,        5
πατῶ δ᾿ ἅπαντα θυμῷ.
ὅπλιζ᾿· ἐγὼ δὲ πίνω.
φέρε μοι κύπελλον ὦ παῖ·
μεθύοντα γάρ με κεῖσθαι
πολὺ κρεῖσσον ἢ θανόντα.        10
Apparatus from M.L. West, Carmina Anacreontea, corr. ed. (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1993), p. 35:

Line 6 is more concretely and literally "I trample on everything in my heart."

Greek κύπελλον (beaker, goblet) and Latin cupa (cask, tub, barrel) are related to each other, and both are perhaps related to English cup: see Pierre Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, II (Paris: Klincksieck, 1970), p. 600; Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages (Leiden: Brill, 2008), p. 155; and the Oxford English Dictionary.

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