Monday, March 30, 2020


Prayers to Artemis

Greek Anthology 6.240 (by Philippus; tr. W.R. Paton):
Archer daughter of Zeus and Leo, Artemis, watcher of wild creatures, who dwellest in the recesses of the hills, this very day send the hated sickness from our best of emperors forth even unto the Hyperboreans. For Philippus will offer o'er thy altars smoke of frankincense, sacrificing a mountain boar.

Ζηνὸς καὶ Λητοῦς θηροσκόπε τοξότι κούρη,
    Ἄρτεμις, ἣ θαλάμους τοὺς ὀρέων ἔλαχες,
νοῦσον τὴν στυγερὴν αὐθημερὸν ἐκ βασιλῆος
    ἐσθλοτατου πέμψαις ἄχρις Ὑπερβορέων·
σοὶ γὰρ ὑπὲρ βωμῶν ἀτμὸν λιβάνοιο Φίλιππος
    ῥέξει, καλλιθυτῶν κάπρον ὀρειονόμον.
Orphic Hymns 36.14-17 (to Artemis; tr. Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow):
Come, dear goddess,
as savior to all the initiates,
accessible to all, bringing forth
the beautiful fruit of the earth,
lovely peace,
and fair-tressed health.
May you dispatch diseases and pain
to the peaks of the mountains.

ἐλθέ, θεὰ σώτειρα, φίλη, μύστῃσιν ἅπασιν
εὐάντητος, ἄγουσα καλοὺς καρποὺς ἀπὸ γαίης
εἰρήνην τ' ἐρατὴν καλλιπλόκαμον θ' ὑγίειαν·
πέμποις δ' εἰς ὀρέων κεφαλὰς νούσους τε καὶ ἄλγη.
Richard Wünsch (1869-1915) first used the terms apopompē (ἀποπομπή) and epipompē (ἐπιπομπή) to describe two different ways of banishing evil. See his "Zur Geisterbannung im Altertum," Festschrift zur Jahrhundertfeier der Universität zu Breslau = Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde 13/14 (1911) 9-32. Wünsch used apopompē to mean simply driving away evil, epipompē to mean driving away evil onto someone or something else or to some other specific location. The two prayers to Artemis quoted above are examples of epipompē.

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