Thursday, August 27, 2020


In Heaven

Werner Peek, Griechische Vers-Inschriften, Vol. I: Grab-Epigramme (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1955), p. 529, # 1765 (Smyrna, 2nd-3rd century A.D.?), tr. Richard Hunter, The Measure of Homer: The Ancient Reception of the Iliad and the Odyssey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), p. 49:
Night, the giver of sleep, holds the light of my life,
having released my body from grievous illnesses into sweet sleep
and bringing me the gift of oblivion at the limit of my Fate.
My soul, however, raced from my heart into the upper air like a breeze,
quickly lifting its light wing through the thick air.
The house of the blessed gods, to which I came near, holds me,
and in the heavenly halls I see the light of the Dawn.
Zeus and the immortal gods have granted me honour
at the urgings of Hermes, who led me by the hand to heaven,
and at once granted me the honour and glorious renown
to dwell with the blessed ones in the starry heaven,
sitting beside them in friendship on golden thrones.
As I take pleasure in the tripods and the ambrosial tables
at the feast, the gods look upon me in friendly manner,
and a smile appears on the cheeks of their immortal heads,
when I pour [nectar] for the blessed ones at libations.

νὺξ μὲν ἐμὸν κατέχει ζωῆς φάος ὑπνοδοτείρη,
ἀλγεινῶν λύσασα νόσων δέμας ἡδέϊ ὕπνωι,
λήθης δῶρα φέρουσ’ ἐπ’ ἐμοὶ πρὸς τέρμασι Μοίρης·
ψυχὴ δ’ ἐ<κ> κραδίης δράμ’ ἐς αἴθερον εἴκελος αὔρηι
κοῦφον ἐπαιωροῦσα δρόμωι πτερὸν ἠέρι πολλῶι.        5
καί με θεῶν μακάρων κατέχει δόμος ἆσσον ἰόντα,
οὐρανίοις τε δόμοισι βλέπω φάος Ἠριγενείης.
τειμὴ δ’ ἐκ Διός ἐστι σὺν ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι
Ἑρμείαο λόγοις· ὅς μ’ οὐρανὸν ἤγαγε χειρῶν
αὐτίκα τειμήσας καί μοι κλέος ἐσθλὸν ἔδωκεν        10
οἰκεῖν ἐν μακάρεσσι κατ’ οὐρανὸν ἀστερόεντα,
χρυσείοισι θρόνοισι παρήμενον ἐς φιλότητα·
καί με παρὰ τριπόδεσσι καὶ ἀμβροσίηισι τραπέζαι[ς]
ἡδόμενον κατὰ δαῖτα θεοὶ φίλον εἰσορόωσιν,
κρατὸς ἀπ’ ἀθανάτοιο πα{τ}ρη<ΐ>σι μειδιόωντες        15
[νέκταρ ὅτ’ ἐν] προχοαῖσιν ἐπισπένδω μακάρεσσι.

3 πρὸς τέρμασι
lapis: προστάγμασι Kaibel
16 suppl. Boeckh
See Franz Cumont, After Life in Roman Paganism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1922), pp. 204-206, on those who, after their deaths, become table companions of the gods.

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