Saturday, September 18, 2021


An Unknown Book?

Greek Anthology 15.23 (tr. W.R. Paton, with his note):
On the Book of Marcus1

If thou wouldst overcome sorrow, unroll and peruse with care this blessed book from which thou shalt with ease look on wealth of doctrine concerning things to be, things that are, and things that were, and shalt see that joy and pain are no better than smoke.

1 Nothing is known regarding it.

Εἰς τὴν βίβλον Μάρκου

Εἰ λύπης κρατέειν ἐθέλεις,
τήνδε μάκαιραν ἀναπτύσσων
βίβλον ἐπέρχεο ἐνδυκέως,
ἧς ὕπο γνώμην ὀλβίστην
ῥεῖά κεν ὄψεαι ἐσσομένων,        5
ὄντων ἠδὲ παροιχομένων,
τερπωλήν τ᾿ ἀνίην τε
καπνοῦ μηδὲν ἀρειοτέρην.

7 λέγων post τε add. Maas
Jan Kwapisz, The Paradigm of Simias: Essays on Poetic Eccentricity (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2019), p. 126, n. 48:
[I]n fact, we know a little bit about 'the book of Marcus', as this epigram is also found in the colophon of a MS of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, see Ceporina 2012, 49. The metre and the paroxytonic accentuation points to a late origin; see Maas 1913, 298.
The references are to Matteo Ceporina, "The Meditations," in Marcel van Ackeren, ed., A Companion to Marcus Aurelius (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), pp. 45–61, and Paul Maas, "Das Epigramm auf Marcus ΕΙΣ ΕΑΥΤΟΝ," Hermes 48 (1913) 295–299.

See also Gabriele Palermo, Metri lirici nella poesia greca d’età imperiale: tra riuso e innovazione (Trieste: Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020), pp. 42-46.

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