Tuesday, July 05, 2022


Epitaph of Hermes

Here is an inscription on a cenotaph from Termessos in Pisidia (2nd-3rd century A.D.), first printed with German translation and commentary by Johannes Nollé, "Grabepigramme und Reliefdarstellungen aus Kleinasien," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 60 (1985) 117-135 (at 121-126), and reprinted in Reinhold Merkelbach and Josef Stauber, edd., Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten, Bd. 4: Die Südküste Kleinasiens, Syrien und Palaestina (München: K.G. Säur, 2002), p. 98, no. 18/01/19 (line break symbols | omitted):
τῆλε θανόντα πάτρης με χυτὴ κατὰ γαῖα κάλυψεν·
ἣν δ' ἐσορᾷς στήλην, θήκα[ν]το φίλοι ποθέοντες.
οὔνομα δ' εἰ ζητεῖς· Ἑρμῆν με πατρὸς καλέεσκον
   Κάστορος, ὃν λιπόμην πένθεϊ τειρόμενον.
ἤκμασα κλυτὸς ἐγώ· χαίτην ἔστεψ' ἐν ἀγῶσιν        5
κηρύκων ἐνοπῇ σταδίοισί τε πάντοτ' ἐνείκων.
ἀλλὰ φίλος, πάντεσσι θανεῖν πεπρωμένον ἐστιν
οὐδέ τιν' ἔστι θανόντα πάλιν πόρον οἴκαδ' ἱκέσθαι.
ταῦτα μαθὼν εὔφραινε τεὸν πολυκηδέα θυμόν·
πεῖνε, τρύφα, τέρπου δώροις χρυσῆς Ἀφροδείτης.        10
αὐτομάτως ἤνθησα καὶ ἤκμασα καὶ <ἔ>λιπον φῶς.
I can't find any English translation, so here is my own rough version:
Heaped-up earth covered me, who died far from my homeland.
Friends, who miss me, set up this monument that you see.
If you ask my name, they called me Hermes, (son) of father
Kastor, whom I left oppressed by grief.
I was at my prime, famous; I crowned my head in competitions        5
to the acclamation of heralds, and I always won in the race-courses.
But, friend, it is fated for everyone to die,
nor is it possible for anyone who has died to find a way back home.
Having learned these lessons, gladden your much-grieving heart;
Drink, revel, take pleasure in the gifts of golden Aphrodite.        10
Spontaneously I blossomed, and I was at my prime, and I left the light.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?