Saturday, November 19, 2022


Anacreon Mosaic

Fragmentary 2nd century AD mosaic showing the poet Anacreon, in Autun, Musée Rolin (inv. no. 1563):
Restored, simplified Greek text (from Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 26:1213):
φέρ' ὕδωρ φέρ' οἶνον ὦ παῖ φερε δ' ἀνθεμόεντας ἡμὶν
στεφάνους, ἔνεικον, ὡς μὴ πρὸς Ἔρωτα πυκταλίσζω.
ὁ μὲν θέλων μάχεσθαι,
πάρεστι γάρ, μαχέσθω.
ἐμοὶ δὲ δὸς προπίνειν
μελιχρὸν οἶνον ὦ παῖ.
Lines 1-2 = D.L. Page, Poetae Melici Graeci (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), p. 198, number 396 = Anacreon, fragment 50 (tr. C.M. Bowra, modified to correspond with the Greek on the mosaic):
Bring water, bring wine, boy, bring garlands of flowers for us, bring them at once, that I may not box with Love.
Lines 3-4 = Page, p. 211, number 429 = Anacreon, fragment 84 (tr. C.M. Bowra):
He that wishes to fight,
for he may, let him fight.
The final two lines were restored, exempli gratia, by Michèle and Alain Blanchard, "La mosaïque d'Anacréon à Autun," Revue des Études Anciennes 75.3-4 (1973) 268-279 (at 275). My translation:
Give me honey-sweetened wine to drink up, boy.
For more on the mosaic, see Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, The Poetics of Imitation: Anacreon and the Anacreontic Tradition (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 33-36, with an image of how Anacreon might have looked on p. 21, Plate I(a):

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