Sunday, May 19, 2024


An Epithet of Athena

Lamprocles, fragment 1a (Poetae Melici Graeci 735), in Greek Lyric, IV: Bacchylides, Corinna, and Others. Edited and Translated by David A. Campbell (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992 = Loeb Classical Library, 461), pp. 320-321:
Παλλάδα περσέπτολιν κλῄζω πολεμαδόκον ἁγνάν
παῖδα Διὸς μεγάλου <δαμάσιππον>

Pallas, sacker of cities, I summon, the warlike, the pure, child of great Zeus.
Campbell prints δαμάσιππον (which appears without brackets in PMG) but doesn't translate it — it means horse-taming and is an epithet of Athena. See e.g. Christopher Metcalf, The Gods Rich in Praise: Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), p. 132, who translates:
Pallas the sacker of cities I praise, the warlike, chaste,
horse-taming daughter of great Zeus.
On Athena's association with horses see Nikolaos Yalouris, "Athena als Herrin der Pferde," Museum Helveticum 7 (1950) 19-101 (this fragment discussed on p. 55).

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