οὐ νούσῳ Ῥοδόπα τε καὶ ἁ γενέτειρα Βοΐσκα
οὐδ᾽ ὑπὸ δυσμενέων δούρατι κεκλίμεθα
ἀλλ᾽ αὐταί, πάτρας ὁπότ᾽ ἔφλεγεν ἄστυ Κορίνθου
γοργὸς Ἄρης, ἀίδαν ἄλκιμον εἱλόμεθα.
ἔκτανε γὰρ μάτηρ με διασφακτῆρι σιδάρῳ, (5)
οὐδ᾽ ἰδίου φειδὼ δύσμορος ἔσχε βίου,
ἇψε δ᾽ ἐναυχενίῳ δειρὰν βρόχῳ: ἦς γὰρ ἀμείνων
δουλοσύνας ἁμῖν πότμος ἐλευθέριος.
- Pre Reading
- Post Reading
- Culture Essay
This next poem is ascribed to Antipater of Thessalonica, although Gow (2:88-89) and others find its theme (funerary) and style (long sentences and a fondness for adjectives, especially long compounds [Gow 2:32]) similar to Antipater the Sidonian. The latter must have traveled throughout the Hellenistic world since he composed an inscription at Delos (Inscr. Délos 2549) and a lament for a Ptolemaic prince (AP 7.241). Cicero records that he appeared in Rome (Cic. De Oratore 3.194) and influenced Q. Lutatius Catulus. It seems that he frequently improvised poems and created variations on particular themes and then later polished them for publication. He lived in the second half of the 2nd century BCE.
Who is speaking in the poem? What words make this clear? How does retelling the poem from this point of view increase the emotional impact?
How does Antipater structure this poem? What words indicate a transition from section to section?
What types of death are mentioned in the poem? How are they described? Why is hanging preferable? What is the likely fate of women captured in war?
Read the story of the sack of Corinth at Pausanias 7.16.6. Do you think that this epigram is based on the story retold by Pausanias? Why or why not?