Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon

LCL 45: 4-5

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Achilles Tatius

Εὐρώπης ἡ γραφή· Φοινίκων ἡ θάλασσα· Σιδῶνος 3ἡ γῆ. ἐν τῇ γῇ λειμὼν καὶ χορὸς παρθένων· ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ ταῦρος ἐνήχετο, καὶ τοῖς νώτοις καλὴ παρθένος ἐπεκάθητο, ἐπὶ Κρήτην τῷ ταύρῳ πλέουσα. ἐκόμα πολλοῖς ἄνθεσιν ὁ λειμών· δένδρων αὐτοῖς ἀνεμέμικτο φάλαγξ καὶ φυτῶν· συνεχῆ τὰ δένδρα, συνηρεφῆ τὰ πέταλα· συνῆπτον οἱ πτόρθοι τὰ φύλλα, καὶ ἐγίνετο τοῖς ἄνθεσιν 4ὄροφος ἡ τῶν φύλλων συμπλοκή. ἔγραψεν ὁ τεχνίτης ὑπὸ τὰ πέταλα καὶ τὴν σκιάν· καὶ ὁ ἥλιος ἠρέμα τοῦ λειμῶνος κάτω σποράδην διέρρει, ὅσον τὸ συνηρεφὲς τῆς τῶν φύλλων κόμης ἀνέῳξεν 5ὁ γραφεύς. ὅλον ἐτείχιζε τὸν λειμῶνα περιβολή· εἴσω δὲ τοῦ τῶν ὀρόφων στεφανώματος ὁ λειμὼν ἐκάθητο. αἱ δὲ πρασιαὶ τῶν ἀνθέων ὑπὸ τὰ πέταλα τῶν φυτῶν στοιχηδὸν ἐπεφύκεσαν, νάρκισσος καὶ ῥόδα καὶ μύρριναι. ὕδωρ δὲ κατὰ μέσον ἔρρει τοῦ λειμῶνος τῆς γραφῆς, τὸ μὲν ἀναβλύζον κάτωθεν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς, τὸ δὲ τοῖς 6ἄνθεσι καὶ τοῖς φυτοῖς περιχεόμενον. ὀχετηγός τις ἐγέγραπτο δίκελλαν κατέχων καὶ περὶ μίαν ἀμάραν κεκυφὼς καὶ ἀνοίγων τὴν ὁδὸν τῷ ῥεύματι.

Ἐν δὲ τῷ τοῦ λειμῶνος τέλει πρὸς ταῖς ἐπὶ θάλασσαν τῆς γῆς ἐκβολαῖς τὰς παρθένους ἔταξεν ὁ 7τεχνίτης. τὸ σχῆμα ταῖς παρθένοις καὶ χαρᾶς καὶ φόβου. στέφανοι περὶ τοῖς μετώποις δεδεμένοι· κόμαι κατὰ τῶν ὤμων λελυμέναι· τὸ σκέλος πᾶν γεγυμνωμέναι· τὸ μὲν ἄνω, τοῦ χιτῶνος, τὸ δὲ κάτω, τοῦ πεδίλου, τὸ γὰρ ζῶσμα μέχρι γόνατος ἀνεῖλκε τὸν χιτῶνα· τὸ πρόσωπον ὠχραί· σεσηρυῖαι τὰς παρειάς· τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἀνοίξασαι πρὸς


Book I

in one. The painting was of Europa: the sea depicted was the Phoenician Ocean; the land, Sidon. On the land part was a meadow and a troop of girls: in the sea a bull was swimming, and on his back sat a beautiful maiden, borne by the bull towards Crete. The meadow was thick with all kinds of flowers, and among them was planted a thicket of trees and shrubs, the trees growing so close that their foliage touched: and the branches, intertwining their leaves, thus made a kind of continuous roof over the flowers beneath. The artist had also represented the shadows thrown by the leaves, and the sun was gently breaking through, here and there, on to the meadow, where the painter had represented openings in the thick roof of foliage. The meadow was surrounded on all sides by an enclosure, and lay wholly within the embowering roof; beneath the shrubs grass-beds of flowers grew orderly—narcissus, roses, and bays; in the middle of the meadow in the picture flowed a rivulet of water, bubbling up on one side from the ground, and on the other watering the flowers and shrubs; and a gardener had been painted holding a pick, stooping over a single channel and leading a path for the water.

The painter had put the girls at one end of the meadow where the land jutted out into the sea. Their look was compounded of joy and fear: garlands were bound about their brows; their hair had been allowed to flow loose on their shoulders; their legs were bare, covered neither by their tunics above nor their sandals below, a girdle holding up their skirts as far as the knee; their faces were pale and their features distorted; their eyes were fixed wide

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.achilles_tatius-leucippe_clitophon.1969