Archilochus, Testimonia

LCL 259: 50-51

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Iambic Poetry

22 Anth. Pal. 7.71 = FGE 197–202 (Γαιτουλίχου)

Σῆμα τόδ᾿ Ἀρχιλόχου παραπόντιον, ὅς ποτε πικρὴν Μοῦσαν Ἐχιδναίῳ πρῶτος ἔβαψε χόλῳ, αἱμάξας Ἑλικῶνα τὸν ἥμερον. οἶδε Λυκάμβης, μυρόμενος τρισσῶν ἄμματα θυγατέρων. 5ἠρέμα δὴ παράμειψον, ὁδοιπόρε, μή ποτε τοῦδε κινήσῃς τύμβῳ σφῆκας ἐφεζομένους.

23 Anth. Pal. 7.69 (Ἰουλιανοῦ)

Κέρβερε, δειμαλέην ὑλακὴν νεκύεσσιν ἰάλλων, ἤδη φρικαλέον δείδιθι καὶ σὺ νέκυν· Ἀρχίλοχος τέθνηκε· φυλάσσεο θυμὸν ἰάμβων δριμύν, πικροχόλου τικτόμενον στόματος. 5οἶσθα βοῆς κείνοιο μέγα σθένος, εὖτε Λυκάμβεω νηῦς μία σοι δισσὰς ἤγαγε θυγατέρας.

24 Eust. in Hom. Od. 11.277 (1684.45)

ἰστέον δὲ ὅτι πολλῶν προσώπων ἁψαμένων βρόχους ἐπὶ λύπαις ἔπαθον οὕτω κατὰ τὴν παλαιὰν ἱστορίαν καὶ αἱ Λυκαμβίδαι ἐπὶ τοῖς Ἀρχιλόχου ποιήμασι, μὴ φέρουσαι τὴν ἐπιφορὰν τῶν ἐκείνου σκωμμάτων· ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἀνὴρ δεινὸς ὑβρίζειν· ὅθεν καὶ παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν οὕτω σκώπτειν εὐφυῶν τό, Ἀρχίλοχον πεπάτηκας, ὡς εἴ τις εἴπῃ, σκορπίον ἢ ὄφιν ἢ κακὴν ἄκανθαν.



22 Palatine Anthology (Gaetulicus)

This tomb beside the sea belongs to Archilochus who was the first to dip a bitter Muse in Echidna’s gall and to stain mild Helicon with blood. Lycambes attests to it, bewailing the hanging of his three1 daughters. Wayfarer, pass by quietly, lest you stir up the wasps that settle on his tomb.

23 Palatine Anthology (Julian, Prefect of Egypt)

Cerberus, whose barking strikes the shades with terror, now even you must fear a horrifying shade: Archilochus is dead. Be on your guard against the pungent iambic wrath engendered by the bitter anger of his tongue. You know the mighty potency of his outbursts, since a single boat brought Lycambes’ two daughters.

24 Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey

It should be recognized that many people have hanged themselves out of grief and that according to the ancient account the daughters of Lycambes did so because of Archilochus’ poetry, since they could not bear the onslaught of his gibes. For the man was skilful at insulting, and hence “you have stepped on Archilochus” is a proverb with reference to those who are adept at such gibes, as if one were to say that you have stepped on a scorpion or snake or painful thorn.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.archilochus-testimonia.1999