Aristotle, Poems

LCL 144: 214-215


Greek Lyric



842 Athen. 15. 696a–697b (iii 541ss. Kaibel) = Hermippus fr. 48 Wehrli

τούτων λεχθέντων ὁ Δημόκριτος ἔφη· ‘ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ τὸ ὑπὸ τοῦ πολυμαθεστάτου γραφὲν Ἀριστοτέλους εἰς Ἑρμείαν τὸν Ἀταρνέα οὐ παιάν ἐστιν, ὡς ὁ τὴν τῆς ἀσεβείας κατὰ τοῦ φιλοσόφου γραφὴν ἀπενεγκάμενος Δημόφιλος ἐξέδωκε (Bergk: εἰς αἰδωτε codd.) παρασκευασθεὶς ὑπ᾿ Εὐρυμέδοντος, ὡς ἀσεβοῦντος καὶ ᾄδοντος ἐν τοῖς συσσιτίοις ὁσημέραι εἰς Ἑρμείαν παιᾶνα. ὅτι δὲ παιᾶνος οὐδεμίαν ἔμφασιν παρέχει τὸ ᾆσμα ἀλλὰ τῶν σκολίων ἕν τι καὶ αὐτὸ εἶδός ἐστιν ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς λέξεως φανερὸν ὑμῖν ποιήσω·

Ἀρετὰ πολύμοχθε γένει βροτείῳ, θήραμα κάλλιστον βίῳ, σᾶς πέρι, παρθένε, μορφᾶς καὶ θανεῖν ζηλωτὸς ἐν Ἑλλάδι πότμος 5καὶ πόνους τλῆναι μαλεροὺς ἀκάμαντας· τοῖον ἐπὶ φρένα βάλλεις καρπὸν ἰσαθάνατον χρυσοῦ τε κρείσσω

cf. Diog. Laert. 5.6ss. (i 199s. Long) ὁ δὲ ὕμνος ἔχει τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον (vv. 1–21), Did. in Demosth. 10. 32, col. 6.18ss. B.K.T. i 25 (p. 19ss. Pearson-Stephens) (= pap.) [ὁ] γραφεὶς ἐπ᾿ αὐτῶι [παι]ὰν . . .· κοὐκ ἂν [ἔ]χ[ο]ι φαύλως αὐτὸν ἀναγρά[ψαι δι]ὰ τὸ μὴ πολλοῖς πρὸ χειρὸς (εἶναι), ἔχοντα [ο]ὕ(τως)· (vv. 1–21).

de lectionibus D.L. et Athen. v. A. Gercke, Hermes 37 (1902) 424s.

1 βροτεωι pap. 5 ακαμαντος pap.: ἀκαμάτους Athen.




842 Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner 1

When these scolia had been recited, Democritus spoke: ‘What’s more, the poem written by the learned Aristotle for Hermeias of Atarneus 2 is not a paean, as was claimed by Demophilus who, suborned by Eurymedon, brought a charge of impiety against the philosopher, 3 alleging that he displayed impiety by singing a paean to Hermeias every day in the common dining-room. 4 The song in fact shows none of the characteristics of a paean, but belongs to these scolia as a unique type. I shall give you clear proof from the text itself:

Virtue, you who bring many labours for the race of mortals, fairest quarry for a man’s life, for the sake of your beauty, maiden, even to die is an enviable fate in Greece, or to endure cruel unresting toils: such a fruition, as good as immortal, do you

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-poems.1993