Asius, Elegiac Fragment

LCL 258: 426-427

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Elegiac Poetry

Asius

14 Ath. 3.125b-e

“οὐ γὰρ μέλει σοι,” ἔφη ὁ Μυρτίλος, “ἱστορίας, ὦ γάστρων. κνισολοιχὸς γάρ τις εἶ <καὶ> (add. Casaubon) κατὰ τὸν Σάμιον ποιητὴν Ἄσιον τὸν παλαιὸν ἐκεῖνον {καὶ} (del. Casaubon) κνισοκόλαξ . . .” πιόντος οὖν αὐτοῦ πάλιν ἐζήτει ὁ Οὐλπιανός· “ποῦ κεῖται ὁ κνισολοιχὸς καὶ τίνα ἐστὶ τὰ τοῦ Ἀσίου ἔπη τὰ περὶ τοῦ κνισοκόλακος;” “τὰ μὲν οὖν τοῦ Ἀσίου,” ἔφη ὁ Μυρτίλος, “ἔπη ταῦτ᾿ ἐστι·

χωλός, στιγματίης, πολυγήραος, ἶσος ἀλήτῃ ἦλθε κνισοκόλαξ, εὖτε Μέλης ἐγάμει, ἄκλητος, ζωμοῦ κεχρημένος· ἐν δὲ μέσοισιν ἥρως εἱστήκει βορβόρου ἐξαναδύς.

ὁ δὲ κνισολοιχός” κτλ.

  • 4ἥρωσ᾿ Blaydes
  • 3Meles or is there a suppressed comparison, “like a hero,” or should Blaydes’ slight emendation be adopted, “in the midst of the heroes”? See G. L. Huxley, Greek Epic Poetry (London 1969) 97, and L. Edmunds, HSCP 85 (1981) 230.
426

Asius

Asius

Asius of Samos, perhaps to be dated to the 6th century, is primarily known as an epic poet. For the testimonia and epic fragments see A. Bernabé, Poetae Epici Graeci i.127–31, or M. Davies, Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 88–91. The testimonia tell us nothing about the man except that his father was Amphiptolemus (Paus. 2.6.3, 7.4.1).

14 Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner

“That’s because you have no interest in history, you glutton,” Myrtilus replied. “For you are a fat-licker and, as Asius, that Samian poet of old, puts it, a fat-flatterer. . . .” And so, after Myrtilus had had a drink, Ulpian asked again: “Where is ‘fat-licker’ found and what are the verses of Asius about the ‘fat-flatterer’?” “The verses of Asius,” Myrtilus replied, “are as follows:

Lame, tattooed,1aged, like a beggar came the fat-flatterer, 2 uninvited and in need of soup, when Meles was getting married; and in their midst he stood, a hero risen from the mud.3

And ‘fat-licker’” etc.

  • 1See C.P.Jones, “Stigma: Tattooing and Branding in Graeco-Roman Antiquity,” JRS 77 (1987) 139–55. He assumes the tattoo here marks a “slave, or perhaps criminal” (p. 147).
  • 2I.e., one who fawns or flatters so as to be fed fat meat, a parasite.
  • 3A perplexing fragment. Is Meles the river, who in some sources was said to be Homer’s father? Is the hero the fat-flatterer or
427
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.asius-elegiac_fragment.1999