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Callistratus: Descriptions

α΄ ΕΙΣ ΣΑΤΥΡΟΝ

1(1) Ἄντρον ἦν τι περὶ Θήβας τὰς Αἰγυπτίας προσεικασμένον σύριγγι εἰς ἕλικας αὐτοφυῶς ἐν κύκλῳ περὶ τοὺς τῆς γῆς ἑλιττόμενον πυθμένας· οὐ γὰρ ἐπ᾿ εὐθείας ἀνοιγόμενον εἰς εὐθυπόρους 5αὐλῶνας ἐσχίζετο, ἀλλὰ τὴν ὑπώρειον περιτρέχον καμπὴν ὑπογείους ἕλικας ἐξέτεινεν εἰς δυσεύρετον πλάνην ἐκπῖπτον. (2) Ἵδρυτο δὲ ἐν αὐτῷ Σατύρου τι σχῆμα τεχνηθὲν ἐκ λίθου. εἱστήκει μὲν ἐπί τινος κρηπῖδος εἰς χορείαν εὐτρεπίζων τὸ 10σχῆμα καὶ τῆς δεξιᾶς βάσεως τὸν ταρσὸν τὸν ὄπισθεν ἐξαίρων μετεχειρίζετο καὶ αὐλὸν καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἠχὴν πρῶτος ἐξανίστατο· τῇ μὲν γὰρ ἀκοῇ μέλος οὐ προσῆπτεν αὐλοῦντος οὐδὲ ἦν ὁ αὐλὸς ἔμφωνος, τὸ δὲ τῶν αὐλούντων πάθος διὰ 15τῆς τέχνης εἰς τὴν πέτραν εἰσῆκτο. (3) Εἶδες ἂν ὑπανισταμένας καὶ φλέβας ὡς ἂν ἔκ τινος γεμιζομένας πνεύματος καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐπήχησιν τοῦ αὐλοῦ τὴν πνοὴν ἐκ στέρνων τὸν Σάτυρον ἀνασπῶντα

  • 1is really Echo. While in the myth Pan is said to have been disappointed in his love for Echo, here he is represented as enjoying the satisfaction of his love, and as eager to defend the nymph from the danger which the Satyr threatens. (Benndorf.) This statue (Fig. 32) is wrongly restored with cymbals.
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1. On a Satyr

Descriptions, by Callistratus

1. On a Satyr1

There was a certain cave near Thebes in Egypt which resembled a shepherd’s pipe, since as it followed its winding course in the depths of the earth it formed a natural spiral; for it did not take a straight course at the opening and then branch off into straight-running corridors, but winding about under the mountain it made a huge spiral, ending in a most difficult maze. In it was set up an image of a Satyr wrought in marble. He stood on a base in the attitude of one making ready to dance, and lifting the sole of his right foot backward he not only held a flute in his hand but also was being the first to leap up at its sound; though in reality the flute’s note was not reaching the player’s ear, nor yet was the flute endowed with voice, but the physical effect which flute-players experience had been transferred to the stone by the skill of the artist. You could have seen the veins standing out as though they were filled with a sort of breath, the Satyr drawing the air from his lungs


Statue of Pan, wrongly restored with cymbals.

  • 1The statue here described corresponds to the “Satyr playing a flute” in the Villa Borghese (Brunn-Bruckman, Denkmäler griech. u. röm. Sculptur, No. 435). It is quite possible that at one time this Satyr was set up with a statue of Pan embracing the nymph Echo, for it is well known that after the death of Alexander the Great, single statues of men and gods which logically belonged together were set up together in gardens and public places. However, the question may be raised whether in this instance the nymph
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.callistratus-descriptions_1_satyr.1931