Callistratus: Descriptions

καὶ ἐνεργεῖν ἐθέλον τὸ εἴδωλον καὶ εἰς ἀγωνίαν 20τὸν λίθον πίπτοντα· εἶναι γὰρ ἔπειθε καὶ πνοῆς ἐξουσίαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἔμφυτον καὶ ἄσθματος ἔνδειξιν 422 K.ἐγειρομένην οἴκοθεν—καὶ τῶν ἀμηχάνων πόρον. (4) Οὐκ ἦν δὲ ἁβρότητος μετέχον τὸ σῶμα, ἀλλ᾿ ἡ τῶν μελῶν στερρότης τὴν ὥραν ἔκλεπτεν εἰς ἄρθρων συμμετρίαν ἀνδρικῶν τὴν 5ἰδέαν τραχύνουσα. καλῇ μὲν γὰρ κόρῃ1 χρῶτες μαλθακοὶ πρόσφοροι καὶ μέλη θρυπτόμενα, Σατύρου δὲ αὐχμηρὸν τὸ εἶδος ὡς ἂν ὀρείου δαίμονος καὶ Διονύσῳ σκιρτῶντος. κισσὸς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐστεφάνου οὐκ ἐκ λειμῶνος δρεψαμένης 10τὸν καρπὸν τῆς τέχνης, ἀλλ᾿ ὁ λίθος ἀπὸ2 στερρότητος εἰς κλῶνας χυθεὶς περιέθει τὴν κόμην εἰς συμβολὴν ἐπὶ τοὺς αὐχενίους τένοντας ἐκ μετώπων προσέρπων. (5) Παρειστήκει δὲ ὁ Πὰν γανύμενος τῇ αὐλητικῇ καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος 15τὴν Ἠχώ, ὥσπερ οἶμαι δεδιώς, μή τινα φθόγγον ἔμμουσον ὁ αὐλὸς κινήσας ἀντηχεῖν ἀναπείσῃ τῷ Σατύρῳ τὴν Νύμφην. τοῦτο θεασάμενοι τὸ εἴδωλον καὶ τὸν Αἰθιόπων λίθον ἔμφωνον Μέμνονος ἐπιστεύομεν γενέσθαι, ὃς 20προσιούσης μὲν τῆς Ἡμέρας ἐπὶ ταῖς παρουσίαις ἐφαιδρύνετο, ἀπιούσης δὲ ἀνίᾳ βαλλόμενος πένθιμον ἐπέστενεν καὶ μόνος ἐκ λίθων ἡδονῆς καὶ λύπης παρουσίᾳ διοικούμενος τῆς οἰκείας ἀπέστη κωφότητος εἰς ἐξουσίαν φωνῆς τὴν ἀναισθησίαν 25ἐκνικήσας.


1. On a Satyr

to bring notes from the flute, the statue eager to be in action, and the stone entering upon strenuous activity—for it persuaded you that the power to blow the flute was actually inherent in it, and that the indication of breathing was the result of its own inner powers1—finding a way to accomplish the impossible.2 The body had no trace of delicacy, but the hardness of the members had stolen away their beauty, making the form rugged with the symmetry of manly limbs. For though soft skin and dainty limbs befit a beautiful girl, the appearance of a Satyr is unkempt, as of a mountain spirit that leaps in honour of Dionysus. The statue was wreathed with ivy, though the sculptor’s art did not cull real berries from a meadow, nay, rather, it was the stone which for all its hardness spread out into sprays and encircled the hair, creeping back from the forehead till the ends met at the sinews of the neck. Pan stood beside him, delighting in the music of the flute and embracing Echo, in fear, I suppose, lest the flute set in motion some musical sound and induce the Nymph to make an echoing response to the Satyr. When we saw this statue we could well believe that the Ethiopian stone statue of Memnon3 also became vocal, the Memnon, who when Day came was filled with joy by her presence, and, overcome by distress when she departed, groaned with grief—the only stone figure that has been moved by the presence of joy and sadness to depart from its natural dumbness, so far overcoming its insensibility as to gain the power of speech.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.callistratus-descriptions_1_satyr.1931