Callistratus: Descriptions


(1) Παρὰ κρήνην Ἰνδὸς εἱστήκει ἀνάθημα ταῖς Νύμφαις ἱδρυθείς. ἦν δὲ ὁ Ἰνδὸς λίθος μελαινόμενος 20καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἐκ φύσεως τοῦ γένους αὐτομολῶν χρόαν, εἶχε δὲ εὐθαλῆ μὲν καὶ οὔλην τὴν χαίτην οὐκ ἀκράτῳ τῷ μέλανι λάμπουσαν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐκ τῶν ἄκρων πρὸς κόχλου Τυρίας ἄνθος ἐρίζουσαν· οἷον γὰρ εὐπαθοῦσα καὶ νοτιζομένη ταῖς 25προσοίκοις Νύμφαις ἡ θρὶξ ἐκ ῥιζῶν ἀνιοῦσα μελάντερος πρὸς τοῖς ἄκροις ἐπόρφυρεν. (2) Ὀφθαλμοί γε μὴν οὐ συνῇδον τῷ λίθῳ, κατὰ γὰρ τὰς τῶν ὀμμάτων κόρας περιέθει λευκότης κατ᾿ ἐκεῖνο τὸ μέρος τῆς πέτρας μεταπιπτούσης εἰς 30λευκότητα, καθ᾿ ὃ καὶ τῆς τοῦ Ἰνδοῦ φύσεως ἡ χρόα λευκαίνεται. (3) Μέθη δὲ αὐτὸν ἐξίστη καὶ τὸ μεμεθυσμένον οὐ κατεμήνυσεν ἡ τοῦ λίθου K. 426χρόα—οὐ γὰρ ἦν αὐτῷ μηχάνημα τὰς παρειὰς φοινῖξαι σκέποντος τοῦ μέλανος τὴν μέθην—, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ σχήματος κατηγόρει τὸ πάθος· παράφορός τε γὰρ καὶ κωμάζων εἱστήκει οὐ δυνάμενος 5ἐρείδειν τὼ πόδε, ἀλλ᾿ ὑπότρομός τε καὶ ὑπὸ1 τὴν γῆν ὀκλάζων. (4) Ὁ δὲ λίθος ὑπὸ τοῦ πάθους ἐώκει πληγέντι καὶ οἱονεὶ σπαίρει τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς μέθης ἐμφανίζων σεισμόν. εἶχε δὲ ἁβρὸν οὐδὲν τοῦ Ἰνδοῦ τὸ εἴδωλον οὐδ᾿ εἰς τὴν κατὰ χρόαν 10ἐξήσκητο χάριν, ἀλλ᾿ εἰς μόνων τῶν μελῶν


4. On the Statue of an Indian

4. On the Statue of an Indian1

By a spring stood an Indian, set up as a dedication to the Nymphs. The Indian was of a marble verging on black and shifting of its own accord to the colour given by nature to his race; and it had thick, woolly hair, shining with a hue not exactly black,2 but at the tips vying with the brilliancy of Tyrian shellfish;3 for the hair, as if it were well cared for and moistened by the neighbouring Nymphs, was rather black where it rose from the roots but grew purple near the tips. The eyes, however, were not of a colour to match the marble; for whiteness encircled the pupils of the eyes, since the marble changed to whiteness at that point where the natural colour of the Indian becomes white. Drunkenness was overcoming him, and yet the colour of the marble did not betray his drunkenness—for the artist had no means by which to redden the cheeks, the black colour being proof against this effect of drink—but this condition was indicated by the attitude; for he stood reeling and jovial, not able to plant his feet steadily, but trembling and tending to sag to the ground. The marble resembled a man overcome by this condition, and it all but quivers as it indicates the trembling that comes from drunkenness. There was nothing delicate about the statue of the Indian, nor yet was it carefully wrought to match the charm of its colour, but it was perfected only as regards the composition

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.callistratus-descriptions_4_statue_indian.1931