Callistratus: Descriptions


(1) Ἐν τῷ Ἑλικῶνι, τέμενος δὲ τῶν Μουσῶν σκιερὸν ὁ χῶρος, παρὰ τοὺς Ὀλμειοῦ τοῦ ποταμοῦ ῥύακας καὶ τὴν ἰοειδέα Πηγάσου κρήνην Ὀρφέως ἄγαλμα τοῦ τῆς Καλλιόπης παρὰ τὰς 25Μούσας εἱστήκει ἰδεῖν μὲν κάλλιστον· ὁ γὰρ χαλκὸς τῇ τέχνῃ συναπέτικτε τὸ κάλλος τῇ1 τοῦ σώματος ἀγλαίᾳ τὸ μουσικὸν ἐπισημαίνων τῆς ψυχῆς. ἐκόσμει δὲ αὐτὸν τιάρα Περσικὴ χρυσῷ κατάστικτος ἀπὸ κορυφῆς εἰς ὕψος ἀνέχουσα, 30χιτὼν δὲ ἐξ ὤμων ἀπαγόμενος εἰς πόδας τελαμῶνι χρυσέῳ κατὰ στέρνων ἐσφίγγετο. (2) 430 K.Κόμη δὲ οὕτως ἦν εὐανθὴς καὶ ζωτικὸν ἐπισημαίνουσα καὶ ἔμπνουν, ὡς ἀπατᾶν τὴν αἴσθησιν, ὅτι καὶ πρὸς τὰς ζεφύρου πνοὰς σειομένη δονεῖται—ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἐπαυχένιος κατὰ νώτου χυθεῖσα, ἡ 5δὲ ταῖς ὀφρύσιν ἄνωθεν δισχιδὴς ἐπιβαίνουσα2 καθαρὰς τῶν ὀμμάτων ἔφαινε τὰς βολάς. τὸ πέδιλον δὲ αὐτῷ ξανθοτάτῳ χρυσῷ κατήνθιστο καὶ πέπλος ἄφετος κατὰ νώτου εἰς σφυρὸν κατῄει, μετεχειρίζετο δὲ τὴν λύραν, ἡ δὲ ἰσαρίθμους 10ταῖς Μούσαις ἐξῆπτο τοὺς φθόγγους· ὁ γὰρ χαλκὸς καὶ νευρὰς ὑπεκρίνετο καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἑκάστου μίμησιν ἀλλαττόμενος πειθηνίως ὑπήγετο μικροῦ καὶ πρὸς αὐτὴν τὴν ἠχὴν τῶν φθόγγων φωνήεις γενόμενος. (3) Ὑπὸ δὲ τῶν 15ποδῶν τὴν βάσιν οὐκ οὐρανὸς ἦν τυπωθεὶς οὐδὲ Πλειάδες τὸν αἰθέρα τέμνουσαι οὐδὲ Ἄρκτου


7. On the Statue of Orpheus

7. On the Statue of Orpheus

On Helicon1—the spot is a shaded precinct sacred to the Muses—near the torrent of the river Olmeius and the violet-dark spring of Pegasus, there stood beside the Muses a statue of Orpheus, the son of Calliope, a statue most beautiful to look upon. For the bronze joined with art to give birth to beauty, indicating by the splendour of the body the musical nature of the soul. It was adorned by a Persian tiara2 spangled with gold and rising high up from the head, and a chiton hanging from the shoulders to the feet was confined at the breast by a golden belt. The hair was so luxuriant and so instinct with the spirit of life as to deceive the senses into thinking it was being tossed and shaken by gusts of wind—for the hair behind on the neck fell free down the back, while the parted hair which lay above the eyebrows gave full view of the pure glance of the eyes. The sandal shone brightly with the yellowest of gold, and a robe fell ungirded down the back to the ankle; and he was carrying the lyre, which was equipped with as many notes as the number of the Muses. For the bronze even acted the part of strings and, being so modified as to imitate each separate note, it obediently carried out the deceit, almost indeed becoming vocal and producing the very sound of the notes. Beneath his feet heaven was not represented nor the Pleiades coursing the aether nor the revolving Bear that “has

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.callistratus-descriptions_7_statue_orpheus.1931