The Emperor Julian


1 Εἰς οἶνον ἀπὸ κριθῆς

τίς πόθεν εἶς, Διόνυσε; μὰ γὰρ τὸν ἀλαθέα Βάκχον οὔ σ᾿ ἐπιγιγνώσκω· τὸν Διὸς οἶδα μόνον. κεῖνος νέκταρ ὄδωδε, σὺ δὲ τράγον. ἦ ῥά σε Κελτοὶ τῇ πενίῃ βοτρύων τεῦξαν ἀπ᾿ ἀσταχύων. τῷ σε χρὴ καλέειν Δημήτριον, οὐ Διόνυσον, πυρογενῆ μᾶλλον καὶ Βρόμον, οὐ Βρόμιον.1

2 Εἰς τὸ ὄργανον2

ἀλλοίην ὁρόω δονάκων φύσιν. ἦπου ἀπ᾿ ἄλλης χαλκείης τάχα μᾶλλον ἀνεβλάστησαν ἀρούρης ἄγριοι· οὐδ᾿ ἀνέμοισιν ὑφ᾿ ἡμετέροις3 δονέονται, ἀλλ᾿ ἀπὸ ταυρείης προθορὼν σπήλυγγος ἀήτης νέρθεν ἐϋτρήτων καλάμων ὑπὸ ῥίζαν ὁδεύει.




1 On wine made from barley1

Who art thou and whence, O Dionysus? By the true Bacchus Ι recognise thee not; I know only the son of Zeus. He smells of nectar, but you smell of goat. Truly it was in their lack of grapes that the Celts brewed thee from corn-ears. So we should call thee Demetrius,2 not Dionysus, wheat-born3 not fire-born, barley god not boisterous god.4

2 On the Organ

A strange growth of reeds do I behold. Surely they sprang on a sudden from another brazen field, so wild are they. The winds that wave them are none of ours, but a blast leaps forth from a cavern of bull’s hide and beneath the well-bored pipes travels to their roots. And a dignified person, with swift

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.emperor_julian-epigrams.1923