Nonnos, Dionysiaca

LCL 344: 2-3

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Nonnos

ΔΙΟΝΥΣΙΑΚΩΝ ΠΡΩΤΟΝ

Πρῶτον ἔχει Κρονίωνα, φαεσφόρον ἅρπαγα νύμφης, καὶ παλάμαις Τυφῶνος ἀρασσόμενον πόλον ἄστρων.

Εἰπέ, θεά, Κρονίδαο διάκτορον αἴθοπος αὐγῆς, νυμφιδίῳ σπινθῆρι μογοστόκον ἄσθμα κεραυνοῦ, καὶ στεροπὴν Σεμέλης θαλαμηπόλον· εἰπὲ δὲ φύτλην Βάκχου δισσοτόκοιο, τὸν ἐκ πυρὸς ὑγρὸν ἀείρας 5Ζεὺς βρέφος ἡμιτέλεστον ἀμαιεύτοιο τεκούσης, φειδομέναις παλάμῃσι τομὴν μηροῖο χαράξας, ἄρσενι γαστρὶ λόχευσε, πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ, εὖ εἰδὼς τόκον ἄλλον, ἐπεὶ γονόεντι καρήνῳ, ἄσπορον ὄγκον ἄπιστον ἔχων ἐγκύμονι κόρσῃ, 10τεύχεσιν ἀστράπτουσαν ἀνηκόντιζεν Ἀθήνην.

Ἄξατέ μοι νάρθηκα, τινάξατε κύμβαλα, Μοῦσαι, καὶ παλάμῃ δότε θύρσον ἀειδομένου Διονύσου· ἀλλὰ χοροῦ ψαύοντα, Φάρῳ παρὰ γείτονι νήσῳ, στήσατέ μοι Πρωτῆα πολύτροπον, ὄφρα φανείη 15ποικίλον εἶδος ἔχων, ὅτι ποικίλον ὕμνον ἀράσσω· εἰ γὰρ ἐφερπύσσειε δράκων κυκλούμενος ὁλκῷ, μέλψω θεῖον ἄεθλον, ὅπως κισσώδεϊ θύρσῳ

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Dionysiaca, I.

Nonnos I

The first contains Cronion, light-bearing ravisher of the nymph, and the starry heaven battered by Typhon’s hands.

Tell the tale, Goddess, of Cronides’ courier with fiery flame, the gasping travail which the thunderbolt brought with sparks for wedding-torches, the lightning in waiting upon Semele’s nuptials; tell the naissance of Bacchos twice-born, whom Zeus lifted still moist from the fire, a baby half-complete born without midwife; how with shrinking hands he cut the incision in his thigh and carried him in his man’s-womb, father and gracious mother at once—and well he remembered another birth, when his own head conceived, when his temple was big with child, and he carried that incredible unbegotten lump, until he shot out Athena scintillating in her armour.

11 Bring me the fennel, rattle the cymbals, ye Muses! put in my hand the wand of Dionysos whom I sing: but bring me a partner for your dance in the neighbouring island of Pharos,a Proteus of many turns, that he may appear in all his diversity of shapes, since I twang my harp to a diversity of songs. For if, as a serpent, he should glide along his winding trail, I will sing my god’s achievement, how with

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.nonnos-dionysiaca.1940