(1) Τὸ μὲν ἐπὶ ταῖς Ὥραις εἶναι τὰς τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πύλας Ὁμήρῳ ἀφῶμεν εἰδέναι καὶ ἔχειν—εἰκὸς γάρ που αὐτὸν ξυγγενέσθαι ταῖς Ὥραις, ὅτε τὸν αἰθέρα ἔλαχε—τουτὶ δὲ τὸ σπουδαζόμενον ὑπὸ 30τῆς γραφῆς καὶ ἀνθρώπῳ ξυμβαλεῖν ῥάδιον. αἱ γὰρ δὴ Ὧραι αὐτοῖς εἴδεσιν ἐς τὴν γῆν ἀφικόμεναι ξυνάπτουσαι τὰς χεῖρας ἐνιαυτὸν οἶμαι 389 Κ.ἑλίττουσι καὶ ἡ γῆ σοφὴ οὖσα εὐφορεῖ αὐταῖς τὰ ἐνιαυτοῦ πάντα. (2) “Μὴ πατεῖτε τὴν ὑάκινθον ἢ τὰ ῥόδα” οὐκ ἐρῶ πρὸς τὰς ἠρινάς· ὑπὸ γὰρ τοῦ πατεῖσθαι ἡδίω φαίνεται καὶ αὐτῶν τι τῶν 5Ὡρῶν ἥδιον πνεῖ.1 καὶ “μὴ ἐμβαίνετε ἁπαλαῖς ταῖς ἀρούραις” οὐκ ἐρῶ πρὸς τὰς χειμερίους σφῶν· τὸ γὰρ πατεῖσθαι αὐτὰς ὑπὸ τῶν Ὡρῶν ποιήσει ἄσταχυν. αἱ ξανθαὶ δὲ αὗται βαίνουσιν
That the gates of heaven are in charge of the Horae1 we may leave to the special knowledge and prerogative of Homer,2 for very likely he became an intimate of the Horae when he inherited the skies; but the subject that is here treated in the painting is easy for a man3 to understand. For the Horae, coming to earth in their own proper forms, with clasped hands are dancing the year through its course, I think, and the Earth in her wisdom brings forth for them all the fruits of the year. “Tread not on the hyacinth or the rose “I shall not say to the Horae of the spring-time; for when trodden on they seem sweeter and exhale a sweeter fragrance than the Horae themselves. “Walk not on the ploughed fields when soft” I shall not say to the Horae of the winter-time; for if they are trodden on by the Horae they will produce the ear of grain. And the golden-haired Horae yonder are walking on
- 1The Seasons.
- 2Cf. Iliad, 5. 749: ‘·The gates of Heaven which the Horae had in their keeping, to whom are entrusted great heaven and Olympus, whether to throw open the great cloud or shut it to.” Trans. Murray.
- 3It is implied both here and in the phrase “inherited the skies” that Homer became a god after his death; and works of ancient art depict his apotheosis.