Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 8. Boys at Play

LCL 256: 316-317

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Philostratus the Younger


(1) Οἱ ἐν Διὸς αὐλῇ ἀθύροντες, Ἔρως οἶμαι 402 K.καὶ Γανυμήδης, εἴ τι χρὴ τὸν μὲν τῇ τιάρᾳ νοεῖν, τὸν δ᾿ ἀπὸ τοῦ τόξου καὶ τῶν πτερῶν ἐς ἐπίγνωσιν ἄγειν. ἀθύρουσι μὲν οὖν ἀστραγάλοις οὗτοι,1 γεγράφαται δ᾿ ὁ μὲν ὑβριστικῶς ἐπιτωθάζων 5ὁ Ἔρως καὶ πλήρη τῆς νίκης τὸν κόλπον ἀνασείων, ὁ δὲ δυεῖν ἀστραγάλοιν ἔτι τὸν μὲν καὶ αὐτὸν ἀπολωλεκώς, τὸν δ᾿ ἐφ᾿ ὁμοίᾳ προπέμπων ἐλπίδι. κατηφὴς δὲ αὐτῷ παρειὰ καὶ ἡ τοῦ ὄμματος ἀκτὶς καίτοι ἁβροῦ 10ὄντος βεβυθισμένη2 τὸ τῆς ἀνίας ἐπισημαίνει. (2) Θεαί τε τρεῖς αὗται ἐφεστῶσαί σφισιν, αἱ μὲν οὐδ᾿ ἐφερμηνεύοντος δέονται, Ἀθηνᾶ τε γὰρ αὐτόθεν ἰδόντι δήλη τὴν ὁμόγνιον ποιηταί φασι πανοπλίαν ἀμπεχομένη καὶ γλαυκὸν ὑπὸ τῆς 15κόρυθος ὁρῶσα ξὺν ἀρρενωπῷ τε τῷ ἤθει τὴν παρειὰν ἐπιφοινίττουσα, ἡδὶ δὲ αὖ τὸ φιλομειδὲς


Boys at Play. 8

8. Boys at Play

The boys who are playing in the palace of Zeus are, I suppose, Eros and Ganymede,1 if the one may be known by his tiara and the other identified by his bow and his wings. They are playing with dice; and Eros is represented as taunting the other insolently and as shaking the fold of his garment, full as it is of his winnings, while his companion is represented as having lost one of the two dice left to him and as throwing the other with no better hope.2 His cheek is downcast and the glance of his eye, albeit a beautiful eye, indicates by its despondency his vexation. And these three goddesses standing near them—they need no interpreter to tell who they are; for Athena is recognised at a glance, clothed as she is in what the poets call the “panoply of her race,”3 casting a “bright glance”4 from under her helmet, and ruddy of face as well as masculine in general appearance; the second one

Boys playing dice

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philostratus_younger-imagines_8_boys_play.1931