120[1 b.c.]ΑΛΑΚΑΤΑ

Ed. pr. Vitelli-Norsa, Papiri Greci e Latini, ix. 1929, no. 1090, p. 137, Plate IV. See Maas, Hermes, 69, 1934, 206; Vitelli, Gnomon, 1928, 455 and 1929, 172 and 288; Körte, Archiv, x. 21; Bowra, New Chapters, iii. 180 and *Greek Poetry and Life, p. 325 (qu. v. for full discussion).

This beautiful fragment is part of Erinna’s Distaff, a

ἐς βαθ]ὺ κῦμα λε]υκᾶν μαινομέν[οισιν ἐσάλαο π]οσσὶν ἀφ᾿ ἵ[π]πω[ν· ἀλ]λ᾿, ἴσ[χ]ω, μέγ᾿ ἄυσα, φ[ίλα. τὺ δ᾿ ἔοισα] χελύννα ἁλ]λομένα μεγάλας [ἔδραμες κατὰ] χορτίον αὐλᾶς. 5τα]ῦτα τύ, Βαῦκι τάλαι[να, βαρὺ στονα]χεῖσα γόημ[ι· τα]ῦτά μοι ἐν κρα[δίαι τεῦς, ὦ κό]ρα, ἴχνια κεῖται θέρμ᾿ ἔτι· τῆν[α δ᾿ ἃ πρίν ποκ᾿ ἐπα]ύρομες ἄν- θρακες ἤδη. δαγύ[δ]ων τ᾿ ἐχ[όμεσθα νεαν]ίδες ἐν θαλάμοισι νύμ[φαι]σιν [προσόμοιοι ἀκηδ]έες· ἅ τε πὸτ ὄρθρον 10μάτηρ, ἃ ἔ[ριον νέμεν ἀμφιπόλ]οισιν ἐρίθοις, τήνα σ᾿ ἦλθ[ε κρέας προκαλευμέ]να ἀμφ᾿ ἁλίπαστον. αἲ μικραῖς τ[όκα νῶιν ὅσον] φόβον ἄγαγε Μο[ρμ]ώ, τᾶ]ς ἐν μὲν κο[ρυφᾶι μεγάλ᾿ ὤ]ατα, ποσσὶ δ᾿ ἐφοίτη τέ]τρασιν, ἐκ δ᾿ [ἑτέρας ἑτέραν] μετεβάλλετ᾿ ὀπωπάν.
  • 6τεῦς, ὦ κόρα D. L. P., cf. Theocr. xi. 25.



The Distaff [1 b.c.]

poem written in sorrow for the death of Baucis, a friend of her girlhood. Erinna herself is said to have died at the age of nineteen: and this poem, which (according to Suidas) consisted of 300 hexameters, was perhaps her only published work.

. . . From white horses with madcap bound into the deep wave you leapt: “I catch you,” I shouted, “my friend!” And you, when you were Tortoise, ran leaping through the yard of the great court.a

Thus I lament, unhappy Baucis, and make deep moan for you. These traces of you, dear maid, lie still glowing in my heart: all that we once enjoyed, is embers now.

We clung to our dolls in our chambers when we were girls, playing Young Wives, without a care. And towards dawn your Mother,b who allotted wool to her attendant workwomen, came and called you to help with the salted meat. Oh, what a trembling the Bogy brought us then, when we were little ones!—On its head were huge ears, and it walked on all fours, and changed from one face to another!

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.select_papyri_poetry_elegiac_hexameter_poems.1941