- 1AP 15.21; Buc. codd. aliquot
- 10 τ’ ἐξήλασεν Haeberlin: τε m: τ’ ἀφείλετο m
- 13 ᾇ Hecker: ἀεὶ m: ὦ m
- 16 χαρεὶς Hecker: χαίροις M
THEOCRITUS (?) THE PANPIPE
The bedfellow of Nobody and mother of Far-war1 gave birth to the swift director of the nurse who stood in for a stone,2 not the Horned One who was once nurtured by a bull father,3 but he whose mind was once set on fire by the p-lacking shield rim,4 Whole by name, double in nature,5 who loved the voice-dividing girl, swift as the wind and with human speech,6 him who put together a shrill wound7 for the violet-crowned Muse to represent his fiery love,8 who extinguished the might that sounded like a man who murdered his grandfather, and drove it out of the Tyrian girl.9 To him Paris son of Simichus dedicated the lovely possession of the carriers of blindness.10 May it please your soul, man-treading gadfly of the Lydian woman,11 son of a thief and son of no one, coffer limbed,12 and may you play it sweetly to a girl who has no voice of her own but is an unseen Calliope.13
- 1Penelope, whose husband Odysseus told the Cyclops that his name was Nobody; the name of their son, Telemachus, means “Far-fighting.”
- 2Pan, who according to some accounts was the son of Penelope and Hermes (Hdt. 2.145.4). As goat and god he is swift and “directs” goats, such as the one called Amalthea, which suckled Zeus on Crete; Cronus believed that he had succeeded in swallowing his son, but he had been given a stone instead.
- 3Comatas, “Long-haired” (keras, “horn,” is sometimes said to mean “hair”), who was fed by bees (Theoc. Id. 7.83–89), which were thought to be born from the putrefying carcasses of oxen (Virg. Geo. 4.281‒314).
- 4Comatas was inflamed with love by Pitys (Longus 2.7.6); itys is the rim of a shield.
- 5Pan means “All”; double because half-goat.
- 6Pan loved Echo, here called meropa (human), which was said to mean “voice-dividing” (meros, “part,” ops, “voice”).
- 7Syrinx (panpipe) also means a suppurating wound.
- 8Pan pursued the nymph Syrinx, who was transformed into a reed (Longus 2.34.3; Ov. Met. 1.690–712); from it he made the first panpipe, in order to sing of his love.
- 9Pan helped the Greeks defeat the Persians at Marathon by causing panic among them (Hdt. 6.105.2‒3). Perseus, who accidentally killed his grandfather (ps.-Apollod. Bibl. 2.4.4), sounds like “Persian”; “the Tyrian girl” is Europa, abducted by Zeus from Tyre in Phoenicia, who gave her name to Europe (cf. Mosch. 2).
- 10Theocritus (called Simichidas in Id. 7) means “Chosen by God,” but here it is assumed to mean “chooser of a god”; Paris judges the famous beauty contest of the goddesses and stands for the name of the poet. “Carriers of blindness” (typhlophorous): pêros (blind) is a synonym of typhlos, and pêra means a countryman’s knapsack; so “carriers of blindness” means “country people.”
- 11“Man-treading” (brotobamona) apparently refers to Paris’ running over the mountain rocks, brotos being similar in meaning to laos (people), which sounds like laas (stone). (But the suggestion of Wilamowitz that botobamona, “mounter of goats,” should be read is attractive; cf. Theoc. Epigr. 5.6 αἰγιβάτην). The “Lydian woman” may be Omphale, who according to the ancient commentary here was stung by love for Pan (hence, “gadfly”).
- 12Hermes, god of thieves, was said by some to be Pan’s father. “Son of no one” may refer to his having numerous fathers (see on l. 1) or to stories that Odysseus was his father (schol. on Theoc. mId. 1.123) or that he had none (schol. Luc. 3.402). “Coffer-limbed” (larnakoguie), because another word for larnax (coffer) is chêlos, which sounds like chêlê (hoof).
- 13Echo, who can only repeat the words of others. Calliope means “Beautiful Voice.” She is one of the Muses.