Epigram 9.584

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Descriptions

#1

On the Statue at Delphi of Eunomus the Lyre-player

Texts

Εὔνομον, ὤπολλον, σύ μὲν οἶσθά με, πῶς ποτ᾽ ἐνίκων
Σπάρτιν ὁ Λοκρὸς ἐγώ: πευθομένοις δ᾽ ἐνέπω.

αἰόλον ἐν κιθάρᾳ νόμον ἔκρεκον, ἐν δὲ μεσεύσᾳ
ᾠδᾷ μοι χορδὰν πλᾶκτρον ἀπεκρέμασεν.

καί μοι φθόγγον ἑτοῖμον ὁπανίκα καιρὸς ἀπῄτει,
εἰς ἀκοὰς ῥυθμῶν τὠτρεκὲς οὐκ ἔνεμεν
καί τις ἀπ᾽ αὐτομάτω κιθάρας ἐπὶ πῆχυν ἐπιπτὰς
τέττιξ ἐπλήρου τοὐλλιπὲς ἁρμονίας.
νεῦρα γὰρ ἓξ ἐτίνασσον ὅθ᾽ ἑβδομάτας δὲ μελοίμαν

χορδᾶς, τὰν τούτω γῆρυν ἐκιχράμεθα:
πρὸς γὰρ ἐμὰν μελέταν ὁ μεσαμβρινὸς οὔρεσιν ᾠδὸς
τῆνο τὸ ποιμενικὸν φθέγμα μεθηρμόσατο,
καὶ μὲν ὅτε φθέγγοιτο σὺν ἀψύχοις τόκα νευραῖς
τῷ μεταβαλλομένῳ συμμετέπιπτε θρόῳ.

τοὔνεκα συμφώνῳ μὲν ἔχω χάριν ὃς δὲ τυπωθεὶς
χάλκεος ἁμετέρας ἕζεθ᾽ ὑπὲρ κιθάρας,

— Paton edition

Thou knowest, Apollo, how I, Eunomus the Locrian,
conquered Spartis, but I tell it for those who ask me.
I was playing on the lyre an elaborate piece, and in
the middle of it my plectron loosened one chord,
and when the time came to strike the note I was
ready to play, it did not convey the correct sound to
the ear. Then of its own accord a cicada perched
on the bridge of the lyre and supplied the deficiency
of the harmony. I had struck six chords, and when
I required the seventh I borrowed this cicada's voice ;
for the midday songster of the hillside adapted to
my performance that pastoral air of his, and when
he shrilled he combined with the lifeless chords to
change the value of the phrase. Therefore I owe a
debt of thanks to my partner in the duet, and wrought
in bronze he sits on my lyre.

— Paton edition

Cities

Scholia

Comment

#1

Paton Edition notes on Description: cp. VI. 54.

Alignment

External references