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Aristaenetus, Erotic Letters

Aristaenetus, Erotic Letters

Peter Bing
Regina Höschele
  • Book Info
    Aristaenetus, Erotic Letters
    Book Description:

    The first complete English translation of Aristaenetus in nearly three centuries

    Through allusion and adaption of earlier authors, Aristaenetus recounts tales that are the stuff of comedy, erotic poetry, and ancient novel. Here we read of lovers who use every trope of erotic literature to praise their beloveds in over-the-top speeches. Aristaenetus amazes us with tales of paramours hatching complicated schemes to achieve their desires, while wily go-betweens help smooth their way. He presents us with accounts of unfaithful spouses who barely avoid capture in the midst of hair-raising and amusing infidelities. This sixth century collection is perfect for anyone interested in classical and postclassical literature.


    English translation and Greek text on facing pagesIntroduction with history of the textDiscussion of intertextual connections with Greco-Roman authors

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-742-3
    Subjects: Religion, Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  2. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xxxvi)
    Peter Bing and Regina Höschele

    The year 1492 saw two notable discoveries, one greater and one lesser: Columbus came upon the New World while sailing across the Atlantic, and Janus Lascaris reported that while he journeyed through Apulia he found a manuscript¹ containing fifty letters by a previously unknown author. Some years later, this manuscript was bought by the humanist, doctor, and court historian in Vienna, Johannes Sambucus (1531–1584), who published the text for the first time in 1566.² The manuscript, dating from the twelfth/thirteenth century and coming from the region of Otranto,³ made its way, like many other manuscripts acquired by Sambucus, to...

  3. Text and Translation

    • Αpiσtainetoϒ Επiσtoλωn Βibλion Αʹ
      (pp. 2-63)

      Λαΐδα τὴν ἐμὴν ἐρωμένην εὖ μὲν ἐδημιούργησεν ἡ ϕύσις, κάλλιστα δὲ πάντων ἐκόσμησεν Ἀϕροδίτη, καὶ τῶν Χαρίτων συνηρίθμησε τῷ χορῷ· ὁ δὲ χρυσοῦς Ἔρως ἐπαίδευσε τὴν ποθουμένην εὐστόχως ἐπιτοξεύειν ταῖς τῶν ὀμμάτων βολαῖς. ὢ ϕύσεως τὸ κάλλιστον ϕιλοτέχνημα, ὢ γυναικῶν εὔκλεια καὶ διὰ πάντων ἔμψυχος τῆς Ἀϕροδίτης εἰκών. ἐκείνῃ γὰρ (ἵνα κάλλος ἀϕροδίσιον εἰς δύναμιν διαγράψω τοῖς λόγοις) λευκαὶ μὲν ἐπιμὶξ καὶ ὑπέρυθροι παρειαί, καὶ ταύτῃ τὸ ϕαιδρὸν ἐκμιμοῦνται τῶν ῥόδων· χείλη δὲ λεπτὰ καὶ ἠρέμα διῃρημένα καὶ τῶν παρειῶν ἐρυθρότερα· ὀϕρύς τε μέλαινα, τὸ μέλαν ἄκρατον· τὸ δὲ μεσόϕρυον ἐμμέτρως τὰς ὀϕρῦς διορίζει· ῥὶς εὐθεῖα καὶ παρισουμένη τῇ λεπτότητι...

    • Αpiσtainetoϒ Επiσtoλωn Βibλion Βʹ
      (pp. 64-102)

      Τὴν παροῦσαν ἐπιστολὴν ἱκετηρίαν ὑπὲρ Χαριδήμου ποιοῦμαι. ἀλλ’, ὦ ϕίλη Πειθοῖ, παροῦσα συνεργὸς ποίει κατορθοῦν ἀνυσίμως, οὓς ἂν ἐπιστείλαιμι λόγους. ταῦτα μὲν δή, ϕασίν, εὔχθω. οὗτος δ’ οὖν ἐρᾷ σου, Καλύκη, καὶ τῷ σῷ ϕλέγεται γλυκυτάτῳ πυρί, καὶ τεθνήξεται θᾶττον ἐκ τριχὸς κρεμάμενος καὶ σκιᾶς εἴδωλον γεγονώς, εἰ μὴ τὴν παροῦσαν θεραπείαν ἐπινεύσεις τῷ μειρακίῳ. Ἄπολλον ἀποτρόπαιε, μὴ ϕόνου τις, ὦ γύναι, τὸ σὸν αἰτιάσηται κάλλος, μηδὲ ταῖς σαῖς χάρισιν ἐπικωμάσωσιν Ἐρινύες. ἐγκαλεῖς, εὖ οἶδα, τῷ νέῳ· ἔπταισεν ὁμολογουμένως· νέος ὢν ἔπταισεν, ἱκανὴν δέδωκε δίκην, μὴ θάνατος ἔστω τοῦ πλημμελήσαντος ἡ ζημία. λογίζου, πρὸς θεῶν, καὶ μιμοῦ τὴν σὴν Ἀϕροδίτην,...

  4. Bibliography
    (pp. 143-148)