Catalogue of Women/fr. 1

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Introduction[edit]

The poem opens with an invocation of the Muses that introduces its topic and also serves as a transition from the Theogony, to which the Catalogue was attached at some point during antiquity.

Text[edit]

1



5




10




15




20

22

Νῦν δὲ γυναικῶν ⌊φῦλον ἀείσατε, ἡδυέπειαι
Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδε⌊ς, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο,
αἳ τότ' ἄρισται ἔσαν[
μίτρας τ' ἀλλύσαντο ̣[
μισγόμεναι θεοῖ̣σ[ιν
ξυναὶ γὰρ τότε δα⌊ῖτες ἔσαν, ξυνοὶ δὲ θόωκοι
ἀθανάτοις τε θε⌊οῖσι καταθνητοῖς τ' ἀνθρώποις.
οὐδ' ἄρα ἰσαίωνε[ς] ομ[
ἀνέρες ἠδὲ γυναῖκες ε[
ὀσσόμεν[ο]ι φρ[εσὶ] γήρ[
οἳ μὲν δηρ̣ὸν ε  ̣[  ̣  ̣]κ  ̣[
ἠΐ[θ]ε̣οι, τοὺς δ' εἶθ̣[αρ] ε̣  ̣[
ἀ[θ]άνατο̣ι̣ [νε]ότητ[
τ̣ά̣ω̣ν ἔσπετε μ[
ὅσσ[αι]ς δὴ π̣αρελ[
σ⌋περμ⌊αί⌋νων τὰ ⌊πρῶτα γένος κυδρῶν βασιλήων.
  ̣]ς τε Π[ο]σειδάω[ν
  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣   ̣]ν τ' Ἄρης [
  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣   ̣]  ̣ηι  ̣ιντ[
  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣   ̣  ̣]  ̣στοσπ[
  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣   ̣  ̣Ἑ]ρμῆς .[
  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣   ̣  ̣  ̣] βίη Ἡ[ρακλῆος

Now do sing of the tribe of women, sweet-voiced
Olympian Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus,
they who were best in those days [ ... ]
and loosed their girdles [ ... ]
mingling with the gods [ ... ]
For common then were the meals, common the seats,
among immortal gods and mortal men.
But not similar in lifespan [ ... ]
men and women [ ... ]
seeing old-age in their hearts [ ... ]
some for a long time [ ... ]
youths, others immediately [ ... ]
immortals [ ... ] youth [ ... ]
Of these do sing [ ... ]
With however many lay [ ... Zeus, ]
first siring the race of glorious kings
[ ... ] and Poseidon [ ... ]
[ ... ] and Ares [ ... ]
[ ... ] (illegible text) [ ... ]
[ ... ] Hephaestus (?) [ ... ]
[ ... ] Hermes [ ... ]
[ ... ] the force of Heracles [ ... ]

Sources: Lines 1–22 are transmitted by a papyrus (P.Oxy. XXIII 2354). — Lines 1–2 are transmitted by medieval manuscripts as the final 2 lines of the Theogony. — Lines 6–7 are quoted at Origen, Contra Celsum 4.79.6: "Now since the cosmos came about according to providence, and God ruled over everything, it was necessary that the very kindling of the race of men would from its creation be under some protection from higher powers, so that from the beginning there might be a mingling of the divine nature with mankind. And the Ascraean poet [i.e. Hesiod] knew these things when he sang, For common then were the meals, common the seats, among immortal gods and mortal men." — Line 6 is also quoted by the scholia to Aratus, Phaenomena 104. In that line of the Phaenomena, Dike, justice personified is said to have once sat mingled with mankind. The note reads: "Like the Hesiodic line: For common then were the meals, common the seats." — Line 16 is quoted by Maximus of Tyre, Dialexeis 35.1: "Now when he [i.e. Homer, whom Maximus had been discussing] calls Zeus the 'father of gods and men', it is not because he came down from heaven, now in the form of a bird, now gold, and other times in other forms, and had sex with mortal women, first siring the race of glorious kings.

Notes[edit]


Bibliography[edit]

  • West, M.L. (1985) The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women: Its Nature, Structure, and Origins. Oxford. ISBN 0198140347.