Epigram on the Twentieth

  • Book XI - Convivial and Satirical Epigrams

    No. 44 - Philodemus


    "To-morrow, dearest Piso, your friend, beloved by the Muses, who keeps our annual feast of the twentieth invites you to come after the ninth hour to his simple cottage. If you miss udders and draughts of Chian wine, you will see at least sincere friends and you will hear things far sweeter than the land of the Phaeacians. But if you ever cast your eyes on me, Piso, we shall celebrate the twentieth richly instead of simply."

    Translated W. R. Paton

  • That reminds me that DeWitt says the Phaecaen analogy was of considerable interest to Epicurus as an example of the best life being focused on pleasure.

  • Joshua what a service you're providing by posting all these! I just made it through all your current threads. I was going to like and thank every one, but I thought that might be overkill. Please take this post as a virtual pan-thank-you! :) I especially appreciate your including the original texts!! :thumbup::thumbup:I may go through and pick out a few favorite lines or words. For example, line 3 has εικαδα δειπνιζων (eikada deipnizōn) is "the feast of the twentieth". The fact that it's the ενιαυσιον"annual" is a little surprising but maybe they had one big one a year where everyone was invited in addition to monthly smaller events.

  • Just yesterday found this interesting article, which Don will likely appreciate (given that touches on the Greek words).

    Here is an excerpt:


    2Commentators have so far discussed the complex intertextual relationship between the epigram and similar poems, especially Catullus 13 (invitation of Fabullus)3 and the whole sub-genre of Latin invitation poems which seems to be inspired by the epigram. Others have focused on the poem’s implications for our understanding of the social interactions between client and patronus in Roman society of the first century BCE.4 Its content also invites comparison with a group of Hellenistic epigrams dealing with dinner-invitations, dinner-preparations or feasting. Less well noticed are the epic ramifications of the poem and the way they might further our interpretation of its content.5

    3The poem’s tension rests on the contrast between the simple meal in a simple setting and the exquisite entertainment provided by faithful friends.

    Phaeacians at the birthday party: A.P. 11.44 (Philodemus) an...
    One of the most discussed epigrams by Philodemus is his famous invitation poem (A.P. 11.44). The speaker asks his friend Piso to attend a…