After Sappho but before the great Latin poets, the most important short poems in the ancient world were Greek epigrams. Beginning with simple expressions engraved on stone, these poems eventually encompassed nearly every theme we now associate with lyric poetry in English. Many of the finest are on love and would later exert a profound influence on Latin love poets and, through them, on all the poetry of Europe and the West. This volume offers a representative selection of the best Greek epigrams in original verse translation. It showcases the poetry of nine poets (including one woman), with many epigrams from the recently discovered Milan papyrus. Gordon L. Fain provides an accessible general introduction describing the emergence of the epigram in Hellenistic Greece, together with short essays on the life and work of each poet and brief explanatory notes for the poems, making this collection an ideal anthology for a wide audience of readers.
Chapter 1. Introduction to Ancient Greek Epigrams
Chapter 2. Anyte
Chapter 3. Leonidas of Tarentum
Chapter 4. Asclepiades
Chapter 5. Posidippus
Chapter 6. Callimachus
Chapter 7. Theocritus
Chapter 8. Meleager
Chapter 9. Philodemos
Chapter 10. Lucillius
Index of First Lines
Gordon L. Fain is the author of Writing Epigrams: The Art of Composition in Catullus, Callimachus, and Martial and many articles on Greek and Latin poetry.
“Crisp, clear, and written in ‘accessible’ English. . . . Fain has produced a readable collection making another part of classical literature available to the general reader.”—Matthew P. J. Dillon, University of New England, Australia European Legacy