Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Nine Muses - Publius Annius Florus

Clio records past ages in her prose.
Euterpe's hollow reed makes double sound.
Voice-famed Thalia revelling loves the sock.
Melpomene's notes in tragic iambs seethe.
Terpsichore's golden lyre thrills all the sky.
Strings touched by Erato sweet love-songs make.
Polymnia's odes suit swift and varying moods.
Urania scans the stars of heaven in verse.
Calliope crowns epic bards with bays.

Publius Annius Florus (c.74 - ?) Egypt
Translated by J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff
Source: Florus, Loeb Classical Library, 1934 (revised 1935)
This poem is also sometimes attributed to Cato

  • The Muses - the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, born in Pieria. Sometimes represented as linked together in a dance, they formed an allegory of the connexion among the liberal arts.
  • sock - the Soccus: a slipper or low shoe, which did not fit closely and was often worn by comic actors.
  • moods - Motus is here taken of the mind. But it is possible to take it of bodily movement.

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