Theocritus

While there's life there's hope, and only the dead have none.

Theocritus (fl. c. 270 BC) was a Greek poet of the 3rd century BC, probably a Syracusan who later lived in Kos and Alexandria. He invented the genre of pastoral poetry.

QuotesEdit

Lo! how small
Was the gift, and yet how precious! Friendship's gifts are priceless all.

IdyllsEdit

  • τάχ᾽ αὔριον ἔσσετ᾽ ἄμεινον ἐλπίδες ἐν ζωοῖσιν, ἀνέλπιστοι δὲ θανόντες
    • While there's life there’s hope, and only the dead have none.
    • Idyll 4, line 42; translation by A. S. F. Gow, from Theocritus ([1950] 1952) vol. 1, p. 37.
    • Compare Cicero (1st century BC), Epistolarum ad Atticum [Epistle To Atticus], Book IX, 10, 4: Ægroto, dum anima est, spes est [While the sick man has life, there is hope.]
  • Faults are beauties, when survey'd by love.
    • Idyll 6, line 19; translation by Richard Polwhele, from The Idyllia, Epigrams, and Fragments, of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus, with the Elegies of Tyrtæus (1810) p. 36.
  • Milk the ewe that thou hast, why pursue the thing that shuns thee?
    • Idyll 11, line 75; translation by Andrew Lang, from Theocritus, Bion and Moschus Rendered into English Prose ([1880] 1901) p. 63.
  • The Greeks got into Troy by trying, my pretties; everything's done by trying.
    • Idyll 15, line 61; translation by A. S. F. Gow, from Theocritus ([1950] 1952) vol. 1, p. 113.
  • The godly seed fares well: the wicked's is accurst.
    • Idyll 26, line 36; translation by C. S. Calverley, from Theocritus, translated into English Verse.
  • Men shall look on thee and murmur to each other, "Lo! how small
    Was the gift, and yet how precious! Friendship's gifts are priceless all."
    • Idyll 28; lines 21-22; translation by C. S. Calverley, from Theocritus, translated into English Verse.
  • Reflect, ere you spurn me, that youth at his sides
    Wears wings; and once gone, all pursuit he derides.
    • Idyll 29; lines 27-28; translation by C. S. Calverley, from Theocritus, translated into English Verse.

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 13:23