Type 30552

Ὃς ἀνδράσι πρὶν καὶ τομώτερος ξίφους,
πάρεργον οὗτος καὶ γυναικὸς καὶ ξίφους·
ὃς τῷ κράτει πρὶν γῆς ὅλης εἶχε κράτος,
ὥσπερ μικρὸς γῆς μικρὸν ᾤκησεν μέρος·
τὸν πρὶν σεβαστόν, ὡς δοκῶ, καὶ θηρίοις
ἀνεῖλεν ἡ σύγκοιτος, ἓν δοκοῦν μέλος.
Ὁ μηδὲ νυξὶ μικρὸν ὑπνώττειν θέλων
ἐν τῷ τάφῳ νῦν μακρὸν ὑπνώττει χρόνον.
Θέαμα πικρόν· ἀλλ' ἀνάστα νῦν, ἄναξ,
καὶ τάττε πεζούς, ἱππότας τοξοκράτας,
τὸ σὸν στράτευμα, τὰς φάλαγγας, τοὺς λόχους.
Ὁρμᾷ καθ' ἡμῶν Ῥωσικὴ πανοπλία·
Σκυθῶν ἔθνη σφύζουσιν εἰς φονουργίαν·
λεηλατοῦσι πανσθενῶς τὴν σὴν πόλιν,
οὓς ἐπτόει πρὶν καὶ γεγραμμένος τύπος
πρὸ τῶν πυλῶν σὸς ἐν πόλει Βυζαντίου.
Ναί, μὴ παρόψει ταῦτα· ῥῖψον τὸν λίθον
τὸν σὲ κρατοῦντα, καὶ λίθοις τὰ θηρία
τὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν δίωκε· δὸς δὲ καὶ πέτρας
στηριγμὸν ἡμῖν, ἀρραγεστάτην βάσιν.
Εἰ δ' οὐ προκύψαι τοῦ τάφου μικρὸν θέλεις,
κἂν ῥῆξον ἐκ γῆς ἔθνεσιν φωνὴν μόνην·
ἴσως πτοήσει ταῦτα καὶ τρέψει μόνη.
Εἰ δ' οὐδὲ τοῦτο, τῷ τάφῳ τῷ σῷ δέχου
σύμπαντας ἡμᾶς· καὶ νεκρὸς γὰρ ἀρκέσεις
σῴζειν τὰ πλήθη τῶν ὅλων χριστωνύμων,
ὦ πλὴν γυναικὸς τἆλλα δ' αὖ Νικηφόρος.
Title(s) Ἐπιτύμβια εἰς τὸν βασιλέα Νικηφόρον
Text source M. Lauxtermann, 2003, Byzantine Poetry from Pisides to Geometres (vol. 1), Vienna: 308-309
Text status Text completely known
Editorial status Critical text
Genre(s)
Person(s)
Poet
John of Melitene < Cappadocia (951-1000) - PMBZ: 25315: "Personenkennziffer: 23161" (metropolites of Melitene < Cappadocia)
Metre(s) Dodecasyllable
Subject(s) Nikephoros II Phokas of Konstantinoupolis < Turkey (912 - 11/12/969) - PMBZ: 27689: "Personenkennziffer: 25535" (basileus)
Tag(s)
Critical Notes 1 Ὃς ἀνδράσι ] Ὁ ταῖς μάχαις Mercati
2 οὗτος ] ὤφθη Mercati
4 ὥσπερ ] ὥς τις Mercati; ᾤκησεν ] οἰκεῖ νῦν Mercati
5 σεβαστόν, ὡς δοκῶ ] δὲ φρικτὸν βαρβάροις Mercati
10 τοξοκράτας ] λογχηφόρους Mercati
14 λεηλατοῦσι πανσθενῶς τὴν σὴν πόλιν ] ἐχθροὶ λεηλατοῦσι σήν, μάκαρ, πόλιν Mercati
22 ἔθνεσιν ] εῖς ἔθνη Mercati
23 ἴσως πτοήσει ταῦτα καὶ τρέψει μόνη ] φωνὴ γὰρ εἰς φόβητρον αὐτοῖς ἀρκέσει Mercati
26 σῴζειν ] σώζειν Mercati
27 δ' αὖ ] γοῦν Mercati; Νικηφόρος ] Νικηφόρε Mercati
Translation(s)
  • Who before to men was even sharper than a sword,
    victim he of both a woman and a sword.
    Who before by might held power over the whole earth,
    like a nobody occupies a small patch of earth.
    Before, even savages, I believe, respected his imperial majesty;
    she slew him, who shared his bed, pretending to be one flesh.
    Who wished not to sleep even a little, even at night,
    sleeps now, in the grave, a long sleep.
    Bitter sight!" "But rise now, lord,
    and marshal infantry, cavalry, archers,
    your army, your phalanxes, your squadrons;
    Russian armour is surging towards us,
    nations of Scythians are throbbing for murder,
    every nation is raiding around your city,
    whom previously a mere graven image would intimidate
    before the gates, your image, in the city of Byzantium.
    No, be not disdainful. Cast off the stone
    that holds you and with stones drive away
    the nations of savages. And also give rocks,
    a support for us, a most unbreakable foundation.
    But if you wish not to peep a little from your tomb,
    at least burst forth a cry from the earth to the nations,
    perhaps on its own it will scatter and rout them.
    But if not even this, in your tomb accept
    us all, for even dead you are capable
    of saving the entire Christian people."
    "O, except for a woman, in all else indeed victorious.
    Language
    English
    Source(s)
    J. Burke 2017, Nikephoros Phokas as Superhero, in A. Brown, B. Neil (eds.), Byzantine Culture in Translation, Leiden, 95-114: 96-97
  • Тотъ, кто прежде былъ крѣпче мужей и меча, тотъ сдѣлался легкою добычею женщины и меча. Тотъ, кто своею силою держалъ в рукахъ власть надъ всею землею, тотъ занимаетъ теперь малый уголокъ земли. Того, кто прежде былъ, думаю, лицомъ священнымъ для самыхъ звѣрей, того убила супруга, членъ, казалось, единаго тѣла. Тотъ, который и въ ночи не давалъ себѣ краткаго сна, спитъ теперь во гробѣ длинное время. Печальное зрѣлище! Но возстань нынѣ, царь, и собери пѣшихъ, конныхъ, копейщиковъ, твое войско, фаланги и полки. На насъ устремляется русское всеоружіе; Скиѳскіе народы яростно порываются къ убійствамъ; всяческий языкъ разоряетъ твой градъ-(иноплеменники), которыхъ прежде пугалъ одинъ твой образъ, начертанный впереди воротъ Византіи. Нѣтъ, не презри этого: сбрось камень, который держитъ тебя, и прогони каменьями сихъ звѣрей-иноплеменниковъ; дай также намъ прочное основаніе на неподвижномъ камени. Если же нѣтъ, если ты не хочешь приникнуть немного изъ гроба, то грянь изъ земли народамъ однимъ твоимъ голосомъ; можетъ быть, это одно разсѣетъ ихъ и обратитъ въ бѣгство. Если же и это тебѣ не угодно, то прими всѣхъ насъ въ твою гробницу; ибо и мертвый ты, во всемъ побѣдоносный (Никифоръ), кроме женщины, будешь имѣть достаточно силы, чтобы спасти толпы христіанъ.
    Language
    Russian
    Source(s)
    V. Vasilievsky, 1909, Труды В. Г. Васильевского. Русско-византийскіе отрывки (vol. 2.1), Saint Petersburg: 114-115
Comment According to Lauxtermann (2003: 305-308), Mercati made a fundamental mistake by preferring the readings of ARR1 (= Vind. Hist. gr. 35, Vat. Reg. gr. 166 and Vat. Reg. gr. 86): "The divergent readings of ARR1 should indeed be viewed as a “rimaneggiamento” by someone trying to turn the fictitious epitaph into a genuine verse inscription. The text as presented by ARR1 is stylistically, grammatically and metrically superior to that of the other manuscripts; most probably though ARR1 do not offer the text of the poet himself, but that of a clever emendator. (...) The version of ARR1 often seems to offer better readings than the other mss., but all these superior readings are in fact mere conjectural emendations."
Bibliography
Number of verses 27
Occurrence(s) [30556] Ὃς ἀνδράσι πρὶν (καὶ) τομώτερος ξίφους [12th c.]
MADRID - Biblioteca Nacional Vitr. 26-2 (olim N.2) [12th c.] (f. 157r)
(27 verses)
Acknowledgements
Creator(s)
Identification Vassis ICB 2005, 549: "In sepulcrum Nicephori Phocae imp."
Permalink https://dbbe.ugent.be/types/30552
Last modified: 2021-10-14.