Some Palladian Presences
Anthologia Graeca Planudea = Anthologia diafōron
epigrammatōn ed. Ianos Laskaris, Firenze: Laurentius de Alopa
the greater Greek classics, only
Homer and Isocrates were in print before the
Anthology; and during the sixteenth century
few of the classics were more often reedited" (James Hutton, The Greek Anthology
in Italy to the Year 1800 (Ithaca, New York,
1935), p. 38.
Just a few poets soon inspired by or
using Palladas:
Lope di Vega
Olivier de Magny
John Donne, “For than kisses, letters mingle Soules
For thus friends absent speak” (Palladas 9.401)
Ezra Pound. Not only translates
some Palladas, but see ‘Horace’,
Arion 9 (1970) 178-87:
His jibes at old women are like petty personal
fusses lacking the charm of Palladas'
impartial pessimism or the artistic aloofness,
the Epicurean and really godlike
impersonality of Catullus..
Palladas as ‘Poet’s
See e.g.
John Frederick Nims
Palladas’ “bios/skene”
epigram is pivotal to his
postwar Masque of
The streets and rooms they moved in rang unreal
Since not yet real to the child; say someone's dream
Strange as drowned cities where the cursive eel
Flashes in alleys. A curtain-time scene:
Whether they shifted vases, turned a page
All seemed last-minute touches on a stage.
The stage and a man's life-long before Avon
Cynical Palladas saw we "play a part."
Though of that scenery or the gapes it gave on
Hard to say which is model and which art.
Down the steep aisles of a murky vast
Theater, all seats empty, he and she
Go groping backstage; from a passionate past
Glitter the lurid flats of cloud and sea.
Palladas and prose fiction
Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels—especially in
some of the more arcane proper names
Prosper Mérimée’s novella Carmen (source of the
opera), has the epigraph (in Greek):
Πᾶσα γυνὴ χόλος ἐστίν· ἔχει δ᾽ δύω ὥρας,
τὴν μίαν ἐν θαλάμῳ, τὴν μίαν ἐν θανάτῳ.
Thomas Love Peacock’s Lucianic, comic Gryll Grange (1861),
uses the bios/skene epigram as its epigraph.
Palladas and the Philosophers
Neil Cooper, ‘Moral Nihilism’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74
(1973-4) 75-90:
‘ I want in this paper to consider the view which may be called 'Moral
Nihilism' or 'Moral Indifferentism', according to which nothing matters
morally. Some such view may accompany cynicism or radical despair.
The late Greek poet Palladas expresses it…
[he goes on to quote several epigrams]
‘Rites-de-passage’, pedagogical Palladas
The works of
Anacreon, Sappho,
Bion, Moschus and
Musæus. Translated
from the original
Greek. By Francis
Fawkes, M.A.
Palladas who in
every era has
enough to be
interleaved with
epigrams and
other short
Those were the
days—when Latin
quantities were
discussed without
English translation in
The Times
The Editor Of The
Times." Times
[London, England]
17 Jan. 1894: 6. The
Times Digital
Archive. Web. 31
Aug. 2014.
"The New
Type." Times [Lond
on, England] 10
Oct. 1932: 10. By
the year after,
English translation
of Palladas is
Cavafy’s Palladian aspects
His own relationship with Alexandria (cf. his fascination with Herodas’ mimes when
they appeared)
His fascination with the pagan perspective on the early Christians
His urban settings (also preferred by Harrison, who sees this as distinguishing him from
Ted Hughes, the other late 20th-century Yorkshire poet.
His mournful, cynical and non-optimistic tone
His lapidary textures
His immersion with and constant allusion to a dense literary heritage

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