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Headword: Μάγνης
Adler number: mu,21
Translated headword: Magnes
Vetting Status: high
[Magnes], a man from Smyrna,[1] beautiful in appearance -- none more so -- and expert in both poetry and music; he also kept his body appropriately adorned, clothed in purple and wearing his hair piled-up in a gold band;[2] and he used to go around the cities displaying his poetry. Many others were enamoured of him, but Gyges in particular[3] was on fire for him and kept him as a boy-friend. But it drove all the women wild, where Magnes was, especially those of the Magnesians,[4] and he was intimate with them. Their[5] relatives were vexed at the shame, and making a pretence that in his poems Magnes had sung of the bravery of Lydians in a cavalry-battle against Amazons,[6] while saying nothing of them, they grasped and tore off his clothing and loosened his hair and applied every [possible] humiliation. Gyges was very angry about this: he made frequent invasions into the Magnesians' territory, and in the end took their city; and on returning to Sardis he created magnificent festivals.
Greek Original:
Μάγνης, ἀνὴρ Σμυρναῖος, καλὸς τὴν ἰδέαν, εἴ τις καὶ ἄλλος, ποιήσει τε καὶ μουσικῇ δόκιμος: ἤσκητο δὲ καὶ τὸ σῶμα διαπρεπεῖ κόσμῳ, ἁλουργῆ ἀμπεχόμενος καὶ κόμην τρέφων χρυσῷ στρόφῳ κεκορυμβωμένην: περιῄει τε τὰς πόλεις ἐπιδεικνύμενος τὴν ποίησιν. τούτου δὲ καὶ ἄλλοι μὲν πολλοὶ ἤρων, Γύγης δὲ καὶ μᾶλλόν τι ἐφλέγετο καὶ αὐτὸν εἶχε παιδικά. γυναῖκάς γε μὴν πάσας ἐξέμηνεν, ἔνθα ἐγένετο ὁ Μάγνης, μάλιστα δὲ τὰς Μαγνητῶν, καὶ συνῆν αὐταῖς. οἱ δὲ τούτου συγγενεῖς ἀχθόμενοι ἐπὶ τῇ αἰσχύνῃ, πρόφασιν ποιησάμενοι ὅτι ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσιν ᾖσεν ὁ Μάγνης Λυδῶν ἀριστείαν ἐν ἱππομαχίᾳ πρὸς Ἀμαζόνας, αὐτῶν δὲ οὐδὲν ἐμνήσθη, ἐπαί̈ξαντες περικατέρρηξαν τε τὴν ἐσθῆτα καὶ τὰς κόμας ἐξέκειραν καὶ πᾶσαν λώβην προσέθεσαν. ἐφ' οἷς ἤλγησε μάλιστα Γύγης καὶ πολλάκις μὲν εἰς τὴν Μαγνητῶν γῆν ἐνέβαλε, τέλος δὲ καὶ χειροῦται τὴν πόλιν: ἐπανελθὼν δὲ ἐς Σάρδεις πανηγύρεις ἐποιήσατο μεγαλοπρεπεῖς.
Nicolaus of Damascus FGrH 90 F62.
[1] On the coast of Asia Minor; present-day Izmir.
[2] cf. kappa 2124, sigma 1221.
[3] For Gyges, king of Lydia, see gamma 472.
[4] There were several cities called Magnesia (mu 22, cf. mu 24); the one in this anecdote is presumably Magnesia-ad-Sipylum, not far from Smyrna.
[5] Adler prints τούτου ('his'), without comment; Jacoby was surely right to prefer τούτων , from some of the mss of Nicolaus.
[6] On Amazons cf. e.g. alpha 1465, theta 368, omicron 659, and see generally Ken Dowden in OCD(4) s.v.
Keywords: biography; clothing; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; meter and music; mythology; poetry; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 8 May 2008@07:56:25.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 8 May 2008@09:36:07.
David Whitehead (more notes; tweaks) on 8 May 2008@09:55:47.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; another keyword) on 9 May 2008@08:48:10.
David Whitehead on 25 April 2013@03:59:10.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@06:09:06.


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