Annette Giesecke, The Epic City: Urbanism, Utopia, and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome
Prologue: An Afternoon Walk
Introduction: Seeds of Perfection
Chapter 1. Homer’s Eutopolis
Chapter 2. Greece and the Garden
Chapter 3. Rome and the Reinvention of Paradise
Chapter 4. Nostalgia and Virgil’s Pastoral Dream (On the Dangers of Playing Orpheus)
Epilogue: The Medallions and Other Magic Gardens
Chapter 3. Rome and the Reinvention of Paradise
in tenebris metuunt, sic nos in luce timemus
interdum, nilo quae sunt metuenda magis quam
quae pueri in tenebris pavitant finguntque futura.
hunc igitur terrorem animi tenebrasque necessest
60 non radii solis neque lucida tela diei
discutiant, sed naturae species ratioque.
55 For just as children quake and fear all things
in the viewless darkness, thus in the light of day do we fear
things which are to be feared no more than
what children shudder at in the darkness and imagine will come to pass.
Therefore, this terror of the mind and this darkness it is necessary
60 not for the rays of the sun nor light of day
to dispel but the aspect and law of Nature.
laciditatem. maxime enim hae natura quietae et aptissimae ad vitam hominum. ad cibum enim lacte et caseum adhibitum, ad corpus vestitum et pelles adtulerunt. tertio denique gradu a vita pastorali ad agri culturam descenderunt, in qua ex duobus gradibus superioribus retinuerunt multa, et quo descenderant, ibi processerunt longe, dum ad nos perveniret.
στραφθέντες χὠ καλὸς Ἀμύντιχος ἔν τε βαθείαις
ἁδείας σχοίνοιο χαμευνίσιν ἐκλίνθημες
ἔν τε νεοτμάτοισι γεγαθότες οἰναρέοισι.
135 πολλαὶ δ᾽ ἄμμιν ὕπερθε κατὰ κρατὸς δονέοντο
αἴγειροι πτελέαι τε· τὸ δ᾽ ἐγγύθεν ἱερὸν ὕδωρ
Νυμφᾶν ἐξ ἄντροιο κατειβόμενον κελάρυζε.
τοὶ δὲ ποτὶ σκιαραῖς ὀροδαμνίσιν αἰθαλίωνες
τέττιγες λαλαγεῦντες ἔχον πόνον· ἁ δ᾽ ὀλολυγών
140 τηλόθεν ἐν πυκιναῖσι βάτων τρύζεσκεν ἀκάνθαις·
ἄειδον κόρυδοι καὶ ἀκανθίδες, ἔστενε τρυγών,
πωτῶντο ξουθαὶ περὶ πίδακας ἀμφὶ μέλισσαι.
παντ᾽ ὦσδεν θέρεος μάλα πίονος, ὦσδε δ᾽ ὀπώρας.
ὄχναι μὲν πὰρ ποσσί, παρὰ πλευραῖσι δὲ μᾶλα
145 δαψιλέως ἁμῖν ἐκυλίνδετο, τοὶ δ᾽ ἐκέχυντο
ὄρπακες βραβίλοισι καταβρίθοντες ἔραζε·
τετράενες δὲ πίθων ἀπελύετο κρατὸς ἄλειφαρ.
… but both I and Eukritos to Phrasydamos’
did we turn, and also handsome Amyntas, and on deep
beds of sweet rushes did we recline
and on freshly cut vine leaves, rejoicing.
135 And overhead rustled a multitude
of poplars and elms. And nearby the sacred water
splashed as it flowed down out from a cave of the Nymphs.
And on the shady sprays, smoky brown
cicadas kept busy chirruping. And the tree frog
140 from a distance was croaking in the dense thorns of the brambles.
Larks and finches were singing, and the turtledove was cooing,
and about the spring humming bees were flying all around.
Everything smelled of corn harvest most abundant, smelled of the fruit crop.
Pears by our feet, and by our sides apples
145 were rolling in great abundance. And hanging down
all the way to the ground were branches weighed down with peaches.
And the four-year-old seal was loosened from the mouths of the wine jars.
ἀσπασίως ἄκρης Ἀχερουσίδος ὅρμον ἵκοντο.
ἡ μέν τε κρημνοῖσιν ἀνίσχεται ἠλιβάτοισιν,
730 εἰς ἅλα δερκομένη Βιθυνίδα· τῇ δ᾽ ὑπὸ πέτραι
λισσάδες ἐρρίζωνται ἁλίβροχοι, ἀμφὶ δὲ τῇσιν
κῦμα κυλινδόμενον μεγάλα βρέμει· αὐτὰρ ὕπερθεν
ἀμφιλαφεῖς πλατάνιστοι ἐπ᾽ ἀκροτάτῃ πεφύασιν.
ἐκ δ᾽ αὐτῆς εἴσω κατακέκλιται ἤπειρόνδε
735 κοίλη ὕπαιθα νάπη, ἵνα τε σπέος ἔστ᾽ Ἀίδαο
ὕλῃ καὶ πέτρῃσιν ἐπηρεφές, ἔνθεν ἀυτμή
πηγυλίς, ὀκρυόεντος ἀναπνείουσα μυχοῖο,
συνεχὲς ἀργινόεσσαν ἀεὶ περιτέτροφε πάχνην,
οὐδὲ μεσημβριόωντος ἰαίνεται ἠελίοιο.
740 σιγὴ δ᾽ οὔποτε τήνδε κατὰ βλοσυρὴν ἔχει ἄκρην,
ἀλλ ̓ ἄμυδις πόντοιό θ᾽ ὑπὸ στένει ἠχήεντος,
φύλλων τε πνοιῇσι τινασσομένων μυχίῃσιν.
ἔνθα δὲ καὶ προχοαὶ ποταμοῦ Ἀχέροντος ἔασιν,
ὅς τε διὲξ ἄκρης ἀνερεύγεται εἰς ἅλα βάλλων
745 ἠοίην, κοίλη δὲ φάραγξ κατάγει μιν ἄνωθεν·
τὸν μὲν ἐν ὀψιγόνοισι Σοωναύτην ὀνόμηναν
Νισαῖοι Μεγαρῆες, ὅτε νάσσεσθαι ἔμελλον
γῆν Μαριανδυνῶν· δὴ γάρ σφεας ἐξεσάωσεν
αὐτῇσιν νήεσσι, κακῇ χρίμψαντας ἀέλλῃ.
750 τῇ ῥ᾽ οἵγ᾽ αὐτίκα νῆα διὲξ Ἀξερουσίδος ἄκρης
εἰσωποί, ἀνέμοιο νέον λήγοντος, ἔκελσαν.
And at dawn, the wind having been lulled in the darkness,
they arrived full of joy at the inner harbor of the Acherusian headland.
It, for its part, soars with steep crags
730 facing the Bithynian sea, and below it rocks,
smooth ones, stand fixed, washed by the sea. And around them
the wave roars loudly as it rolls along, but above
wide-spreading planes grow upon the topmost point.
And from it farther inland slopes down
735 a hollow glen beneath, where there is a cave of Hades
by woods and rocks over-arched, whence a breath
icy cold, wafting up from its chill recess
continuously, ever makes congeal a ring of bright-shining rime,
nor does it melt in the midday sun.
740 And silence never holds that grim headland,
but rather it murmurs constantly from the roaring sea
and the leaves rustled by the vapors from the cavern’s depths.
And here too come outpourings of the river Acheron,
which from the headland belches forth, casting into the sea
745 in the east, and a cleft ravine brings it down from above.
And in time afterwards, Sailors’ Savior was it called
by the Nisaean Megarians when they were setting out to settle
the land of the Mariandyni. For indeed it saved them
ships and all when they had met a baleful tempest.
750 By this way, straight through the Acherusian headland, their ship did these men
put to shore when the wind had only just fallen.
urbis opus, longoque domat saxa aspera dorso.
qua prius obscuro permixti pulvere soles
et feritas inamoena viae, nunc ire voluptas;
qualis, si subeas Ephyres Baccheidos altum
35 culmen, ab Inoo fert semita tecta Lyaeo.
42 … vix ordine longo
suffecere oculi, vix, dum per singula ducor,
suffecere gradus. quae rerum turba! locine
45 ingenium an domini mirer prius? haec domus ortus
aspicit et Phoebi tenerum iubar, illa cadentem
detinet exactamque negat dimittere lucem,
cum iam fessa dies et in aequora montis opaci
umbra cadit vitreoque natant praetoria ponto.
50 haec pelagi clamore fremunt, haec tecta sonoros
ignorant fluctus terraeque silentia malunt.
his favit natura locis, hic victa colenti
cessit et ignotos docilis mansuevit in usus.
mons erat hic ubi plana vides, et lustra fuerunt,
55 quae nunc tecta subis; ubi nunc nemora ardua cernis,
hic nec terra fuit: domuit possessor, et illum
formantem rupes expugnantemque secuta
gaudet humus. nunc cerne iugum discentia saxa
intrantesque domos iussumque recedere montem.
60 iam Methymnaei vatis manus et chelys una
Thebais et Getici cedat tibi gloria plectri;
et tu saxa moves, et te nemora alta sequuntur.
30 From there a colonnade has crawled along the summits,
a veritable city construction, and with its long roof-line, dominates the jagged rocks.
Where earlier was sunshine mixed with blinding dust
and the unlovely wilderness of the path, now it is a delight to walk.
It is just as if you should climb Bacchic Ephyre’s lofty
35 peak, a covered footway leads from Lyaean Ino.
42 … For the long array scarcely
have my eyes sufficed as I am led from one thing to another,
scarce my steps. What a mass of stuff! Is it the site’s
45 or the master’s genius that I should marvel at first? To the east does this part of the house
face and to Phoebus’ early rays; his setting does that part
hold prisoner and refuses to release his spent light
when the day is already tired, and over the ocean does the dark mountain’s
shadow fall, and the palace floats on the glassy deep.
50 These chambers groan with the clash of the sea, these others of the sounding waves
are ignorant and prefer instead the silence of the land.
Upon these Nature has bestowed her favors; here, vanquished
has she yielded and, docile, has become tamed to unwonted tasks.
A mountain was here where you see flat ground; beasts’ lairs were
55 what you now find as buildings. Where now you see tall forests,
here there was no land; the owner has won dominion, and in him
as he sculpts the crags and overpowers them, obediently
does the earth rejoice. Now behold the rocks learning to endure the yoke,
and the buildings forging their way in and the mountain ordered to retreat.
60 Now let the hands of Methymna’s bard and the one and only lyre
from Thebes and the fame of the Thracian plectrum yield to you;
you too move stones, you too do lofty forests follow.