Use the following persistent identifier: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Petropoulos.Heat_and_Lust.1994.
1. The Problem Stated: A Look at Hesiod’s Feast and Beyond
δενδρέῳ ἐφεζόμενος λιγυρήν καταχεύετ’ ἀοιδήν
πυκνὸν ὑπὸ πτερύγων θέρεος καματώδεος ὥρῃ,
585 τῆμος πιόταταί τ’ αἶγες καὶ οἶνος ἄριστος,
μαχλόταταί δὲ γυναῖκες, ἀφαυρότατοι δέ τοι ἄνδρες
εἰσίν, ἐπεὶ κεφαλὴν καὶ γούνατα Σείριος ἄζει,
αὐαλέος δέ τε χρὼς ὐπὸ καύματος· ἀλλὰ τότ’ ἤδη
εἴη πετραίη τε σκιὴ καὶ Βίβλινος οἶνος
590 μᾶζα τ’ ἀμολγαίη γάλα τ’ αἰγῶν σβεννυμενάων
καὶ βοὸς ὑλοφάγοιο κρέας μή πω τετοκυίης
πρωτογόνων τ’ ἐρίφων· ἐπὶ δ’ αἴθοπα πινέμεν οἶνον
ἐν σκιῇ ἑζόμενον, κεκορημένον ἦτορ ἐδωδῆς,
ἀντίον ἀκρᾱέος Ζεφύρου τρέψαντα πρόσωπα·
595 κρήνης δ’ αἰενάου καὶ ἀπορρύτου, ἥ τ᾽ ἀθόλωτος,
τρὶς ὕδατος προχέειν, τὸ δὲ τέτρατον ἱέμεν οἴνου.
sitting in a tree, pours down its clear-sounding song without interruption from
under its wings in the season of fatiguing summer,
585 at that time (τῆμος) goats are plumpest and wine is best,
and women are wanton in the extreme (μαχλόταται) while men are feeble in the extreme (ἀφαυρότατοι)
since the Dog Star dries out their head and knees
and their skin is withered by the heat; but already at this time (τότ’ ἤδη)
may you enjoy rocky shade and “Bibline” wine,
590 and barley-cake made with milk, and the milk of goats which are running dry,
and the meat of a free-range cow which has not yet given birth,
and that of firstborn kids; and afterwards drink [imperative] gleaming wine
while sitting in the shade, your heart having had its fill of food,
after turning your face to the brisk Zephyr-wind;
595 and from a perennially running spring, and an unmuddied one at that,
first pour a measure of water three times and toss in a fourth [“measure”] of wine.
Poised in a shady tree, the tettix, WD tells us, emits a lovely “song,” by virtue of which it may have struck Hesiod’s audience almost as an honorary bird.  The reference to the tettix, complete with a description of its native locus amoenus (ἦμος δὲ σκόλυμός τ ᾽ ἀνθεῖ καὶ ἠχέτα τέττιξ / δενδρέῳ ἐφεζόμενος, ‘when the golden thistle flowers and the sonorous cicada, / sitting in a tree, etc./) and his habit of chirruping (λιγυρὴν καταχεύετ ’ ἀοιδήν, ‘pours down its clear-sounding song’), harks back to the comparable treatment of the song of the geranos (‘crane’) (448-451) and the kokkux (‘cuckoo’) (486-489), which we may now consider:
ὑψόθεν ἐκ νεφέων ἐνιαύσια κεκληγυίης,
450 ἥ τ’ ἀρότοιό τε σῶμα φέρει καὶ χείματος ὥρην
δεικνύει ὀμβρηροῦ· κραδίην δ’ ἔδακ’ ἀνδρὸς ἀβούτεω·
δὴ τότε χορτάζειν ἕλικας βόας ἔνδον ἐόντας.
as it makes its annual cry (ἐνιαύσια κεκληγυίης) from clouds on high,
450 which [sc. the crane] brings the signal for taking to the plow and
indicates the season (ὥρην) of rainy winter; so that the heart of the man without oxen is stung;
at that time indeed (δὴ τότε) feed your twirling-homed oxen at home, etc.
ἦμος κόκκυξ κοκκύζει δρυὸς ἐν πετάλοισιν
τό πρῶτον, τέρπει δὲ βροτούς ἐπ’ ἀπείρονα γαῖαν,
τῆμος Ζεὺς ὕοι τρίτῳ ἤματί μηδ’ ἀπολήγοι,
μήτ’ ἄρ’ ὑπερβάλλων βοὸς ὁπλὴν μήτ’ ἀπολείπων
490 οὕτω κ’ ὀψαρότης πρωιηρότῃ ἰσοφαρίζοι.
and pleases mortals throughout the earth,
at that time (τῆμος) may Zeus send rain on the third day (τρίτῳ ἤματι) and not let up,
as might be expected, neither covering the top of an ox’s hoof nor falling short of it;
490 now (οὕτω) late (i.e. spring) plowing can rival early (i.e. autumn) plowing, etc.
In all three instances, the WD establishes the creature’s element or habitat (ὑψόθεν ἐκ νεφέων, 449, ‘from clouds on high,’ of the crane; δρυὸς ἐν πετάλοισιν, 486, ‘among the leaves of the oak tree,’ of the cuckoo), and its characteristic activity conveyed as a snapshot incident: ἐνιαύσια κεκληγυίης, 449, ‘as it makes its annual cry,’ of the crane; κόκκυξ κοκκύζει…/τέρπει δὲ βροτοὺς ἐπ ’ ἀπείρονα γαῖαν, ‘the cuckoo cries “cuckoo”…/and pleases mortals throughout the earth,’ of the cuckoo. Finally, each creature operates as a temporal “signpost” for a given human activity: a midsummer fête champêtre and siesta (the cicada), autumn plowing (the crane), and spring plowing (the cuckoo). That these creatures have a distinct “signpost” function becomes explicit in the very prominence of temporal expressions used, particularly ἦμος (‘when’)—τῆμος (‘at that time’) τότ ’ ἤδη (‘already at this time’) (582-588); εὖτ ’ ἄν (‘when’)—ἐνιαύσια (‘annually’) —δή τότε (‘at that time indeed’) (448-452); ἦμος (‘when’)—τὸ πρῶτον (‘first’)—τῆμος (‘at that time’)—τρίτῳ ἤματι (‘on the third day’)—οὕτω (‘now’) (486-490), and in the emphasis on seasons: θέρεος καματώδεος ὥρῃ (‘in the season of fatiguing summer/ 584), χείματος ὥρην … ὀμβρηροῦ (‘the season of rainy winter,’ 450- 451). Timing is clearly of utmost importance in these passages; nature provides seasonal “signposts”  or cues by way of certain creatures, and human beings are urged to synchronize punctiliously their actions, indeed even their entertainments, with these cues. The typological parallels in the demotic tradition that deal with animals and particularly birds may raise certain implications about the Hesiodic use of certain creatures as “time reckoners” or harbingers. Specific details of modern-day animal songs find parallels in the Hesiodic passages quoted, but in general it is the bird songs and the song of the cicada ( tzitzikas) which suggest a sufficient number of indisputably traditional features to establish that these songs have a long oral history of their own. At the same time, the features which they share with the Hesiodic passages cited previously indicate that, ultimately, they belong to a similarly determined tradition. We may remark in passing that this apparent affinity with the Hesiodic tradition, even in points of detail, probably reflects not so much faithful oral transmission as a continuity in the function and context of these songs. It is only natural that songs devoted to a seasonal harbinger and regarded as promoting or completing some practical or magical process should be handed on with minimal verbal change from generation to generation. An obvious, but hardly unique, example of a song connected with the passage to a new season and its attendant concerns is the ‘swallow song,’ or χελιδόνισμα (khelidonisma), as Greek folklorists have dubbed it:
Ἦρθε κι’ ἄλλη μελιηδόνα,
Κάθησε καὶ λάλησε,
Καὶ γλυκὰ κελάδησε-
5 “Μάρτη, Μάρτη μου καλέ
Καὶ Φλεβάρη φοβερέ,
Κἄν φλεγίσῃς, κἄν τσικνίσῃς,
Καλοκαίρι θὰ μυρίσῃς·
Κἄν χωνίσῃς, κἄν κακίσῃς,
10 Πάλιν ἄνοιξιν θ’ ἀνθήςῃς.
Τὴν στεριὰν δὲν ξέσχασα,
Κύματα κἄν ἔσχισα,
15 Ἔφυγα κι’ ἀφῆκα σῦκα,
Καὶ σταυρὸν καὶ θημωνίτσαν,
Κ’ ἦρθα τώρα κ’ ηὗρα φίτρα,
Κ’ ηὗρα χόρτα, σπάρτα βλίτρα,
Βλίτρα, βλίτρα, φίτρα, φίτρα.”
20 Σὺ καλὴ οἰκοκυρά
Ἔμπα στὸ κελλάρι σου,
Φέρ’ αὐγὰ περδικωτά
Καὶ πωλιὰ σαρακοστά,
Δόσε καί μιάν όρνιθίτσαν,
25 Φέρε καὶ μιὰν κουλουρίτσαν.
Ωρισεν ὁ δάσκαλος,
Καὶ ὁ θιὸς ποὺ τἄδωκε,
Ν’ ἀγοράσωμεν ὀχτώ,
Νὰ πωλῶμεν δεκοχτώ,
30 Νά κερδαίνωμεν τριάντα,
Διάφορα μεγάλα πάντα,
Καὶ στὸ σπίτι καὶ στὴν χώρα
Μέσα ’ δῶ ποὔρθαμεν τώρα,
Μέσα γειά, μέσα χαρά,
35 Στὸν ἀφέντην, στὴν κυράν,
Στὰ παιδιὰ καὶ στοὺς γονεῖς,
Σ’ ὅλους τους τοὺς συγγενεῖς.
Μέσα Μάρτης, ἔξω ψύλλοι,
Ἔξ’ ὠχθροί, σᾶς τρῶν οἱ σκύλοι.
40 Μέσα φίλοι, μέσα’ υθηνιά
Καὶ χαραῖς, χοροί, παιγνίδια
Κ’ ἐφέτος καὶ τοῦ χρόνου
Καὶ τοῦ χρόνου κι’ ἄλλα χίλια.
The swallow has come, the swallow has come,
and another honey-sweet singer too,
it sat and chirruped
and sweetly warbled.
5 “March, my good March,
and dread February,
if you flame up and scorch,
you’ll smell of summer.
And if you snow and act mean,
10 still you flower into spring.
I crossed the sea and didn’t forget land;
no matter how many waves I skimmed through,
I sowed and stored up savings.
15 I went away and left behind figs
and crucifix and threshing heap;
and now come back, I find shoots
and weeds, sprouts and herbs,
herbs, herbs, sprouts, sprouts.”
20 And you, dear housewife,
go to your pantry
and fetch partridge eggs
and Lenten fowl
and give us a baby hen,
25 fetch a little cake, too.
The teacher ordained it,
and so did God,
that we should buy eight
in order to sell eighteen,
30 in order to win some thirty
both at home and in town.
Now that we’re here,
let’s wish health and joy
35 to the master, his wife,
children and parents,
and all relations.
In with March, out with fleas,
out with enemies,—may dogs eat you.
40 Come in, friends, come in, cheap prices
and pleasures, dances, games,
both this year and next,
and the year after and a thousand years after.
ἀπ’ τὴ Μαύρη Θάλασσα
ἔκατσε καὶ λάλησε
καὶ γλυκὰ κελάϊδισε.
5 Ποιόναν πρωτολάλησε;
τὸν δάσκαλο κι’ ἐμᾶς.
“— Μάρτη, Μάρτη μου καλέ
καὶ ᾽Απρίλη μου χρυσέ,
τὶ καλὰ μᾶς φέρνετε;
10 —Τὰ καλὰ καὶ τ’ ἀγαθά·
ἔξω ψύλλοι καὶ ποντίκια,
μέσα ἥλιος καὶ χαρά!”
Σήκου, καλὴ νοικοκυρά,
βάλε τὰ πατίκια σου,
15 ἔμπα στὸ κελλάρι σου,
φέρ’ εἰκοσιοχὸ αὐγά
γιὰ μᾶς τὰ τέσσερα
τ’ ἄλλα γιὰ τὸν δάσκαλο.
A swallow crossed
the Black Sea
and sat and chirupped
and sweetly warbled.
5 To whom did she first sing?
To the teacher and us.
“March, my good March
and my golden April,
what good things do you bring us?
10 — Nice and good things:
out with fleas and mice,
come in, sun and joy!”
Get up, good housewife,
put on your woollen slippers,
15 go to your pantry,
fetch twenty-eight eggs,
four for us,
the rest for the teacher.
καὶ ’Απρίλη θαμαστέ,
ὅσοι μεῖς οἱ μαθηταί
5 ν’ ἀγοράζουμεν ἑφτά,
νὰ ποῦλουμε δεκαεφτά.
Τὸ ρακὶν εἰς τὸ ποτῆρι
καὶ τὰ σῦκα στὸ μαντῆλι.
Δῶστε μας τὴν ὄρνιθά μας,
10 μὴ μᾶς δέρῃ ὁ δάσκαλός μας
κι ᾽ ἔχετε τὸ κρίμα μας
καὶ τὴν ἁμαρτία μας.
πάει πέρα κι᾽ ἔρχεται
15 καὶ φέρνει μας τὴν εἴδηση
πὼς εἶναι καλοκαίρι.
’Ποὺ πάνω ᾽που τὸ σπίτι σας ἔχει μιὰν περιστέρα,
κι ἀνοίξετε τὴν πόρτα σας νὰ ποῦμε καλησπέρα.
March, my good March,
and wondrous April,
those of us pupils
who have learned
5 to buy seven,
to sell seventeen.
Raki in our glass
and figs in our handkerchief!
Give us our hen,
10 lest our schoolmaster should beat us,
and [sc. as a result] you should bear our guilt
and our sin.
We send a swallow,
it goes yonder and comes back,
15 and brings us the news
that it’s summer.
Above your house there’s a dove,
so open your door so that we might bid you good evening!
καλὰς ὥρας ἄγουσα,
ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκά,
5 ἐπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα.
παλάθαν σὺ προκύκλει
ἐκ πίονος οἴκου
οἴνου τε δέπαστρον
τυροῦ τε κάνυστρον
10 καὶ πύρνα χελιδὼν
οὐκ ἀπωθεῖται· πότερ’ ἀπίωμες ἡ λαβώμεθα;
εἰ μέν τι δώσεις· εἰ δὲ μή, οὐκ ἐάσομες·
ἤ τὰν θύραν φέρωμες ἤ τὸ ὑπέρθυρον
15 ἤ τὰν γυναῖκα τὰν ἔσω καθημέναν·
μικρὰ μέν ἐστι, ῥαιδίως νιν οἴσομες.
ἄν δὴ +φέρηις τι, μέγα δή τι +φέροις·
ἄνοιγ ἄνοιγε τὰν θύραν χελιδόνι·
οὐ γὰρ γέροντές ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ παιδία.
bringing fair seasons,
white on its [hungry] belly,
5 black on its back.
You, roll out the round cake
from the grand house
and a little goblet of wine
and a basket of cheese, too;
10 both wheat loaves
and pulse bread the swallow
does not reject [i.e., welcomes]; well, shall we depart or take them ourselves?
If you give us something… ; if not, we shan’t leave you alone:
we shall carry away either your door or its lintel
15 or the lady sitting within;
she’s quite petite, so that we’ll easily carry her away.
If you do offer something, may you offer something big;
open, open the door for the swallow,
for we’re not old men but little children!
καὶ μέλι ἐν κοτύληι καὶ ἔλαιον ἀναφήσασθαι
καὶ κύλικ’ εὐζώροιο, ὅπως μεθύουσα καθεύδηι.
honey in a pot, and oil to rub down,
and a cup of neat wine so that you [feminine] might go to bed drunk.
μέσα ψύλλοι καὶ κοριοί. 
Out with March and Easter,
in with fleas and bed-bugs.
This rhyming “exorcism” correlates nicely with the very words intoned by some housewives at dawn on March 1. They scour the house and, tossing out a token of rubbish and dirt, they utter these lines:
μέσα Μάρτης καὶ χαρά
καὶ καλὴ νοικοκυρά. 
Out with fleas and bed-bugs,
in with March and joy
and good housewife.
Certain other details of the songs also make good sense if regarded in the light of the seasonal setting just outlined. The swallow’s voyage across the sea—which may be the Black or (apotropaically) the White Sea in the songs—corresponds symbolically with the transition from winter to summer. This notional transition is reflected no doubt in the prominent verbs of motion (e.g., ἦλθεν, ἐπέρασεν, ‘has come, has crossed [sc. the sea]’). Μάρτη μου καλὲ (‘my good March’) may well be another euphemism, comparable to vv. 2-3 of the ancient song, as has been remarked earlier.
κ’ ἐμὲ κουκκὶ ἀφήσετε,
κι ἄν εἶν’ καὶ δὲ μ’ ἀφήσετε,
τοῦ χρόνου νὰ μὴ ζήσετε
τζιτζὶ βιτζί, τζιτζὶ-βιτζί.
My children, go swim,
and leave me a kernel,
and if you don’t leave me anything,
may you not live next year.
Moreover, the song of the cicada (above) recorded by Kyriakides preserves the features common both to the khelidonisma and the WD‘s treatment of the crane, cuckoo, and the cicada. By means of the twin brush strokes of θερίσετ’, ἁλωνίσετε (‘harvest, thresh’ [imperative]) the cicada sets up a generalized locus amoenus for himself: he unselfconsciously portrays himself as presiding over the wheat harvest and threshing. These imperatives are implicit time-markers as well; the cicada identifies himself as the harbinger of the θερισμός (‘harvest’) and ἁλωνισμός (‘threshing’) at summer. More specifically, on pain of exacting retribution (his curse), he demands a share of the harvest—a morsel (koukki), as he calls it. The morsel in question is to be connected with the cicada cake which is offered as a gift of thanksgiving for a good harvest.
2 ἀ δ’ ὤρα χαλέπα, πάντα δὲ δίψαισ’ ὐπὰ καύματος,
ἄχει δ’ ἐκ πετάλων ἄδεα τέττιξ …
ἄνθει δὲ σκόλυμος, νῦν δέ γυναῖκες μιαρώταται.
λέπτοι δ’ ἄνδρες, ἐπεὶ < >κεφάλαν καὶ γόνα Σείριος
Soak your lungs in wine, for the Star is on the rise
2 and the season is harsh, everything is athirst because of the heat,
and from the leaves the cicada echoes sweetly…
the golden thistle is aflower and now women are lustful [or polluted] in the extreme
while men are weak, since the Dog Star dries out their
head and knees.
It is especially significant to note how little divergence there is between the texts, despite what must be a long-standing difference in the poetic traditions which motivated these two versions. To understand these similarities in content, we need not confine ourselves to the conventional classification of original poem and subsequent imitation:  we should examine the general traditions surrounding the context of the harvest and threshing.