A dog’s epitaph

In light of a recent canine death in the family, I thought I would publish this nice little epitaph from the Inscriptiones Graecae, and some of my notes on it.

Τὴν τρίβον ὃς παράγεις, ἂν πως τόδε σῆμα νοήσῃς,
 μή, δέομαι, γελάσῃς, εἰ κυνός ἐστι τάφος·
ἐκλαύσθην· χεῖρες δὲ κόνιν συνέθηκαν ἄνακτος,
 ὅς μου καὶ στήλῃ τόνδ’ ἐχάραξε λόγον.

IG 14.2128

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Some couplets on a moribund snowman I passed on a walk yesterday

ἠέλιον φεύγοντ’, ὦ χειματίδη, σε θεῶμαι
 μοῖραν ἀμύνεσθαι δάκρυσι μυδαλεήν
μαψιδίως· ἦ γὰρ κατὰ νῦν Ἀίδαο δόμονδε
 δύσεαι οὐλοδαής, ἠὲ, ἄνερ χιόνος,
τυτθόν περ καθύπερθε τετηγμένος ἤματι τῷδε 5
 ἠελίοιο φάει αὔριον ἀποθανῇ;

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Epigram to the Spartans at Thermopylae (Simonides)

Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοισ’, ὅτι τῇδε
 κείμεθα τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.

ξεῖν[ε] (var. ξένος vocative singular) ‘stranger!’ Germanic *gastiz, Slavic *gostь, Latin hostisἀγγέλλειν is an infinitive as imperativeΛακεδαιμονίοισ[ι] ‘to the Spartans’—ὅτι (conjunction) ‘that’—τῇδε ‘here’ (originally sc. χώρᾳ = ‘in this place’)

κείμεθα (κεῖμαι 1pl) ‘we lie (dead)’—κείνων (κεῖνος genitive plural) refers to Λακεδαιμόνιοι—ῥήμασι (ῥῆμα dative plural) ‘words, speech’ = ‘orders’—πειθόμενοι (πείθω present medio-passive participle) ‘obeying’

Note the use of the present, and not aorist, participle πειθόμενοι; the 300 were commanded not just to fight but to die, and so even in lying dead they continue to obey their orders.

O stranger, report to the Spartans that here
 we lie, obeying their words.