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Meleager's Epitaph. from the Greek. 50 B.C.

"Meleager is my name..."
My father was Eucrates.
Meleager is my name.
Born in Gadara, Palestine
I came of age in Tyre...

Click MORE below for a full translation of this composite epitaph.

Meleager was born in Palestine, in Gadara. A consummate man of letters, he added hundreds of first-rate epigrams to the Greek canon and also compiled and edited the motherlode manuscript of the epigrammatic tradition, on which all subsequent versions of the current Greek Anthology are based. In his own epitaph, over two thousand years old, he presents himself as a man of the World and suggests his readers take an all-inclusive view of the Human Family.



Meleager's Epitaph - translated by Michael Wolfe

My father was Eucrates.
Meleager is my name.
Born in Gadara, Palestine
I came of age in Tyre.

A Syrian?
Don’t be surprised.
All men share one homeland
Called the World.

If you’re Syrian, Salam!
If Phoenician, Haudoni!
If Greek, then Xaire!
Hail! And wish

The ancient babbler well.
May you
When you grow old
Be this loquacious!

+

(I wrote these lines in my notebook
Before they buried me.
Old age and death
Are next-door neighbors.)


Composed from two epitaphs.
For original Greek,
see The Greek Anthology 7.417 and 7.419.

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