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Table of Contents > 1.29-1.34 Anacreon

1.29: Anacreon, fragment 347 PMG
Athenaeus (12.540e) and Aelian (VH 9.4) record that Anacreon's praise of the boy Smerdis provoked the jealousy of the tyrant Polycrates, who ordered the boy's long hair cut off. The beginning of the fragment is missing.
. . . (you lack) the hair, which once shaded
Your neck in abundance.
But now you are smooth-browed,
And your hair, falling into rough hands,
5 Has tumbled down in a heap
Into the black dust.36
Bravely did it meet the slash of steel.
But I am wasted away with sorrow.
For what can one do,
10 When one fails even for Thrace?37

1.30: Anacreon, fragment 357 PMG
This text is probably a complete poem in the form of a cletic hymn (see 1:5 and 1:6) to Dionysus, the god of wine. But the poem functions as a riddle, since the god's identity and relevance are not revealed until the end. Drunkenness will make the boy more receptive.
Lord, with whom Eros the subduer
And the dark-eyed Nymphs
And rosy-skinned Aphrodite
Play, you roam about
5 The lofty mountain peaks.
I beseech you, please come to us
Well-disposed, and hear
Our prayer with favor.
Become a good advisor to Cleobulus,38
10 That he accept my love,
O Dionysus.

1.31: Anacreon, fragment 358 PMG
Once again golden-haired Eros,
Hitting me with a purple ball,
Calls me out to play
With a fancy-sandaled maid.
5 But she, haling from
Well-endowed Lesbos,39 finds fault
With my hair, for it's white.
She gapes open-mouthed at another girl40.

1.32: Anacreon, fragment 359 PMG
I love Cleobulus,
I am mad for Cleobulus,
I gaze at Cleobulus.

1.33: Anacreon, fragment 360 PMG
Boy with a maiden's glance,
I seek you out, but you hear not,
Unknowing that you are the charioteer
Of my soul.

1.34: Anacreon, fragment 402(c) PMG
Boys would love me for my words,
For I sing graceful things, and I know how to say graceful things.
This website makes available to the public the first two chapters of Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents, edited by Thomas K. Hubbard and published by University of California Press in April 2003. The index also lists the rest of the sourcebook's contents; the book may be ordered at, list price $34.95 paperback. In addition, a file of close to 200 pertinent artistic images is assembled, including those published in the sourcebook and many others. Acknowledgement is made to University of California Press for permission to reproduce this material, as well as to the various museums that have granted permission to use their photographic images. Comments may be directed to Prof. Hubbard at