Type 32862

Τζέτζου ῥητορικῆς ἀδαήμονος ἥδε γε βίβλος,
ὡς φάσαν οἵπερ ἔφαντο· ἀληθέα ταῦτα δὲ εἶπον.
Οὐκ ἴδον, οὐ δεδάηκα <τὰ> ῥήτορος ὄργια Μούσης,
οὐδὲ βίβλων γενόμην ἐμπείραμος, αἵ ῥ' ἐνὶ γαίῃ
παντοίην μερόπεσσι δαημοσύνην ἐδίδαξαν.
Ἀλλ' ἀνέρες ναίοντες ἀν' Ἑλλάδα Βαρβαρίην τε,
ἠμὲν ἐπ' ἠῴην τε καὶ ἑσπερίην ὑπὸ πέζαν,
ἠδ' ὅσοι ἐς νοτίην τε καὶ ἀρκτούροιο κελεύθους,
δεῦτε, θεμιστοπόλοι ἱερῆς γίνεσθε θέμιστος.
Ἔψια ἥδε βίβλος Τζετζήϊα· δείδια δ' αἰνῶς,
μὴ κρέα ἑψόμενα γνοίη ῥήτωρ [ὁ] λογογράφος,
ὃν κεῖνοι κήρυξαν ὁμοῖον, ὁμοῖοι ἐόντες.
Ἔψια ἥδε βίβλος, νοέοντες κρίνατε δ' ἔμπης,
ὡς ὀνύχων κρίνουσιν ὀρειλεχέα τέκνα λεόντων.
Γνόντες δ' οἷα λόγοισι σοφοὶ κρίνουσι πολῖται,
ἡμετέρης πόλιος βασιληΐδος ἐνναετῆρες
ὀλλυμένην σοφίην συγκλήτου κλαύσατ' ἐρανῆς.
Title(s) Τοῦ αὐτοῦ στίχοι ἡρωικοί
Text source P. Leone 1969, Ioannis Tzetzae Iambi, Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici (RSBN), 6, 127-156: 144
Text status Text completely known
Editorial status Not a critical text
John Tzetzes (12th c.) - PBW: Ioannes/459/
Metre(s) Dactylic hexameter
Translation(s) This is the book of Tzetzes unskilled in rhetoric
as said by those who spoke: and the truth they spoke.
I am unaware, I have not been initiated in the rites of the Muse of rhetoric,
nor was I skilled in the use of the books which spread
all kinds of knowledge, teaching men all over the earth.
But you, men dwelling in the Greek and in the barbarian lands,
both East and in the far West,
and you (who inhabit) the South and the paths of North,
here you are ministers of what is right, of the holy justice.
This book is a joke by Tzetzes: I am terribly afraid
that the rhetor, writer of prose might recognize the pieces of meat (already) boiled
he, whom they proclaimed as equal, being equals.
This book is a joke, and yet, mindful of that, judge it all the same,
just as the cubs of the mountain lions are judged from their claws.
Knowing on the contrary which things the wise citizens judge in speeches
you, dwellers of our regal city,
should mourn the detrimental wisdom of the lovely senate.
C. D'Agostini, A. Pizzone 2021, Clawing Rhetoric Back: Humor and Polemic in Tzetzes’ Hexameters on the Historiai, Parekbolai, 11, 123-158: 127
Comment The epigram is transmitted in at least four manuscripts as the third in a series of four epigrams written by John Tzetzes. Cf. Pizzone (2020: 682): 'In four MSS. belonging to recension b, the corpus of letters and ‘stories’ is followed by a series of free-standing poems: a first and shorter poem (22 lines) delving into the characteristics of iambic composition and introducing the theme of children’s education; a longer one (270 lines) on education, with a colorful description of the gang of buffalos monopolizing the Constantinopolitan scene; a 17-line book epigram in hexameters; 46 final iambs written against Andronikos Kamateros.'
Number of verses 17

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Identification Vassis ICB 2005, 726: "Ioann. Tzetzes, Adversus rhetorem quendam"
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Last modified: 2023-03-30.