Homeri Batrachomuomachiae Initium

Among the fables my Latin III class is reading this week is about the battle of the frogs and mice. This made me curious about what the Renaissance translators did with the “Homeric” epic poem on this subject. Here are the opening lines Sebastian Castalio’s 1561 translation.

Ὁμήρου Βατραχομυομαχία
Ἀρχόμενος, πρῶτον Μουσῶν χορὸν ἐξ Ἑλικῶνος
ἐλθεῖν εἰς ἐμὸν ἦτορ ἐπεύχομαι, εἵνεκ’ ἀοιδῆς·
ἥν νέον ἐν δέλτοισιν ἐμοῖς ἐπὶ γούνασι θῆκα,
δῆριν ἀπειρεσίην, πολεμόκλονον ἔργον Ἄρηος·
εὐχόμενος μερόπεσσιν ἐς οὔατα πᾶσι βαλέσθαι,
πῶς μύες ἐν βατράχοισιν ἀριστεύσαντες ἔβησαν,
γηγενέων ἀνδρῶν μιμούμενοι ἔργα γιγάντων.
ὡς λόγος ἐν θνητοῖσιν ἔην· τοίην δ’ ἔχεν ἀρχήν.

Homeri Batrachomuomachia
Incipiens primum Musarum coetum ex Helicone
venire in meum cor supplico gratia cantus,
quem nuper in libellis meis super genua posui,
litem immensam, tumultuosum opus Martis,
supplicans hominibus in aures omnibus mittere:
quomodo mures in ranas egregie pugnantes iverunt,
terrigenarum virorum imitantes opera gigantum.
Sic sermo inter mortales erat, tale autem habuit principium.

from Castalio’s 1561 Homeri Opera Graecolatina Quae Quidem Nunc Extant Omnia (http://bit.ly/1cT3gmv)

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