John of Gaza – searchable text

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Tabula Mundi 1.1-9, 307-10

Π φρομαι; πτερεις με δι ἠέρος μφρονι οζ
Σειρνων λιγύφωνος γει θρος· ν δ μενοιν
Μουσων πλκτροισιν μσσομαι ρσενι κντρ,
ρπων ξενα κλευθα, κα αθρι πεζς δτης
λύσσαν χων γονεσσαν ερομαι·

…φύλαξ δ τις Ωκεανοο
γγελικς στρατις πτερεις ντειλεν βύσσου
υἱέος ορανου τεκμρια χειρ κομζων,
ρρτου σοφης νοερν ξύλον μφρονος ζου.

Where am I taken? The Sirens take me through the air
on the crystalline murmur of their winged voice that bursts with meaning;
The Muses fan my desire using their plectrum as a spur
and I tread the foreign paths of the sky, a traveller on foot, raised by a creative transport.

…Ocean’s winged guardian,
belonging to the angelical host, rises from the abyss,
in his hands he brings the symbol of the celestial son,
the noetic wood, the spiritual branch of unspeakable wisdom.


D. Gigli (2011), ‘John of Gaza and the Late Antique Greek Ekphrastic Poetry’, in David Hernández de la Fuente (ed.), New Perspectives on Late Antiquity (Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars), 288-304

Anacreontics 6. 76-80

Γνυμαι τ τερπν πσχων
σορν γαλμα κσμου
περουσίῳ φρονσει,
περ νυσα ξυνπτων
ς λγοισι δσας.

I enjoy feeling pleasure
in admiring with superessential mind
the image of the universe;
I succeed in grasping it
through noetic words.


D. Gigli (2014), ‘Poetic Inspiration in John of Gaza: Emotional Upheaval and Ecstasy in a Neoplatonic Poet’, in K. Spanoudakis (ed.) (2014) Nonnus of Panopolis in Context: Poetry and Cultural Milieu in Late Antiquity with a Section on Nonnus and the Modern World (Berlin/Boston, Walter De Gruyter), 403-20.