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Pa'lladas

*Palla/das), the author of a large number of epigrams in the Greek Anthology, which some scholars consider the best in the collection, while others regard them as almost worthless: their real characteristic is a sort of elegant mediocrity. Almost all that we know of the poet is gathered from the epigrams themselves.

In the Vatican MS. he is called an Alexandrian. With regard to his time, he is mentioned by Tzetzes between Proclus and Agathias (Proleg. ad Lycoph. p. 285, Müller); but a more exact indication is furnished by one of his epigrams (No. 115), in which he speaks of Hypatia, the daughter of Theon, as still alive : now Hypatia was murdered in A.D. 415. [HYPATIA]. He was a grammarian; but at some period he renounced the profession, which he complains that his poverty had compelled him to follow: a quarrelsome wife afforded him another subject of bitter complaint in his verses (Epig. 41-46; comp. 9, 14).


Christian or not?

The question has been raised whether he was a Christian or a heathen; but his epigrams leave little doubt upon the subject. To say nothing of a caustic distich on the number of the monks, which a Christian might very well have written (Ep. 84), there is another epigram, the irony of which is manifest, in which he refers to statues of heathen deities being rescued from destruction by their conversion into the images of Christian saints, an important testimony, by the way, to the practice referred to (Paralip. e Cod. Vat. No. 67., vol xiii. p. 661, Jacobs; it is worthy of remark that the title is Παλλάδα τοῦ μετεώρον). But the clearest proof that he was not a Christian is furnished by his bitter epigram on the edict of Theodosius for the destruction of the pagan temples and idols (No. 70), the tone of which, and the reference of the last three lines, especially the middle one, it is impossible to mistake:-- “Ἑλληνές ἐσμεν ἄνδρες ἐσποδωμένοι,
νεκρῶν ἔχοντες ἐλπίδας τεθαμμένων.
ἀνεστράφη γὰρ πάντα νῦν τὰ πράγματα.


Works

Of the 147 epigrams in Brunck's Analecta (vol. ii. pp. 406-436), the 22nd is ascribed in the Vatican MS. to Lucian, and the 33rd to Rarus (but to Palladas in the Planudean Anthology): on the other hand, there are to be added to the number. on the authority of the Vatican MS., the one which stands under the name of Themistius (Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 404), the 96th of Lucillius (Ib. p. 337), the 442nd of the anonymous epigrams (Anal. vol. iii. p. 245), and those numbered 67, 112-115, 132, and 206, in the Paralipomena e Codice Vaticano. (Jacobs, Anth. Graec. vol. iii. pp. 49, 112, 114-145, vol. iv. p. 212, vol. xiii. pp. 661, 687-689, 699, 741, 927, 928.


Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iv. pp. 485, 486.

[P.S]

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