previous next

And when, after this, Aemilianus said,—But, my good friend Masurius, I myself, often, being a lover of music, turn my thoughts to the instrument which is called the magadis, and cannot decide whether I am to think that it was a species of flute or some kind of harp. For that sweetest of poets, Anacreon, says somewhere or other—
I hold my magadis and sing,
Striking loud the twentieth string,
Leucaspis, as the rapid hour
Leads you to youth's and beauty's flower.
But Ion of Chios, in his Omphale, speaks of it as if it were a species of flute, in the following words—
And let the Lydian flute, the magadis,
Breathe its sweet sounds, and lead the tuneful song.
And Aristarchus the grammarian, (a man whom Panætius the Rhodian philosopher used to call the Prophet, because he [p. 1013] could so easily divine the meanings of poem ,) when explaining this verse, affirms that the magadis was a kind of flute: though Aristoxenus does not say so either in his treatise on the Flute-players or in that on Flutes and other Musical Instruments; nor does Archestratus either,—and he also wrote two books on Flute-players; nor has Pyrrhander said so in his work on Flute-players; nor Phillis the Delian, —for he also wrote a treatise on Flute-players and so did Euphranor. But Tryphon, in the second book of his essay on Names, speaks thus—“The flute called magadis.” And in another place he says—"The magadis gives a shrill and deep tone at the same time, as Anaxandrides inti- mates in his Man fighting in heavy Armour, were we find the line—
I will speak to you like a magadis,
In soft and powerful sounds at the same time.
And, my dear Masurius, there is no one else except you who can solve this difficulty for me.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
load focus Greek (Kaibel)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: