II-III sec. d.C.

FILOSTRATO, Eikones, II, 2, Marsyas

Traduzione tratta da: Philostratus the Elder, Imagines, a cura di Fairbanks A., William Heinemann Ltd, Londra 1931, pp. 294-297


The Phrygian has been overcome; at any rate his glance is that of a man already perished, since he knows what he is to suffer, and he realizes that he has played the flute for the last time, inasmuch as inopportunely he acted with effrontery towards the son of Leto. His flute has been thrown away, condemned never to be played again, since just now it has been convicted of playing out of tune.and he stands near the pine tree from wich he knows he will be suspended, he himself having named this penalty for himself – to be skinned for a wine-bottle. He glances furtively at the barbarian yonder who is whetting the edge of the knife to be applied to him; for you see, I am sure, that the man’s hands are on the whetstone and the iron, but that he looks up at Marsyas with glaring eyes, his wild and squalid hair all bristling. The red on his cheek betokens, i think, a man thirsty for blood, and his eye overhangs the eye, all contracted as it faces the light and giving a certain stamp to his anger; nay, he grins, too, a savage grin in anticipation of what he is about to do – I am not sure whether because he is glad or because his mind swells in pride as he looks forward to the slaughter. But Apollo is painted as resting upon a rock; the lyre wich lies on his left arm is still being struck by gi left hand in gentle fashion, as thoug playing a tune. You see the relaxed form of the god and the smile lighting up his face; his right hand rests on his lap, gently grasping the plectrum, relaxed because of his joy in the victory. Here also is the river wich is to change ist name to that of Marsyas. And look, please, at the band of Satyrs, how they are represented ad bewailing Marsyas, but as displaying, along with their grief, their playful spirit and their disposition to leap about.