Anyte of Tegea
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Anyte of Tegea (Greek: Ἀνύτη Τεγεᾶτις, Anýtē Tegeâtis; fl. early 3rd century BC) was an Arcadian poet, admired by her contemporaries and later generations for her charming epigrams and epitaphs. Antipater of Thessalonica listed her as one of the nine earthly muses.
At least 18 of her epigrams, written in the Doric dialect, survive in the Greek Anthology; an additional six are doubtfully attributed to her. Even so, we have more complete poems by Anyte than by any other Greek woman, since the nine books of Sappho survive only in fragments.
She was the first to write epitaphs for animals, and one of the first known to write vivid descriptions of untamed nature. The following example (translated by Marilyn B. Skinner) is of a statue of Aphrodite, often known as the "Cyprian" because of her origin:
- This is the site of the Cyprian, since it is agreeable to her
- to look ever from the mainland upon the bright sea
- that she may make the voyage good for sailors. Around her the sea
- trembles looking upon her polished image.
- M. J. Baale, Studia in Anytes Poetriae Vitam et Carminum Reliquias (Haarlem, 1903)
- Bibliography for Anyte at A Hellenistic Bibliography, compiled and maintained by Martine Cuypers, Trinity College Dublin.