Nicarchus


Biography of Nicarchus

Nicarchus or Nicarch was a Greek poet and writer of the 1st century AD, best known for his epigrams, of which forty-two survive under his name in the Greek Anthology, and his satirical poetry. He was a contemporary of, and influence on, the better-known Latin writer Martial. A large proportion of his epigrams are directed against doctors. Some of his writings have been found at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt.

A fragment of Nicarchus:

The Raven

The gloom of death is on the raven’s wing,
The song of death is in the raven’s cries:
But when Demophilus begins to sing,
The raven dies.

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Foreign Flesh



No one, Charidemus,
Can constantly sleep with his own wife
And take heart-felt pleasure in it.
Our nature is so fond of titillation,
Such a luster after foreign flesh,
That it persists in seeking the illusion
Of a strange case.

translated by William Roger Paton

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