Christodorus of Thebes, Ekphrasis 314-350 = A.P. 2.1.311
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus
Ἔμφρονα χαλκὸν Ὅμηρος χαλκὸν Ὅμηρος M: χαλκὸς Ὅμηρον Brunck ἐδείκνυεν, οὔτε μενοινῆς
ἄμμορον οὔτε νόου κεχρημένον, ἀλλ' ἄρα μούνης
φωνῆς ἀμβροσίης, ἀνέφαινε δὲ θυιάδα τέχνην.
ἦ καὶ χαλκὸν ἔχευσεν ὁμῆ ὁμῆ Jacobs: ὁμῇ Boehringer-Boehringer: ὁ μη m: ὁμὸν m θεὸς εἴδεϊ μορφῆς·
οὐ γὰρ ἐγὼ κατὰ θυμὸν ὀίομαι, ὅττι μιν ἀνὴρ315
ἐργοπόνος χάλκευσε παρ' ἐσχαρεῶνι θαάσσων·
ἀλλ' αὐτὴ πολύμητις ἀνέπλασε χερσὶν Ἀθήνη
εἶδος ἐπισταμένη, τόπερ ᾤκεεν· ἐν γὰρ Ὁμήρῳ
αὐτὴ ναιετάουσα σοφὴν ἐφθέγγετο μολπήν.
σύννομος Ἀπόλλωνι, πατὴρ ἐμός, ἰσόθεος φὼς,320
ἵστατο θεῖος Ὅμηρος· ἔικτο μὲν ἀνδρὶ νοῆσαι
γηραλέῳ· τὸ δὲ γῆρας ἔην γλυκύ· τοῦτο γὰρ αὐτῷ
πλειοτέρην ἔσταζε χάριν· κεκέραστο δὲ κόσμῳ
αἰδοίῳ τε φίλῳ τε· σέβας δ' ἀπελάμπετο μορφῆς.
αὐχένι μὲν κύπτοντι γέρων ἐπεσύρετο βότρυς325
χαίτης, πεφορημένος, ἀμφὶ δ' ἀκουὰς
πλαζόμενος κεχάλαστο· κάτω δ' εὐρύνετο πώγων
ἀμφιταθείς, μαλακὸς δὲ καὶ εὔτροχος· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἦεν
ὀξυτενής, ἀλλ' εὐρὺς ἐπέπτατο, κάλλος ὑφαίνων
στήθεϊ γυμνωθέντι καὶ ἱμερόεντι προσώπῳ.330
γυμνὸν δ' εἶχε μέτωπον, ἐπ' ἀπλοκάμῳ δὲ μετώπῳ
ἧστο σαοφροσύνη κουροτρόφος· ἀμφὶ δ' ἄρ' ὀφρῦς
ἀμφοτέρας προβλῆτας ἐύσκοπος ἔπλασε τέχνη,
οὔτι μάτην· φαέων γὰρ ἐρημάδες ἦσαν ὀπωπαί.
ἀλλ' οὐκ ἦν ἀλαῷ ἐναλίγκιος ἀνδρὶ νοῆσαι·335
ἕζετο γὰρ κενεοῖς χάρις ὄμμασιν· ὡς δὲ δοκεύω,
τέχνη τοῦτο τέλεσσεν, ὅπως πάντεσσι φανείη
φέγγος ὑπὸ κραδίην σοφίης ἄσβεστον ἀείρων.
δοιαὶ μὲν ποτὶ βαιὸν ἐκοιλαίνοντο παρειαὶ
γήραϊ ῥικνήεντι κατάσχετοι· ἀλλ' ἐνὶ κείναις340
αὐτογενής, Χαρίτεσσι συνέστιος, ἵζανεν Αἰδώς.
Πιερικὴ δὲ μέλισσα περὶ στόμα θεῖον ἀλᾶτο,
κηρίον ὠδίνουσα μελισταγές. ἀμφοτέρας δὲ
χεῖρας ἐπ' ἀλλήλαισι ἀλλήλαισι m: ἀλλήλῃσι m τιθεὶς ἐπερείδετο ῥάβδῳ,
οἷά περ ἐν ζωοῖσιν· ἑὴν δ' ἔκλινεν ἀκουὴν345
δεξιτερήν, δόκεεν δὲ καὶ Ἀπόλλωνος ἀκούειν
ἢ καὶ Πιερίδων τινὸς ἐγγύθεν. ἐν δ' ἄρα θυμῷ
σκεπτομένῳ μὲν ἔικτο, νόος δέ οἱ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα
ἐξ ἀδύτων πεφόρητο πολυστρέπτοιο μενοινῆς,
Πιερικῆς Σειρῆνος ἀρήιον ἔργον ὑφαίνων.350
The bronze of Homer seemed alive, neither lacking eagerness, nor wanting in mind, but only missing his ambrosial voice, and it showed his inspired skill. Truly the same god [that inspired him] cast the bronze into the shape of the portrait. For in my heart I do not believe that a labouring man  cast this, sitting by his forge. But crafty Athena herself fashioned it with her hands, knowing that form in which she once abode. For, inhabiting Homer, she herself uttered his wise song. The companion of Apollo, my father, that godlike man,  divine Homer stood there; though he appeared as an old man, yet his oldage was sweet, for it endowed him with more grace. He mingled both a reverent and a loving bearing. Majesty shone forth from his form. His bunched grey hair flowed over his bent neck ; worn at the back and loosened, it wandered about his ears. And below hung a wide, round beard, both soft and flowing. For it was not pointed, but spread broadly, weaving an adornment for his bare chest, and lovely face.  He had a bare brow, and upon his hairless forehead sat self-control, the nourisher of youth. Discerning art had modelled both eyebrows jutting out, and not without reason; for his eyes were bereft of light. But he was not like a blind man to look upon,  for grace lived in the barren eyes. As it seems to me art contrived this so that he might appear to all to be carrying the unquenchable light of wisdom in his heart. Both cheeks were somewhat hollow in the grip of shrivelled old age, but on them  sat native Reverence, companion of the Graces. A Pierian bee wandered about his holy mouth, building a comb dripping with honey. And placing both hands upon one another he leant on his staff, just as in life. He inclined his right ear,  and seemed to hear Apollo or even one of the Muses nearby. He appeared as one searching in his spirit, his mind borne this way and that from a sanctuary of much-twisting designs, weaving the warlike work of the Pierian Siren. 
|Relevant guides||Homer: A Guide to Sculptural Types|