My girlfriend and I have bought our own house, our very first. We'll move in in a few days time (we're current racing to get the house ready). The journey getting here was very rough--everything that could go wrong, did go wrong and there was a lot of stress and tension. Through it all, however, my girlfriend and I have remained close and our relationship has grown stronger for it. We are so excited to have our own, completely private, space, finally.

Today I am posting a little love note to my girl. It's from the Anacreontea (Ἀνακρεόντεια), the title given to a collection of some 60 Greek poems. The poems date to between the 1st century BC and the 6th century AD, and are attributed pseudepigraphically to Anacreon. The collection is preserved in the same 10th-century manuscript as the Anthologia Palatina (Palatinus gr. 23), together with some other poetry.

Beauty outside as well as in, my love. Forgive the sexist bit, these were the ancient Hellenes after all!

Anacreontea, 24.8-13
Nature gave bulls horns
Hooves to horses
Swift feet to hares
A mouth of teeth to lions
Swimming to fish
Flight to birds
And wisdom to men.
What did nature give to women?
stronger than all shields and spears.
A woman who is beautiful
conquers both iron and fire.
(Φύσις κέρατα ταύροις,
ὁπλὰς δ’ ἔδωκεν ἵπποις,
ποδωκίην λαγωοῖς,
λέουσι χάσμ’ ὀδόντων,
τοῖς ἰχθύσιν τὸ νηκτόν,
τοῖς ὀρνέοις πέτασθαι,
τοῖς ἀνδράσιν φρόνημα·
γυναιξὶν οὐν ἔτ᾿ εἶχεν
τί οὖν; δίδωσι κάλλος
ἀντ᾿ ἀσπίδων ἁπασῶν
ἀντ᾿ ἐγχέων ἁπάντων
νικᾷ δὲ καὶ σίδηρον
καὶ πῦρ καλή τις οὖσα)