Song of Seikilos (epitaph, 1st century)


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  • Words ail me.

I'm planning to incorporate a line from the Song of Seikilos into a tattoo. I intend to use the original Greek, exactly as inscribed on the pillar:

Here's a clearer view of the relevant part of the inscription:

Here's a transliteration of the words, courtesy of Wikipedia:

    Hoson zēs, phainou
    Mēden holōs sy lypou;
    Pros oligon esti to zēn
    To telos ho chronos apaitei

And an English translation:

    While you live, shine
    Don't suffer anything at all;
    Life exists only a short while
    And time demands its toll.

I need to know where the line breaks would occur in the original inscription if the words were arranged in four lines, as in the transliteration and the translation. Thank you!
The  inscription includes musical notation.  Hear the music here:
For the tattoo, see
« Last Edit: 15 Oct, 2011, 18:41:49 by spiros »


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