Greek text in old painting

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by HocusJocus, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. HocusJocus New Member


    I'm new here and actually just registered in order to present to you - and hopefully solve - a small puzzle. In my family we have an interesting painting, dated 1823. It is not particularly well-made, but the motif is interesting: Not only because it shows binge drinking at what is probably a students' gathering back then, but also because it has Greek text in two places. The reason for this oddity I do not know, but I assume Greek was the lingua franca in scholar circles in Norway at that time.

    I'll try to upload the Greek parts here:

    IMG_2155.jpg IMG_2163.jpg

    Does anyone have a clue what the Greek words mean? The word "symposium" (?) I might understand, but not the rest. And I should add that even though the painter might have hade Greek on his student curriculum, there are no guarantees that he was a very good student in the subject..

    Thanks :)
  2. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Well, the second one means "the end of two symposia" (with the meaning of drinking party I guess). In the first one, it looks like there's a third word after symposium?
  3. HocusJocus New Member

    Thank you for deciphering the text on the wall, ireney. So it turns out the text only describes what we see, i.e. a drinking party. Yes, there is a third word in the first picture. Could you please give that a shot as well?
  4. sotos Senior Member

    The first picture says ΔΥΟΙΝ ΣΥΜΠΟΣΙΟΙΝ ΤΕΛΟΣ. It's in the archaic δυϊκός αριθμός and probably means "end of two symposia" or possibly "end between two symposia". The second (letters over the door) looks like "Λυονται συμποσια[ ...]" (symposia ending ?) but there are letters missing.
  5. HocusJocus New Member

    Thank you sotos. It is possible that the edges of the painting have been cut in connection with a re-framing. Or maybe the painter just ran out of space for the last letters. Anyways, thanks to your help, it seems that both texts regard endings of symposia. So the mystery is solved. The painting does in fact contain a third text, too, but sadly, the words are too small or smudged to be deciphered.

Share This Page