Anyte of Tegea, Epigram

Anyte of Tegea was a Greek poet who flourished in the early third century BCE. A native of Arcadia, she may have led a school of poetry in Pelopponesus. This short epigram refers to three virgins who chose to commit suicide rather than be taken alive by the Gaulish invaders who raided Miletus (on the western edge of Asia Minor) c. 277 BCE.

The following is anĀ adaptation fromĀ The Greek Anthology, vol. 2, trans. W. R. Paton. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1917.

We leave you, o Miletus, dear fatherland, three maidens, your citizens, refusing the lawless love of the wicked Gauls [Galatae], we whom the sword of the Celts [Keltoi] forced to this fate. We did not allow the unholy union or any wedding, but we instead put ourselves in the protection of Hades.