Of the Jews (50 A.D.) The Canon
Ianthes, son of Antonius, was beautiful like Endymion;
a painter and a poet, a runner and a thrower of the disc;
of a family with a leaning for the Synagogue.
“My noblest days are those
on which I forego the pursuit of aesthetic impressions,
when I abandon the beautiful, yet hard, Greek life
with its dominant attachment
to perfectly shapen and corruptible white limbs.
And I become, what I would wish
always to remain, a son of the Jews, of the holy Jews.”
Very earnest, this assertion,
“always to remain a son of the Jews, of the holy Jews”.
But he did not remain as such at all.
The Hedonism and the Art of Alexandria
had in him a devoted son.

Translated by George Valassopoulo

(Unpublished draft from the Cavafy Archive)
Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

- Translation by Stratis Haviaras