Friday, February 5, 2010

The Tomb of Bilitis

When all is said and done regarding this person of Bilitis, she was but a myth — a creation of a clever man. But her creator wrote her history so convincingly that, for a while, learned men thought she truly had lived in ancient times. And the author ended her history's account with these poignant words:

"When the tomb was opened she appeared in the state in which a pious hand had laid her out twenty-four centuries before. Vials of perfume hung from earthen pegs, and one of them, after so long a time, was still fragrant. The polished silver mirror in which Bilitis saw herself, the little stylus which spread blue paint upon her eyelids, were found in place. A little nude Astarte, relic forever precious, still watched over the skeleton, decked with all its golden jewels and white as a branch of snow, but so soft and fragile that the moment it was breathed upon, it fell to dust."

Pierre Louÿs
Constantinople, August 1894

1 comment:

Li-An said...

Thank you for sharing. First time I see all the pictures of the book.