The surviving poems of Palladas are strewn through the various volumes of the Palatine Anthology. The arrangement of Palatine Anthology that I have followed is that of the Paton parallel Loeb edition and the poems of Palladas begin in Book 5. For this collection, I have numbered the poems of Palladas using the volume number of the Palatine Anthology Book in which they are contained followed by the poem number in such Book. For example, Poem 7-607 is poem 607 in Book 7 of the Loeb edition of the Palatine Anthology. The poems are therefore presented in the order in which they are interspersed among the poems by other poets in the Anthology in that edition.
To my ear, I found blank verse to be the most natural vehicle in English for the bulk of the poems and I have used it where it seemed right. I have also used indentations to preserve the sight and feel of the originals where appropriate. For that same reason, I also have striven to match the number of lines used in the originals. Although Palladas did not use rhyme, sometimes rhyme or slant rhyme seemed appropriate in English and I followed my own instincts in that regard.
As a fair warning to the reader, I am not a scholar of Classical Greek. I have relied heavily upon Paton’s parallel prose translation, my dictionaries, grammars, MacGregor’s almost complete but far from satisfactory “Greek Anthology,” and the wonderful online Perseus digital library at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper.
Finally, a brief caveat on the inherent perils of literary translation seems appropriate. Foreign language literary translation consists of (i) retelling a literary piece (ii) by a person other than the author (iii) in another language. Each level of this process has its own pitfalls. In retelling the epigrams in English, I have tried to capture their meanings as I understood them rather than simply providing a literal word for word “translation.” That process is of course subjective and the reader may or may not agree with my understanding in each case. Even more removed from Palladas, is the second part of translation: my hand instead of his. Everyone has his own unique style and translation is not immune. Finally, English and Ancient Greek obviously differ in how they convey information and in what they can and cannot say. Where I could not reasonably mimic Greek puns in English, for example, I have tried to footnote some of the more interesting ones. To counterbalance the loss of untranslatable Greek wordplay, I have also used some English wordplay which is not in the Greek but which I think is in the spirit of Palladas.