Monday, December 10, 2018


Keeping in a Little Blast of Wind

The School of Salernum: Regimen Sanitatis Salerni. The English Version by Sir John Harrington (Salerno: Ente Provinciale per il Turismo, 1953), p. 24:
Quatuor ex vento veniunt in ventre retento,
Spasmus, hydrops, colica, vertigo, quatuor ista.
Ex magna coena stomacho fit maxima poena.
Ut sis nocte levis sit tibi coena brevis.

Great harmes have growne, & maladies exceeding,
By keeping in a little blast of wind:
So Cramps & Dropsies, Collickes have their breeding,
And Mazed Braines for want of vent behind:
Besides we finde in stories worth the reading,
A certaine Romane Emperour was so kind,
Claudius by name, he made a Proclamation,
A Scape to be no losse of reputation.
Great suppers do the stomacke much offend,
Sup light if quiet you to sleepe intend.
Suetonius, Life of Claudius 32 (tr. J.C. Rolfe):
He is even said to have thought of an edict allowing the privilege of breaking wind quietly or noisily at table, having learned of a man who ran some risk by restraining himself through modesty.

dicitur etiam meditatus edictum, quo veniam daret flatum crepitumque ventris in convivio emittendi, cum periclitatum quendam prae pudore ex continentia repperisset.
Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. scape n.1, sense 4a:
to let a scape: to break wind. (See also ESCAPE n.1 4b) Obsolete.
Hat tip: Ian Jackson (†).



Curriculum Vitae

Theodore Dalrymple, "The Merits of Nepotism and Boasting," Taki's Magazine (December 8, 2018):
Take that ghastly soul-destroying document, the curriculum vitae. It is as inherently inflationary as clipping the coinage or fiat money. A friend of mine, whom I knew to be competent and conscientious, consistently failed to be appointed to positions for which he was eminently qualified. My wife, who knew the ways of modern appointment committees, asked to see the curriculum vitae he was supplying with his applications for the jobs.

She was horrified: He would never get a job with such a curriculum, it was far too old-fashioned. It gave merely his formal qualifications and the positions he had previously held, with references. No, no, said my wife to him, what you need is to boast. You have to make out that your piddling research might be chosen very soon for a Nobel Prize, that your occasional good deeds were as at great a personal sacrifice as those of Mother Teresa, and that you are a person whose outside interests are carried out at levels equal to the professional; in other words that you are multitalented, multivalent, and quite out of the ordinary. Moreover, your ambition must be to save the world, to be a pioneer and a path-breaker, not merely to do your best in the circumstances. You must be grandiose, not modest.

Of course, every other applicant would be similarly boastful, and so, like star architects trying to outdo each other in the outlandish nature of their buildings, my friend's boasts had to be preposterous, quite out of keeping with his admirable character. But once he had swallowed the bitter pill of realism, he was appointed at once. We all have to be Barons Munchausen now.

Thank God I have reached an age where I shall never have to apply for anything again, except perhaps for a plot in a cemetery (that too is becoming more difficult, and certainly more expensive). I don't want to boast, but I have a fixed aversion to boasting. I prefer things, for good or ill, to speak for themselves.


Offenses Against Gods

Tacitus, Annals 1.73.5 (reporting a speech by Tiberius; tr. John Jackson):
The gods must look to their own wrongs.

deorum iniuriae dis curae.
Codex of Justinian 4.1.2 (tr. Fred H. Blume, rev. Dennis P. Kehoe):
The scorned sanctity of an oath has a sufficient avenger in God.

iuris iurandi contempta religio satis deum ultorem habet.
Tacitus' dis curae (with ellipsis of sunt) is a good example of the double dative construction described in Charles E. Bennett, A Latin Grammar, rev. ed. (1908; rpt. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1913), p. 133 (§ 191, 2, a):
The Dative of Purpose or Tendency designates the end toward which an action is directed or the direction in which it tends. It is used—


    Much more frequently in connection with another Dative of the person:—

      Especially with some form of esse; as,—

        fortunae tuae mihi carae sunt, your fortunes are a care to me (lit. for a care);

        nobis sunt odio, they are an object of hatred to us;

        cui bono? to whom is it of advantage?


These Things Please Me Well

Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948), Southward Ho! and Other Essays (London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1914), p. 17:
I like to do nothing. To sit by a fire in winter, or in a garden in summer; to loaf on a sea-beach with the sun on me; to hang over the wall of a pier-head and watch the waves in their green and white tantrums; to sit in a brasserie on a Parisian boulevard with a common bock, and the people moving to and fro; to idle in parks or public squares, or in the quadrangles and closes of colleges, or the Inns of Court, or the great cathedrals; to forget haste and effort in old empty churches, or drowsy taverns; to rest by a roadside hedge, or in a churchyard where sheep browse; to lie in a punt in the green shade of the willows; to sit on a fence—these things please me well.


Sources of Irritation

Herman Melville (1819-1891), Typee, chapter XVI:
There were none of those thousand sources of irritation that the ingenuity of civilized man has created to mar his own felicity. There were no foreclosures of mortgages, no protested notes, no bills payable, no debts of honour in Typee; no unreasonable tailors and shoemakers, perversely bent on being paid; no duns of any description; no assault and battery attorneys, to foment discord, backing their clients up to a quarrel, and then knocking their heads together; no poor relations everlastingly occupying the spare bed-chamber, and diminishing the elbow room at the family table; no destitute widows with their children starving on the cold charities of the world; no beggars; no debtors' prisons; no proud and hard-hearted nabobs in Typee; or to sum up all in one word—no Money! "That root of all evil" was not to be found in the valley.

Sunday, December 09, 2018



Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, Chap. III: What a Man Has, from Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. I (tr. E.F.J. Payne):
People are often reproached because their desires are directed mainly to money and they are fonder of it than of anything else. Yet it is natural and even inevitable for them to love that which, as an untiring Proteus, is ready at any moment to convert itself into the particular object of our fickle desires and manifold needs. Thus every other blessing can satisfy only one desire and one need; for instance, food is good only for the hungry, wine for the healthy, medicine for the sick, a fur coat for winter, women for youth, and so on. Consequently, all these are only ἀγαθὰ πρός τι, that is to say, only relatively good. Money alone is the absolutely good thing because it meets not merely one need in concreto, but needs generally in abstracto.

Daß die Wünsche der Menschen hauptsächlich auf Geld gerichtet sind und sie dieses über alles lieben, wird ihnen oft zum Vorwurf gemacht. Jedoch ist es natürlich, wohl gar unvermeidlich, das zu lieben, was, als ein unermüdlicher Proteus, jeden Augenblick bereit ist, sich in den jedesmaligen Gegenstand unsrer so wandelbaren Wünsche und mannigfaltigen Bedürfnisse zu verwandeln. Jedes andere Gut nämlich kann nur einem Wunsch, einem Bedürfnis genügen: Speisen sind bloß gut für den Hungrigen, Wein für den Gesunden, Arznei für den Kranken, ein Pelz für den Winter, Weiber für die Jugend usw. Sie sind folglich alle nur ἀγαθὰ πρός τι, d.h. nur relativ gut. Geld allein ist das absolut Gute: weil es nicht bloß einem Bedürfnis in concreto begegnet, sondern dem Bedürfnis überhaupt in abstracto.


Huysmans on Petronius

J.-K. Huysmans (1848-1907), À Rebours, chapter 3 (tr. Brendan King):
The author he really loved, and who caused him to leave aside forever his reading of Lucan's resounding addresses, was Petronius.

This latter was a shrewd observer, a discerning analyst, a marvellous painter; calmly, without prejudice, without hate, he described the daily life of Rome, recounted in the short, lively chapters of the Satyricon the manners and morals of his age.

Noting down the facts one after another, establishing them in a definitive form, he unfolded the petty existences of the common people, their chance meetings, their bestialities, their couplings.

Here, it's the inspector of rented accommodation who has come to ask the names of some recently arrived travellers; there, it's a brothel where the men prowl around naked women standing next to placards with scales of charges, while through the half-closed doors of the bedrooms, you catch a glimpse of cavorting couples; there again, in successive scenes in the book, whether in insolently luxurious villas, insanely rich and ostentatious, or whether in miserable inns, with their unmade camp-beds full of fleas, we see the society of the time going about its business: filthy pickpockets such as Ascyltus and Eumolpus, on the look out for some rich pickings; old hags with hitched-up skirts and cheeks plastered with white lead and red acacia; catamites of sixteen, plump and curly-haired; women subject to attacks of hysteria; legacy-hunters offering their sons and daughters to the debauches of rich testators; all run through his pages, arguing in the streets, touching each other up in the public baths, beating each other black and blue as if in a pantomime.

And all this recounted in a style of peculiar vitality, of a very particular tone, in a style drawing on every dialect, borrowing expressions from all the languages imported into Rome, pushing back every limit, all the trammels of that so-called Golden Age, letting everyone speak in his own idiom: uneducated freedmen in vulgar Latin, the argot of the streets; foreigners in their barbarous patois, a bastard offspring of African, Syrian and Greek; idiotic pedants, like the character Agamemnon in the book, in a rhetoric of overblown words. These people are sketched in a single stroke, sprawled round a table, exchanging insipid drunken gossip, spouting senile maxims and stupid sayings, their snouts turned towards Trimalchio who picks his teeth and offers chamberpots to the assembled company, telling them about the state of his bowels and his flatulence, inviting his guests to put themselves at their ease.

This realist novel, this slice cut from the heart of Roman life, completely unconcerned, whatever anyone might say, with social reform or satire, with no need of a carefully worked-out ending or a moral; this story without intrigue or action, putting on stage the amorous intrigues of those game birds of Sodom; analysing with a calm finesse the joys and sorrows of their love-affairs and their couplings, depicting life in a splendidly wrought language without the author revealing himself once, without him making a single comment, without him approving or condemning the acts and thoughts of his characters, the vices of a decrepit civilisation, of an Empire coming apart at the seams, gripped des Esseintes and he glimpsed in the refinement of its style, the acuity of its observations, and in the firmness of its method, peculiar correspondences and curious analogies with the few modern French novels he could bear.

Certainly, he bitterly regretted the Eustion and the Albutiae, those two works by Petronius mentioned by Planciades Fulgentius and which are lost forever; but the bibliophile in him consoled the man of letters, as with worshipful hands he leafed through the superb edition he possessed of the Satyricon, an octavo bearing the date 1585 and the name of J. Dousa of Leyden.

Saturday, December 08, 2018


Such Students Are Rare

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), Higher Schools and Universities in Germany (London: Macmillan and Co., 1874), p. 178:
To combine the philological discipline with the matter to which it is ancillary,—with Alterthumswissenschaft itself,—a student must be of the force of Wolf, who used to sit up the whole night with his feet in a tub of cold water and one of his eyes bound up to rest while he read with the other, and who thus managed to get through all the Greek and Latin classics at school, and also Scapula's Lexicon and Faber's Thesaurus; and who at Göttingen would sweep clean out of the library-shelves all the books illustrative of the classic on which Heyne was going to lecture, and finish them in a week. Such students are rare...


Country Life

Aelian, Letters of Farmers 20 (Phaedrias to Sthenon; tr. Allen Rogers Benner and Francis H. Fobe):
It is in the country that all beautiful things grow; with them the earth is adorned, and with them the earth provides nourishment for all. Some of the products keep throughout the year, whereas some keep but a short time and are eaten in their season; of all these things the gods are creators, but the earth is their mother and she is likewise their nurse. And righteousness and temperance, these also, grow in the country; loveliest of trees are they, most profitable of fruits. So then do not be contemptuous of farmers; for in them too is wisdom of a sort—not elaborately expressed in speech nor decking itself out with forceful rhetoric, but conspicuous by its silence and confessing its virtue through its very life.

Φύεται μὲν ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς καλὰ πάντα, κεκόσμηταί τε ἡ γῆ τούτοις καὶ τρέφει πάντας· καὶ τὰ μέν ἐστιν τῶν καρπῶν διετήσια, τὰ δὲ καὶ πρὸς ὀλίγον ἀντέχοντά ἐστιν τρωκτὰ ὡραῖα· πάντων δὲ τούτων θεοὶ μὲν ποιηταί, ἡ γῆ δὲ μήτηρ ἅμα καὶ τροφὸς αὕτη· φύεται δὲ καὶ δικαιοσύνη καὶ σωφροσύνη καὶ ταῦτα ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς, δένδρων τὰ κάλλιστα, καρπῶν τὰ χρησιμώτατα. μὴ τοίνυν γεωργῶν καταφρόνει· ἔστι γάρ τις καὶ ἐνταῦθα σοφία, γλώττῃ μὲν οὐ πεποικιλμένη οὐδὲ καλλωπιζομένη λόγων δυνάμει, σιγῶσα δὲ εὖ μάλα καὶ δι᾿ αὐτοῦ τοῦ βίου τὴν ἀρετὴν ὁμολογοῦσα.

Friday, December 07, 2018


Relapsing Into Paganism

C.S. Lewis, letter to Chad Walsh (May 23, 1960):
I had some ado to prevent Joy (and myself) from relapsing into Paganism in Attica! At Daphni it was hard not to pray to Apollo the healer. But somehow one didn't feel it wd. have been very wrong — wd. have only been addressing Christ sub specie Apollinis.


Faults of Children in Sunday School

Rev. J. Furniss, C.SS.R., The Sunday School or Catechism (Dublin: Richardson and Son, [1861]), pp. 69-70:
The ordinary faults of children in Sunday school are, i. Absence. ii. Coming late. iii. Entering the school in a rough disorderly manner, and treading heavily on the floor. iv. If the Blessed Sacrament be present, making no genuflection. v. Not going to their class as soon as they enter. vi. Throwing down their caps in a rough way, putting themselves in a lazy awkward position, having their hands in their pockets, putting their feet on the seat before them, hanging their arms over the seat behind them, swinging their feet about, making a noise by rubbing their feet on the floor, beating time with their feet when there is singing, scratching the seats, forms, or desks with their nails, playing with something in their hands, looking into books and injuring them. vii. Talking, playing, laughing, leaning on one another, pulling one another's hair or coat, striking one another. viii. Eating bread, apples, oranges, sugar sticks, toffy, bull's eyes, bullets, peppermints, &c. ix. A great disposition to tell of one another in trifling things and to lay the blame on one another, and an equal disposition to conceal an offender when an investigation is made by authority. x. Idleness and inattention to their lessons. xi. In going out after Sunday school, confusion, loud talking, not going out in a regular way, class after class and child after child; but running to get out first, the entrance choked. xii. When out, shouting and making a noise in the street, remaining about the door and not going straight home.

Thursday, December 06, 2018


'Tis the Season

Dear Mr. Gilleland,


Today I'm writing this e-mail to share with you some pictures of the Mercat de Santa Llúcia here in Barcelona, Spain. It is an annual tradition to sell figures and other Christmas objects in Catalonia these days, and of course there is always a place for our caganers. I attach some pictures of a market stand entirely devoted to our glorious little man. On the last picture you can observe a Quixote inspired caganer!

Best wishes,

Jaume [Ripoli]

Here's a close-up view of the Quixote inspired caganer:

The origins of caganers are obscure, but it seems to me that Don Quixote's squire Sancho Panza has a good claim to be regarded a proto-caganer, on the basis of Cervantes, Don Quixote 1.21 (tr. John Ormsby):
Just then, whether it was the cold of the morning that was now approaching, or that he had eaten something laxative at supper, or that it was only natural (as is most likely), Sancho felt a desire to do what no one could do for him; but so great was the fear that had penetrated his heart, he dared not separate himself from his master by as much as the black of his nail; to escape doing what he wanted was, however, also impossible; so what he did for peace's sake was to remove his right hand, which held the back of the saddle, and with it to untie gently and silently the running string which alone held up his breeches, so that on loosening it they at once fell down round his feet like fetters; he then raised his shirt as well as he could and bared his hind quarters, no slim ones. But, this accomplished, which he fancied was all he had to do to get out of this terrible strait and embarrassment, another still greater difficulty presented itself, for it seemed to him impossible to relieve himself without making some noise, and he ground his teeth and squeezed his shoulders together, holding his breath as much as he could; but in spite of his precautions he was unlucky enough after all to make a little noise, very different from that which was causing him so much fear.

Don Quixote, hearing it, said, "What noise is that, Sancho?"

"I don't know, senor," said he; "it must be something new, for adventures and misadventures never begin with a trifle." Once more he tried his luck, and succeeded so well, that without any further noise or disturbance he found himself relieved of the burden that had given him so much discomfort. But as Don Quixote's sense of smell was as acute as his hearing, and as Sancho was so closely linked with him that the fumes rose almost in a straight line, it could not be but that some should reach his nose, and as soon as they did he came to its relief by compressing it between his fingers, saying in a rather snuffing tone, "Sancho, it strikes me thou art in great fear."

"I am," answered Sancho; "but how does your worship perceive it now more than ever?"

"Because just now thou smellest stronger than ever, and not of ambergris," answered Don Quixote.

"Very likely," said Sancho, "but that's not my fault, but your worship's, for leading me about at unseasonable hours and at such unwonted paces."

"Then go back three or four, my friend," said Don Quixote, all the time with his fingers to his nose; "and for the future pay more attention to thy person and to what thou owest to mine; for it is my great familiarity with thee that has bred this contempt."

"I'll bet," replied Sancho, "that your worship thinks I have done something I ought not with my person."

"It makes it worse to stir it, friend Sancho," returned Don Quixote.

Sancho Panza and Don Quixote (LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

Also, I wonder if the following Bible verse could be a prophecy about caganers — Joel 2.20 (New International Version):
And its stench will go up; its smell will rise.



Desire for Long Life

Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 1211-1223 (tr. R.C. Jebb):
Whoso craves the ampler length of life, not content to desire a modest span, him will I judge with no uncertain voice; he cleaves to folly. For the long days lay up full many things nearer unto grief than joy; but as for thy delights, their place shall know them no more, when a man's life hath lapsed beyond the fitting term; and the Deliverer comes at the last to all alike,—when the doom of Hades is suddenly revealed, without marriage-song, or lyre, or dance,—even Death at the last.

ὅστις τοῦ πλέονος μέρους
χρῄζει τοῦ μετρίου παρεὶς
ζώειν, σκαιοσύναν φυλάσσων
ἐν ἐμοὶ κατάδηλος ἔσται.
ἐπεὶ πολλὰ μὲν αἱ μακραὶ        1215
ἁμέραι κατέθεντο δὴ
λύπας ἐγγυτέρω, τὰ τέρ-
ποντα δ᾿ οὐκ ἂν ἴδοις ὅπου,
ὅταν τις ἐς πλέον πέσῃ
τοῦ δέοντος· ὁ δ᾿ ἐπίκουρος ἰσοτέλεστος,        1220
Ἄϊδος ὅτε μοῖρ᾿ ἀνυμέναιος
ἄλυρος ἄχορος ἀναπέφηνε,
θάνατος ἐς τελευτάν.

1212 παρεὶς codd.: πέρα Schneidewin
1220 δέοντος Reiske: θέλοντος codd.; ὁ δ᾿ Hermann: οὐδ᾿ codd.



Aristophanes, fragment 322 (from Heroes; tr. Jeffrey Henderson):
Wherefore, gentlemen, stand
guard and worship the heroes, as
we are the custodians
of what's bad and what's good,
and keeping a lookout for the unjust        5
and for thieves and robbers
we give them diseases:
distended spleens, coughs, dropsy,
catarrh, mange, podagra,
madness, canker-sores,        10
buboes, shivers, fever.
[. . . . . . . . . ] to thieves we give

πρὸς ταῦτ᾿ οὖν, ὦνδρες, φυλακὴν
ἔχετε τούς θ᾿ ἥρως σέβεσθ᾿, ὡς
ἡμεῖς ἐσμεν οἱ ταμίαι
τῶν κακῶν καὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν,
κἀναθροῦντες τοὺς ἀδίκους        5
καὶ κλέπτας καὶ λωποδύτας
τούτοις μὲν νόσους δίδομεν·
σπληνιᾶν βήττειν ὑδερᾶν
κορυζᾶν ψωρᾶν ποδαγρᾶν
μαίνεσθαι λειχῆνας ἔχειν        10
βουβῶνας ῥῖγος πυρετόν
. . . ] . . [. . (.)]. κλέπτα[ις] δίδομεν

12 ταῦτα τοῖς suppl. Handley, τοῖς δὲ δὴ Barrett
S. Douglas Olson, Broken Laughter. Select Fragments of Greek Comedy. Edited with Introduction, Commentary, and Translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 98-99:

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Athena and Owl

Attic black-figure lekythos, by the Athena Painter (ca. 490 B.C.), at Amsterdam, Allard Pierson Museum, inv. 3754:


Festival of Artemis at Scillus

Robert Parker, Athenian Religion: A History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), p. 78, n. 41:
The country festival at Skillous founded and financed by Xenophon (Anab. 5.3.7-13) is another lovely case; indeed it would be hard to find a passage more instinct with Greek religious feeling than Xenophon's warm and graceful description of it.
Xenophon, Anabasis 5.3.7-13 (tr. Carleton L. Brownson):
[7] In the time of Xenophon's exile and while he was living at Scillus, near Olympia, where he had been established as a colonist by the Lacedaemonians, Megabyzus came to Olympia to attend the games and returned to him his deposit. Upon receiving it Xenophon bought a plot of ground for the goddess in a place which Apollo's oracle appointed.

[8] As it chanced, there flowed through the plot a river named Selinus; and at Ephesus likewise a Selinus river flows past the temple of Artemis. In both streams, moreover, there are fish and mussels, while in the plot at Scillus there is hunting of all manner of beasts of the chase.

[9] Here Xenophon built an altar and a temple with the sacred money, and from that time forth he would every year take the tithe of the products of the land in their season and offer sacrifice to the goddess, all the citizens and the men and women of the neighborhood taking part in the festival. And the goddess would provide for the banqueters barley meal and loaves of bread, wine and sweetmeats, and a portion of the sacrificial victims from the sacred herd as well as of the victims taken in the chase.

[10] For Xenophon's sons and the sons of the other citizens used to have a hunting expedition at the time of the festival, and any grown men who so wished would join them; and they captured their game partly from the sacred precinct itself and partly from Mount Pholöe—boars and gazelles and stags.

[11] The place is situated on the road which leads from Lacedaemon to Olympia, and is about twenty stadia from the temple of Zeus at Olympia. Within the sacred precinct there is meadowland and tree-covered hills, suited for the rearing of swine, goats, cattle and horses, so that even the draught animals which bring people to the festival have their feast also.

[12] Immediately surrounding the temple is a grove of cultivated trees, producing all sorts of dessert fruits in their season. The temple itself is like the one at Ephesus, although small as compared with great, and the image of the goddess, although cypress wood as compared with gold, is like the Ephesian image.


[7] Ἐπεὶ δ᾿ ἔφευγεν ὁ Ξενοφῶν, κατοικοῦντος ἤδη αὐτοῦ ἐν Σκιλλοῦντι ὑπὸ τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων οἰκισθέντος παρὰ τὴν Ὀλυμπίαν ἀφικνεῖται Μεγάβυζος εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν θεωρήσων καὶ ἀποδίδωσι τὴν παρακαταθήκην αὐτῷ. Ξενοφῶν δὲ λαβὼν χωρίον ὠνεῖται τῇ θεῷ ὅπου ἀνεῖλεν ὁ θεός.

[8] ἔτυχε δὲ διαρρέων διὰ τοῦ χωρίου ποταμὸς Σελινοῦς. καὶ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ δὲ παρὰ τὸν τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος νεὼν Σελινοῦς ποταμὸς παραρρεῖ. καὶ ἰχθύες τε ἐν ἀμφοτέροις ἔνεισι καὶ κόγχαι· ἐν δὲ τῷ ἐν Σκιλλοῦντι χωρίῳ καὶ θῆραι πάντων ὁπόσα ἐστὶν ἀγρευόμενα θηρία.

[9] ἐποίησε δὲ καὶ βωμὸν καὶ ναὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἀργυρίου, καὶ τὸ λοιπὸν δὲ ἀεὶ δεκατεύων τὰ ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ ὡραῖα θυσίαν ἐποίει τῇ θεῷ, καὶ πάντες οἱ πολῖται καὶ οἱ πρόσχωροι ἄνδρες καὶ γυναῖκες μετεῖχον τῆς ἑορτῆς. παρεῖχε δὲ ἡ θεὸς τοῖς σκηνοῦσιν ἄλφιτα, ἄρτους, οἶνον, τραγήματα, καὶ τῶν θυομένων ἀπὸ τῆς ἱερᾶς νομῆς λάχος, καὶ τῶν θηρευομένων δέ.

[10] καὶ γὰρ θήραν ἐποιοῦντο εἰς τὴν ἑορτὴν οἵ τε Ξενοφῶντος παῖδες καὶ οἱ τῶν ἄλλων πολιτῶν, οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι καὶ ἄνδρες συνεθήρων· καὶ ἡλίσκετο τὰ μὲν ἐξ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἱεροῦ χώρου, τὰ δὲ καὶ ἐκ τῆς Φολόης, σύες καὶ δορκάδες καὶ ἔλαφοι.

[11] Ἔστι δὲ ὁ τόπος ᾗ ἐκ Λακεδαίμονος εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν πορεύονται ὡς εἴκοσι στάδιοι ἀπὸ τοῦ ἐν Ὀλυμπίᾳ Διὸς ἱεροῦ. ἔνι δ᾿ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ χώρῳ καὶ λειμὼν καὶ ὄρη δένδρων μεστά, ἱκανὰ σῦς καὶ αἶγας καὶ βοῦς τρέφειν καὶ ἵππους, ὥστε καὶ τὰ τῶν εἰς τὴν ἑορτὴν ἰόντων ὑποζύγια εὐωχεῖσθαι.

[12] περὶ δὲ αὐτὸν τὸν ναὸν ἄλσος ἡμέρων δένδρων ἐφυτεύθη ὅσα ἐστὶ τρωκτὰ ὡραῖα. ὁ δὲ ναὸς ὡς μικρὸς μεγάλῳ τῷ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ᾔκασται, καὶ το ξόανον ἔοικεν ὡς κυπαρίττινον χρυσῷ ὄντι τῷ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ.

Edith Hall, "Xenophon: Magician and Friend," in The Cambridge Companion to Xenophon, ed. Michael A. Flower (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 449-458 (at 455; footnote omitted):
Along with accessibility, Dio specifies Xenophon’s virtue of making the reader feel the emotions of the moment he is describing. It is this quality which has led two scenes in particular to appeal to painters. The first is his idyllic description of the sanctuary he built for Artemis at his new home in Skillos near Olympia, where he settled with his wife and children some time after his adventures abroad. He would hold annual festivals there, with sumptuous banquets and hunting expeditions (Anabasis 5.3.7–10). This passage became a favorite of Italian Renaissance noblemen as offering an exemplary image of bountiful leadership; painters strove to capture the happiness of the moment. Sacrificio di Senofonte a Diana in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, attributed to Pietro da Cortona, shows a bearded Xenophon standing in front of his temple and organizing the other men as they bring back their spoils from the hunt; to the right is his wife, with their little sons, one of whom is playing with a sheep. This painting was much imitated.
The painting disappeared at the end of World War II. Here is a photograph:

See Timothy Rood, "Xenophon and the Barberini: Pietro da Cortona's Sacrifice to Diana," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 76 (2013) 1-22.


Other People

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), An Ideal Husband, Act III:
LORD GORING [Taking out old buttonhole]. You see, Phipps, fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING [Putting in new buttonhole]. And falsehoods the truths of other people.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

LORD GORING. To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance, Phipps.

PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018


Infinitivus Pro Imperativo

Jacob Wackernagel (1853-1938), Lectures on Syntax, tr. David Langslow (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 334 (footnote omitted):
The use of the infinitive to give a command is best known in Homer but is in Greek by no means confined to Homer. Apart from the poets who use the epic style, the tragedians offer examples, and the usage is found even in early scientific and historical prose. Hippocrates, e.g., closes his famous work Airs, Waters, Places with the words, τὰ λοιπὰ ἐνθυμεῖσθαι, καὶ οὐχ ἁμαρτήσῃ 'reflect on the remaining matters and you will not go wrong'. Thucydides has this infinitive for sure in one passage, in a warlike speech of Brasidas, 5.9.7 σὺ δέ, Κλεαρίδα, ὕστερον..., ἐπεκθεῖν καὶ ἐπείγεσθαι... 'but you, Clearidas, afterwards...charge out against them and make haste to...'. Even more strikingly, it is found in inscriptions, those moreover with no pretensions to poetic ornament. On the famous sixth-century stele of Sigeum (COLLITZ & BECHTEL no. 5531), a unique dialect-bilingual, the Attic text ends with the words, μελεδαίνειν με, ὦ Σιγειῆς 'care for me, you Sigeans'.
K. Meisterhans, Grammatik der attischen Inschriften, 3rd ed., rev. Eduard Schwyzer (Berlin: Weidmann, 1900), p. 248, § 90.A, gives the same example from Sigeum. See also Eduard Schwyzer, Griechische Grammatik, Bd. 2: Syntax und syntaktische Stilistik (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1950), pp. 380-383 (inscriptions discussed on p. 383).

I don't have access to more modern discussions such as:
A concise example of a negative imperatival infinitive (i.e. a prohibition) can be found in Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 43.568 (Andros, late 4th century B.C.; not in the Packard Humanities Institute's Searchable Greek Inscriptions):
Rock-cut inscription in the village of Palaiopolis; the place was possibly dedicated to the cult of a goddess. L. Palaiokrassa, Andriaka Chronika 21 (1993) 125/126 (ph.); non vidimus. Cf. M. Sève in B[ulletin] E[pigraphique] (1995) no. 451: Μὴ χέζειν | γυναῖκα
(It is) forbidden for a woman to defecate (here).
There is a nice photograph (taken by L. Palaiokrassa) of the rock in Michalis Tiverios, "The Cult of Demeter on Andros and the Homeric Hymn to Demeter," Trends in Classics 9.1 (2017) 71–84 (fig. 2 on p. 74):

Hat tip: Eric Thomson, whose email about the inscription had as its subject line "Woman of Andrex," punning on "Woman of Andros" (Terence's play — Andros is also where the inscription was found) and "Andrex" (a brand of toilet tissue in the UK).

Related posts:



Copying Out Vergil

Peter Levi (1931-2000), "In Memory of Turcius Rufus Apronicus Asterius, Consul 494," Viriditas (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 2001), p. 48:
In 500 AD
Germans settled like flies
on southern Italy,
vigorous with blue eyes.

They ate at new tables
made of one long plank,
like horses in their stables
or like soldiers in ranks

they lived on sausages,
their rubbish was pig-bones,
they dumped all at their ease
by front doors and hearth stones:

they feasted happily
inside the Roman farms,
and sang in ecstasy
of ancestors and arms.

Meanwhile with patient skill
an old consul took care
to copy out Virgil
as fine as his white hair.
Not Rufus, but Rufius, and not Apronicus, but Apronianus.

See e.g.:
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.



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