Sunday, November 12, 2006


Rudeness on Horseback

About ten days ago, I quoted Poggio's Facetiae 136. In the back of my mind was a classical parallel to the Cardinal of Tricarico's rude behavior, which I've been trying to recall ever since. Finally it came to me. Herodotus 2.162.3 (tr. A.D. Godley) tells the story:
When Apries heard of it, he sent against Amasis an esteemed Egyptian named Patarbemis, one of his own court, instructing him to take the rebel alive and bring him into his presence. When Patarbemis came and summoned Amasis, Amasis (who was on horseback) rose up and farted, telling the messenger to take that back to Apries.

πυθόμενος δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Ἀπρίης ἔπεμπε ἐπ᾽ Ἄμασιν ἄνδρα δόκιμον τῶν περὶ ἑωυτὸν Αἰγυπτίων, τῷ οὔνομα ἦν Πατάρβημις, ἐντειλάμενος αὐτῷ ζῶντα Ἄμασιν ἀγαγεῖν παρ᾽ ἑωυτόν. ὡς δὲ ἀπικόμενος τὸν Ἄμασιν ἐκάλεε ὁ Πατάρβημις, ὁ Ἄμασις, ἔτυχε γὰρ ἐπ᾽ ἵππου κατήμενος, ἐπαείρας ἀπεματάισε, καὶ τοῦτό μιν ἐκέλευε Ἀπρίῃ ἀπάγειν.
Rising up from one's seat prior to breaking wind seems to be a widespread custom.

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