Thursday, April 09, 2015



[Warning: Obscenities ahead.]

Scholium on Lucian, Alexander 4, tr. Ian C. Storey (on Cratinus, fragment 160):
Aristodemus was a wretched man and given to extreme homosexual vice, for which reason the arsehole is called the Aristodemus.
The same, tr. Jeffrey Henderson (on Aristophanes, fragment 242):
Aristodemus was exceedingly polluted and buggered, whence the ass hole was also called the Aristodemus.
The Greek, from Hugo Rabe, ed., Scholia ad Lucianum (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1906), p. 181, lines 16-18:
ὁ Ἀριστόδημος δὲ μιαρὸς καὶ καταπύγων ἐς ὑπερβολήν, ἀφ᾿ οὗ καὶ ὁ πρωκτὸς Ἀριστόδημος καλεῖται.
This could be a useful euphemism, as in "You Aristodemus!" I once knew someone who referred to the male and female genitalia, similarly, as Donny and Marie.

In Greek and Latin, as in English, a proper name can be used as a common noun, although the meaning of the common noun is usually "a person like X" or "people like X" (when the proper name occurs in the plural). A famous example is Martial 8.55.5 (sint Maecenates, non derunt, Flacce, Marones). See I. van Wageningen, "Cerdo sive de nominibus propriis Latinis appellativorum loco adhibitis," Mnemosyne 40 (1912) 147-172, and a series of posts at the Farrago blog:

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?