Saturday, April 11, 2015


The Divine Thing

Archilochus, fragment 196a = P. Colon. 58, lines 13-15 (tr. Douglas E. Gerber):
many are the delights the goddess offers young men besides the sacred act

τ]έρψιές εἰσι θεῆς
πολλαὶ νέοισιν ἀνδ[ράσιν
παρὲξ τὸ θεῖον χρῆμα
The goddess here is Aphrodite. E. Degani, "ΠΑΡΕΞ ΤΟ ΘΕΙΟΝ ΧΡΗΜΑ nel nuovo Archiloco di Colonia," Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 20 (1975) 229, first connected the beginning of line 15 in the papyrus with Hesychius π 839 Schmidt:
πάρεξ τὸ θεῖον χρῆμα· ἐξω τῆς μίξεως
In other words, τὸ θεῖον χρῆμα (the divine thing) is ἡ μίξις (sexual intercourse).

Related post: A Gift of the Gods.

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