Saturday, May 16, 2015


Wounds in Front versus Wounds in Back

Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas 18.3 (discussing the Theban Sacred Band; tr. Bernadotte Perrin):
Nor is this a wonder, since men have more regard for their lovers even when absent than for others who are present, as was true of him who, when his enemy was about to slay him where he lay, earnestly besought him to run his sword through his breast, "in order," as he said, "that my beloved may not have to blush at sight of my body with a wound in the back."

καὶ τοῦτο θαυμαστὸν οὐκ ἔστιν, εἴγε δὴ καὶ μὴ παρόντας αἰδοῦνται μᾶλλον ἑτέρων παρόντων, ὡς ἐκεῖνος ὁ τοῦ πολεμίου κείμενον αὑτὸν ἐπισφάττειν μέλλοντος δεόμενος καὶ ἀντιβολῶν διὰ τοῦ στέρνου διεῖναι τὸ ξίφος, 'ὅπως,' ἔφη, 'μή με νεκρὸν ὁ ἐρώμενος ὁρῶν κατὰ νώτου τετρωμένον αἰσχυνθῇ.'
Cf. id. 4.5, where Pelopidas received seven wounds in front (ἐναντία).

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