Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Wound Placement

Aelian, On Animals 4.1 (tr. A.F. Scholfield):
Now the Cretans say that the young man did acts of valour in the fight, but when the enemy's massed line pressed him hard, he stumbled over a dead body that lay there and was thrown down. Whereupon one of the enemy who was nearest, in his eagerness was about to strike him in the back. But the man turned and exclaimed 'Do not deal me a shameful and cowardly blow, but strike me in front, in the breast, in order that my loved one may not judge me guilty of cowardice and refrain from laying out my dead body: he could not bear to go near one who so disgraces himself.'

φασιν οἱ Κρῆτες, ἀθρόας δὲ ἐς αὐτὸν ὠθουμένης τῆς τῶν ἐχθρῶν φάλαγγος προσπταῖσαι νεκρῷ κειμένῳ, καὶ περιτραπῆναι λέγουσιν αὐτόν. τῶν οὖν τις πολεμίων, ὁ μάλιστα πλησίον, ἀνατεινάμενος παίειν ἔμελλε κατὰ τῶν μεταφρένων τὸν ἄνδρα· ὁ δὲ ἐπιστραφεὶς 'μηδαμῶς' εἶπεν 'αἰσχρὰν καὶ ἀναλκῆ πληγὴν ἐπαγάγῃς, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τῶν στέρνων ἀντίαν παῖσον, ἵνα μή μου δειλίαν ὁ ἐρώμενος καταψηφίσηται, καὶ φυλάξηται περιστεῖλαί με νεκρόν, καὶ μάλα γε ἀσχημονοῦντι προσελθεῖν οὐ τολμῶν.'
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