Friday, July 29, 2016


An Unmanly Complexion

Plato, Phaedrus 16 (239 C-D; on a lover whose aim is pleasure alone; tr. R. Hackforth):
We shall find him, of course, pursuing a weakling rather than a sturdy boy, one who has had a cozy, sheltered upbringing instead of being exposed to the open air, who has given himself up to a soft unmanly life instead of the toil and sweat of manly exercise, who for lack of natural charm tricks himself out with artificial cosmetics, and resorts to other similar practices which are too numerous to need further enumeration...

ὀφθήσεται δὲ μαλθακόν τινα καὶ οὐ στερεὸν διώκων, οὐδ᾿ ἐν ἡλίῳ καθαρῷ τεθραμμένον ἀλλ᾿ ὑπὸ συμμιγεῖ σκιᾷ, πόνων μὲν ἀνδρείων καὶ ἱδρώτων ξηρῶν ἄπειρον, ἔμπειρον δὲ ἁπαλῆς καὶ ἀνάνδρου διαίτης, ἀλλοτρίοις χρώμασι καὶ κόσμοις χήτει οἰκείων κοσμούμενον, ὅσα τε ἄλλα τούτοις ἕπεται πάντα ἐπιτηδεύοντα, ἃ δῆλα καὶ οὐκ ἄξιον περαιτέρω προβαίνειν...
Hackforth's "one who has had a cozy, sheltered upbringing instead of being exposed to the open air" is more literally "one brought up not in pure sunshine but under mottled shade."

Harvey Yunis, ed., Plato, Phaedrus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 116-117 (on ἀλλοτρίοις χρώμασι ... κοσμούμενον):
this erōmenos, pale from lack of sun, uses cosmetics to make himself darker and thus more manly, the opposite of the traditional female use of cosmetics (Grillet 1975). Pale skin in men could be associated with effeminacy (Rep. 8.556d, Eur. Bacch. 457-8).
Grillet 1975 = Bernard Grillet, Les femmes et les fards dans l'antiquité grecque (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1975).

Related posts:

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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