Sunday, July 23, 2017


Competitive Eating

Pausanias 5.5.4 (tr. W.H.S. Jones):
There was also a story that Lepreüs contended with Heracles that he was as good a trencherman. Each killed an ox at the same time and prepared it for the table. It turned out, even as Lepreüs maintained, that he was as powerful a trencherman as Heracles.

ἐλέγετο δὲ καὶ ὡς πρὸς Ἡρακλέα ἐρίσειεν ὁ Λεπρέος μὴ ἀποδεῖν τοῦ Ἡρακλέους ἐσθίων· ἐπεὶ δὲ ἑκάτερος βοῦν αὐτῶν ἐν ἴσῳ τῷ καιρῷ κατέσφαξε καὶ εὐτρέπισεν ἐς τὸ δεῖπνον, καὶ ἦν ὥσπερ καὶ ὑφίστατο ὁ Λεπρέος φαγεῖν οὐκ ἀδυνατώτερος τοῦ Ἡρακλέους.
Natale Conti, Mythologies 7.1 (tr. Glenn W. Most; I changed Hercules' force to Heracles' force):
According to legend, when Heracles set out for Triphylia, a district of Elis, he had a competition in gluttony with Lepreus, the son of Pyrgeus, as Hesiod [fragment 265 Merkelbach-West] says in The Wedding of Ceyx; and after each one had killed an ox for his meal, Lepreus turned out to be not at all slower or less ready to eat. But after dinner they came to blows because of each one’s resentment at his rival's virtue, and Lepreus fell victim to Heracles' force.

fama est Herculem in Triphyliam regionem Eleorum profectum habuisse controversiam de voracitate cum Lepreo Pyrgei filio, ut inquit Hesiodus in Ceycis nuptiis; atque cum uterque bovem in epulas occidisset, Lepreus nihilo fuit tardior aut imparatior edendo inventus. sed cum post epulas ventum esset ad pugnam ob indignationem aemulae virtutis, Lepreus cecidit ob vim Herculeam.
But according to Athenaeus and Aelian, Heracles won the contest.

Athenaeus 10.412a (tr. S. Douglas Olson):
Heracles is also represented as having an eating-contest with Lepreus, after Lepreus challenged him, and as winning.

εἰσάγεται δὲ ὁ Ἡρακλῆς καὶ Λεπρεῖ περὶ πολυφαγίας ἐρίζων ἐκείνου προκαλεσαμένου, καὶ νενίκηκεν.
Aelian, Historical Miscellany 1.24 (tr. N.G. Wilson):
At Astydamia's request Heracles gave up his dislike of Lepreus. But they were overcome by a youthful spirit of quarrelsomeness, and competed with each other in throwing the discus, in bailing out water, in seeing who could first consume a bull for dinner. In all these matters Lepreus was defeated.

δεηθείσης δὲ τῆς Ἀστυδαμείας διαλύεται τὴν πρὸς τὸν Λεπρέα ὁ Ἡρακλῆς ἔχθραν. φιλονεικία δ᾿ οὖν αὐτοῖς ἐμπίπτει νεανικὴ καὶ ἐρίζουσιν ἀλλήλοις περὶ δίσκου καὶ ὕδατος ἀντλήσεως καὶ τίς καταδειπνήσει ταῦρον πρότερος· καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις ἡττᾶται Λεπρεύς.
See Reinhold Merkelbach and Martin West, "The Wedding of Ceyx," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 108.4 (1965) 300-317 (at 306-307).

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