Thursday, February 15, 2018


Diogenes Laertius 7.172

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers. With an English Translation by R.D. Hicks, Vol. II (1925; rpt. London: Heinemann, 1931 = Loeb Classical Library, 185), pp. 276-277 (7.172, on Cleanthes):
φησὶ δ᾿ ὁ Ἑκάτων ἐν ταῖς Χρείαις, εὐμόρφου μειρακίου εἰπόντος, "εἰ ὁ εἰς τὴν γαστέρα τύπτων γαστρίζει, καὶ ὁ εἰς τοὺς μηροὺς τύπτων μηρίζει," ἔφη, "σὺ μέντοι τοὺς διαμηρισμοὺς ἔχε, μειράκιον· αἱ δ᾿ ἀνάλογοι φωναὶ τὰ ἀνάλογα οὐ πάντως σημαίνουσι πράγματα."

Dicit autem Hecato in Sententiis eum, cum adulescens quidam formosus dixisset, Si pulsans ventrem ventrizat, pulsans coxas coxizat, dixisse, Tibi habeas, adulescens, coxizationes: nempe vocabula quae conveniunt analogia non semper etiam significatione conveniunt.
Here Hicks departs from English into the decent obscurity of Latin. The camouflage persists in the Digital Loeb Classical Library. Even Liddell-Scott-Jones take refuge in Latin when defining διαμηρίζω (femora diducere, inire) and διαμηρισμός (femorum diductio).

The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius. Literally Translated by C.D. Yonge (London: George Bell and Sons, 1901), p. 324, has the following:
Hecaton tells us in his Apophthegms, that once when a young man said, "If a man who beats his stomach γαστρίζει then a man who slaps his thigh μηρίζει," he replied, "Do you stick to your διαμηρίζει." But analogous words do not always indicate analogous facts.
Here is my attempt at a translation:
According to Hecato in his Apophthegms, when a good-looking young man said, "If a man striking against the stomach stomachizes, so also a man striking against the thighs thighizes," Cleanthes replied, "By all means accept inter-thighizings, young man; but similar words don't always denote similar things."
K.J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality, updated ed. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 98 (footnotes omitted), explains the meaning of διαμηρίζω:
When courtship has been successful, the erastes and eromenos stand facing one another; the erastes grasps the eromenos round the torso, bows his head on to or even below the shoulder of the eromenos, bends his knees and thrusts his penis between the eromenos's thighs just below the scrotum. Examples are: B114*, B130, B250*, B482, B486*, B534, R502*, R573*, in all of which the erastes is a man and the eromenos a youth....The original specific word for this type of copulation was almost certainly diamērizein, i.e. 'do ... between the thighs (mēroi) '. When we first encounter the word in Aristophanes' Birds it takes an object of either sex (male in 706, female in 669), and in 1254, where Peisetairos threatens Iris that he will 'stick [her] legs in the air' and diamērizein her, the reference is most naturally to any one of several modes of vaginal copulation from the front (cf. p. 101). The inscription on the bottom of B406, from the richest period of homosexual iconography, says apodos to diamērion, which is to be interpreted as 'grant me' (or 'pay me back') 'the act of diamērizein' (or 'payment for diamērizein') 'which you promised' (or 'which is my due').
For B114 etc. see Dover, "List of Vases," pp. 207-227.

The fragment is number 25 in Heinz Gomoll, Der stoische Philosoph Hekaton. Seine Begriffswelt und Nachwirkung unter Beigaben seiner Fragmente (Leipzig: W. Hoppe, 1933), p. 113 (non vidi), and number XXIV in Harold N. Fowler, Panaetii et Hecatonis Librorum Fragmenta (Bonn, 1885), p. 62. See also Hans von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, Vol. I (1905; rpt. Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1964), p. 137 (number 613).

Hat tip: Bill Thayer.

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