Sunday, December 24, 2017


Male Grooming and Hygiene

Ovid, Art of Love 1.513-522 (tr. J.H. Mozley, rev. G.P. Goold):
Let your person please by cleanliness, and be made swarthy by the Campus;
let your toga fit, and be spotless;
let your shoe-strap not be too tight, let its buckle be free from rust,        515
and let your feet not float about in shoes too loose;
nor let your stubborn locks be spoilt by bad cutting;
let hair and beard be dressed by a practised hand.
Do not let your nails project, and let them be free of dirt;
nor let any hair be in the hollow of your nostrils.        520
Let not the breath of your mouth be sour and unpleasing,
nor let the lord and master of the herd offend the nose.

munditie placeant, fuscentur corpora Campo:
    sit bene conveniens et sine labe toga:
lingula ne rigeat, careant rubigine dentes,        515
    nec vagus in laxa pes tibi pelle natet:
nec male deformet rigidos tonsura capillos:
    sit coma, sit trita barba resecta manu.
et nihil emineant, et sint sine sordibus ungues:
    inque cava nullus stet tibi nare pilus.        520
nec male odorati sit tristis anhelitus oris:
    nec laedat naris virque paterque gregis.

513 munditie R: munditiae rell.
515 lingula Palmer: lingua codd.
518 trita Housman: tuta RO: docta rell.: scita Heinsius
R = Parisinus Latinus 7311 (Regius), and O = Oxoniensis Bodl. Auct. F.4.32.

On 515 see G.P. Goold, "Amatoria Critica," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 69 (1965) 1-107 (at 65-66):
Jack is about to meet Jill, and in this section of the lover's manual receives instruction about his appearance: each couplet stresses a particular aspect; for example, the next refers to hairdressing.

It is therefore odd that, whilst the pentameter urges Jack to wear sandals which fit (cf. Aristoph. Equ. 321, etc.), the hexameter appears to refer to hygiene of the mouth. This oddity, however, is set right by Palmer's brilliant lingula ne ruget "let your shoe-strap not be creased," which restores the link between the two verses. Not that Palmer has quite hit the target. He compares Ars 3,443f (" Girls, do not be taken in by spruce Lotharios") nec coma uos fallat liquida nitidissima nardo / nec breuis in rugas lingula pressa suas; but this must mean that the smart guys do display a shoe-strap "folded into creases" (i.e., pleated, tied): ruget must be wrong.

There is no need to alter the verb: from lingula ne rigeat; careant ... the following excellent sense is yielded: "let not shoe-strap be tied too tight; keep teeth (of buckle) free from (rust-)stain." So Bornecque: "Que ta chaussure soit bien correctement nouée; que les agrafes ne soient pas rouillées." The association of dentes and lingula is proved by Pauli Festus 103,21 Lindsay: LINGVLA per deminutionem linguae dicta; alias a similitudine exertae, ut in calceis; alias insertae, id est intra dentes coercitae, ut in tibiis. Not but what there is an obvious double-entendre on "keep teeth (of mouth) free from stain," cf. Met. 2.776, etc.
On 518 see A.E. Housman, "Notes on Latin Poets," Classical Review 4.8 (October, 1890) 340-342 (at 341-342):
The epithet 'tuta' is meaningless and no editor retains it: even the interpolators of the inferior MSS perceived its absurdity and substituted 'docta'; then came Heinsius with the more scientific amendment 'scita' which is now the vulgate. But even thus much change is unnecessary: nothing graver has happened than the common error u for ri, 'tuta' for 'trita'. The lexicons show that in Cicero this word means 'practised' and so 'expert', and they supply a perfect counterpart to its employment here from Vitr. II. 1 6 'tritiores manus ad aedificandum perficere.'
On 522 (virque paterque gregis) see P. Murgatroyd, Ovid with Love: Selections from Ars Amatoria I and II (1982; rpt. Wauconda: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002), p. 117:
i.e. the he-goat, notorious for its rank smell (here denoting the goatish stink of B.O.: cf. Catullus 69.5f. tibi fertur / valle sub alarum trux habitare caper, Ars 3.l93 quam paene admonui, ne trux caper iret in alas).
Of Ovid's precepts I find line 520 the most difficult to follow. Constant vigilance is required.

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