Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Some Sophoclean Circumlocutions
The preserved fragments of Sophoclean satyr-drama suggest that the poet used vulgarisms sparingly and in general refrained from coarse and obscene expressions for bodily functions: Sophocles' satyrs do fart, but the terms for farting are ἀποθυµαίνω, literally 'to make smoke' or 'fumigate' (128),127 ψοφεῖν: 168128 and comic circumlocutions such as τερθρία πνοή, 'wind from behind' (fr. 333) or τῶν κάτω λάλησις, 'speech of the lower parts' (fr. 1130, 15f.).129
127 Cf. Wilamowitz (1912/1935) 458 n1.
128 Cf. Lloyd-Jones (1996) 140; but cf. Bain (1995) [to die, to croak].
129 Cf. also Syndeipnoi, fr. 565 (and above n30).
Labels: noctes scatologicae