Thursday, July 04, 2019


Bodily Fluids of Peregrinus

Lucian, On the Death of Peregrinus 2 (tr. A.M. Harmon):
I think I can see you laughing heartily at the old man's drivelling idiocy...

πολλὰ τοίνυν δοκῶ μοι ὁρᾶν σε γελῶντα ἐπὶ τῇ κορύζῃ τοῦ γέροντος...
The primary meaning of κόρυζα is "mucous discharge from the nostrils" (Liddell-Scott-Jones). Cf. also βουκόρυζα in Poetae Comici Fragmenta, Vol. VI 2: Menander, Testimonia et Fragmenta apud scriptores servata, edd. R. Kassel and C. Austin (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1998), p. 292 (Menander, fragment 530):
Phot. β 224 = Sud. β 422 βουκόρυζαν· τήν μεγάλην κόρυζαν (= Eust. in Il. p. 962,15). καὶ βουκορυζᾶν (κορ- Sud.) τὸν ίϲχυρῶϲ κορυζῶντα (-οντα Sud.). Μένανδροϲ (in marg. Phot.)
Hesych. β 916 βουκόρυζοϲ· άναίϲθητοϲ, άϲύνετοϲ

Lucian, On the Death of Peregrinus 17 (tr. A.M. Harmon):
Thereafter he went away a third time, to Egypt, to visit Agathobulus, where he took that wonderful course of training in asceticism, shaving one half of his head, daubing his face with mud, and demonstrating what they call 'indifference' by erecting his yard amid a thronging mob of bystanders, besides giving and taking blows on the back-sides with a stalk of fennel, and playing the mountebank even more audaciously in many other ways.

τρίτη ἐπὶ τούτοις ἀποδημία εἰς Αἴγυπτον παρὰ τὸν Ἀγαθόβουλον, ἵναπερ τὴν θαυμαστὴν ἄσκησιν διησκεῖτο, ξυρόμενος μὲν τῆς κεφαλῆς τὸ ἥμισυ, χριόμενος δὲ πηλῷ τὸ πρόσωπον, ἐν πολλῷ δὲ τῶν περιεστώτων δήμῳ ἀναφλῶν τὸ αἰδοῖον καὶ τὸ ἀδιάφορον δὴ τοῦτο καλούμενον ἐπιδεικνύμενος, εἶτα παίων καὶ παιόμενος νάρθηκι εἰς τὰς πυγὰς καὶ ἄλλα πολλὰ νεανικώτερα θαυματοποιῶν.
"Erecting his yard" is a euphemism. Likewise the translation by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler: "grossly exposing himself." The Greek ἀναφλῶν means "masturbating." Desmond Costa, Lucian: Selected Dialogues (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 78, translates the word correctly.

Dear Mike,

An adaptation of 'erecting his yard' could be applied less euphemistically to ὀρθώσαντες τὰ αἰδοῖα in Verae Historiae 2.45. If Harmon had translated these words 'erected their yards' instead of the rather silly 'hoisted their never-mind-whats' he'd at least have kept the nautical thread. Either translation, however, is superior to that of the priggishly economical Fowler brothers, who near enough reduce the Phallonauts to Phallonots.

ἤδη δὲ ἰχθύες τε ἡμῖν ἐφαίνοντο καὶ ὄρνεα παρεπέτετο καὶ ἄλλ᾽ ὁπόσα γῆς πλησίον οὔσης σημεῖα προφαίνεται. μετ᾽ ὀλίγον δὲ καὶ ἄνδρας εἴδομεν καινῷ τῳ τρόπῳ ναυτιλίας χρωμένους· αὐτοὶ γὰρ καὶ ναῦται καὶ νῆες ἦσαν. λέξω δὲ τοῦ πλοῦ τὸν τρόπον ὕπτιοι κείμενοι ἐπὶ τοῦ ὕδατος ὀρθώσαντες τὰ αἰδοῖα — μεγάλα δὲ φέρουσιν — ἐξ αὐτῶν ὀθόνην πετάσαντες καὶ ταῖς χερσὶν τοὺς ποδεῶνας κατέχοντες ἐμπίπτοντος τοῦ ἀνέμου ἔπλεον.

Already we began to see fish, birds flew by and all the other signs that land was near made their appearance. In a little while we saw men who were following a novel mode of sailing, being at once sailors and ships. Let me tell you how they did it: they lay on their backs on the water, hoisted their never-mind-whats, which are sizeable, spread sail on them, held the clews in their hands, and were off and away as soon as the wind struck them. (tr. A.M. Harmon)

By this time we were beginning to observe fish, birds on the wing, and other signs of land not far off; and we shortly saw men, practising a mode of navigation new to us; for they were boat and crew in one. The method was this: they float on their backs, erect a sail, and then, holding the sheets with their hands, catch the wind. (tr. H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler)

Best wishes,

Eric [Thomson]

Related posts:

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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