Friday, August 14, 2020


A Breach of Decorum

Xenophon, Education of Cyrus 1.2.16 (tr. Walter Miller):
There remains even unto this day evidence of their moderate fare and of their working off by exercise what they eat: for even to the present time it is a breach of decorum for a Persian to spit or to blow his nose or to appear afflicted with flatulence; it is a breach of decorum also to be seen going apart either to make water or for anything else of that kind.

καὶ νῦν δὲ ἔτι ἐμμένει μαρτύρια καὶ τῆς μετρίας διαίτης αὐτῶν καὶ τοῦ ἐκπονεῖσθαι τὴν δίαιταν. αἰσχρὸν μὲν γὰρ ἔτι καὶ νῦν ἐστι Πέρσαις καὶ τὸ πτύειν καὶ τὸ ἀπομύττεσθαι καὶ τὸ φύσης μεστοὺς φαίνεσθαι, αἰσχρὸν δέ ἐστι καὶ τὸ ἰόντα ποι φανερὸν γενέσθαι ἢ τοῦ οὐρῆσαι ἕνεκα ἢ καὶ ἄλλου τινὸς τοιούτου.

πτύειν Cobet: ἀποπτύειν codd.
C.G. Cobet, "Ad Xenophontis Cyropaediam," Mnemosyne 3.4 (1875) 378-409 (at 378):
Non debebat punctum temporis Editor dubitare quin πτύειν pro ἀποπτύειν verum esset et recipiendum. Perinde est ac si respuere quis vellet dicere pro spuere vel sputare. Adhaesit praepositio ex sq. ἀπομύττεσθαι.

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