Wednesday, August 05, 2020


Effects of a Diet of Raw Vegetables

Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.1 (tr. E.J. Kenney):
However, just behind the stable I saw a kitchen-garden, and this, as I was now perishing with hunger, I boldly invaded. Having stuffed myself with vegetables, raw as they were, I invoked the whole company of heaven and began to prospect the surrounding area to see if I could find roses in bloom anywhere in the neighbouring gardens.

sed plane pone stabulum prospectum hortulum iam fame perditus fidenter invado et quamvis crudis holeribus, affatim tamen ventrem sagino deosque comprecatus omnes cuncta prospectabam loca, sicubi forte conterminis in hortulis candens repperirem rosarium.
Id., 4.3:
However, the villagers, having with some difficulty restrained their dogs, seized me and tied me to a ring with a stout rope; and would undoubtedly have finished me off with the beating which they proceeded to inflict, had not my belly, stuffed as it was with raw vegetables and so in a highly liquid state, contracted under the pain of the blows and shot out a jet of dung at them. Showered with this noisome fluid and repelled by the stench, my tormentors were driven off.

at illi canibus iam aegre cohibitis adreptum me loro quam valido ad ansulam quandam destinatum rursum caedendo confecissent profecto, nisi dolore plagarum alvus artata crudisque illis oleribus abundans et lubrico fluxu saucia, fimo fistulatim excusso quosdam extremi liquoris aspergine, alios putore nidoris faetidi a meis iam quassis scapulis abegisset.
My brother tells me that a diet of rabbit meat has a similar effect:
When I worked at St. Johnsbury Trucking Co. there was a fellow employee, [name withheld]. He and his wife raised rabbits and that's about all they ate for protein. It was not uncommon for him to shit his pants before he could make it to the bathroom, which was a bit of a hike from our office. I believe he always kept a change of clothing in his vehicle.
Cf. Susan A. Stephens and John J. Winkler, edd., Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments. Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 323 (on Lollianos' Phoinikia):
There may also be a scatological parallel: the episode of the ass distracting his attackers by spattering them with noxious feces (Apuleius 4.3.10) shows linguistic similarities with Androtimos's complaint that he is overwhelmed by the smell of belching and flatulence (B.1 verso 10-11)...
Id., pp. 340-341:

Id., p. 352:
After the sacrifice, there is a meal in which the bandits, at least, partake. At this point, Androtimos publicly complains about the belching and flatulence, and attributes it to a failure to cook the food properly.


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