Wednesday, August 24, 2022


Stuff Yourself

Juvenal 4.67 (tr. G.G. Ramsay):
Hasten to fill out thy belly with good things.

propera stomachum laxare sagina.

sagina Weidner et cod. Vat. Reg. 2029: saginam Ρ1R lem.: saginis : sagittis F et Probus Vallae: saginae Jahn (et saginis et sagittis agnoscit schol.)
Paul Wessner, ed., Scholia in Iuvenalem Vetustiora (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1931), p. 59 (text and supplement):
Edward Courtney, A Commentary on the Satires of Juvenal (1980; rpt. Berkeley: California Classical Studies, 2013), p. 182:
[W]e again have Juvenal's favourite humour through incongruity. The word SAGINA will have been familiar to the fisherman from his trade; it means the small fry which feeds large fish (Varro RR 3.17.7, where it is also described as plebeiae cenae pisces; Pliny NH 9.14). There is a play on animum laxare, where the verb is metaphorical.
Some scholars, however, understand the command in precisely the opposite meaning, not stuff your stomach with the fish, but rather purge your stomach of its contents to make room for the fish. See e.g. Biagio Santorelli, ed., Giovenale, Satira IV. Introduzione, Traduzione e Commento (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012), pp. 102-103:
Oxford Latin Dictionary, s.v. sagīna:
Alfred Ernout and Alfred Meillet, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine, 4th ed. rev. Jacques André (Paris: Klincksieck, 2001), p. 588 (s.v. sagīna):
Les langues romanes suppose un doublet sagīnum (et *sagīmen). M.L. 7506; B.W. saindoux [= lard]....Aucune étymologie. Terme technique.
There is no entry for sagina in Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages (Leiden: Brill, 2008).

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