Interest, Shameless Gods, and Seven-Layered Tempers–Three Θ Proverbs

Theta is for Thursday. Three more proverbs from the Suda:

“The interest speeds faster than Heraclitus of Perineum”: This man was a marvel for his speed. For this reason a proverb is used for people who borrow money at interest.”

Θᾶττον ὁ τόκος Ἡρακλείτω Περινέω τρέχει: οὗτος ἐθαυμάσθη ἐπὶ τάχει. εἴρηται οὖν ἡ παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν δανειζομένων διὰ τὸν τόκον.


S.V Theos

“There is a proverb: “Shamelessness is a god.” This is spoken for those who aid someone because of shamelessness. Shamelessness was honored as a god in Athens. She also had a temple there, as Istros records in his 14th book.”

καὶ παροιμία: Θεὸς ἡ Ἀναίδεια. λέγεται κατὰ τῶν δι’ ἀναισχυντίαν τινὰ ὠφελούντων. ἐτιμᾶτο δὲ καὶ Ἀθήνησιν ἡ Ἀναίδεια, καὶ ἱερὸν ἦν αὐτῆς, ὡς Ἴστρος ἐν ιδ#.


“A seven-layered temper”: This means a big temper. It comes as a metaphor from Ajax’s shield.  Kreon in Oedipus claims “the temper has no other age but death / and no pain touches the dead.” This means that it is not possible for someone to control a temper when still a human.

Temper’s rawness does not age except when a person exits life. It is impossible for someone not to give into a temper while still alive. This is also reported proverbially: “the temper ages last.” This derives from the fact that the elderly only develop a more robust temper as they age. Alkaios also repeats a version of this.

Θυμὸς ἑπταβόειος: ὁ μέγας. ἀπὸ μεταφορᾶς τῆς ἀσπίδος τοῦ Αἴαντος. Κρέων Οἰδίποδι: θυμοῦ γὰρ οὐδέν ἐστιν ἄλλο γῆρας πλὴν θανεῖν. θανόντων δ’ οὐδὲν ἄλγος ἅπτεται. οἷον οὐκ ἔστι θυμοῦ κρατῆσαι ἄνθρωπον ὄντα. οὐ καταγηράσκει τὸ ὠμὸν τοῦ θυμοῦ, εἰ μὴ ἐξέλθοι τοῦ βίου ὁ ἄνθρωπος: ἀδύνατον γάρ ἐστιν ὄντα ἄνθρωπον μὴ θυμῷ χρήσασθαι. τοῦτο καὶ παροιμιακῶς λέγεται, ὅτι ὁ θυμὸς ἔσχατον γηράσκει. λέγεται δὲ διὰ τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους: ὅσον γηράσκουσι, τὸν θυμὸν ἐρρωμενέστερον ἔχουσι. καὶ Ἀλκαῖος ὡς λεγομένου κατὰ τὸ κοινὸν αὐτοῦ μιμνήσκεται.

One thought on “Interest, Shameless Gods, and Seven-Layered Tempers–Three Θ Proverbs

  1. I love “a seven-layered temper”! I’ve gotta work that into one of my books…preferably somewhere slightly bent, like in talking about *Achilles* instead of Aias… (Of course, Achilles did have the worse temper of the two, by far…)

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