PSA: Some Things Not to Say While Trick-or-treating

Want to know how to say “trick-or-treat” in Ancient Greek or Latin? We’ve got you covered. Here are some classical things not to say.

Aristophanes, Wasps 4

“Don’t you know what kind of a beast we’re guarding?”

ἆρ᾿ οἶσθά γ᾿ οἷον κνώδαλον φυλάττομεν;

Euripides, Cyclops 656-660

“Heave ho, let’s go
Strike bravely, fast now
Incinerate the brow
Of this guest-feasting beast.
Blind him, burn out
The shepherd of Aetna.
Turn it, pull it, so that because of pain
He can’t hurt you any more.”

ἰὼ ἰώ·
ὠθεῖτε γενναιότατα,
σπεύδετ᾿, ἐκκαίετ᾿ ὀφρὺν
θηρὸς τοῦ ξενοδαίτα.
τύφετ᾿ ὦν, καίετ᾿ ὦ
τὸν Αἴτνας μηλονόμον.
τόρνευ᾿ ἕλκε, μὴ ᾿ξοδυνη-
θεὶς δράσῃ τι μάταιον.

Seneca, Phoenician Women 121-2

“Put a greater monster there so the dread seat will not be empty”

…dira ne sedes vacet,/ monstrum repone maius…

Jerome, Letters 7.3

“We are still food for the beast who creeps by god’s will to eat.”

nos serpenti terram ex divina sententia comedenti adhuc cibo sumus.


Image result for ancient roman monsters

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