Tawdry Tuesday: Dying Right and Being the Beard

Philetairos, fr. 6.

“Stop acting like this when you are an old man.
Don’t you know it is not sweetest to die while fucking
Just as they say Phormisios died?”

παῦσαι γέρων ὢν τοὺς τρόπους. οὐκ οἶσθ᾿ ὅτι
οὐκ ἐστιν ἥδιστον ἀποθανεῖν βινοῦνθ᾿ ἅμα,
ὥσπερ λέγουσιν ἀποθανεῖν Φορμίσιον;

The Suda calls Phormisios a “reckless and bold wannabe general” (ὁ Φορμίσιος αὐθάδης καὶ θρασὺς στρατηγιῶν, Phi 606). But then, there is this from Aristophanes.

Suda, Phi 605

“Phormisios: “She will pull up [her skirt] and show her Phormisios”*: for this man was hairy. This is an indirect reference to female genitalia.”

Φορμίσιος· ἀναβαλλομένη δείξει τὸν Φορμίσιον. καὶ οὗτος δασὺς ἦν. αἰνίττεται δὲ τὸ γυναικεῖον αἰδοῖον.

From Aristophanes Ekklesiazusae 97. We learn at Schol R ad Arist. Ran. 966 that Phormisios “had a big beard.” (ὡς μέγαν ἔχοντα πώγωνα).

For binein as “to fuck” see here.

Image result for ancient greek vase big beard
Zeus has a big beard. How big was Phormisios’?

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