A Strange, Instructive Proverb

The following is inspired by current events and by enthusiasm for an earlier post about Greek excrement


“Shitting in the Pythian temple”: Peisistratos built the temple to Pythian Apollo. But when some Athenians were present and they hated him and had nothing else to do, some pissed on the enclosure and shat near the building, effectively annoying the people who were working on it…”

ἐν Πυθίῳ χέσαι· Πεισίστρατος ᾠκοδόμει τὸν ἐν Πυθίῳ ναόν·τῶν δὲ ᾿Αθηναίων παριόντων <καὶ> μισούντων αὐτὸν …, οὐδὲν ἐχόντων ποιεῖν, ἐνίους προσουρεῖν τῷ περιφράγματικαὶ πλησίον ἀφοδεύειν τῆς οἰκοδομῆς, ὥστε διοχλεῖσθαι τοὺς ἐργαζομένους

Michael Apostolios, 7.17

“Shitting in the Pythian Temple”: this means to risk danger. For the tyrant Peisistratos, when he was building the temple, discovered some resident alien shitting there, and drove him off. For he posted that no one could shit there.”

᾿Εν Πυθίου χέσαι: οἷον κινδυνεῦσαι. Πεισίστρατος γὰρ ὁ τύραννος ποιῶν νεὼν, εὑρών τινα ἀποπατοῦντα μέτοικον, ἀπήγαγε· προσέγραψε γὰρ μηδένα ἀποπατῆσαι.

Aristophanes, Ecclesiazuae 832

“By Poseidon, I hope she doesn’t piss on me”

νὴ τὸν Ποσειδῶ, μὴ κατουρήσωσί μου.

Suda, s.v. Pythagoras

“Do not urinate when turned to the sun”

πρὸς ἥλιον τετραμμένον μὴ ὀμιχεῖν

“Do not urinate or stand on clipped nails or cut hair”

ἀπονυχίσμασι καὶ κουραῖς μὴ ἐπουρεῖν μηδὲ ἐφίστασθαι

Image result for The temple of the Pythian Apollo

Leave a Reply