Spit it Out: Expectoration for Your Special Occasion

Remember last year when someone spitting at people was major news?

Demosthenes, De Corona 200 (Full text on the Scaife viewer)

“Who wouldn’t have spat in your face?”

τίς οὐχὶ κατέπτυσεν ἂν σοῦ;

Tertullian, Apologeticus 8-9 (Full text on the Scaife viewer)

“The Attic sex-worker, once the torturer was finally worn out, chewed threw her own tongue and spat it out at the face of the angry tyrant—that is, she spat out her voice too so that she would not be able to expose her conspirators if she was overcome…”

Attica meretrix carnifice iam fatigato postremo linguam suam comesam in faciem tyranni saevientis exspuit, ut exspueret et vocem, ne coniuratos confiteri posset, si etiam victa voluisset.

Plutarch, Moralia 1088b (Full text on the Scaife viewer)

“Metrodoros says ‘I have often spat on the pleasures of the flesh.’ ”

Μητρόδωρος μὲν λέγων ὅτι ‘πολλάκις προσεπτύσαμεν ταῖς τοῦ σώματος ἡδοναῖς,’

Nossis, Greek Anthology 5.170

“Nothing is sweeter than sex. All blessings are second to this.
I spat even honey from my mouth.”

Ἅδιον οὐδὲν ἔρωτος· ἃ δ᾽ ὄλβια, δεύτερα πάντα
ἐστίν· ἀπὸ στόματος δ᾽ ἔπτυσα καὶ τὸ μέλι.

LSJ 1902

Spit LSJ

Pseudo-Lucian, Lucius or the Ass

“But when she saw that I was wholly human, she spat at me, saying “Won’t you fuck off from me and my house and only sleep somewhere far away?”

ἡ δὲ ἐπειδὴ εἶδέ με πάντα ἀνθρώπινα ἔχοντα, προσπτύσασά μοι, Οὐ φθερῇ ἀπ᾿ ἐμοῦ, ἔφη, καὶ τῆς ἐμῆς οἰκίας καὶ μακράν ποι ἀπελθὼν κοιμήσῃ;

Plutarch, Phocion 36 (Full text on the Scaife viewer)

“One of them came right up to him and spat at him.”

εἷς δὲ καὶ προσέπτυσεν ἐξεναντίας προσελθών.

Beekes 2010

SPIT Beekes

Select Papyri, P Gurob. 2

“Woman, you were at that place with Kallipos…and you were insulting me, claiming that I had said to certain people that…When I was insulting you in turn, you spat on me….and took my collar…so I am suing you for assault for 200 drachmae.”

, παρα]γενομένη εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον μετὰ Καλλίππου τοῦ . . . . . . . . . αν . . . . . ου ἐλοιδόρησας φαμένη με εἰρηκέναι πρός τινας δι[ότι – – -] γυναῖκα, ἐμοῦ δέ σε ἀντιλοιδοροῦντος οὕτως ἔπτυσας [- – -] καὶ λαβομέ[νη μ]ου τῆς ἀναβολῆς τοῦ ἱματίου – – – διὸ δικάζομαί σοι κατα-27[. . . . . . . . . . . . ὕ]βριν (δραχμῶν) σ. τίμημα τῆς δίκης (δραχμαὶ) [.

Diogenes Laertius, Aristippos 2.8

“When someone was criticizing him for spending too much on meals, he said “Wouldn’t you have purchased the same for three obols?” When the man said he would, Aristippos said, “Ok, I am not a hedonist; you are a money-grubber.”

At a different time, Simos, who was Dionysius’ steward, a Phrygian and a nasty fellow too, was showing him expensive houses with fine tile work. When Aristippos coughed and spat in his face and he resented it, the man replied, “I didn’t have any more appropriate a place.”

τὸν ὀνειδίσαντα αὐτῷ πολυτελῆ ὀψωνίαν ἔφη, “σὺ δ᾿ οὐκ ἂν τριωβόλου ταῦτ᾿ ἐπρίω;” ὁμολογήσαντος δέ, “οὐκέτι τοίνυν,” ἔφη, “φιλήδονος ἐγώ, ἀλλὰ σὺ φιλάργυρος.” Σίμου ποτὲ τοῦ Διονυσίου ταμίου πολυτελεῖς οἴκους αὐτῷ καὶ λιθοστρώτους δεικνύντος—ἦν δὲ Φρὺξ καὶ ὄλεθρος—ἀναχρεμψάμενος προσέπτυσε τῇ ὄψει· τοῦ δ᾿ ἀγανακτήσαντος, “οὐκ εἶχον,” εἶπε, “τόπον ἐπιτηδειότερον.

Diogenes Laertius, Anaxarchus 9.10

“He never forgot the slight. After the king’s death when Anaxarchus was sailing and was forced to land on Cyprus, Nicocreon had him arrested and placed him on a mortar, ordering that he be pounded to death with iron pestles.

But he, not giving a shit about the punishment, uttered that famous saying, “You pound the bag of Anaxarchus but you do not pound Anaxarchus.” When Nicocreon ordered his tongue to be cut off, the story is that he bit it off and spat it at him.”

ὁ δὲ μνησικακήσας μετὰ τὴν τελευτὴν τοῦ βασιλέως ὅτε πλέων ἀκουσίως προσηνέχθη τῇ Κύπρῳ ὁ Ἀνάξαρχος, συλλαβὼν αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς ὅλμον βαλὼν ἐκέλευσε τύπτεσθαι σιδηροῖς ὑπέροις. τὸν δ᾿ οὐ φροντίσαντα τῆς τιμωρίας εἰπεῖν ἐκεῖνο δὴ τὸ περιφερόμενον, “πτίσσε τὸν Ἀναξάρχου θύλακον, Ἀνάξαρχον δὲ οὐ πτίσσεις.” κελεύσαντος δὲ τοῦ Νικοκρέοντος καὶ τὴν γλῶτταν αὐτοῦ ἐκτμηθῆναι, λόγος ἀποτραγόντα προσπτύσαι αὐτῷ.

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