Fantastic Friday 3: Truffles in Thunder and Other Things Worth Knowing

Apollonios the Paradoxographer is credited with a text of 51 anecdotes usually dated to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.  Some of these translations are pretty rough, so suggestions and corrections are welcome.

46 “In the fifth book of his Natural Causes, Theophrastos says that the covering of beans when they are placed near the roots of trees dry out the things that are growing. He also adds that native birds who eat these things constantly become barren. Therefore, for this reason and eventually because of many others the Pythagoreans prohibited the use of the bean. For it makes someone flatulent, and dyspeptic, and brings us bad dreams.

46 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῇ ε′ τῶν φυτικῶν αἰτιῶν φησιν τὰ κελύφια τῶν κυάμων περὶ τὰς ῥίζας τῶν δένδρων περιτιθέμενα ξηραίνειν τὰ φυόμενα. καὶ αἱ κατοικίδιαι δὲ ὄρνιθες συνεχῶς ταῦτα ἐσθίουσαι ἄτοκοι γίγνονται. ὅθεν καὶ διὰ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν, τάχα δὲ καὶ δι’ ἄλλας οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι ἀπηγορεύκασιν τῷ κυάμῳ χρῆσθαι· καὶ γὰρ πνευματοποιὸν καὶ δύσπεπτον, καὶ τοὺς ὀνείρους τεταραγμένους ἡμῖν ἐμποιεῖ.

47 “Truffles become harder when there is continuous thunder, just as Theophrastos says in his work On Plants.”

47 Τὰ ὕδνα βροντῶν συνεχῶν γιγνομένων σκληρότερα γίγνεται, καθάπερ Θεόφραστος ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν εἴρηκεν.

48“Theophrastos says in his work On Plants that when the frankincense plant is wrapped with cloths it hinders moths from implanting.”

48 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν φησιν· ἡ λιβανωτὶς βοτάνη συντιθεμένη μετὰ ἱματίων κωλύει σῆτας ἐγγίγνεσθαι.

50 “In his work On Plants, in the last part of the material, Theophrastos says that Eunomos, the Khian and purveyor of drugs, did not [cleanse himself/die] while drinking many doses of hellebore. Once, even, when together with his fellow craftsmen he took over 22 drinks in one day as he sat in the agora and he did not return from his implements. Then he left to wash and eat, as he was accustomed, and did not vomit. He accomplished this after being in this custom for a long time, because he started from small amounts until he got to so many large ones. The powers of all drugs are less severe for those used to them and for some they are even useless.”

50 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν, ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ τῆς πραγματείας· Εὔνομος, φησίν, ὁ Χῖος, ὁ φαρμακοπώλης, ἐλλεβόρου πίνων πλείονας πόσεις οὐκ ἐκαθαίρετο. καὶ ποτέ, ἔφη, ἐν μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ συνθέμενος τοῖς ὁμοτέχνοις περὶ δύο καὶ εἴκοσι πόσεις ἔλαβεν ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ καθήμενος καὶ οὐκ ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τῶν σκευῶν <μέχρι δείλης>. τότε δ’ ἀπῆλθεν λούσασθαι καὶ δειπνῆσαι, ὥσπερ εἰώθει, καὶ οὐκ ἐξήμεσεν.

 τοῦτο δὲ ἔπραξεν ἐν πολυχρονίῳ συνηθείᾳ γεγονώς, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ ὀλίγων ἕως τοσούτων πόσεων.πάντων δὲ τῶν φαρμάκων αἱ δυνάμεις ἀσθενέστεραι τοῖς συνειθισμένοις, ἐνίοις δὲ καὶ ἄπρακτοί εἰσιν.

51 “This is a matter worth knowing which Aristotle mentions in his Natural Problems. He says that a person who has eaten and drunk weighs the same as when he is fasting. He tries to provide a reason for this occurrence.”

51῎Αξιον δὲ ἐπιστῆσαι πρᾶγμα <ὃ> ᾿Αριστοτέλης, ἐν τοῖς φυσικοῖς προβλήμασιν, εἴρηκεν· τὸν ἄνθρωπόν φησιν βεβρωκότα καὶ πεπωκότα τὸν αὐτὸν σταθμὸν ἄγειν καὶ ὅτε νήστης ὑπῆρχεν. πειρᾶται δὲ καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν τοῦ γιγνομένου ἀποδιδόναι.

 

Fantastic Friday 2: “Lady-Killers” and Bee Funerals

Apollonios the Paradoxographer is credited with a text of 51 anecdotes usually dated to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.  Some of these translations are pretty rough, so suggestions and corrections are welcome.

40 “Aristoxenos the scholar writes in his Life of Telestes (a very man he happened to meet in Italy) that he was undergoing sufferings at the time. Of these there was one as well which was the strangest event and it transpired concerning  the women.

For these women were ecstatic to the point that once they were sitting and dining because they were heeding someone who was bidding them, but then they leapt up and became unconquerable and ran out of the city.

To the Locrians and the Rhegians seeking a prophecy about the resolution of this sickness the god said that they had to sing the spring paeans for twelve days. For this reason there are many Paean-writers in Italy.”

40 ᾿Αριστόξενος ὁ μουσικὸς ἐν τῷ Τελέστου βίῳ φησίν, ᾧπερ ἐν ᾿Ιταλίᾳ συνεκύρησεν, ὑπὸ τὸν αὐτὸν καιρὸν γίγνεσθαι πάθη, ὧν ἓν εἶναι καὶ τὸ περὶ τὰς γυναῖκας γενόμενον ἄτοπον· ἐκστάσεις γὰρ γίγνεσθαι τοιαύτας, ὥστε ἐνίοτε καθημένας καὶ δειπνούσας ὡς καλοῦντός τινος ὑπακούειν, εἶτα ἐκπηδᾶν ἀκατασχέτους γινομένας καὶ τρέχειν ἐκτὸς τῆς πόλεως.

μαντευομένοις δὲ τοῖς Λοκροῖς καὶ ῾Ρηγίνοις περὶ τῆς ἀπαλ-λαγῆς τοῦ πάθους εἰπεῖν τὸν θεόν, παιᾶνας ᾄδειν ἐαρινοὺς [δωδεκάτης] ἡμέρας ξ′. ὅθεν πολλοὺς γενέσθαι παιανογράφους ἐν τῇ ᾿Ιταλίᾳ.

41 “Theophrastos says in the eighth book of his On Plants that the grass scorpion—which people call the lady-killer—attacks scorpions to drain them completely.”

41 Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ η′ περὶ φυτῶν, τὸ σκορπίον βοτάνιον —οἱ δὲ θηλυφόνον καλοῦσιν—ἐπιτιθέμενον τοῖς σκορπίοις ξηραίνειν αὐτοὺς εὐθέως.

42 “From what has been observed the wounds which scar the least happen to those who are pregnant, splenetic, or have enlarged veins and women who have white veins around their thighs.”

42 Τῶν παρατετηρημένων ἐστὶ τὸ δυσκατούλωτα ἕλκη γίγνεσθαι ταῖς τε κυούσαις καὶ σπληνικοῖς καὶ τοῖς κιρσοὺς ἔχουσιν καὶ ταῖς γυναιξίν, ὅσαις ἰξίαι περὶ τοὺς μηροὺς ἄν εἰσιν.

44 “Theophrastos in his work On Plants records about the Soloi of Kilikia near a river which is called the Pinaros where there was a battle of Alexander against Dareios, poppies grow without seeds. And, in general in Egypt, pomegranate seeds have the smell of wine.”

43 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν· περὶ Σόλους τῆς Κιλικίας παρὰ τὸν ποταμὸν τὸν λεγόμενον Πίναρον, οὗ ἡ μάχη ᾿Αλεξάνδρου πρὸς Δαρεῖον ἐγένετο, αἱ ῥόαι ἀπύρηνοι γίγνονται· δι’ ὅλου δ’ ἐ<ν Αἰγύπτῳ> οἱ κόκκοι τὸ οἰνίζον ἔχουσιν.

44 “In his books About Animals, Aristotle remarks that the bee dies after shedding its stinger. And then the bees carry it out of the beehive.”

44᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τοῖς περὶ ζῴων· ἡ μέλισσα, φησίν, ἀποβάλλουσα τὸ κεντρίον ἀποθνῄσκει, αἱ δὲ βαστάζουσιν ἔξω τοῦ σμηνιῶνος.

45 “From the observed things, there is also the burning of wicks on white flowers or wreaths so that these remain unfaded right up to dawn. And the garland-weavers make it.”

45 Τῶν παρατετηρημένων ἐστὶν καὶ τὸ τοῖς λευκοΐοις ἄνθεσιν ἢ στεφάνοις διὰ νυκτὸς λύχνους παρακαίεσθαι, ἵνα εἰς τὴν πρωίαν ταῦτα παραμένει ἀμάραντα. ποιοῦσι δὲ τοῦτο οἱ στεφανηπλόκοι.

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Image taken from this site.

 

Alternative Careers: An Accidental Teacher and Scholar

Suetonius, Lives of the Grammarians 24

“Marcus Valerius Probus from Berytus tried to become a centurion for a while and then dedicated himself to study because of the waiting. He had read certain old books with his teacher in the provinces, since the memory of the ancient authors persists there and has not been completely lost as in Rome. Once he returned to these authors more carefully and then wanted to study others, he still pursued this plan even though he knew that everyone had contempt for them and those who studied them earned reproach instead of honor.

Once he obtained many copies, he took care to emend them, edit them, and provide notes for them and he committed himself to this beyond all other aspects of scholarship. Instead of students he had a few followers, for he did not teach in such away as to maintain the façade of a teacher. He used to welcome one or two, or sometimes three or four, in the afternoon hours and while reclining he could occasionally read some things among long and colloquial conversations. He published small number of short works on various minor little questions. But he also left a non insubstantial “Forest of Reflections on the Ancient Language.”

XXIV. M. Valerius Probus, Berytius, diu centuriatum petiit, donec taedio ad studia se contulit. Legerat in provincia quosdam veteres libellos apud grammatistam, durante adhuc ibi antiquorum memoria, necdum omnino abolita sicut Romae. Hos cum diligentius repeteret atque alios deinceps cognoscere cuperet, quamvis omnes contemni magisque opprobrio legentibus quam gloriae et fructui esse animadverteret, nihilo minus in proposito mansit; multaque exemplaria contracta emendare ac distinguere et annotare curavit, soli huic nec ulli praeterea grammatices parti deditus. Hic non tam discipulos quam sectatores aliquot habuit. Nunquam enim ita docuit ut magistri personam sustineret; unum et alterum, vel cum plurimos tres aut quattuor postmeridianis horis admittere solebat, cubansque inter longos ac vulgares sermones legere quaedam idque perraro. Nimis pauca et exigua de quibusdam minutis quaestiunculis edidit. Reliquit autem non mediocrem “Silvam Observationum Sermonis Antiqui.”

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An Elephant’s Love for a Child

When I first started translating this I did not consider it allegory from a slightly different reality.

Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 13.85, 606F–607A [BNJ 81 F36]

“The same Phylarkhos also reports in his twentieth book how great a love an elephant once had for a child. He writes this: “There was a female elephant which was tended with that elephant, and they used to call her Nikaia. When the wife of the Indian who cared for her was dying, she handed her child who was 30 days old to her.

After she died, the animal’s love for the child was striking. It could not endure the child being separated from her; and whenever she did not see the child, she despaired. When the nurse fed the child milk, she put it in a cradle in the middle of the animal’s feet. If she failed to do this, the elephant would refuse to eat. After this, all day long the elephant would take reeds from the nearby grasses and chase away flies while the child was sleeping. Whenever the child cried, the elephant would move the cradle with her trunk and help him sleep. The male elephant often did the same thing.”

ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς ἱστορεῖ Φύλαρχος διὰ τῆς εἰκοστῆς ὅσην ἐλέφας τὸ ζῶιον φιλοστοργίαν ἔσχεν εἰς παιδίον. γράφει δὲ οὕτως· «τούτωι δὲ τῶι ἐλέφαντι συνετρέφετο θήλεια ἐλέφας, ἣν Νίκαιαν ἐκάλουν· ἧι τελευτῶσα ἡ τοῦ τρέφοντος ᾽Ινδοῦ γυνὴ παιδίον αὑτῆς τριακοσταῖον παρακατέθετο. ἀποθανούσης δὲ τῆς ἀνθρώπου δεινή τις φιλοστοργία γέγονε τοῦ θηρίου πρὸς τὸ παιδίον· οὐτε γὰρ ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ χωριζόμενον τὸ βρέφος ὑπέμενεν, τὸ δὲ εἰ μὴ βλέποι τὸ παιδίον ἤσχαλλεν. ὅτ᾽ οὖν ἡ τροφὸς ἐμπλήσειεν αὐτὸ τοῦ γάλακτος, ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ποδῶν τοῦ θηρίου ἐτίθει αὐτὸ ἐν σκάφηι. εἰ δὲ μὴ τοῦτο πεποιήκοι, τροφὴν οὐκ ἐλάμβανεν ἡ ἐλέφας. καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα δι᾽ ὅλης τῆς ἡμέρας [τοὺς] καλάμους λαμβάνων ἐκ τῶν παρατιθεμένων χορτασμάτων καθεύδοντος τοῦ βρέφους τὰς μυίας ἀπεσόβει· ὅτε δὲ κλαίοι, τῆι προβοσκίδι τὴν σκάφην ἐκίνει καὶ κατεκοίμιζεν αὐτό. τὸ δ᾽ αὐτὸ ἐποίει καὶ ὁ ἄρρην ἐλέφας πολλάκις.»

Fantastic Friday: Giant Grain, Easy Labor, and Sheep Without Bile

Apollonios the Paradoxographer is credited with a text of 51 anecdotes usually dated to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.  Some of these translations are pretty rough, so suggestions and corrections are welcome.

Apollonios Paradoxographus, Historiae Mirabiles 27-32

28“Aristotle, in his On Animal Matters, says that wax [?] when it develops in ears, once it becomes bitter [when they are about to die] becomes sweat after long illnesses. This, he says, has been observed as occurring on many occasions. He has provided the reason for this occurrence in his Natural Problems.”

28 ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τοῖς ζωϊκοῖς· ὁ ῥύπος, φησίν, ἐν τοῖς ὠταρίοις γιγνόμενος, πικρὸς ὤν, [ὅταν τελευτᾶν μέλλωσιν] ἐν ταῖς μακραῖς νόσοις γλυκὺς γίνεται. τοῦτο δέ, φησίν, παρα-τετήρηται ἐπὶ πολλῶν γιγνόμενον. ἀποδέδωκεν δὲ καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν τοῦ γιγνομένου ἐν τοῖς φυσικοῖς προβλήμασιν.

29“Theophrastos in his work On planting writes that if wombs descend, they should be doused in water mixed with birth-wort for many days.”

29 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῇ περὶ φυτῶν πραγματείᾳ· ἐὰν αἱ μῆτραι, φησίν, προπέσωσιν, ἀριστολοχίᾳ ἐν ὕδατι βεβρεγμένῃ καταντλείσθωσαν πλείονας ἡμέρας.

30“Aristoxenos the scholar says that people who are suffering quartan fever can use woolly grape ground up with olive oil and blended together [?] before taking it to get rid of the sickness”

30 ᾿Αριστόξενος δὲ ὁ μουσικὸς <τοὺς> τεταρταΐζοντας τὴν ἑλξίνην φησὶν βοτάνην μετὰ ἐλαίου τριβομένην καὶ συγχριομένην πρὸ τῆς λήψεως ἀπολύειν τοῦ πάθους.

31“Theophrastos in his work On Plants says that sheep which graze on wormwood in the Black Sea region do not have bile.”

31Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν· τὰ πρόβατα, φησίν, τὰ ἐν τῷ Πόντῳ τὸ ἀψίνθιον νεμόμενα οὐκ ἔχει χολήν.

32“Theophrastos in his work On Plants says that among the Indians there is no vetch, nor fig, nor chick-pea.”

32Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν, ἐν ᾿Ινδοῖς μὴ γίνεσθαι μήτε ἐρέβινθον μήτε φακὸν μήτε κύαμον.

33“Theophrastos, book 7 of his On Plants says that there is grain of such great breeding in certain villages in Baktria that is has the size of an olive pit.”

33 Ετι Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ ζ′ περὶ φυτῶν, τῆς Βακτριανῆς [ὁδοῦ] ἔν τισι κώμαις πυρὸν γίγνεσθαι οὕτως εὐγενῆ, ὥστε πυρῆνος ἐλαίας τὸ μέγεθος ἴσχειν.

34“The same philosopher says that in Olynthos and Kêrinthos the earth, when mixed with grain, makes it seem to be of a better kind.” [?]

34 ῾Ο αὐτὸς φιλόσοφος· ἐν ᾿Ολύνθῳ καὶ Κηρίνθῳ γῆ μιγνυμένη, φησί, τῷ σίτῳ εὐγενέστερον ποιεῖ φαίνεσθαι τοῦτον.

35“This is also among those things that have been observed that pregnant women when they are near their husbands constantly give birth easily and without suffering. Aristotle claims this in the 14th book of his inquiries.”

35 Τῶν παρατετηρημένων ἔστιν δὲ καὶ τοῦτο, τὰς ἐγκύους τῶν γυναικῶν συνεχῶς πλησιαζούσας τοῖς ἀνδράσιν εὐκόπως καὶ ἀκακοπαθήτως τίκτειν. εἴρηκεν δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τῇ ιδ′ τῶν ἱστοριῶν.

Grazing sheep from the Bodleian Library (MS. Bodley 764, Folio 35v)

Out of the Smoke, Into the Fire: Some More Greek Proverbs

As of today I take over as chair of my department. Here are some proverbs for life changes and mistakes.

Diogenianus, 8.45

“When I fled the smoke, I fell into the fire”:  [this proverb is applied] to those who flee rather minor troubles only to fall upon greater ones.

Τὸν καπνὸν φεύγων, εἰς τὸ πῦρ ἐνέπεσον: ἐπὶ τῶν τὰ μικρὰ τῶν δεινῶν φευγόντων, καὶ εἰς μείζονα δεινὰ ἐμπιπτόντων.

 

Arsenius 4.23f

“It is strange that one who pursues honors avoids the hard work honors come from”

῎Ατοπόν ἐστι διώκοντα τὰς τιμὰς φεύγειν τοὺς πόνους, δι’ ὧν αἱ τιμαί.

 

Michael Apostolios, 11.15

“You ate some lotus”: [this proverb is applied to those] who are forgetful of things in the household and are slow in matters of hospitality. It is based on the lotus which imbues one who eats it with forgetfulness.”

Λωτοῦ ἔφαγες: ἐπὶ τῶν σχόντων λήθην τῶν οἴκοι, καὶ βραδυνόντων ἐπὶ ξένης. ἔστι δὲ πόα τὸ λωτὸν, λήθην ἐμποιοῦν τῷ φαγόντι.

 

Arsenius 3.19a

“The man who flees will also fight again”: [this proverb is applied] to those who face a doubtful victory.

᾿Ανὴρ ὁ φεύγων καὶ πάλιν μαχήσεται: ἐπὶ τῶν ἑτεραλκεῖ νίκῃ χρωμένων ταχθείη.

 

Michael Apostolios 1.26

“Agamemnon’s sacrifice”: [a proverb] applied to the difficult to persuade and the stubborn. For when Agamemnon was making a sacrifice, the bull was scarcely caught after it fled.” Or, it is because Agamemnon wanted to sacrifice his daughter. And she fled.”

᾿Αγαμέμνονος θυσία: ἐπὶ τῶν δυσπειθῶν καὶ σκληρῶν. θύοντος γὰρ ᾿Αγαμέμνονος ὁ βοῦς φυγὼν μόλις ἐλήφθη. ῍Η ὅτι τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἐβούλετο ᾿Αγαμέμνων θυσιάσαι θυγατέρα· ἣ δ’ ἔφυγε.

Fantastic Friday: Diets of Salt and A Tortoise without a Heart

Apollonios the Paradoxographer is credited with a text of 51 anecdotes usually dated to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE. Some of these translations are pretty rough. Here I am pretty uncertain about number 22

Apollonius, Historiae Mirabiles 21-27

21 “Of those observed animals there is the fact that cloven-hoofed creatures alone of the animals have backward-facing ankles. In his Natural Problems, Aristotle explains that the reason for this is in the hind-legs and not the front legs. For nature has made nothing in vain.”

21 Τῶν παρατετηρημένων δ’ ἐστὶ τὸ τὰ δίχηλα μόνα τῶν ζῴων εἰς τοὺς ὀπισθίους πόδας ἀστραγάλους ἔχειν. ἀποδέδωκεν τὴν αἰτίαν ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τοῖς φυσικοῖς προβλήμασιν, διὰ τί ἐν τοῖς ὀπισθίοις καὶ οὐκ ἐμπροσθίοις· οὐδὲν γὰρ μάτην ἡ φύσις ἐποίησεν.

22 “It has also been observed in life that none of the horn-bearing animals make noises. Aristotle gives the explanation for this in his Problems.”

22 Συνῶπται δ’ ἐν τῷ βίῳ καὶ τὸ μηδὲν τῶν κερασφόρων ζῴων ἀποψοφεῖν· ἀποδέδωκεν δὲ καὶ τούτων τὴν αἰτίαν ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τοῖς προβλήμασιν.

23“It is especially wondrous how the sun shines upon us—that it is not holy fire, and the adamant does not warm when it is inflamed; and also marvelous is the fact that the magnet stone attracts when it is day and at night it attracts less or not completely” [?]

23 Θαυμαστὸν δὲ καὶ τὸν ἥλιον ἐπικαίειν ἡμᾶς, τὸ δὲ πῦρ μηδ’ ὅλως, καὶ τὸ τὸν ἀδάμαντα μὴ θερμαίνεσθαι πυρούμενον, καὶ μάγνητα λίθον ἡμέρας μὲν οὔσης ἕλκειν, νυκτὸς δὲ ἧττον ἢ οὐδὲ ὅλως ἕλκειν.

24“Eudoxos the Rhodian says that there is a certain tribe near Keltikê which does not see the day but does see the night”

24 Εὔδοξος ὁ ῾Ρόδιος περὶ τὴν Κελτικὴν εἶναί τι ἔθνος φησίν, ὃ τὴν ἡμέραν οὐ βλέπειν, τὴν δὲ νύκτα ὁρᾶν.

25 “Aristotle says in his work On Drunkenness that Andrôn the Argive ate many salty things through his entire life and died without thirst and without drinking. While he was going to Ammon for a second time on a road without water and dining on dry grain, he brought no liquid. He did this for his entire life.”

25᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τῷ περὶ μέθης· ῎Ανδρων, φησίν, ᾿Αργεῖος ἐσθίων πολλὰ καὶ ἁλμυρὰ καὶ ξηρὰ δι’ ὅλου τοῦ βίου ἄδιψος καὶ ἄποτος διετέλεσεν.  ἔτι δὶς πορευθεὶς εἰς ῎Αμμωνα διὰ τῆς ἀνύδρου [ὁδοῦ] ἄλφιτα ξηρὰ σιτούμενος οὐ προσηνέγκατο ὑγρόν. τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίησεν δι’ ὅλου τοῦ βίου.

26 “In his work On Life and Death, Aristotle says that a tortoise lives when deprived of a heart.  But he nevertheless does not specify what kind of tortoise, whether it is a land animal or one who lives in the sea.”

26 ᾿Αριστοτέλης δ’ ἐν τῷ περὶ [τῆς] ζωῆς καὶ θανάτου φησὶν τὴν χελώνην στερισκομένην τῆς καρδίας ζῆν· οὐκ ἔτι δὲ διώρισεν ποίαν αὐτῶν, ἢ τὴν χερσαίαν ἢ τὴν ἔνυδρον.

27 “Aristotle, in his works on Animal Matters—for he has two publications, one On Animals and another, On Animal Matters—says that lice do not die on heads because of disease in long lives, but when they are about to die while they are suffering, they are find their way to the base of the head and leave it.”

27 ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τοῖς ζωϊκοῖς—δύο γάρ εἰσιν αὐτῷ πραγματεῖαι, ἡ μὲν περὶ ζῴων, ἡ δὲ περὶ τῶν ζωϊκῶν—· οἱ φθεῖρες, φησίν, ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ ἐν ταῖς μακραῖς οὐ φθίνουσιν νόσοις, μελλόντων τελευτᾶν τῶν πασχόντων, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὰ προσκεφάλαια εὑρίσκονται προλελοιπότες τὴν κεφαλήν.

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Compendium Salernitanum, M.873 fol. 87v, from the Morgan Library and Museum

Sex Drugs and Magnetic Wood: Another Wondrous Wednesday

Apollonios Paradoxographus, Historiae Mirabiles 13-19

13“…in the mythical [legend] for those places, in Halicarnassos, when a sacrifice is completed to Zeus Askraios a heard of goats are driven before the temple and stopped [there]; while the prayers are being completed a single goat which is led forward by no one steps ahead and approaches the altar and the priest, after he takes her, sacrifices as a good omen.”

13     <…..> ἐν τῷ κατὰ τόπους μυθικῷ, ἐν ῾Αλικαρνασσῷ θυσίας τινὸς τῷ Διὶ τῷ ᾿Ασκραίῳ συντελουμένης ἀγέλην αἰγῶν ἄγεσθαι πρὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ καὶ ἵστασθαι· τῶν δὲ κατευχῶνσυντελεσθεισῶν προβαίνειν μίαν αἶγα ὑπὸ μηδενὸς ἀγομένην καὶ προσέρχεσθαι τῷ βωμῷ, τὸν δὲ ἱερέα λαβόμενον αὐτῆς καλλιερεῖν.

 

14“Phylarkhos writes in the eighth book of his Histories that there is a spring of water  near the Gulf of Arabia from which if anyone ever anoints their feet what transpires miraculously is that their genitals extend pretty far. And for some they do not contract completely, and for others they are put back to shape with great suffering and medical attention.”

14 Φύλαρχος ἐν τῇ η′ τῶν ἱστοριῶν [καὶ] κατὰ τὸν ᾿Αράβιόν φησι κόλπον πηγὴν εἶναι ὕδατος, ἐξ οὗ εἴ τις τοὺς πόδας χρίσειεν, συμβαίνειν εὐθέως ἐντείνεσθαι ἐπὶ πολὺ τὸ αἰδοῖον, καί τινων μὲν μηδ’ ὅλως συστέλλεσθαι, τινῶν δὲ μετὰ μεγάλης κακοπαθείας καὶ θεραπείας ἀποκαθίστασθαι.

15 “Skumnos of Khios says that the Brittanic island is forty-thousand stades in length, and plants grow there without a kernel—for example olive trees do not have seeds nor does the grape vine have stones nor anything similar to this.”

15 Σκύμνος δὲ ὁ Χῖος τὴν Βρεττανικὴν νῆσον λέγει σταδίων εἶναι τετρακισμυρίων τὸ περίμετρον, γίγνεσθαι δὲ ἐν αὐτῇ τὰ γεννήματα ἀπύρηνα, οἷον τὰς ἐλαίας πυρῆνας μὴ ἔχειν μηδὲ βότρυς γίγαρτον μηδὲ τὰ ἐμφερῆ τούτοις.

16“Theophrastos, in his work On Plants [says] that the root of sallow, which doctors use, should someone roast it with meat, the many individual pieces becomes one so that it is no longer possible to take it out of the vessel.”

16 Θεόφραστος δ’ ἐν τῇ περὶ [τῶν] φυτῶν πραγματείᾳ τὴν <τῆς> θαψίας ῥίζαν, ᾗ οἱ ἰατροὶ χρῶνται, ἐάν τις σὺν κρέασιν ἑψήσῃ, τὰ πολλὰ ἓν γίγνεσθαι, ὥστε ἐκ τοῦ ἀγγείου μηκέτι δύνασθαι ἐξαιρεθῆναι.

17 “Ktêsias says that there is wood among the Indians which is called parêbos [lit. “beyond its prime”]. This attracts everything which is brought near it to it—like gold, silver, tin, bronze and all the other metals. “ it attracts the sparrows which fly near too” [quotation]. If the wood/material is larger, it [also attracts] goats and sheep and animals of similar types.”

17 Κτησίας πα ρ’ ᾿Ινδοῖς ξύλον γίνεσθαί φησιν, ὃ καλεῖται πάρηβον. τοῦτο ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸ ἕλκει πᾶν τὸ προσκομισθὲν αὐτῷ, οἷον χρυσόν, ἄργυρον, κασσίτερον, χαλκὸν καὶ τἆλλα μεταλλικὰ πάντα. “ἕλκει δὲ καὶ τὰ σύνεγγυς ἱπτάμενα στρουθία.”ἐὰν δὲ μεῖζον ᾖ τὸ ξύλον, καὶ αἶγας καὶ πρόβατα καὶ τὰ ὁμήλικα ζῷα.

18 “Phularkhos in book 20 of the Histories says that there is a white root imported from India which when [people] cut it and smear it over their feet with water, those who are smeared with it experience forgetfulness of sex and become similar to Eunuchs. For this reason still some apply it before they are fully adults and are not aroused for the rest of their life.”

18 Φύλαρχος ἐν <τῇ> κ′ τῶν ἱστοριῶν ἐκ τῆς ᾿Ινδικῆς φησιν ἐνεχθῆναι λευκὴν ῥίζαν, ἣν κόπτοντας μεθ’ ὕδατος καταπλάττειν τοὺς πόδας, τοὺς δὲ καταπλασθέντας ἄνδρας τῆς συνουσίας λήθην ἴσχειν καὶ γίγνεσθαι ὁμοίους εὐνούχοις. διὸ καὶ ἔτι ἀνήβων ὄντων καταχρίουσι, καὶ μέχρι θανάτου οὐκ ἐπαίρουσιν.

19 “Herakleides the critic in his book about the cities in Greece writes that on the Pêlion mountain a thistle plant grows which bears fruit. If someone grinds up the fruit with olive and water and anoints his own body or another during the winter, he does not feel cold.”

19 ῾Ηρακλείδης δὲ ὁ κριτικὸς ἐν τῷ περὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ ῾Ελλάδι πόλεων κατὰ τὸ Πήλιον ὄρος φύεσθαί φησιν ἄκανθαν καρποφόρον, ἧς τὸν καρπὸν ἐάν τις τρίψας μετ’ ἐλαίου καὶ ὕδατος χρίσῃ τὸ αὑτοῦ ἢ ἄλλου σῶμα χειμῶνος ὄντος, οὐκ ἐπαισθήσεται τοῦ ψύχους.

20 “Ktêsias, in his tenth book of Persian Affairs says that there a some camels born in the Kaspian land which have hair which is soft like Milesian wool. Priests and other prominent individuals wear vestments from these animals.”

20 Κτησίας δέ, ἐν τῇ δεκάτῃ Περσικῶν, καμήλους τινὰς ἐν τῇ <Κασπίᾳ> χώρᾳ γίγνεσθαι, ἃς ἔχειν τρίχας πρὸς Μιλήσια ἔρια τῇ μαλακότητι· ἐκ δὲ τούτων τοὺς ἱερεῖς καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους δυνάστας τὰς ἐσθῆτας φέρειν.

 

Some Fragments on Tyrants

Stobaeus 3.5.42

“Gelôn the tyrant of Sicily had a rotting-mouth. When one of his friends told him, he got angry with his wife because she hadn’t informed him. But she said, “I was just imagining that the mouth of the rest of people smelled similarly.”

Γέλων ὁ Σικελίας τύραννος σαπρόστομος ἦν. ὡς οὖν τῶν φίλων τις εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ὠργίζετο τῇ γυναικὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἐμήνυσεν αὐτῷ· ἣ δὲ ἔφη, ‘ᾤμην γὰρ καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν
ὁμοίως ὄζειν τὸ στόμα.’

Euripides, fr. 76

“See how the tyrant flees as a childless old man.
It is wrong for one who is mortal to think so much of himself.”

῾Ορᾶτε τὸν τύραννον, ὡς ἄπαις γέρων
φεύγει· φρονεῖν δὲ θνητὸν ὄντ’ οὐ χρὴ μέγα.

fr. 171

“A tyrant must please the mob.”

Δεῖ τοῖσι πολλοῖς τὸν τύραννον ἁνδάνειν.

fr. 275

“May everyone who delights in a little tyranny
or monarchy in their state perish terribly .
Freedom is a word worth everything—
then even one with little is considered to have something great.”

Κακῶς δ’ ὄλοιντο πάντες, οἳ τυραννίδι
χαίρουσιν ὀλίγῃ τ’ ἐν πόλει μοναρχίᾳ.
τοὐλεύθερον γὰρ ὄνομα παντὸς ἄξιον,
κἂν μίκρ’ ἔχῃ τις, μεγάλ’ ἔχειν νομίζεται.

More posts on tyrants.

Why democracies vote for tyrants

Differences between tyrants and kings

Etymologies for Tyrants

Tyrant Compounds

Ancient Biological Warfare

Suda, sigma 777

Solon: They [the Amphiktyones] selected this man to be their adviser for war against the Kirrhaians. When they were consulting the oracle about victory, the Pythia said: “you will not capture and raze the tower of this city before the wave of dark-eyed Amphitritê washes onto my precinct as it echoes over the wine-faced sea.”

Solon persuaded them to make Kirrhaia sacred to the god so that the sea would become a neighbor to Apollo’s precinct. And another strategy was devised by Solon against the Kirrhaians. For he turned a river’s water which used to flow in its channel into the city elsewhere.

The Kirrhaians withstood the besiegers by drinking water from wells and from rain. But [Solon] filled the river with hellebore roots and when he believed the water had enough of the drug, he returned it to its course. Then the Kirrhaians took a full portion of this water. And when they went AWOL because of diarrhea, the Amphiktyones who were stationed near the wall took it and then the city.”

Σόλων: τοῦτον εἵλοντο οἱ Κιρραίοις πολεμεῖν ᾑρημένοι σύμβουλον. χρωμένοις δὲ σφίσι περὶ νίκης ἀνεῖπεν ἡ Πυθώ: οὐ πρὶν τῆσδε πόληος ἐρείψετε πύργον ἑλόντες, πρίν κεν ἐμῷ τεμένει κυανώπιδος Ἀμφιτρίτης κῦμα ποτικλύζοι, κελαδοῦν ἐπὶ οἴνοπα πόντον. ἔπεισεν οὖν ὁ Σόλων καθιερῶσαι τῷ θεῷ τὴν Κίρραιαν, ἵνα δὴ τῷ τεμένει τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος γένηται γείτων ἡ θάλαττα. εὑρέθη δὲ καὶ ἕτερον τῷ Σόλωνι σόφισμα ἐς τοὺς Κιρραίους: τοῦ γὰρ ποταμοῦ τὸ ὕδωρ ῥέον δι’ ὀχετοῦ ἐς τὴν πόλιν ἀπέστρεψεν ἀλλαχόσε. καὶ οἱ μὲν πρὸς τοὺς πολιορκοῦντας ἔτι ἀντεῖχον ἔκ τε φρεάτων καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ἐκ θεοῦ πίνοντες. ὁ δὲ τοῦ ἑλλεβόρου τὰς ῥίζας ἐμβαλὼν ἐς τὸν ποταμόν, ἐπειδὴ ἱκανῶς τοῦ φαρμάκου τὸ ὕδωρ ᾔσθετο ἔχον, ἀντέστρεψεν αὖθις ἐς τὸν ὀχετόν, καὶ ἐνεφορήσαντο ἀνέδην οἱ Κιρραῖοι τοῦ ὕδατος. καὶ οἱ μὲν ὑπὸ τῆς διαρροίας ἐξέλιπον, οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τοῦ τείχους τῆς φρουρᾶς Ἀμφικτύονες εἷλον τὴν φρουρὰν καὶ τὴν πόλιν.

Image result for medieval manuscript diarrhea

Roman d’Alexandre, Tournai 1338-1344.

From Apollonios Paradoxographus

“In his work On Plants, in the last part of the material, Theophrastos says that Eunomos, the Khian and purveyor of drugs, did not [cleanse himself/die] while drinking many draughts of hellebore. Once, even, when together with his fellow craftsmen he took over 22 drinks in one day as he sat in the agora and he did not return from his implements. Then he left to wash and eat, as he was accustomed, and did not vomit. He accomplished this after being in this custom for a long time, because he started from small amounts until he got to so many large ones. The powers of all drugs are less severe for those used to them and for some they are even useless.”

50 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν, ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ τῆς πραγματείας· Εὔνομος, φησίν, ὁ Χῖος, ὁ φαρμακοπώλης, ἐλλεβόρου πίνων πλείονας πόσεις οὐκ ἐκαθαίρετο. καὶ ποτέ, ἔφη, ἐν μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ συνθέμενος τοῖς ὁμοτέχνοις περὶ δύο καὶ εἴκοσι πόσεις ἔλαβεν ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ καθήμενος καὶ οὐκ ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τῶν σκευῶν <μέχρι δείλης>. τότε δ’ ἀπῆλθεν λούσασθαι καὶ δειπνῆσαι, ὥσπερ εἰώθει, καὶ οὐκ ἐξήμεσεν.

 τοῦτο δὲ ἔπραξεν ἐν πολυχρονίῳ συνηθείᾳ γεγονώς, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ ὀλίγων ἕως τοσούτων πόσεων. πάντων δὲ τῶν φαρμάκων αἱ δυνάμεις ἀσθενέστεραι τοῖς συνειθισμένοις, ἐνίοις δὲ καὶ ἄπρακτοί εἰσιν.

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