Tawdry Tuesday: The Strongest Thing of All? (NSFW)

Athenaeus Deipnosophists 10.451b-d

“Diphilos in his Theseus says that once three girls from Samos were riddling while drinking at the Adonian festival. Then one of them posed a riddle to the others and asked “What is the strongest thing of all?”

One of them said, “iron” and then as proof of her argument suggested that they can dig or cut everything and use it for most things. Although she was thought well of for this answer, the second girl was saying that a blacksmith is much stronger than this since as he works he also bends even strong iron for whatever he wants to make.

And the third girl answered that a penis is the strongest of all and she explained that when someone buggers the blacksmith with it, he groans.”

Δίφιλος δ᾿ ἐν Θησεῖ τρεῖς ποτε κόρας Σαμίας φησὶν Ἀδωνίοισιν γριφεύειν παρὰ πότον· προβαλεῖν δ᾿ αὐταῖσι τὸν γρῖφον, “τί πάντων ἰσχυρότατον;” καὶ τὰν μὲν εἰπεῖν, “ὁ σίδηρος,” καὶ φέρειν τούτου λόγου τὰν ἀπόδειξιν, διότι τούτῳ πάντ᾿ ὀρύσσουσίν τε καὶ τέμνουσι καὶ χρῶντ᾿ εἰς ἅπαντα. εὐδοκιμούσᾳ δ᾿ ἐπάγειν τὰν δευτέραν φάσκειν τε τὸν χαλκέα πολὺ κρείττω φέρειν ἰσχύν· ἐπεὶ τοῦτον κατεργαζόμενον καὶ τὸν σίδηρον τὸν σφοδρὸν κάμπτειν, μαλάσσειν, ὅ τι ἂν χρήζῃ ποεῖν. τὰν δὲ τρίταν ἀποφῆναι πέος ἰσχυρότατον πάντων, διδάσκειν δ᾿ ὅτι καὶ τὸν χαλκέα στένοντα πυγίζουσι τούτῳ.Image result for ancient greek blacksmith vase

A Model Opening for a Toast at Any Occasion

From Athenaeus’ Deipnosophists (5.211 e-f)

“Posidonios of Apamea records the story of [Athenion] which I am going to lay out even though it is rather long, so that we may examine carefully all men who claim to be philosophers, and not merely trust in their shabby robes and unkempt beards. For, as Agathon says (fr. 12):

If I tell the truth, I won’t make you happy.
But if I am to make you happy, I will say nothing true.

Since the truth, they say, is dear to us, I will tell the whole story about this man.”

περὶ οὗ καθ’ ἕκαστα ἱστορεῖ Ποσειδώνιος ὁ ᾿Απαμεύς, ἅπερ εἰ καὶ μακρότερά ἐστιν ἐκθήσομαι, ἵν’ ἐπιμελῶς πάντας ἐξετάζωμεν τοὺς φάσκοντας εἶναι φιλοσόφους καὶ μὴ τοῖς τριβωνίοις καὶ τοῖς ἀκάρτοις πώγωσι πιστεύωμεν. κατὰ γὰρ τὸν ᾿Αγάθωνα
(fr. 12 N)
εἰς μὲν φράσω τἀληθές, οὐχί σ’ εὐφρανῶ·
εἰ δ’ εὐφρανῶ τί σ’, οὐχὶ τἀληθὲς φράσω.
ἀλλὰ φίλη <γάρ>, φασίν, ἡ ἀλήθεια, ἐκθήσομαι τὰ περὶ τὸν ἄνδρα ὡς ἐγένετο (FHG III 266).


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