Betrayed by This Heat

Anacreonta 18

“Ladies, please give me
Give me wine to drink without pausing–
I am betrayed by the heat
And already whining out loud.

Give me garlands of his flowers
Give them to me so I can
Bind them closely to my roasted brow.

Yet, my heart, what can I use
To keep off the heat of my loves?

I will settle along the shade of Bathullos
That tree is pretty.
It lets tender locks sway
At the end of the softest branches.

Nearby a spring flows
Whispering persuasively.

Who upon seeing such a refuge
Could ever pass it by?”

δότε μοι, δότ᾿, ὦ γυναῖκες,
Βρομίου πιεῖν ἀμυστί·
ἀπὸ καύματος γὰρ ἤδη
προδοθεὶς ἀναστενάζω.

δότε δ᾿ ἀνθέων ἐκείνου
στεφάνους, δόθ᾿, ὡς πυκάζω
τὰ μέτωπά μου᾿ πίκαυτα·

τὸ δὲ καῦμα τῶν Ἐρώτων,
κραδίη, τίνι σκεπάζω;

παρὰ τὴν σκιὴν Βαθύλλου
καθίσω· καλὸν τὸ δένδρον,
ἁπαλὰς δ᾿ ἔσεισε χαίτας
μαλακωτάτῳ κλαδίσκῳ·
παρὰ δ᾿ αὐτὸν †ἐρεθίζει†
πηγὴ ῥέουσα πειθοῦς.
τίς ἄν οὖν ὁρῶν παρέλθοι
καταγώγιον τοιοῦτο;

Inside of a drinking krater–a mixing bowl for wine. This is a black vase with a red figure in the middle. The figure is a nude man with his head and shoulders in a giant wine jar

Supernatural Heat, Some Words

τὸ θάλπος: “warmth”

θάλπω: “to soften with heat”

ἡ θέρμη: “warmth, heat”

ἡ θερμότης: “choking heat”

τὸ καῦμα: “heat”

καυματηρός: “burning”

καυματόομαι: “to be nearly dying because of heat”

Hesiod, Theogony  700

“A supernatural heat overtook the Void…”

καῦμα δὲ θεσπέσιον κάτεχεν Χάος…

Alciphron, Letters 2.9

“When it was midday, I picked out pine tree open to the wind and facing the breeze and I sheltered there from the heat”

Μεσημβρίας οὔσης σταθερᾶς φιλήνεμόν τινα ἐπιλεξάμενος πίτυν καὶ πρὸς τὰς αὔρας ἐκκειμένην, ὑπὸ ταύτῃ τὸ καῦμα ἐσκέπαζον

Dio Chrysostom, Discourse 3

“[one must] survive the heat and tolerate the cold…”

καὶ καῦμα ἀνέχεσθαι καὶ ψῦχος ὑπομένειν

Hippocrates, Air, Water, Places 10.10-20

“Whenever the heat suddenly grows intense thanks to the spring rains and the wind from the south, the temperature necessarily doubles thanks to the hot roiling earth and the burning sun. Since human bowels are not prepare and their brains are not fully dried—for spring is the time when the body and its meat are naturally fatty—that’s when fevers are the most severe in every case, especially among the chronically ill.”

ὁκόταν γὰρ τὸ πνῖγος ἐπιγένηται ἐξαίφνης τῆς τε γῆς ὑγρῆς ἐούσης ὑπὸ τῶν ὄμβρων τῶν ἐαρινῶν καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ νότου, ἀνάγκη διπλόον τὸ καῦμα εἶναι, ἀπό τε τῆς γῆς διαβρόχου ἐούσης καὶ θερμῆς καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου καίοντος, τῶν τε κοιλιῶν μὴ συνεστηκυιῶν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις μήτε τοῦ ἐγκεφάλου ἀνεξηρασμένου—οὐ γὰρ οἷόν τε τοῦ ἦρος τοιούτου ἐόντος μὴ οὐ πλαδᾶν τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν σάρκα—· ὥστε τοὺς πυρετοὺς ἐπιπίπτειν ὀξυτάτους ἅπασιν, μάλιστα δὲ τοῖσι φλεγματίῃσι.

Plutarch, Life of Marius V

“He claimed that because of the heat he was thirsty enough to ask for cold water.”

ἔφη διὰ τὸ καῦμα διψήσας ὕδωρ ψυχρὸν αἰτῆσαι

Fire, Fools, and Fates: A Supreme Epigram for the EPA

CW: Profanity. This revised re-post goes out to all the politicians, plutocrats, and CEOs who continue to do nothing about climate change. Special recognition for the party of stupidity that denies climate change science.

Anonymous, Greek Anthology, 7.704

“When I’m dead, the earth can be fucked by fire.
It means nothing to me since I’ll be totally fine.”

Ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί·
οὐδὲν μέλει μοι· τἀμὰ γὰρ καλῶς ἔχει.

An interlude

Euripides, Hippolyus 916

“Oh humanity! You pointlessly fuck up so often!”

ὦ πόλλ᾽ ἁμαρτάνοντες ἄνθρωποι μάτην

This phrase is attributed to the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Nero.

Suda tau 552 [cribbing Dio Cassius]

“And Tiberius uttered that ancient phrase, “when I am dead, the earth can be fucked with fire”, and he used to bless Priam because he died with his country and his palace.”

τοῦτο δὲ τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἐφθέγξατο· ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί. καὶ τὸν Πρίαμον ἐμακάριζεν, ὅτι μετὰ τῆς πατρίδος καὶ τῆς βασιλείας ἀπώλετο.

Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta
From Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta

Here’s one explanation:

Appendix Proverbiorum 2.56

“When I am dead, the earth can be fucked by fire.” Note that this [proverb is used] to express that it isn’t necessary to think or worry about the future

᾿Εμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί: ὅτι οὐ δεῖ περὶ τῶν μελλόντων φροντίζειν ἢ δεδιέναι.

The saying seems to predate the Roman Emperors, however. Cicero riffs on this sentiment.

Cicero, De Finibus 3.64

“In turn, they believe that the universe is ruled by the will of the gods and that it is like a city or state shared by humans and gods and that everyone of us is a member of this universe. This is the reason that it is natural for us to put shared good before the personal. Truly, just as the laws prefer the safety of the collective over that of individuals, so too a good and wise person, obedient to the laws and not ignorant of his civic duty, pursues the advantage of the collective over that of an individual or himself.

A traitor to a state need not be hated more than one who undermines common advantage or safety on account of his own. This is why the person who faces death for the republic must be praised, because it bestows glory upon us to care more for our country than ourselves. And this is why it seems an inhuman and criminal voice when people say that they don’t care if all of everything burns when they are dead—as it is typically construed with that common Greek verse—and it is also certainly true that we must care for those who will live in the future for their own sake.”

Mundum autem censent regi numine deorum eumque esse quasi communem urbem et civitatem hominum et deorum, et unumquemque nostrum eius mundi esse partem; ex quo illud natura consequi ut communem utilitatem nostrae anteponamus. Ut enim leges omnium salutem singulorum saluti anteponunt, sic vir bonus et sapiens et legibus parens et civilis offici non ignarus utilitati omnium plus quam unius alicuius aut suae consulit. Nec magis est vituperandus proditor patriae quam communis utilitatis aut salutis desertor propter suam utilitatem aut salutem. Ex quo fit ut laudandus is sit qui mortem oppetat pro re publica, quod deceat cariorem nobis esse patriam quam nosmet ipsos. Quoniamque illa vox inhumana et scelerata ducitur eorum qui negant se recusare quo minus ipsis mortuis terrarum omnium deflagratio consequatur (quod vulgari quodam versu Graeco pronuntiari solet), certe verum est etiam iis qui aliquando futuri sint esse propter ipsos consulendum.

Homer, Odyssey 1.32–34

“Fools! Mortals are always blaming the gods.
They say that sufferings come from us but they have pain
Beyond their fate thanks to their own stupidity.”

“ὢ πόποι, οἷον δή νυ θεοὺς βροτοὶ αἰτιόωνται.
ἐξ ἡμέων γάρ φασι κάκ’ ἔμμεναι· οἱ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
σφῇσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὑπὲρ μόρον ἄλγε’ ἔχουσιν

A note about the translation: I use the English profane “fuck” for mikhthênai here for two reasons. First, mignumi is often used in periphrases or euphemism for sex. Second, I think the speaker is effecting a dismissive and aggressively narcissistic stance towards the world which will exist after his death. Such narcissism and self-absorption is so perverse and twisted and yet so utterly common as to demand obscenity and plunge us all into the painfully profane.

We are living in a perverse and obscene time. Effective language, a man once said, is when the sound is an echo of the sense.

Seneca gets the same sense, but makes it a bit more active in his Medea.

Seneca, Medea 426–428

“…The only rest
Is if I see the whole world uprooted along with my ruin.
Let everything depart with me. It is pleasing to destroy while you die.”

…Sola est quies,
mecum ruina cuncta si video obruta;
mecum omnia abeant. trahere, cum pereas, libet.

 

Fire, Fools, and Lesser Fates: A Heatwave Special

CW: Profanity. This revised re-post goes out to all the politicians, plutocrats, and CEOs who continue to do nothing about climate change. Special recognition for the party of stupidity that denies climate change science.

Anonymous, Greek Anthology, 7.704

“When I’m dead, the earth can be fucked by fire.
It means nothing to me since I’ll be totally fine.”

Ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί·
οὐδὲν μέλει μοι· τἀμὰ γὰρ καλῶς ἔχει.

An interlude

Euripides, Hippolyus 916

“Oh humanity! You pointlessly fuck up so often!”

ὦ πόλλ᾽ ἁμαρτάνοντες ἄνθρωποι μάτην

This phrase is attributed to the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Nero.

Suda tau 552 [cribbing Dio Cassius]

“And Tiberius uttered that ancient phrase, “when I am dead, the earth can be fucked with fire”, and he used to bless Priam because he died with his country and his palace.”

τοῦτο δὲ τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἐφθέγξατο· ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί. καὶ τὸν Πρίαμον ἐμακάριζεν, ὅτι μετὰ τῆς πατρίδος καὶ τῆς βασιλείας ἀπώλετο.

Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta
From Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta

Here’s one explanation:

Appendix Proverbiorum 2.56

“When I am dead, the earth can be fucked by fire.” Note that this [proverb is used] to express that it isn’t necessary to think or worry about the future

᾿Εμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί: ὅτι οὐ δεῖ περὶ τῶν μελλόντων φροντίζειν ἢ δεδιέναι.

The saying seems to predate the Roman Emperors, however. Cicero riffs on this sentiment.

Cicero, De Finibus 3.64

“In turn, they believe that the universe is ruled by the will of the gods and that it is like a city or state shared by humans and gods and that everyone of us is a member of this universe. This is the reason that it is natural for us to put shared good before the personal. Truly, just as the laws prefer the safety of the collective over that of individuals, so too a good and wise person, obedient to the laws and not ignorant of his civic duty, pursues the advantage of the collective over that of an individual or himself.

A traitor to a state need not be hated more than one who undermines common advantage or safety on account of his own. This is why the person who faces death for the republic must be praised, because it bestows glory upon us to care more for our country than ourselves. And this is why it seems an inhuman and criminal voice when people say that they don’t care if all of everything burns when they are dead—as it is typically construed with that common Greek verse—and it is also certainly true that we must care for those who will live in the future for their own sake.”

Mundum autem censent regi numine deorum eumque esse quasi communem urbem et civitatem hominum et deorum, et unumquemque nostrum eius mundi esse partem; ex quo illud natura consequi ut communem utilitatem nostrae anteponamus. Ut enim leges omnium salutem singulorum saluti anteponunt, sic vir bonus et sapiens et legibus parens et civilis offici non ignarus utilitati omnium plus quam unius alicuius aut suae consulit. Nec magis est vituperandus proditor patriae quam communis utilitatis aut salutis desertor propter suam utilitatem aut salutem. Ex quo fit ut laudandus is sit qui mortem oppetat pro re publica, quod deceat cariorem nobis esse patriam quam nosmet ipsos. Quoniamque illa vox inhumana et scelerata ducitur eorum qui negant se recusare quo minus ipsis mortuis terrarum omnium deflagratio consequatur (quod vulgari quodam versu Graeco pronuntiari solet), certe verum est etiam iis qui aliquando futuri sint esse propter ipsos consulendum.

Homer, Odyssey 1.32–34

“Fools! Mortals are always blaming the gods.
They say that sufferings come from us but they have pain
Beyond their fate thanks to their own stupidity.”

“ὢ πόποι, οἷον δή νυ θεοὺς βροτοὶ αἰτιόωνται.
ἐξ ἡμέων γάρ φασι κάκ’ ἔμμεναι· οἱ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
σφῇσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὑπὲρ μόρον ἄλγε’ ἔχουσιν

A note about the translation: I use the English profane “fuck” for mikhthênai here for two reasons. First, mignumi is often used in periphrases or euphemism for sex. Second, I think the speaker is effecting a dismissive and aggressively narcissistic stance towards the world which will exist after his death. Such narcissism and self-absorption is so perverse and twisted and yet so utterly common as to demand obscenity and plunge us all into the painfully profane.

We are living in a perverse and obscene time. Effective language, a man once said, is when the sound is an echo of the sense.

Seneca gets the same sense, but makes it a bit more active in his Medea.

Seneca, Medea 426–428

“…The only rest
Is if I see the whole world uprooted along with my ruin.
Let everything depart with me. It is pleasing to destroy while you die.”

…Sola est quies,
mecum ruina cuncta si video obruta;
mecum omnia abeant. trahere, cum pereas, libet.

 

Supernatural Heat, Some Words

τὸ θάλπος: “warmth”

θάλπω: “to soften with heat”

ἡ θέρμη: “warmth, heat”

ἡ θερμότης: “choking heat”

τὸ καῦμα: “heat”

καυματηρός: “burning”

καυματόομαι: “to be nearly dying because of heat”

 

Hesiod, Theogony  700

“A supernatural heat overtook the Void…”

καῦμα δὲ θεσπέσιον κάτεχεν Χάος…

Alciphron, Letters 2.9

“When it was midday, I picked out pine tree open to the wind and facing the breeze and I sheltered there from the heat”

Μεσημβρίας οὔσης σταθερᾶς φιλήνεμόν τινα ἐπιλεξάμενος πίτυν καὶ πρὸς τὰς αὔρας ἐκκειμένην, ὑπὸ ταύτῃ τὸ καῦμα ἐσκέπαζον

Dio Chrysostom, Discourse 3

“[one must] survive the heat and tolerate the cold…”

καὶ καῦμα ἀνέχεσθαι καὶ ψῦχος ὑπομένειν

Hippocrates, Air, Water, Places 10.10-20

“Whenever the heat suddenly grows intense thanks to the spring rains and the wind from the south, the temperature necessarily doubles thanks to the hot roiling earth and the burning sun. Since human bowels are not prepare and their brains are not fully dried—for spring is the time when the body and its meat are naturally fatty—that’s when fevers are the most severe in every case, especially among the chronically ill.”

ὁκόταν γὰρ τὸ πνῖγος ἐπιγένηται ἐξαίφνης τῆς τε γῆς ὑγρῆς ἐούσης ὑπὸ τῶν ὄμβρων τῶν ἐαρινῶν καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ νότου, ἀνάγκη διπλόον τὸ καῦμα εἶναι, ἀπό τε τῆς γῆς διαβρόχου ἐούσης καὶ θερμῆς καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου καίοντος, τῶν τε κοιλιῶν μὴ συνεστηκυιῶν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις μήτε τοῦ ἐγκεφάλου ἀνεξηρασμένου—οὐ γὰρ οἷόν τε τοῦ ἦρος τοιούτου ἐόντος μὴ οὐ πλαδᾶν τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν σάρκα—· ὥστε τοὺς πυρετοὺς ἐπιπίπτειν ὀξυτάτους ἅπασιν, μάλιστα δὲ τοῖσι φλεγματίῃσι.

 

Plutarch, Life of Marius V

“He claimed that because of the heat he was thirsty enough to ask for cold water.”

ἔφη διὰ τὸ καῦμα διψήσας ὕδωρ ψυχρὸν αἰτῆσαι