A Penetrating Inquiry – The Suda on Kinaidia (NSFW!)

When I was an undergraduate reading Petronius’ Satyricon, I remember being struck by the word cinaedus (the Latinized form of the Greek kinaidos) in the phrase Intrat cinaedus (Satyricon 28). My professor at the time gleefully shared his preferred translation: “In walked a fucker…” The word is somewhat difficult to translate because we have no clear English […]

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A Penetrating Inquiry – The Suda on Kinaidia (NSFW!)

When I was an undergraduate reading Petronius’ Satyricon, I remember being struck by the word cinaedus (the Latinized form of the Greek kinaidos) in the phrase Intrat cinaedus (Satyricon 28).

My professor at the time gleefully shared his preferred translation:

“In walked a fucker…”

The word is somewhat difficult to translate because we have no clear English equivalent, and as delightful as the simple “fucker” may sound, it is not perfect. Most dictionaries try to shroud the meaning somewhat with a veil of circumlocution. (Liddell and Scott give us “a lewd fellow,” and translate kinaidia as “lust.”) This memory occurred to me this afternoon, so I decided to spend a bit of time with that most learned of tracts, the Suda, and see what sort of clarification I could find.

cinaedus2
“Hermadion is a kinaidos.”

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