Metagenes Messing With Homer, An April First Tradition

In an earlier post I mentioned Metagenes’ playing with a line from the Iliad:

 

Metagenes (fr. 19, Athenaeaus 270e)

“One Bird Omen is best: defend your dinner!”

εἵς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ δείπνου

This is the comic poet’s adaptations of Hector’s famous dismissal of a bad omen in the Iliad:

Homer, Iliad 12.243:

“One bird-omen is best: defend your fatherland”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης.

 

Here are additional adaptations I have made for other characters from myth (I welcome any other attempts to play along!):

 

For Polyphemos, the goat-herding Cyclops:

“One bird-omen is best: protect your cheese”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ τύρης

 

For Telemachus:

“One bird-omen is best: defend your daddy”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάππου

 

For Odysseus

“One bird-omen is best: save your homecoming.”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ νόστου

 

For Paris

“One bird-omen is best: defend your ‘booty’ “

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πύγης

 

For Oedipus

“One bird-omen is best: defend your mommy”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ ματρὸς

 

For any old Satyr

“One bird-omen is best: defend your wine”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ οἴνου

 

For The Big Lebowski

“One bird-omen is best: protect your beverage, [man]”

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πὀτου

 

If that seems mysterious, watch this:

 

Metagenes, fr. 19 (Athenaeaus 270e): Mocking Homer and Hector

 

 

“One bird-omen is best: fight for your dinner!”

εἵς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ δείπνου

 

This is really only funny if you know the line being mocked: Iliad 12.243 when Hector says:

 

“One bird-omen is best: defend your fatherland”

 

εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης.

 

See what he did? He changed the last word! Shoot, you canjoin in on the fun and choose almost any Greek word in the genitive! Any suggestions?

 

Metagenes? A funnyman so renowned that he is not in Wikipedia. Another Old Attic Comic.