aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Anonymous, Latin Anthology 207 Reise

leave a comment »

Cresciture, ferox ne quid tibi dorsa flagellis
conscindat coniunx, iunctis tu pedibus astas.

Cresciturus, if you don’t want your ferocious wife to rip apart your back with her scourges, you should stand up to her in a fart-fight.

Another metrical problem today. pedibus has a long e in this poem, which it shouldn’t. R. Renehan (Classical Quarterly n.s. 31 (1981), p.472) convincingly argues that this is not a mistake but a pun: with a short e the phrase would be an idiom describing intense fighting (‘foot-to-foot’ we might say, rather like ‘hand-to-hand’). But, Renehan argues, the long vowel suggests that the anonymous poet has made up a noun from the verb pēdo, to give the punning meaning I’ve attempted to capture in my version above.

Written by aleatorclassicus

October 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in anonymi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: