aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Palladas, AP 9.489

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An epigram from the Greek Anthology.

γραμματικοῦ θυγάτηρ ἔτεκεν φιλότητι μιγεῖσα
   παιδίον ἀρσενικόν, θηλυκόν, οὐδέτερον.

A scholar’s daughter, ‘having mingled in love’, gave birth to a child who was masculine, feminine and neuter.

There’s an obvious joke in here, but scholars have argued as to whether there’s further subtlety which we fail to understand – is it perhaps something to do with the child being hermaphrodite? I wonder whether it’s inspired by παιδίον being a neuter word.

‘Having mingled in love’ is a phrase from epic poetry – appropriate because the grammatikos taught Homer.

Written by aleatorclassicus

March 27, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Palladas

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