aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Archive for July 2012

Plutarch, Table Talk 3.6.4 = 654c-d

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Soclarus quotes a brief snippet of a hymn to Aphrodite.

καὶ ἡμᾶς οὔπω παντάπασιν ἡ Ἀφροδίτη πέφευγεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ προσευχόμεθα δήπουθεν αὐτῇ λέγοντες ἐν τοῖς τῶν θεῶν ὕμνοις·

ἀνάβαλλ’ ἄνω τὸ γῆρας,
ὦ καλὰ Ἀφροδίτα.

And not yet has Aphrodite totally fled from us. But we pray to her, I suppose, speaking in the words of the hymns to the gods: “Put off old age, o beautiful Aphrodite!”

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Plutarch

Anonymous, CIL IV.3948

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talia te fallant utinam medacia copo: 
   tu vedes acuam, et bibes ipse merum.

If only similar swindlings would dupe
you, innkeeper! You’ll sell water and drink the unmixed wine yourself.

An elegiac couplet (with the metre slightly faulty in the second line) written on the wall of a Pompeiian bar. I’ve preserved the original spellings: medacia for mendacia; vedes for vendes, and acuam for aquam. The metre can be repaired in various ways, the easiest of which, in my opinion, is to think that bibes is an alternative spelling of bibis, making it present tense: ‘You’re drinking the wine (now) and you’ll sell us the water (later)’. (I imagine someone’s proposed this reading before, but I’ve not yet found it anywhere.)

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in anonymi