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Peach Pits and Greek humor :-D

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Peach Pits and Greek humor :-D

Postby 1%homeless » Mon Dec 15, 2003 9:34 pm

I have a really old unanswered question and wondering if someone who is well read in Greek Plays or Comedies can answer this. I took a theatre class a few years ago and my teacher made a comment about greek humor. He gave this example where he was walking tip toed across the room and exclaiming, "Oh help, I have a pit stuck up my butt." And from then on I was fascinated with greek comedy and wanted to know which play that was from. So does anyone know where that scene came from? Was my teacher just improvising or did he use an real example from a play?
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Postby chad » Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:39 am

hi 1%homeless, it looks like your teacher was referring to aristophanes, lysistrata, lines 1027 and following.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... ine%3D1027 (in english)

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... :line=1027 (in greek)

i tracked it down using perseus... went to the "english to greek" search, typed in the most distinctive word in your quote (ie the charming word for "old woman" in latin), which was [face=SPIonic]daktu/lioj[/face] in greek, and then searched the occurrences of that word in greek poetry. it was in aristophanes of course, the dirty bastard hehe :)

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby 1%homeless » Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:31 am

:D The English version refer to a ring stuck in an eye. Am I to interpret the eye as the anus? :) And I don't know how to interpret the ring either. It doesn't seem like a peach pit, but it's pretty close. :) Also, how did a peach pit ended up being an old woman? haha.

I didn't know you could do something like that with perseus. I tried doing something like you did, and peach is Persikos or Persikon, which is very similar to the word "Persian". Then I can't seem to find any text that mention peach :-) Only persian.

Well, anyways, I checked out aristophones's other stuff and it is hilarious. I found this while looking for peach.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... .+Lys.+175

Lysistrata
So someone get the bottle and the glass.
Myrrhine
Oh God, girls, take a look at all that glassware!
Calonice
And just to touch this bottle makes me come!

hahahaha!

I'm probably misinterpreting this one too but I'm immature. :)

Calonice
I suggest, we get a full-grown cock and slaughter that.
Lysistrata
You've got a one-track mind.

Thank you very much Chad! :lol:
Last edited by 1%homeless on Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby benissimus » Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:33 am

Haha, you got it mixed up so bad. :P The ring is the word in question (this is a mild translation). In Latin, anus, anus means "hag" and you can guess what anus, ani means (literally a ring).

And yes, I am not understanding the meaning either, but the way I am seeing it is far worse than I'm sure it really is... or is it?
Last edited by benissimus on Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby 1%homeless » Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:45 am

Haha! Then what is the bug doing in the eye? :lol:

Women's Leader
And now you look like a man again, and not so comic.
And if you hadn't been so hostile, I'd have removed
that bug in your eye, which I can see is still in there.
Men's Leader
So that's what's been rubbing me the wrong way. Here's my ring.
Please dig it out of my eye, and then I want to see it.
By god, that thing's been biting at my eye a long time.

I think eye and ring is interchangable...

So... there's a bug up his ring/eye. Is that how I am to interpret that? Oh boy, if I knew more Greek, I would have loads of fun translating this stuff. So now the mystery is what kind of bug? Or is it supposed to be representative of something else? Hahaha.
Last edited by 1%homeless on Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby benissimus » Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:51 am

I am sooooo lost......
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Postby chad » Thu Dec 18, 2003 1:51 am

no that's right, the dirty interpretation is right. he has an insect, a "little beast", in his [face=SPIonic]daktu/lioj[/face], which the women's leader can see half crawling out. it's repulsive but hilarious aristophanes humour. the other sentences u mention are smutty 2... read the greek and see how perseus defines the words.

the classical world was full of this kind of smutty humour... read catullus and u won't be shocked anymore. e.g. the word ecfututa... perseus leaves it "undefined" in catullus 6, but it's basically a combination of "out" + the perfect passive participle of "to have carnal connection", and describes a heavily damaged [face=SPIonic]daktu/lioj[/face]...

Also read the satyricon, and read the hilarious early translations of the dirty latin, like so-and-so was "at games" with the boy &c...
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Postby benissimus » Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:50 am

Yeah, Catullus XVI is so rude. Did people even try to translate that kind of stuff mildly, or did they just leave it for the educated?
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Postby chad » Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:55 am

lsj definitions still treat catullus' vocab in a "gentlemanly" manner. trace back catullus' words e.g. irrumabo, defututa and you'll get quite abstract definitions... and on perseus at least there aren't even any wordlinks from e.g. pedicabo, ecfututa :)
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Postby 1%homeless » Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:45 pm

Well, I don't know how accurate this dictionary is but I'm going to take look at it in my libary. :-)

The Latin sexual vocabulary / J.N. Adams.
Publisher Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1982.
Paging xii, 272 p. ; 23 cm.
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Peach Pits and Greek humor :-D

Postby Lisa » Thu Dec 18, 2003 8:38 pm

chad wrote:lsj definitions still treat catullus' vocab in a "gentlemanly" manner. trace back catullus' words e.g. irrumabo, defututa and you'll get quite abstract definitions... and on perseus at least there aren't even any wordlinks from e.g. pedicabo, ecfututa :)


Hi,
Lack of a morphological link has to do with the amount of data in the morphology tables, not an editorial decision. Words used by only one author or used rarely are less likely to be analyzed in both the Greek and Latin works. LSJ does somewhat carefully define these verbs, like "paedico."

Old texts used to either 1) not translate a passage of text which was particularly offensive, 2) or substitute another language for the English. This means that it is very difficult to find good public domain translations of any questionable ancient author. Fortunately, Perseus has a few of Prof. Jeff Henderson's translations of Aristophanes.

Best,
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Postby Dionusius Philadelphus » Sun Dec 28, 2003 1:02 am

I think the whole thing has gotten mixed up. There's nothing in the ring, so there's no "little beast" in his anus.

The whole passage is about his penis, even if the puns are largely obscure. This is a play about using sexual frustration as political capital. The women are constantly working to heighten sexual arousal in the men to force them to agree to peace (hence Peace, in the form of a beautiful, naked woman).

And so in this passage we have an excited male member, probably a massive prop concealed at this point in the actor's costume to be revealed at line 1032, which is actually the moment of reconciliation, when his frustration is finally satisfied. (In fact, there seems to be a pun with [face=SPIonic]Trikorusi/a[/face]: 1. "isn't this a Tricorysian gnat?" i.e. from Tricorysus, an Attic deme supposedly known for its gnat problem, and 2. "isn't this gnat thrice-satisfied?" from [face=SPIonic]tri[/face]- + [face=SPIonic]ko/roj[/face]. Puns never need be etymologically sound, so the sound correspondences in contexts would have been enough to get the joke across.)

I think the imagery falls into place. It becomes clear when, finally relieved of his little burden, he says that as soon it was taken out "many a tear flows."

You don't have to be as dirty as Aristophanes to imagine what that means.
Last edited by Dionusius Philadelphus on Tue Dec 30, 2003 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 1%homeless » Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:49 pm

These translations and interpretations just get more and more interesting... :D
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