[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Discourse 32

This webpage reproduces one of the
Discourses

by
Dio Chrysostom

published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1940

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]
Discourse 34

(Vol. III) Dio Chrysostom
Discourses

p273 The Thirty-third, or First Tarsic, Discourse

In this Discourse Dio appears to be addressing a public gathering of the people of Tarsus upon invitation. Like the comic poets to whom he refers, he treats his audience to λοιδορία, inveighing against their wantonness and moral decay. Fully half of what he has to say is concerned with what he calls ῥέγκειν. Though his treatment of that topic is manifestly humorous, it is designed to make palatable the serious charges that he desires to make.

The word ῥέγκειν is said to mean now 'snort,' now 'snore.' For lack of an English word of like flexibility, the translator has elected to use consistently that one of the two conventional meanings that seemed the better adapted to the majority of occurrences. 'Snort,' however, is doubtless inadequate as an interpretation of Dio's meaning. He himself appears to be perplexed as to the proper label for the sound to which he has applied the term (55). He does give some clues. It is a sound made by some persons when asleep (34), by small boys, and by some mature men of good standing (33‑34). It might be taken to denote the presence of a brothel (36). It is made by persons of uncertain sex (36). It is more suitable for the elderly (45). It is produced by the nose (50). It is a symptom of bad morals (50‑51). It is not clucking or smacking of the lips or whistling, nor is it employed by shepherds, plowmen, huntsmen, or sailors (55). It is a sound peculiar to neither man nor woman, not even to a harlot, but rather to a male of the most debased sort (60). If, then, Dio himself, in spite of elaborate efforts to define the sound, has found no better term to symbolize his meaning, perhaps indulgence may be shown the translator.

To the modern reader Tarsus inevitably suggests the name of Paul. The picture of that ancient city, half Greek and half oriental, to be found in this Discourse and in the one to follow, awakens the keener interest for that reason. Sir William Ramsay holds that the Athenodorus of whom we hear exerted an influence upon the thought of Paul. Arnim assigns the present Discourse to Dio's latest period.

p275 The Thirty-third, or First Tarsic, Discourse

I wonder what on earth is your purpose, and what your expectation or desire, in seeking to have such persons as myself discourse for you. Do you think us to be sweet-voiced and more pleasant of utterance than the rest, so that, as if we were song-birds, you long to hear us make melody for you; or do you believe that we possess a different power in word and thought alike, a power of persuasion that is keener and truly formidable, which you call rhetoric, a power that holds sway both in the forum and on the rostrum; or is it because you expect to hear some laudation directed at yourselves, some patriotic hymn in praise of your city, all about Perseus and Heracles and the Lord of the Trident and the oracles that you have received, and how you are Hellenes, yes, Argives or even better, and how you have as founders heroes and demigods — or, I should say, Titans?1 2 You may even, methinks, expect to hear a eulogy of your land and of the mountains it contains and of yonder Cydnus, how the most kindly of all rivers and the most beautiful and how those who drink its waters are 'affluent and blessed,' to use the words p277of Homer.2 For such praise is true indeed and you are constantly hearing it both from the poets in their verse and from other men also who have made it their business to pronounce encomia; but that sort of performance requires ample preparation and the gift of eloquence. 3 What, then, do you expect us to say? Or what above all are you eager to hear from men who are not of nimble wit and know not how to make gratification the aim of their discourse, who are not flatterers nor moved by insolence to mount the platform? For that you are not expecting money from us nor any other contribution, I am well aware.

Well then, let me state my own suspicions. 4 You seem to me to have listened frequently to marvellous men, who claim to know all things, and regarding all things to be able to tell how they have been appointed and what their nature is, their repertoire including, not only human beings and demigods, but gods, yes, and even the earth, the sky, the sea, the sun and moon and other stars — in fact the entire universe — and also the processes of corruption and generation3 and ten thousand other things. And then, methinks, they come to you and ask you what you want them to say and upon what topic — as Pindar put it,

Ismenus or Melia of the golden distaff or noble Cadmus;4

and whatsoever you may deem suitable, the speaker starts from there5 and pours forth a steady and copious p279flood of speech, like some abundant river that has been dammed upon within him. 5 Then, as you listen, the thought of testing his several statements or of distrusting such a learned man seems to you to be shabby treatment and inopportune, nay, you are heedlessly elated by the power and the speed of his delivery and are very happy, as, without a pause for breath, he strings together such a multitude of phrases, and you are affected very much as are those who gaze at horses running at a gallop — though not at all benefited by the experience, still you are full of admiration and exclaim, "What a marvellous thing to own!" And yet in the case of the horses it is frequently not the owners who may be seen handling the reins, but rather some worthless slave.

6 Well then, the sort of recitation of which I speak, being a kind of spectacle or parade, has some resemblance to the exhibitions of the so‑called physicians, who seat themselves conspicuously before us and give a detailed account of the union of joints, the combination and juxtaposition of bones, and other topics of that sort, such as pores and respirations and excretions. And the character is all agape with admiration and more enchanted than a swarm of children.6 But the genuine physician is not like that, nor does he discourse in that fashion for the benefit of those who actually need medical attention — of course not — but instead he prescribes what should be done, and if a man wants to eat or drink, he stops him, or he takes his scalpel and lances some abscess of the body. 7 Just as, therefore, in case the sick were to assemble and then proceed to serenade the physician and call p281for a drinking-bout, the outcome would not meet their expectation, nay, they might well be annoyed at their reception, such it seems to me, is the situation of the masses when they gather before a man like me and bid him make a speech, obviously never having sampled the words of truth and consequently expecting to hear something sweet and pleasant.

Come then, tell me, in heaven's name, will you be indulgent toward a speaker, provided he is not wholly outspoken and does not touch upon all the ailments that afflict you, but rather confines himself to just one item or maybe two? 8 Take care, I warn you, lest you meet with the same experience as those people of Ilium, who, when a certain tragic actor paid them a visit, annoyed him by demanding an exhibition of his skill, until he finally bade them to let him alone and keep quiet. "For," said he, "the better my performance, so much the more hapless will you appear."7 So then, with the philosopher, it is better for the masses to let him hold his tongue.

9 But consider what the situation is. The Athenians, for example, being accustomed to hearing themselves abused, and, on my word, frequenting the theatre for the express purpose of hearing themselves abused, and, having established a contest with a prize for the most proficient in that sort of thing — not having hit upon the idea by themselves but acting upon the advice of the god8 — used to listen to Aristophanes and Cratinus and Plato9 and inflicted no punishment on them. But when Socrates without the protection of stage and benches undertook to carry out the p283instructions of his god,10 indulging in no vulgar dances or idiotic piping, they would not endure it. 10 Those comic poets, you see, being distrustful and timid,11 flattered the assembled multitude as one flatters a master, tempering their mild snapping with a laugh, just as nurses, whenever it is necessary for their charges to drink something rather unpleasant, themselves smear the cup with honey before they hold it out to the children.12 So it happens that the comic poets did no less harm than good, by infecting the city with effrontery and gibes and ribald jests. On the other hand, the philosopher censured and rebuked his auditors.

11 And, indeed, how much better it is to abuse the people and to hold up to the light each man's stupidity and wickedness than to court favour by what is said and by compliments debauch one's auditors, you will discover best from what I am about to tell you. For while there have been since the world began two poets with whom no other poet deserves to be compared, namely, Homer and Archilochus,13 one of them, Homer, praised practically everything — animals, plants, water, earth, armour, and horses; in fact it may be said that there is nothing which he failed to mention with praise and honour. At any rate, there is only one out of all the characters in his poems about whom he said harsh things, namely, Thersites, and p285even Thersites is called a 'clear-voiced speaker.'14 12 But Archilochus went to the other extreme, toward censure — seeing, I imagine, that men have greater need of that — and first of all he censures himself. That is why he alone, not only after his death, but before his birth, obtained the highest tribute from the deity. Certainly Apollo drove his slayer from the temple, declaring that he had slain a servant of the Muses. And again, when the man stated in self-defence that he had slain him in war, once more Apollo called Archilochus a servant of the Muses.15 And when the father of Archilochus was consulting the oracle prior to the birth of his son, Apollo prophesied that he was destined to have a son who would be immortal.

13 So, you see, he who is good at rebuking and upbraiding, and at revealing by his words the sins of men, is evidently superior and preferred above those who praise. If, then, it is praise that gives you more delight, you must betake yourselves to other men than me. Therefore, whenever you see someone flattering himself first and foremost and in everything he does, and courting favour by his table and his dress, and moving about in licentious fashion, you may be sure that man will flatter you as well, and you may expect from him sweet words, which you call praise — dainty language from a dainty man. 14 But whenever you see someone who is unkempt and wears his garments closely wrapped about him and has no companions on his walks, a man who makes himself the first target for examination and reproof,16 do not p287expect from such a man any flattery or deception, or that clever and seductive language which is most in use in dealing with democracies and satraps and dictators.

Not so are they who wait upon such men,

But rather youths with handsome cloaks and frocks,

Whose locks are ever sleek, whose faces fair.17

Aye, for these men enter upon life as if they were going to some revel, piping and singing and drinking on the supposition that it is a kind of festival or conclave of wastrels into which they have burst.

15 But if a man, having seen how much there is that is dreadful and hateful in the world, and that everywhere are countless enemies, both public and private, with whom wantonness and deceit hold sway,

Subdues his body with injurious blows,

Casts round his shoulders sorry rags, in guise

A slave, steals into the wide-wayed town of those

Who hold debauch,18

meaning no harm to his neighbours — such as Odysseus meant to the suitors when he came in that guise — but on the contrary seeking if perchance he may unobtrusively do them some good — if, I say, such a man comes among you, why do you stir him up, or why do you call upon one who will appear to you to be a churlish and savage person as a speaker? For your ears have not been prepared for the reception of p289harsh and stubborn words; nay, as the hooves of cattle are tender when they are reared in soft, smooth country, so men's ears are dainty when reared in the midst of flattery and lying speech.

16 Why, then, are you eager to hear what you will not endure? Something must have happened to you like what Aesop says happened to the eyes. They believed themselves to be the most important organs of the body, and yet they observed that it was the mouth that got the benefit of most things and in particular of honey, the sweetest thing of all. So they were angry and even found fault with their owner. But when he placed in them some of the honey, they smarted and wept and thought it a stinging, unpleasant substance.19 Therefore, do not you yourselves seek to taste the words that philosophy has to offer, as the eyes tasted honey; if you do, methinks, not only will you be vexed when they cause a smart, but perhaps you will even say that such a thing cannot possibly be philosophy, but rather abuse and mischief.

17 The fact is, my friends, that you consider yourselves fortunate and blessed because your home is in a great city and you occupy a fertile land, because you find the needs of life supplied for you in greatest abundance and profusion, because you have this river flowing through the heart of your city, and because, moreover, Tarsus is the capital of all the people of Cilicia.20 But Archilochus, who, as I have p291said, found favour in the eyes of Apollo, in speaking of a general thus expresses his opinion:

A general who is tall doth please me not,

Who walks with legs apart, delights in curls,

And shaves the hair that grows upon his calves.

'Nay,' says he, 'let me rather have one who is bandy-legged, stands firmly, and has hairy shins.'21 18 Therefore you must not think that if Archilochus had no love for the sort of general he has described and did not gauge the value of a general by his height or hair, he would ever have praised a city because he found in it such things as rivers and baths and fountains and porticoes and a multitude of houses and a wide extent of space, for such things are simply like hair and ringlets on a man; to me at least it appears that in place of these things he would have preferred a city that is both small and weak, even if perched upon a rock, provided it is wisely managed.22

19 Well, there you have what Archilochus has to say, but how about Homer? Did not Odysseus come from an island, and not even from one of medium size — of course not — nor yet from a fertile one, but rather from one of which the poet could only say by way of praise that it 'pastured goats'?23 But still Homer says that it was by that man's counsel and judgement that even Troy was taken, a city that was so great, and held sway over so many peoples,

Seaward as far as Lesbos, the abode

Of gods, and, landward, Phrygia and the stream

Of boundless Hellespont;24

p293 a city which he declares all men call 'rich-in‑gold, rich-in‑copper'.25 20 Did Troy receive any benefit from either the magnitude of its wealth, or the number of its subjects or allies, or the beauty of its fields, or of Mt. Ida or Simoïs or 'eddying Xanthus',

whom Zeus the immortal created?26

And yet the poet says that there were also certain springs of rare beauty in the suburbs, one that was warm and whose waters were most pleasant, such that steam actually rose from it, and the other as cold as ice, even in summer, so that both in summer and in winter the lovely daughters of the Trojans could do their washing without discomfort.27 21 And not only were the Trojans distinguished for wealth and richness of soil and number of inhabitants, but also human beings born at Troy were very beautiful, both men and women, horses were very fleet,28 the people were held to be dear to the gods, and they were fenced about with a circuit-wall most strong — in fact that wall of theirs was the work of Poseidon and Apollo.29 Moreover, Zeus declared that of all the cities beneath the sun he loved that city most.30 Such was the fleetness of their steeds that they could run upon the tips of the heads of grain,31 such the beauty of Ganymede that he was made the cupbearer of Zeus;32 and Alexander lured away from Greece the noblest woman of that land; as for Cassandra, Homer declares that she was not inferior to Aphroditê in beauty.33

p295 22 But despite all that, because luxury and insolence came upon them and they thought they had no need of culture and sobriety, they have become by far the most unfortunate of all men. Has not the whole earth been filled with the tale of their disasters? Yea, neither the speed of their horses nor Zeus nor Ganymede availed them aught, but a man from a city so wretched and obscure destroyed them, and that citizen of Ithaca was able to overcome the men of Ilium one and all and to pillage utterly and destroy the 'wide-wayed land.'34

23 Aye, the gods no longer love men who are wanton and senseless and unrestrained and inclined toward insolence and laziness and luxury. Therefore, rely not on these speakers of yours and do not accept their words of congratulation and admiration or the men themselves who are so clever at singing praises; for they only deceive and vainly excite you like foolish children; but rather welcome the man who will point out to you some of your faults, and will first of all, if he can, enable you to think, because such things as I have name do not make you blessed, not even if the mighty Nile itself should flow through your city with waters clearer than Castalia;a not even if Pactolus,35 appearing here, should be dear to you its gold, not grain by grain, as they say it used to do for the Lydians in days gone by, but in a mass like mud; not even if you should surpass Egypt and Babylon in the costliness of your buildings. 24 For if these are the things which can make men blessed — rivers or climate or situation or even harbours opening on the p297sea or temples or fortifications — it is impossible to list the cities that surpass you.

You are told that the people of Byzantium yonder, who dwell close beside the Pontus itself but a short distance outside its entrance [reap much profit from their situation], since from time to time fish are thrown out upon their shores without man's intervention;36 but still no one would call Byzantines blessed because of their fish — unless he would say the same of cormorants — nor would he call Egyptians blessed because of the Nile, or Babylonians because of their wall. 25 Does not the Peneus flow through a Thessaly that is desolate?37 Does not the Ladon flow through an Arcadia whose people have been driven from their homes?38 Is not the Cydnus itself purer higher up? What then? Will you say that on that account the people in that region are superior to yourselves? You might be speaking the truth if you said they were — though you will not say it — for those who are unacquainted with luxury and rascality are in my opinion better off. What of Italy itself?b Take Sybaris, for example; is it not true that the more luxurious it became the more speedily it perished?39 And as for Croton, Thurii, Metapontum, and Tarentum, in spite of the high level of prosperity to which they each attained and the great power that once was theirs, what city is there that they do not now surpass in desolation?40

p299 26 But it would be a vast undertaking to attempt to catalogue all who through luxury have suffered ruin: the Lydians long ago, the Medes, the Assyrians who preceded them, and lastly the Macedonians. For the Macedonians, although they had but lately shed their rags and were known as shepherds, men who used to fight the Thracians for possession of the millet-fields, vanquished the Greeks, crossed over into Asia and gained an empire reaching to the Indians; yet when the good things of the Persians came into their possession, the bad things also followed in their train. 27 Accordingly both sceptre and royal purple and Median cookery and the very race itself came to an end, so that to‑day, if you should pass through Pella, you would see no sign of a city at all, apart from the presence of a mass of shattered pottery on the site.41 And yet the districts belonging to the cities and peoples I have named still remain just as they used to be, and no one has diverted the rivers into other channels, nor was anything else of that sort different once from what it is today; but in spite of that, whatever is touched by extravagance and luxury cannot long endure.

28 For think not that rams and siege-towers42 and the other engines of war are as ruinous as luxury, whether it is a man whom one wishes to see prostrate or a city. No, it is not river or plain or harbour that makes a city prosperous, nor quantity of riches or multitude of houses or treasuries of the gods — objects to which deity pays no heed — nay, not even if some people do p301transport to their cities the mountains and rocks43 at the cost of great physical pain and labour and untold expense, does that bring happiness; instead it is sobriety and common sense that save. These make blessed those who employ them; these make men dear to the gods, not frankincense or myrrh, God knows, nor roots and gum of trees or the fragrant herbs of India and Arabia.44 29 But as for you, if by chance the river shifts its course and flows with more turbid stream than usual, you are annoyed and feel that you must offer an explanation to people who have come to Tarsus for the first time; on the other hand, though you see the manners of the city shifting and growing worse and ever more and more disordered, you pay no heed. 30 Yet, though you want water to be pure, not only for drinking but also for sightliness, you fail to seek a character that is pure and free from excess. Indeed one may often hear men say: "Yet perhaps it is not we alone who have changed, but practically everybody." But that is just as if in time of epidemic someone, because all, or nearly all, were ill, should not care to take any precautions for his own health, or, by Zeus, as if a man storm-tossed at sea, perceiving that all on board were in peril, should therefore neglect his own safety. What! If an entire fleet goes down, does that make the disaster any the less portentous!

31 "Well, what is the fault we are guilty of?" Your other faults I shall refrain from mentioning. For it would be ludicrous if one should try to tell a man who had absolutely no knowledge of the harp, and yet goes on to strike its strings at random, what p303particular mistake he has made or what note he has misplayed. But so much at least is worth mentioning, and nobody could deny it: I assert that an amazing thing has happened in this city to many people, something that I used to hear occurred formerly in other cities rather than at Tarsus. 32 However, if I prove unable to explain clearly what that thing is, at least you may try to guess my meaning; and, furthermore, do not think that I am telling any secret or something that the guilty ones attempt to disguise, no matter if their conduct does appear most amazing. At any rate, however amazing it may be, while on your feet, walking or talking, most of you all the while are fast asleep; and even if you seem to most men to be awake, that would mean nothing at all. For instance, anyone unacquainted with rabbits will say they are awake, even if he sees them sleeping.45 How, then, has this state been recognized? From certain other signs which indicate their sleeping, since their eyes at least are wide open.

33 What, then, do these people do that marks persons who are asleep? Many indeed are the other symptoms; for practically all their actions bear a resemblance to the dream state. For example, they experience joy and sorrow, and courage and timidity, for no reason at all, they are enthusiastic, they desire the impossible, and what is unreal they regard as real, while what is real they fail to perceive. However, these traits, perhaps, they share in common with ourselves. But this, in my opinion, is the clearest mark of slumber — they snort.46 For, by heaven, I have p305no more becoming name to give it. And yet even among sleepers few suffer from that affliction, while with everybody else it occurs only when men are drunk, or have gorged themselves with food, or are reclining in an uncomfortable position.

34 But I claim that such conduct shames the city and disgraces it as a state, and that the greatest outrage is dealt to their country by these daytime slumberers, and that they would deservedly be banished, not only by you, but by all men everywhere. For indeed this habit is no trifling matter nor of rare occurrence either; nay, it occurs all the time and everywhere in the city, despite all threats and jests and ridicule. And what is more, the sound is by now habitual even with the very small boys, and such adults as have a reputation for good form are often led to indulge in it as a kind of local usage, and even though they may check it in embarrassment, at any rate they have given vent to a sound quite similar.

35 Now, it there existed any city in which you were continually hearing persons making lament, and in which no one would walk even a short distance without encountering that ill-omened sound, is there anyone, by Zeus, who would like to visit such a place? And yet lamentation, one might say, is a sign of misfortune, whereas sound of which I am speaking is a sign of shamelessness and of extreme licentiousness. Surely it is reasonable that men should prefer to spend their time among those who are unfortunate rather than among those who are licentious. I for my part would not choose to hear even the pipes constantly; nay, if there exists a place in which there is a constant sound of pipes or song or lyres, as indeed they say is the case with the p307Sirens' crag,47 which ever resounds with melody, I could not bring myself to go and live there. 36 But as for that boorish and distressing sound you make, what ordinary mortal could endure it? Why, if a man in passing by a house hears a sound like that, of course he will say it's a brothel. But what will men say of the city in which almost everywhere just one note prevails, and whose inhabitants make no exception of season or day or place, but, on the contrary, in alley-ways, in private houses, at market, at the theatre, in the gymnasium this snorting is dominant? Besides, while I have never up to the present moment heard anybody play the pipes at sunrise in the city, this amazing tune of yours starts going at break of day.

37 However, I am not unaware that some may believe that I am talking nonsense when I inquire into matters such as this, provided only that you continue to bring in your vegetables by the wagon-load and to find bread in abundance for all to buy, and your salt fish and meats as well. But still let them consider the matter for themselves in this way: Supposing one of them came to a city in which everybody always uses his middle finger in pointing to anything,48 and, if he offers his right hand, offers it in that fashion, and, if he extends his hand for any purpose, either for voting in assembly or in the casting of his ballot as a juryman, extends it so, what sort of place would the newcomer think that city to be? And suppose everybody walked with his clothes pulled up, as if wading in a pool? 38 Are you not aware p309that such conduct has provided occasion for slander against you, with the result that those who are ill-disposed toward you are supplied with material wherewith to defame you as a people? Well, how comes it that people shout at you the name Cercopes?49 And yet men say that it should make no difference either to you or to anybody else what others say, but only what you yourselves do. Well then, supposing certain people should as a community be so afflicted that all the males got female voices and that no male, whether young or old, could say anything man-fashion, would that not seem a grievous experience and harder to bear, I'll warrant, than any pestilence, and as a result would they not send to the sanctuary of the god and try by many gifts to propitiate the divine power? And yet to speak with female voice is to speak with human voice, and nobody would be vexed at hearing a woman speak. 39 But who are they who make that sort of sound? Are they not the creatures of mixed sex?50 Are they not men who have had their testicles lopped off? Nay, even they do not always make that sound, nor to all persons, but it is reserved for themselves, a sort of password of their own.

Come, suppose you all were accustomed to walk with clothes girt tight, or playing the tambourine,51 and that this practice did not seem to you at all vexatious. Suppose you happened to possess a lofty rock, p311or, by Zeus, an overhanging mountain such as other cities have, and that a man who made the ascent could not hear distinctly individual voices but only the general murmur, what kind of sound do you think would have been borne aloft to him? Would it not, evidently, be the sound made by the majority, prevailing as if by harmony of tone? 40 And suppose one had to guess from what was heard who made the sound, as Homer says about Odysseus when he approached his own home, that he did not have to wait to see the suitors at their feast but straightway said to Eumaeus, as the note of the harp smote his ear, that he

Knew well that many were feasting in his hall;52

and again, when from the island of the Cyclopes he heard both the bleating of sheep and the voices of men (as he would, methinks, if they were pasturing their sheep), that he perceived that it was the country of shepherds5341 well then, suppose that a man were to judge you too by the sound that came to him from a distance, what kind of men would he guess you were and what your occupation? For you haven't the capacity for tending either cattle or sheep! And would any one call you colonists from Argos,54 as you claim to be, or more likely colonists of those abominable Aradians?55 Would he call you Greeks, or the most licentious of Phoenicians?

I believe it is more appropriate for a man of sense to plug his ears with wax in a city like yours p313than if he chanced to be sailing past the Sirens. For there one faced the risk of death, but here it is licentiousness, insolence, the most extreme corruption that threatens. 42 And here we find no real enjoyment and no love of learning either, I imagine. At any rate in days gone by it was the counsel of the better citizens that had its way,56 whereas now, it seems, it is the counsel of the worse. And one might wonder why the majority here in Tarsus follow that baser counsel so eagerly, and why that tendency is constantly growing more general as time goes on. Just as formerly an Ionian mode became dominant in music, and a Dorian, and then a Phrygian also, and a Lydian, so now the Aradian mode is dominant and now it is Phoenician airs that suit your fancy and the Phoenician rhythm that you admire most, just as some others do the spondiac.º 43 Or can it be that a race of men has been created with the gift of music in their noses (as swans are said to have the gift of music in their wings),57 so that like shrill-voiced birds these men delight one another in the streets and at symposia without any need of lyre and pipes? No doubt the lyre and pipes are antiquated and, furthermore, instruments that produce a harsh and rustic kind of music. Ah well, another style now is flourishing, superior to lyres and more agreeable. Therefore, in course of time, we shall even institute choruses to accompany that variety of tune, choruses of boys and girls, most carefully instructed.

44 Well, I understand perfectly that you are vexed p315with me for what I have been saying, and indeed I told you beforehand58 that you would not receive my words with any pleasure. However, you may have supposed that I was going to discourse on astronomy and geology. And though some of you are angry and claim that I am insulting your city, still they do not blame those who guilty of the things I mention; on the other hand, others may be laughing at me because I could find nothing better to talk about. However, I find that physicians too sometimes handle things they would rather not, parts of the body that are not the most beautiful, and many of their patients, I know, are irritated when the physician touches the sore spot. But he often scarifies and lances it despite the outcry. I, therefore, shall not cease to talk upon this theme until I make you smart indeed. And yet, after all, it is a very mild medicine you are getting in this speech of mine, much less severe than your case calls for.

45 Come now, in the name of Heracles and Perseus and Apollo and Athenê and the other deities whom you honour, tell me freely whether any one of you would want to have a wife like that — I mean a wife whom men would habitually call by a name derived from the practice of which I speak,59 just as a woman receives the name of harpist or flautist or poetess, and so forth, each in keeping with its own activity. And pray do not be displeased or vexed; for these words of mine are words that the situation itself supplies to any man who chooses to deal with the subject, rather than some invention of my own. p317Well then, no one among you would be willing to live with a wife like that, not even, methinks, for five hundred talents; then would he choose a daughter of her kind? I grant you that perhaps, by Zeus, it may not be so distressing to have a mother of that sort and to support her in old age; for evidently snorting is a solemn performance and rather suited to the elderly! 46 Very well, then if, when it is a question of wife or daughter, you cannot endure even to hear of such a thing, does it not seem to you an awful calamity to reside in a city or a country of that kind? And furthermore — a thought which makes it altogether more distressing — a city or a country which was not like that to begin with, but which you yourselves are making so? And yet the city in question is your mother-city, and so it has the dignity and the esteem belonging to a mother-city; but still neither its name nor its antiquity nor its renown are spared by you. 47 What would you think, if, just as you might reasonably expect (and as men report) that founding heroes or deities would often visit the cities they have founded, invisible to everybody else (both at sacrificial rites and at certain other public festivals) — if, I ask you, your own founder, Heracles, should visit you (attracted, let us say, by a funeral pyre such as you construct with special magnificence in his honour),60 do you think he would be extremely pleased to hear such a sound? Would he not depart for Thrace instead, or for Libya, and honour with his presence the descendants of Busiris or of Diomedes61 when they sacrifice? What! Do you not think that Perseus62 himself would really pass over your city in his flight?

p319 48 And yet what need have we to mention deities? Take Athenodorus,63 who became governor of Tarsus, whom Augustus held in honour — had he known your city to be what it is to‑day, would he, do you suppose, have preferred being here to living with the emperor? In days gone by, therefore, your city was renowned for orderliness and sobriety, and the men it produced were of like character; but now I fear that it may be rated just the opposite and so be classed with this or that other city I might name. And yet many of the customs still in force reveal in one way or another the sobriety and severity of deportment of those earlier days. Among these is the convention regarding feminine attire, a convention which prescribes that women should be so arrayed and should so deport themselves when in the street that nobody could see any part of them, neither of the face nor of the rest of the body, and that they themselves might not see anything off the road.64 49 And yet what could they see as shocking as what they hear? Consequently, beginning the process of corruption with the ears, most of them have come to utter ruin. For wantonness slips in from every quarter, through ears and eyes alike. Therefore, while they have their faces covered as they walk, they have their soul uncovered and its doors thrown wide open. For that reason they, like surveyors, can see more keenly with but one of their eyes.65

50 And while this nasal affliction66 is wholly manifest, p321it is inevitable that everything else also must be a fit accompaniment for a condition such as that. For you must not suppose that, just as other disorders often attack certain particular parts of other people, such as hands or feet or face, so also here among you a local disorder has assailed your noses; nor that, just as Aphroditê, angered at the women of Lemnos, is said to have polluted their armpits,67 to also here in Tarsus the noses of the majority have been polluted because of divine anger, in consequence of which they emit that dreadful noise. Rubbish! No, that noise is a symptom of their utter wantonness and madness, and their belief that nothing is dishonourable. 51 So I assert that the talk of these women is quite in keeping with their gait and the glance of their eye. And if they cannot make anything so manifest by means of their eyes as to cause everyone to turn and gaze at them, or if they have not yet carried their art so far, still they are by no means the more respectable in other ways.

In view of that are you irritated at the people of Aegae and of Adana68 when they revile you, while on the other hand you fail to banish from Tarsus those of your own people who testify to the truth of what your neighbours declare? 52 Do you not know that, while the charge of doing some forbidden thing, something in violation of Nature's laws, in most cases rests only on suspicion, and no one of the masses has really seen anything at all, but, on the contrary, it is in some dark and secret retreat that the wretched culprits commit their heinous deeds all unobserved; p323yet such symptoms of their incontinence as the following reveal their true character and disposition: voice, glance, posture; yes, and the following also, which are thought to be petty and insignificant details: style of haircut, mode of walking, elevation of the eye, inclination of the neck, the trick of conversing with upturned palms.69 For you must not think that the notes of pipes and lyre or songs reveal sometimes manliness and sometimes femininity, but that movements and actions do not vary according to sex and afford no clue to it.

53 But I should like to tell you a story, one that you may possibly have heard before.70 It seems that one of the clever people of Tarsus — so the story runs — once went to a certain city. He was a man who had made it his special business to recognize instantly the character of each individual and to be able to describe his qualities, and he had never failed with any person; but just as we recognize animals when we see them and know that this, for instance, is a sheep, if such is the case, and this a dog and this a horse or ox, so that man understood human beings when he saw them and could say that this one was brave and this one a coward and this one an impostor and this man wanton or a catamite or an adulterer. 54 Because, therefore, he was noted for his display of power and never made a mistake, the people brought before him a person of rugged frame and knitted brows, squalid and in sorry state and with callouses on his hands, wrapped in a sort of coarse, gray mantle, p325his body shaggy as far as the ankles and his locks wretchedly shingled; and our friend was asked to tell what this man was. But after he had observed the man for a long while, the expert finally, with seeming reluctance to say what was in his mind, professed that he did not understand the case and bade the man move along. But just as the fellow was leaving, he sneezed, whereupon our friend immediately cried out that the man was a catamite.71

55 You see, then, that the sneeze revealed the character of a man, and in the face of all his other traits was sufficient to prevent his eluding detection; and might not some such thing subject a city to false accusations and infect it with an evil reputation, and too in a matter requiring no expert to determine what disorder the trait betokens? However, I for my part should like to ask the experts what this snorting resembles or what it means — for it is neither a clucking sound nor a smacking of the lips nor yet an explosive whistling — or to what line of work it is related and when it is most likely to be made; for neither shepherds nor plowmen nor huntsmen employ that sound, nor does it belong to sailors. 56 Is it, then, a sound made by men when they greet one another or call to one another or display affection? On the contrary, just as the hymeneal is a special song of early origin and used at weddings, so this must be a rhythm of recent origin, no doubt, and used at a different kind of festival.

However, you will depart in high dudgeon, declaring that I have talked nonsense, if I have uttered p327so many words in vain and to no useful purpose. For you will assert that no harm is encountered in consequence of this snorting and that the city is none the worse in its administration because of it. 57 But among the Greeks in times gone by it used to be regarded as an awful thing to tamper with the art of music, and they all cried out against those who tried to introduce a different rhythm or to complicate the melody, holding that Greece was being corrupted in the theatre. So carefully did they safeguard their ears; and they attributed to what was heard such power as to effeminate the mind and violate the virtue of self-control if the principles of harmony should give way ever so little.72 For instance, they say that the Spartans, on an occasion when Timotheus was visiting their city, he being already an artist of distinction and an authority in music, not only took away from him his lyre but even cut out the superfluous strings.73 Do you likewise, men of Tarsus, in imitation of the Spartans, cut out the superfluous sound.

58 The ancient story relates that Circê worked transformations by means of her drugs, so that swine and wolves were produced from men; and we are incredulous when Homer says:

Both heads and voice and hair of swine had they,

And e'en the shape.74

p329 59º Their minds, however, remained steadfast, he says, whereas the mind of the men of Tarsus has been the very first thing to be ruined and utterly corrupted. And really it is not so terrible that human beings should for a time take on the voice of sheep or kine or that they should neigh or howl — as indeed the poets say of Hecuba, that, as a climax to all her terrible misfortunes, the Furies made her

Like to a hound with flashing eyes; and when

She poured her brazen cry from hoary jaws,

Ida gave ear and sea-girt Tenedos

And all the wind-swept crags of Thrace.75

60 Not so terrible, in my opinion, nor so abominable was that portent as when someone who is a male and retains a male's distinctive marks and his proper speech — being incapable of erasing also the marks of Nature, even though he makes every effort to hide them from the world, just as the thief hides stolen goods — being smitten by Furies and perverted and in every way made effeminate, is ready to do anything at all, but nothing in accord with his own nature. And then, 'some Proteus like,' in the course of his changes and bodily transformations he discovers how to emit a sound belonging to neither man nor woman nor to any other creature, not even patterning after a harlot in the practice of her calling but rather, it would seem, producing such a sound as he would make if engaged in the most shameful action, the most licentious conduct, and, what is p331more, in the light of day, under the rays of the sun, and in the presence of many. 61 Not so terrible a portent was it when the hides of cattle crawled and their flesh bellowed.76

What Homer, then, or what Archilochus has the power to exorcize these evil doings? For it seems to me, by Heracles, that a noble and tragic kind of poet is needed by the conduct of these men, one who will be able to check and repel so mighty a surge of evil; since what is taking place already is like a madness that is disgraceful and unseemly. 62 And this plague of impropriety and shamelessness, as it goes on its rounds among you, is already leading to every sort of deed and cry and posture, and attacking and invading every portion of your bodies — feet, hands, eyes, and tongue. Therefore, I can do no good at all, nor can this easy-going, feeble exhortation to which you have listened; no, a Stentor is required with throat of bronze or iron,77 who will be able to shout more loudly and more clearly than I can. For consider the progress of the malady. 63 The first innovation consisted in trimming the beard; and this was looked upon as moderate enough, merely not to let it grow too long, and nothing more, but just to make a slight improvement upon Nature. Well then, the man so trimmed was thought by many to look smart. The next step was to shave as far as p333the cheeks;78 and even that was nothing terrible; and yet the comic poet did bid that even such a man be burned

Upon a heap of sixteen fig-wood phalluses.79

However, they did have faces that were comely and boyish beyond their years when rid of that down. Next — since this was still to try — they shaved the legs and chest, to insure that in all other respects as well they might resemble boys. Then they progressed as far as the arms; then shifted to the genitals, where evidence of youthful vigour is indeed superfluous. Thus ridicule and scorn are being showered by the clever younger set upon the artistry of Nature as being something out of date and extremely foolish, seeing that she has attached to the body things that are useless and superfluous. 64 For instance, what need had you of nails and hair? No, not even of hands, perhaps, or feet. All that Nature had to do for you was to create genitals and bellies and to supply food and the other things from which one may derive enjoyment. That is why we trim ourselves and remove from our chins and private parts the hair which is distinctive of the full-grown male. And, if it were possible to borrow from the female certain other attributes, clearly then we should be supremely happy, not defective as at present, but whole beings and natural — epicenes!c


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Tarsus, as a semi-oriental city, may well have been touchy regarding its claim to Hellenic origin. There does not seem to have been agreement as to the founder. Dio himself is not consistent on that topic: here he speaks of 'founders' but in section 47 he calls Heracles 'the founder.' Other deities especially honoured by the Tarsians were Perseus, Apollo, and Athenê. According to Strabo (14.5.12) the city was founded by Triptolemus and a band of Argives. To this list of possible founders Capps by his plausible emendation adds Poseidon. See critical note.

Thayer's Note: The Greek text adopted by the Loeb edition reads τοῦ τῆς τριαίνης and the critical note:

τοῦ τῆς τριαίνης Capps, τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος τῆς τε τριαίνης Valesius: τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος τῆς τριαίνης.

2 Iliad 2.525: άφνειοί, πίνοντες ὕδωρ μέλαν Αἰσήποιο.

3 Aristotle has left us a work entitled περὶ γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς. Plato too dealt with this topic. Cf. Phaedo, 95E.

4 Lucian, Demosthenis Encomium 19, quotes the entire sentence, which contains a remarkable list of alternatives proposed by the poet. See Sandys, Odes of Pindar (L. C. L.), p512.

5 Reiske's attractive emendation, ἔνθεν ἐλὼν, is seemingly an epic phrase — cf. Odyssey 8.500 — employed with humorous intent.

6 Strabo (14.5.13) stresses the enthusiasm for education displayed by Tarsus in his day. He ranks sit above Athens and Alexandria in that regard, but adds that Tarsus did not attract foreign scholars as they did.

7 Apparently he would have acted the Fall of Troy.

8 Presumably the god Dionysus. We have no record that he gave such advice, but Dio might well assume it, since the drama was an element in his worship.

9 The comic poet, not the philosopher — contemporary with Aristophanes and Cratinus.

10 Socrates interpreted the well-known oracle of Apollo as equivalent to an order to devote his life to the examination and correction of his fellow-citizens, a procedure which, as Socrates himself perceived, they found most irritating. See, for example, Plato, Apology, 21E‑23B.

11 Whatever timidity Aristophanes displayed was of the ironic sort.

12 Cf. Lucretius 1.936‑8:

sed veluti pueris absinthia taetra medentes

cum dare conantur, prius oras pocula circum

contingunt mellis dulci flavoque liquore.

13 Cf. Velleius I.5: neque quemquam alium cuius operis primus fuerit auctor, in eo perfectissimum praeter Homerum et Archilochum reperiemus.

14 Iliad 2.246.

15 Cf. Heracleides Ponticus (F.H.G. 2.214): Ἀρχίλοχον τὸν ποιητὴν ὄνομα ἔκτεινε, πρὸς ὅν φασιν εἰπεῖν τὴν Πυθίαν, Ἔξιθι νηοῦ. τοῦτον δ᾽ εἰπεῖν, Ἀλλὰ καθαρός εἰμι, ἄναξ· ἐν χειρῶν γὰρ νόμῳ ἔκτεινα. Galen, Protrepticus 9, preserves a fuller form of the Pythia's words: Μουσάων θεράποντα κατέκτανες· ἔξιθι νηοῦ.

16 A manifest description of the speaker.

17 Odyssey 15.330‑2.

18 Odyssey 4.244‑6. In Dio's text θρυπτομένων had displaced δυσμενέων of Homer. The words immediately following the quotation suggest that Dio was quoting from memory and thus confused the visit of Odysseus to Ilium, of which Homer was speaking, with his return to Ithaca.

19 This fable seems to be recorded by no one but Dio.

20 Xenophon, Anabasis 1.2.22‑3, bears witness to the natural advantages of Tarsus. When Cilicia became a Roman province, Tarsus was made its capital.

21 Dio's paraphrase of lines 3 and 4 of the Archilochus fragment does not agree with the accepted text: ἀλλά μοι σμικρός τις εἴη καὶ περὶ κνήμας ἰδεῖν ῥοικός, ἀσφαλῶς βεβηκὼς ποσοί, καρδίης πλέως. See Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, L. C. L., vol. 2, p126.

22 This sentiment is contained in a couplet from Phocylides cited by Dio 36.13.

23 Odyssey 4.606.

24 Iliad 24.544‑5.

25 Iliad 18.288‑9.

26 Iliad 14.434.

27 Iliad 22.147‑55.

28 Iliad 5.263‑73.

29 Iliad 21.441‑9. Homer, however, states that Poseidon alone built the wall, while Apollo was tending the herd of Laomedon.

30 Iliad 4.44‑7.

31 This striking phrase is not found in Homer.

32 Iliad 20.232‑5.

33 Iliad 24.699.

34 Dio expresses this thought in similar language in 32.88.

35 A tributary of the Hermus and famous in antiquity for the wealth of gold it brought to Lydian Sardis.

36 Aristotle, Politics 1291 B23, notes the importance of the fishing industry at Byzantium but fails to record the phenomenon here mentioned by Dio.

37 Thessaly no doubt had little political importance in Dio's day, but the adjective which he applies to it seems overdrawn.

38 Cf. Strabo 8.8.388: διὰ δὲ τὴν τῆς χώρας παντελῇ κάκωσιν οὐκ ἂν προσήκοι μακρολογεῖν περὶ αὐτῶν (the Arcadians)· αἴ τε γὰρ πόλεις ὑπὸ τῶν συνεχῶν πολέμων ἠφανίσθησαν . . . τήν τε χώραν οἱ γεωργήσαντες ἐκλελοίπασιν, κ.τ.λ.

39 Sybaris, proverbial for luxury, was destroyed in 510 B.C.

40 These four cities of southern Italy at the close of the second Punic war fell permanently into the hands of the Romans and rapidly decayed.

41 Pella was the ancient capital of Macedonia. Dio again exaggerates, for Lucian, Alexander 6, states that Pella (ca. A.D. 150) had some inhabitants.

42 Diodorus 20.48 and 91 tells of these siege-towers. They may have been the invention of Demetrius Poliorcetes, who used them effectively against Rhodes. Ammianus, who has no Latin term for the device, describes it at some length (23.4.10‑13).

43 For building purposes.

44 For the aromatic plants and trees of India and Arabia see Diodorus 2.49, 3.46; Strabo 15.1.22, 16.4.25.

45 This peculiarity of the rabbit was so widely known that it passed into a proverb. Cf. Suidas, s.v. λαγὼς καθεύδων: ἐπὶ τῶν προσποιουμένων καθεύδειν. It is noted also by Pliny, Naturalis Historia 11.147: Quin et patentibus (oculis) dormiunt lepores multique hominum, quos κορυβαντιᾶν Graeci dicunt.

46 In the preceding section Dio attempts to prepare his audience for this troublesome word by stating that they must guess at his meaning if he fails to make it plain. For a summary of his usage of the term consult the Introduction to the Discourse.

47 See note on Or. 32.47.

48 An indecent gesture. See scholium to Aristophanes, Clouds 653: δείκνυσι τὸν μέσον δάκτυλον αἰσχρῶς, and also Juvenal 10.53: mediumque ostenderet unguem.

Thayer's Note: Giving someone the finger. Only a classics scholar would think of explaining it by these arcane references; however, not to be outdone — plus, gentle reader, I might as well share one more entertaining story with you: see J. Hilton Turner, "Roman Elementary Mathematics" (CJ 47:74) and the author's footnote there.

49 A mythical pair of ape-like men closely associated with Heracles and a natural subject for comic treatment. The intimate connection between Tarsus and Heracles lends plausibility to Selden's conjecture.

50 The word ἀνδρογύνων had several meanings, none of them complimentary. See Suidas s.v. Cf. Plato, Symposium 189E: ἀνδρόγυνον γὰρ ἒν τότε μὲν ἧν καὶ εἶδος καὶ ὄνομα ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων κοινὸν τοῦ τε ἄρρενος καὶ θήλεος, νῦν δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ἐν ὀνείδει ὄνομα κείμενον.

Thayer's Note: This is somewhat misleading. The first of the meanings given in the Suda is hardly "uncomplimentary", but refers to the universal potency of a god; and the passage of Plato quoted here is part of the famous myth, in which true androgyny is praised even if the word is now misapplied; my translation: "For it was the androgynous [kind of human being] that had both the appearance and the name of each of them, of the male and the female, but now there is nothing but the name, thrown out as a reproach."

51 Both traits characteristic of women.

52 Odyssey 17.269. Dio has adapted the line somewhat to serve his purpose. He might well have included in his quotation the next two verses, had not the poet introduced also κνίση, which does not suit our passage.

53 Odyssey 9.167. Homer does not make Odysseus draw the inference with which Dio credits him.

54 See § 1.

55 Aradus was a tiny island off the coast of Phoenicia.

56 Strabo (14.5.13‑15) paints an interesting picture of intellectual life at Tarsus and lists a number of philosophers, poets, and grammarians there in residence. Those days had passed.

57 Aristotle, Historia Animalium 535B, 31, ὁ γινόμενος ταῖς πτέρυξι ψόφος οὐ φωνή ἐστι.

58 § 15.

59 That is, the practice of "snorting." Arnim believes that after the word ἔργου the text has lost a noun descriptive of that particular activity, e.g.ῥεγκητρίδα.

60 In memory of his death and deification.

61 Busiris, mythical king of Egypt, and Diomedes the Thracian were both slain by Heracles.

62 For the prominence of Perseus at Tarsus see also §§ 1 and 45.

63 Athenodorus, Stoic philosopher and former tutor of Augustus, came to Tarsus in his old age and with the backing of the Roman emperor reformed the government, of which he became the head. He was respected not only by Augustus but also by Cicero, whom he aided in the composition of the De Officiis. His friend Strabo has much to say of him.

64 This prescription may have been due to the oriental element at Tarsus.

65 That is, peeping through the veil.

66 That is, 'snorting.'

67 See Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.17 (Frazer, L. C. L.): The Lemnian women did not honour Aphroditê, and she visited them with a noisome smell . . ., αἰ Λήμνιαι τὴν Ἀφροδίτην οὐκ ἐτίμων· ἡ δὲ αὐταῖς ἐμβάλλει δυσοσμίαν.

68 Aegae and Adana were Cilician towns not far east of Tarsus and envious of its power and authority. See Or. 34.10, 14, and 47.

69 Dio leaves us in the dark regarding the precise form of most of the things here criticized. What was the significance of the upturned palm? Merely an oriental gesture?

70 Diogenes Laertius, 7.173, tells this story of Cleanthes.

71 The sneeze is a well-known omen and doubtless capable of varied meanings in keeping with varied conditions; but it is not clear why so specialized a meaning should have been given in the present instance.

Thayer's Note: For everything you wanted to know about sternutation or sneezing, and divination thereby, see Sir Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errors, IV.IX; if this passage of Dio does not appear there, I chalk it up to Browne's notoriously good sense: surely what is going on here is no omen or augury, but rather that our fellow, rough trade though he might have been, sneezed fem.

72 The important position assigned to music in Greek education is a notable phenomenon. Plato devotes much space to the subject in books 3 and 4 of his Republic. Especially apposite is Republic 424C. See also Aristophanes, Clouds, 968‑72.

73 Dio tells the same story in 32.67 but without specifying the victim. The "superfluous strings" presumably were strings 8 to 11, the lyre usually having no more than seven. Timotheus himself (Persae 215‑43) refers to his quarrel with the Spartans with reference to his innovations and boasts that he had added an eleventh string to the ten of Terpander.

Thayer's Note: The story was often told by various authors, with many variants. For a collection of them, see the footnote to Plutarch, Sayings of Spartans: Ecprepes.

74 Odyssey 10.239‑40.

75 From an unknown poet. See Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Graeci, Vol. 3, pp721‑2.

76 An allusion to the portent that attended the eating of the kine of Helius by the comrades of Odysseus (Odyssey 12.394‑6).

77 Considering the later fame of Stentor, it is surprising to discover that Homer refers to him but once, Iliad 5.785‑6:

Στέντορι εἰσαμένη μεγαλήτορι χαλκεοφώνῳ,

ὃς τόσον αὐδήσασχ᾽ ὄσον ἄλλοι πεντήκοντα.

78 "As far as the cheeks" in this context mean the whole face, the previous stage involving merely trimming, not shaving, and the next stage involves the legs and chest.

79 Kock, Com. Att. Frag., Aristophanes, frag. 577.


Thayer's Notes:

a The spring at Delphi, intimately connected with the legend of Apollo and thus with the essential sacredness of the place, in which the ancients performed their ritual ablutions.

See Livius' good summary of the Castalian spring, with photos of it today.

b Dio is definitely not fond of the Romans. Here's a noteworthy illustration of it: he restricts "Italy" to the Greek towns of centuries ago! Of course, the obvious case of luxury was Rome at the very time he was writing, but he's a prudent man; no point in indulging in even the slightest dangerous hint that luxury might destroy Rome as well, as indeed, according to many students of Antiquity, it eventually did.

c "Epicenes" is a loaded translation of the Greek; the word is the same ἀνδρόγυνοι discussed in the footnote on p309. I would prefer to translate the last phrase (ἀλλ᾽ ὁλόκληροι τινες καὶ κατὰ φύσιν ἀνδρόγυνοι): "but as some kind of whole beings, androgynous by nature."


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 7 Jul 13