Absciditur

Man holding knife, close-up, portrait

This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Nam dum statuto tempore rex Papiam tenderet, et memorati obviam ei exirent, episcopus libenter, ut ei imperatum fuerat, fecit. rex itaque omnes capere, ut Samson consilium dederat, iussit. confestim igitur Gezo Samson traditus, utroque lumine privatur, et lingua, quae in regem blasphemiam dixerat, ei absciditur. o factum bene, si sicut caecus, ita et mutus cunctis extitisset temporibus! sed o scelus, quoniam lingua abscisa loquelam non perdidit, secundum Grecorum fabulas, oculorum privatione vitam sibi protelavit, quae multis ad perniciem usque in praesentem diem esse non desiit. fabulae vero ludum, cur caeci plurimum vivant, secundum Grecorum ineptiam hic inseramus, quae talis est: Ζευς καὶ Ηρα ηρισαν περι αφροδισιῶν, της πλειονα ἐχει ηδομας εν τη συννουσῖα· και τότε Τιρεσίαν Εβρου υιον εζήτησαν. οὕτως γὰρ εν ταις αμφοτέραις φύσεσοι μεταμορφώθη, επιδι δράκοντα επατησεν. οὕτος οὔν κατα της Ηρας απεφκυνατο, καὶ Ηρα οργισθεῖσα ἐπήρωσεν ἀυτὸν, Ζευς δὲ εχαρίσατο ἀυτῶ πολοῖς ζήσαι ετεσι, και ὀσα ελεγεν μαντικα λεγειν. Zeus ke Ira irisan peri afrodision, tis pliona echi idomas en ti synnusia; ke tote Tiresian Euru yon ezitisan, utos gar en tes amfoteres fysesi metamorfothi epidi draconta epatisen. utos un cata tis Iras apefkynato, ke Ira orgisthisa epirosen auton, Zeus de echarisato auto polis zise etesi, ke osa elegen mantica legin.* haec est interpretatio: Iuppiter et Iuno contenderunt de amoribus, quis plures haberet libidines in coitu. et tunc Tiresiam Euri filium quaesiverunt. iste enim in utrisque naturis transmutatus est, quia draconem calcavit. hic ergo contra Iunonem pronuntiavit. et Iuno irata excaecavit eum. Iuppiter autem donavit ei multis vivere annis, et quanta diceret, divinando dicere. sed redeamus ad rem. Gezo, ut praediximus, membris defoedato, substantia illius diripitur. ceteri complures custodie mancipantur. Walpertus in crastinum capite truncatur, thesaurus eius infinitus diripitur; Cristina uxor illius capitur, et ut thesauros occultos tradat, diversis crucibus laniatur. crevit extunc non solum Papiae, sed et in omnes Italiae fines regis timor; neque hunc ut reges ceteros floccipendere, verum modis omnibus honorare.

* (sic!)

(Liutprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 3.41)

For when the king headed towards Pavia at the appointed time and the aforementioned people went out toward him, the bishop obligingly did as he had been instructed; then the king ordered all to be captured, as Samson had advised. Thereupon, with Gezo quickly handed over to Samson, he was deprived of both eyes, and the tongue with which he had spoken blasphemies against the king was cut out. O, how well done if he had lived out all his time as a blind man, and mute! But—O wickedness!—he did not lose his speech with his tongue cut out, and, as in the fables of the Greeks, by the removal of his eyes he extended his life, so that until the present day he has not faltered in many wickednesses. We insert here, exactly as it is, a fable, indeed a joke, about why blind people live long, according to the clumsiness of the Greeks: Zeus and Hera disagreed about love, specifically, about who had more pleasure in sex, women or men. And then they inquired of Tiresias, son of Everes. For he had already been transformed into both genders, since he had stepped upon a dragon. He therefore pronounced against Hera, and she, angered, blinded him. So Zeus gave him the gift of living for many years and that everything he should pronounce, he should pronounce as an accurate prophecy. But let us get back to the issue. Once Gezo had been severed from his organs, as we said above, his wealth was seized; most of the other man were handed over to guards; Walpert was quickly beheaded; his boundless treasure was scattered; his wife Cristina was seized and tormented with various tortures so that she hand over the hidden treasures. From this time there grew great fear of the king not only at Pavia but throughout the territories of Italy; nor was this one treated as a nonentity, like other kings, but was honored in every way. (tr. Paolo Squatriti)

NOTE: The Greek lines are obviously full of mistakes. Here’s my attempt at reconstructing them (one verb seems to elude me):

Ζεὺς καὶ Ἥρα ἤρισαν περὶ ἀφροδισιῶν, τίς πλείονας ἔχει ἡδονὰς ἐν τῇ συνουσίᾳ· καὶ τότε Τειρεσίαν Εὐήρους υἱὸν ἐζήτησαν. οὕτως γὰρ ἐν ταῖς ἀμφοτέραις φύσεσι ἐμεταμορφώθη, ἐπειδὴ δράκοντα ἐπάτησεν. οὕτος οὖν κατὰ τῆς Ἥρας ἀπεψηφίσατο(??), καὶ Ἥρα ὀργισθεῖσα ἐπήρωσεν αὐτόν, Ζεὺς δὲ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ πολλοῖς ζῆσαι ἔτεσι, καὶ ὅσα ἔλεγεν μαντικὰ λέγειν.

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