Hamum

bbb3ecc465bde345ff49801b353c1437-vector-fishing-hook

[LYCO. CVRCVLIO.]

[LYC.] Sed quid Lyconem quaeris?
[CVR.] mandatum est mihi
ut has tabellas ad eum ferrem.
[LYC.] quis tu homo es?
[CVR.] libertus illius, quem omnes Summanum vocant.
[LYC.] Summane, salve. qui Summanu’s? fac sciam.
[CVR.] quia vestimenta mea, ubi obdormivi ebrius,
summano, ob eam rem me omnes Summanum vocant.
[LYC.] alibi te meliust quaerere hospitium tibi:
apud me profecto nihil est Summano loci.
sed istum quem quaeris ego sum.
[CVR.] quaeso, tune is es,
Lyco tarpezita?
[LYC.] ego sum.
[CVR.] multam me tibi
salutem iussit Therapontigonus dicere,
et has tabellas dare me iussit.
[LYC.] min?
[CVR.] ita.
cape, signum nosce. nostin?
[LYC.] quidni noverim?
clupeatus elephantum ubi machaera diligit.
[CVR.] quod isti scriptum est, id te orare iusserat
profecto ut faceres, suam si velles gratiam.
[LYC.] concede, inspiciam quid sit scriptum.
[CVR.] maxume,
tuo arbitratu, dum auferam aps te id quod peto.
[LYC.] “miles Lyconi in Epidauro hospiti
suo Therapontigonus Platagidorus plurumam
salutem dicit.”
[CVR.] meus hic est, hamum vorat.
(Plautus, Curculio 411-431)

[LYCO. CVRCVLIO.]

[LYC.] But why are you looking for Lyco?
[CVR.] I was told to bring these tablets to him.
[LYC.] Who are you?
[CVR.] His freedman, whom all men call Summanus*.
[LYC.] Hello, Summanus. How come you’re Summanus? Let me know.
[CVR.] Because whenever I’m drunk, I sure act like some anus. For that reason all men call me Summanus.
[LYC.] It’s better if you look for hospitality elsewhere: at my house there’s definitely no place for Summanus. But I am the man you’re looking for.
[CVR.] Please, is it you, the banker Lyco?
[LYC.] Yes, that’s me.
[CVR.] Therapontigonus told me to give you his best wishes, and he told me to give these tablets to you.
[LYC.] To me?
[CVR.] Yes. Take them, examine the seal. (hands them over) Do you recognize it?
[LYC.] Why shouldn’t I? Where a man with a shield is cutting an elephant in two with his sword.
[CVR.] He told me to ask you to do what’s written there if you wanted his gratitude.
[LYC.] Step aside, I’ll look at what’s written.
[CVR.] By all means, just as you like, so long as I take away from you what you seek.
[LYC.] “The soldier Therapontigonus Platagidorus gives his warmest greetings to his host in Epidaurus, Lyco.”
[CVR.] He’s mine, he’s swallowing the fishhook.

* A title of Jupiter in his function as protector of houses from lightening. The Latin pun is based on an etymologically wrong derivation from summanare “to pee on.”

(tr. Wolfgang De Melo, with his note)

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