Sumplekomenos

wrestler

Παρελθὼν δὲ ὁ ἱερεὺς (ἦν δὲ εἰπεῖν οὐκ ἀδύνατος, μάλιστα δὲ τὴν Ἀριστοφάνους ἐζηλωκὼς κωμῳδίαν) ἤρξατο αὐτὸς λέγειν, πάνυ ἀστείως καὶ κωμῳδικῶς εἰς πορνείαν αὐτοῦ καθαπτόμενος “παρὰ τὴν θεὸν” λέγων “λοιδορεῖσθαι μὲν οὕτως ἀκόσμως τοῖς εὖ βεβιωκόσι στόματος ἐστὶν οὐ καθαροῦ. οὗτος δὲ οὐκ ἐνταῦθα μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ πανταχοῦ τὴν γλῶτταν μεστὴν ὕβρεως ἔχει. καίτοιγε νέος ὢν συνεγίνετο πολλοῖς αἰδοίοις ἀνδράσι καὶ τὴν ὥραν ἅπασαν εἰς τοῦτο δεδαπάνηκε. σεμνότητα δ’ ἔδρακε καὶ σωφροσύνην ὑπεκρίνατο, παιδείας προσποιούμενος ἐρᾶν καὶ τοῖς εἰς ταύτην αὐτῷ χρωμένοις πάντα ὑποκύπτων καὶ ὑποκατακλινόμενος ἀεί. καταλιπὼν γὰρ τὴν πατρῴαν οἰκίαν, ὀλίγον ἑαυτῷ μισθωσάμενος στενωπεῖον, εἶχεν ἐνταῦθα τὸ οἴκημα, ὁμηρίζων μὲν τὰ πολλά, πάντας δὲ τοὺς χρησίμους πρὸς ἅπερ ἤθελε προσεταιριζόμενος. καὶ οὕτω μὲν ἀσκεῖν τὴν ψυχὴν ἐνομίζετο· ἦν δ’ ἄρα τοῦτο κακουργίας ὑπόκρισις. ἔπειτα κἀν τοῖς γυμνασίοις ἑωρῶμεν πῶς τὸ σῶμα ὑπηλείφετο καὶ πῶς πλέκτρον περιέβαινε καὶ τοὺς μὲν νεανίσκους, οἷς προσεπάλαιε, πρὸς τοὺς ἀνδρειοτέρους μάλιστα συμπλεκόμενος· οὕτως αὑτοῦ κέχρηται καὶ τῷ σώματι. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ὡραῖος ὤν· ἐπεὶ δὲ εἰς ἄνδρας ἧκε, πάντα ἀπεκάλυψεν, ἃ τότε ἀπέκρυπτε. καὶ τοῦ μὲν ἄλλου σώματος ἔξωρος γενόμενος ἠμέλησε, μόνην δὲ τὴν γλῶτταν εἰς ἀσέλγειαν ἀκονᾷ καὶ τῷ στόματι χρῆται πρὸς ἀναισχυντίαν, ὑβρίζων πάντας, ἐπὶ τῶν προσώπων φέρων τὴν ἀναίδειαν, ὃς οὐκ ᾐδέσθη τὸν ὑφ’ ὑμῶν ἱερωσύνῃ τετιμημένον οὕτως ἀπαιδεύτως βλασφημῶν ὑμῶν ἐναντίον. ἀλλ’ εἰ μὲν ἀλλῇ που βεβιωκὼς ἔτυχον, καὶ μὴ παρ’ ὑμῖν, ἔδει μοι λόγων περὶ ἐμαυτοῦ καὶ τῶν ἐμοὶ βεβιωμένων…”
(Achilles Tatius, Leukippē & Kleitophōn 8.9.1-6)

The priest stepped forward. He was by no means an incompetent speaker, an emulator in particular of Aristophanic comedy. He began to speak in the urbane style of comedy, attacking the sexual integrity of Thersandros. “To insult the goddess by such an uncontrolled harangue against her clean-living servants is the work of an impure mouth. Not only here but everywhere he goes, this man’s tongue is coated with rank insolence. As a youth he was on intimate terms with many well-endowed men, spending his youthful beauty all on them. His looks exuded piety; he acted the role of chastity, pretending a very hot desire to be cultivated. When he found men who would exercise him to this end, he would kneel at their feet and bend over double to please them. He left his father’s house and rented a little bedroom where he set up shop, specializing in the old Greek lays (Homer, I mean), and was receptive to all who might serve him and give him what he wanted. He was supposed to be developing his mind, but this was just a cover for a dissolute life. In the gymnasiums we couldn’t help but notice how he oiled his body, that special way he shinnied on the pole, and how in wrestling with the boys he always clung more tightly to the ones who were more manly. So much for his physical activities. This went on while his youthful beauty lasted. When he became a man, he exposed everything that he had concealed before. He neglected the rest of his body, which was worn out anyway, and concentrated on the tongue, whetting it for disgusting activities, and used his mouth in shameless ways, insulting everyone, parading his shamelessness on his very face. This man was not ashamed to slander in your presence (and so inelegantly at that!) a man whom you have honored with the priesthood. If I had lived in some other land and not with you, I would have to defend myself and my ways of life. But since you know that my behavior is very far removed from his blasphemies, let me speak to you instead about the specific accusations.” (tr. Bryan P. Reardon)

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