Emungi

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A naribus absit mucoris purulentia, quod est sordidorum. id quoque vitium Socrati philosopho datum est probro. pileo aut veste emungi, rusticanum; brachio cubitove, salsamentariorum; nec multo civilius id manu fieri, si mox pituitam vesti illinas. strophiolis excipere narium recrementa decorum, idque paulisper averso corpore, si qui adsint honoratiores. si quid in solum deiectum est, emuncto duobus digitis naso, mox pede proterendum est. indecorum est subinde cum sonitu spirare naribus: bilis id indicium est. turpius etiam ducere ronchos, quod est furiosorum, si modo fiat usu. nam spiritosis qui laborant orthopnoea danda est venia. ridiculum, vocem naribus emittere: nam id cornicinum est et elephantorum. crispare nasum irrisorum est et sanniorum. si aliis praesentibus incidat sternutatio, civile est corpus avertere; mox ubi se remiserit impetus, signare os crucis imagine; item sublato pileo resalutatis qui vel salutarunt, vel salutare debuerant (nam sternutatio, quemadmodum oscitatio, sensum aurium prorsus aufert), precari veniam, aut agere gratias. alterum in sternutamento salutare, religiosum: et si plures adsunt natu maiores qui salutant virum aut feminam honorabilem, pueri est aperire caput. porro vocis tinnitum studio intendere, aut data opera sternutamentum iterare, nimirum ad virium ostentationem, nugonum est. reprimere sonitum quem natura fert, ineptorum est, qui plus tribuunt civilitati quam saluti.
(Erasmus, De Civilitate Morum Puerilium 5)

The nostrils should be free from any filthy collection of mucus, as this is disgusting (the philosopher Socrates was reproached for that failing too). It is boorish to wipe one’s nose on one’s cap or clothing; to do so on one’s sleeve or forearm is for fishmongers and it is not much better to wipe it with one’s hand, if you then smear the discharge on your clothing. The polite way is to catch the matter from the nose in a handkerchief, and this should be done by turning away slightly if decent people are present. If, in clearing your nose with two fingers, some matter falls on the ground, it should be immediately ground under foot. It is bad manners to breathe noisily all the time, which is the sign of furious anger. It is even worse to make a habit of snorting like one possessed, although we must make allowance for heavy breathers who are afflicted with asthma. It is ridiculous to trumpet with one’s nose; this is for horn-blowers and elephants. Twitching the nose is for scoffers and buffoons. If you must sneeze while others are present, it is polite to turn away. When the attack has subsided you should cross your face, then, raising your cap and acknowledging the blessings of those who have (or you assume to have) blessed you (for sneezing, like yawning, completely mocks one’s sense of hearing), beg pardon or give thanks. One should be scrupulous in blessing another when he sneezes. If older people are present and bless a high-ranking man or woman, the polite thing for a boy to do is to raise his cap. Again, to imitate or consciously repeat a sneeze—in effect to show off one’s strength—is the sign of a fool. To suppress a sound which is brought on by nature is characteristic of silly people who set more store by ‘good manners’ than good health. (tr. Brian McGregor)

Mystice

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Beata nobis gaudia
anni reduxit orbita,
cum Spiritus paraclitus
illapsus est Apostolis.

ignis vibrante lumine
linguae figuram detulit,
verbis ut essent proflui,
et caritate fervidi.

linguis loquuntur omnium,
turbae pavent Gentilium:
musto madere deputant,
quos spiritus repleverat.

parata sunt haec mystice,
Paschae peracto tempore,
sacro dierum circulo,
quo lege fit remissio.

te nunc Deus piissime
vultu precamur cernuo,
illapsa nobis caelitus
largire dona Spiritus.

dudum sacrata pectora
tua replesti gratia:
dimitte nostra crimina,
et da quieta tempora.

(Hilary of Poitiers (?), Beata nobis gaudia 1-24)

The circle of the year has again brought back to us blessed joys, when the Spirit, the Comforter, came down upon the Apostles. The fire with tremulous flame assumed the shape of a tongue, that they might be eloquent in speech and fervent in charity. Speaking in the tongues of all, the multitudes of the Gentiles are amazed: they deemed as drunk with new wine, those whom the Holy Ghost had filled. These things were wrought mystically, when the Paschal time was completed, in the sacred circle of days in which by law remission occurred. With bowed heads, we now beseech Thee, most loving God, to bestow upon us the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were sent down from heaven. Formerly Thou didst fill with Thy grace sacred breasts; pardon now our sins and grant us peaceful days. (tr. William John Blew)

Languiduli

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Casta quod enervi cantamus basia libro,
versibus eludit fusca Lycinna meis
et me languiduli vatem vocat Aelia penis
quae Venerem in triviis porticibusque locat.
scilicet exspectant nostrum quoque noscere penem!
parcite turpiculae, mentula nulla mihi est.
nec vobis canto, nec vobis basia figo:
ista legat teneri sponsa rudis pueri,
ista tener sponsus, nondum maturus ad arma
exercet variis quae Venus alma modis.
(Janus Secundus, Ep. 1.24)

Because in my limp book I sing about chaste kisses, dark Lycinna makes fun of my verses, and Aelia calls me the poet of the droopy little penis—Aelia who finds love at the crossroads and under colonnades. No doubt they’re also expecting to get to know my penis. Leave off, you dirty little things! The penis is nothing to me [or ‘I don’t have a penis’]. I do not sing for you, and I do not kiss for you. Let these poems be read by the unexperienced fiancée of a tender boy, or let them be read by the tender boy himself, who is not yet ready for the weapons that gracious Venus assails him with in all sorts of ways. (tr. Alex Wong (1-6); completed by David Bauwens)

Theion

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Ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς Ἀναστάσιος πρῴην μὲν ἦν μεταστειλάμενος διὰ Μαρίνου τὸν φιλόσοφον Πρόκλον τὸν Ἀθηναῖον, ἄνδρα περιβόητον, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀναστάσιος, “τί ἔχω ποιῆσαι τῷ κυνὶ τούτῳ, ὅτι οὕτως ταράσσει με καὶ τὴν πολιτείαν, φιλόσοφε;” ὁ δὲ Πρόκλος εἶπεν αὐτῷ, “μὴ ἀθυμήσεις, βασιλεῦ· φεύγει γὰρ καὶ ἀπέρχεται, ἢ μόνον πέμψεις κατ’ αὐτοῦ τινας.” καὶ εὐθέως ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀναστάσιος εἶπε Μαρίνῳ τῷ Σύρῳ τῷ ἀπὸ ἐπάρχων, ἑστῶτι πλησίον ὅτε διελέγετο ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ φιλοσόφῳ Πρόκλῳ, ὁπλίσασθαι κατὰ τοῦ αὐτοῦ Βιταλιανοῦ, ὄντι εἰς τὸ πέραν Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. καὶ λέγει Πρόκλος ὁ φιλόσοφος ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ βασιλέως Μαρίνῳ τῷ Σύρῳ, “ὃ δίδωμί σοι λάβε, καὶ ἔξελθε κατὰ τοῦ αὐτοῦ Βιταλιανοῦ.” καὶ ἐκέλευσεν ὁ αὐτὸς φιλόσοφος ἐνεχθῆναι τὸ λεγόμενον θεῖον ἄπυρον πολύ, εἰπὼν τριβῆναι αὐτὸ ὡς εἰς μῖγμα λεπτόν, καὶ δέδωκε τῷ αὐτῷ Μαρίνῳ, εἰρηκὼς αὐτῷ ὅτι “ὅπου ῥίψεις ἐξ αὐτοῦ εἴτε εἰς οἶκον εἴτε ἐν πλοίῳ μετὰ τὸ ἀνατεῖλαι τὸν ἥλιον, εὐθέως ἅπτεται ὁ οἶκος ἢ τὸ πλοῖον καὶ ὑπὸ πυρὸς ἀναλίσκεται.” ὁ δὲ Μαρῖνος παρεκάλεσε τὸν βασιλέα ἵνα ἕνα τῶν στρατηλατῶν αὐτοῦ πέμψῃ λαμβάνοντα τὸ βοήθημα· καὶ εὐθέως μετεστείλατο ὁ βασιλεὺς Πατρίκιον τὸν Φρύγα, τὸν στρατηλάτην, καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν Βαλεριανῆς, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁπλίσασθαι κατὰ τοῦ αὐτοῦ Βιταλιανοῦ εἰς τὸ πέραν, λαμβάνοντας πλοῖα δρομώνων καὶ στρατιώτας. καὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ βασιλέως, λέγοντες ὅτι “καὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ οἱ δύο ἡμεῖς φίλοι ἤμεθα· καὶ μὴ συμβῇ τινα ἀποτυχίαν γενέσθαι, καὶ ὑπονοηθῶμεν ὡς προδόται. καὶ ἀγανακτήσας κατ’ αὐτῶν ὁ βασιλεὺς ἔβαλεν αὐτοὺς ἔξω τοῦ παλατίου, καὶ κελεύσας Μαρίνῳ τῷ Σύρῳ λαβεῖν τοὺς δρόμωνας καὶ τὸ θεῖον ἄπυρον καὶ τὴν στρατιωτικὴν βοήθειαν ὁπλισαμένην, καὶ ἐξελθεῖν κατὰ τοῦ αὐτοῦ Βιταλιανοῦ. ἀκούσας δὲ Βιταλιανὸς ὅτι μετὰ πολλῆς βοηθείας ἐξέρχεται ὁ Μαρῖνος κατ’ αὐτοῦ, ὅσα εὗρε πλοῖα ἐκράτησε καὶ ἐγόμωσεν αὐτὰ Οὑννικὴν καὶ Γοτθικὴν χεῖρα ὡπλισμένους. καὶ ὥρμησεν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς Κωνσταντινούπολιν, θαρρῶν ὅτι πάντως αὐτὴν λαμβάνει, καὶ Μαρῖνον δὲ ἀπαντῶντα ἀναλίσκει μεθ’ ἧς ἔχει βοηθείας. ὁ δὲ Μαρῖνος ἐρρόγευσε τὸ θεῖον ἄπυρον, ὃ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ φιλόσοφος, εἰς ὅλα τὰ πλοῖα τῶν δρομώνων, εἰρηκὼς τοῖς ναύταις καὶ τοῖς στρατιώταις ὅτι οὐ χρεία ὅπλων, ἀλλ’ ἵνα “ῥίπτετε ἐκ τούτου εἰς τὰ ἐρχόμενα κατέναντι ὑμῶν πλοῖα καὶ καίονται. εἰ δὲ πέραν ἀπέλθωμεν εἰς τοὺς οἴκους, ἔνθα εἰσὶν οἱ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ βασιλέως, ἐκεῖ ῥίψατε.” ὁ δὲ Μαρῖνος, καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ φιλόσοφος ὅτι ἀνάπτονται ὑπὸ τοῦ πυρὸς τὰ πλοῖα καὶ ποντίζονται αὔτανδρα, παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς ῥίπτειν· καὶ ὥρμησεν εἰς τὸ πέραν κατὰ Βιταλιανοῦ καὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων αὐτοῦ. καὶ κατήντησαν καὶ τὰ πλοῖα Βιταλιανοῦ, καὶ εὑρέθησαν ἔγγιστα ἀλλήλων κατέναντι τῆς ἁγίας Θέκλης τῆς ἐν Σύκαις εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦ ῥεύματος ὅπου λέγεται τὸ βυθάριν. καὶ γίνεται ἐκεῖ ἡ ναυμαχία ὥραν τρίτην τῆς ἡμέρας· καὶ ἀνήφθησαν ἐξαίφνης ὑπὸ πυρὸς τὰ πλοῖα ἅπαντα Βιταλιανοῦ τοῦ τυράννου καὶ ἐποντίσθησαν εἰς τὸν βυθὸν τοῦ ῥεύματος μεθ’ ὧν εἶχον Γότθων καὶ Οὕννων καὶ Σκυθῶν στρατιωτῶν συνεπομένων αὐτῷ. ὁ δὲ Βιταλιανὸς καὶ οἱ εἰς τὰ ἄλλα πλοῖα προσεσχηκότες τὸ γεγονός, ὅτι ὑπὸ πυρὸς αἰφνίδιον ἀνάπτονται τὰ ἑαυτῶν πλοῖα, ἔφυγον καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν ἐπὶ τὸν ἀνάπλουν. Μαρῖνος δὲ ὁ ἀπὸ ἐπάρχων περάσας ἐν Σύκαις, ὅσους εὗρε τῶν Βιταλιανοῦ εἰς τὰ προάστεια ἢ εἰς οἴκους, ἀνεῖλε, καταδιώκων αὐτοὺς ἕως τοῦ ἁγίου Μάμαντος· καὶ γενομένης ἑσπέρας ἔμεινε Μαρῖνος καὶ ἡ βοήθεια αὐτοῦ φυλάττουσα τὰ ἐκεῖ. ὁ δὲ Βιταλιανὸς ἔφυγε νυκτὸς μετὰ τῶν ὑπολειφθέντων αὐτῷ ἐκ τοῦ ἀνάπλου, ὁδεύσας ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτὶ μίλια ξʹ· καὶ πρωΐας γενομένης οὐδεὶς εὑρέθη εἰς τὸ πέραν ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ Βιταλιανοῦ, καὶ ἐνίκησεν ὁ σωτὴρ Χριστὸς καὶ ἡ τοῦ βασιλέως τύχη.
(John Malalas, Chronographia 16.16 = 403-405 Dindorf)

The emperor Anastasios had formerly summoned, through Marinus, the philosopher Proklos of Athens, a famous man. The emperor Anastasios asked him, “Philosopher, what am I to do with this dog who is so disturbing me and the state?” Proklos replied to him, “Do not despair, emperor. For he will go away and leave as soon as you send some men against him”, The emperor Anastasios immediately spoke to the ex-prefect Marinus the Syrian, who was standing close by while the emperor was conversing with the philosopher Proklos, and told him to prepare for battle against Vitalian who was then opposite Constantinople, The philosopher Proklos said to Marinus the Syrian in the presence of the emperor, “Take what I give you and go out against Vitalian”. And the philosopher ordered that a large amount of what is known as elemental sulphur be brought in and that it be ground into fine powder. He gave it to Marinus with the words, “Wherever you throw some of this, be it at a building or a ship, after sunrise, the building or ship will immediately ignite and be destroyed by fire”. Marinus asked the emperor to send one of his magistri militum with the weapon. The emperor immediately summoned the Phrygian Patricius, the magister militum, and John, the son of Valeriana, and told them to prepare an attack against Vitalian across the water, and to take fast ships and soldiers. They fell at the emperor’s feet, saying, “We two have been his friends and his father’s friends. We are afraid that chance may bring an unfavourable result and we might be suspected of treachery”. The emperor was angry with them and dismissed them from the palace. He then ordered Marinus the Syrian to take the ships, the elemental sulphur and the force of soldiers that had been prepared and to go out against Vitalian. When Vitalian heard that Marinus was moving against him with a large force, he seized every ship he could find and loaded them with bands of Huns and Goths, fully armed. He then set out to attack Constantinople, confident that, he would certainly capture it and crush Marinus, who was coming to meet him, together with the force under his command. Marinus distributed the elemental sulphur, which the philosopher had given to him, among all the fast ships, telling the soldiers and sailors, “There is no need for weapons but throw some of this at the ships that are coming against you and they will burn. And if we get to the houses on the other side, where the enemies of the emperor are, throw it there”. Marinus told his men to throw it exactly as the philosopher had told him, when he had said that the ships would be set alight by the fire and sunk with the men on board. So he set out for the other side against Vitalian and his men, and Vitalian’s ships came to meet them. They drew very close to one another opposite St Thekla’s in Sykai at that part of the Bosphorus which is called Bytharion. The sea battle took place there at the third hour of the day. Suddenly all the ships of the rebel Vitalian caught fire and were set ablaze and plunged to the bottom of the Bosphorus, taking with them the Gothic, Hunnish and Scythian soldiers who had joined him. But when Vitalian and those on the other ships saw what happened, that their own ships had suddenly been set ablaze, they fled and returned to Anaplous. The ex-prefect Marinus crossed over to Sykai and killed all Vitalian’s men whom he found in the suburbs and houses, pursuing them as far as St Mamas. When evening fell, Marinus and his force stayed there, defending those areas. Vitalian fled from Anaplous during the night with his remaining men and travelled 60 miles that night. At daybreak none of Vitalian’s men could be found on the other side. Christ the Saviour and the emperor’s tyche had won the victory. (tr. Elizabeth Jeffreys, Michael Jeffreys & Roger Scott)

Suka

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Εἴ τις καθείρξαι χρυσὸν ἐν δόμοις πολὺν
καὶ σῦκα βαιὰ καὶ δύ’ ἢ τρεῖς ἀνθρώπους,
γνοίη χ’ ὅσῳ τὰ σῦκα τοῦ χρυσοῦ κρέσσω.
(Ananius, fr. 3)

If one were to shut up in a room much gold, a few figs, and two or three people, he would recognize how much superior figs are to gold. (tr. Douglas E. Gerber)

Mensibus

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Nomina decem mensibus antiquis Romulum fecisse Fulvius et Iunius auctores sunt: et quidem duos primos a parentibus suis nominasse, Martium a Marte patre, Aprilem ab Aphrodite id est Venere, unde maiores eius oriundi dicebantur; proximos duos a populo: Maium a maioribus natu, Iunium a iunioribus; ceteros ab ordine quo singuli erant: Quintilem usque Decembrum perinde a numero. Varro autem Romanos a Latinis nomina mensum accepisse arbitratus auctores eorum antiquiores, quam urbem, fuisse satis argute docet. itaque Martium mensem a Marte quidem nominatum credit, non quia Romuli fuerit pater, sed quod gens Latina bellicosa; Aprilem autem non ab Aphrodite, sed ab aperiendo, quod tunc ferme cuncta gignantur et nascendi claustra aperiat natura; Maium vero non a maioribus, sed a Maia nomen accepisse, quod eo mense tam Romae, quam antea in Latio res divina Maiae fit et Mercurio; Iunium quoque a Iunone potius, quam iunioribus, quod illo mense maxime Iunoni honores habentur; Quintilem, quod loco iam apud Latinus fuerit quinto, item Sextilem ac deinceps ad Decembrem a numeris appellatos. ceterum Ianuarium et Februarium postea quidem additos, sed nominibus iam ex Latio sumptis: et Ianuarium ab Iano, cui adtributus est, nomen traxisse, Februarium a februo: est februum quidquid piat purgatque, et februamenta purgamenta, item februare purgare et purum facere. februum autem non idem usquequaque dicitur: nam aliter in aliis sacris februatur, hoc est purgatur. in hoc autem mense Lupercalibus, cum Roma lustratur, salem calidum ferunt, quod februum appellant, unde dies Lupercalium proprie februatus et ab eo porro mensis Februarius vocitatur. ex his duodecim mensibus duorum tantum nomina inmutata: nam Quintilis Iulius cognominatus est C. Caesare V et M. Antonio cons. anno Iuliano secundo; qui autem Sextilis fuerat, ex S.C. Marcio Censorino C. Asinio Gallo cons. in Augusti honorem dictus est Augustus anno Augusti vicensimo, quae nomina etiam nunc ad hanc permanent memoriam. postea vero multi principes nomina quaedam mensium inmutaverunt suis nuncupando nominibus: quod aut ipsi postmodum mutaverunt, aut post obitum eorum illa nomina pristina suis reddita mensibus.
(Censorinus, De Die Natali 22.9-17)

If we believe Fulvius and Junius, it was to Romulus that the ten ancient months owed their names. He gave to the first two the names of the authors of his life; he called one March, from Mars, his father, and the second April, from the word Aphrodite, that is to say, Venus, from whom his ancestors were said to have descended. The next two months take their names from classes of the people; May, from Majores (the old people), and June, from Juniores (the young people); the others, that is to say, Quintilis to December, from the numerical rank which each month occupied in the year. Varro, on the contrary, thought that the Romans borrowed the names of their months from the Latins. He demonstrated in quite a plausible manner that these names are older than the city of Rome. Thus, according to him, the month of March was thus named, not because this god was the father of Romulus, but because the Latin nation were warlike and originally worshipped the god of war. He contends that Aprilis (April) does not take its name from Aphrodite, but from the word aperire (to open), because in this month everything comes to life and nature opens its bosom to all productions. May does not come from majores, but from Maia; because it was in this month that at Rome, and formerly in Latium, sacrifices were made to Holy Maia and Mercury. June comes from Juno rather than from juniores; because it is in this month especially that Juno is worshipped. Quintilis is so called because with the Latins it was the fifth month; it was the same with Sextilis and the other months until December, which all take their names from their numerical order in the year. January and February, it is true, have been since added, but their names come from Latium; January from Janus, to whom this month is consecrated; and February from Februus. All that which serves to expiate and purify is called februum, and all expiations or purifications are called februamenta, just as februare signifies to render clear and pure. The ceremony called februm is not always the same, and the king of purification called februation varies according to the sacrifice. During the Lupercales and the purification of the city, ceremonies which took place during this month, hot salt was carried about, called februm. From this it follows that the days of the Lupercales are properly called februatus; and hence, also, this month took the name of February. Of the twelve months, two only have since changed name; the ancient Quintilis was called Julius (July) under the fifth consulate of Caius Cæsar and under that of M. Antonius in the second Julian year; that which was called Sextilis was, after a senatus-consulto, rendered under the consulate of Marcus Censorinus and C. Asinius Gallus, named Augustan (August), in honour of Augustus, in the 20th year of the Augustan æra; and these names are still retained. Some of the successors of Augustus, it is true, imposed their own names on several months, but the old names were restored, either by the princes themselves, or after their deaths. (tr. William Maude)

Erretō

1360

Ἀσπίδι μὲν Σαΐων τις ἀγάλλεται, ἣν παρὰ θάμνῳ,
ἔντος ἀμώμητον, κάλλιπον οὐκ ἐθέλων·
αὐτὸν δ’ ἐξεσάωσα. τί μοι μέλει ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη;
ἐρρέτω· ἐξαῦτις κτήσομαι οὐ κακίω.
(Archilochus fr. 5)

Some Saian* exults in my shield which I left—a faultless weapon—beside a bush against my will. But I saved myself. What do I care about that shield? To hell with it! I’ll get one that’s just as good another time.

* A Thracian tribe.

(tr. Douglas E. Gerber, with his note)