Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Archilochus Iambic fragment #42 : my translation

...through an embrasure
...gonna slip with stealth
--(for I already know and have had
enough of such a plant of another kind)
thinking this deed arises from my nature:
my parsley stalk...
thinking on slipping it to you...
...sprung from under my chlamys...
eager to penetrate...

from this Greek text:
ἰητρ ]τομῆι
ἐσθλὴν γὰρ ἄλλην οἶδα τοιοὐ του φυτοῦ
ἰη σιν ]δοκεω·
]ου λίνου
]ν μενοινιω[

Prof.J.M.Edmonds in his 1931 Loeb edition translated Fragment 42 as:
"For I know of another good cure for such a growth." But his text was:

ἐσθλὴν γὰρ ἄλλην οἶδα τοιούτου φυτοῦ
ἴησιν. (Toup : εἴκασιν) He this prefaces with:
"Sch. Theocr. 2. 48 [ἱππομανές]· . . λέγες γὰρ καὶ Ἀρχίλοχος τὸ φῦμα φυτόν.

Now, according to my reading of Theocritus' verse, τὸ φυτόν refers to an herb
there that acts as a sexual stimulant on horses. I read Archilochus as using this
as a figure for his speaker's penis in his poem.
Prof. Henry Harmon Chamberlain in his 'Late Spring: A Translation of Theocritus',
Harvard, 1936, translates the stanza:

"In Arcady there grows a bitter spurge;
Stallions that crop it and swift mares run wild
Over the mountains; may like madness urge
Delphis, of reason utterly beguiled.
So let him run madly about my door,
So let him quit the gleaming wrestling floor!
O magic wheel! bring my man home to me!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Relevance of Latin and Ancient Greek

"The reason we should boost the study of Latin and Greek is that they are
the key to a phenomenal and unsurpassed treasury of literature and history
and philosophy, and we cannot possibly understand our modern world unless we
understand the ancient world that made us all." Boris Johnson in The Telegraph