By Nancy Worman
This learn of the language of insult charts abuse in classical Athenian literature that centres at the mouth and its appetites, specifically conversing, consuming, consuming, and sexual actions. Attic comedy, Platonic discussion, and fourth-century oratory frequently install insulting depictions of the mouth and its excesses so as to deride specialist audio system as sophists, demagogues, and ladies. even supposing the styles of images explored are very renowned in historic invective and later western literary traditions, this can be the 1st e-book to debate this phenomenon in classical literature. It responds to a transforming into curiosity in either abusive speech genres and the illustration of the physique, illuminating an iambic discourse that isolates the intemperate mouth as a visual brand of behaviours ridiculed within the democratic arenas of classical Athens.
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Additional resources for Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens
51 The connection established between one organ and another thus suggests parallels between their typical uses, so that, for instance, the prattling mouth of the orator in assembly may imply his effeminate vulnerability in other settings. , Schmitt-Pantel 1992; Davidson 1997; Fisher 2000, 2001; Wilkins 1997, 2000a. Cf. Wohl 2002 for a discussion more focused on the referencing of these practices as political metaphors. Since pr¯oktos most precisely means “anus,” this is a difficult term to translate without sounding either euphemistic or clinical; cf.
That the Cyclops narrative turns up in comic drama and that certain comedies had satyr choruses further support this overlap. Cf. Cratinus, Odysseuses, Dionysalexandros, and Satyrs; Callias, Cyclopes. 22 Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens as victims. Both comedy and the satyr play, then, make use of distinctions among excessive speaking styles and correlate these with other uses of the mouth. Both also set the confrontations in the context of feasting and sacrifice, matching verbal modes to these ritualized forms of consumption.
506). 507), and they both weep – son for father and father for son. The other kind of speech that makes use of the imagery of violent eating is the vaunting language of the vanquishing warrior, the bleak endpoint of warriors’ flyting. This brash finale parallels the most violent of actions – the killing of the enemy – and thus contains elements of blaming speech and, again, curse. Gregory Nagy has identified calling one’s enemy a dog as 29 30 31 Cf. Alexiou 1974; Holst-Warhaft 1992. Dogs in general are associated with Hades; and fates (Keres, Erinyes) are often depicted as doggish monsters (cf.
Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens by Nancy Worman