Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crucifixion the Bodily Support – The Acuta Crux in Anti-Christian Discourse (2).

Prometheus crucified on an
inverted 'U'-tropaeum.

(Part 6b of the series: Crucifixion the Bodily Support)

Part 1              Part 2              Part 3              Part 4 
Part 5a            Part 5b            Part 5c            Part 5d
Part 5e            Part 5f             Part 5g            Part 6a

Part 6b – The Acuta Crux in Anti-Christian Discourse (2) -- Lucian 1 of 2.

B. Introduction.

What sort of gear was the instrument of Jesus' execution? (I’m assuming an historical Jesus who actually got nailed up here.) We are not completely certain, but I have established that it had an acuta crux: either an impaling stake on which Jesus was suspended between two posts from which Jesus was suspended using a horizontally oriented pole, or an impaling stake or ‘thorn’ which was planted in front of or attached and secured to the front of the main post of a typical Roman suspension structure, which was cruciform in character.

We will look at the polemics of various critics of Christianity who saw the religion or superstition as at best, morally degenerate, and at worst, a dangerous cult (in the modern sense) much like most people view Scientology. We’ve already looked at Celsus.

B.1. Lucian.

The next critic of Christianity is Lucian, who mentioned the Christians in two of his works: Alexander the False Prophet, and On the Death of Peregrine. His view of these people was anything but positive, and in Peregrine he views Christians as a particularly gullible lot.

There two references to the death of Jesus (whose name in not mentioned in Peregrine) use verb ἀνασκόλοπίζω, meaning: impale, or otherwise suspend on something pointed. 1

B.2. On the Death of Peregrine

Lucian first recounts the life of Peregrine from the time he was caught in sexual indiscretions, and later was forced to leave his home region under a cloud of suspicion of murdering his father. Eventually he finds himself in Palestine…

[11] It was now that he came across the priests and scribes of the Christians, in Palestine, and picked up their queer creed. I can tell you, he pretty soon convinced them of his superiority; prophet, elder, ruler of the Synagogue--he was everything at once; expounded their books, commented on them, wrote books himself. They took him for a God, accepted his laws, and declared him their president. The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day,--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified (ἀνασκολοπισθέντα) on that account.

[12] Well, the end of it was that Proteus was arrested and thrown into prison. This was the very thing to lend an air to his favourite arts of clap-trap and wonder-working; he was now a made man. The Christians took it all very seriously: he was no sooner in prison, than they began trying every means to get him out again,--but without success. Everything else that could be done for him they most devoutly did. They thought of nothing else. Orphans and ancient widows might be seen hanging about the prison from break of day. Their officials bribed the gaolers to let them sleep inside with him. Elegant dinners were conveyed in; their sacred writings were read; and our old friend Peregrine (as he was still called in those days) became for them "the modern Socrates."

[13] In some of the Asiatic cities, too, the Christian communities put themselves to the expense of sending deputations, with offers of sympathy, assistance, and legal advice. The activity of these people, in dealing with any matter that affects their community, is something extraordinary; they spare no trouble, no expense. Peregrine, all this time, was making quite an income on the strength of his bondage; money came pouring in. You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified (ἀνεσκολοπισμένον) sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on trust, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property. Now an adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who has seen the world, has only to get among these simple souls, and his fortune is pretty soon made; he plays with them.

Lucian, On the Death of Peregrine 11-13 2, 3

Lucian used ἀνασκολοπισθέντα and ἀνασκολοπισθέντα for “was crucified” and “[having been] crucified.” This is seemingly problematic, because the basic verb ἀνασκολοπίζω means “impale, fix on a pole [or something pointed or thorn-like].” Yet here it is being used in regards to what has been traditionally called a crucifixion. But apparently the crucifixion involved some kind of suspension on a pointed object, like the acuta-crux of Seneca’s Epistle 101:12. 4

And Lucian was thoroughly familiar with this verb, that he used it elsewhere. Even the ghost-writer, dubbed Pseudo-Lucian, used the verb in In the Court of the Vowels. In Proteus on Caucasus, he is familiar with several verbs for the suspension punishment.

B.3. Prometheus Bound.

Prometheus clearly impaled.
Here in this play meant for ancient theatrical productions, Lucian uses an immense variety of verbs that were commonly used to denote the sort of suspension punishments the Romans doled out on noxious criminals who committed crimes of the worst sort, usually against slaves and foreigners, and for high treason and other crimes against the state (crimen maiestatis).

HERMES: This, Hephaestus, is the Caucasus, to which it is our painful duty to nail (προσηλῶσαι) our companion. We have now to select a suitable crag, free from snow, on which the chains will have a good hold, and the prisoner will hang (κρεμάμενος) in all publicity.

HEPHAESTUS: It will not do to fix him (ἐσταυρῶσθαι) too low down, or these men of his might come to their maker's assistance; nor at the top, where he would be invisible from the earth. What do you say to a middle course? Let him hang (ἀνεσταυρώσθω) over this precipice, with his arms stretched across (ἐκπετασθείς) from crag to crag.

HERMES: The very thing. Steep rocks, slightly overhanging, inaccessible on every side; no foothold but a mere ledge, with scarcely room for the tips of one's toes; altogether a sweet spot for a crucifixion (καὶ ὅλως ἐπικαιρότατος ἂν ὁ σταυρὸς γένοιτο). Now, Prometheus, come and be nailed up (ἀνάβαινε καὶ πάρεχε σεαυτὸν καταπαγησόμενον) ; there is no time to lose.

Lucian, Prometheus 1 5,6

This first section shows quite a variety of verbs used to describe Prometheus’ suspension punishment: προσηλῶσαι, “to be nailed against7;” κρεμάμενος, “about to hang8;” ἐσταυρῶσθαι, “fence with pales, pile drive, crucify9;” ἀνεσταυρώσθω, “suspend on or with a pole, impale, crucify10;” ἀνάβαινε, “come up [here], mount [this]11;” καταπαγησόμενον, “about to be fastened down, planted firmly, stuck fast [on something] 12.”

And then there are two key phrases. The first: καὶ ὅλως ἐπικαιρότατος ἂν ὁ σταυρὸς γένοιτο, “and as a whole it’s become a most perfect spot for his σταυρὸς-punishment13.” The punishment is not necessarily what is traditionally considered a crucifixion (nail to a tropaeum), but close. The second key phrase is: ἀνάβαινε καὶ πάρεχε σεαυτὸν καταπαγησόμενον, “come up [here] / mount [this] and hold yourself to be fastened down / planted firmly / stuck fast.” The use of the verbs σταυρόω, ἀνασταυρόω, ἀναβαίνω, and καταπήγνυμι indicates that there seems to be something else going on in a Roman σταυρὸς/crux-punishment than just nailing up to a simple two-beam cross.

Priapus who
looks like Jesus.
Now the modern knowledgeable in Koine Greek would read καταπαγησόμενον in this specific case as “about to be fastened (i.e., nailed) down,” but in late Antiquity the meaning of the verb did not necessarily always mean that. The actual meaning in this play would depend on the ear of the ancient Greco-Roman hearer in the audience and the imagination of the director.

And Prometheus is to be hanged at a location where his tip-toes would barely able to gain a toehold. This is an indicator that the condemned convicts the Romans suspended did not necessarily stand on an attached footrest. No, they hanged.

Multi-Phallused Mercury, with a huge
'crux' from his groin.
And the gods who are responsible for suspending Prometheus? One of them is Hermes, the patron of trade, commerce, and the home garden, who under the Romans became two gods: Mercury and Priapus. Both are known for having rather large, projecting endowments (Mercury sometimes). Priapus was known to threaten thieves with his own equipment as a crux. Hermes, also: the Greek speaking world had Herms: ithyphallic pillars with images of Hermes. Hephaestus, on the other hand, was the patron god of metal workers – hence the clamps, chains and nails that will be used to nail Prometheus to the mountainside. So the two gods selected to carry out the punishment are appropriate: Hephaestus, to nail up and enchain; Hermes, to… impale.

Now we go on to section 2:

PromETHEUS: Nay, hear me; Hephaestus! Hermes! I suffer injustice: have compassion on my woes!
HERMES: In other words, disobey orders, and promptly be gibbeted (ἀνασκολοπισθῆναι) in your stead! Do you suppose there is not room on the Caucasus to peg out (προσπατταλευθέντας) a couple of us? Come, your right hand! Clamp it down, Hephaestus, and in with the nails; bring down the hammer with a will. Now the left; make sure work of that too.--So!--The eagle will shortly be here, to trim your liver; so ingenious an artist is entitled to every attention.

Lucian, Prometheus 2 5,14

Now here where it becomes interesting. Lucian has for gibbeted, ἀνασκολοπισθῆναι, “to be impaled, fixed on a pole, etc.1;” and for peg out, προσπατταλευθέντας, “to be nailed fast to15,” which is interesting, because it’s etymologically based on πάσσαλος, “a peg on which to hang clothes, arms, etc., a gag, a stake, a pale, the membrum virile (penis), etc16.” Now in Herodotus Histories 9.120.4, where the verb in its pre-Attic pronunciation and spelling is used to describe the Athenian General Xanthippus’ nailing the Persian Satrap Artayctes to boards. There is nothing in Herodotus that argues that Xanthippus did not use tree-nails, although there is no indication save the etymology of the verb that he used anything but metal nails or crimps. Still, we have an additional indication that miscreants can be, and probably usually were, affixed to Roman cruces / σταυροί not just with iron nails but also with a thorn-like tree-nail, a ‘membrum virile’ so to speak, of the execution instrument.

On to Section 4.

PromETHEUS: Ah, Hermes; you are as bad as Hector; you 'blame the blameless.' For such crimes as these, I deserve a round pension, if justice were done. And by the way, I should like, if you can spare the time, to answer to these charges, and satisfy you of the injustice of my sentence. You can employ your practised eloquence on behalf of Zeus, and justify his conduct in nailing me up (ἀνεσταυρῶσθαί) here at the Gates of the Caspian, [a most pitiable display] (οἴκτιστον θέαμα) for all Scythia to behold and pity.

Lucian, Prometheus 4 5,17

Another depiction of Prometheus who is quite literally stuck on a pole.
Dated ca. 625-575 BCE.
We see a repeat of the verb ἀνασταυρόω, in its form ἀνεσταυρῶσθαί, “suspend on or with a pole, impale, crucify10;” And the phrase, οἴκτιστον θέαμα, “a most pitiable display”18,19 not only recalls Josephus’ (Jewish War 7.6.1 [202]) account of Eleazar’s expected destruction by being hanged on a σταυρός as “the most wretched of deaths (θανάτων τόν οἴκτιστον) but foreshadows Achilles Tatius’ (Leucippe and Clitophon 2.27.3) description that Gandymede, taken aloft by Zeus in the form of an eagle, “even resembled one crucified [or ‘pile driven’] (καί ἔοικεν ἐσταυρωμένῳ)” in “even that utterly shameful spectacle, a young man suspended by [an eagle’s] talons (καί τό θέαμα αἴσχιστον, μειράκιον ἐξ ὀνύχων κρεμάμενον)” Now it’s anybody’s guess whether Ganymede was, according to the myth, penetrated in mid-air, but there are epigraphy that show Ganymede as ‘feminine’ or ‘effeminate’ and entirely naked while under the eagle’s wing. 

Now Section 7,

PromETHEUS: Perhaps there has been some nonsense talked already; that remains to be seen. But as you say your case is now complete, I will see what I can do in the way of refutation. And first about that meat. Though, upon my word, I blush for Zeus when I name it: to think that he should be so touchy about trifles, as to send off a God of my quality to crucifixion (ἀνασκολοπισθησόμενον), just because he found a little bit of bone in his share! Does he forget the services I have rendered him? And does he think what it is that he is so angry about, and how childish it is to show temper about a little thing like that?

Lucian, Prometheus 7 5,20

Prometheus tied to a post.
Dated ca. 550 BCE.
Again, for “to crucifixion” Lucian uses a conjugate of ἀνασκόλοπίζω, ἀνασκολοπισθησόμενον, “about to be impaled, fixed on a pole, thorn, etc.”1 Lucian’s frequency of using these verbs connoting impalement (and not just with nails) and in tandem with a hanging congruent with the Roman σταυρὸς/crux-punishment is to ma an indication that there is something more than just a nailing up to a cross (or tropaeum) typically included in such a punishment.

Section 9:

PromETHEUS: Would that have been a case for putting heaven and earth in commotion, for deep designs of chain and cross (σταυρούς) and Caucasus, dispatchings of eagles, rendings of livers?

Lucian, Prometheus 9 5,21

It’s problematic to translate σταυρούς13 as “cross” except for the “cross” of Prometheus’ own body! And σταυρούς is in the plural, so in the mythos, or this play, it is assumed that there were other gods ordered to be hanged up in the form of a T many times before!

Section 10:

PromETHEUS: A mortal would never want his cook crucified (σταύρου τιμήσαιτο) for dipping a finger into the stew-pan, or filching a mouthful from the roast; they overlook these things. At the worst their resentment is satisfied with a box on the ears or a rap on the head. I find no precedent among them for crucifixion (ἀνεσκολοπίσθη) in such cases.

Lucian, Prometheus 10 5,22

The first is is the phrase σταύρου τιμήσαιτο, “would deem him worthy of the σταυρὸς-punishment13, 23.” The second, ἀνεσκολοπίσθη, “impale, fix on a pole, thorn, etc1.”

Section 15:

PromETHEUS: Yet instead of honouring me for my political insight, you crucify me (ἀνεσταυρώκατε); such are the wages of wisdom!

Lucian, Prometheus 15 5,24

Here the verb is ἀνεσταυρώκατε, “[you both] have suspend [me] on or with a pole, impaled [me], crucified [me]10” or in this case, hanged into a T.

Section 17.

PromETHEUS: When the hecatombs are made ready, you think nothing of a journey to the ends of the Earth to see the ‘blameless Ethiopians’; and my reward for procuring you this advantage is… crucifixion (ἀνεσταυρώκατε)! But on this subject I have said enough.

Lucian, Prometheus 17 5,25
We have the same exact verb as in the Greek of section 1524.

B.4 through conclusion: continues next article.

1. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἀνασκολοπίζω: “impale, fix on a pole”   
2. Lucian, On the Death of Peregrine 11-13:
3. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, De Morte Peregrini 11-13:
‘ [11] ὅτεπερ καὶ τὴν θαυμαστὴν σοφίαν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἐξέμαθεν, περὶ τὴν Παλαιστίνην τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν καὶ γραμματεῦσιν αὐτῶν ξυγγενόμενος. καὶ τί γάρ; ἐν βραχεῖ παῖδας αὐτοὺς ἀπέφηνε, προφήτης καὶ ^ θιασάρχης καὶ ξυναγωγεὺς καὶ πάντα μόνος αὐτὸς ὤν, καὶ τῶν βίβλων τὰς μὲν ἐξηγεῖτο καὶ διεσάφει, πολλὰς δὲ αὐτὸς καὶ συνέγραφεν, καὶ ὡς θεὸν αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνοι ᾐδοῦντο ^ καὶ νομοθέτῃ ἐχρῶντο καὶ προστάτην ἐπεγράφοντο, μετὰ ^ γοῦν ἐκεῖνον ὃν ἔτι σέβουσι, τὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ ἀνασκολοπισθέντα, ὅτι καινὴν ταύτην ^ τελετὴν εἰσῆγεν ἐς ^ τὸν βίον. ’ (Link)
‘ [12] τότε δὴ καὶ συλληφθεὶς ἐπὶ τούτῳ ὁ Πρωτεὺς ἐνέπεσεν εἰς τὸ δεσμωτήριον, ὅπερ καὶ αὐτὸ οὐ μικρὸν αὐτῷ ἀξίωμα περιεποίησεν πρὸς τὸν ἑξῆς βίον καὶ τὴν τερατείαν καὶ δοξοκοπίαν ὧν ἐρῶν ἐτύγχανεν. ἐπεὶ δ᾽ οὖν ἐδέδετο, οἱ Χριστιανοὶ συμφορὰν ποιούμενοι τὸ πρᾶγμα πάντα ἐκίνουν ἐξαρπάσαι πειρώμενοι αὐτόν. εἶτ᾽, ἐπεὶ τοῦτο ἦν ἀδύνατον, ἥ γε ἄλλη θεραπεία πᾶσα οὐ παρέργως ἀλλὰ σὺν σπουδῇ ἐγίγνετο: καὶ ἕωθεν μὲν εὐθὺς ἦν ὁρᾶν παρὰ τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ περιμένοντα γρᾴδια χήρας τινὰς καὶ παιδία ὀρφανά, οἱ δὲ ἐν τέλει αὐτῶν καὶ συνεκάθευδον ἔνδον μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ διαφθείραντες τοὺς δεσμοφύλακας. εἶτα δεῖπνα ποικίλα εἰσεκομίζετο καὶ λόγοι ἱεροὶ αὐτῶν ἐλέγοντο, καὶ ὁ βέλτιστος Περεγρῖνος — ἔτι γὰρ τοῦτο ἐκαλεῖτο — καινὸς Σωκράτης ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν ὠνομάζετο.’ (Link)
‘ [13] καὶ μὴν κἀκ τῶν ἐν Ἀσίᾳ πόλεων ἔστιν ὧν ἧκόν τινες, τῶν Χριστιανῶν στελλόντων ἀπὸ τοῦ κοινοῦ, βοηθήσοντες καὶ συναγορεύσοντες καὶ παραμυθησόμενοι τὸν ἄνδρα. ἀμήχανον δέ τι τὸ τάχος ἐπιδείκνυνται, ἐπειδάν τι τοιοῦτον γένηται δημόσιον ἐν βραχεῖ γὰρ ἀφειδοῦσι πάντων. καὶ δὴ καὶ τῷ Περεγρίνῳ πολλὰ τότε ἧκεν χρήματα παρ᾽ αὐτῶν ἐπὶ προφάσει τῶν δεσμῶν, καὶ πρόσοδον οὐ μικρὰν ταύτην ἐποιήσατο. ^ πεπείκασι γὰρ αὑτοὺς οἱ κακοδαίμονες τὸ μὲν ὅλον ἀθάνατοι ἔσεσθαι καὶ βιώσεσθαι τὸν ἀεὶ χρόνον, παρ᾽ ὃ καὶ καταφρονοῦσιν τοῦ θανάτου καὶ ἑκόντες αὑτοὺς ἐπιδιδόασιν οἱ πολλοί. ἔπειτα δὲ ὁ νομοθέτης ὁ πρῶτος ἔπεισεν αὐτοὺς ὡς ἀδελφοὶ πάντες εἶεν ἀλλήλων, ἐπειδὰν ἅπαξ παραβάντες θεοὺς μὲν τοὺς Ἑλληνικοὺς ἀπαρνήσωνται, τὸν δὲ ἀνεσκολοπισμένον ἐκεῖνον σοφιστὴν αὐτὸν ^ προσκυνῶσιν καὶ κατὰ τοὺς ἐκείνου νόμους βιῶσιν. καταφρονοῦσιν οὖν ἁπάντων ἐξ ἴσης καὶ κοινὰ ἡγοῦνται, ἄνευ τινὸς ἀκριβοῦς πίστεως τὰ τοιαῦτα παραδεξάμενοι. ἢν τοίνυν παρέλθῃ τις εἰς αὐτοὺς γόης καὶ τεχνίτης ἄνθρωπος καὶ πράγμασιν χρῆσθαι δυνάμενος, αὐτίκα μάλα πλούσιος ἐν βραχεῖ ἐγένετο ἰδιώταις ἀνθρώποις ἐγχανών. ’ (Link)

4. Seneca, Epistulae Morales ad Lucullum 101.12: Quod miserrimum erat si incidisset optatur, et tamquam vita petitur supplici mora. (What would be most miserable, if it were to happen to him, is chosen by him, and just as for life, a delay of punishment is beseeched.) Contemptissimum putarem si vivere vellet usque ad crucem: (Most contemptible I would deem him if he would live all the way up to the point of the crux.) 'tu vero' inquit 'me debilites licet, dum spiritus in corpore fracto et inutili maneat; depraves licet, dum monstroso et distorto temporis aliquid accedat; suffigas licet et acutam sessuro crucem subdas': (“You, in fact,” he says, “may weaken me, while in my monstrous and misshapen [body] you may grant me a little more time. You may nail me up and set for my seat a sharpened spike.”) est tanti vulnus suum premere et patibulo pendere districtum, dum differat id quod est in malis optimum, supplici finem? (Is it so great to press down on one’s own ‘wound’, and hang racked out on the patibulum??? While it puts off that which is the choicest of evils, the end of punishment?) est tanti habere animam ut agam? (Is it so great to hold on to life, only to let it go?)

5. Sacred text Archives, Lucian, Prometheus on Caucasus

6. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 1


[1] ὁ μὲν Καύκασος, ὦ Ἥφαιστε, οὗτος, ω τὸν ἄθλιον τουτονὶ Τιτᾶνα προσηλῶσθαι δεήσει: περισκοπῶμεν δὲ ἤδη κρημνόν τινα ἐπιτήδειον, εἴ που τῆς χιόνος τι γυμνόν ἐστιν, ὡς βεβαιότερον καταπαγείη τὰ δεσμὰ καὶ οὗτος ἅπασι περιφανὴς εἴη κρεμάμενος.


περισκοπῶμεν, ὦ Ἑρμῆ: οὔτε γὰρ ταπεινὸν καὶ πρόσγειον ἐσταυρῶσθαι χρή, ὡς μὴ ἐπαμύνοιεν αὐτῷ τὰ πλάσματα αὐτοῦ οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὔτε μὴν κατὰ τὸ ἄκρον, — ἀφανὴς γὰρ ἂν εἴη τοῖς κάτω — ἀλλ᾽ εἰ δοκεῖ κατὰ μέσον ἐνταῦθά που ὑπὲρ τῆς φάραγγος ἀνεσταυρώσθω ἐκπετασθεὶς τὼ χεῖρε ἀπὸ τουτουὶ τοῦ κρημνοῦ πρὸς τὸν ἐναντίον.


εὖ λέγεις: ἀπόξυροί τε γὰρ αἱ πέτραι καὶ ἀπρόσβατοι πανταχόθεν, ἠρέμα ἐπινενευκυῖαι, καὶ τῷ ποδὶ στενὴν ταύτην ὁ κρημνὸς ἔχει τὴν ἐπίβασιν, ὡς ἀκροποδητὶ μόλις ἑστάναι, καὶ ὅλως ἐπικαιρότατος ἂν ὁ σταυρὸς γένοιτο. μὴ μέλλε οὖν, ὦ Προμηθεῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἀνάβαινε καὶ πάρεχε σεαυτὸν καταπαγησόμενον πρὸς τὸ ὄρος.

7. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, προσηλόω: “nail, rivet, fix to.”

8. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, κρεμάννυμι: “hang, hang up, suspend.”

9. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, σταυρόω, “fence with pales, crucify;” Cf. blog article Σταυρόω, also “pile drive, impale.”

10. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἀνασταυρόω, “[suspend on or with a pole], impale, crucify.”

11. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἀναβαίνω, “go up, mount.”

12. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, καταπήγνυμι, “stick fast, plant firmly.” “fasten down” by Lucian’s time?

13. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, σταυρὸς, “upright pale, stake, [crux], cross.” Cf. blog article The Acuta Crux in Anti-Christian Discourse (1).

14. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus2


[2] ἀλλὰ κἂν ὑμεῖς γε, ὦ Ἥφαιστε καὶ Ἑρμῆ, κατελεησατέ με παρὰ τὴν ἀξίαν δυστυχοῦντα.


τοῦτο φής, ὦ Προμηθεῦ, ἀντὶ σοῦ ἀνασκολοπισθῆναι ^ αὐτίκα μάλα παρακούσαντας τοῦ ἐπιτάγματος: ἢ οὐχ ἱκανὸς εἶναί σοι δοκεῖ ὁ Καύκασος καὶ ἄλλους χωρῆσαι δύο προσπατταλευθέντας; ἀλλ᾽ ὄρεγε τὴν δεξιάν: σὺ δέ, ὦ Ἥφαιστε, κατάκλειε καὶ προσήλου καὶ τὴν σφῦραν ἐρρωμένως κατάφερε. δὸς καὶ τὴν ἑτέραν κατειλήφθω εὖ μάλα καὶ αὕτη εὖ ἔχει. καταπτήσεται δὲ ἤδη καὶ ὁ ἀετὸς ἀποκερῶν τὸ ἧπαρ, ὡς πάντα ἔχοις ἀντὶ τῆς καλῆς καὶ εὐμηχάνου πλαστικῆς.

15. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, προσπασσαλεύω, “nail fast to, nail up or hang on a peg.”

16. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, πάσσαλος, “peg, gag, stake, pale, membrum virile.”

17. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 4


[4] ἔοικας, ὦ Ἑρμῆ, καὶ σὺ κατὰ τὸν ποιητὴν ‘ἀναίτιον αἰτιάασθαι’ ὃς τὰ τοιαῦτά μοι προφέρεις, ἐφ᾽ οἷς ἔγωγε τῆς ἐν πρυτανείῳ σιτήσεως, εἰ τὰ δίκαια ἐγίγνετο, ἐτιμησάμην ἂν ἐμαυτῷ. εἰ γοῦν σχολή σοι, ἡδέως ἂν καὶ δικαιολογησαίμην ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐγκλημάτων, ὡς δείξαιμι ἄδικα ἐγνωκότα περὶ ἡμῶν τὸν Δία: σὺ δὲ — στωμύλος γὰρ εἶ καὶ δικανικὸς — ἀπολόγησαι ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ ὡς δικαίαν τὴν ψῆφον ἔθετο, ἀνεσταυρῶσθαί με πλησίον τῶν Κασπίων τούτων πυλῶν ἐπὶ τοῦ Καυκάσου, οἴκτιστον θέαμα πᾶσι Σκύθαις.

18. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, οἴκτιστος, “most pitiable, lamentable.”

19. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, θέαμα, “sight, spectacle.”

20. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 7


[7] εἰ μὲν καὶ ταῦτα λῆρός ἐστιν ἃ εἴρηκας, εἰσόμεθα μικρὸν ὕστερον ἐγὼ δέ, ἐπείπερ ἱκανὰ φὴς εἶναι τὰ κατηγορημένα, πειράσομαι ὡς ἂν οἷός τε ὦ διαλύσασθαι τὰ ἐγκλήματα. καὶ πρῶτόν γε ἄκουσον τὰ περὶ τῶν κρεῶν. καίτοι, νὴ τὸν Οὐρανόν, καὶ νῦν λέγων αὐτὰ αἰσχύνομαι ὑπὲρ τοῦ Διός, εἰ οὕτω μικρολόγος καὶ μεμψίμοιρός ἐστιν, ὡς διότι μικρὸν.ὀστοῦν ἐν τῇ μερίδι εὗρε, ἀνασκολοπισθησόμενον πέμπειν παλαιὸν οὕτω θεόν, μήτε τῆς συμμαχίας μνημονεύσαντα μήτε αὖ τὸ τῆς ὀργῆς κεφάλαιον ἡλίκον ἐστὶν ἐννοήσαντα καὶ ὡς μειρακίον τὸ τοιοῦτον, ὀργίζεσθαι καὶ ἀγανακτεῖν εἰ μὴ τὸ μεῖζον αὐτὸς λήψεται.

21. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 9


[9] … τί οὖν; διὰ τοῦτο ἐχρῆν, τὸ τοῦ λόγου, τῇ γῇ τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀναμεμῖχθαι καὶ δεσμὰ καὶ σταυροὺς καὶ Καύκασον ὅλον ἐπινοεῖν καὶ ἀετοὺς καταπέμπειν καὶ τὸ ἧπαρ ἐκκολάπτειν;…

22. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 10


[10] … ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως ἐκείνων οὐκ ἔστιν ὅστις τῷ μαγείρῳ σταυροῦ ἂν τιμήσαιτο, εἰ τὰ κρέα ἕψων καθεὶς τὸν δάκτυλον τοῦ ζωμοῦ τι περιελιχμήσατο ἢ ὀπτωμένων ἀποσπάσας τι κατεβρόχθισεν, ἀλλὰ συγγνώμην ἀπονέμουσιν αὐτοῖς: εἰ δὲ καὶ πάνυ ὀργισθεῖεν, ἢ κονδύλους ἐνέτριψαν ἢ κατὰ κόρρης ἐπάταξαν, ἀνεσκολοπίσθη δὲ οὐδεὶς παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς τῶν τηλικούτων ἕνεκα….

23. Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, τιμάω, “revere, honor, reverence, deem worthy.”

24. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 15


[15] … ὑμεῖς δέ, τιμᾶν ἐπὶ τῷ πολιτεύματι τούτῳ δέον, ἀνεσταυρώκατέ με καὶ ταύτην μοι τὴν ἀμοιβὴν ἀποδεδώκατε τοῦ βουλεύματος.

25. Perseus Digital Library, Lucian, Prometheus 17


[17] … ἀλλὰ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν μὲν ὑμῖν τὰς ἑκατόμβας προσάγωσιν, οὐκ ὀκνεῖτε, κἂν ἐπὶ τὸν Ὠκεανὸν ἐλθεῖν δέῃ ‘ μετ᾽ ἀμύμονας Αἰθιοπῆας:’ τὸν δὲ τῶν τιμῶν ὑμῖν καὶ τῶν θυσιῶν αἴτιον ἀνεσταυρώκατε. περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ ταῦτα ἱκανά.

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