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By Nancy Worman

This examine of the language of insult charts abuse in classical Athenian literature that centres at the mouth and its appetites, particularly speaking, consuming, consuming, and sexual actions. Attic comedy, Platonic discussion, and fourth-century oratory frequently installation insulting depictions of the mouth and its excesses in an effort to deride specialist audio system as sophists, demagogues, and girls. even supposing the styles of images explored are very admired in historic invective and later western literary traditions, this is often the 1st booklet 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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39 40 41 42 43 Cf. 394–97; and see Sa¨ıd 1979b: 31, who points out that Antinoos’ refus du don effectively brings war into the feast, and thus perpetrates the intermingling of the two settings most opposed in the Homeric world. 217–32). Cf. 299–301). 500, 546–47); cf. Hendrickson 1925: 108. Nagy 1979: 228–31, who compares the Margites, a mock-epic that Aristotle attributes to Homer (Poet. 1448b28–38). See Allen 1912: 152–59 for the collected testimonia and fragments. , again, Melantheus (Od. 219–28); also Eurymachus (Od.

Most of these iambic portraits, however, reference oral activities as a central means of mocking putatively brutal demagogues or craven sophists and opposing them to an idealized notion of the Athenian citizen. The recognition that the voice can be capitalized on for mercenary ends, or that the mouth can be used for less honorable activities than powerful speaking, reveals the kind of debasement and servitude most open to ridicule in a community that prided itself on its freedom of speech (parr¯esia).

Redfield 1975, 1983. 16 Cf. Sa¨ıd 1979b. 30 Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens and repeatedly leaves the diplomatic Odysseus to defend his greed. Agamemnon’s end, as he tells it to Odysseus in the underworld, is a gruesomely fitting inversion of this behavior: the voracious king is cut down at table (deipn©ssav) “like an ox in his pen” (Þv . . boÓn –pª f†tnh), € his companions slaughtered like pigs at a rich man’s feast (sÅev âv ˆrgi»dontev/ o¯ ç† tì –n ˆfneioÓ ˆndr¼v m”ga dunam”noio £ g†mwƒ £ –r†nwƒ £ e«lap©nh€ teqalu©h)€ (Od.

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