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Headword: *blhxwni/a
Adler number: beta,339
Translated headword: pennyroyal posset
Vetting Status: high
Aristophanes [writes]: "so does it seem to you that I would be hurt, o master Hermes, if I banged Opôra after so long? -- No; at any rate not if you should drink a cup of pennyroyal posset."[1] Scholion: for those who eat a lot of fruit [opôra] after a long time are hurt as well as those who have non-stop sex. Therefore since Opôra appears also to be a prostitute, [Aristophanes] is playing on both [meanings]. With the beta [the word is] blhxwni/a.[2] But those who eat a lot of fruit, if they drink a pennyroyal posset, are not hurt, through the cardiac opening of the stomach being corroded by the juice. So that the pungency might be stopped, they used to take a [drink] of pennyroyal.
Also [sc. attested in the form] blhxwni/as, [meaning] a cup.[3]
Greek Original:
*blhxwni/a: *)aristofa/nhs: a)=r' ou)=n blabh=nai dia\ xro/nou ti/ soi dokw=, w)= de/spoq' *(ermh=, th=s *)opw/ras katela/sas; ou)/k: ei)/ge kukew=nos e)pipi/ois blhxwni/an. sxo/lion: kai\ ga\r oi( dia\ xro/nou e)sqi/ontes o)pw/ran pollh\n bla/ptontai kai\ oi( sunousia/zontes sunexw=s. e)pei\ ou)=n e)do/kei h( *)opw/ra kai\ po/rnh, pro\s a)mfo/tera e)/paize. dia\ tou= b blhxwni/an. oi( de\ pollh\n o)pw/ran e)sqi/ontes, e)a\n blhxwni/an pi/nwsin, ou) bla/ptontai, dia\ to\ u(po\ tou= o)pou= katesqi/esqai th\n kardi/an. i(/na ou)=n h( drimu/ths a)postufh=|, blh/xwnos e)la/mbanon. kai\ *blhxwni/as, kukew/n.
Besides the cross-references given below, see also omicron 481, sigma 1602.
[1] Aristophanes, Peace 710-12 (web address 1 below), followed by comment from the scholia there; cf. delta 843, kappa 938. For pennyroyal, see already beta 338. In the present instance note J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse (New Haven 1975) 135 #129: 'the pennyroyal posset recommended as a remedy for too much fruit contains an obscene allusion to Opora's sexual attractiveness (and perhaps cunnilingus)'.
[2] Beta as opposed to gamma: cf. beta 338.
[3] See the Aristophanes passage above.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; gender and sexuality; imagery; medicine; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 17 April 2002@21:32:28.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords) on 18 April 2002@03:53:34.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; another x-ref; another keyword; cosmetics) on 23 December 2008@03:21:07.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 29 May 2012@05:43:18.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 23 June 2012@21:36:49.
David Whitehead (more x-refs) on 26 January 2014@07:02:11.
David Whitehead on 26 August 2015@06:19:08.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 20 February 2016@23:02:39.


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