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Headword: Μᾶζα
Adler number: mu,35
Translated headword: barley-cake
Vetting Status: high
Properly the food, the one made of milk and grain,[1] from the [verb] to be kneaded.[2] It is properispomenon.[3] In reference to the dung-beetle Aristophanes has used it by misapplication. For he does not wish to denote the one kneaded from barley-groats, for this [is] not the food of dung-beetles; instead, excrement -- that is, faeces. The slaves were kneading some bran:[4] for to knead faeces [would be] unbelievable. "Quick, quick, bring the dung-beetle his maza". [5]
Also [sc. attested is] a saying applying to those who boast about the efforts of others: 'kneading a barley cake, the one I’d kneaded'.[6] "The other day I had just kneaded a Laconian cake at Pylos, the cunning rogue came behind my back, sneaked it and offered the cake, which was my invention, in his own name"[7] -- one that was already prepared.[8] This he has taken from a story, about which Thucydides tells us.[9]
Greek Original:
Μᾶζα: κυρίως ἡ τροφή, ἡ ἀπὸ γάλακτος καὶ σίτου, παρὰ τὸ μάζεσθαι. προπερισπᾶται. ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ κανθάρου Ἀριστοφάνης καταχρηστικῶς κέχρηται. οὐ γὰρ τὴν ἐξ ἀλφίτων φυραθεῖσαν δηλοῦν θέλει, οὐ γὰρ αὕτη κανθάρων τροφή, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἀποπάτημα, τουτέστι τὴν κόπρον. πίτυρα δέ τινα ἔματτον οἱ οἰκέται: κόπρον γὰρ φυρᾶν ἄπιστον. αἶρ', αἶρε μᾶζαν ὡς τάχιστα κανθάρῳ. καὶ παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἀλλοτρίοις πόνοις ἐγκαυχωμένων: μᾶζαν μεμαχὼς τὴν ὑπ' ἐμοῦ μεμαγμένην. καὶ πρῴην γ' ἐμοῦ μᾶζαν μεμαχότος Λακωνικήν, πανουργοτάτως παραδραμών, ὑφαρπάσας αὐτὴν παρέθηκε τὴν ὑπ' ἐμοῦ μεμαγμένην καὶ ἐν ἑτοίμῳ γενομένην. τοῦτο δὲ ἀπὸ ἱστορίας εἴληφεν, ἧς μέμνηται Θουκυδίδης.
For this headword see already mu 34, and cf. mu 30, mu 36. The present entry draws on the scholia to Aristophanes, Peace 1 and Knights 54-57; cf. mu 549, alpha 110, alphaiota 280, alphaiota 299.
[1] σῖτος properly means wheat grain (see L. Foxhall and H.A. Forbes, Chiron 1982, 41-90), but here it must have a less specific sense since μᾶζα means barley-bread or barley-cake.
[2] No verb μάζω or μάζομαι is recognised by LSJ, though it has several listings in TLG. LSJ does include μαζάω 'I knead a barley-cake'. But as the general verb φυράω 'I knead' occurs later in this extract, I have used a different English verb to translate μάζω .
[3] i.e. accented with a circumflex on the penultimate syllable. According to LSJ s.v., it was deemed properispomenon by the grammarian Herodian (2. 937) but was later paroxytone.
[4] Presumably a comment on the actual staging of the play.
[5] Aristophanes, Peace 1 (trans. O’Neill on Perseus).
[6] Also quoted at mu 549 (μεμαγμένην ); cf. n.8 below.
[7] Aristophanes, Knights 55-57 (trans. O’Neill on Perseus, but with substitution of 'Laconian' for 'Spartan'). The slave who is a thinly disguised version of General Demosthenes is speaking about Kleon (kappa 1731).
[8] At mu 549 this phrase (from the scholia) appears before the quotation from Knights instead of after.
[9] Thucydides 4.26-41.
Keywords: agriculture; biography; botany; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; food; geography; historiography; military affairs; proverbs; stagecraft; zoology
Translated by: D. Graham J. Shipley on 27 March 2008@02:40:55.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; supplied keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 27 March 2008@07:06:05.
David Whitehead (further tweaks and cosmetics) on 27 March 2008@10:19:19.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 25 April 2013@10:16:39.


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