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Headword: Μελαμπύγου τύχοις
Adler number: mu,449
Translated headword: may you meet a black-bottom
Vetting Status: high
Black-bottoms were braggarts, sons of Limne. When they were behaving most disgracefully, their mother said they should watch out in case they fell in with a hairy-arse. So when they had fallen in with Heracles they were tied up on a [?]pole. Then he saw them laughing and bending down, and he asked the reason. They replied that it was a saying of their mother's, "we will fall in with a hairy-arse"; and Heracles laughed and released them from their ties.[1]
[Note] that white-bottomed men used to be ridiculed in comedy as effeminate.[2]
Greek Original:
Μελαμπύγου τύχοις: Μελάμπυγοι ἐγένοντο πέρπεροι, Λίμνης υἱοί. ἀκολασταινόντων αὐτῶν πολλά, ἡ μήτηρ ἔλεγε φυλάσσεσθαι μήποτε ἐμπέσωσιν εἰς δασύπρωκτον. ἐμπεσόντες οὖν εἰς Ἡρακλέα ἐν ἀνωφόρῳ ἐδέθησαν. εἶτα ὁρῶν αὐτοὺς γελῶντας καὶ κατακύπτοντας ἐπυνθάνετο τὴν αἰτίαν. οἱ δὲ ἔλεγον, ὅτι λόγιον ἦν τὸ τῆς μητρός, ἐμπεσεῖσθαι ἡμᾶς εἰς δασύπρωκτον: καὶ γελάσαντα τὸν Ἡρακλέα ἀφεῖναι αὐτοὺς τῶν δεσμῶν. ὅτι τοὺς λευκοπύγους ὡς γυναικώδεις ἐκωμῴδουν.
See also mu 987.
[1] Also in Photius mu229 Theodoridis, and see the other references there, including several of the paroemiographers.
[2] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Lysistrata 802; and cf. lambda 335.
Keywords: aetiology; comedy; daily life; ethics; gender and sexuality; imagery; mythology; proverbs; women
Translated by: David Whitehead on 9 August 2006@05:41:53.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 9 August 2006@11:04:15.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 10 August 2006@03:13:16.
David Whitehead on 14 May 2013@07:30:14.
David Whitehead (modified hw, at the prompting of Prof J C McKeown) on 10 September 2016@07:04:49.


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