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Headword: *soubarma/xios
Adler number: sigma,793
Translated headword: Subarmachius
Vetting Status: high
"This man was leader of the bodyguards, [sc. and was] most trusted by the eunuch Eutropius,[1] above all. He used to drink more wine than he was able to hold, but still to pass it all through his belly, by regular hard and vigorous exercise, with the natural secretion of fluids. Indeed, he was always, whether having imbibed or not, drunk. But he used to disguise his drunkenness by walking stumblingly with his feet, and battling against falling by using his prime of life, [i.e.] relying on his youth, to brace himself.[2] He was of royal stock, a pure-bred Colchian[3] from those beyond Phasis[4] and [sc. the river] Thermodon,[5] [and] a supreme archer, if the excessiveness of his indulgence had not shot him down."[6]
Greek Original:
*soubarma/xios: ou(=tos tw=n dorufo/rwn h)=n h(gemw/n, pisto/tatos tw=| eu)nou/xw| *eu)tropi/w|, ei)/per tis a)/llos. e)/pine de\ plei/ona oi)=non h)\ o(/son h)du/nato xwrei=n: a)ll' o(/mws ta\ peri\ gaste/ra dia\ sunh/qeian ou(/tw kai\ gumnasi/an i)sxura\n kai\ neanikh\n pa/nta fe/rein e)pi\ th\n fusikh\n tw=n u(grw=n e)/kkrisin. a)ei\ gou=n h)=n, pepwkw/s te kai\ ou) pepwkw/s, mequ/wn. th\n de\ me/qhn pareka/lupte sfalero\n diabai/nwn toi=s posi/, kai\ pro\s th\n ptw=sin polemw=n u(f' h(liki/as dia\ neo/thta kai\ sunista/menos. h)=n de\ basilikou= me\n ge/nous, *ko/lxos a)kribh\s tw=n u(pe\r *fa=sin kai\ *qermw/donta, toco/ths a)/ristos, ei)/ge mh\ kateto/ceuen au)to\n to\ peritto\n th=s trufh=s.
Subarmachius, a Colchian (n. 3 below) noble, served on the domestic staff of Eutropius (next note); see PLRE, p. 1037.
[1] As minister, Eutropius (epsilon 3776, epsilon 3777, and OCD(4) s.v. Eutropius(2)) wielded considerable political and military authority (395-399 CE) under the emperor Arcadius (OCD(4) s.v. Arcadius(2)), who ruled in the east 383-408 (Mitchell, p. 95).
[2] Adler notes Boissonade's proposal to delete dia\ neo/thta as an intrusive explanatory gloss. Bernhardy was prepared to keep it, by the expedient of rearranging the end of the sentence to make u(f' h(liki/as belong with polemw=n and dia\ neo/thta with sunista/menos. For other textual issue see n. 6 below.
[3] From Colchis (Kolchis, also Lazike; Barrington Atlas map 88 grid A2; cf. kappa 1979, alpha 112, and OCD(4) s.v.), on the Black Sea's east coast, in the western part of present-day Georgia.
[4] Both a coastal city (near present-day Poti, Georgia) and its eponymous river (the present-day Rioni), which flows westward into the Black Sea through Colchis (previous note); cf. phi 124, phi 122, OCD(4) s.v., and Barrington Atlas map 87 grids G2-3.
[5] A river in Asia Minor, the present-day Terme, flowing northward and emptying into the Black Sea between the present-day cities of Ordu and Samsun, Turkey (Barrington Atlas map 87 grid B3); cf. theta 252.
[6] Eunapius fr.77 FHG (4.48); Blockley, pp. 104-7. In her critical apparatus Adler reports that ms V omits pisto/tatos (most trusted), and, in addition to this superlative, ms F omitted the rest of the passage; also that ms V lacks the section e)/pine through sunista/menos. Bernhardy proposed that fe/rein (to carry; but from the context to pass reads better) be replaced by either fe/rein h)du/nato (able to pass) or e)/feren (he passed).
J.R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. II, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980
S. Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, AD 284-641: The Transformation of the Ancient World, Oxford: Blackwell, 2007
R.C. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus, vol. II, Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1983
Keywords: biography; daily life; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; imagery; military affairs; politics
Translated by: Ronald Allen on 26 May 2009@01:37:42.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 26 May 2009@03:41:33.
David Whitehead on 30 December 2013@06:42:13.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; another note; other small adjustments) on 2 May 2014@05:31:57.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@11:37:30.


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