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Headword: *th/bennos
Adler number: tau,464
Translated headword: toga
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A Roman uniform.[1] "The people of Tarentum polluted Postumius' toga with human excrements."[2]
Greek Original:
*th/bennos: stolh\ *(rwmai+kh/. *taranti=noi de\ *postoumi/ou th\n th/bennon lu/masin a)nqrw/pwn e)mo/lunan.
Notes:
[1] See also tau 465.
[2] Episode also mentioned in lambda 834, and detailed in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 19.5.1, and Appian, Samnitica 7.5; more vaguely in Polybius 1.6.5. The phrasing here is derived from the quotation in lambda 834.
Lucius Megellus Postumius was sent to Tarentum (in southern Italy; cf. tau 112 and tau 113) in 282 BC to demand reparations over recent conflict; he was mocked for his imperfect Greek, and a Philonides is supposed to have grabbed Postumius' toga as he walked past, and defecated on it. (Valerius Maximus 2.2.5 reports the insult as involving urination, which Lateiner (2005:52) finds more plausible.) Postumius retorted by threatening war, and indeed Tarentum was captured by the Romans in 272. On the incident, see Lateiner (2005) and Barnes (2005).
References:
Lateiner, Donald. 2005. "Signifying Names and Other Ominous Accidental Utterances in Classical Historiography". Greek Roman and Byzantine Studies 45: 35-57.
Barnes, Christopher L. H. 2005. Images and insults: ancient historiography and the outbreak of the Tarentine War. Franz Steiner.
Keywords: biography; clothing; definition; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 8 April 2009@02:52:05.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 8 April 2009@04:13:32.
David Whitehead on 12 January 2014@07:00:35.
David Whitehead (codings etc.) on 28 May 2016@05:39:08.
Ronald Allen (briefly expanded and added cross-references to n.2) on 8 July 2018@13:43:42.

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