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Headword: *th/bennos
Adler number: tau,464
Translated headword: toga
Vetting Status: high
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.
[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).
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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