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Crooked speech: the genesis of the Spartan rhetra

  • Daniel Ogden (a1)

This paper argues for a new interpretation of the rider to the Spartan rhetra. The rider's obscure terms should not be pressed for specific institutional correlates, for its language draws upon the imagery of the exposure of deformed children. The primitive nature of the thought behind the rider suggests that it may actually be an older document than the main text of the rhetra, and such a hypothesis helps to resolve some difficulties concerning the rhetra itself and early Spartan history.

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1 P.A. Cartledge, PRAI lxxx C (1980) 91 notes that the rhetra has been the subject of more scholarship than any other text of comparable length in Greek history. My citations of scholarly views must therefore be selective, and the reader is referred for remoter doxography to: Oliver, J.H., Demokratia (Baltimore 1960) 19 n.18; Tigerstedt, E.N., The legend of Sparta in classical antiquity i (Lund 1965) 5161, 350–64, n.b. 351 n.344; Oliva, P., Sparta and her social problems (Prague 1971) 71102; Ducat, J., REG xcvi (1983) 202–4.

2 For the term rhetra cf. Wade-Gery, H.T., Essays in Greek history (Oxford 1958) 62–5.

3 So Plut. loc. cit.; Tyrtaeus fr. 4 West (fr. 3ab Diehl), which Plutarch quotes, also says the rhetra was bestowed by Delphi, though not on Lycurgus; Wade-Gery (n. 2) 55–6 thinks that it was from this fragment of Tyrtaeus that Aristotle and Plutarch got the idea that the rhetra was an oracle; but for Plutarch the word rhetra itself meant a god's pronouncement (Lye. 13.11; cf. Den Boer, W., Laconian studies [Amsterdam 1954] 159); also, at De Pythiae oraculis 403e he says that oracular rhetrai were given to Lycurgus in prose.

So too Herodotus i 65 tells that some said that the Pythia dictated his laws to Lycurgus, though the Spartans themselves claimed that he brought them from Crete; Xenophon Lac. Pol. 8.5 says he had the laws he had already drawn up sanctioned after the fact by the oracle. Cf. Tigerstedt (n.l) i 60, 353 n.356, 363 n.433.

The rhetra is considered to have been an oracle in origin by, e.g., Busolt, G. and Swoboda, H., Griechische Staatskunde i (Munich 1926) 43; Hammond, N.G.L., JHS lxx (1950) 58; Huxley, G.L., Early Sparta (London 1962) 121 n. 283; Forrest, W.G.G., Phoenix xvii (1963) 179; cf. Oliva (n. 1) 71–2; Cartledge (n. 1) 100.

Wade-Gery (n. 2) 37, 62 denies that the rhetra was in origin an oracle; Jeffrey, L.H., Historia x (1961) 147, Fontenrose, J., The Delphic Oracle (Berkeley 1978) 271, Lévy, E., Ktèma ii (1977) 88–9 and Cartledge (n. 1) and Agesilaos (London 1987) 103, 111 think the rhetra a genuine document of the first half of the seventh century dressed up in the guise of a Delphic oracle.

It is unclear from what point the rhetra was written down: Plutarch says that the kings ‘wrote in’ the rider (παρενέγραανψ, on the meaning of which cf. Lévy op. cit. 100–1). Plutarch elsewhere denies that Sparta had any written laws (Lye. 13.1; Mor. 227b), despite his own research ‘in the Laconian records’ (Ages. 19.10). Little can be concluded from the fact that Plutarch uses ῥήτραν γράφειν to mean ‘propose a law’ at Sparta at Agis 5.3 and 9.1 since γράφειν need not be read literally here, nor from the fact that the Athenian Lycurgus had a Spartan law read out in court (Leoc. 129). Cf. MacDowell, D.M., Spartan law (Edinburgh 1986) 35.

For Jeffrey op. cit. 145–6 the fact that the rhetra was a prose document in itself implies that its origin was written and not verbal. Nonetheless she finds verse elements in it: ὥρας έξ ὥρας, and the ‘rigmarole’ of the hapax legomena φυλάζειν [?], ώβάζειν, άπελλάζειν

4 However, given Plutarch's claim to have done research in the Laconian records (Ages. 19.10), MacDowell (n. 3) 10 thinks it possible that he got the text of the rhetra directly from there, though he still has to concede that Plutarch turned to Aristotle for his exegesis. Hammond (n. 3) 55–7 discusses the likely circumstances of the Lac.Pol.'s production.

5 The MSS are in broad agreement about the text of the rhetra, and I make significant departure from them in only two places in the version I quote (which is the text as usually emended before Wade-Gery; cf. Wade-Gery [n. 2] 38; it is still the text of Tigerstedt [n. 1] 352 nn.347–8, except that he reads Wade-Gery's tempting τούτως [= Attic τούτους] where I think the MSS' οὕτως is preferable). Firstly, and uncontroversially, I read with virtually all scholars iδρυσάμενον; for the MSS' -ος. Secondly, there is great difficulty over the interpretation of the final phrase: all MSS alike read γαμωδανγοριανημην καί κράτος (with one trivial variation in Z, -ιμην). Chrimes, K.M.T., Ancient Sparta (Manchester 1949) 479–82, building on von Blumenthal, A., Hermes lxxvii (1942) 211–3, makes an excellent case for reading this, with minimal editing, as γ–/δ–αμώδαν γορίαν ἤμην (= Attic δημότων κυρίαν είναι), and I think this may well be correct. At any rate, something akin to this or Tigerstedt's reading is invited by Plutarch's gloss, ἐπικρῖναι κύριος ἧν ὁ δῆμος. Wade-Gery's δάμω δ᾿ ἀνταγορίαν ἦμεν καὶ κράτος has proved popular ([n. 2] 41); cf. Den Boer (n. 3) 176–80; Kiechle, F., Lakonien und Sparta (Berlin 1963) 152, 155; Oliva (n. 1 ) 96, except that he prefers δαμῶι. Two conjectures (in which I have no confidence) deserve quoting for their thematic relevance to this paper: γαιάδαν ἰθείαν λίεμεν κὰκ κρατός, Tsopanakis, A.G., La rhètre de Lycurge (Salonika 1954) 39; ϝόρσιαν (=ὀρθίαν, sc. φωνὴν) ἵεμεν κὰκ κρατός, Adrados, F.R., Emerita xxii (1954) 271–77.

MSS variants and other editorial conjectures are discussed in Ziegler's apparatus, and at Hammond (n. 3) 44; Tsopanakis op. cit. 8–14, 33; Oliver (n. 1) 20; Tigerstedt (n. 1) 352 nn.347–8; Oliva (n. 1) 72–4.

6 See appendix for discussion of the meaning of this epithet. The Pythia sometimes prefaced responses with instructions to found temples; Jeffrey (n. 3) 146; Parke, H.W. and Wormell, D.E.W., The Delphic oracle i (Oxford 1956) 322.

7 Should φυλάξαντα here be related to φυλάσσω, ‘keep safe,’ or a verb derived from φῡλή (φυλάζω?) as ώβάξαντα is derived from ώβά presumably to mean ‘re-organise the tribes'? The paraphrases of Plutarch and Aelius Aristides Panath. 192 read the phrase as ‘dividing up the tribes’ (διελών, κατανεῖμαι). Perhaps the ambiguity and wordplay, beloved of the Delphic oracle, were intentional: φυλάσσω will have been chosen for its fortunate ambivalence in context, and ώβάξαντα will then have been calqued upon φυλάξαντα as if it were built on φῡλή (however the differing quantities of the υ in φῡλή and φῠλάσσω may rule out the possibility that the oracle exploited the ambiguity in a hexameter text). Discussion of the context and possible implications of this phrase can be found at Wade-Gery (n. 2) 71–80; Chrimes (n. 5) 480; Jeffrey (n. 3) 146 (with observations on Laconian verbal forms in -δδω for -ζω); Den Boer (n. 3) 170–1; Tigerstedt (n. 1) 358 n.403, 360 n.408; Oliver (n. 1) 21; Kiechle (n. 5) 150–1; Oliva (n. 1) 78–87; Levy (n. 3) 91–4; Welwei, K.-W., Gymnasium lxxxvi (1979) 178–96. Possibly the language was chosen as a propagandist trick: similarly the oligarchs at Athens in 411 claimed that their revolution was really a return to the original form of the constitution–Solon's; cf. Fuks, A., The ancestral constitution (London 1953) esp. 910, 66–7, 107–10.

8 See below on the rider for this term.

9 This may have in effect meant at every full moon, which appears from Schol. Thuc. i 67 to be when the assembly met; cf. Wade-Gery (n. 2) 46; Oliva (n. 1) 92.

10 For the meaning of άπελλάζειν see Wade-Gery (n. 2) 44–7; Chrimes (n. 5) 487–8; Oliva (n. 1) 91; Burkert, W., RhM cxviii (1975) 121; Levy (n. 3) 95–6, who interestingly notes that ἀπέλλαι can mean animal folds, and finds it significant that Karneios (κάρνος,ram) was Apollo's major epithet at Sparta.

11 See Appendix for these places.

12 The difficult άφίστασθαι is discussed below in conjunction with the rider's άποστατῆρας.

13 Plutarch's explanation of the rider makes sense when seen in the context of Theognis 805–10, where straightness is especially important for those dealing with oracles (as Plutarch believes the main text of the rhetra to have been):

A man on a sacred embassy, to whomever the priestess of the god at Pytho prophesies and makes utterance from the rich shrine, must be sure to be straighter than a plumb-line and a ruler and a set-square, Cyrnus. For you could find no cure afterwards if you were to add something, nor could you escape from your sin before the gods if you had taken something away.

Just as Plutarch explains the rider's bar on crooked speech by saying that the damos was twisting motions by addition and subtraction (άφαιρέσει καὶ προσθέσει τὰς γνώμας διαστρεφόντων καὶ παραβιαζομένων), so too Theognis contrasts the process of addition and subtraction with straight behaviour.

Cf. on this passage of Theognis Wade-Gery (n. 2) 56 n. 1; B.A. Van Groningen, Theognis. Le premier livre (Amsterdam 1966) 311; Nagy in G. Nagy and T.J. Figueira, eds., Theognis of Megara: Poetry and the Polis (Baltimore 1985) 36-41, and cf. also Theognis 543-4 and 945-8. Nagy adduces Solon fr. 5 West, where he associates his dike with his refusal to take away from either of the two sides (άφελών).

14 Lévy's argument ([n. 3] 102) that the rider actually represents a ‘democratic’ evolution of the main text of the rhetra, on the grounds that it recognises the people's right of initiative, is implausible.

15 Cf. Forrest (n. 3) 159 on Aristotle's thinking here.

16 Wade-Gery (n. 2) 37, 39; Oliva (n. 1) 98; Jones, A.H.M., Sparta (Oxford 1967) 31; Cartledge (n. 1) 99. However Tigerstedt (n. 1) i 55–1 insists that the two parts of the rhetra are contradictory, and that they cannot be interpreted otherwise than in the way Aristotle and Plutarch interpret it; Chrimes (n. 5) 415–8 etc. also insists that the rider has a separate origin.

17 πρεσβυγενεῖς δὲ, V (-έας Bergk): πρεσβύτας τε, Plut.

18 εύθείην ῤήτρας, V, accepted by Tsopanakis (n. 5) 79, on the model of σκολιάν in the rider; εύθεῖαν ῤήτραις, Hammond (n. 3) 48.

19 Bach's supplement is universally accepted. For εύθύς and σκολιóς as a corresponding pair, cf. Skolion 9.

20 Von Blumenthal's conjecture ([n. 5] 213) that it is a Doric genitive feminine plural (σκλιάν sc. ῥητρᾶν comparing Tyrtaeus' εὐθείαις ῥήτραις) is only acceptable if we derive ἔροιτο from ἔραμαι (‘if the people should hanker after crooked rhetral’). This wild suggestion has found no support.

21 Cf. also the adverbially employed accusatives of feminine nouns, μάτην and άρχήν (cf. Chantraine, P., Morphologie historique du grec [Paris 1973] 120). Other suggestions for the word to be supplied with σκολιάν, if any is needed, include ῤήτραν (von Blumenthal [n. 5]; Wade-Gery [n. 2] 40), which is perhaps invited by Tyrtaeus' εὐθείαις ῤήτραις; ὁδόν (Hammond [n. 3] 48, comparing Pindar Pyth. 2.156). Den Boer (n. 3) 176–80 implausibly reads σκολιάν as predicative with a noun, such as ῤήτραν, to be supplied, to pick up the proposal implied by εἰσφέρειν; he thus has the clause mean: ‘if the people declare the proposal to be wrong.’

22 Chrimes (n. 5) 416–18, 478. Chrimes thinks the meaning of the phrase is ‘if the people should get a crooked judgement given to it [sc. by the kings’ She cites, e.g., Horn. ll. xvi 387, σκολιάς… θέμιστας; Hesiod Works 221, σκολιῆις … δίκηις; Solon fr. 4 West 32–6, δίκας σκολιάς. Note also that άδικα is one of the words chosen by Hesychius to gloss σκολιά; cf. Kiechle (n. 5) 163.

23 However n.b. Tyrtaeus fr. 3a.7 δίκαια, and cf. Tyrtaeus fr. 3ab.6 ἀνταπομειβομένους with Il. xviii 506 ἀμοιβηδὶς δὲ δίκαζον.

24 Tsopanakis (n. 5) 55–6. He adduces a line from an oracle given to Homer in the pseudo-Plutarchean life: δυσξύνετον σκολιοῖσι λόγοις εἰρημένον ὕμνον (A.P. xiv 66).

25 Oliva (n. 1) 99–100; Forrest, W.G.G., History of Sparta (London 1968) 49 presses the word too hard for an institutional correlate in translating it ‘“distorted”‘, by amendment or counter-proposal from the floor…after the gerousia has presented a formal motion'; Wade-Gery (n. 2) 39 too, who understands it as ‘[met with] excessive amendment,’ seems to have wandered rather far from the metaphor. Oliver (n. 1) 35 explains the term as meaning ‘in anything but the straight (i.e. traditional) word or command,’ which is less objectionable.

26 See Oliva (n. 1) 99 and Tigerstedt (n. 1) 352 n.350 for views. Suggested alternatives have included ἕλοιτο (Sintenis, Rudolph); αἵροιτο (Reiske, Ziegler, Flaceliere); αιρέοιτο (Wilamowitz); έρέοιτο (von Blumenthal); είροιτο (Wade-Gery). “Εροιτο is accepted by Chrimes (n. 5) 482; Den Boer (n. 3) 181; Tsopanakis (n. 5) 53n2; Kiechle (n. 5) 164nl; Huxley (n. 3) 44; Hammond (n. 3) 45n21, Oliver (n. 1) 34.

27 Von Blumenthal's attempt to relate the word to ἕραμαι, ‘desire’, has received no support.

28 Wade-Gery (n. 2) 50 (cf. Kiechle [n. 5] 164) well makes the point (without comparative philology) that the word should be related to this general root. For the etymology of έρέω etc. cf. Chantraine, P., Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue grecque (Paris 1968–77) s.v. 2 είρω; Frisk, H., Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (Heidelberg 1960–72) s.v. 2 είρω. Ερέω derives from root version I (*werE), whereas εἴρηκα, εἵρημαι, ἐρρήθην, ῥητός, ῥητήρ, ῤῆμα, ῥῆσις, ῥήτρα etc. derive from root version II (*wreE). I know of no Greek words thought to be built on root version III, *wrE (Ionic είρέθην etc., which could theoretically be built on it, seems to be a Greek innovation).

29 (n. 2) 50.

30 Cf. Chantraine (n. 28) s.v. 1 έρέω; Frisk (n. 28) s.v. ειρομαι. For the root, cf. Beekes, R.S.P., The development of the Proto-Indo-European laryngeals in Greek (Paris and The Hague 1969) s.v. έρευνάω and Peters, M., Untersuchugen zur Vertretung der indogermanischen Laryngale im Griechischen (Vienna 1980) 244, who compare Old Icel. raun, ‘attempt’, ‘examination’, <*rouna. Root version I, from which no attested Greek forms are thought to be drawn, is *Eerw.

The extent to which the roots of ‘speak’ and ‘ask’ became assimilated in Greek can be seen from a perusal of LSJ s.vv. είρω (B),είρω(C), είρω (A), είρω (B) and ἔρομαι.

31 Thus Oliver (n. 1) 22; Jeffrey (n. 3) 144–5; Kiechle (n. 5) 158–9; Oliva (n. 1) 90; Lévy (n. 3) 94–5.

32 Plutarch glosses άποστατῆρας ἦμεν by άφίστασθαι; that the meanings of these two phrases must be the same, at some level, is recognised by Wade-Gery (n. 2) 39–40; Oliver (n. 1) 35; Butler, D., Historia xi (1962) 391. However Tsopanakis (n. 5) 37–52 gives the two words entirely different meanings, understanding ἀποστατῆρας ἦμεν as ‘be separaters of the people’ (for precise calculation of votes) and ἀφίστασθαι as ‘accept’.

33 Wade-Gery (n. 2) 48–9 cites Aesch. PV 927 τὸ τ᾿ ἄρχειν καὶ τὸ δουλεύειν as an example of the disjunctive use of Τ…καί.

34 Cf. Wade-Gery (n. 2) 49; Hammond (n. 3) 46; Butler (n. 32) 387–9.

35 It is taken as such by Ehrenberg, V., Hermes lxviii (1933) 297–8 and Oliver (n. 1) 23, 35, but their interpretation of the meaning of the term as ‘to make final decisions’ is wild.

36 Hammond (n. 3) 44 n. 11 requires that εισφέρειν and άφίστασθαι have the same subject.

37 Cf. Benveniste, E., Noms d'agent et noms d' action en indo-européen (Paris 1948) 3444; Chrimes (n. 5) 483 n.4 argues strongly that άποστατήρ must be transitive and mean ‘one who sets aside’; pace Den Boer (n. 3) 182 n.l.

38 Thus Wade-Gery (n. 2) 48–50; Hammond (n. 3) 44 n.l 1; Den Boer (n. 3) 154–5, 164–5; Butler (n. 32) 391, 395; Kiechle (n. 5) 152–3; Forrest (n. 25) 47–8; Lévy (n. 3) 96–7; Cartledge (n. 1) 99 and (n. 3) 125. Oliva (n. 1) 93 actually takes ἀφίστασθαι as passive (cf. Hammond's ‘passive in meaning’), but this is surely impossible to reconcile with the agent suffix of ἀποστατήρ.

Wade-Gery translates the word ‘to decline to take a path,’ this partly because of the analogy of Aristotle on the Carthaginian constitution (τὸ δὲ μὴ προσάγειν, quoted above). He cites what he regards as the closest parallel usage, Thuc. iv 118.9, ούδενὸς γὰρ άποστήσονται ὅσα ᾶν δίκαια λέγητε, where άποστήσονται clearly is used intransitively (though it is used transitively elsewhere). Hammond's objections to Wade-Gery's argument are not compelling. But in any case this may be a perverse Thucydidean syntactical innovation. And indeed, the grammar of the rhetra may be a law unto itself (witness ἔροιτο).

Despite Wade-Gery's instransitive reading of the ἀφίστασθαι and ἀποστατῆρας, our understandings of the overall meanings of the respective phrases are not very far apart.

39 Cf. Oliver (n. 1) 23; Oliva (n. 1) 96–97.

40 Wade-Gery (n. 2) 38.

41 As Wade-Gery (n. 2) 43–4 himself accepts.

42 E.g. Chrimes (n. 5) 483–4; Den Boer (n. 3) 164. Είσφέρειν is a regular term in Attic for the proposal of a motion (e.g. Aristotle Pol. 1273b); cf. Hammond (n. 3) 43.

43 (n. 32) 390.

44 Wade-Gery (n. 2) 48 points out that ἀφίσταναι means ‘remove from office’ at Xen. Hell, vii 1.45. Plutarch's understanding is basically accepted by Hammond (n. 3) 43–4 with n. 11; Butler (n. 32) Oliva (n. 1) 94–6, 100.

45 (n. 2) 49.

46 (n. 5)11.

47 Tsopanakis (n. 5) 40–52; cf. Tigerstedt (n. 1) i 355 n.376; Oliva (n. 1) 95.

48 For exegesis of this passage, cf. Delcourt, M., Stérilités mystérieuses et naissances maléfiques dans I'antiquité classique (Liège and Paris 1938) 3641; Roussel, P., REA xlv (1943) 517; MacDowell (n. 3) 52–4. A lesche appears to have been a sort of clubhouse, being both an official meeting-place and a place of recreation; cf. Plut. Lyc. 25.2–3; Paus, iii 15.8; cf. MacDowell (n. 3) 53.

49 Plutarch appears to attribute the ‘law’ on exposure to Lycurgus since he includes it in his life, and his account of it follows on from his general point in c 15 that Lycurgus did not consider that children belonged privately to their fathers.

50 (n. 5) 421 and 424.

51 Cf. Tyrtaeus fr. 19 West.

52 Oliva (n. 1) 89, 99 believes that the gerousia was in fact originally made up of ‘tribal elders’. If the gerousia was thirty strong without the kings at some point before the rhetra, then perhaps its members were taken ten from each of the three tribes. For the conditions of election/appointment to the gerousia after the rhetra, cf. MacDowell (n. 3) 126–7; De Ste. Croix, G.E.M., The origins of the Peloponnesian War (London 1972) 353–4.

53 MacDowell (n. 3) 53 thinks that the ‘elders of the tribesmen’ were simply tribesmen over sixty, no doubt because Plut. Lye. 26.1 says that members of the gerousia had to be over sixty.

54 See Chantraine (n. 28) and Frisk (n. 28) s.v. σκέλος for the relationships between these words.

55 (n. 5) 54–5.

56 The name is found at Caesius Bassus Gr.Lat. vi 307.17; cf. Suda s.v. σκόλιον. Diomedes Gr.Lat. i 479.8ff. derives the name from σκόλια, drinking songs, but the connection between the two is not obvious and is rejected by W. Aly, RE s.v. σκολιòς πούς. Aly draws attention to some compound foot names built on σκολιός: σπονδειοσκόλιος, σκολιοχόρειος (Anon. Berol. at Studemund Anecdota var. i 294ff.); discolius (Atilius p.2687); hegemoscolius (Diomedes p.478).

57 Apud O. Masson, RPh lxiii (1989) 65–6.

58 Cf. LSJ s.v.; Hesych. s.v. σκολιά: σκαμβά, οὐκ όρθά, ἅδικα, δυσχερῆ, έπικαμπῆ, ἅνισα, δύσκολα; cf. Kiechle (n. 5) 163.

59 Cf. e.g. Plato Theaet. 161a; Aristotle Pol. 1335b19; see Roussel (n. 48) 7–10, who rightly argues against the idea of Delcourt (n. 48) 36 that apothesis denoted state-exposure, whereas ekthesis denoted private, parental exposure.

60 On this passage and the institution of amphidromia, cf. Hamilton, R., GRBS xxv (1984) 243–51; and Vernant, J.-P., Myth and thought among the Greeks (London 1983) 153–7.

61 Delcourt (n. 48) passim, esp. 9–26; Bloch, R., Prodiges dans l'antiquité classique (Paris 1963) 1527; Den Boer, W., Private morality in Greece and Rome (Leiden 1979) ch.67; cf. Vernant, J.-P. and Vidal-Naquet, P., Myth and tragedy in ancient Greece (New York 1988) 113–4.

62 This, I would argue, is the prime context of terata, though I do not deny that they may be bom at any time, as tokens of divine anger.

63 Cf. John Lydus De Ostentis ad init.: τέρατα: τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὡς παρὰ φύσιν φαινὁμενα, ‘terata are those things which appear unnaturally on the earth.’

64 Works 497 (cf. West 1978 ad loc). Cf. also Shield 265–6 λιμῶι καταπεπτηυῖα/ γουνοπαχής, shrunk with hunger, swollen-kneed.’ Proclus comments on the passage ( jr. 69 S): ‘they say that those who are starving swell up in the feet, but that the rest of the body becomes emaciated, and there is/was one Ephesian law that forbade a father to expose his children until his/their feet swelled up through hunger. Also sitting down and idleness produces swelling of the feet.’ Aristotle Problems 859b1 asks διὰ τί κιβδηλιῶντες καὶ οἱ ὑπὸ λιμοῦ πονοῦντες τοὺς πόδας οἰδοῦσιν; ‘why do the feet of the jaundiced and those suffering from starvation swell up?’; Hesychius s.v. παχύποδα: τὸν ὑπὸ λιμοῦ καὶ φιλαργυρίας [recte ποδάγρας ? φιλαργίας?] οἰδήσαντα, ‘fat-foot: the man who has swollen up because of hunger and the love of money [recte: gout? love of idleness?]'; Virgil Catal. 13.40 pedes inedia turgidos, ‘feet swollen through starvation’; Ovid Met. viii 807–8 (of Fames) auxerat articulos macies. genuumque tumebatl orbis, et immodico prodibant tubere tali, ‘her scrawniness had swollen her joints, and the sphere of her knees protruded, and her ankles projected with an enormous ballooning.’ Cf. Delcourt (n. 48) 28–49. The condition is illustrated by Richter, G.M.A., Catalogue of Greek and Roman antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks collection (Cambridge, Mass., 1956) no.17 (‘Perdix’).

65 179–80; cf. generally 25–30 and 167–80; cf. John Lydus De Ostentis ad init., quoted above: ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ‘on the earth.’

66 Rep. 460c.

67 Pol. 1335b. The association between the teras and ekthesis is recalled in Euripides’ phraseology at Hipp. 1214: κῦμ᾿ ἐξέθηκε ταῦρον, ἄγριον τέρας.

68 The more familiar versions of the Oedipus myth have re-rationalised the swelling of the foot, and attribute it to the fact that his feet were wired together at the time of exposure (even so, the link between the swollenness of the foot and the exposure of the baby is preserved): thus Soph. OT 718, Eur. Phoen. 26–7 (with schol.), Hyg. Fab. 66, Apolld. Bib. iii 5.7. Other accounts rationalise the swelling differently, as the effect of the swaddling clothes: Nic.Dam. FGH 90 fr. 8, schol. Eur. Phoen. loc. cit.

69 Sophocles OT passim. For Oedipus' birth in sterility (as often with tyrants, a localised one affecting only his parents), cf. Eur. Phoen. 13; cf. Delcourt (n. 48) 95, 1 10ff., and her Oedipe ou la légende du conquérant (Liège and Paris 1944) passim, esp. 1, 14, 20–1, 24–7; Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (n. 61) 124; Jameson, M.H., in MA. Chiaro, Del, ed., Corinthiaca (Columbia MO 1986) 35; Bremmer apud Bremmer, J., ed., Interpretations of Greek mythology (London 1987) 43–4.

70 Jeffrey (n. 3) 144–7.

71 Thargelia at Athens: Harpoc. and Suda s.v. φάρμακος: Deubner, L., Attische Feste2 (Berlin 1932) 179–88.

Time of drought or famine at Athens: schol. Aristoph. Knights 1136; Suda s.v. κάθαρμα; at Chaeronea the scapegoat represented a personification of Βούλιμος as he was expelled (Plut. Mor. 693f.).

Time of plague: Phot. Bibl. 534a, for Athens; Petronius fr. 1 (Serv. ad Aen. iii 57), for Massilia, ; Lactantius on Statius Thebaid xv 793. Also, Apollonius of Tyana presided over the stoning to death of a beggar during an Ephesian plague (Philostratus Vit.Ap. iv 10).

Cf. Parker, R.C.T., Miasma (Oxford 1983) 24–5 on the occasions of pharmakeia.

72 Schol. Aristoph. Knights 1136.

73 For ekthesis as a category of pharmakeia, see Glotz, G., L'ordalie dans la Grèce primitive (Paris 1904); Delcourt (n. 48) 50–66, (n. 69) 29–35; Vemant and Vidal-Naquet (n. 61) 127–8, 433 n.87; Brulé, P., La fille d'Athènes (Paris 1987) 124–39, esp. 132. For pharmakeia in general, see Bremmer, J., HSCP lxxxvii (1983) 299320; Bürkeit, W., Greek Religion (Oxford 1985) 82–4, and his Structure and history in Greek mythology and ritual (Berkeley 1979) 59–77, 168–76; Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (n. 61) 128–35; Versnel, S., Studi storico-religiosi i (1977) 3743; Parker (n. 71) 24–6, 226, 257–71.

74 PSI 1094, reprinted at Pfeiffer, R., Callimachus i (Oxford 1949–53) 1949 p.165. Note that Aesop has a stone thrown at him also in fable 497 Perry. For many aspects of Aesop as pharmakos, see Wiechers, A., Aesop in Delphi (Meisenheim am Gian 1961) 3142; cf. Parker (n. 71) 260; Adrados, F.R., QUCC xxx (1979) 93112.

75 C.29.

76 C.I; cf. Wiechers (n. 74) 31–2.

77 Cf. Wiechers (n. 74) 32, with illustration.

78 This etymology (άισο–ωπ–ος) is relatively easy; although ἄνισος is the commoner form, ἄϊσος is attested at Pindar lsth. 7.43; from here a trivial diphthongisation gets us to αἰσο–. Nonetheless, a rather more difficult etymology, deriving the name from ἀϊσο–πους, ‘uneven foot,’ is also tempting, in view of the significance of lameness and deformity of the leg above all in the cases we have been considering, the lameness in any case explicitly attributed to Aesop by the Vitae, and the fact that Aesop's equal and opposite slave in Vita W 2 bears the name Agathopous, ‘good foot.’ But whatever the actual etymology of the name, it would seem that the Greeks read these two interpretations into it, and that is significant in itself.

79 Vitae G and W 1 Perry.

80 E.g. 8, 423, 510, 537, 541, 545 Perry.

81 G and W 125–6, 142 Perry; cf. also POxy 1800, ἐπέσκωψεν; Nagy, G., The best of the Achaeans (Baltimore 1979) 282–3, 288.

82 Thus 23, 201, 172–181, 185, 187 West and PCol 7511 (SLG 478). The last two also employ sexual ridicule, like Thersites (below). Cf., importantly, on these fragments, Burnett, A.P., Three archaic poets (London 1983) 60–5, 75–6, 93.

83 Lines 1401–5 (432 Perry), 1427–32 (428 Perry), 1435–40 (438 Perry); cf. Birds 471–5 (447 Perry).

84 Perry, B.E., Babrius and Phaedrus (Cambridge MA 1965) xlv.Cf. Phaedrus' introduction: quod risum movet,l et quod prudenti vitam Consilio monet, ‘it arouses laughter, and guides life with good counsel’ (lines 3–4).

85 Parker (n. 71)261.

86 The meaning of φολκός is rather obscure, though ‘stammering’ is the most favoured interpretation. Frisk (n. 28) s.v. relates the word to φαλός, ‘stammering, deaf, stupid.’ Thersites' association with Aesop in so many other ways renders this sort of interpretation very probable. Chantraine (n. 28) s.v. less plausibly argues for a derivation from ἐφέλκεσθαι, i.e., ‘dragging the foot’; but it is difficult to account for the loss of the initial ἐ- here; Chantraine suggests aphaeresis; he is followed by Kirk, G.S., A commentary on the Iliad i (Cambridge 1985) ad loc.

87 For the beating of pharmakoi with rods, cf. Hipponax frr. 5–11 West, where the Colophonian scapegoat was beaten with rods of fig and squills; cf. Bremmer (n. 73) 308–12.

88 For Thersites as pharmakos, see Nagy (n. 81) 259–64, 279–82; Thalmann, W.G., TAPA cxviii (1988) 1722; Parker (n. 71) 260–1.

89 Stammering is seen by Vemant and Vidal-Naquet (n. 61) 209 as a ‘limping with the tongue.’ Cf. also Detienne, M. and Vernant, J.-P., Cunning intelligence in Greek culture and society (Hassocks 1977) c.9. Another stuttering pharmakos is Battus (Herodotus iv 155–6, 161). Herodotus tells that he was ‘dry-voiced’ (ἰσχνόφωνος), and his name itself also means ‘stutterer’ (Hesychius and Et. Mag. s.v.; cf. βατταρίζω); although Herodotus himself explains the name differently, he significantly tells that Battus was a descendant of Εὔφημος ‘Fair-speaker’; interestingly, Battus' namesake great-great-grandson, Battus III of Cyrene, was to be lame. Battus was sent off with a colony, owing to a great sterility on Thera. When he returned with his boats, he was driven away with missiles. Cf. Burkert Greek religion (n. 73) 84 for colonists as pharmakoi.

90 See Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (n. 61) 133–6, 326–7; Burkert, Greek religion (n. 73) 83; Parker (n. 71) 269–71.

91 Herodotus narrates the circumstances of the birth of Cypselus in some detail: it is ‘wrong’ because he is not born of a Bacchiad father.

92 Herodotus v 92β tells that she was χωλή; Et.Mag. p. 199 s.v. βλαισός explains the ‘Labda’ indicated her lameness as it denoted that her feet were splayed in the shape of the letter. Cf. Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (n. 61) 218–9; Jameson (n. 69) 9. Lambrinoudakis, B.K., Merotraphes (Athens 1971) 223–5 believes that Labda should be considered to be pregnant with Cypselus in her foot (n.b. Λάβδα κύει); this is one part of a massive thesis in which he draws out the fertilising effects of the wounding and binding of the leg in Greek myth.

93 Aristotle HA 618a31. See Roux, G., REA lxv (1963) 279–89 for bird imagery in Herodotus' narrative of Cypselus (cf. the eagle of the oracle). However Herodotus himself derives the name of Cypselus from the beehive, κυψέλη, in which the baby was concealed (again, cf. Roux on this item), and I do not wish to deny the importance of this association: the name is polysemie. The name of Labda's father, Amphion, i.e. άμφι–ιων, ‘going on both feet’ is also significant.

94 Cf. Okin and Nagy apud Nagy (n. 13) 17, 50.

95 Diod. viii 24; FGH 105 fr.2.19–21 (= POxy XI.1365).

96 Hdt. i 59.

97 Hdt. v 39–42, vi 75; cf. A. Griffiths, apud Powell, A., ed., Classical Sparta: the techniques behind her success (London 1989) 51–7 for the ‘formulaic momentum’ of Herodotus' narratives of Cleomenes.

98 Plutarch Mor. 399bc, Ages. 3 (reading νοῦσοι for μόχθοι), Lys. 22 and Pausanias iii 8.9; Fontenrose (n. 3) p.322 Q163; Parke and Wormell (n. 6) ii 112.

99 Diod. xi 50.4.

100 Xen. Hell. iii 3.1–4. For lameness as a metaphor for bastardy, cf. Plato Rep. 535ff., where gnesios souls are born to philosophy, whereas nothos ones are crippled and lame (this is again part of the Socratic discourse of midwifery). Some terms for ‘legitimate’ correspondingly draw on the imagery of straightness, e.g. ἰθαγενής (Od. xiv 203 etc.) and γεγονότα ὀρθῶς (Isaeus vii 16).

101 Pausanias says the oracle was Delphic, as does Justin vi 2.5. Plutarch quotes it in De Pythiae Oraculis (Mor. 399bc) without attributing it to a different oracle. Xenophon likewise says the oracle was Apolline, and suggests that Diopeithes pulled it from a collection. Cf. Fontenrose (n. 3) 148–50.

102 Pace Hammond (n. 3) 49 who asserts: ‘the nder only makes sense if it was attached to the Rhetra.’

103 However, it could conceivably have been an inceptive δέ; cf. Denniston, J.D., The Greek particles 2 (Oxford 1952) 72.

104 (n. 1) 89, 98–9. He believes that the term here has the meaning of ‘tribal elders,’ and reflects an original state of affairs in which the gerousia was a tribal institution and its members represented individual gene or phratries.

105 Cartledge (n. 3) 124; cf. Andrewes, A., CQ xxxii (1938) 97–8.

106 For the possibility that Sparta was the first state to introduce probouleusis in Greece (an important element of Greek democracy) see Andrewes, A, Probouleusis (Oxford 1954).

107 For the powers of the kings in the different parts of the rhetra cf. Cartledge (n. 3) 124.

108 Views are listed at Tigerstedt (n. 1) i 354 n.373; Oliva (n. 1) 78–9; cf. also Forrest (n. 25) 41. There is no reason to dismiss the MSS reading: Cartledge (n. 1) 101 notes that none of the attempts to emend really convince.

L. Ziehen, RE s.v. Sparta E. Kulte, col. 1489 reads Ὑλλάνιος (from Hylleis), explaining Syllanios by diplography of the preceding genitival sigmas.

Chrimes (n. 5) 423, 484–5 attempts to connect the name with the Epidaurian Σελλάνυον (SGDI 3025) and ultimately Ἑλλάνιος: so too Oliver (n. 1) 14; cf. Oliva (n. 1) 77 for the impossibility of this.

Den Boer (n. 3) 162 offers Κυλλήνιος (cf. Od. ii 1).

Some have read Σκυλλάνιος (von Blumenthal [n. 5] 212 etc.; most recently MacDowell [n. 3J 4), on the basis of such things as Hesychius s.v. Σκυλλανίς ἡ πολεμική; cf. Oliva (n. 1) 78.

109 See LSJ and Chantraine (n. 28) s.v.

110 Chrimes (n. 5) 477, 485–6 notes that the Spartans of Aristotle's time did not know to what places the names referred. Forrest (n. 25) 47 finds Plutarch's exegesis of the terms ‘unhelpful.’ I suspect that Babyca and Cnacion were not, as Plutarch says, a bridge and a river, but hills—or at least that one of them is a hill. Chrimes persuasively relates Cnacion to κνακίας ‘wild goat,’ to mean ‘place of wild goats’ (cf. άνδρών, ἱππών etc.). For Βάβυκας she reads Βαβυκᾶν. Doric genitive of βαβυκώς, a pelican (cf. Hesychius s.v.), and correspondingly understands it as ‘(place of) pelicans.’ In terms of Spartan geography, she argues that this must denote a place shut in by mountains (where wild goats roam) on three sides and the marsh, Helos, haunt of pelicans, on the fourth. She notes that Delphi often identifies places for colonisation by fauna (cf. Parke and Wormell (n.6) ii 60–1, 78 and Vian, F., Les origines de Thèbes [Paris 1963] 7693 for the Delphic oracle and its ‘animal guides'). I do not find the argument of I. Shatzman, , RFIC xcvi (1968) 385–9 that the Spartan assembly had always met in the agora compelling.

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