Sunday, November 3, 2019

Creation Myth: Phaedrus, Fab. IV.16

For a lesson plan and resources on how to teach this passage, click here

Rogavit alter tribadas et molles mares
quae ratio procreasset, exposuit senex: 
"Idem Prometheus, auctor vulgi fictilis
qui, simul offendit ad fortunam, frangitur, 
naturae partes veste quas celat pudor
cum separatim toto finxisset die,
aptare mox ut posset corporibus suis,
ad cenam est invitatus subito a Libero;
ubi inrigatus multo venas nectare
sero domum est reversus titubanti pede.
Tum semisomno corde et errore ebrio
adplicuit virginale generi masculo,
et masculine membra adposuit feminis.
Ita nunc libido pravo fruitur gaudio."

--Phaedrus, Fabulae IV.16

When asked why the Creator of mankind made lesbians and gay men, this was one old man's answer:

"When creating mankind (a race so fragile they crumble to dust with the slightest ding), Prometheus molded human forms out of clay, and created their private parts separately, figuring he'd add those on the next day. But Bacchus invited him to dinner out of the blue, and once alcohol was sloshing about in his bloodstream, he staggered home drunk late at night. Then, half awake and still drunk from the night before, Prometheus attached 'lady parts' on some men and 'male members' on some women. And so now bodies fit together in ways they're just not supposed to. "

Name:  Gaius Julius Phaedrus
Date:  1st c. CE
Works:  Fabulae*
Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

Little is known about the life of Phaedrus. There is evidence that he was a Macedonian by birth and was brought to Rome as a slave. Once freed, he devoted his life to writing, and composed the first comprehensive translation of Aesop’s Fables into Latin.
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE