Sunday, November 17, 2019

Megillus' Story: Lucian, Dial. Meretric. 5.2-3

TRIGGER WARNING: deliberate misuse of gendered pronouns, inappropriate and invasive questions

Megilla cum iam incaluisset, comam, ut illam quidem fictriciam habebat, a capite reiecit, ipsa autem iacebat omnino similis, atque aequiparanda gladiatorialicui vehementer virili, atque robusto, ad vivum usque cute detonsa. Ac ego quidem, ubi aspexi, perterrita sum. Illa vero, Leaena inquit, ecquidem adolescentem, unquam vidisti ita pulchrum? At non video, inquam ego, ullum hic adolescentem, Megilla. Tum illa, ne me, inquit, effemines, aut mulierem facias: Megillus enim vocor ego, et iam olim Demonassam hanc uxorem duxi, estque ea uxor mea. Risi equidem ad haec, Clonarium, atque proinde Megilla, latuisti, inquam, tu nos, vir existens, quemadmodum Achillem aiunt, inter virgines absconditum latuisse, habesque virile illud?...non habeo, sed neque opus eo admodum habeo. Peculiari autem modo, suavius aliquanto coversari me videbis. At num Hermophroditus es, inquam ego, quales multi perhibentur esse, utrumqe membrum habentes (Adhuc enim Cloniarum, ipsam rem ignorabam) Neque hoc, inquit illa, sed per omnia vir sum. Tum ego, audivi, inquam, ex Boeotia tibicina quadam, Ismenodora nomina, cum illa, quae Ephestria, apud ipsos dicuntur, enarraret, fuisse Thebis, quendam ex muliere virum factum, qui idem et vates optimus fuerit. Num igitur et tibi tale aliquid accidit. haudquaquam Leaena inquit sed nata equidum sum similis vobis aliis. Sententia autem et libido ceteraque omnia virilia mihi sunt. 

χρόνῳ δὲ ἡ Μέγιλλα ὑπόθερμος ἤδη οὖσα τὴν μὲν πηνήκην ἀφείλετο τῆς κεφαλῆς, ἐπέκειτο δὲ πάνυ ὁμοία καὶ προσφυής, καὶ ἐν χρῷ ὤφθη αὐτὴ καθάπερ οἱ σφόδρα ἀνδρώδεις τῶν ἀθλητῶν ἀποκεκαρμένη: κἀγὼ ἐταράχθην ἰδοῦσα. ἡ δέ, Ὦ Λέαινα, φησίν, ἑώρακας ἤδη οὕτω καλὸν νεανίσκον; ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ὁρῶ γε, ἔφην ἐγώ, νεανίσκον ἐνταῦθα, ὦ Μέγιλλα. μή με καταθήλυνε, ἔφη, Μέγιλλος γὰρ ἐγὼ λέγομαι καὶ γεγάμηκα πρόπαλαι ταύτην τὴν Δημώνασσαν, καὶ ἔστιν ἐμὴ γυνή. ἐγέλασα, ὦ Κλωνάριον, ἐπὶ τούτῳ καὶ ἔφην, Οὐκοῦν σύ, ὦ Μέγιλλε, ἀνήρ τις ὢν ἐλελήθεις ἡμᾶς, καθάπερ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα φασὶν ἐν ταῖς παρθένοις κρυπτόμενον ταῖς ἁλουργίσι; καὶ ὅπερ οἱ ἄνδρες; ἐκεῖνο μέν ἔφη, ὦ Λέαινα, οὐκ ἔχω: δέομαι δὲ οὐδὲ πάνυ αὐτοῦ: ἴδιον δέ τινα τρόπον ἡδίω παρὰ πολὺ ὁμιλοῦντα ὄψει με. ἀλλὰ μὴ Ἑρμαφρόδιτος εἶ, ἔφην, οἷοι πολλοὶ εἶναι λέγονται ἀμφότερα ἔχοντες; ἔτι γὰρ ἠγνόουν, ὦ Κλωνάριον, τὸ πρᾶγμα. οὔ, φησίν, ἀλλὰ τὸ πὰν ἀνήρ εἰμι. ἤκουσα, ἔφην ἐγώ, τῆς Βοιωτίας αὐλητρίδος Ἰσμηνοδώρας διηγουμένης τὰ ἐφέστια παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς, ὡς γένοιτό τις ἐν Θήβαις ἐκ γυναικὸς ἀνήρ, ὁ δ᾽ αὐτὸς καὶ μάντις ἄριστος, οἶμαι, Τειρεσίας τοὔνομα. μὴ οὖν καὶ σὺ τοιοῦτόν τι πέπονθας; οὔκουν, ὦ Λέαινα, ἔφη, ἀλλὰ ἐγεννήθην μὲν ὁμοία ταῖς ἄλλαις ὑμῖν, ἡ γνώμη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία καὶ τἆλλα πάντα ἀνδρός ἐστί μοι.

--Lucian, Dialogi Meretricum 5.2-3, Translated from the Greek by Michaelis Vascosanus

Leaena Tells Her Friend Clonarium About Her Date with Megillus:

When Megilla grew warm, she took off the very realistic wig she was wearing, revealing a nearly shaved head, with hair as short as an athlete's.  
When I saw this, I was terrified.


But then she said, “Have you ever seen a more beautiful man?”


And I said, “I don’t see any man here, Megilla.”


And she said, “Don’t think of me as a woman, for I am called Megillus, and I have married this woman Demonassa, and she is my wife.”


I laughed at this, and then I said, “Megilla, did pull off what Achilles did, and being a man, hide among women? Do you have man parts?”


“I do not, but I also don’t need them. You will see that I have my own way of loving.”


“So are you a hermaphrodite, then, as many people claim to be, and have both man parts and lady parts?” (I honestly don’t know what’s going on)


“No,” she said, “I am wholly a man.”


Then I said, “I’ve heard of a certain entertainer from Boeotia, named Ismanodora, who tells tales about a certain man from Thebes, who went from being a woman into being a man, who was an outstanding prophet [Tiresias]. Did the same thing happen to you? Is that what happened?”


“No, Leaena,” she said, “I was born [nata] similar to you women. But my mind [sententia] and orientation [libido] and everything else about me is male.”

LUCIAN
MAP:
Name:  Lucianus Samosatensis
Date:  125 – 180 CE
Works: Dialogue of the Courtesans*
               True History, etc.
REGION  4
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

BIO:
Timeline:
 Lucian was a Turkish-born Roman satirist who wrote in ancient Greek. His works are a mixture of sarcasm, wit, and biting social criticism. He is without a doubt one of the most popular authors of the later Roman empire.
 ROMAN GREECE
ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); ALEXANDRIAN: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)