TRIGGER WARNING: drunkenness, homophobic slurs
JUNO: Me quidem puderet, Iuppiter, talis filii, tam feminei & corrupti ebrietate; qui mitra revinctam gerat comam, plurimum cum furibundis mulieribus versetur, mollior iis ipsis, ad tympana tibiasque & cymbala choreas agens, atque omnino cuivis similior, quam tibi patri.
JUPPITER: Atque hicce mitra feminea redimitus, mollior mulieribus, non solum, Iuno, Lydiam subegit, incolentesque Tmolum cepit, & Thracas sibi subiecit; sed & adversus Indos rapto muliebri isto exercitu elephantos in potestatem redegit, & regione tota potitus est, regemque paululum resistere ausum captivum abduxit: & ista quidem omnia perfecit saltans simul & choreas ducens, thyrsis usus hederaceis, ebrius, ut ais, & furore concitus. Tum si quis in animum induxit maledicere ipsi, contumeliis in sacrorum initia iactis, ab eo quoque poenas expetiit, vel ligatum obstringens palmitibus, vel ut discerperetur efficiens a matre tanquam hinnulus. Viden' ut virilia sint ista, atque haud indigna patre? Si vero lusus & lascivia simul adisnt, nihil est ea in re, quod invidiam faciat; inprimis si quis reputet, qualis sobrius hicce foret, ubi isthaec facit ebrius.
JUNO: Tu mihi videris laudaturus etiam inventum eius vitem & vinum; idque tametsi videas, qualia perpetrent inebriati titubantes atque ad iniuriam versi & plane furentes a potu. Icarium ergo, cui primo donavit palmitem, ipsi compotatores interemerunt concisum ligonibus.
JUPPITER: Nihil hoc ad rem, quod dicis: non enim vinum ista, neque Bacchus facit; sed potus immoderate sumtus, & ultra quam deceat ingurgitari mero: qui vero bibendi modum servat, hilarior & suavior exsistit; neque eiusmodi, qual Icario contigit, quidquam designaverit in ullum compotatorem. At tu adhuc aemulari videris, Iuno, & Semeles meminisse, ut quae crimineris Bacchi pulcherrimas dotes.
ἐγὼ μὲν ᾐσχυνόμην ἄν, ὦ Ζεῦ, εἴ μοι τοιοῦτος υἱὸς ἦν θῆλυς οὕτω καὶ διεφθαρμένος ὑπὸ τῆς μέθης, μίτρᾳ μὲν ἀναδεδεμένος τὴν κόμην, τὰ πολλὰ δὲ μαινομέναις ταῖς γυναιξὶ συνών, ἁβρότερος αὐτῶν ἐκείνων, ὑπὸ τυμπάνοις καὶ αὐλῷ καὶ κυμβάλοις χορεύων, καὶ ὅλως παντὶ μᾶλλον ἐοικὼς ἢ σοὶ τῷ πατρί.
καὶ μὴν οὗτός γε ὁ θηλυμίτρης, ὁ ἁβρότερος τῶν γυναικῶν οὐ μόνον, ὦ Ἥρα, τὴν Λυδίαν ἐχειρώσατο καὶ τοὺς κατοικοῦντας τὸν Τμῶλον ἔλαβε καὶ τοὺς Θρᾷκας ὑπηγάγετο, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπ᾽ Ἰνδοὺς ἐλάσας τῷ γυναικείῳ τούτῳ στρατιωτικῷ τούς τε ἐλέφαντας εἷλε καὶ τῆς χώρας ἐκράτησε καὶ τὸν βασιλέα πρὸς ὀλίγον ἀντιστῆναι τολμήσαντα αἰχμάλωτον ἀπήγαγε, καὶ ταῦτα πάντα ἔπραξεν ὀρχούμενος ἅμα καὶ χορεύων θύρσοις χρώμενος κιττίνοις, μεθύων, ὡς φής, καὶ ἐνθεάζων. εἰ δέ τις ἐπεχείρησε λοιδορήσασθαι αὐτῷ ὑβρίσας ἐς τὴν τελετήν, καὶ τοῦτον ἐτιμωρήσατο ἢ καταδήσας τοῖς κλήμασιν ἢ διασπασθῆναι ποιήσας ὑπὸ τῆς μητρὸς ὥσπερ νεβρόν. ὁρᾷς ὡς ἀνδρεῖα ταῦτα καὶ οὐκ ἀνάξια τοῦ πατρός; εἰ δὲ παιδιὰ καὶ τρυφὴ πρόσεστιν αὐτοῖς, οὐδεὶς φθόνος, καὶ μάλιστα εἰ λογίσαιτό τις, οἷος ἂν οὗτος νήφων ἦν, ὅπου ταῦτα μεθύων ποιεῖ.
 σύ μοι δοκεῖς ἐπαινέσεσθαι καὶ τὸ εὕρημα αὐτοῦ, τὴν ἄμπελον καὶ τὸν οἶνον, καὶ ταῦτα ὁρῶν οἷα οἱ μεθυσθέντες ποιοῦσι σφαλλόμενοι καὶ πρὸς ὕβριν τρεπόμενοι καὶ ὅλως μεμηνότες ὑπὸ τοῦ ποτοῦ: τὸν γοῦν Ἰκάριον, ᾧ πρώτῳ ἔδωκε τὸ κλῆμα, οἱ ξυμπόται αὐτοὶ διέφθειραν παίοντες ταῖς δικέλλαις.
οὐδὲν τοῦτο φής: οὐ γὰρ ὁ οἶνος ταῦτα οὐδὲ ὁ Διόνυσος ποιεῖ, τὸ δὲ ἄμετρον τῆς πόσεως καὶ τὸ πέρα τοῦ καλῶς ἔχοντος ἐμφορεῖσθαι τοῦ ἀκράτου. ὃς δ᾽ ἂν ἔμμετρα πίνῃ, ἱλαρώτερος μὲν καὶ ἡδίων γένοιτ᾽ ἄν: οἷον δὲ ὁ Ἰκάριος ἔπαθεν, οὐδὲν ἂν ἐργάσαιτο οὐδένα τῶν ξυμποτῶν. ἀλλὰ σὺ ἔτι ζηλοτυπεῖν ἔοικας, ὦ Ἥρα, καὶ τῆς Σεμέλης μνημονεύειν, ἥ γε διαβάλλεις τοῦ Διονύσου τὰ κάλλιστα.
--Lucian, Dialogi Deorum XVIII, Translated into Latin by Tiberius Hemsterhusius & Ioannis Fredericus Reitzius (1789)
Juno: Jupiter, I’m so embarrassed by how effeminate & drunk your son is! He wears his hair all dolled up in a mitra, he spends all his time with rampaging women, but yet he’s more womanly than them. He’s always playing his little tambourine, his flutes, his cymbals, and he’s NOTHING like you.
Jupiter: And yet, Juno, this womanly mitra-wearing man who’s “more womanly than women,” not only conquered Lydia, captured Tmolus, and subjugated Thrace, but he also assembled an army of women and conquered all of India, including their war elephants, and brought the whole region under his control. When their king dared to resist him, he led him away as his captive. He did all this singing & dancing, whirling his ivy-covered thyrsus, drunk, and raging mad (as you say). And yet, if someone has it in mind to slander him, bringing disrespect to his sacred acts, they’ll pay the punishment, whether it’s being bound by vines, or be torn limb-from-limb by their own mother. Isn’t that manly, and worthy of his father? Who cares if he does it while playing around and flirting—there’s nothing shameful in it. And who would naysay him, if he can do all this drunk—what would he be if he were sober?
JUNO: You seem to me to praise the vine and wine he’s invented—although you should see the kind of things that happen to drunk fools & rampaging with drink. For Icarius—the first person he gave the vine—his fellow partygoers killed him with garden tools.
Jupiter: What you’re saying wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t wine, it wasn’t Bacchus [Dionysus] who did it, but the person who drank too much, more than was fitting. A person who has self-control in drinking is more cheerful and cooler, and they don’t let what happened to Icarius happen to their fellow drinking buddies. But Juno, you seem to be jealous of Semele in your criticism of Bacchus.
Name: Lucianus Samosatensis
Date: 125 – 180 CE
Works: Dialogue of the Courtesans*
True History, etc.
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.
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