Saturday, September 24, 2011

Image: Iactatores Duo, Atheniensis et Thebanus


M0974 - M0975 - M0976

975. Iactatores Duo, Atheniensis et Thebanus. Civis Atheniensis cum Thebano cive viam carpebat communiter et, ut fit, confabulabatur. Sermoque cum flueret, ad heroas usque delapsus est, prolixum quidem cetero argumentum, nec necessarium. Tandem Thebanus natum Alcmenae hominum maximum et nunc deorum quoque esse praedicabat. Qui autem Athenis oriundus multo praestantiorem Theseum fuisse reponebat, cum sortem vere divinam esset sortitus, servilem Hercules. Et ita locutus vincebat; disertus enim fuit rhetor. Alter vero, non aequa, quippe Boeotus, oratoriae concertationis arte pollens, rude Musa dixit, “Desine. Vincis. Igitur nobis Theseus irascatur, Atheniensibus Hercules.”




M0975 =  Perry278. Source: Babrius 15 (translated into Latin prose). This is Perry 278. Heracles was indeed a slave to Queen Omphale of Lydia. Theseus could claim god-like good luck in that he became the king of a great city, Athens. The humor of this story depends on the glib Athenian being bested by a hick from Thebes in Boeotia since, after all, Heracles was a much more accomplished hero than Theseus. For another fable about a Boeotian, see #925.

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