Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Image: Zoilus


M0977 - M0978 - M0979

978. Zoilus. Zoilus “canis rhetoricus” nominatus est. Erat is talis: barbam promissam alebat, caput usque ad cutem radebat, pallium supra genua pendebat, studiosus male loquendi, ferendis litibus operam sedulo dabat; contumeliosus denique et ad reprehensiones proclivis erat miser ille. Et cum rogaret ab eo quidam eruditus vir, quamobrem omnibus male loqueretur, “Quoniam,” inquit, “male facere cum velim, non possum.”



M0978 (not in Perry). Source: Aelian, Historia 11.10. This story is not in Perry; Perry did not use Aelian as a source. Zoilus was a Cynic philosopher and literary critic of the fourth century BCE. He was a Thracian by birth and is sometimes referred to as the “Thracian dog.” His criticisms of Homer were so stinging that he was known as Homeromastix, the “scourge of Homer.” Compare the fable of the toothless frog, #603, or the hypercritical Momus, #802. For a barking dog, see #380.

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