Lucian, Anacharsis, or Athletics

LCL 162: 2-3

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The Works of Lucian



1Ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν, ὦ Σόλων, τίνος ἕνεκα οἱ νέοι ποιοῦσιν; οἱ μὲν αὐτῶν περιπλεκόμενοι ἀλλήλους ὑποσκελίζουσιν, οἱ δὲ ἄγχουσι καὶ λυγίζουσι καὶ ἐν τῷ πηλῷ συναναφύρονται κυλινδούμενοι ὥσπερ σύες. καίτοι κατ᾿ ἀρχὰς εὐθὺς ἀποδυσάμενοι—ἑώρων γάρ—λίπα τε ἠλείψαντο καὶ κατέψησε μάλα εἰρηνικῶς ἅτερος τὸν ἕτερον ἐν τῷ μέρει. μετὰ δὲ οὐκ οἶδ᾿ ὅ τι παθόντες ὠθοῦσί τε ἀλλήλους συννενευκότες καὶ τὰ μέτωπα συναράττουσιν ὥσπερ οἱ κριοί. καὶ ἢν ἰδοὺ ἀράμενος ἐκεινοσὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἐκ τοῖν σκελοῖν ἀφῆκεν εἰς τὸ ἔδαφος, εἶτ᾿ ἐπικαταπεσὼν ἀνακύπτειν οὐκ ἐᾷ, συνωθῶν κάτω εἰς τὸν πηλόν· τέλος δὲ ἤδη περιπλέξας αὐτῷ τὰ σκέλη κατὰ τὴν γαστέρα τὸν πῆχυν ὑποβαλὼν τῷ λαιμῷ ἄγχει ἄθλιον, ὁ δὲ παρακροτεῖ εἰς τὸν ὦμον, ἱκετεύων οἶμαι, ὡς μὴ τέλεον ἀποπνιγείη. καὶ οὐδὲ τοῦ ἐλαίου ἕνεκα φείδονται μὴ μολύνεσθαι, ἀλλ᾿ ἀφανίσαντες τὸ χρῖσμα καὶ τοῦ βορβόρου ἀναπλησθέντες ἐν ἱδρῶτι ἅμα πολλῷ Available in photographs: ΓΝ.


Anacharsis, or Athletics

Anacharsis, or Athletics


And why are your young men doing all this, Solon? Some of them, locked in each other’s arms, are tripping one another up, while others are choking and twisting each other and grovelling together in the mud, wallowing like swine. Yet, in the beginning, as soon as they had taken their clothes off, they put oil on themselves and took turns at rubbing each other down very peacefully—I saw it. Since then, I do not know what has got into them that they push one another about with lowered heads and butt their foreheads together like rams. And see there! That man picked the other one up by the legs and threw him to the ground, then fell down upon him and will not let him get up, shoving him all down into the mud; and now, after winding his legs about his middle and putting his forearm underneath his throat, he is choking the poor fellow, who is slapping him sidewise on the shoulder, by way of begging off, I take it, so that he may not be strangled completely.1 Even out of consideration for the oil, they do not avoid getting dirty; they rub off the ointment, plaster themselves with mud, mixed with streams of

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lucian-anacharsis_athletics.1925