Crambe repetita (1)
… ὁ δ’ ἐξολισθὼν ἱκέτευε τὴν κράμβην
τὴν ἑπτάφυλλον, ἣν θύεσκε Πανδώρηι
Ταργηλίοισιν ἔγκυθρον πρὸ φαρμακοῦ …
…once he’d slipped away, he implored the cabbage—seven-leaved!—which he always offered—potted!—to Pandora at the Thargelion for a pharmakos1 …
– Hipponax, fr. 104, ll. 47–9.
- I am not best pleased—with either Hipponax’s fragment or my Englishing thereof; mind you, I have nothing against beseeching (hiketeuein) a cabbage, but I would like a context (besides the Thargelion). I want to know what this character is slipping away (or down) from, and why the cabbage (or something else) is in a ceramic dish (or potted). Also, if it is the cabbage that’s in the dish, why on earth would one offer a potted cabbage to Pandora? I’d think she’d have her own problems, without having to worry about some silly cabbage; also, I don’t suppose it’s really a substitute: potted cabbage for scapegoat—it wouldn’t be very satisfying to beat it with fig branches, would it? ( Admittedly, the phrase could be temporal—i.e. before the scourging of the pharmakos, but the cabbage as replacement pharmakos seems more amusing.)