By Dominic Montserrat
First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra resources for Changing Bodies, Changing Meanings: Studies on the Human Body in Antiquity
43 Roman pledges were taken with the right hand (Liv. 45 In Sophocles’ Ajax (1225) left-handedness (skaios) was used as a metaphor for an ill omen. According to Suetonius, Augustus, superstitious at the best of times, thought it a bad omen if his left and right shoes were placed in the wrong order (Aug. 92). 46 In opposition to the elevation of the body beautiful was a wide distaste for the ugly. In the Iliad, the combination of Thersites’ personality and physical appearance made him the least attractive Achaean at Troy.
53 Mascia-Lees and Sharpe 1992:1–9. 54 Hall 1989, passim. On archaic attitudes see Segal 1977. 55 duBois 1991; Jones 1987. 56 Temkinl971:4ff. 57 See also Aph. ii 45 and Lloyd 1979:16 ff. 58 Aër. 5. 28; Dean-Jones 1994:182. 35 PERFECT BODIES, IMPERFECT BODIES 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Pellegrin 1986:109; Dean-Jones 1994:197–9. 28f. Lloyd 1983:42. Bremmer 1983:303; Girard 1983:18–22. Soph. OT 269–271; Aesch. Eum. 937–87 and Supp. 625–709. 39–45. Bremmer 1983:300–3. Buxton 1980:22–37. On law and punishment in Greek penology, see Saunders 1991, Jones 1990:12.
Blinding too impinged on the historical context of disabling punishments. Herodotus’ fabled eighth-century BCE pharaoh, Pheros, was blinded because in an hubristic and insensate frenzy he threw a spear into the flooded Nile, the life force of Egypt. What is interesting in this anecdote is the secondary discourse of sexual fidelity serving as a cure for his blindness, and infidelity a further motive for punishment. Having remained blind for ten years, he consulted the oracle at Buto, which prophesied that his sight would be recovered when he washed his eyes with the urine of a woman who had 31 PERFECT BODIES, IMPERFECT BODIES remained faithful to her husband.