Callias was the first to reveal a word through iambic lines, a rather vulgar word, but phrased in the following manner:
Dear ladies, I am pregnant, but for modesty's sake I will spell out the name of my child for you in letters. A great upright stroke, and from its middle stands a little slanting stroke on its side. Then a circle with two little feet.3
3 The letters described are psi and omega ("ō"), yielding pso, perhaps related to psoa (foul smell). The speaker is not pregnant, then, but suffering from gas.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Unruly Wind Within her Womb
Ian C. Storey, ed., Fragments of Old Comedy, Vol. I: Alcaeus to Diocles (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011), p. 173 (translating Athenaeus 454a, with translator's footnote):