lesbiassparrow: (Sacred chickens)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
I am reading Quintilian's guide to raising the ideal orator and came across this gem (after he has been complaining about effeminate modern music and its indecent rhythms):

"Also no one should use the psaltry or the spadix [both types of harps or lyres], which decent virgins should even shrink from touching" (Institutes of Oratory 1.10.31)

KEEP YOUR VIRGINS FROM THE SPADIX, PARENTS! Sadly I do not have a picture of these instruments of wickedness, so that you can be on the lookout for them. But you can see from my icon that the sacred chickens DO NOT APPROVE OF THESE CORRUPT DEVICES.

Date: 2011-07-08 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
Heee! That's awesome. Humans and their new fangled toys. ;)

Date: 2011-07-09 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I wish I could find a picture of this dangerous instrument. I am totally fascinated by the idea that merely touching it brings disaster.

Date: 2011-07-09 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
It's got to be online somewhere!

Ironically enough, it appears to be the name of that oh so phallic flower....makes me wonder, which came first...heh.
Edited Date: 2011-07-09 12:34 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-12 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I looked! I thought it had to be some sort of phallic instrument too, but my Latin dictionary tells me that it was a stringed instrument. Of exceeding corruptness, according to Quintilian.

Date: 2011-07-12 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
Well, you know those stringed instruments. Always up to something or another.

Date: 2011-07-09 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nutmeg3.livejournal.com
I bet Dwight is not above using a spadix to seduce the girls. *g*

Date: 2011-07-09 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
He probably has a spadix and a double aulos for special occasions.
Edited Date: 2011-07-09 04:03 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-09 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wistfulmemory.livejournal.com
I love it when I see the sacred chickens icon. I know I'm about to read something amazing. I am sadden that you cannot find a picture of a spadix (what is this world coming to?!?!), but I'm loving the quote. Now I'm wondering what happens if a virgin does touch one. Does she magically turn into a defiled woman, or does something even worse happen? Curious minds want to know!

Date: 2011-07-10 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wistfulmemory.livejournal.com
And because I'm weird and had the sacred chickens lingers in the back of my mind, the first thing I noticed in this picture was the chicken...

http://hannibal-thecannibal.tumblr.com/post/7422363402

Date: 2011-07-12 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
THAT PICTURE IS A THING OF BEAUTY. BUT THAT CHICKEN WILL PROBABLY SMITE HIM IN SOME WAY. As it should be.

Date: 2011-07-12 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I suspect the spadix is only the first step to ruin. First you pick up the spadix and then before you know it, there's the double aulos and hanging out with gladiators and Greeks and see-through gowns and perfuming your feet.

Date: 2011-07-10 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Spadix: despoiler of maidens.

See, that sounds like a Prog Rock band from the 70's to me.

Date: 2011-07-12 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
The Spadix. The untold danger for Roman virgins. It probably also caused the fall of the Roman Empire as well.

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