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Obscene battle insults
#1
In Norse Sagas there are examples of ritual exchange of insults before a battle called flytings in which combatants make obscene comments about each other generally suggesting they were not men & liked to take the passive role in sex, etc.

I've come across numerous authors who suggest that a similar exchange of vulgarities occurred before Greek and Roman battles, either single combat or army to army, but despite intensive searching I've been completely unable to find any actual examples.

In part the problem is our Victorian antiquarians who intentionally mistranslated many obscene words, in part it's because modern authors who for example use the phrase "impregnate yourself on this" in place of the more obvious phrase.

Another possibility is that the Greek/Latin authors whilst referring to these insults - never document them.

Or maybe ... because I'm basing what to expect on the way modern soldiers speak, I'm expecting to find some pretty obscene insults ... and the reality is that Greeks and Romans soldiers were a very shy lot when it came to insults.

Whilst it would be interesting to see what was actually said, all I'm looking for is a Greek or Roman writer who unambiguously describes the nature of these pre-battle insults.

Any help gratefully received.
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#2
The best examples are probably the sexual taunts moulded into sling bullets (glandes) from the siege of Perusia in 41BC. We could perhaps assume that taunts like these would be exchanged verbally as well, if the two sides got within close enough range.


These are from Lucius Antonius and Fulvia's side:

Laxe / Octavi / sede - "Limp Octavian, sit on this!"

[S]alv[e] / Octavi / felas - "Greetings Octavian, you suck dick!"

Pet(o) / Octav[i]a(ni) / culu(m) - "I'm after Octavian's arse!"


And from Octavian's men:

L(uci) A(ntoni) calve / Fulvia / culum pan(dite) - "Bald Lucius Antonius and Fulvia, spread your arses!"

Peto / [l]andicam / Fulviae - "I'm after Fulvia's clit!"
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#3
(08-31-2017, 01:26 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: The best examples are probably the sexual taunts moulded into sling bullets (glandes) from the siege of Perusia in 41BC. We could perhaps assume that taunts like these would be exchanged verbally as well, if the two sides got within close enough range.


These are from Lucius Antonius and Fulvia's side:

Laxe / Octavi / sede - "Limp Octavian, sit on this!"

[S]alv[e] / Octavi / felas - "Greetings Octavian, you suck dick!"

Pet(o) / Octav[i]a(ni) / culu(m) - "I'm after Octavian's arse!"


And from Octavian's men:

L(uci) A(ntoni) calve / Fulvia / culum pan(dite) - "Bald Lucius Antonius and Fulvia, spread your arses!"

Peto / [l]andicam / Fulviae - "I'm after Fulvia's clit!"
[/i]

Thanks I knew I'd get some good leads.

However ... what I can't understand is why when we seem to have so many examples of obscenities and lewd Roman verse, that we appear to have no record of soldiers insulting each other. I mean ... if you're going to adorn your city with phalluses ... why were they so coy at recording the insults which must have been similarly graphic?
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