Friday, 17 April 2015

A leontonym

Cassius Dio, 78[79].7.2-3
καὶ οἱ μάντεις εἶπον αὐτῷ τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην φυλάσσεσθαι, τούτῳ τῷ ῥήματι ἄντικρυς χρησάμενοι, ὅτι αἱ τοῦ ἥπατος τοῦ ἱερείου πύλαι κέκλεινται. ἀφ’ οὗ δὴ καὶ διὰ θύρας τινὸς ἐξῆλθε, μηδὲν μηδὲ τοῦ λέοντος, ὃν καὶ Ἀκινάκην ὠνόμαζε καὶ ὁμοτράπεζον ὁμόκλινόν τε ἐποιεῖτο, φροντίσας, ὅτι καὶ ἐκράτησεν αὐτὸν ἐξιόντα καὶ τὴν ἐσθῆτα αὐτοῦ προσκατέρρηξεν· ἔτρεφε μὲν γὰρ καὶ ἄλλους λέοντας πολλούς, καὶ ἀεί τινας περὶ αὑτὸν εἶχεν, ἐκεῖνον δὲ καὶ δημοσίᾳ πολλάκις κατεφίλει.
"The soothsayers warned him [=Antoninus] to beware of that day, bluntly telling him in so many words that the gates of the victim's liver were shut. After this he went out through a certain door, paying no heed to the fact that the lion which he was wont to call "Rapier" and had for a table-companion and bedfellow seized him as he went out and even tore his clothing. For he used to keep many lions and always had some of them around him, but this one he would often caress even in public." 

With thanks to: Kitchell, Kenneth F., Jr., Animals in the ancient world from A to Z. London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 132-4, at 134.

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