1.23

ἐπειδὰν δὲ γηράσῃ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, οὐκ ἀποθνῄσκει, ἀλλ᾽ ὥσπερ καπνὸς διαλυόμενος ἀὴρ γίνεται. τροφὴ δὲ πᾶσιν ἡ αὐτή· ἐπειδὰν γὰρ πῦρ ἀνακαύσωσιν, βατράχους ὀπτῶσιν ἐπὶ τῶν ἀνθράκων· πολλοὶ δὲ παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς εἰσιν ἐν τῷ ἀέρι πετόμενοι· ὀπτωμένων δὲ περικαθεσθέντες ὥσπερ δὴ περὶ τράπεζαν κάπτουσι τὸν ἀναθυμιώμενον καπνὸν καὶ εὐωχοῦνται. σίτῳ μὲν δὴ τρέφονται τοιούτῳ· ποτὸν δὲ αὐτοῖς ἐστιν ἀὴρ ἀποθλιβόμενος εἰς κύλικα καὶ ὑγρὸν ἀνιεὶς ὥσπερ δρόσον. οὐ μὴν ἀπουροῦσίν γε καὶ ἀφοδεύουσιν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲ τέτρηνται ᾗπερ ἡμεῖς, οὐδὲ τὴν συνουσίαν οἱ παῖδες ἐν ταῖς ἕδραις παρέχουσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ταῖς ἰγνύαις ὑπὲρ τὴν γαστροκνημίαν· ἐκεῖ γάρ εἰσι τετρημένοι.

      Καλὸς δὲ νομίζεται παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἤν πού τις φαλακρὸς καὶ ἄκομος ᾖ, τοὺς δὲ κομήτας καὶ μυσάττονται. ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν κομητῶν ἀστέρων τοὐναντίον τοὺς κομήτας καλοὺς νομίζουσιν· ἐπεδήμουν γάρ τινες, οἳ καὶ περὶ ἐκείνων διηγοῦντο. καὶ μὴν καὶ γένεια φύουσιν μικρὸν ὑπὲρ τὰ γόνατα. καὶ ὄνυχας ἐν τοῖς ποσὶν οὐκ ἔχουσιν, ἀλλὰ πάντες εἰσὶν μονοδάκτυλοι. ὑπὲρ δὲ τὰς πυγὰς ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν κράμβη ἐκπέφυκε μακρὰ ὥσπερ οὐρά, θάλλουσα ἐς ἀεὶ καὶ ὑπτίου ἀναπίπτοντος οὐ κατακλωμένη.

ἐπειδὰν γηράσῃ: "whenever a man grows old," (S. 2410 and 2399a).

ὁ ἄνθρωπος: the definite article is generic rather than particular, i.e. "a man" as a class, not "the man," (S. 1118 and 1122).

διαλυόμενος ἀὴρ γίνεται: "by dissolving (he) becomes air."

ἐπειδὰν γὰρ πῦρ ἀνακαύσωσιν: aor. subj. of ἀνακαίω, "for whenever they kindle a fire," (S. 2410 and 2399a).

εἰσιν πετόμενοι: "are flying," (S. 1857 and 1961).

ὀπτωμένων (sc. αὐτῶν): "while they are cooking," (S. 2058 and 2070; G. 589 and 590).

περικαθεσθέντες: aor. part. pass. of περικαθέζομαι, "sitting down around."

τὸν ἀναθυμιώμενον καπνόν: pres. part. acc. sg. of ἀναθυμιάω, "the rising smoke" (S. 2049).

ἀὴρ ἀποθλιβόμενος: "air which is squeezed" (S. 2050a).

ἀνιείς: pres. part. nom. sg. of ἀνίημι, modifying ἀήρ, "producing."

τέτρηνται: perf. 3 pl. pass. of τετραίνω, "they are perforated," (S. 1946).

ᾗπερ ἡμεῖς: "in the same way we are" (S. 2495; cf. S. 1501a and 338c).

ἐν ταῖς ἕδραις: "in their rears."

εἰσι τετρημένοι:  "they are perforated" (S. 1946). For the periphrastic perf., see S. 408 and G. 456d.

ἤν πού τις...ᾖ: "if anyone is..." (S. 2295).

ἐπὶ τῶν κομητῶν ἀστέρων: "on the long-haired stars," i.e., "comets." Note that κομήτης is here adjectival but appears as a substantive later in the same sentence and also in the previous sentence (S. 1021).

τοὐναντίον (= τὸ ἐναντίον): (adverbial) "conversely," "on the other hand."

ἐπεδήμουν γάρ τινες: impf. of ἐπιδημέω, "for some people were visiting."

διηγοῦντο: impf. of διηγέομαι, "(who) told me."

μικρόν: "a little bit" (S. 1608).

ὄνυχας...μονοδάκτυλοι: "toenails...hoofed." μονοδάκτυλος appears in Greek only here and in one passage in the works of the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus (second century and so contemporary with Lucian).

ὑπὲρ δὲ τὰς πυγάς: "over the buttocks."

ἐκπέφυκε: perf. 3 sg. of ἐκφύω, "has grown out."

ἐς ἀεί: "forever."

καὶ ὑπτίου ἀναπίπτοντος:  "even if one falls down on his back" (S. 2058 and 2070d; G. 589 and 590).

κατακλωμένη: pres. part. of κατακλάω, "breaking."

VERB LIST

γηράσκω: grow old, become old

καπνός, ὁ: smoke

διαλύω: disperse

ἀήρ, ἀέρος, ὁ: the air

ἀνακαίω: light up

βάτραχος, ὁ: a frog

ὀπτάω: roast, broil

ἄνθραξ, -ακος, ὁ: charcoal, coal

πέτομαι: fly

περικαθίστημι: sit down around

τράπεζα, -ης, ἡ: a table

κάπτω: gulp down

ἀναθυμιάω: rise

εὐωχέω: eat abundantly; mid-pass. feast, fare sumptuously

σίτος, ὁ: food

ποτόv, τό: drink, that which one drinks

ἀποθλίβω: press, squeeze out

κύλιξ, -ικος, ἡ: a drinking cup

ὑγρόν, τό: moisture, liquid

ἀνίημι: send forth, yield

δρόσος, ἡ: dew

ἀπουρέω: pass urine

ἀφοδεύω: defecate

τετραίνω: perforate

συνουσία, ἡ: intercourse

ἕδρα, ἡ: the rear, bottom

ἰγνύα, ἡ: the back of the knee

γαστροκνημίη, ἡ: calf 

φαλακρός, -ά, -όν: bald

ἄκομος, -ον: hairless

μυσάττομαι: feel disgust at

ἀστήρ, -έρος, ὁ: a star

ἐναντίος, -α, -ον: opposite, facing

κομήτης, -ου, ὁ: long-haired (man) (used as adj. or noun)

ἐπιδημέω: travel, come to stay in a place, visit

γένειον, τό: a chin, beard

γόνυ, γόνατος, τό: the knee

ὄνυξ, -υχος, ὁ: a nail, claw

μονοδάκτυλος, -ον: one-toed

πυγή, ἡ: the rump, buttocks

κράμβη, ἡ: cabbage

ἐκφύω: generate; (intrans. in perf.) grow, take rise

οὐρά, ἡ: tail (of a lion, dog, etc.)

θάλλω: grow, sprout

ὕπτιος, -α, -ον: backward

ἀναπίπτω: fall back

κατακλάω: break, snap off

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Suggested Citation

Eric Casey, Stephen Nimis, and Evan Hayes, Lucian: True History, Book 1. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-05-4. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/lucian-true/book-1/1-23