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ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 5:31 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Does anyone recognize this quote?
ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν
Where is it from?

Re: ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 7:53 pm
by Stephen Carlson
This page (in Spanish) claims with references that it's from Aesop: https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refrane ... 8386&Lng=3

Re: ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 6:51 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Probably adapted from The Farmer and the Viper, Perry 176.

http://mythfolklore.net/aesopica/chambry/82.htm

http://greekaesop.pbworks.com/w/page/15 ... syntipas25

Though I didn't see that exact wording.

Re: ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 7:20 am
by Jonathan Robie
I didn't see anything close enough in the Fable itself.

But it seems to have a moral similar to a Latin text:
Compare the Roman proverb, 'you're nurturing a snake in your bosom' (Petronius, Satyricon 77).
Could it have been back-translated from a proverb found in that text?

Re: ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν

Posted: April 27th, 2019, 5:47 am
by Robert Emil Berge
The notion of rearing a snake goes at least back to Aeschylus' Libation Bearers 523-539, which tells of Clytaemestra's nightmare where she gives birth to a snake, and when she feeds it, it draws blood from her breast.
Orestes
Did you learn what the dream was, so as to be able to tell it accurately?

Chorus
As she herself says, she imagined she gave birth to a snake—

Orestes
That vision is not likely to have come for nothing!

Chorus
– and nestled it in swaddling-clothes, like a baby.

Orestes
What food did it want, this deadly new-born creature?

Chorus
In her dream, she herself offered her breast to it.

Orestes
Then surely her teat was wounded by the loathsome beast?

Chorus
So that in her milk it drew off a clot of blood.

Orestes
And where does the story reach its end and culmination?

Re: ὄφιν ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τρέφειν

Posted: April 27th, 2019, 7:49 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 26th, 2019, 7:20 am
I didn't see anything close enough in the Fable itself.

But it seems to have a moral similar to a Latin text:
Compare the Roman proverb, 'you're nurturing a snake in your bosom' (Petronius, Satyricon 77).
Could it have been back-translated from a proverb found in that text?
I think that's possible. The Latin Tu viperam sub ala nutricas could certainly be so rendered. Cicero has this marvelous line:

etiamne in sinu atque in deliciis quidam optimi viri viperam illam venenatam ac pestiferam habere potuerunt? "Could the best men really have held that poisonous and destructive viper to their chests (in sinū = ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ) and among their pets?" (De. Har. Res. 50.20).

Now, I just wanted to show off some Latin. Theognis 601-2 (a reference I found by looking at the LSJ, as I found the Latin references in the L&S)

ἔρρε, θεοῖσίν τ᾽ ἐχθρὲ καὶ ἀνθρώποισιν ἄπιστε,
ψυχρὸν ὃν ἐν κόλπῳ ποικίλον εἶχον ὄφιν.

Go to hell, hateful to the gods and faithless to men,
Cold and fickle snake whom I held in my bosom.