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Antony and Cleopatra goes fishing. From Plutarch's Life of Antony.
2016-03-17 07:17:51 GMT
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"He was fishing once, and had bad luck, and was vexed at it because Cleopatra was there to see. He therefore ordered his fishermen to dive down and secretly fasten to his hook some fish that had been previously caught, and pulled up two or three of them. But the Egyptian saw through the trick, and pretending to admire her lover’s skill, told her friends about it, and invited them to be spectators of it the following day. So great numbers of them got into the fishing boats, and when Antony had let down his line, she ordered one of her own attendants to get the start of him by swimming onto his hook and fastening on it a salted Pontic herring. Antony thought he had caught something, and pulled it up, whereupon there was great laughter, as was natural, and Cleopatra said: “Imperator, hand over thy fishing-rod to the fishermen of Pharos and Canopus; thy sport is the hunting of cities, realms, and continents.”"
Plutarch's description of Cleopatra from the same Life: "For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased, so that in her interviews with Barbarians she very seldom had need of an interpreter, but made her replies to most of them herself and unassisted, whether they were Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes or Parthians. Nay, it is said that she knew the speech of many other peoples also, although the kings of Egypt before her had not even made an effort to learn the native language, and some actually gave up their Macedonian dialect."
Learned two things today. I learned about Cleopatra's language skills. Wow. Also, apparently in this case it's not Troglodyte, with an "L", but Trogodyte. See the comments at languagehat
(Then four tabs later I realized I was falling down the research hole instead of doing morning things, so I stopped while I could.)
I'm glad you looked up the Troglodyte bit, because that seemed odd to me.
: Thank you. That does appear a likely explanation, but if something is written erroneously by enough people, whether for pop-etymological or other reasons, it becomes right. Soooo maybe Plutarch gets a break? :)
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