Jud 3:17 (LXX)

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Oct 11 09:58:46 EDT 2001

At 9:41 AM -0400 10/11/01, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>At 09:19 AM 10/11/01 -0400, Jim West wrote:
>>Thanks for your interesting note on "fatness".  I wonder if the notion of
>>"fat = beautiful" is found in other places in the LXX.  I suppose a search
>>of the Hebrew term "bari" and how the LXX deals with it would be
>>informative and I will do just that when I can.
>If you look at Hatch & Redpath, with the new reverse index,
>you'll find that a lot of times, esp. in Gen. 41., that
>BARIY) is translated with EKLEKTOS "choice" in reference
>to the seven choice/fat cows of the dream.
>>Still, the picture of
>>Eglon (who's name means little cow) which the author offers is anything
>>but flattering at every other point.  He is rather naive, dull witted, and
>>course.  So why is he portrayed suddenly as "beautiful"?
>A fat cow is a beautiful creature?

Well, since you raise the question, it seems worthwhile citing Vergil's
Georgics 3 on how to choose a cow for breeding:

 51	corpora praecipue matrum legat. optima torvae
 52	forma bovis cui turpe caput, cui plurima cervix,
 53	et crurum tenus a mento palearia pendent;
 54	tum longo nullus lateri modus: omnia magna,
 55	pes etiam, et camuris hirtae sub cornibus aures.
 56	nec mihi displiceat maculis insignis et albo,
 57	aut juga detrectans interdum=que aspera cornu
 58	et faciem tauro propior, quaeque ardua tota
 59	et gradiens ima verrit vestigia cauda.

not exactly "fat" but  (52) "ugly head," "lots and lots of neck," then (54)
"no end to the lengthy flank, all of her BIG! and (59) ... and as she
walks, she sweeps away her own footprints with the bottom of her tail."
Vergil gives a corresponding portrait of the sire for breeding horses; but
he's using cow and horse to embody the virtues of a  peasantry fit for only
real work and a nobility fit only for useless sport, and he appears to be
emphasizing what's "beautiful" in each TYPE of body.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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