Pherecrates fr. 60: Spiny fish-heads, but no scraps

Classical Quarterly 64 (1):402-403 (2014)
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Abstract

The scholia to Wasps gloss τραχήλια variously as τὰ ἄκρα καὶ τὰ εὐτελῆ κρέα , τὰ ἀποβαλλόμενα τῶν ὄψων , ὀστράκιόν τι βραχὺ τελέως , and εὐτελὲς προσόψημα ἐν λοπαδίσκοις σκευαζόμενον . These might all be guesses, but the absence of the definite article in the original text shows that Bdelycleon's reference is to something more generic than ‘the backbones’ in the next verse. The ancient commentators were thus probably right not to interpret the word ‘bits of neck’, vel sim., as if this were a diminutive of τράχηλος . Instead, these must be ‘tail-ends’ of food, scraps and leftovers of a sort that might be fed to a dog; compare Hippocrates, Epidemiae 7.62 , where βόεια τραχήλια are mentioned along with ham as part of the diet of a man recovering from illness

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