Rough Trade

Archilochus and Anacreon

from a Cologne Papyrus (second century C. E.)

Gone's the bloom from your soft skin, your furrow's
withered too, the ... of foul old age is taking its toll,
                 ] and the sweet loveliness has bolted from your longed for face.
            ] for already many blasts of wintry winds
have assailed you, and many, many times ...

(rougher trade)

Now that Mother Nature's done her bit,
rewrapping you in sags and wrinkles,
sprinkling your pussy with salt and pepper,
your elective surgeries finish the job
with that blinkless freeze-dried face.

(roughest trade)

Once your looks were out-of-sight
but now they ought to be again.


quoted by Athenaeus (ca. 170 – 230 C. E.) , The Deipnosophists, 12. 533e

Once he stepped out wearing outlandish wasp-like headgear
with wooden dice in his ears and a flayed slice of oxhide hugging his ribs,
the filthy cover of a worthless old shield––Artemon the fraudster,
who conned a living off bread delivery boys and a stable of whores,
whose neck was often strapped to the whipping stock or to the wheel,
whose back was often lashed with a leather scourge
and his hair and beard pulled and plucked.
But now he rides in a chariot wearing gold earrings with accessories
and holds an ivory parasol just like a woman.

translated from the Ancient Greek by George Economou