the lipiad

Chapter 1 - foreword

This text, written on a papyrus scroll dated to some time in the 5th century BC, was uncovered inside a clay amphora near the Kerameikos, once ancient Athens' premier cemetery. The only attributed authorship in it is to someone simply named 'Lipophilos,' or the Fat-lover. It tells a significantly altered version of the Aithiopis, a lost part of the Epic Cycle, where Amazonian queen Penthesilea is slain at the hands of Achilles.

The differences that this text has from all other retellings of the Epic Cycle are too many to list; from divine paternity to the origins of the Trojan War, so many details have been changed that it is impossible to tell whether any lines were preserved in their original form form the Aithiopis.

The translation of this text was heavily based off Richmond Lattimore's English translation of the Iliad. Numerous conventions established by the Lattimore translation have been carried over: namely, the names have been more directly transliterated (Achilleus instead of Achilles, Athene instead of Athena, and so on). Furthermore, numerous alternate names for the Greek-speaking peoples—Hellenes, Argives, and Achaeans—have been left as they were in the original text instead of replacing them with "Greek."

The frequent depictions of Greek women and their goddesses as overweight and flatulent may be a form of social commentary. The consensus is that it was written after the Persian Wars, with the upstart easterner Amazons as stand-ins for the Persians, who are eventually broken and submit to the Greeks. Competing theories suggest that it represents the decadence of Periclean Athens at the height of imperial power or the Spartan-imposed oligarchy following the Peloponnesian War; this would make it either a warning to move away from hedonism or a prayer that it collapses under its own weight, respectively. Other, more scatological or erotic interpretations, bear little historical weight and are frankly just surface-level readings of the text.

- Dr. J. T. Vendell
Chesterton College, Oxnard-under-Thyme, England
8 chapters, created 2 years , updated 1 year
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Bunni 2 years
I’m a huge fan of Classical history and really loved it. Great job!