Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Potter's Loud Lament

From Homer's Epigram's fragment 14: "Potters, if you give me a reward, I will sing for you. Come, then, Athena [goddess of pottery], with hand upraised over the kiln. Let the pots and all the dishes turn out well and be well fired: let them fetch good prices and be sold in plenty in the market. Grant that the potters may get great gain and grant me so to sing to them. But if you turn shameless and make false promises, then I call together the destroyers of kilns, Suntribos (Shatter) and Smaragon (Smash) and Asbetos (Charr) and Sabaktes (Crash) and Omodamos (Crudebake) who can work this craft much mischief. Come all of you and sack the kiln-yard and the buildings: let the whole kiln be shaken up to the potter's loud lament. As a horse's jaw grinds, so let the kiln grind to powder all the pots inside."

You thought it was a joke, about the kiln gods! Not only did the Greeks acknowledge Athena as the Goddess of Craft, there were five, count 'em, FIVE demons who existed solely to torment potters: Suntribos (the Shatterer), Smaragos (the Smasher), Asbetos (Charrer), Sabaktes (Destroyer) and Omodamos (Crudebake). These are the Daimones Keramikoi: fear them.

Geez Louise! No wonder it's such an uphill struggle.
Post a Comment
Related Posts with Thumbnails