Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Of Hernias and Wine-Jugs: Catalepton 12

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Mnemosyne

Readings of Catalepton 12 have typically focussed on two details: the assertion that Noctuinus, in marrying one daughter of Atilius, is getting the other as well (6-8), and that, in wedding Atilia, Noctuinus is 'wedding an hirnea'. Virtually all interpreters take hirnea in a transferred sense, referring either to an 'hernia', supposedly used by a visual analogy for the bride-to-be's pregnancy (whence the detail of the 'second daughter') or, more usually, to hirnea in the sense of 'wine-jug': this is then explained, as before, as a metaphor for the bride's pregnancy, or, in the most widely adopted view, as referring to Atilius' habitual insobriety, which is like a second daughter to him, and which Atilius is taking on by marrying Atilia. Following up some brief remarks of Bücheler, it is argued here that Catalepton 12 only makes sense in terms of content, literary background, and ancient medical opinion, if hirnea (a widely attested alternative spelling of hernia) is understood to refer literally to an hernia or rupture, which Atilius will suffer by having to meet the sexual demands of both daughters of Atilius.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia;, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Mnemosyne — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation