Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Greek-urn-related activities

Lightly-grilled cilantro-sprinkled snakes were a popular snack in classic Greece. The painting on this Attic novelty teapot depicts one of the snake vendors who would amble up and down the aisles of the amphitheatre during performances of the latest Aristophanes farce, vending her wares. The brown snake is venomous and costs more. If you want mustard, that costs another two chalkoi.

Of course you could bring your own food to the theatre, but that was considered gauche, and in fact in his lost play The Hamsters Aristophanes portrays Cleon as the kind of low-bred buffoon who'd turn up halfway through the first act with a jar of salted pineapples.

There is reason to believe that the traditional air "Molly Malone" was originally about a beautiful snake vendor who plies her trade around the alleys of Athens until she dies of an unusual fungal disease. However, to fully explain how this ancient song was passed by oral tradition across Dark Ages Europe until it was adopted by the Irish would require singing various versions in the Rambling Syd Rumpo voice, which is even less desirable than the explaining voice.

8 comments:

mikey said...

Just in time, Dok.

'Cause I don't have a pot to tea in. Or a snake to snack on...

Another Kiwi said...

Do you get wafers with them?

ckc (not kc) said...

...what sound does a hamster chorus make?

ckc (not kc) said...

...oh, of course - I forgot

ckc (not kc) said...

...and not everyone likes cilantro

J— said...

Snakes? I thought they were bendy straws.

Substance McGravitas said...

Some clever vendor thought to add a bun and thus began Asp Burger syndrome.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

However, to fully explain how this ancient song was passed by oral tradition across Dark Ages Europe until it was adopted by the Irish would require singing various versions in the Rambling Syd Rumpo voice, which is even less desirable than the explaining voice.

The song was passed westward during the Neolithic by Spondylus traders, which would also explain why the song came to describe a molluscmongress.