flattering metaphors ...

Jan E.M. Houben j_e_m_houben at YAHOO.COM
Sat Dec 23 13:23:11 UTC 2006

The following request reached the Indology
Committee, I forward it to the list. 

*** *** *** *** ***

Dear Committee,

I am a Ph. D. candidate at Columbia University, 
Italian Department. I am 
writing a dissertation on Dante's Inferno and I 
would need the help of 
the scholars of your forum. As you know in 
Dante's Hell we find very 
explicit images and expressions. I would need to 
know if in Oriental 
languages (especially Sanskrit) you find any 
equivalent of the vulgar 
contumely addressed to flatters that we find in 
all Europena languages, 
which associate the act of flattering to 
excrements (brown noser, leche 
cul, lame culos, Arschkriecher etc.) After a long

search I found a carme 
from Catullus (98) which uses the expression 
"culos lingere" applied to 
a "verbosus"  man. This is a great piece of 
evidence that the expression 
existed in Latin in association to flattery and 
that it is indeed 
ancient. But I don't know if any similar 
expression exists in Greek, 
Sanskrit or Oriental languages. Sanskrit would be

of the highest 
importance for me. Do you happen to know about 
the existence of a such 
an expression? Any help would be most 
Thank you very much in advance.

Daniela Castelli

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