Looks Like the Very Real Apega of Nabis Is Coming Over – I Can't Wait To Give Her a Hug, As I Am Sure She Is Not Covered With Hidden Nails

Looks Like the Very Real Apega of Nabis Is Coming Over – I Can't Wait To Give Her a Hug, As I Am Sure She Is Not Covered With Hidden Nails
Unknown, Spartan Virtue

Beware of Greeks offering hugs:

"[Nabis, tyrant of Sparta] next had constructed a kind of machine, if machine it may be called, which was the figure of a woman, clothed in costly garments, and made to resemble with extraordinary fidelity the wife of Nabis.

I'm ready for my meeting with Nabis! Without looking too closely at her, it certainly seems as though he is accompanied by his wife today. I mean that she is clothed in costly garments, and resembles with extraordinary fidelity the wife of Nabis. So by the transitive property, this most likely is the wife of Nabis. How nice to see her here!

Whenever then he summoned one of the citizens with a view of getting some money from him, he used first to employ a number of arguments politely expressed, pointing out the danger in which the city stood from the threatening attitude of the Achaeans, and explaining what a number of mercenaries he had to support for their security, and the expenses which fell upon him for the maintenance of the national religion and the needs of the State. If the listeners gave in he was satisfied; but if they ever refused to comply with his demand, he would say, "Perhaps I cannot persuade you, but I think this lady Apéga will succeed in doing so." Apéga was the name of his wife. Immediately on his saying these words, the figure I have described was brought in.

Gosh, that's disappointing. I was really hoping that Nabis, tyrant of Sparta was going to hear us out and listen to our concerns about the rising cost of mercenaries. But Apéga is a reasonable woman, and may have her husband's ear. Perhaps she will hear us out where Nabis has not. Now, to rise from my seat – thusly – and offer her my hand to assist her in rising from hers, as is customary –

As soon as the man offered his hand to the supposed lady to raise her from her seat, the figure threw its arms round him and began drawing him by degrees towards its breasts.

Well this is a little untoward –! But perhaps a friendly business hug from Apéga, wife of Nabis, would not go amiss, to conclude our transaction and to signify goodwill.

Now its arms, hands, and breasts were full of iron spikes under its clothes.

Oh no! This is the one thing we didn't want to happen.

When the tyrant pressed his hands on the back of the figure, and then by means of the works dragged the man by degrees closer and closer to its breasts, he forced him under this torture to say anything. A good number of men who refused his demands he destroyed in this way."

I can't believe I fell for the old crushing-with-nails robot disguised as a friendly hug from Apéga of Nabis routine! This is worse than that time I agreed to go horseback riding with Phalaris, tyrant of Akragas in Sicily!

–Polybius, Histories, trans. Evelyn S. Schuckburgh