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Headword: Dêmiourgoi
Adler number: delta,437
Translated headword: artisans, craftsmen, public workers
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the potters, the tool-makers. They also used to call demiourgoi those we today call bridesmaids, that is the woman standing by the bride. Hence there is [a play called] Demiourgos [attributed] to Menander.[1] In common parlance demiourgoi are those working on public projects, sometimes also the master-builders. Aristophanes in Peace [sc. illustrates this].[2] Also [sc. attested is the related adverb dhmiourgikw=s ["craftsmanly"], meaning builderly. For the builders [are] craftsmen.
[Note] that[3] the ancient craftsmen used to make the eyes [of their statues] closed, but Daedalus opened them, and separated the feet.[4] And Homer [writes]: "he knew how to build all intricate things [daidala] with his hands".[5]
Greek Original:
Dêmiourgoi: hoi kerameis, hoi skeuopoioi. dêmiourgous ekaloun kai tas nun legomenas huponumphidas, toutesti tên parestôsan têi numphêi gunaika. hothen esti kai Menandrôi Dêmiourgos. koinôs de elegen dêmiourgous tous ta dêmosia ergazomenous, pote de kai tous architektonas. Aristophanês en Eirênêi. kai dêmiourgikôs, anti tou, tektonikôs: dêmiourgoi gar hoi tektones. hoti hoi palaioi dêmiourgoi summemukotas tous ophthalmous epoioun, ho de Daidalos anepetasen autous kai tous podas diestêsen. kai Homêros phêsin: hos chersin êpistato daidala panta teuchein.
The first part of this entry comes from the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 650, where the headword occurs in the genitive plural.
[1] See Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 4.172C-D [4.72 Kaibel] (which may or may not exemplify the meaning given here); also 4.172A. For what little survives of this play see Kassel-Austin, PCG VI.2 pp. 98-101.
[2] Aristophanes, Peace 296-7 (where in fact te/ktones and dhmiourgoi/ are simply adjacent items in a paratactical list of those called on to rescue the goddess).
[3] For this material see already delta 110.
[4] This may refer to the idea, common in late antiquity, that Daedalus was the first sculptor to introduce the "walking pose' for the kouros statues; cf. OCD(4) s.v. Daedalus.
[5] Homer, Iliad 5.60-1 (on Phereklos).
OCD(4) 434
Keywords: art history; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; gender and sexuality; mythology; science and technology; trade and manufacture; women
Translated by: Carl Widstrand on 10 January 2000@17:57:03.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ (added keyword) on 23 June 2000@13:33:31.
David Whitehead (modified translation and notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 24 January 2001@06:55:55.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 26 June 2012@05:51:22.
David Whitehead (updated some refs) on 3 August 2014@04:44:27.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1) on 31 December 2014@03:30:19.
David Whitehead (expanded some refs) on 14 January 2015@10:41:26.
David Whitehead on 19 July 2016@03:01:12.


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