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Headword: *eu)ru/batos
Adler number: epsilon,3718
Translated headword: Eurybatos, Eurybatus
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a scoundrel. [This application of the name comes] from the man sent by Croesus for negotiations with money, as Ephoros says, who then changed sides and joined Cyrus. This man was an Ephesian.[1] But some say he was one of the two Kerkopes. Diotimos in The Labors of Herakles [writes]: "Kerkopes stalking the crossroads ravaged much of the Boiotians' property. They were Oichalians by birth, Olos and Eurybatos, two hard-hearted men."[2] Nicander [writes]: "Aiginean Eurybatos the complete scoundrel."[3] Aristotle mentions him in Book 1 of On Justice.[4] And Douris, in Book 4 of The History of Agathokles, [says the name comes] from the companion of Odysseus.[5] Also Aristophanes in Daidalos, portraying Zeus changing himself into several things, including a rich man and a ne'er-do-well, [writes]: "if in fact any of you has seen Eurybatos Zeus."[6] "It is said that Eurybatos was a thief, imprisoned and put under guard. When his guards got drunk and untied him, they urged him to demonstrate how to clamber up on top of buildings. At first he refused, but they kept asking, though he was not willing, and when at last they persuaded him he put on sponges and spikes and ran up onto the walls. As they were looking up and admiring his skill, he took hold of the roofing material and threw it back, before they could come around to encircle him, and jumped down through the roof."[7]
Greek Original:
*eu)ru/batos: ponhro/s. a)po\ tou= pemfqe/ntos u(po\ *kroi/sou e)pi\ cenologi/an meta\ xrhma/twn, w(/s fhsin *)/eforos, ei)=ta metaballome/nou pro\s *ku=ron. h)=n de\ ou(=tos *)efe/sios. oi( de\ to\n *ke/rkwpa to\n e(/teron. *dio/timos *(hrakle/ous a)/qlois: *ke/rkwpe/s toi polla\ kata\ trio/dous pate/ontes *boiwtw=n si/nonto. ge/nos d' e)/san *oi)xalh=es, *)=wlo/s t' *eu)ru/bato/s te, du/w barudai/mones a)/ndres. *ni/kandros: *ai)gi/neon *eu)ru/baton panourgo/taton: ou(= mnhmoneu/ei *)aristote/lhs e)n a# peri\ dikaiosu/nhs. *dou=ris de\ e)n d# tw=n peri\ *)agaqokle/a, a)po\ tou= *)odusse/ws e(tai/rou. kai\ *)aristofa/nhs *daida/lw|, u(poqe/menos to\n *di/a ei)s polla\ e(auto\n metaba/llonta kai\ ploutou=nta kai\ panourgou=nta: ei) dh/ tis u(mw=n ei)=den *eu)ru/baton *di/a. le/getai to\n *eu)ru/baton kle/pthn o)/nta, ei)rxqe/nta kai\ parafulatto/menon, e)peidh\ sumpi/nontes e)/lusan au)to\n oi( fula/ssontes, e)ke/leusan e)pidei/casqai th\n e)pi\ tou\s oi)/kous a)narri/xhsin, to\ me\n prw=ton diwqei=sqai: deome/nwn de\ w(s ou) boulo/menon, e)pei\ mo/lis a)ne/peisan, periqe/menos tou\s spo/ggous kai\ ta\s e)gkentri/das, a)nadramei=n ei)s tou\s toi/xous. a)nable/pontes de\ e)kei=noi kai\ qauma/zontes ta\s te/xnas, labei=n au)to\n to\n o)/rofon kai\ u(perba/llonta, pri\n e)kei=noi ku/klw| perie/lqwsi, dia\ tou= te/gous kataphdh=sai.
cf. Pausanias the Atticist epsilon83; Lexica Segueriana 257.13; Hesychius epsilon7129; Harpokration s.v. *eu)ru/baton. "Eurybatos" was a popular by-word for "scoundrel" since at least the time of Demosthenes (On the Crown 18.24: web address 1) and Aeschines (Against Ctesiphon 3.137: web address 2). See also epsilon 3715, epsilon 3716, epsilon 3717, phi 770.
[1] Ephorus FGrH 70 F58c; cf. Diodorus Siculus 9.32.1 (web address 3; = Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Excerpta de virtutibus 2.220); Harpokration s.v. *eu)ru/baton; Lexica Segueriana 188.10.
[2] Diotimus was a Hellenistic poet and author of several epigrams in the Greek Anthology. This is apparently the only surviving fragment of a epic in hexameters by him (fr. 2 Kinkel, 394 Lloyd-Jones/Parsons).
[3] Nicander fr. 112 Gow-Scholfield The epithet *ai)gi/neon (translated here as "Aiginian") is unattested elsewhere and of uncertain meaning. Perhaps = 'Aiginetan', from Aigina [Myth, Place] (see Suetonius On Blasphemies 4 on the Kerkopes as founders of islands). Gow and Scholfield obelize the term as corrupt.
[4] Aristotle, On Justice fr. 84 (see note 7 below).
[5] Douris FGrH 76 F20. For the companion in question, who is named 'Eurybates' (*eu)ruba/ths) in mss of Homer, see Homer, Odyssey 19.247 (web address 4). See also epsilon 3716.
[6] Aristophanes fr. 184 Kock, now 198 K.-A.
[7] Suetonius, On Blasphemies 4, and Gregory of Corinth (Walz Rhetorici Graeci 7.1277) ascribe this anecdote to Aristotle (see note 4). For an alternative version, in which Eurybatos shows his guards how to dig through a wall with his bronze hand, see Lexicon Patmense s.v. eu)ruba/tou pra=gma (on Demosthenes 18.24, cited above).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4
Keywords: architecture; biography; comedy; daily life; definition; economics; epic; ethics; geography; historiography; history; imagery; law; meter and music; mythology; philosophy; poetry; politics; proverbs; religion; rhetoric; science and technology; stagecraft
Translated by: William Hutton on 11 February 2008@00:52:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaked n.5; cosmetics) on 11 February 2008@03:34:30.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 14 November 2012@08:11:08.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 22 December 2014@06:49:34.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 20 March 2015@23:29:37.
Catharine Roth (Greek typo) on 27 February 2018@19:17:30.


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