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Headword: Atrakton
Adler number: alpha,4378
Translated headword: arrow; spindle
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a missile [expressed] metaphorically
Sophocles [writes]: "in addition to these things, whatever my string-sped arrow might hit, unfortunate wretch that I am, I would crawl to it myself, dragging my foot."[1]
And Procopius [writes]: "when one of those defending themselves in the battlements sent forth a well-aimed arrow, he was hurt and killed."[2]
And Menander [writes]: "he shot at the barbarian and then stretched out the wing [sc. of the battle line] and sent a well-aimed arrow at Koch."[3]
And in the Epigrams: "he sends forth burning arrow upon burning arrow."[4]
An atraktos ["spindle"] [is] also the instrument of women.
"The spindle, the whirling servant of the spidery thread, not without its long distaff."[5]
And elsewhere: "and the finger-worn spindle, skimming over the spinning thread."[6]
And elsewhere: "and the staggering whistling spindle, agile spinner of the pliant thread."[7]
Greek Original:
Atrakton: belos metaphorikôs. Sophoklês: pros de toutois, ho moi baloi neurospadês atraktos, autos an talas eiluomên dustênos exelkôn poda. kai Prokopios: tinos tôn en tais epalxesin amunomenôn eustochôtata aphientos ton atrakton anêirêtai blabeis. kai Menandros: ho de epetoxazeto kata tou barbarou, kai mala eustochôtata to keras ekteinas aphiêsi ton atrakton kata tou Kôch. kai en Epigrammasi: thermon d' epi thermôi iallei atrakton. Atraktos kai to gunaikeion ergaleion. arachnaioio mitou poludinea latrin atrakton, dolichas ouk ater alakatas. kai authis: kai daktulotripton atrakton, spondulodinêtôi nêmati nêchomenon. kai authis: ton te karêbareonta, poluroibêton atrakton, klôstêra streptas eudromon harpedonas.
[1] Sophocles, Philoctetes 289-291 (web address 1 below); cf. nu 271.
[2] Adler queried the attribution of this quotation to Procopius, and it is in fact unidentifiable.
[3] Menander Protector fr. 31.1 Blockley; cf. kappa 2311.
[4] Greek Anthology 5.188.3-4 (Leonidas of Tarentum), on the assaults of love; cf. Gow and Page (Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, 136) and (Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, 389-390).
[5] Greek Anthology 6.39.3-4 (Archias), three sisters dedicate spinning and weaving instruments to Athena, already in part at alpha 3749 and again at mu 1135; cf. Gow and Page (Garland of Philip, vol. I, 404-405); (Garland of Philip, vol. II, 437); and further excerpts from this epigram at mu 473, pi 2005, tau 38, and chi 208.
[6] Greek Anthology 6.247.3-4 (Philip), the weaver Aesione dedicates implements of her craft to Athena; cf. Gow and Page (Garland of Philip, vol. I, 312-313); (Garland of Philip, vol. II, 345); and further extracts from the same epigram at kappa 2515, lambda 371, omicron 587, and tau 39. An excerpt from another epigram (6.160) with the same theme follows.
[7] Greek Anthology 6.160.3-4 (Antipater of Sidon), another dedication of spinning and weaving instruments to Athena; cf. Gow and Page (Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, 12) and (Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, 36-37). Gow and Page find neither this epigram nor the previous one (6.247) to be compellingly genuine dedications (Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, 36).
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, (Cambridge, 1965)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, (Cambridge, 1965)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams, vol. I, (Cambridge, 1968)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams, vol. II, (Cambridge, 1968)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; daily life; definition; historiography; imagery; military affairs; poetry; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture; tragedy; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 28 March 2002@14:47:28.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 11 April 2002@11:57:20.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 October 2005@05:58:38.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 9 February 2011@10:13:48.
David Whitehead (updated a reference) on 3 January 2012@05:02:54.
David Whitehead on 29 April 2012@04:38:57.
David Whitehead on 10 September 2015@07:42:57.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes) on 18 January 2020@23:29:15.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.6 and n.7, added bibliography, added cross-references, added keywords) on 23 October 2020@01:48:51.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.4, rearranged bibliography) on 24 October 2020@23:33:38.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.5, added cross-references) on 26 October 2020@14:05:06.
Ronald Allen (typo n.6) on 5 January 2023@13:09:36.


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