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Headword: Dekazesthai
Adler number: delta,174
Translated headword: to be bribed in tens
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] to take bribes.[1]
Also [sc. attested in the active voice] 'to bribe in tens' [deka/zein]: to corrupt with money or gifts.
Aelian [writes]: "he corrupted many of the nomads, having bribed them in tens into treachery".[2]
Also[3] [sc. attested is the participle] '[he] bribing in tens' [deka/zwn], clear in its meaning. This is how the term came about.[4] Lykos is a hero who has the shape of the beast [sc. of a wolf]. A stone monument to him stands near the jurycourts in Athens; at this [monument], bribers used to gather, forming themselves into groups of ten. This gave rise to the proverb: Lykos's Company of Ten. So from the Company of Ten came [the terms] bribing in tens and to be bribed in tens.
Greek Original:
Dekazesthai: dôrodokeisthai. kai Dekazein, diaphtheirein chrêmasin, ê dôrois. Ailianos: pollous diephtheire nomadôn dekasas eis prodosian. kai Dekazôn, to sêmainomenon dêlon. epoiêthê de to onoma enteuthen. Lukos men estin hêrôs morphên echôn tou thêriou. pros de tois en Athênais anestêlôtai dikastêriois: pros hon hoi dôrodokountes kata i# ginomenoi anestrephonto. entha kai hê paroimia: lukou dekas. ex oun tês dekados to dekazein kai dekazesthai.
[1] See already delta 173, and cf. in brief delta 187 epsilon 205.
[2] Aelian fr. 142 Domingo-Forasté (139 Hercher).
[3] The source now becomes Harpokration s.v., commenting on Isocrates 8.50 (web address 1).
[4] Harpokration ascribes this explanation to the learned hellenistic scholar Eratosthenes. (Harvey [76-118 at 88-89] briefly discusses it.) See also eta 271, lambda 820.
F.D. Harvey, "Dona ferentes: some aspects of bribery in Greek politics", in CRUX: studies presented to G.E.M. de Ste.Croix on his 75th birthday (Exeter 1985)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; architecture; art history; biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; geography; history; law; mythology; religion; rhetoric; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 18 October 2000@03:56:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 5 September 2002@13:20:54.
David Whitehead (added x-ref) on 13 May 2003@09:37:46.
William Hutton (modified translation, added link and keywords, cosmetics, set status) on 17 July 2003@04:26:33.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references) on 2 August 2005@21:21:28.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 July 2011@08:43:09.
Catharine Roth (updated reference, upgraded link) on 9 June 2013@01:46:15.
David Whitehead on 8 October 2015@08:31:06.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 24 June 2020@01:01:32.


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