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Headword: Dekateuein
Adler number: delta,181
Translated headword: to pay a tithe
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] to give a tenth.[1]
"As to these[2] the Greeks swore that, if they should conquer [the Persians], they would campaign [against the collaborators] and impose a tithe to the Pythian[3] on all."[4]
"When I was invited to the tenth-day ceremony of the child I drank in town."[5] For they used to celebrate the ceremony for the new-born and on that day they gave the children names. Euripides in Aigeus [writes]: "what mother on the tenth day after your birth named you?"[6] Aristotle says that on the seventh day [after birth] they give the names. He writes as follows: "most babies are ‘taken up’[7] on the seventh day, on which account they also give the names then."[8]
Greek Original:
Dekateuein: dekatên dounai. eph' hois hoi Hellênes ômosan, ei nikêseian, strateusein kai dekateusein hapantas tôi Puthiôi. es dekatên paidariou klêtheis hupepinon en astei. tên dekatên gar heistiôn epi tois tiktomenois, kai en autêi ta onomata etithento tois paisin. Euripidês Aigei: tis se mater en dekatai tokou ônomazen; ho de Aristotelês en tais z# phêsin epitithesthai ta onomata, graphôn houtôs: pleista de anaireitai pros tên z#, dio kai ta onomata tote tithentai.
[1] Despite this initial gloss (similarly in ps.-Zonaras), the verb dekateu/ein, as the entry goes on to show, properly means to impose a tithe (on someone else). See also delta 182 (and delta 186).
[2] The states that sided with the Persians against their fellow Greeks during the Persian invasion of 481-479 BCE.
[3] Delphian Apollo.
[4] A loose approximation of Diodorus Siculus 11.3.3.
[5] At this point the Suda switches from the verb to the ordinal adjective "tenth." The quotation is Aristophanes, Birds 494 (and refers to the naming ceremony of a baby ten days after birth; see alpha 1722 and generally OCD(4) p.995, under 'Names, personal, Greek'). This and all the subsequent quotations are taken from the scholia there. It would seem that the Suda ought to have a separate entry for deka/th.
[6] Euripides fr.5 Jouan and van Looy.
[7] That is, both literally picked up by the father and thereby symbolically acknowledged by him.
[8] Aristotle, History of Animals 7.12 (web address 1), adding "on the grounds that they are more confident in its survival then." Aristotle refers not to the tenth day naming ceremony but to a seventh day ceremony called the Amphidromia, the “Running-Around,” in which the father took up the child and ran around the hearth, thus acknowledging and accepting it. See alpha 1722; Flacelière (below); and OCD(above).
Euripides, Fragments, 1r partie, ed. & tr. François Jouan and Herman van Looy. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1998, vol. 7, pp. 9 and 10
Robert Flacelière, Daily Life in Greece in the Time of Pericles, tr. Peter Green. New York: Macmillan, 1965. (p. 79 and note p. 283)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: children; comedy; daily life; definition; food; historiography; history; religion; tragedy; women
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 22 December 2001@17:19:25.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 23 December 2001@05:26:58.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 16 November 2005@08:10:40.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 June 2012@06:02:36.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note, deleted a link) on 25 August 2013@17:44:13.
David Whitehead (updated some refs) on 3 August 2014@04:28:46.
David Whitehead on 8 October 2015@10:26:41.


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