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Headword: Eidôlon
Adler number: epsiloniota,45
Translated headword: likeness, image, phantom
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a shadowy image; or an appearance of a body, a certain cloudy shadow. As Bacchylides [writes]: "dark-dyed likeness of an Ithacan man."[1] Also the Poet [writes] about Antikleia: "three times like a shadow [she escaped] from my hands."[2] "But he [was] the true substance. So it is necessary to observe how they furnish appearances of bodies to those seeing them, but indeed not true substance."[3]
"The Pythia ordered [them] to hang raised in the air a certain image shaped into the appearance of a woman: and the city was strengthened."[4] And elsewhere: "then these were images of what the unfortunate corpse of that man was about to endure not much later."[5]
And the Scripture says: "you shall not make idols for yourselves nor any image," as there is a difference between an idol and an image. For while idols are the representations of things that do not exist, like the Tritons and Sphynxes and Centaurs; images are the likenesses of things that exist, as of beasts and human beings. Bowing down also is different from worship. For while one may bow down because of fear, true worship in accordance with the soul [does not happen because of fear]. Each of the two is both profane and hated by God.[6]
Sophocles [writes]: "for I see that we are nothing else than phantoms." Meaning representations more unreal than non-existent things.[7]
And Damascius says: "whenever we set up and engrave some kind of idols, [they are] a shadow of dreams in Pindar's phrase.[8]
"And [the] sons of Ephraim happened to be worshippers of idols."[9]
Greek Original:
Eidôlon: skiôdes homoiôma: ê phantasia sômatos, skia tis aeroeidês. hôs kai Bakchulidês: melambaphes eidôlon andros Ithakêsiou. kai ho Poiêtês epi tês Antikleias: tris de moi ek cheirôn skiêi eikelon. autos de hê hupostasis hê alêthês. dei oun noein, hôs phantasias sômatôn parechousi tois horôsin, ou mên kai hupostasin alêthê. keleuei hê Puthia eidôlon ti peplasmenon eis opsin gunaikos meteôron exartan: kai anerrôsthê hê polis. kai authis: ên de ara eidôla tauta hônper ou meta makron emelle peisesthai ho dustuchês nekros ekeinou. anti tou homoiômata. kai hê Graphê legei, ou poiêseis seautôi eidôlon, oude pan homoiôma, hôs diaphoras ousês metaxu eidôlou kai homoiômatos. eidôla men gar ta tôn ouch huphestôtôn mimêmata, hoion Tritônes kai Sphinges kai Kentauroi: homoiômata de ta tôn huphestôtôn eikasmata, hoion thêriôn ê anthrôpôn. diapherei de proskunêsai tou latreusai: sumbainei men gar dia phobon proskunêsai, ou mên de latreusai kata psuchên. hekateron de asebes kai theostuges. Sophoklês: horô gar hêmas ouden ontas allo plên eidôla. anti tou apeikasmata anuparktôn anuparktotera. kai Damaskios phêsin: hotan anti pragmatôn gegenêmenôn eidôla atta anagraphômetha, skian oneiratôn kata Pindaron. kai tou Ephraim huioi eidôlôn therapeutai etunchanon ontes.
For this and epsiloniota 46 cf. the scholia to Homer, Iliad 5.449, where the headword occurs.
The first paragraph of the entry is also in Photius and other lexica.
[1] Bacchylides fr.6 Snell-Maehler (29 Blass).
[2] Homer, Odyssey 11.207.
[3] Quotation unidentifiable.
[4] Aelian fr. 91 Domingo-Forasté (88 Hercher).
[5] Aelian fr. 88b Domingo-Forasté (85 Hercher).
[6] George the Monk, Chronicon 65.11-66.7, commenting on Exodus 20.4-5 LXX.
[7] Sophocles, Ajax 125-6, with scholion; again, with more, under epsiloniota 46.
[8] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 55 Zintzen (242 Asmus), citing Pindar, Pythian 8.95; cf. sigma 599.
[9] Quotation unidentifiable. For Ephraim see epsilon 3965.
Keywords: art history; biography; Christianity; definition; dreams; epic; ethics; historiography; mythology; philosophy; poetry; religion; tragedy; women
Translated by: Bobbiejo Winfrey on 22 May 2003@17:44:34.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, modified translation, added notes) on 23 May 2003@01:13:47.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 23 May 2003@03:34:40.
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 23 May 2003@10:22:27.
Catharine Roth (augmented note) on 24 May 2003@15:35:07.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:40:41.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 21 March 2011@04:22:27.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 23 November 2012@04:08:41.
Catharine Roth (tweaks, updated references) on 25 November 2012@00:35:02.
David Whitehead on 21 April 2016@10:01:31.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 1 April 2018@00:27:35.


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