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Headword: Kekrops
Adler number: kappa,1272
Translated headword: Kekrops, Cecrops
Vetting Status: high
An Egyptian by race who founded Athens; whence also [the term] Kekropids [for Athenians].[1] Some say he had a double form: the upper [part] of a man, and the lower [part] of a woman, though some [say] of a beast. Others [say] that he invented laws for mankind and led them out of savagery into tameness. Others [say] that when he happened upon the men [of Athens] copulating with the women, and as a result he did not know which father had which child and which child had which father, he laid down laws so that they would have sex with the women in an understandable fashion and be content with one [woman], and because he discovered, in a manner of speaking, the two natures, that of the father and that of the mother, he was appropriately called "double-natured".[2]
And in the Epigrams: "Kekropian star of the tragic muse."[3]
Greek Original:
Kekrops, Aiguptios ôn to genos ôikêse tas Athênas: hothen kai Kekropidai. tines de phasi touton kai diphuê gegenêsthai, ta men anô andros, ta de katô gunaikos: hoi de thêriou. heteroi de, hoti nomous exeure tois anthrôpois kai apo agriotêtos eis hêmerotêta êgagen. alloi de, hoti tôn andrôn hôs etuche misgomenôn tais gunaixi, kai ek toutou mê ginôskomenou ê tou paidos para tou patros, ê tou patros para tou paidos, autos nomous themenos, hôste phanerôs sunginesthai autais kai miai stoichein, kai schedon heurôn tas duo phuseis, tou te patros kai tês mêtros, eikotôs diphuês eklêthê. kai en Epigrammasi: ton tragikês mousês astera Kekropion.
[1] See already kappa 1271, and for Kekrops cf. kappa 1269 and kappa 1270. Images at web addresses 1 and 2.
[2] Material from the scholia to Aristophanes, Wealth 773, where the phrase "land of Kekrops" occurs.
[3] Greek Anthology 7.21.2 (Simias of Thebes): referring to Sophocles. On this epigram, an epitaph for Sophocles, see Gow and Page (vol. I, 178); (vol. II, 513-514); and further extracts at alpha 4677, beta 327, and theta 556. On the ascription of the epigram, see theta 556 note.
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)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: aetiology; biography; children; comedy; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; history; imagery; law; mythology; poetry; tragedy; women; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 1 December 2000@18:28:02.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Changed word type, cosmetics, modified translation, added keyword, set status) on 2 December 2000@08:51:14.
David Whitehead (added notes and keyword; cosmetics) on 29 August 2001@04:39:53.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 14 February 2013@10:29:23.
Catharine Roth (imported links from delta 1492, cosmetics) on 14 August 2013@00:58:18.
Catharine Roth (expanded note 3) on 26 July 2019@00:29:30.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.3, added bibliography, added cross-references) on 19 April 2022@14:37:51.


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