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Headword: Pôs dokeis
Adler number: pi,2185
Translated headword: can you imagine
Vetting Status: high
This is said exclamatorily in Aristophanes, in Clouds: "and he used to make frogs - can you imagine? - out of pomegranate-rinds".[1] Also, "how shall I and this man here, who do not fly, consort with you who do? - Excellently. - But look here, at what is said in the fables of Aesop, about the vixen which once mixed so disastrously with an eagle. - Never fear: there is a little root which when eaten will give you both wings".[2]
Greek Original:
Pôs dokeis: thaumastikôs touto lelektai para Aristophanei en Nephelais: kak tôn sidiôn batrachous epoiei, pôs dokeis; kai, pôs egôge ch' houtosi xunesometh' humin petomenois ou petomenô; kalôs; hora nun, hôs en Aisôpou logois estin legomenon dê ti, tên alôpech' hôs phlaurôs ekoinônêsen aietôi pote. mêden phobêthêis: esti gar ti rhizion, ho diatragontes eston epterômenô.
[1] Aristophanes, Clouds 881 (web address 1), here with its scholiastic comment; cf. sigma 381.
[2] Aristophanes, Birds 649-655 (web address 2); cf. phi 520. For this story see Archilochus frs. 172-181 West, and generally Dunbar's note. The only apparent pertinence of this quotation to the current headword phrase (which, translated literally, means 'how do you think') is that both contain the word pw=s ('how'). In verse 655, the Suda misses the dual participle diatrago/nte and the future dual e)/sesqon.
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: botany; comedy; definition; poetry; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 25 October 2001@06:12:22.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links, set status) on 9 August 2004@01:17:55.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 9 August 2004@03:49:17.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 27 October 2011@07:29:28.
William Hutton (tweaked translation, augmented n. 2) on 30 May 2014@12:27:00.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 21 October 2021@01:29:52.


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