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Headword: Ἀβέλτερος
Adler number: alpha,32
Translated headword: thoughtless
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] mindless, stupid. For the intelligent man [is] βέλτερος ["thoughtful, superior"].[1]
"No, by Zeus, not the greedy and thoughtless fellow, but the mindless and conceitedly slow-witted."[2] Menander in Perinthia [writes]: "any servant who takes an idle and easy master and deceives him does not know what a great accomplishment it is to make a greater fool of one who is already thoughtless".[3] They also call ἀβελτηρία ["thoughtlessness"] an ἀβελτήριον ["thoughtless thing"]. Anaxandrides in Helen[4] [writes]: "[A:] an anchor, a little boat, - call it what vessel you want. [B:] O Heracles of the sacred precinct of thoughtlessness. [A:] But one could not estimate its size."
Also [sc. attested is] ἀβελτηρία , [meaning] stupidity.
Or mindlessness.
Menander [writes]: "their mind drove them to such thoughtlessness that they prayed for victory over each other rather than over the enemy."[5]
Greek Original:
Ἀβέλτερος: ἀνόητος, ἀσύνετος. βέλτερος γὰρ ὁ φρόνιμος. οὐ μὰ Δί' οὐχ ὁ πλεονέκτης καὶ ἀγνώμων, ἀλλ' ὁ ἀνόητος καὶ εὐήθης μετὰ χαυνότητος. Μένανδρος Περινθίᾳ: ὅστις παραλαβὼν δεσπότην ἀπράγμονα καὶ κοῦφον ἐξαπατᾷ θεράπων, οὐκ οἶδ' ὅ τι οὗτος μεγαλεῖόν ἐστι διαπεπραγμένος, ἐπαβελτερώσας τόν ποτε ἀβέλτερον. λέγουσι δὲ καὶ ἀβελτήριον τὴν ἀβελτηρίαν. Ἀλεξανδρίδης Ἑλένῃ: ἄγκυρα, λέμβος, σκεῦος ὅ τι βούλει λέγε. ὦ Ἡράκλεις ἀβελτηρίου τεμενικοῦ. ἀλλ' οὐδ' ἂν εἰπεῖν τὸ μέγεθος δύναιτό τις. καὶ Ἀβελτηρία, ἡ ἀφροσύνη. ἢ ἀνοησία. Μένανδρος: εἰς τοῦτο δὲ ἀβελτηρίας ἤλασεν αὐτοῖς ὁ νοῦς, ὥστε θάτερον μέρος τὴν κατὰ θατέρου μᾶλλον ἢ τὴν κατὰ τῶν πολεμίων εὔχεσθαι νίκην.
On this headword, a comic formation literally meaning non-superior, see generally LSJ s.v. (web address 1 below); and cf. alpha 31, alpha 33.
[1] These glosses are paralleled in a variety of other lexica (and in the scholia to Aristophanes, Clouds 1201 and Ecclesiazusae 768).
[2] Quotation (an illustration of the first of the glossing words, not the headword) unidentifiable; also in Photius and Aelius Dionysius.
[3] Menander fr. 393 Kock.
[4] Anaxandrides [see generally alpha 1982] fr. 12 Kock (and K.-A.). But note that Adler prints the manuscript reading "Alexandrides", on the strength of the (apparent) mention of such a playwright in alpha 3824. On the emendation to Anaxandrides, see Toup vol. 1 p. 9; Adler attributes the emendation to 'Iunius' (probably Adriaan de Jonghe, 1511-1575, author of a Greek/Latin Lexicon).
[5] Not M. the comic poet, quoted above, but the C6 CE historian Menander Protector [mu 591]: his fr. 28 Blockley.
Toup, Jonathan, and Richard Porson. Emendationes in Suidam Et Hesychium, Et Alios Lexicographos Graecos. Oxford 1790
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; historiography; history; military affairs; religion
Translated by: Anne Mahoney on 25 August 1998@19:02:21.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 9 February 2001@05:52:19.
Jennifer Benedict (betacoding) on 23 March 2008@13:05:56.
David Whitehead (modified headword; augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 24 March 2008@04:34:27.
Jennifer Benedict (added link) on 25 March 2008@11:17:06.
Catharine Roth (fixed note number, augmented note, added bibliography, tweaked link) on 15 May 2008@15:34:15.
David Whitehead (typo) on 16 May 2008@07:55:44.
Catharine Roth (augmented note) on 20 May 2008@11:50:13.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 16 December 2011@05:38:00.
David Whitehead (updated a reference; cosmetics) on 3 January 2012@04:21:06.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 22 December 2014@04:27:32.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 2 April 2015@09:15:50.


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