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Headword: Ἀποσυκάζεις
Adler number: alpha,3567
Translated headword: you are fig-squeezing
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] you are accusing, you are testing. For ἀποσυκάζειν is to examine the ripened figs. Therefore he added "pressing". For we test whether the figs have ripened or not by squeezing [them]. So since one says συκάζειν ["to gather figs"] and συκοφάντειν ["to show figs"] and σῦκα κλέπτειν ["to steal figs"], simply by saying συκάζεις ["you are fig-gathering"] one infers "pressing", both as if dealing with figs and at the same time because he is squeezing those he is blackmailing; and "he presses" by taking bribes from and agitating those who are held accountable for their conduct, that is those who have not yet presented the accounts of the office with which they had been entrusted.[1] Thus he used this word, from which he is called a "sycophant" [συκοφάντης ]. For in ancient times figs were valuable to the Athenians, and if someone was accused of stealing figs he was punished. They also used to say φαίνειν ["to expose, declare, sc. figs"] for accusing also.[2]
Greek Original:
Ἀποσυκάζεις: συκοφαντεῖς, δοκιμάζεις. ἀποσυκάζειν γὰρ τὸ τὰ πέπειρα σῦκα διαλέγειν. διόπερ προσέθηκε, πιέζων. ἐκθλίβοντες γὰρ δοκιμάζομεν τὰ σῦκα, εἰ πέπειρά ἐστιν ἢ μή. ἐπεὶ τοίνυν συκάζειν λέγεται καὶ τὸ συκοφαντεῖν καὶ τὸ σῦκα κλέπτειν, ἅπαξ εἰπὼν τὸ συκάζεις, ἐπήνεγκε τὸ πιέζων, ἅμα μὲν ὡς ἐπὶ σύκων, ἅμα δὲ ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸς θλίβει τοὺς συκοφαντουμένους: καὶ πιέζει δωροδοκῶν καὶ διασείων τοὺς ὑπευθύνους, τουτέστι τοὺς μὴ λογισμοὺς προσεσχηκότας τῆς ἀρχῆς, ἧς ἐπιστεύθησαν. ἐχρήσατο οὖν τῇ λέξει, ἀφ' οὗ καὶ συκοφάντης κέκληται. τὸ γὰρ παλαιὸν τίμια παρὰ τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις ἦν τὰ σῦκα, καὶ εἴ τις διεβλήθη κλέπτων σῦκα ἐκολάζετο. φαίνειν δὲ ἔλεγον καὶ τὸ κατηγορεῖν.
Notes:
From the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 259, where the headword occurs. The scholiast misses the homosexual overtones here, for which see J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse (New Haven 1975) 116, 176.
On sykophancy cf. generally sigma 1329, sigma 1330, sigma 1331, sigma 1332, sigma 1333.
[1] cf. upsilon 404.
[2] For this procedure of phasis see phi 126; and cf. phi 175.
Keywords: botany; comedy; constitution; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; food; gender and sexuality; imagery; law
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 19 December 2001@12:49:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 20 December 2001@05:17:17.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics) on 13 October 2005@21:04:29.
David Whitehead (more keywords; betacode and other cosmetics) on 5 April 2012@09:52:20.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 24 January 2014@06:38:32.

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