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Headword: Basileus megas
Adler number: beta,144
Translated headword: Great King
Vetting Status: high
[Referring to] the [king] of the Persians.[1] To the other kings they added also the names of those who were ruled: as "of the Lakedaimonians," "of the Macedonians." A king differs from a tyrant. For a king is he who receives sovereignty in succession from his ancestors with specified limits, but a tyrant is he who usurps the sovereignty by force. But [some] use both nouns without distinction. For Pindar calls Hieron a king, although he was a tyrant,[2] and [others do the same with] Dionysios;[3] and Eupolis calls Peisistratos a king.[4] And kings [are also called] tyrants.
Greek Original:
Basileus megas: ho tôn Persôn. tous de allous prosetithesan kai tôn archomenôn ta onomata: hoion Lakedaimoniôn, Makedonôn. diapherei de basileus turannou. basileus men gar apo progonôn kata diadochên tên archên epi rhêtois labôn perasi, turannos de, hos biaiôs tên archên spheterizetai. chrôntai de adiaphorôs hekaterois onomasin. Hierôna gar basilea Pindaros kalei, turannon onta, kai Dionusion: kai Eupolis Peisistraton basilea kalei. kai tous basileis turannous.
[1] For this and some of what follows cf. mu 389. It draws on the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 61, where the headword phrase occurs.
[2] Pindar, Olympian 1.23 (web address 1). Hieron was tyrant of Syracuse 478-466 BCE.
[3] Tyrant of Syracuse 405-367 BCE: see delta 1178.
[4] Eupolis fr. 123 Kock, now 137 K.-A. For Peisistratos see pi 1474.
E. Benveniste, Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-européennes (Paris 1969) II 23-26.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; comedy; constitution; definition; geography; history; law; poetry; politics
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 1 November 2000@01:35:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keyword; cosmetics) on 21 March 2001@08:03:10.
Catharine Roth (Modified link.) on 21 March 2001@23:26:33.
Catharine Roth (added bibliography) on 8 April 2001@18:46:28.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics) on 25 January 2006@20:54:01.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 26 January 2006@03:09:47.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1; more keywords; cosmetics) on 22 May 2012@05:14:03.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 22 May 2012@23:58:44.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 December 2014@06:55:34.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2; cosmetics) on 17 September 2015@03:07:54.


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