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Headword: *bou=s e)pi\ glw/tths
Adler number: beta,460
Translated headword: an ox on the tongue
Vetting Status: high
[sc. A proverbial phrase] in reference to those who are not able to speak freely: either because of the strength of the animal, or because there was an ox stamped on the Athenian coin which those who spoke freely had to pay.
Greek Original:
*bou=s e)pi\ glw/tths: e)pi\ tw=n mh\ duname/nwn parrhsia/zesqai: h)\ dia\ th\n i)sxu\n tou= zw/|ou. h)\ dia\ to\ tw=n *)aqhnai/wn no/misma bou=n e)/xein e)gkexaragme/non, o(/per e)kti/nein e)/dei tou\s parrhsiazome/nous.
Likewise in Hesychius, Zenobius 2.70, and elsewhere. This proverb is used by, amongst others, Theognis, verse 815, and Aeschylus, Agamemnon 36 (text at web address 1).
Only the first of the explanations given has any merit: the version in Strattis fr. 67 Kock, now 72 K.-A., specifically says "large" ox; and the Athenians had no such coin.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; comedy; daily life; ethics; law; poetry; proverbs; trade and manufacture; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 17 December 2001@22:06:24.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords; cosmetics) on 18 December 2001@03:16:06.
David Whitehead (expanded note; more keywords; tweaking) on 3 June 2012@05:37:29.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 3 June 2012@11:27:28.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 January 2015@09:17:00.


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