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Headword: Χελώνη μυιῶν
Adler number: chi,191
Translated headword: a tortoise [uncaring] of flies
Vetting Status: high
[sc. a proverbial phrase] in reference to those who think little of someone/something.[1]
Also [sc. attested is] 'to a tortoise'. "You think your frankness is 'worth four obols', as the saying goes. You do not know that Thersites was also outspoken among the Greeks; but the frankness of Thersites mattered less to Agamemnon than flies to a tortoise, as the proverb has it."[2]
When a tortoise being carried by an eagle was thrown at the head of Aeschylus the Athenian, he died, being 58 years old.[3]
Greek Original:
Χελώνη μυιῶν: ἐπὶ τῶν ἀφροντιστούντων τινός. καὶ Χελώνῃ: τὴν παρρησίαν τὴν σὴν οἴει τεττάρων εἶναι ὀβολῶν, τὸ λεγόμενον. οὐκ οἶσθα, ὅτι καὶ Θερσίτης ἐν τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἐπαρρησιάζετο: τῷ δὲ Ἀγαμέμνονι τῆς Θερσίτου παρρησίας ἔλαττον ἔμελεν ἢ χελώνῃ μυιῶν, τὸ τῆς παροιμίας. ὅτι χελώνης ἐπιρριφείσης Αἰσχύλῳ τῷ Ἀθηναίῳ ὑπὸ ἀετοῦ φέροντος κατὰ τῆς κεφαλῆς, ἀπώλετο, ἐτῶν νη# γενόμενος.
[1] cf. Appendix Proverbiorum 5.27 (etc.)
[2] Julian, Epistles 82.106; cf. tau 368. (Thersites features in Homer, Iliad 2, as an ugly Greek soldier who speaks out against Agamemnon and is quickly silenced with a blow from Odysseus. See theta 257.)
[3] An apocryphal tale about the death of Aeschylus; from alphaiota 357.
Keywords: biography; chronology; daily life; definition; economics; epic; ethics; imagery; mythology; proverbs; rhetoric; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 19 March 2008@12:01:50.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified notes; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 20 March 2008@05:14:07.
David Whitehead on 10 November 2013@07:12:41.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 31 October 2014@01:52:20.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 4 March 2016@00:41:28.


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