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Headword: Δεκάζεσθαι
Adler number: delta,174
Translated headword: to be bribed in tens
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] to take bribes.[1]
Also [sc. attested in the active voice] 'to bribe in tens' [δεκάζειν ]: to corrupt with money or gifts.
Aelian [writes]: "he corrupted many of the nomads, having bribed them in tens into treachery".[2]
Also[3] [sc. attested is the participle] '[he] bribing in tens' [δεκάζων ], clear in its meaning. This is how the term came about.[4] Lykos is a hero who has the shape of a beast. A stone monument to him stands near the jurycourts in Athens; at this [monument], bribers used to gather, forming themselves into groups of ten. This gave rise to the proverb: Lykos's Company of Ten. So from the Company of Ten came [the terms] bribing in tens and to be bribed in tens.
Greek Original:
Δεκάζεσθαι: δωροδοκεῖσθαι. καὶ Δεκάζειν, διαφθείρειν χρήμασιν, ἢ δώροις. Αἰλιανός: πολλοὺς διέφθειρε νομάδων δεκάσας εἰς προδοσίαν. καὶ Δεκάζων, τὸ σημαινόμενον δῆλον. ἐποιήθη δὲ τὸ ὄνομα ἐντεῦθεν. Λύκος μέν ἐστιν ἥρως μορφὴν ἔχων τοῦ θηρίου. πρὸς δὲ τοῖς ἐν Ἀθήναις ἀνεστήλωται δικαστηρίοις: πρὸς ὃν οἱ δωροδοκοῦντες κατὰ ι# γινόμενοι ἀνεστρέφοντο. ἔνθα καὶ ἡ παροιμία: λύκου δεκάς. ἐξ οὖν τῆς δεκάδος τὸ δεκάζειν καὶ δεκάζεσθαι.
Notes:
[1] See already delta 173, and cf. in brief delta 187 epsilon 205.
[2] Aelian fr. 142 Domingo-Forasté (139 Hercher).
[3] The source now becomes Harpokration s.v., commenting on Isocrates 8.50 (web address 1).
[4] Harpokration ascribes this explanation to the learned hellenistic scholar Eratosthenes. (Harvey [76-118 at 88-89] briefly discusses it.) See also eta 271, lambda 820.
Reference:
F.D. Harvey, "Dona ferentes: some aspects of bribery in Greek politics", in CRUX: studies presented to G.E.M. de Ste.Croix on his 75th birthday (Exeter 1985)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; architecture; art history; biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; geography; history; law; mythology; religion; rhetoric; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 18 October 2000@03:56:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 5 September 2002@13:20:54.
David Whitehead (added x-ref) on 13 May 2003@09:37:46.
William Hutton (modified translation, added link and keywords, cosmetics, set status) on 17 July 2003@04:26:33.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references) on 2 August 2005@21:21:28.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 July 2011@08:43:09.
Catharine Roth (updated reference, upgraded link) on 9 June 2013@01:46:15.
David Whitehead on 8 October 2015@08:31:06.

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