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Headword: *dhli/ou kolumbhtou=
Adler number: delta,400
Translated headword: Delian diver
Vetting Status: high
This [sc. proverbial phrase] was uttered in reference to a book of Heraclitus, because it was hard to understand, that it needed a Delian diver who would not be drowned in it. Some entitle [this book] Muses, others On Nature. Diodotos [calls it] "A helm unerring for the rule of life," others "a guide of conduct, the ordering of character, for one [and] all."[1] Or thus: "of a Delian diver", in reference to those who swim deep. For when Euripides gave Socrates a book by Heraclitus the Obscure, [Euripides] asked, "How does it seem?" and [Socrates] said, "What I have understood [is] excellent, and I suppose what I have not understood [is] too -- except that it needs a Delian diver not to drown in it."[2]
And [there is] a proverb: "a Delian diver", in reference to those who are very experienced at swimming.[3]
Greek Original:
*dhli/ou kolumbhtou=: tou=to e)rrh/qh ei)s bibli/on *(hraklei/tou dia\ to\ dusno/hton, *dhli/ou tino\s dei=sqai kolumbhtou=, o(\s ou)k a)popnigh/setai e)n au)tw=|. e)pigra/fousi de\ au)to\ oi( me\n *mou/sas, oi( de\ *peri\ fu/sews, *dio/dotos de\ *)akribe\s oi)a/kisma pro\s sta/qmhn bi/ou, a)/lloi *gnw/mhn h)qw=n, *ko/smon tro/pwn e(no\s tw=n cumpa/ntwn. h)\ ou(/tws: *dhli/ou kolumbhtou=, e)pi\ tw=n a)/krws nhxome/nwn. *swkra/tei ga\r do/ntos tou= *eu)ripi/dou *(hraklei/tou tou= *skoteinou= su/ggramma, e)re/sqai, ti/ dokei=; to\n de\ fa/nai: a(\ me\n sunh=ka gennai=a: oi)=mai de\ kai\ a(\ mh\ sunh=ka: plh\n *dhli/ou dei=tai kolumbhtou= ei)s to\ mh\ a)popnigh=nai e)n au)tw=|. kai\ paroimi/a: *dh/lios kolumbhth/s, e)pi\ tw=n pa/nu e)mpei/rwn nh/xesqai.
The headword phrase is in the genitive case, because of its use in the sentences quoted.
[1] Diogenes Laertius 9.12 (with different readings in the last quotation). (On Heraclitus, see eta 471, eta 472.) The verse quotation from (?)Diodotus is Tragica Adespota fr. 287 Nauck.
[2] Diogenes Laertius 2.22 (where "not to drown in it" is omitted).
[3] The paroemiographers do not, in fact, register the proverb in this nominative-case form; see rather Apostolius 5.100 (genitive, as above).
Keywords: athletics; biography; daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; imagery; philosophy; poetry; proverbs; tragedy
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 14 March 2002@19:28:22.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics) on 15 March 2002@03:06:11.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 15 March 2002@12:01:42.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 21 June 2012@10:07:36.
David Whitehead (coding) on 25 August 2015@10:54:49.


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