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Headword: *da=tis
Adler number: delta,89
Translated headword: Datis
Vetting Status: high
A Persian, who made it his business to speak Greek [sc. but did so badly]. They say he used xai/romai, instead of saying xai/rw.[1] And that [sort of thing] is "Datism".
Datis: "this man saw a vision of a dream, and they do not say what the vision was. But as soon as day dawned, he made a search of the ships. And he found a gilt statue of Apollo in a Phoenician one and asked whence it had been stolen. He learned that it was from such and such a shrine and he sent [it] in his own ship to Delos and entrusted the statue to the shrine and ordered the Delians to return the statue."[2]
[Datis is the man] who, wanting to speak Greek, said h(/domai and xai/romai and eu)frai/nomai.[3]
Datis and Artaphernes,[4] leaders of the Persians after Mardonius was relieved of command, sent envoys into Greece to make trial of the cities and to ask for earth and water. All the islanders gave it to them; but the Athenians took deep offense and banished the envoys. The Lacedaemonians agreed to give both [sc. tokens]; they threw them into a well, poured soil down onto them, and explained that they had given them the gift for which they had asked.[5]
Greek Original:
*da=tis, *pe/rshs: o(\s e)peth/deusen e(llhni/zein. o(\n le/gousi fa/nai xai/romai, a)nti\ tou= ei)pei=n xai/rw. kai/ e)sti *datismo/s. *da=tis: ou(=tos de\ ei)=den o)/yin o)nei/rou, kai\ h(/tis h)=n h( o)/yis, ou) le/getai. o( de/, w(s h(me/rh ta/xista e)pe/lamyen, zh/thsin e)poi/ee tw=n new=n. eu(rw\n de\ e)n *foini/ssh| a)/galma *)apo/llwnos kexruswme/non e)punqa/neto, o(ko/qen ei)/h sesulhme/non. puqo/menos de\ e)c oi(/ou h)=n i(erou=, e)/pempe th=| e(wutou= nhi\+ e)s *dh=lon, kai\ katati/qetai ei)s to\ i(ero\n to\ a)/galma kai\ e)nte/lletai toi=si *dhli/oisin a)pagagei=n to\ a)/galma. o(\s e(llhni/zein boulo/menos, ei)=pen h(/domai kai\ xai/romai kai\ eu)frai/nomai. *da=tis kai\ *)artafe/rnhs, *persw=n kaqhgemo/nes meta\ th\n kaqai/resin *mardwni/ou a)pe/steilan ei)s th\n *(ella/da, katapeira/sontes ta\s po/leis kai\ gh=n kai\ u(/dwr ai)th/sontes. oi( de\ nhsiw=tai pa/ntes e)/dwkan: *)aqhnai=oi de\ bare/ws e)negko/ntes tou\s presbeuta\s e)cekh/rucan. oi( *lakedaimo/nioi de\ a)mfo/tera dw/sein e)phggei/lanto: kai\ e)mbalo/ntes au)tou\s ei)s fre/ata kai\ kataxw/santes a)pefh/nanto dedwke/nai th\n tw=n ai)toume/nwn xa/rin.
[1] i.e. middle voice instead of active; hard to render in translation but something like "I am being gladdened" instead of "I am glad". This material (revisited later in the entry) comes from the scholia to Aristophanes, Peace 289-91, which mentions Datis and cites xai/romai as one of three illustrative Datisms (web address 1); see below, at n. 3, and cf. generally nu 611 and chi 173. But NB: alongside this ancient exegetical tradition that the Datis of Datisms was this Persian general one should note the alternative line of explanation (preferred by many modern scholars) which sees "Datis" as the nickname of a contemporary (and target) of Aristophanes, Xenocles the son of Carcinus.
[2] To Delion in Boeotia; a quotation of Herodotus 6.118.1-2 (web address 2).
[3] "I am pleased", "I am being gladdened", "I am delighted". These are the three Datisms given in Aristophanes, Peace 291; see above, at n. 1.
[4] For the latter see alpha 4022.
[5] The source of this material (which varies what Herodotus 7.133, elaborating 6.48, says) is unidentifiable.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: art history; biography; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; geography; historiography; history; law; military affairs; religion; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 18 November 2000@12:25:48.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Modified translation, added notes, added keywords) on 19 November 2000@00:34:55.
William Hutton (Corrected my own mistake) on 19 November 2000@01:17:05.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keyword; cosmetics) on 25 March 2001@09:45:34.
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetics) on 20 November 2002@08:00:16.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:31:49.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 3 October 2009@01:45:21.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; betacode and other cosmetics) on 15 June 2012@11:43:06.
David Whitehead on 7 October 2015@03:21:16.
Catharine Roth (typo, tweaked link) on 12 July 2016@22:21:41.
David Whitehead (modified tr in two places) on 13 July 2016@02:54:24.


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