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Headword: *)/enh kai\ ne/a
Adler number: epsilon,1293
Translated headword: old and new
Vetting Status: high
Amongst Athenians this was the name for what we call the thirtieth [day of the month], the new moon,[1] because in these days it happens that the moon has both its end and its rising. It was then that they used to demand back interest or loans from debtors who were not quick in repaying, since they had become insolvent.[2] Hence [Strepsiades] is saying[3] that noticing that the first day of the month is so close causes him pain. The 26th [day] is the fifth of the last decade. For the Athenians[4] used to divide the 30 days of the moon into 3 decades, enumerating the first one just as we do, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. The second [decade they numbered] as follows:[5] the 11th [was] 'first [day] after ten', the 12th 'second after ten', [the 13th][6] 'third after ten', [and so on] up to the 19th; for eikas is what they call the twentieth. The 21st [they call] final decade [day], and the one after that [i.e. the 22nd] 'ninth of the waning [decade]', until the 'second of the waning [decade]'. For the thirtieth day is called e)/nh kai\ ne/a.
Greek Original:
*)/enh kai\ ne/a: ou(/tw par' *)aqhnai/ois h( par' h(mi=n triaka/s, h( neomhni/a, e)peidh\ sumbai/nei e)n au)tai=s kai\ lh/gein th\n selh/nhn kai\ genna=sqai. to/te de\ mh\ taxe/ws a)podido/ntas tou\s to/kous h)\ ta\ da/neia a)ph/|toun, w(s u(pero/rous genome/nous. dio\ lupei=sqai/ fhsin o(rw=n e)nistame/nhn e)/nhn te kai\ ne/an. h( de\ pe/mpth e)sti\ k#2# fqi/nontos. ta\s ga\r l# h(me/ras th=s selh/nhs ei)s g# deka/das dih/|roun oi( *)aqhnai=oi kai\ th\n me\n prw/thn w(s h(mei=s, a# b# g# d# e# #2# z# h# q# i# a)pariqmou=ntes, th\n de\ deute/ran ou(/tws: prw/th e)pi\ de/ka, ia#: deute/ra e)pi\ de/ka, ib#: tri/th e)pi\ de/ka a)/xri th=s iq#: th\n ga\r ei)ka/da ou(/tw kalou=si. th\n de\ ka# u(ste/ran deka/da kai\ th\n met' au)th\n e)na/thn fqi/nontos e(/ws deute/ras fqi/nontos. th\n ga\r triaka/da e)/nhn kai\ ne/an fasi/n.
From the scholia to Aristophanes, Clouds 1134, where the headword phrase occurs (see web address 1). See also delta 1205, epsilon 1292, epsilon 1296, epsilon 1294, epsilon 1295, epsilon 1298; LSJ entry at web address 2.
[1] *neomhni/a, also frequent as noumhni/a: "the new moon”, that is, the first day of the lunar month.
[2] The context seems to require u(perhme/rous, as conjectured by Ernesti (see Adler’s apparatus), since u(pero/rous (better u(perw/rous) is explained by lexicographers as 'over-ripe'; see Apollonius Dyscolus 1.64, Pollux 6.54. If the text is genuine, it can witness the use of the word as a synonym of u(perhme/rous in Byzantine Greek.
[3] See the scholia vetera on Aristophanes, Clouds 1131 and 1134, both of which the Suda is combining. Strepsiades appears to be very concerned about the approach of the day when his creditors will sue him for being insolvent, for this day was appointed for the lodging of deposits by litigants undertaking a lawsuit: pe/mpth, tetra\s, tri/th: meta\ tau/thn deute/ra: / ei)=q' h(\n e)gw\ ma/lista pasw=n h(merw=n / de/doika kai\ pe/frika kai\ bdelu/ttomai,/ eu)qu\s meta\ tau/thn e)sq' e)/nh te kai\ ne/a. 'The fifth, the fourth, the third, and after that the second; then, the day I fear the most of all the days, the day that makes me sick, that makes me shudder! Immediately afterwards is the new moon'.
[4] A lunar calendar such as the one described by the scholia is attested for Athens and elsewhere, e.g. Tenos and Thessaly (Samuel). Not all Greek calendars made use of this kind of schema; there was also a calendar counting forwards throughout the whole month and containing the date called triaka\s, used in Aetolia and elsewhere. The adoption of the backwards calendar is numbered among Solon’s reforms by Plutarch, Solon 25.
[5] The sense of this complex explanation rests on two particular features of the Athenian calendar, which was based on a backwards count at least for the last decade of each month and was actually a lunar calendar including ordinary 30 days months and hollow ones. In these last, a day was left out (called e)caire/simos) and the twenty-ninth was called triaka\s or e)/nh kai\ ne/a. It is subject of discussion whether the omitted date was the deute/ra fqi/nontos (the day which ended the backwards count) or the deka/th fqi/nontos (the date which began it).
[6] The insertion of '13th' ig' by the mss. TF is essential. Numerals very easily get lost in manuscripts, especially in a context that could create confusion both on the visual level and for the general sense of the passage.
Aristophanes, Clouds, edited with translation and notes by Alan H. Sommerstein, Warminster (Wiltshire), Aris and Phillips, 1982
Walsh, J.A., "The Omitted Date in the Athenian Hollow Month", ZPE 41, 1981, 107-124
Michalson, J.D., The Sacred and Civil Calendar of the Athenian Year, Princeton, 1975
Samuel, A.E., Greek and Roman Chronology, "Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft", 1-7, 1972
Meritt B.D., The Athenian Year, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1961
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: chronology; comedy; daily life; definition; economics; law; mathematics; poetry; science and technology
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 7 February 2005@23:28:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaked translation; extensive cosmetics) on 8 February 2005@08:44:35.
Catharine Roth (adjusted links) on 13 February 2005@00:54:23.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 22 November 2005@10:11:43.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 20 December 2005@23:29:33.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 26 August 2012@06:23:40.
Catharine Roth (betacode typos) on 18 November 2014@23:32:14.
Catharine Roth (tweaked betacode) on 17 March 2017@01:47:46.
Catharine Roth (reordered links) on 17 March 2017@13:52:39.


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