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Headword: *)epimeni/dhs
Adler number: epsilon,2471
Translated headword: Epimenides
Vetting Status: high
Son of Phaistos or Dosiadas or Agiasarchos and, as his mother, Blasta; a Cretan from Knossos; an epic poet. Of him there is a story that his soul could leave his body on any occasion he liked and enter it again;[1] and long after he had died his skin was found tattooed with letters. He lived in the 30th Olympiad,[2] which makes him a predecessor rather than a contemporary of the so-called Seven Sages.[3] At any rate he purified Athens from the Kylonian curse in the 44th Olympiad,[4] as an old man [by that time]. He wrote many epic poems and, in prose, certain mystery-writings and spells and other riddling works. Solon the lawgiver[5] wrote against him criticizing the purification of the city. This man lived for 150 years, but for 90 [of them] he slept.
And [there is] a proverb, 'Epimenidean skin', in reference to things discarded.[6]
Greek Original:
*)epimeni/dhs, *fai/stou h)\ *dosia/dou h)\ *)agiasa/rxou ui(o/s, kai\ mhtro\s *bla/stas, *krh\s a)po\ *knwssou=, e)popoio/s: ou(= lo/gos, w(s e)ci/oi h( yuxh\ o(po/son h)/qele kairo/n, kai\ pa/lin ei)sh/|ei e)n tw=| sw/mati: teleuth/santos de\ au)tou=, po/rrw xro/nwn to\ de/rma eu(rh=sqai gra/mmasi kata/stikton. ge/gone de\ e)pi\ th=s l# o)lumpia/dos, w(s protereu/ein kai\ tw=n z# klhqe/ntwn sofw=n h)\ kai\ e)p' au)toi=s gene/sqai. e)ka/qhre gou=n ta\s *)aqh/nas tou= *kulwnei/ou a)/gous kata\ th\n md# o)lumpia/da, ghraio\s w)/n. e)/graye de\ polla\ e)pikw=s: kai\ kataloga/dhn musth/ria/ tina kai\ kaqarmou\s kai\ a)/lla ai)nigmatw/dh. pro\s tou=ton gra/fei *so/lwn o( nomoqe/ths memfo/menos th=s po/lews ka/qarsin. ou(=tos e)/zhsen rn# e)/th, ta\ de\ #4# e)kaqeu/dhsen. kai\ paroimi/a to\ *)epimeni/deion de/rma, e)pi\ tw=n a)poqe/twn.
Late seventh century BCE or (in Plato, Laws 642D) a century or more later. See generally OCD(4) s.v.; FGrH 457. For the present material (main paragraph) cf. Diogenes Laertius 1.109-112.
[1] Compare Aristeas (alpha 3900).
[2] 660-657.
[3] On whom see generally OCD(4) s.v. Seven Sages.
[4] 604-601. (For this epidode cf. kappa 2673.)
[5] See generally sigma 776.
[6] (Or: secrets.) Diogenianus 8.28, Apostolius 7.73. For apotheta cf. alpha 3317.
Keywords: biography; chronology; daily life; epic; geography; history; law; proverbs; religion; women
Translated by: David Whitehead on 22 April 2003@03:24:22.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 23 April 2003@00:44:27.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 23 April 2003@03:05:26.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 7 June 2005@08:58:34.
David Whitehead on 16 October 2012@06:39:59.
David Whitehead (corrected an Olympiad error noticed by Rainer Pilgram) on 15 April 2013@04:06:44.
David Whitehead on 3 August 2014@08:15:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 23 September 2017@23:46:48.


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