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Headword: *(/erma
Adler number: epsilon,3020
Translated headword: ballast
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning a] very big stone.[1]
"He was bringing cargo ships, which he planned to sink, loaded with ballast, at the exit of the harbor so as to block the enemy entirely from [reaching] the sea."[2]
Greek Original:
*(/erma: li/qos me/gistos. pareko/mize nau=s forthgou/s, a(\s e(/rmatos gemou/sas e)peno/ei buqi/sas kata\ to\n tou= lime/nos e)/kploun a)poklei/ein tou\s polemi/ous kaqo/lou th=s qala/tths.
[1] For this headword see also epsilon 3021, epsilon 3022.
[2] Polybius fr. 154 Büttner-Wobst (individual and context uncertain). Büttner-Wobst notes (534) that Mauritius (Moritz) Müller (48) attributed the fragment to Polybius. Müller also cited (ibid.) a strikingly similar passage in Livy 37.14 (web address 1), where a plan to sink two cargo vessels heavy with ballast into the narrow entrance of the harbor at Ephesus is debated--and ultimately rejected--by the Romans (under Lucius Aemilius Regillus, praetor 190 BCE) and their allies. Assuming that Müller's conjectures are correct, then, as Büttner-Wobst further notes (ibid.), the fragment evidently belongs with early C2 BCE events described in Polybius 21.7 (web address 2); cf. delta 635, epsilon 3377, and pi 140.
T. Büttner-Wobst, ed., Polybii Historiae, vol. IV, (Leipzig 1904)
M. Müller, "Zu Polybios", in A. Fleckeisen (ed.), Jahrbücher für classische Philologie (Leipzig 1870) 48
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; definition; economics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; science and technology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 3 January 2008@01:18:18.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 3 January 2008@03:04:05.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 28 October 2012@07:25:15.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 12 February 2016@06:37:44.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.2, added bibliography) on 21 September 2018@01:51:08.
Ronald Allen (further expanded n.2, added link) on 21 September 2018@12:50:45.
Ronald Allen (augmented bibliography, expanded n.2) on 21 September 2018@20:50:57.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 21 September 2018@21:14:43.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.2, added cross-references) on 22 September 2018@12:45:45.


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