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Headword: Εὐρύβατος
Adler number: epsilon,3718
Translated headword: Eurybatos, Eurybatus
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a scoundrel. [This application of the name comes] from the man sent by Croesus for negotiations with money, as Ephoros says, who then changed sides and joined Cyrus. This man was an Ephesian.[1] But some say he was one of the two Kerkopes. Diotimos in The Labors of Herakles [writes]: "Kerkopes stalking the crossroads ravaged much of the Boiotians' property. They were Oichalians by birth, Olos and Eurybatos, two hard-hearted men."[2] Nicander [writes]: "Aiginean Eurybatos the complete scoundrel."[3] Aristotle mentions him in Book 1 of On Justice.[4] And Douris, in Book 4 of The History of Agathokles, [says the name comes] from the companion of Odysseus.[5] Also Aristophanes in Daidalos, portraying Zeus changing himself into several things, including a rich man and a ne'er-do-well, [writes]: "if in fact any of you has seen Eurybatos Zeus."[6] "It is said that Eurybatos was a thief, imprisoned and put under guard. When his guards got drunk and untied him, they urged him to demonstrate how to clamber up on top of buildings. At first he refused, but they kept asking, though he was not willing, and when at last they persuaded him he put on sponges and spikes and ran up onto the walls. As they were looking up and admiring his skill, he took hold of the roofing material and threw it back, before they could come around to encircle him, and jumped down through the roof."[7]
Greek Original:
Εὐρύβατος: πονηρός. ἀπὸ τοῦ πεμφθέντος ὑπὸ Κροίσου ἐπὶ ξενολογίαν μετὰ χρημάτων, ὥς φησιν Ἔφορος, εἶτα μεταβαλλομένου πρὸς Κῦρον. ἦν δὲ οὗτος Ἐφέσιος. οἱ δὲ τὸν Κέρκωπα τὸν ἕτερον. Διότιμος Ἡρακλέους ἄθλοις: Κέρκωπές τοι πολλὰ κατὰ τριόδους πατέοντες Βοιωτῶν σίνοντο. γένος δ' ἔσαν Οἰχαλῆες, Ὦλός τ' Εὐρύβατός τε, δύω βαρυδαίμονες ἄνδρες. Νίκανδρος: Αἰγίνεον Εὐρύβατον πανουργότατον: οὗ μνημονεύει Ἀριστοτέλης ἐν α# περὶ δικαιοσύνης. Δοῦρις δὲ ἐν δ# τῶν περὶ Ἀγαθοκλέα, ἀπὸ τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως ἑταίρου. καὶ Ἀριστοφάνης Δαιδάλῳ, ὑποθέμενος τὸν Δία εἰς πολλὰ ἑαυτὸν μεταβάλλοντα καὶ πλουτοῦντα καὶ πανουργοῦντα: εἰ δή τις ὑμῶν εἶδεν Εὐρύβατον Δία. λέγεται τὸν Εὐρύβατον κλέπτην ὄντα, εἰρχθέντα καὶ παραφυλαττόμενον, ἐπειδὴ συμπίνοντες ἔλυσαν αὐτὸν οἱ φυλάσσοντες, ἐκέλευσαν ἐπιδείξασθαι τὴν ἐπὶ τοὺς οἴκους ἀναρρίχησιν, τὸ μὲν πρῶτον διωθεῖσθαι: δεομένων δὲ ὡς οὐ βουλόμενον, ἐπεὶ μόλις ἀνέπεισαν, περιθέμενος τοὺς σπόγγους καὶ τὰς ἐγκεντρίδας, ἀναδραμεῖν εἰς τοὺς τοίχους. ἀναβλέποντες δὲ ἐκεῖνοι καὶ θαυμάζοντες τὰς τέχνας, λαβεῖν αὐτὸν τὸν ὄροφον καὶ ὑπερβάλλοντα, πρὶν ἐκεῖνοι κύκλῳ περιέλθωσι, διὰ τοῦ τέγους καταπηδῆσαι.
cf. Pausanias the Atticist epsilon83; Lexica Segueriana 257.13; Hesychius epsilon7129; Harpokration s.v. Εὐρύβατον . "Eurybatos" was a popular by-word for "scoundrel" since at least the time of Demosthenes (On the Crown 18.24: web address 1) and Aeschines (Against Ctesiphon 3.137: web address 2). See also epsilon 3715, epsilon 3716, epsilon 3717, phi 770.
[1] Ephorus FGrH 70 F58c; cf. Diodorus Siculus 9.32.1 (web address 3; = Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Excerpta de virtutibus 2.220); Harpokration s.v. Εὐρύβατον ; Lexica Segueriana 188.10.
[2] Diotimus was a Hellenistic poet and author of several epigrams in the Greek Anthology. This is apparently the only surviving fragment of a epic in hexameters by him (fr. 2 Kinkel, 394 Lloyd-Jones/Parsons).
[3] Nicander fr. 112 Gow-Scholfield The epithet Αἰγίνεον (translated here as "Aiginian") is unattested elsewhere and of uncertain meaning. Perhaps = 'Aiginetan', from Aigina [Myth, Place] (see Suetonius On Blasphemies 4 on the Kerkopes as founders of islands). Gow and Scholfield obelize the term as corrupt.
[4] Aristotle, On Justice fr. 84 (see note 7 below).
[5] Douris FGrH 76 F20. For the companion in question, who is named 'Eurybates' (Εὐρυβάτης ) in mss of Homer, see Homer, Odyssey 19.247 (web address 4). See also epsilon 3716.
[6] Aristophanes fr. 184 Kock, now 198 K.-A.
[7] Suetonius, On Blasphemies 4, and Gregory of Corinth (Walz Rhetorici Graeci 7.1277) ascribe this anecdote to Aristotle (see note 4). For an alternative version, in which Eurybatos shows his guards how to dig through a wall with his bronze hand, see Lexicon Patmense s.v. εὐρυβάτου πρᾶγμα (on Demosthenes 18.24, cited above).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4
Keywords: architecture; biography; comedy; daily life; definition; economics; epic; ethics; geography; historiography; history; imagery; law; meter and music; mythology; philosophy; poetry; politics; proverbs; religion; rhetoric; science and technology; stagecraft
Translated by: William Hutton on 11 February 2008@00:52:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaked n.5; cosmetics) on 11 February 2008@03:34:30.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 14 November 2012@08:11:08.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 22 December 2014@06:49:34.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 20 March 2015@23:29:37.
Catharine Roth (Greek typo) on 27 February 2018@19:17:30.


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