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Headword: *mellonikia=n
Adler number: mu,534
Translated headword: to dither like Nikias
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the [habit of ] delaying and deferring. Aristophanes [writes]: "it is not the time for us to doze, or to dither like Nikias". For[1] Nikias the son of Alkibiades[2] [was the man] who kept putting off his departure for Sicily.[3] For he was slow in the matter of his expeditions, and, according to his detractors, not a cautious man but a procrastinator. Rather, it is [sc. sometimes] necessary to do something as quickly as possible.
Greek Original:
*mellonikia=n: to\ bradu/nein kai\ a)naba/llesqai. *)aristofa/nhs: ou)de\ nusta/zein w(/r' e)sti\n h(mi=n, ou)de\ mellonikia=n. *niki/as ga\r ui(o\s *)alkibia/dou, o(\s a)neba/leto a)pelqei=n ei)s *sikeli/an. bradu\s ga\r h)=n peri\ ta\s e)co/dous, kai\ w(s oi( diaba/llontes ou) pronohtiko/s, a)lla\ mellhth/s. a)ll' w(s ta/xista dei= ti dra=n.
Aristophanes, Birds 638-640 (web address 1), with scholion.
cf. generally mu 488, mu 538.
[1] The point, impossible to transfer from Greek to English translation, is that the headword verb involves a pun on 'victory' (nike) and the name Nikias.
[2] Nikeratos, rather (cf. under kappa 1731); an amusing error taken over from the scholiast.
[3] In 415 BCE. See generally Thucydides 6.1-32 (with a notable emphasis on this very point).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; military affairs; politics
Translated by: David Whitehead on 3 June 2008@05:08:00.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link, set status) on 4 June 2008@20:31:02.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 5 June 2008@03:11:18.
David Whitehead (augmented n.2) on 7 July 2009@10:35:02.
David Whitehead on 15 May 2013@06:16:02.


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