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Headword: *nhfa/lios qusi/a
Adler number: nu,356
Translated headword: sober sacrifice
Vetting Status: high
[A sober sacrifice] was offered among [the] Athenians to Mnemosyne, Dawn, Sun, Moon, Nymphs, Aphrodite Ourania, as Polemon says.[1] And xu/la nhfa/lia ["sober timbers"] [is what they call timbers] which are not from grapevines or fig trees,[2] but those which are from thyme.[3] And this is the first [kind of] wood for sacrifices with fire, from which also thyme takes its name, as the sound [of the word] is made from qumi/asis ["fumigation"] and qu/h ["sacrifice"]. But there are some sacrifices altogether without libations, which became customary by chance.
Sophocles [writes]: "for I would never have met first with you[4] in my travels, sober as I am with you abstainers from wine." [He is] addressing the Eumenides,[5] who are called a)/oinoi ["wineless"] because they are always sober and do not allow drunkenness.[6] But this is because of the sleeplessness of divine justice.[7]
Greek Original:
*nhfa/lios qusi/a para\ *)aqhnai/ois e)telei=to *mnhmosu/nh|, *)hoi=, *(hli/w|, *selh/nh|, *nu/mfais, *)afrodi/th| *ou)rani/a|: w(/s fhsi *pole/mwn. kai\ cu/la de\ nhfa/lia, ta\ mh\ a)mpe/lina mh/te su/kina, a)lla\ ta\ a)po\ tw=n qu/mwn. kai\ prw/th e)stin au(/th u(/lh pro\s ta\s e)mpu/rous qusi/as, par' o(\ kai\ tou)/noma labei=n to\n qu/mon, w(s para\ th\n qumi/asin kai\ th\n quh\n pepoihme/nhs th=s fwnh=s. ei)si\ de/ tines topara/pan a)/spondoi qusi/ai, kata\ tu/xhn ei)s e)/qos parelqou=sai. *sofoklh=s: ou) ga\r a)/n pote prw/taisin u(mw=n a)nte/kurs' o(doiporw=n, nh/fwn a)oi/nois. pro\s ta\s *eu)meni/das le/gwn. ai(\ a)/oinoi le/gontai, w(s a)ei\ nh/fousai kai\ mh\ me/qhn pare/xousai. tou=to de\ dia\ to\ th=s qei/as di/khs a)/u+pnon.
See also nu 357 (and cf. nu 356).
[1] Polemon fr. 42 FHG.
[2] cf. nu 355.
[3] Mss MA have a note added: qu/mos, bota/nh "thyme, a plant"; cf. theta 572.
[4] Mss GM agree with Sophocles' text [below] in reading the dative u(mi=n rather than the genitive here.
[5] Thus far, the entry comes from Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 98-100 (web address 1), with scholion.
[6] The construction is difficult here. Aemilius Portus in his edition of 1630 read me/qhs mete/xousai "[not] having a share in drunkenness"; Gaisford conjectured me/qh| prose/xousai "[not] attending to drunkenness".
[7] This comment on the Eumenides is lacking in mss AV; in the margin of ms M.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; food; historiography; history; imagery; mythology; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 4 October 2009@01:24:56.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 October 2009@04:25:08.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 9 June 2013@06:50:35.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 9 June 2013@18:31:34.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 12 November 2020@01:06:53.


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