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Headword: Οὐκ ἐτῶς
Adler number: omicron,888
Translated headword: not in vain
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] not with propriety, or not fruitlessly: from the [adjective] ἐτώσιον ['vain'], which is 'useless'; [thus the phrase means] 'not irrationally'.[1]
Aristophanes [writes]: "not in vain do all the jurors hurry en masse to be enrolled on many rosters".[2]
Greek Original:
Οὐκ ἐτῶς: οὐκ εἰκότως, ἢ οὐ μάτην: παρὰ τὸ ἐτώσιον, ὅ ἐστι μάταιον: οὐκ ἀλόγως. Ἀριστοφάνης: οὐκ ἐτῶς ἅπαντες οἱ δικάζοντες θαμὰ σπεύδουσιν ἐπὶ πολλοῖς γεγράφθαι γράμμασιν.
[1] In place of the more common ἐτός , the headword phrase, and the quotation of Aristophanes that follows, substitute the rare variant ἐτῶς . The fact that this variant makes the quoted Aristophanes passage unmetrical suggests that this is a late-Greek homophonic variant based on the epic adjective ἐτώσιος ['vain']. Same material (but with ἐτός ) in Photius, Lexicon omicron650 Theodoridis, and similarly in a scholion on Plato, Republic 8.568A, where οὐκ ἐτός occurs (web address 1). See also omicron 889.
[2] Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 1166-1167, with minor variants (including the spelling of the headword) from the most accepted readings (see web address 2); the commentary comes from the scholia on this passage. Aristophanes' phrase translated here as 'on many rosters' is in the Greek 'under many letters'; for the system of jury empanelment in this era, involving letters of the alphabet, see D.M. MacDowell, The Law in Classical Athens (1978) 37-38.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; law; meter and music; philosophy; poetry
Translated by: William Hutton on 3 August 2010@15:07:18.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes, added links, set status) on 3 August 2010@17:50:28.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 4 August 2010@03:06:00.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2) on 4 August 2010@06:05:19.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 August 2013@05:32:27.
David Whitehead (coding) on 20 May 2016@06:08:31.


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