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Headword: *fle/gei
Adler number: phi,525
Translated headword: burns bright, flames, inflames
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Meaning [he/she/it] kindles into flame. Sophocles [writes]: "all things great time both extinguishes and inflames [i.e. rekindles from embers]."
Greek Original:
*fle/gei: a)nti\ tou= zwpurei=. *sofoklh=s: pa/nq' o( me/gas xro/nos marai/nei te kai\ fle/gei.
Notes:
The entry begins as does the scholiast on Sophocles, Ajax 714, and then presents that line as it appears in the manuscript tradition. However, Stobaeus cites the clause in his Anthology without "and inflames" (1.8.24), and it is in this form that the proverb -- as it became -- reappears in (?)Philemon (fr. 240 Kock, but not accepted into Kassel-Austin), Theocritus (Idylls 23.28), and John Chrysostom (de beato Abraham 50.738.19). Modern scholars thus accept the view that Stobaeus depends on a superior ms tradition, and omit the second verb in the texts we use today. Some may prefer the proverb in the form known to the Suda! In any case, the Suda reading is more suitable to the context, for the chorus is rejoicing that the beams of a new day rekindle hope. Their lines 714-716 echo lines spoken by Ajax at 646-47, "All hidden things long, immeasurable time brings to light, and it hides those that have appeared. Nothing is beyond expectation..." The passage needs further study.
The verb, both transitive and intransitive in use, seems to refer to the first appearance of flame in a fire or to the shooting up of flame in general. It is rare outside poetry, as are its compounds, both in the proper sense and as a metaphor for inflamed passions. It is also the source of the medical term phlegm (phi 523). See P. Chantraine, Dict. ├ętym. (1968) 1208ff.
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; medicine; poetry; proverbs; tragedy
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 13 January 2003@13:15:10.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 14 January 2003@03:39:27.
David Whitehead (tweaking; raised status) on 13 December 2013@04:31:01.
Catharine Roth (coding, keyword) on 15 December 2013@01:39:01.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 January 2015@07:57:57.

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