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Headword: *periageiro/menoi
Adler number: pi,1054
Translated headword: collecting rewards
Vetting Status: high
"As if victorious athletes collecting rewards." In Republic [book] 5 at the end.[1] For it is said that they conferred prizes from the beginning on those who entered the contests in the manner both Homer and other poets relate.[2] When they began to compete without prizes, those who were related to the victors by obligation or kinship bound them with crowns. Some of the others who were sitting nearby drew near and added prizes of much worth. Others, farther away, pelted them with flowers and leaves as they circled around. Thus even now they throw felt hats, girdles, and even tunics at those who competed conspicuously.[3] From this arose the custom of the athlete going around in a circle and gathering and receiving gifts. Hence Simonides speaks as follows [about] Aetylos:[4]
Who of those today bound so many victories
with wreathes of myrtle or garlands of roses
in a contest with those living nearby?
Some [say] that this custom began with Theseus,[5] for the people from the countryside pelted him with flowers and leaves as he was returning home from Crete after slaying the Minotaur, and honored with the fruits at hand.
Greek Original:
*periageiro/menoi: w(/sper oi( nikhfo/roi periageiro/menoi a)qlhtai/. *politei/as e# e)pi\ te/lei. le/getai ga\r o(/ti to\ me\n e)c a)rxh=s a)=qla prouti/qesan toi=s a)gwnizome/nois, o(\n tro/pon kai\ *(/omhros kai\ a)/lloi poihtai\ i(storou=sin: e)pei\ de\ h)/rcanto xwri\s a)/qlwn a)gwni/zesqai, tou\s nikh/santas oi( me\n kata\ fili/an h)\ sugge/neian prosh/kontes stefa/nois a)ne/doun: tw=n d' a)/llwn oi( me\n su/neggus kaqh/menoi kai\ plhsia/zontes ple/onos a)/cia e)peti/qesan, oi( de\ porrw/teron a)/nqesi kai\ fu/llois e)/ballon perierxome/nous: w(s kai\ nu=n toi=s e)pifanw=s a)gwnisame/nois e)piba/llousi peta/sous kai\ zw/nas, oi( de\ xitw=nas. e)k tou/tou su/nhqes e)ge/neto ku/klw| periporeuome/nous tou\s a)qlhta\s e)pagei/rein kai\ lamba/nein ta\ dido/mena. o(/qen *simwni/dhs *)aetu/lou fhsi\n ou(/tws: ti/s dh\ tw=n nu=n tosa/de peta/loisi mu/rtwn h)\ stefa/noisi r(o/dwn a)nedh/sato ni/kas e)n a)gw=ni periktio/nwn. e)/nioi de\ tou=to to\ e)/qos a)po\ *qhse/ws th\n a)rxh\n labei=n: e)kei=non ga\r e)k *krh/ths komisqe/nta meta\ to\ a)nelei=n to\n *minw/tauron oi( a)po\ th=s xw/ras a)/nqesi kai\ fu/llois e)/ballon kai\ toi=s parou=si karpoi=s e)ti/mwn.
Same entry in Photius (pi628 Theodoridis, with other references there). See also, in brief, at omega 241.
[1] "As if victorious [athletes] collecting rewards" is a quotation from the tenth (sic) book at the very end of Plato's Republic (621D). Socrates is speaking to Glaukon: "If we believe me and consider that the soul is immortal and capable of enduring all things bad and all things good, we will always hold to the upward road and practice justice with wisdom in every way in order that we be friends to ourselves and to the gods, both while remaining here and whenever, just as victorious [athletes] collecting rewards, we receive the prizes of justice. Here and on that journey of a thousand years about which I have told you, we shall prosper" (621C-D).
[2] The author of this entry seems to have principally in mind here the funeral games for Patroclus in Iliad 23, for which Achilles acted as master of the games who presented (and, in this case, provided) the prizes for the contests:
However, Achilles
held the people there and had the broad assembly sit down.
He brought up prizes from the ships, cauldrons and tripods
and horses and mules and heads of stalwart cattle
and lovely girdled women and gray iron.
First, for the swift-footed horsemen brilliant prizes
he set forth for taking away, a women skilled in blameless works
and a tripod with handles that held twenty-two measures
for the first prize. Then for second, he set forth a horse
of six years, one never broken and in foal with an infant mule.
For third prize, he set down a cauldron never put to the fire,
a beautiful thing, holding four measures and still as white as new.
For fourth, he set out a weight of gold, and for fifth prize,
he set out a shallow cauldron with two handles, untouched by the fire.
He stood straight and spoke his word among the Argives:
"Son of Atreus and you other well-greaved Achaeans,
these prizes are laid down in the assembly, awaiting horsemen" (Homer, Iliad 23.257-273).
[3] I have found nothing to corroborate this story, which reads like a foundation myth rather than historical practice.
[4] Photius' original -- as emended by Porson -- not only includes the preposition but also, more importantly, gets the name right: 'about Astylos'. This is fragment 1 in D.L. Page, Poetae Melici Graeci (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962), 238.
[5] This appears to be an Athenian invention, another example of the Athenians' willingness to claim authorship in matters athletic. See note 7 to kappa 2161.
Keywords: aetiology; athletics; clothing; economics; epic; ethics; mythology; philosophy; poetry
Translated by: Wm. Blake Tyrrell on 27 February 2002@21:23:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 28 February 2002@03:05:13.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 18 June 2002@03:37:42.
David Whitehead (typo) on 18 July 2003@03:47:38.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 15 April 2010@08:44:20.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; tweaking) on 23 September 2013@09:37:39.
David Whitehead (expanded n.4) on 10 April 2014@04:26:59.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 20 July 2021@18:23:14.


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