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Headword: Πειρῶν
Adler number: pi,1462
Translated headword: making an attempt on
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning someone] making advances on, having sexual intercourse with. "They say that the Corinthian [courtesans] -- for this is making an attempt on. Aristophanes in Plutus [writes] -- "whenever a poor man happens to make an attempt on them, do not pay him any regard."[1] Also [sc. attested is the phrase] "when men made attempts on", [meaning] attempted and went after, or pursued. It is a form from the [verb] πειρᾶν ; for to make an attempt on is to make advances on a women in regard to sexual love. So it is used in this way in regard to a women. So it indicates that some are rarely successful and very few succeed.[2]
Greek Original:
Πειρῶν: προσβάλλων, συνουσιάζων. τὰς Κορινθίας φασίν: τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι τὸ πειρᾶν. Ἀριστοφάνης Πλούτῳ: ὅταν τις μὲν αὐτὰς πένης πειρῶν τύχῃ, οὐδὲ προσέχειν τὸν νοῦν. καὶ Πειρασάντων ἀνδρῶν, διαπειρασάντων καὶ μετελθόντων, ἢ ἐπιτηδευσάντων. ἐσχημάτισται δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ πειρᾶν: πειρᾶν γὰρ τὸ προσβάλλειν γυναικὶ περὶ τῆς ἀφροδίτης. τροπῇ οὖν κέχρηται ὡς ἐπὶ γυναικός. σημαίνει οὖν σπανίως ἐπιτυχεῖν τινας καὶ ὀλίγους κατορθῶσαι παντάπασι.
The headword (extracted from the first quotation given) is the present active participle, masculine nominative singular, of πειράω . The entry comments on the use of this verb in two Aristophanic passages: Plutus [Wealth] 150, and Knights 517.
[1] Aristophanes, Plutus 149-151, here omitting 'courtesans' (and rather awkwardly combined with a scholion on line 150); cf. epsilon 3266.
[2] An approximation of Aristophanes, Knights 517 (which actually reads πολλῶν γὰρ δὴ πειρασάντων αὐτὴν ὀλίγοις χαρίσασθαι ), with comment derived from the uncomprehending scholia thereto; see already at pi 1452, and again chi 119. (For the differences see Dübner, 52.) The main point, unappreciated by the scholiast and again here, is that these 'many' have been trying it on, figuratively, with Comedy herself.
Friedrich Dübner. Scholia Graeca in Aristophanem: cum prolegomenis grammaticorum. Paris, 1855
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; imagery; women
Translated by: Philip Forness on 24 February 2013@15:32:03.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 25 February 2013@04:31:41.
David Whitehead on 2 October 2013@07:52:50.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 5 February 2014@06:48:20.


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