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Headword: *sunwnh/
Adler number: sigma,1614
Translated headword: buying-up, coemptio, compulsory purchase, requisition
Vetting Status: high
Under Justinian[1] the production of grain was scanty and the import of grain arrived insufficient to meet the need. He[2], at a loss what to do in the present circumstances, was minded to attempt to raise a great quantity of grain from farms in Bithynia and Phrygia and Thrace. It was necessary for those living there to bring the cargoes to the sea with great labor and to transport them into Byzantium with risk and to bring away payments from him [sc. Petros], to be sure short in their reckoning, and for the loss to them to rise to such an amount that they rejoiced if someone allowed them to make a present of the grain to the public at home, and to pay an additional price for it. This is the burden which they were accustomed to call 'buying-up.'[3]
Greek Original:
*sunwnh/. o(/ti e)pi\ *)ioustinianou= h( tou= si/tou fora\ e)spa/nize, kai\ e)ndeeste/rws h)\ kata\ th\n xrei/an o( sitagwgo\s sto/los a)fi/keto. a)porou/menos de\ toi=s parou=sin, e)/n te *biquni/a| kai\ *frugi/a| kai\ *qra/|kh| xwri/wn peira=sqai me/ga ti xrh=ma si/tou h)ci/ou. h)=n te a)nagkai=on toi=s tau/th| oi)kou=si me/xri me\n ei)s th\n qa/lassan po/nw| pollw=| ta\ forti/a fe/rein, e)s *buza/ntion de\ cu\n kindu/nw| tau=ta e)skomi/zesqai kai\ braxe/a me\n timh/mata dh=qen tw=| lo/gw| pro\s au)tou= fe/resqai, th\n zhmi/an de\ au)toi=s e)s toso/nde mege/qous kaqi/stasqai, w(/ste a)gapa=n, h)/n tis au)tou\s e)w/|h to/n te si=ton oi)/kw| dhmosi/w| xari/zesqai, kai\ ti/mhma e(/teron u(pe\r au)tou= katatiqe/nai. tou=to/ e)sti to\ a)/xqos, o(/per sunwnh\n kalei=n nenomi/kasi.
The entry is taken almost verbatim from ProcopiusAnecdota (a.k.a. Secret History) 22.17-19. See also 23.11-14 (and Agathias, Histories 4.22). The end of the present passage, expanded at 23.13-14 supplies a gloss for the initially unglossed headword.
[1] Eastern Roman Emperor, reigned 527-565 CE. See iota 446, OCD4 s.v., and web address 1 below.
[2] Not Justinian, but a minister named Petros Barsymes (pi 1409).
[3] Dewing (see bibliography below) in his note on this passage defined the term as 'purchase by the government at a price which made the process practically confiscation.' For the headword and its cognates in general see LSJ s.v.
Procopius, Anecdota, ed. and tr., H.B. Dewing, London and Cambridge, MA, 1935.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: agriculture; biography; botany; chronology; definition; economics; ethics; food; geography; historiography; history; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 27 November 2002@20:48:00.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 28 November 2002@03:08:55.
David Whitehead (x-ref) on 29 June 2004@07:36:44.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 21 November 2005@10:44:34.
David Whitehead (more headwords; expanded primary note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 23 August 2011@05:43:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 6 December 2013@23:48:05.
David Whitehead on 5 January 2014@04:29:30.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@12:05:30.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 11 July 2015@23:32:47.


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