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Headword: Σαίνεσθαι
Adler number: sigma,171
Translated headword: to fawn
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] to flatter.[1]
The [sc. active] verb [is] σαίνω ['I fawn at'].
"But you, dog Cerberus, may fawn at me, the dog."[2]
And elsewhere: "you fawn while biting and you are a sneaky dog."[3] In reference to those who pretend, forsooth, to be benevolent while plotting secretly.
Also [sc. attested is] 'I fawn at'; [used] with an accusative.[4]
Greek Original:
Σαίνεσθαι: κολακεύειν. τὸ ῥῆμα Σαίνω. ἀλλὰ κύον, σαίνοις, Κέρβερε, τόν με κύνα. καὶ αὖθις: σαίνεις δάκνουσα καὶ κύων λαίθαργος εἶ. ἐπὶ τῶν ὑποκρινομένων δῆθεν εὐνοεῖν, ἐπιβουλευόντων δὲ λάθρα. καὶ Σαίνω: αἰτιατικῇ.
The primary headword is the present middle infinitive of the verb σαίνω 'fawn at'. The verb originally seems to mean 'shake' or 'wag' [one's tail], which accounts for the various meanings applied to active and middle forms - see n. 1 below.
[1] = Synagoge sigma7; Photius, Lexicon sigma25 Theodoridis. Theodoridis gives tentative approval to Naber's suggestion that the gloss derives from commentary to 1 Thessalonians 3:3, where the headword occurs, but in that passage the infinitive seems to have the meaning 'be shaken' or 'be disturbed', as is usually the case for this verb in the middle voice (cf. Hesychius sigma52, sigma54 and sigma513, Synagoge sigma8, Photius sigma26). The meaning given to it here is generally confined to the active voice of the verb, as is illustrated in the quotations that follow; cf. the similar gloss for an active form of the verb at Hesychius sigma51, Synagoge sigma6, Photius sigma24.
[2] Greek Anthology 7.66.4 (Honestus). The speaker is the soul of Diogenes the Cynic (delta 1141, etc.), making a play on his own nickname 'The Dog' ('cynic' = 'dog-like') in the underworld. The passage contains a present optative active form of the verb.
[3] Sophocles fr. 885 Radt, as quoted in the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 1031, along with the accompanying comments. Also quoted at lambda 178. The verb form here is present indicative active, second person singular.
[4] For this syntactical information Adler cites the Lexicon Syntacticum of Codex Laurentianus 59.16, Syntacticum Gudianum and Anecdota Graeca (Cramer) 4.199.13. This addition is lacking, she reports, in mss AFV, but is written in the margin of A in a more recent hand (without the 'also' (καί )).
Keywords: Christianity; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; imagery; mythology; philosophy; poetry; proverbs; religion; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 17 October 2013@11:24:42.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another x-ref; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 October 2013@03:34:06.
David Whitehead on 22 December 2013@08:40:02.
David Whitehead (coding) on 25 May 2016@09:26:54.


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