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Headword: Σχοινίον μεμιλτωμένον
Adler number: sigma,1810
Translated headword: miltos-soaked rope, red rope
Vetting Status: high
If they [= the Athenians] were dawdling on their way into the assembly, the archers[1] used to soak a rope in miltos[2] and chase them together and close the shops.
And [there is] a saying:[3] 'they are fleeing the miltos-soaked rope'. To force them into the assemblies they devised this and many other things. For they used to stretch out screens and close off those streets which did not lead into the assembly-place, and remove the goods for sale in the markets, so that they would not spend time on them; what is more, they encircled them with a miltos-soaked rope and chased them together into the assembly. This they did to stop dawdling; for those who were dyed had to pay a fine. Alternatively: since the Athenians were idle as regards the meetings, two attendants used to stretch out a miltos-soaked rope and pursue the crowd through the agora into the assembly, as Plato the comic poet says. And those who were dyed had to pay a fine.[4]
Greek Original:
Σχοινίον μεμιλτωμένον: εἰ βραδύνοιεν ἐπὶ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, οἱ τοξόται σχοινίον μιλτοῦντες συνήλαυνον καὶ τὰ πρατήρια διέκλειον. καὶ παροιμία: τὸ σχοινίον φεύγουσι τὸ μεμιλτωμένον. ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἐξ ἀνάγκης αὐτοὺς εἰς τὰς ἐκκλησίας ἰέναι τοῦτο ἐμηχανῶντο καὶ πολλὰ ἄλλα. ἀνεπετάννυσαν γὰρ τὰ γέρρα καὶ ἀπέκλειον τὰς ὁδοὺς τὰς μὴ φερούσας εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, καὶ τὰ ὤνια ἀνῄρουν ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς, ὅπως μὴ περὶ ταῦτα διατρίβοιεν: ἔτι μὴν καὶ μεμιλτωμένῳ σχοινίῳ περιβάλλοντες αὐτοὺς συνήλαυνον εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν. τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίουν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ βραδύνειν: ὅσοι γὰρ ἐχρίοντο ζημίαν ἐξέτινον. ἄλλως: ἐπεὶ ὀκνηρῶς εἶχον οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι πρὸς τὰς συνόδους, εἰώθεισαν ὑπηρέται δύο μεμιλτωμένον σχοινίον ἐκτείνοντες, διὰ τῆς ἀγορᾶς διώκειν τὸν ὄχλον εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, ὥς φησι Πλάτων ὁ κωμικός. ὅσοι δὲ ἐχρίοντο ἐξέτινον ζημίαν.
The first part of this entry is also in Photius (sigma914 Theodoridis). The second and fuller part draws on the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 22 (web address 1), where the phrase "they are fleeing the miltos-soaked rope" occurs.
cf. mu 564, and see generally M.H. Hansen, The Athenian Assembly (Oxford [Blackwell] 1987) 46-7.
[1] So, correctly, ms F (following Photius), as printed by Adler; cf. generally tau 771, tau 772. The other mss have the error 'demesmen'.
[2] Red ochre, red lead, ruddle; besides mu 564 see mu 1069, mu 1070, mu 1071.
[3] Not, despite this, taken up by the paroemiographers; simply 'a saying' in Aristophanes himself.
[4] This reference to Plato Comicus is problematic (whether or not it is supposed that what follows here actually quotes him).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; constitution; daily life; economics; ethics; history; law; trade and manufacture
Translated by: David Whitehead on 6 November 2001@07:55:46.
Vetted by:
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics; added link; cosmetics; set status) on 5 December 2003@14:57:32.
David Whitehead (x-refs) on 7 December 2003@04:11:32.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 23 August 2011@08:26:21.
David Whitehead on 5 January 2014@08:47:56.
David Whitehead (another note) on 10 June 2014@05:04:03.


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