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Headword: Tumpana
Adler number: tau,1164
Translated headword: kettledrums
Vetting Status: high
Instead of a trumpet the Indians used to strike into the air with whips. They also had kettledrums which sent up a terrible booming from themselves.[1] But their construction was like this: having hollowed out a log of fir, they fitted into it bells of mountain-bronze.[2] Having covered the mouth of the vessel with bull's hide[3] they carried this kettledrum right-side-up into their battles. But when they wanted to make a great din or to give some signal, turning the wooden vessel over onto its mouth they shook it. The bells in it, which were both many and large, and sounding under cover, sent up an indistinct sort of booming sound from inside. For those who did not know, it was not easy to recognize from what instrument or beast [it came], for it was like a bellowing.
Greek Original:
Tumpana: hoi Indoi anti salpingos tais mastixin apektupoun eis ton aera. eichon de kai tumpana, phrikôdê tina bombon ex heautôn anienta. ên de hê kataskeuê toiade. phitron elatês koilanantes enêrmozon es auton kôdônas oreichalkou. to de stoma tou angous taureiôi dermati perikutôsantes meteôron epheron es tas machas touto to tumpanon. epan de thorubon polun ergasasthai êthelon ê sêmanai ti, katastrepsantes epi to stoma to xulinon angos etinasson. hoi de en autôi kôdônes, polloi te hama ontes kai megaloi, en te steganôi êchountes, asaphê tina bombon anepempon endothen: honper ou rhaidion ên tois ouk eidosin epignônai, tinos ên organou ê thêriou: bruchêmati gar eoiken.
The source of this passage, parts of which feature under other entries (see nn. 1 and 3 below), is unidentifiable.
On tympana, see also kappa 1166, kappa 1167, kappa 1174.
[1] Cf. sigma 68.
[2] On mountain-bronze, see omicron 554.
[3] Cf. kappa 2793.
Keywords: botany; geography; military affairs; meter and music; science and technology; trade and manufacture; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 5 February 2014@01:42:21.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 5 February 2014@03:04:55.


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