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Headword: *ta/lanton
Adler number: tau,34
Translated headword: talent
Vetting Status: high
As Diodorus says in On Weights,[1] it is 60 m[i]nai, and the m[i]na [is] 100 drachmas,[2] and the drachma [is] 6 obols, and the obol [is] 6 coppers, and the copper [is] 7 lepta.[3] But the talent [is] that which is now called Attic; among Sicilians the ancient [talent] was of 24 m[i]nai, but now [it is] 12.[4]
But Homer says: "two talents of gold."[5] So the talent of our time is not equal to that among the ancients. For it is set equal to a tripod and a kettle and a horse.[6]
But a talent in the divine Scripture is the divine grace sent from on high to each person.[7]
[sc. An example of the] construction [sc. of this word].[8] Aristophanes [writes]: "yet Hyperbolos learned this for a talent." That is, persuasive mystification.[9]
[Note] that in some [writers] a talent has 125 pounds.[10]
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] talantiai=oi li/qoi ["stones weighing a talent"]. "The stones that were thrown were [stones] weighing a talent; but they were two or more stades distant. The impact was irresistible not only for who fell on it, but even more for those with them."[11]
Censuring Pericles, they fined him fifty talents.[12]
Greek Original:
*ta/lanton: w(/s fhsi *dio/dwros e)n tw=| *peri\ staqmw=n, mnw=n e)stin c#, h( de\ mna= draxmw=n r#, h( de\ draxmh\ o)bolw=n #2#, o( de\ o)bolo\s xalkw=n #2#, o( de\ xalkou=s leptw=n z#. to\ ta/lanton de/, to\ nu=n lego/menon *)attiko/n: para\ *sikeliw/tais to\ me\n a)rxai=on h)=n mnw=n kd#, nuni\ de\ ib#. o( de\ *(/omhros le/gei: du/o xrusoi=o ta/lanta. w(s mh\ ei)=nai i)=son to\ kaq' h(ma=s ta/lanton tw=| para\ toi=s a)rxai/ois. w(s ga\r i)=son tou= tri/podos kai\ tou= le/bhtos kai\ tou= i(/ppou ti/qetai. *ta/lanton de\ para\ th=| qei/a| grafh=| h( a)/nwqen pempome/nh e(ka/stw| qei/a xa/ris. su/ntacis. *)aristofa/nhs: kai/toi tala/ntou tou=t' e)/maqen *(upe/rbolos. tou/testi xau/nwsin a)napeisthri/an. o(/ti to\ ta/lanton para/ tisin e)/xei li/tras rke#. kai\ *talantiai=oi li/qoi. talantiai=oi/ ge mh\n h)=san oi( ballo/menoi pe/troi: du/o de\ kai\ ple/on a)ph/|esan stadi/ous. h( plhgh\ d' ou) toi=s prostuxou=si mo/non, e)pipolu\ de\ kai\ toi=s met' e)kei/nous h)=n a)nupo/statos. ai)tiw/menoi de\ to\n *perikle/a penth/konta tala/ntois e)zhmi/wsan.
See also tau 31, tau 33.
[1] This is not the historian Diodorus Siculus but a later writer of the same (quite common) name.
[2] cf. mu 1144, mu 1145
[3] cf. omicron 7, chi 55.
[4] cf. scholion on Homer, Iliad 5.576.
[5] Homer, Iliad 18.507 (web address 1), repeated at 23.269; see next note.
[6] From the scholia to Homer, Iliad 23.269.
[7] Cf. Matthew 25.15 ff. (web address 2). The TLG does not find a parallel to this comment.
[8] cf. (e.g.) mu 975, sigma 970, tau 283.
[9] Aristophanes, Clouds 875-6 (web address 3), with scholion; cf. alpha 2010, chi 151.
[10] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Clouds 758 (where the adjective 'five-talent' occurs).
[11] Josephus, Jewish War 5.270 (web address 4).
[12] cf. Diodorus Siculus 12.45.4; Plutarch, Pericles 35.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; epic; geography; historiography; history; imagery; law; military affairs; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 29 January 2011@22:25:57.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 30 January 2011@04:58:16.
Catharine Roth (added note number) on 30 January 2011@12:10:37.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 6 January 2014@07:16:49.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 12 January 2014@01:19:00.
David Whitehead (added one note, modified others) on 8 May 2015@05:04:16.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 8 May 2015@22:17:17.
Catharine Roth (tweaked links) on 17 June 2022@20:12:59.


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