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Headword: *)abraa/m
Adler number: alpha,69
Translated headword: Abraham
Vetting Status: high
The first among patriarchs; [it was he] in whom the Hebrew people took pride at first, before they rebelled against God, became estranged from Him, and shed upon themselves the blood of His Only-Begotten Son.[1] This man came out of the land of the Chaldeans, who devoted their entire lives to the stars and heavenly bodies. Trained, therefore, as was their ancestral custom, to observe the motions of the heavenly bodies[2] he surmised that the masterwork underlying this visible creation was not to be found in such objects, but had a Creator who set them in motion, gave harmony to their paths, and ordered the entire universe. Because of the greatness and beauty of the things He had made, Abraham, as it was likely, ceased devoting himself to gazing out into the heavens nor did he squander his passion in their pursuit. Instead, by surmounting the celestial vaults and transcending all the intelligible realm beyond the cosmos, Abraham no longer stood apart from the One sought, until finally the Creator for whom he yearned manifested Himself to Abraham in likenesses[3] and forms. And in this way the Unseen and Invisible revealed Himself. And [God] sent him forth from his own land as a wanderer and settled him in the land of the Canaanites. There he dwelled, now being in about his ninety-ninth year.[4] Until this time, he was childless; then [God] made him the father of the miraculous and blessed Isaac that he might have a first-born, only-begotten son[5] -- prefiguring the mystical image of the First-Born, Only-Begotten Son.[6] This was an exceedingly singular[7] honor bestowed upon Abraham, for the Creator favored him with the titles Servant, Beloved, and Father by flesh of the Only Begotten Son of Him who fashioned the entire universe.[8] Abraham invented sacred writing and devised the language of which Hebrew children had a command, as they were this man's disciples and descendants. Moreover, the Greek alphabet received its impetus from this script,[9] even if Greeks amused themselves by forming the letters differently. Proof of this is in the pronunciation of the first and preeminent letter "alpha" because it derives its name from the Hebrew "aleph" by way of the Blessed, First, and Eternal Name.[10] So too, the Greeks through Abraham came to possess books on dream interpretation. Witness to this is Joseph, the truly wondrous descendant of Abraham, who interpreted Pharoah's dreams as they were going to turn out in fact. In this, Philo, the Jewish philosopher, will be my confirmation via his work Life of the Statesman.[11] About Philo it is said "Philo platonizes and Plato philonizes."[12]
The practice of idolatry extended from Serug[13] to the time of Abraham's father Tharron.[14] Thus, when Abraham was 14 years old[15] and deemed worthy of divine knowledge, he upbraided his father, "Why do you lead the people astray for harmful gain (that is, with idols)? There is no other God but the One in heaven, the Creator of the entire universe." Yet seeing the people serving earthly things, he embarked on a tireless quest, seeking out with his pious heart the Truly Existing God.[16] But seeing that the sky is sometimes light and sometimes dark, he said to himself, "That is not God." Observing similarly the sun and the moon, the one obscured and eclipsed and the other waning and occluded, he said, "Those are not gods either." True, he was trained in astronomy by his father, but Abraham all the same was puzzled by the motions of the stars and scornful of them. But God appeared to him and said, "Go out of your land and leave your kinsmen."[17] Abraham took his father's idols, smashing some and incinerating others. Then he went away with his father out of the land of the Chaldeans. And they came to Haran,[18] where his father died. He left there, obeying the Lord's word, with his wife Sarah and his nephew Lot[19] and all their possessions, and came to the promised land Canaan, which the Canaanites had seized and settled in. When a famine arose, Abraham left the land of the Canaanites and went into Egypt, where Abimelech[20] the king took his wife Sarah. God struck terror into Abimelech and paralysed his limbs, saying "Give this man back his wife, because he is a prophet and will pray for you, and you will live. But if you do not give her back, know that you and your entire household will die." When Abraham got his wife back, undefiled, he prayed, and Abimelech and his household were cured of the paralysis.[21] After this the king, honoring Abraham and devoting himself to his sayings, became a pious and expert teacher to the Egyptians. The same Abraham, upon returning from war,[22] was considered worthy of blessing by Melchisedek, king of Salem, who brought bread and wine out to him. Melchisedek was a priest of the Most High, and Abraham gave to Him a tenth of all he had. Melchisedek was without father, mother, or lineage, like the Son of God.[23]
When Abram[24] lamented to God about his childlessness, God revealed to him through a dream that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. And he believed God, and God reckoned it to him as righteousness.[25] Now Sarah, who was barren, gave Abraham permission to father a child with her maidservant, and she bore Ismael.[26] And when Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him and altered his name to Abraham, for until then he had been called Abram. Similarly, Sarah became Sarrah with another "r".[27] And Abraham circumcised Ismael and all his descendants. Moreover, when the Lord was being shown the hospitality of Abraham's house, He promised Abraham that Sarrah would bear him a son. But Sarrah smiled; and the one who was begotten was called Isaac, by the Hebrew name that means "laughter with delight."[28]
Also [sc. attested is the adjective] *abramiai=os: [meaning] descendant of Abraham, or towering, revered.[29]
Greek Original:
*)abraa/m: o( prw=tos e)n patria/rxais: ei)s o(\n a)pesemnu/neto dh=mos o( tw=n *(ebrai/wn to\ pro/teron, pri\n h)\ qeou= a)poskirth=sai kai\ gene/sqai tou/tou a)llo/trioi kai\ to\ tou= monogenou=s ui(ou= au)tou= ai(=ma e)f' e(autou\s e)pispa/sasqai. ou(=tos e)k me\n th=s *xaldai/wn gh=s u(ph=rxen o(rmw/menos, tw=n peri\ ta\ mete/wra kai\ tou\s a)ste/ras to\n bi/on o(/lon katanalisko/ntwn. a)skhqei\s ou)=n kata\ to\n pa/trion no/mon ta\s tw=n e)pourani/wn a)ste/rwn kinh/seis kai\ stoxasa/menos w(s ou)k e)n tou/tois i(/statai to\ megalourgo\n th=s fainome/nhs tauthsi\ kti/sews, a)ll' e)/xei tina\ to\n dhmiourgo\n to\n kai\ kinou=nta kai\ dieuqu/nonta th\n e)narmo/nion tw=n a)ste/rwn porei/an kai\ tou= ko/smou panto\s th\n kata/stasin, kai\ dia\ tou= mege/qous kai\ th=s kallonh=s tw=n ktisma/twn to\n genesiourgo\n au)tw=n, w(s e)nh=n, qewrh/sas ou)k e)/sth me/xri tou/twn, ou)de\ th\n e)/fesin ei)s tau=ta katedapa/nhsen, a)lla\ tw=n ou)rani/wn a(yi/dwn u(perarqei\s kai\ pa=san diaba\s th\n nohth/n te kai\ u(perko/smion su/mphcin ou)k a)pe/sth tou= zhtoume/nou, e(/ws ou(= o( poqou/menos e(auto\n au)tw=| e)fane/rwse tu/pois te kai\ morfw/masin, oi(=s e(auto\n e)mfani/zei o( a)fanh\s kai\ a)o/ratos. kai\ metana/sthn au)to\n e)k th=s patri/dos labw\n e)pi\ th\n *xanani=tin kate/sthse, to\n e)nenhkosto/n pou kai\ e)/naton h)/dh xro/non pare/lkonta: kai\ a)/paida me/xri to/te tugxa/nonta gennh/tora tou= qaumasi/ou kai\ ma/karos kate/- sthsen *)isaa\k, i(/n' e)/xoi monogenh= ui(o\n kai\ prwto/tokon, tou= monogenou=s kai\ prwtoto/kou mustikh\n ei)ko/na prodiagra/fonta: tou=to ge/ras au)tw=| kat' e)cai/reton xarisa/menos, to\ dou=lon kai\ fi/lon kai\ pate/ra xrhmati/sai tou= monogenou=s ui(ou= kata\ sa/rka, tou= to\n ko/smon o(/lon dhmiourgh/santos. ou(=tos eu(=re me\n i(era\ gra/mmata kai\ glw=ssan e)mhxanh/sato, h(=s *(ebrai/wn pai=des e)n e)pisth/mh| e)tu/gxanon, w(s o)/ntes tou/tou maqhtai\ kai\ a)po/gonoi. e)k tou/tou kai\ ta\ *(ellh/nwn gra/mmata ta\s a)forma\s e)/labon, ka)\n a)/llws kai\ a)/llws e(autou\s diapai/zontes a)nagra/fwsin *(/ellhnes. kai\ tou/tou martu/rion h( tou= *)/alfa fwnh\ tou= prw/tou stoixei/ou kai\ a)/rxontos, a)po\ tou= *)/alef *(ebrai/ou labo/ntos th\n e)pi/klhsin tou= makari/ou kai\ prw/tou kai\ a)qana/tou o)no/matos. e)k tou/tou kai\ ta\ o)nei/rwn bibli/a e)sfeteri/santo *(/ellhnes. kai\ ma/rtus *)iwsh\f o( panqau/mastos o( tou/tou a)po/gonos, o( tou= *faraw\ ta\ e)nu/pnia w(s e)/mellon a)pobh/sesqai dihgou/menos. tou=to/ moi kai\ *fi/lwn, e)c *(ebrai/wn filo/sofos, e)n tw=| tou= *politikou= bi/w| sunepimarturh/setai, *fi/lwn, peri\ ou(= e)rrh/qh, *fi/lwn platwni/zei, kai\ *pla/twn filwni/zei. o(/ti h)/rcato h( ei)dwlolatrei/a a)po\ *serou\x e(/ws tw=n xro/nwn *qa/rra tou= patro\s *)abraa/m. o(\s *)abraa\m u(pa/rxwn e)tw=n id# kai\ qeognwsi/as a)ciwqei\s e)nouqe/tei to\n pate/ra au)tou=, le/gwn: ti/ plana=|s tou\s a)nqrw/pous dia\ ke/rdos e)pizh/mion [toute/sti ta\ ei)/dwla]; ou)k e)/stin a)/llos qeo\s ei) mh\ o( e)n toi=s ou)ranoi=s, o( kai\ pa/nta to\n ko/smon dhmiourgh/sas. o(rw=n ga\r tou\s a)nqrw/pous ktismatolatrou=ntas dih/rxeto diaponou/menos kai\ to\n o)/ntws o)/nta qeo\n e)kzhtw=n e)k filoqe/ou kardi/as. o(rw=n de\ to\n ou)rano\n pote\ me\n lampro\n, pote\ de\ skoteino\n, e)/legen e)n e(autw=|: ou)k e)/stin ou(=tos qeo/s. o(moi/ws kai\ to\n h(/lion kai\ th\n selh/nhn, to\n me\n a)pokrupto/menon kai\ a)maurou/menon, th\n de\ fqi/nousan kai\ a)polh/gousan, e)/fhsen: ou)d' ou(=toi/ ei)si qeoi/. kai\ me/ntoi kai\ th\n tw=n a)ste/rwn ki/nhsin, e)k tou= patro\s ga\r e)paideu/eto th\n a)stronomi/an, kai\ a)porw=n e)dusxe/rainen. w)/fqh de\ au)tw=| o( qeo\s kai\ le/gei au)tw=|: e)/celqe e)k th=s gh=s sou kai\ e)k th=s suggenei/as sou. kai\ labw\n ta\ ei)/dwla tou= patro\s kai\ ta\ me\n kla/sas ta\ de\ e)mpuri/sas a)nexw/rhse meta\ tou= patro\s e)k gh=s *xaldai/wn: kai\ e)lqo/ntos ei)s *xarra\n, e)teleu/thsen o( path\r au)tou=. kai\ e)celqw\n e)kei=qen e)n lo/gw| *kuri/ou h)=lqe su\n th=| gunaiki\ *sa/rra| kai\ tw=| a)neyiw=| *lw\t meta\ pa/shs au)tw=n th=s a)poskeuh=s ei)s th\n o)feilome/nhn gh=n *xanaa\n, h(\n oi( *xananai=oi turannikw=s a)felo/menoi w)/|khsan. limou= de\ genome/nou katalipw\n th\n *xananai/wn gh=n ei)s *ai)/gupton a)ph/|ei, ou(= th\n gunai=ka *sa/rran *)abime/lex h(/rpasen o( basileu/s. tou=ton o( qeo\s e)kdeimatw/sas kai\ pa/resin tw=n melw=n e)pa/cas, a)po/dos, e)/fh, th\n gunai=ka tw=| a)nqrw/pw|, o(/ti profh/ths e)sti\ kai\ proseu/cetai peri\ sou= kai\ zh/seis. ei) de\ mh\ a)podw=|s, gnw=qi o(/ti a)poqanh=| su\ kai\ ta\ sa\ pa/nta. kai\ ou(/tws a)polabw\n th\n gunai=ka a)mi/anton kai\ proseuca/menos i)aqh=nai e)poi/hse th=s pare/sews *)abime/lex kai\ to\n oi)=kon au)tou=. e)/ktote timw=n au)to\n o( basileu\s kai\ prose/xwn toi=s u(p' au)tou= legome/nois, dida/skalos eu)sebei/as kai\ polupeiri/as *ai)gupti/ois e)ge/neto. o( au)to\s *)/abram u(postre/fwn e)k tou= pole/mou th=s eu)logi/as tou= *melxisede\k kathci/wtai, tou= basile/ws *salh\m, o(\s e)ch/negken au)tw=| a)/rtous kai\ oi)=non. h)=n de\ kai\ i(ereu\s tou= *(uyi/stou. kai\ e)/dwken au)tw=| *)/abram deka/thn a)po\ pa/ntwn. h)=n de\ o( *melxisede\k a)pa/twr, a)mh/twr, a)genealo/ghtos, a)fwmoiwme/nos tw=| ui(w=| tou= qeou=. tw=| de\ *)/abram a)tekni/an o)lofurome/nw| kaq' u(/pnous e)pidei/cas o( qeo\s tou\s a)ste/ras kata\ to\ plh=qos au)tw=n e)/sesqai/ oi( to\ spe/rma proedh/lou. o( de\ e)pi/steuse tw=| qew=|, kai\ e)logi/sqh au)tw=| ei)s dikaiosu/nhn. h( de\ *sa/rra stei=ra ou)=sa sunexw/rhsen *)/abram a)po\ th=s paidi/skhs paidopoih/sasqai: kai\ i)/sxei to\n *)ismah/l. e)nenh/konta de\ kai\ e)nne/a e)tw=n o)/nti tw=| *)/abram e)pifanei\s o( qeo\s *)abraa\m metwno/masen: *)/abram ga\r prw/hn w)noma/zeto: o(moi/ws kai\ th\n *sa/ran *sa/rran, prosqei\s kai\ e(/teron r. kai\ perie/teme to\n *)ismah\l kai\ pa/ntas tou\s e)c au)tou=. *ku/rios de\ tw=| *)abraa\m e)picenwqei\s e)phggei/lato te/cesqai *sa/rran au)tw=| pai=da. h( de\ e)meidi/ase, kai\ *)isaa\k to\ gennhqe\n proshgoreu/qh, ferwnu/mws tw=| meq' h(donh=s ge/lwti kata\ th\n *(ebrai/+da dia/lekton. kai\ *)abramiai=os: o( a)po/gonos *)abraa\m, h)\ gigantiai=os, i(eropreph/s.
This long entry is derived in part directly from George the Monk, in part indirectly from Philo of Alexandria; see further in the notes below.
[1] cf. Matthew 27:25 (web address 1).
[2] The Suda's attention to Chaldean astrology derives from Philo, On Abraham, (Colson, Philo Vol VI: XV.69-70).
[3] Use of tu/pos here is twofold: 1) To assert that God's appearance to Abraham was indirect (echoing Philo, On Abraham, XVII.79-80); 2) To impart, as if a corollary of tu/pos in Romans 5:14, that God's manifestation to Abraham was a type or prefiguration of Christ.
[4] Abraham is 100 years old at Isaac's birth (Genesis 21:5); however, the Suda follows Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 1.191-93 (web address 2 below) in assuming Abraham's age as 99 at the time of God's promise.
[5] The Suda here omits Ishmael, born to Abraham by the Egyptian slave Hagar when he was 86 years old (Genesis 16:1-16). The Suda's omission tacitly acknowledges a covenantal and legal distinction clearly drawn in Genesis. In Isaac, God establishes an "everlasting covenant" for his progeny, whereas God blesses Ishmael and makes him "fruitful and exceedingly numerous" (Genesis 17:19-20). Isaac's filial status is made explicit by God in identifying him as Abraham's "only son" (Genesis 22:12) through whom "offspring shall be named" for Abraham, whereas Ishmael, although destined to father a nation, is identified by God as "the son of the slave woman" (Genesis 21:12-13). Ishmael is, however, mentioned later in the entry.
[6] Christological imagery links Isaac to the personage of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-2 at web address 3 below). See also delta 94, notes 1 and 14.
[7] The Suda underscores the magnitude of the honor with a hyperbolic kat' before e)cai/reton.
[8] The statement, rooted in a paternalistic-filial model that originates in Abraham and culminates in the figure of Christ, approximates the transcendental premise: Abraham is to Joseph as Isaac is to Christ.
[9] The Suda confuses Mosaic and Abrahamic lore. The 2nd century BCE Jewish writer Eupolemus claimed for Moses the invention and propagation of writing: "Moses was the first wise man, the first who imparted the alphabet to the Jews; the Phoenicians received it from the Jews, and the Greeks from the Phoenicians." The 2nd century BCE Egyptian Jewish writer Artapanus attributed hieroglyphics to Moses. According to the 2nd century BCE Samaritan writer Ps.-Eupolemus and Artapanus, astrology and astronomy originated with Abraham, who taught these disciplines and other tools of culture to the Jews, Phoenicians, and Egyptians. They, in turn, transmitted these arts to the Greeks. Philo in On Abraham stresses Abraham's expertise as a teacher. (Encyc. Judaica, Vol 6.964-65; Gruen, 146-51, 157, 294; Grant, 77; Philo, XI.52) At sigma 295, Seth is credited with the invention of the alphabet; Greek legend named Cadmus or Linus as the one who introduced the alphabet to Greece (gamma 416, kappa 21, kappa 22, lambda 568). See also phi 787.
[10] The reference recalls א aleph as the initial letter of ʾelohīm, the most frequent generic name for God in the OT, used about 2,500 times--but a distant second to the unspoken covenant name YHWH (Yahweh), which occurs some 6,800 times (Perdue, 685-86). Cf. alpha 1445.
[11] A reference to Philo's *bi/os politikou= o(/per e)sti peri\ *)iwsh/f (Colson, Philo Vol VI, 140ff.)
[12] Adapted from Jerome's On Illustrious Men (11): h)\ *pla/twn filwni/zei h)\ *fi/lwn platwni/zei ("Either Plato philonizes or Philo platonizes.") Cf. phi 448 and Photius, Bibliotheca 86b 25.
[13] Abraham's grandfather (Genesis 11:22). Seruch in the LXX, שרוג śerūḡ in Hebrew. See also sigma 253.
[14] Abraham's father (Genesis 11:24). Tharra (*qa/rra, *qarra/) or Tharrha (*qa/r)r(a) (Hatch, Concordance, Appendix 1, 71; Brenton, 13); in Hebrew תרח Teraḥ. From the Chronicon of George the Monk, 92.11-12; cf. Malalas 55.5-6.
[15] The Midrash sets Abraham's rejection of idolatry at age 13 (Encyc. Judaica, 4.244). From here to "teacher to the Egyptians," the Suda's source is the Chronicon of George the Monk, 93.16 - 95.17.
[16] On God as "He who is," see omicron 438, omega 105.
[17] cf. Philo, On Abraham XIV.62.
[18] The call in Genesis 12:1-5 brings Abraham from Haran (חרן) to Canaan (כנען). The Suda adheres to Philo, On Abraham, XIV. 67: metani/statai...a)po\ th=s *xaldai/wn gh=s...e)is th\n *xarrai/wn gh=n.
[19] Philo shows a)delfidou=s, as at On Abraham, XXXVII.212, rather than the Suda's potentially ambiguous a)neyio/s for nephew (see LSJ s.v. at web address 4).
[20] On Abimelech, see alpha 45.
[21] The affliction cured in Genesis 20:17-18 is unspecified for Abimelech, but clearly is sterility for the female members of his house. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 1.208 (web address 5) relates that a "dangerous distemper" (Whiston trans.) afflicted Abimelech. For other traditions, see EncycJudaica, 2.76.
[22] Genesis 14:14-18; the Suda's source is the Chronicon of George the Monk, 100.17-26; 101.5-7.
[23] See Hebrews 7:3 (web address 6). In the Suda, see mu 544, mu 545, mu 546.
[24] The Greek mainly uses Abraam (אברהם ʾAḇraham) to this point, but here Abram (אברם), his pre-covenant name (Genesis 17:5).
[25] Genesis 15:5-6. The statement "and he believed God and God reckoned it to him as righteousness" appears also in Romans 4:3 (web address 7), Galatians 3:6 (web address 8), and James 2:23 (web address 9). A more idiomatic and semantically precise translation of the Hebrew (והאמין בה' ויחשבה לו צדקה weheʾemīn bah' wayyaḥšeḇeha lō ṣedaqah) reads: "And because he put his trust in the Lord, He reckoned it to his merit" (Plaut, 146). This version takes into interpretive account the imperfective waw consecutive (consequential) (Kautzsch, 111.l).
[26] Ismael (Ishmael) appears in the Suda at iota 644, but with a gloss that belongs to Isaak.
[27] Genesis 17:15. Also as *sa/r)r(a or Sarrha (Brenton, 18). The Hebrew covenant name change is Sarai to Sarah (both meaning Princess).
[28] Isaac (יצחק yiṣḥaq) from the Hebrew meaning "he (Abraham) laughed" in Genesis 17:17, and puns Sarah's תצחק tiṣḥaq ("she laughed") in Genesis 18:12. (Kohlenberger, Vol 1, 37, 39; Anderson, 182) In the Suda, see iota 606 (mostly taken from this entry).
[29] This adjectival derivative of Abraham's name appears in 4 Maccabees 9:21 LXX. The gloss replicates, apart from word order, one in Photius; cf. Synagoge alpha17, Hesychius alpha181.
Anderson, A.W. Understanding the Old Testament. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1966
Attridge, H.W. "The Letter to the Hebrews" in The HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV). New York: HarperCollins, 1993
Brenton, L.C.L. The Septuagint with Apocrypha. Peabody: Henrickson, 1999 (reprint of 1851 edn.)
Colson F.H., Philo (Vol VI), Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1994
Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1973
Grant, M. From Alexander to Cleopatra: The Hellenistic World. New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1982
Gruen, E.S. Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition. Berkeley: University of California, 1998
Hatch, E., Redpath, H.A., and Muraoka, T. A Concordance to the Septuagint. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998
Kautzsch, E. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar. Oxford: Clarendon, 1910
Keck, L.E. "The Letter of Paul to the Romans" in The HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV). New York: HarperCollins, 1993
Kohlenberger, J.R. The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987
Perdue, L.G. "Names of God in the Old Testament" in Harper's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985
Plaut, W.G. The Torah: Genesis, A Modern Commentary. New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1972
Smyth, H.W. Greek Grammar. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1984
Whiston, W. The Works of Josephus. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987 (reprint of 1736 edn.)
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Keywords: aetiology; biography; children; Christianity; chronology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; food; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; law; medicine; religion; science and technology; women
Translated by: Anne Mahoney on 20 August 1998@17:54:17.
Vetted by:
Craig Miller (Under editorial review as of this date) on 6 January 2002@08:24:02.
Craig Miller (Modified translation) on 24 January 2002@19:18:31.
Craig Miller on 25 January 2002@00:26:38.
Craig Miller (Notes added. Additional work pending.) on 25 January 2002@00:29:41.
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Raphael Finkel (Added Hebrew words; minor cosmetics.) on 31 October 2002@10:38:39.
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Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, pruned notes, added cross-references) on 11 April 2008@12:30:02.
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William Hutton (augmented n. 29) on 17 July 2009@17:14:18.
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Catharine Roth (tweaked note and links) on 11 November 2013@01:26:27.
Raphael Finkel (Converted Romanization of Hebrew to ISO 259.) on 7 August 2014@14:27:02.
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Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 21 March 2024@01:05:31.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 21 March 2024@01:21:48.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 27 March 2024@00:54:18.

Headword: *)agkw/n
Adler number: alpha,249
Translated headword: elbow
Vetting Status: high
"In the royal palace of Gelimer was a building full of darkness, which the Carthaginians used to call [the] Elbow; therein were thrown all toward whom the tyrant was ill-disposed. There, in the time of Belisarius, happened to be confined many traders from the east about to be destroyed by the tyrant at that time, whom the guard of the prison released."[1]
"And he placed the siege-engines in the way that seemed most timely, and he hit both the wall-angles [angkones] and the trenches from both sides."[2]
Also [sc. attested is] a)gkw=nes, a certain part of the house.[3]
Another meaning of a)gkw=nes is everything that, in a dream, fixes the well-ordered aspect of life.[4]
*)agkw=nes [are] also the prominences of rivers, the ones at the banks.
"It was not possible to sail through to the stream ahead because of the size of the descending prominences which it was necessary for those dragging the ships to bend round."[5]
Also [sc. attested is] a)gkw=nes, [in the sense of] the heights of the mountains. "Some of you seek out the [western] heights, and some the eastern, going toward the evil exit of the man."[6]
And [there is] a proverbial expression: wiping one's nose with the elbow.[7]
Bion the philosopher said: "my father was a freed slave, wiping his nose with his elbow;" it indicated clearly the saltfish-importer.[8]
See another proverbial expression, 'sweet bend' [in a river, etc.].[9]
Greek Original:
*)agkw/n: e)n th=| basilikh=| au)lh=| tou= *geli/meros oi)/khma h)=n sko/tous a)na/plewn, o(\ dh\ *)agkw=na e)ka/loun oi( *karxhdo/nioi: e)/nqa e)neba/llonto a(/pantes oi(=s a)\n xalepai/noi o( tu/rannos. e)ntau=qa e)pi\ *belisari/ou polloi\ kaqeirgme/noi e)tu/gxanon tw=n e(w/|wn e)mpo/rwn, ou(\s me/llontas kat' e)kei=no kairou= a)nairei=sqai u(po\ tou= tura/nnou o( fu/lac tou= desmwthri/ou a)pe/luse. kai\ dieti/qei ta\s mhxana\s h(=| ma/lista e)do/kei kai/rion, a)gkw=nas te kai\ ta/frous e)ba/leto e(kate/rwqen. kai\ *)agkw=nes, me/ros ti th=s oi)ki/as. a)gkw=nes de\ kai\ pa/nta ta\ prosphsso/mena kat' o)/nar to\ ko/smion tou= bi/ou shmai/nei. *)agkw=nes kai\ ai( tw=n potamw=n e)coxai\, ai( para\ tai=s o)/xqais. ou) dunato\n h)=n pro\s a)nti/on to\n r(ou=n a)naplei=n dia\ to\ me/geqos tw=n prospipto/ntwn a)gkw/nwn, ou(\s e)/dei ka/mptein pare/lkontas ta\s nau=s. kai\ *)agkw=nas, ta\s a)/kras tw=n o)rw=n. oi( de\ spei/rousin a)gkw=nas, oi( d' a)nthli/ous zhtei=t' i)o/ntes t' a)ndro\s e)/codon kakh/n. kai\ paroimi/a: tw=| a)gkw=ni a)pomusso/menos. *bi/wn fhsi\n o( filo/sofos: e)mou= o( path\r me\n h)=n a)peleu/qeros, tw=| a)gkw=ni a)pomusso/menos: diedh/lou de\ to\n tarixe/mporon. zh/tei kai\ a)/llhn paroimi/an, to\ gluku\s a)gkw/n.
[1] An abridgement of Procopius, History of the Wars of Justinian 3.20.4-7 (web address 1), the prison guard at Gelimer's Carthage palace releases the captive traders as Belisarius's (cf. beta 233, generally) fleet makes its approach (September 533 CE); cf. Kaldellis (184). On Gelimer, king of the Vandals and Alans (530-534), see PLRE IIIa s.v. Gelimer.
[2] From an unidentifiable military narrative. (For the headword in this sense see LSJ s.v., II.)
[3] For this gloss, cf. iota 552.
[4] Artemidorus 1.74; cf. omicron 349.
[5] Quotation unidentifiable.
[6] Sophocles, Ajax 805-6 (web address 2); the first adjective is garbled here.
[7] cf. Mantissa Proverbiorum 3.31 and the quotation which follows here.
[8] Diogenes Laertius 4.46.
[9] gamma 316.
A. Kaldellis, ed. and H.B. Dewing, trans., Prokopios: The Wars of Justinian, (Indianapolis 2014)
J.R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. IIIa, (Cambridge, 1992)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: architecture; biography; chronology; daily life; dreams; economics; ethics; food; geography; historiography; history; imagery; military affairs; philosophy; proverbs; science and technology; trade and manufacture; tragedy
Translated by: Nathan Greenberg ✝ on 24 November 1998@13:57:02.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (supplied headword; added notes; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 29 April 2002@04:02:29.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@08:29:24.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 20 November 2005@10:40:36.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 20 February 2011@08:38:56.
Catharine Roth (tweaks and cosmetics) on 21 February 2011@01:08:42.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 January 2012@05:46:10.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 30 December 2014@00:14:19.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.1, added bibliography, added cross-reference, added link) on 20 November 2023@13:55:59.

Headword: *)akmh\ kalei=
Adler number: alpha,905
Translated headword: a moment is calling
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] an opportunity is calling.[1]
So Aelian said [this] about urgency: "At the instant of his pain and suffering, he did not know the road that would take him there [sc. to the god]. If he was commanded in a dream to sacrifice to someone, he still was contemptuous of these things and ignorant of them and materialistic."[2]
"At the instant of the evil came some memory of the Samothracians: for that is where the two were initiates."[3] Instead of u(ph=rxon in the dual.
And elsewhere: "I lost the use of my eyes in many tears for a moment."[4] And elsewhere Aelian [writes]: "and our very power is balanced on a razor's edge."[5]
Greek Original:
*)akmh\ kalei=: kairo\s kalei=. e)pi\ ou)=n th=s o)cu/thtos *ai)liano/s fhsin: e)n a)kmh=| de\ w)\n th=s te o)du/nhs kai\ w(=n h)/lgei, ou)k h)/|dei th\n o(do\n th\n poreu/ousan ei)s au)tou=. ei) de/ tini kai\ qu=sai e)c e)nupni/ou e)keleu/eto, kai\ tou/twn o)li/gwros h)=n fu/sei te a)maqh\s w)\n kai\ filoxrh/matos. e)n a)kmh=| tou= kakou= mnh/mh tis ei)sh=lqe tw=n *samoqra/|kwn: kai\ ga\r ou)=n tetelesme/nw au)toi=s h)/sthn. a)nti\ tou= u(ph=rxon dui+kw=s. kai\ au)=qis: u(po\ pollw=n dakru/wn th\n a)kmh\n tw=n o)mma/twn a)fh/|rhmai. kai\ au)=qis *ai)liano/s: kai\ au)to\ to\ kra/tos e)pi\ curou= a)kmh=s h)=n.
[1] The headword is a proverbial-sounding phrase which, beyond this opening gloss (also in Photius and other lexica), is lost sight of in the entry which follows. It comes from Euripides, Hecuba 1042.
[2] Aelian fr. 44b Domingo-Forasté, 41 Hercher (on the invalid Nikanor).
[3] Aelian fr. 93e D-F (90 Hercher). For the Samothracian mystery-rites see sigma 79.
[4] Quotation unidentifiable.
[5] Aelian fr. 132 D-F (129 Hercher); cf. epsilon 2498.
Keywords: biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; history; imagery; proverbs; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 7 November 2000@16:13:49.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords; restorative and other cosmetics) on 4 June 2002@06:22:52.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 16 November 2005@08:36:21.
David Whitehead (tweaked headword and tr; augmented what is now n.1, and and keywords; betacoding) on 29 March 2006@06:29:30.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 26 January 2012@06:08:24.
Catharine Roth (updated links) on 6 February 2012@01:30:42.
David Whitehead on 13 May 2015@03:01:20.

Headword: *)allhgori/a
Adler number: alpha,1170
Translated headword: allegory
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a metaphor.
The word saying one thing and the thought another.
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] 'allegorical dreams', [meaning] those which say some things through others; whereas [dreams] to be taken literally [are] are those which seem like they look.[1]
Greek Original:
*)allhgori/a: h( metafora/. a)/llo le/gon to\ gra/mma kai\ a)/llo to\ no/hma. kai\ *)allhgorikoi\ o)/neiroi, oi( a)/lla di' a)/llwn a)goreu/ontes: qewrhmatikoi\ de/, oi( th=| e(autw=n qe/a| proseoiko/tes.
The first part of this entry has parallels in other lexica; references at Photius pi994 Theodoridis.
[1] This basic distinction between two types of dream, the a)llhgorikoi/ and the qewrhmatikoi/, is found in Artemidorus 1.2.
Keywords: definition; dreams; imagery
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 19 April 2000@08:58:43.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note; cosmetics) on 28 January 2001@09:33:12.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 12 June 2002@09:14:41.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:21:12.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 October 2005@05:42:48.
David Whitehead (another note; tweaks) on 5 February 2012@07:49:39.
Catharine Roth (typos) on 8 April 2012@23:23:28.
David Whitehead on 20 August 2013@06:12:55.
David Whitehead on 30 May 2015@08:28:11.

Headword: *)alkibia/dhs
Adler number: alpha,1280
Translated headword: Alcibiades, Alkibiades
Vetting Status: high
The son of Kleinias and of Perikles' sister.[1] An Athenian, a philosopher[2] and a politician. A pupil first of Sophilos, then of Sokrates, whose lover he was too, as some say. Some also record that he was born of slaves.[3]
This man served as a general of the Athenians;[4] and pained because of being expelled from his generalship on account of the mutilation of the herms[5] he went over to the Persian Tis(s)aphernes[6] and became responsible for a war against the Athenians -- [but] he came to be on good terms with them again. When Lysander,[7] with whom he was spending time, was about to capture him, while he was in the country of Phrygia with a mistress he saw a dream of this sort: he seemed, wearing the clothes of his mistress, to burn separately from his head.[8] The spearmen standing nearby set the tent on fire, and Alkibiades went out and, having been hunted down, was attacked and wounded. They cut off his head and brought it to Pharnabazos.[9]
This man, having been victorious at the Olympic games, gave a banquet for the entire festival.[10]
Greek Original:
*)alkibia/dhs: ui(o\s *kleini/ou kai\ th=s a)delfh=s *perikle/ous, *)aqhnai=os, filo/sofos kai\ r(h/twr. maqhth\s prw=ton *sofi/lou, ei)=ta *swkra/tous, ou(= kai\ e)rw/menos, w(/s tines. kai\ e)k dou/lwn de\ texqe/nta tines i(storh/kasin. ou(=tos e)strath/ghsen *)aqhnai/wn, kai\ luphqei\s dia\ to\ e)kpesei=n au)to\n th=s strathgi/as th=s tw=n *(ermw=n a)pokoph=s e(/neka kai\ a)posta\s pro\s *tisafe/rnhn to\n *pe/rshn kai\ pole/mou ai)/tios geno/menos *)aqhnai/ois pa/lin au)toi=s eu)/nous e)ge/neto. me/llontos de\ *lusa/ndrou au)to\n a)nairei=n, par' w(=| die/triben, ei)s kw/mhn th=s *frugi/as e(tai/ra| sunw\n o)/nar h)=n teqeame/nos toio/nde: e)do/kei th\n e)sqh=ta th=s e(tai/ras e)/xwn kai/esqai di/xa th=s kefalh=s. oi( dorufo/roi de\ e)pista/ntes u(fh=yan th\n skhnh/n, o( de\ e)celqw\n bi/a| titrw/sketai diwxqei/s. oi( de\ th\n kefalh\n a)felo/ntes au)tou= *farnaba/zw| komi/zousin. ou(=tos *)olu/mpia nikh/sas th\n panh/gurin a(/pasan ei(sti/asen.
451/0-404/3. See generally P.J. Rhodes in OCD(4) s.v. (pp.52-3). The present entry is attributed by Adler to the biographies of notable individuals by Hesychius of Miletus (C6 CE); and specifically, the section beginning 'This man served as general ...' is regarded as perhaps coming from the same source as alpha 453, etc.
[1] Deinomache. For Perikles see generally pi 1179 etc. (For Kleinias see kappa 1751.)
[2] An odd characterisation, despite his association with Sokrates (sigma 829), about to be mentioned.
[3] Factually nonsense, of course. Political abuse, if correctly located here; but Adler (addenda) notes Bernhardy's suggestion that it belongs with alpha 1289 (q.v.).
[4] For his career in office see Develin (1989), Index I no. 84.
[5] cf. generally epsilon 3047.
[6] A Persian satrap (provincial governor): see tau 661.
[7] lambda 852.
[8] For Alkibiades' end cf. Plutarch, Alcibiades 38-39. The Suda's version of this dream is an abbreviated version of what we are told in Plut. Alc. 39: e)do/kei perikei=sqai me\n au)to\s th\n e)sqh=ta th=s e(tai/ras, e)kei/nhn de\ th\n kefalh\n e)n tai=s a)gka/lais e)/xousan au)tou= kosmei=n to\ pro/swpon w(/sper gunaiko\s u(pogra/fousan kai\ yimuqiou=san. e(/teroi de/ fasin i)dei=n th\n kefalh\n a)pote/mnontas au)tou= tou\s peri\ to\n *magai=on e)n toi=s u(/pnois kai\ to\ sw=ma kaio/menon. "It seemed that he was wearing the clothes of his mistress, but she held his head in her arms and adorned his face like a woman's, outlining [his eyes] and making up [his face] with white lead. Others say that in his sleep he saw Magaeus' followers cutting off his head and his body burning."
[9] Another Persian satrap.
[10] In the four-horse chariot-race of the 416 games, as Thucydides and others describe.
J.K. Davies, Athenian Propertied Families 600-300 BC (Oxford 1971) s.v.
Robert Develin, Athenian Officials 684-321 BC (Cambridge 1989) s.v.
Keywords: athletics; biography; dreams; food; gender and sexuality; geography; history; military affairs; philosophy; politics; religion; rhetoric; women
Translated by: Debra Hamel on 12 August 1999@19:50:51.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ on 21 February 2000@09:20:43.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added further notes and bibliography) on 18 September 2000@06:28:48.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 17 January 2004@00:50:32.
Catharine Roth on 17 January 2004@00:51:08.
David Whitehead (x-ref; more keywords) on 18 January 2004@04:12:56.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@08:30:15.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 4 December 2005@06:32:50.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 7 February 2012@06:49:44.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 22 January 2014@09:02:25.
David Whitehead (expanded n.3) on 22 January 2014@09:11:49.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 22 January 2014@23:01:25.
Catharine Roth (further expansion) on 22 January 2014@23:05:35.
Catharine Roth (more expansion) on 23 January 2014@17:43:22.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 July 2014@04:37:50.

Headword: *)alw/phc to\n bou=n e)lau/nei
Adler number: alpha,1392
Translated headword: a fox drives the ox
Vetting Status: high
The proverb is applied to things which do not happen in accordance with reason.[1]
"When associating with a fox, expect foxiness."[2]
Greek Original:
*)alw/phc to\n bou=n e)lau/nei: ta/ttetai h( paroimi/a e)pi\ tw=n mh\ kata\ lo/gon a)pobaino/ntwn. kerdoi= sunw/n te kerdosu/nhn me\n prosdo/ka.
[1] So too in Photius, Lexicon alpha1089 Theodoridis, and cf. Diogenianus 1.75; Tosi (cited under alpha 378) no.1886.
[2] A line of iambic verse, apparently oracular. (Adler cites Astrampsychus, ed. Opsopoeus in Oraculis metricis Iovis, Paris 1507.) For the vocabulary cf. kappa 1390 and LSJ s.v. kerdw/.
Keywords: daily life; dreams; meter and music; poetry; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 1 June 2000@12:23:05.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 23 February 2001@08:32:50.
David Whitehead (added note and keyword) on 2 July 2002@04:36:05.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 30 September 2005@07:46:22.
David Whitehead (x-ref; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 February 2012@05:55:28.
David Whitehead on 17 August 2012@06:06:25.
David Whitehead on 20 August 2013@07:53:58.
David Whitehead on 13 June 2015@08:45:23.

Headword: *)amenhno/s
Adler number: alpha,1551
Translated headword: insubstantial
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] weak.[1]
Homer [writes]: "of insubstantial dreams."[2]
And smoke [sc. is called] insubstantial.
And [there is] a saying: "I believed it was a lot of smoke."[3] In reference to things which are worthless and good-for-nothing.[4]
Greek Original:
*)amenhno/s: a)sqenh/s. *(/omhros: a)menhnw=n o)nei/rwn. kai\ o( kapno\s a)menhno/s. kai\ paroimi/a: *kapno\n ei)=nai h(gou/mhn. e)pi\ tw=n ou)daminw=n kai\ ou)deno\s a)ci/wn.
cf. generally alpha 1552.
[1] From the scholia to Homer, Iliad 5.887, where the headword occurs (web address 1). Same or similar glossing in other lexica.
[2] Homer, Odyssey 19.562 (web address 2).
[3] Aristophanes, Clouds 330 (web address 3).
[4] See again kappa 346.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dreams; epic; ethics; proverbs
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 30 July 2000@12:06:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 28 February 2001@10:42:06.
David Whitehead (added keyword) on 17 July 2002@08:41:01.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:21:46.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 13 February 2012@08:32:52.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 13 February 2012@08:34:19.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 10 March 2012@23:00:56.
Catharine Roth (tweaks) on 14 August 2013@00:09:44.
Catharine Roth (added a link, tweaks) on 14 August 2013@00:16:22.
David Whitehead on 16 June 2015@04:08:24.

Headword: *)ane/gnwsan
Adler number: alpha,2216
Translated headword: they induced
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] they persuaded, they instructed.[1]
They incited.
Herodotus [writes]: "[Astyages] impaled the dream-interpreters who had induced him to release Cyrus."[2]
Greek Original:
*)ane/gnwsan: a)ne/peisan, a)nedi/dacan. h)re/qisan. *(hro/dotos: tou\s o)neiropo/lous a)neskolo/pisen, oi(/ min a)ne/gnwsan metei=nai to\n *ku=ron.
[1] The headword and the two synonyms, as transmitted, are all third-person plurals. Note, however, the corresponding ancient glosses on Herodotus 1.87.3, where the third-person singular occurs. If the Suda's headword is correctly plural, it might be quoted from Herodotus 4.158.1, though there are numerous other possibilities.
[2] Herodotus 1.128.2, loosely quoted (see web address 1); again, and equally loosely, at mu 783. The text runs, "impaled the Magi dream-interpreters who had induced him...," and refers to the reappearance of Cyrus, the heir of the Persian throne, in the Median palace, and the bad advice given by the Magi summoned to interpret Astyages' dream (120ff.).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; historiography; history
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 17 June 2000@08:08:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified headword and translation; added keyword; cosmetics) on 7 March 2001@04:24:30.
David Whitehead (added keyword) on 2 August 2002@10:20:16.
David Whitehead (added note) on 2 August 2002@10:23:12.
Robert Dyer (clarified Herodotus text) on 25 June 2003@15:17:45.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:22:31.
David Whitehead on 1 March 2012@08:54:35.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note, upgraded link) on 23 December 2013@18:37:20.
David Whitehead on 12 July 2015@07:06:03.

Headword: *lu/sis o)nei/rou
Adler number: alpha,2426
Translated headword: interpretation of a dream
Vetting Status: high
[It is] well-omened to be intimate with a man most dear [to you].
Greek Original:
*lu/sis o)nei/rou. eu)/xrhston a)ndri\ sumplakh=nai filta/tw|.
From the dream-interpretations, in verse, attributed to Astrampsychus (alpha 4251).
Keywords: daily life; dreams; ethics; gender and sexuality; meter and music; poetry; religion
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 1 June 2001@00:43:20.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 12 August 2002@08:38:06.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 30 September 2005@07:49:25.
David Whitehead (note; more keywords) on 13 March 2012@07:10:59.
David Whitehead on 17 July 2015@08:04:05.

Headword: *)/anqraci bai/nein e)xqrikh\n dhloi= bla/bhn
Adler number: alpha,2522
Translated headword: to walk on charcoals shows harm coming from an enemy
Vetting Status: high
[no gloss]
Greek Original:
*)/anqraci bai/nein e)xqrikh\n dhloi= bla/bhn.
From the dream-interpretations, in verse, attributed to Astrampsychus (alpha 4251); given also (and explicitly) at kappa 361.
Keywords: daily life; dreams; meter and music
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 2 July 2000@18:09:43.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified headword and keyword; added note) on 8 February 2001@08:30:43.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 13 July 2006@06:55:26.
David Whitehead on 15 March 2012@07:17:51.
David Whitehead on 19 July 2015@04:18:30.

Headword: *)/anqrwpos
Adler number: alpha,2533
Translated headword: man
Vetting Status: high
[Man] himself becomes better than himself in five ways.[1] First, by communion with god; for it is necessary at that time when one approaches him [sc. the god], to be separated from all evil, making oneself like god in power. Second, by doing good; for this [comes] from god and from divine imitation. Third, by dying; for if, when the soul is separated to a certain extent from the body in life of the animal, it becomes better than itself, and it becomes prophetic in sleeps, by dreams, and in delirium during illnesses, much more is it improved when it is completely separated from the body.
Greek Original:
*)/anqrwpos au)to\s e(autou= belti/wn gi/netai kata\ pe/nte tro/pous, prw=ton me\n o(mili/a| th=| pro\s qeo/n: a)na/gkh ga\r prosio/nta au)tw=| kat' e)kei=no kairou= xwri/zesqai pa/shs kaki/as, ei)s du/namin o(moiou=nta e(auto\n tw=| qew=|: deu/teron e)n tw=| eu)= poiei=n: qeou= ga\r tou=to kai\ qei/as mimh/sews: tri/ton e)n tw=| a)poqnh/|skein: ei) ga\r kata\ poso/n ti h( yuxh\ tou= sw/matos e)n tw=| zh=n to\ zw=|on xwrizome/nh belti/wn gi/netai e(auth=s, e)/n te toi=s u(/pnois kata\ tou\s o)nei/rous kai\ e)n tai=s e)ksta/sesi tw=n no/swn mantikh\ gi/netai, pollw=| ma=llon beltiou=tai kai\ o(/tan te/leon xwrisqh=| a)po\ tou= sw/matos.
From an ancient Life of Pythagoras; cf. Photius, Bibliotheca 439a8-19.
[1] Only three are explicitly flagged up; trei=s is also the figure in Photius; and Aemilius Portus emended to "three" here too. Nevertheless, a fourth and a fifth way (growing prophetic during sleep or illness) are arguably implicit.
Keywords: biography; dreams; ethics; medicine; philosophy; religion
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 6 July 2000@11:57:01.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 13 August 2002@08:07:44.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:23:23.
David Whitehead (expanded notes, at the prompting of Ismo Koskinen) on 30 March 2010@04:48:36.
David Whitehead on 15 March 2012@08:29:08.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 30 July 2015@21:40:00.

Headword: *)antifw=n
Adler number: alpha,2746
Translated headword: Antiphon
Vetting Status: high
Of Athens, an interpreter of dreams. He wrote On the Interpretation of Dreams.
Greek Original:
*)antifw=n, *)aqhnai=os, o)neirokri/ths. peri\ kri/sews o)nei/rwn e)/grayen.
[1] Probably identical with alpha 2744, q.v..
Keywords: biography; dreams; geography; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Malcolm Heath on 7 June 2000@11:44:30.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 12 March 2001@06:09:45.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 15 August 2002@06:10:09.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@08:15:27.
David Whitehead on 19 March 2012@06:32:19.

Headword: *)anu/parkton
Adler number: alpha,2786
Translated headword: non-existent
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] that which does not exist.
Compare the Pindaric [phrase]: "What is anyone? What is he not? Man is a dream of a shadow."[1] Meaning more non-existent than the non-existent. But here[2] this word is nearer the truth than the Pindaric [phrase is]. For Pindar made the exaggeration amongst things incapable of subsistence, whereas [Sophocles did so] amongst things which appear and seem but in truth do not exist.
And Homer in one [verse] has demonstrated this sufficiently: "earth nourishes nothing weaker than man."[3]
Greek Original:
*)anu/parkton: to\ mh\ u(pa/rxon. pro\s to\ *pindariko/n: ti/ de/ tis; ti/ d' ou)/ tis; skia=s o)/nar a)/nqrwpoi. a)nti\ tou= a)nupa/rktou a)nuparkto/teron. e)ntau=qa de/ e)stin o( lo/gos e)ggute/rw th=s a)lhqei/as h)/per to\ *pindariko/n. o( me\n ga\r *pi/ndaros e)n toi=s a)susta/tois pepoi/htai th\n u(perbolh/n, o( de\ e)n toi=s fainome/nois kai\ dokou=sin ou)x u(pa/rxousi de\ kata\ a)lh/qeian. kai\ *(/omhros di' e(no\s au)ta/rkws tou=to dedh/lwken: ou)de\n a)kidno/teron gai=a tre/fei a)nqrw/poio.
The headword is neuter nominative/accusative singular of this adjective.
[1] Pindar, Pythian 8.95, but here misquoted by the lexicographer with anthropoi, "men", for the singular anthropos, "man". See web address 1.
[2] In Sophocles, Ajax 125-6 (on man as an empty shadow: see web address 2 and epsiloniota 46), the scholia on which have supplied the material for the present entry.
[3] Homer, Odyssey 18.130. See web address 3.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; epic; philosophy; poetry; tragedy
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 12 November 2000@21:10:14.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note and keywords) on 12 March 2001@07:59:28.
David Whitehead on 12 March 2001@08:01:42.
David Whitehead (restorative cosmetics) on 15 August 2002@08:26:35.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@08:31:04.
David Whitehead (another note and keyword) on 20 March 2012@08:23:03.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 19 August 2013@01:18:58.
Catharine Roth on 19 August 2013@21:56:09.
David Whitehead on 31 July 2015@03:08:12.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 31 August 2015@11:42:05.

Headword: *)/apis kratw=n tis a)stoxei= tw=n e)lpi/dwn
Adler number: alpha,3196
Translated headword: a certain Apis though prevailing fails in his hopes
Vetting Status: high
[no gloss]
Greek Original:
*)/apis kratw=n tis a)stoxei= tw=n e)lpi/dwn.
An iambic trimeter, from the dream-interpretations, in verse, attributed to Astrampsychos (alpha 4251). Perhaps a reference, of oracular obscurity, to the death of an Apis-bull (see alpha 3201).
Keywords: dreams; meter and music; mythology; poetry; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 30 August 2000@01:21:20.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keyword; minor cosmetics) on 16 March 2001@08:20:50.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 30 September 2005@07:50:54.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 30 March 2012@06:34:12.
David Whitehead on 15 August 2015@08:42:31.

Headword: *)apousia/sei
Adler number: alpha,3626
Translated headword: he will fritter away his property
Vetting Status: high
"He will fritter away his property on his own daughter."[1] [Meaning he] will give her a share of his property.
Greek Original:
*)apousia/sei: o( de\ ei)s th\n e(autou= qugate/ra a)pousia/sei. th=s ou)si/as me/ros dw/sei.
The headword verb is evidently extracted from the quotation given
[1] Artemidorus 1.78. (For Artemidorus see generally alpha 4025.)
Keywords: daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; economics; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 11 June 2001@13:22:08.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 12 June 2001@04:36:09.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 8 April 2012@10:02:38.

Headword: *)argw=s
Adler number: alpha,3786
Translated headword: idly, sluggishly, without working
Vetting Status: high
Interpretation of a dream. 'To move idly makes paths miserable'.
Greek Original:
*)argw=s: lu/sis o)nei/rou. a)rgw=s kinei=sqai dustuxei=s poiei= tri/bous.
More fully at delta 1535.
Keywords: daily life; dreams; imagery; meter and music; poetry
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 11 July 2001@01:40:38.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note; cosmetics) on 11 July 2001@10:05:25.
David Whitehead (modified keyword) on 23 August 2002@09:11:21.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 30 September 2005@07:52:00.
David Whitehead on 10 April 2012@08:06:57.
David Whitehead on 30 August 2015@08:37:38.

Headword: *)artemi/dwros
Adler number: alpha,4025
Translated headword: Artemidoros, Artemidorus
Vetting Status: high
A Daldian (Daldis is a Lydian city),[1] a philosopher. He wrote the Onirocritica in 4 books,[2] the Oeonoscopica and the Chiroscopica.[3]
Greek Original:
*)artemi/dwros, *daldiano/s [po/lis de/ e)sti *ludi/as h( *da/ldis], filo/sofos. e)/grayen *)oneirokritika\ e)n bibli/ois d#, *oi)wnoskopika\ kai\ *xeiroskopika/.
C2 AD. See generally Simon Price in OCD(4) p.176, s.v. 'Artemidorus(3)'.
[1] cf. delta 30. Artemidoros was actually an Ephesian; it was his mother who had come from Daldis.
[2] Text: Teubner (1963) by R.A. Pack. Translation (1975) by R.J. White; new translation by M. Hammond (2020) and monograph by P. Thonemann (2020). "The product of travels to collect dreams and their outcomes and of study of the numerous earlier works on the subject, [this] is the only extant ancient dream-book" (Price).
[3] This last work has probably been misattributed.
S.R.F. Price, Past & Present 1986, 3-37
Daniel E. Harris-McCoy, Artemidorus' Oneirocritica: text, translation, and commentary (OUP 2012)
Martin Hammond, 2020. Artemidorus, On the Interpretation of Dreams (Oxford World's Classics; OUP 2020). Introduction by P.J. Thonemann.
Peter J. Thonemann, 2020. An Ancient Dream Manual: Artemidorus’ The Interpretation of Dreams (OUP 2020)
Keywords: biography; dreams; geography; philosophy
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 7 April 2001@15:32:46.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added bibliography and keyword) on 8 April 2001@09:47:05.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 30 September 2005@07:35:28.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 13 April 2012@05:33:04.
David Whitehead (added bibliography) on 2 June 2014@04:36:15.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 31 July 2014@03:56:59.
D. Graham J. Shipley (Added two new items of bibliography.) on 27 June 2021@23:31:23.

Headword: *)/astra
Adler number: alpha,4249
Translated headword: stars
Vetting Status: high
To look upon [stars] is best for mankind.
Greek Original:
*)/astra ble/pein ka/lliston a)nqrw/pois pe/lei.
A line of iambic verse, from the dream-interpretations attributed to Astrampsychus (alpha 4251).
Keywords: daily life; dreams; poetry
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 25 December 2001@22:34:52.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and keyword; cosmetics) on 30 December 2001@07:31:46.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 30 September 2005@07:53:00.
David Whitehead on 26 April 2012@03:38:05.
David Whitehead (expanded note) on 2 September 2015@03:48:01.

Headword: *)astra/myuxos
Adler number: alpha,4251
Translated headword: Astrampsychos, Astrampsykhos, Astrampsychus
Vetting Status: high
[The man] who composed a medical book on the treatment of donkeys, and Interpretation of Dreams.
Greek Original:
*)astra/myuxos, o(\s bibli/on i)atriko\n ei)s o)/nwn qerapei/an pepoi/hke, kai\ *)oneirokritiko/n.
cf. generally alpha 4025.
Several bodies of material attributed to Astrampsychus are available on the TLG, chiefly: Interpretation of Dreams, Oracles, and (on papyri) fragments of the Sortes Astrampsychi.
Keywords: biography; daily life; dreams; medicine; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 6 January 2002@06:14:58.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 6 January 2002@12:04:34.
William Hutton (modified headwords) on 30 September 2003@16:41:33.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 30 September 2005@07:35:57.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 26 April 2012@03:53:09.

Headword: *)afi=gmai
Adler number: alpha,4610
Translated headword: I have come
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] I am nearby.[1]
"'I will come to you two days later,' and he did not lie." And again Aelian:[2] "in a dream he saw his eyes being dug out, and he entreated in an attempt to ward off the maiming of his vision, saying 'I will come to you two days later.' In any event he was killed after just that many days."
Greek Original:
*)afi=gmai: parage/gona. a)fi/comai u(mi=n du/o h(merw=n u(/steron: ou)de\ e)yeu/sato. kai\ au)=qis *ai)liano/s: o( de\ o)/nar ei)=de tou\s o)fqalmou\s e)coru/ttesqai kai\ h)ntibo/lei r(uo/menos th\n ph/rwsin th=s o)/yews, le/gwn, a)fi/comai u(mi=n du/o h(merw=n u(/steron. a)nh|re/qh gou=n meta\ tosau/tas h(me/ras.
[1] Same headword (perfect middle-passive of a)fikne/omai, first person singular) and gloss in other lexica. The headword is quoted, according to Latte on Hesychius s.v., from Euripides, Trojan Women 58. (There are numerous other possibilities, however.)
[2] Despite this phrase, this second part of the entry in its entirety is Aelian fr. 94 Domingo-Forasté (91 Hercher).
Keywords: biography; definition; dreams; history; medicine; tragedy
Translated by: William Hutton on 23 November 2000@05:11:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 28 August 2002@09:02:15.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@08:31:50.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 7 May 2012@06:33:01.
Catharine Roth (updated reference) on 3 November 2012@02:17:47.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 11 September 2015@06:28:49.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 26 December 2015@23:34:45.

Headword: *ai)/qugma
Adler number: alphaiota,156
Translated headword: glimmer
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning a] stirring.[1]
"He dreamed his way through his reign and produced a kind of glimmer or apparition of monarchy. In this way he was no obstacle to the man becoming consul."[2]
Greek Original:
*ai)/qugma: o(/rmhma. o( de\ basilei/an w)neiropo/lei kai\ ai)/qugma a)mhge/ph kai\ fantasi/an tina\ a)pete/lei monarxi/as. tau/th| toi kai\ e)kpodw\n e)ge/neto tw=| a)ndri\ u(pa/tw| gene/sqai.
Similar entry (though the quotation is shorter) in ps.-Zonaras.
For this headword see also alphaiota 157.
[1] Likewise, according to Adler, in the Ambrosian Lexicon.
[2] Claimed as Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 108 Asmus; Adler suggested Eunapius vel sim. instead; but still Damascius fr. 175 Zintzen.
Keywords: biography; constitution; definition; dreams; historiography; history; imagery; politics
Translated by: William Hutton on 7 November 2002@11:53:43.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 11 November 2002@05:20:22.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 28 November 2005@08:16:55.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 14 May 2012@08:19:22.
David Whitehead (more notes; cosmetics) on 25 November 2015@03:18:49.

Headword: *baddi/n
Adler number: beta,17
Translated headword: baddin, linen garment
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning a] sacred robe.[1] Daniel [says]: "I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there was a man clothed in a linen garment."[2]
Greek Original:
*baddi/n: stolh\ i(era/. *danih/l: h)=ra tou\s o)fqalmou/s mou kai\ ei)=don, kai\ h)=n a)nh\r e)ndedume/nos baddi/n.
The headword is a transliteration of Hebrew בּדים baḏīm ('fine linens'). This Hellenized form occurs only in the book of Daniel in the Septuagint (see n. 2 below) and in commentary and lexicography relating to it. Cf. Hesychius beta32, whence the LSJ entry (web address 1): 'a choice linen garment'. The Hebrew word (both plural and singular) occurs elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, but is generally translated with other words in the Septuagint; e.g. Ezekiel 9:2, podh/rhs ('foot-length [garment]').
[1] Likewise, according to Adler, in the Ambrosian Lexicon.
[2] Daniel 10:5; cf. 12:6, 12:7.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, 1:76, eds. J. Lust, E. Eynikel, and K. Hauspie (Stuttgart, 1992)
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, 1:6.174, eds. J.P. Louw and E.A. Nida, second ed. (New York, 1989)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; clothing; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; religion; trade and manufacture
Translated by: John Arnold on 7 July 2000@16:30:36.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ (restored vetting by DW after implosion of entry) on 17 August 2004@16:36:17.
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetic) on 17 August 2004@16:41:55.
David Whitehead (raised status) on 18 August 2004@10:53:09.
Raphael Finkel (Added Hebrew (not Aramaic!)) on 18 August 2004@14:20:45.
William Hutton (Tweaked translation, modified and rearranged notes, added keywords, set status) on 20 February 2008@09:10:12.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 31 May 2012@00:12:07.
Raphael Finkel (Converted Romanization of Hebrew to ISO 259) on 7 August 2014@15:01:27.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 14 September 2015@10:39:57.

Headword: *basile/ws e)gke/falos
Adler number: beta,145
Translated headword: king's brain, king's morsel
Vetting Status: high
See under Zeus's morsel.[1]
Interpretation of a dream: one addressing a lord remains unsuccessful.[2]
Greek Original:
*basile/ws e)gke/falos: zh/tei e)n tw=| *dio\s e)gke/falos. lu/sis o)nei/rou: a)/nakti proslalw=n tis a)/praktos me/nei.
[1] delta 1204. Proverbial expression for rare and costly food; see LSJ s.v. e)gke/falos III.
[2] From the dream-interpretations, in verse, attributed to Astrampsychos (alpha 4251). Apparently this is what it means if you dream of a "king's morsel."
Keywords: daily life; dreams; economics; food; meter and music; poetry; proverbs; religion
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 1 November 2000@12:02:28.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 30 August 2002@06:59:59.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 30 September 2005@07:54:03.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 22 May 2012@05:17:19.
Catharine Roth (deleted link, tweaked note) on 30 May 2012@00:57:22.

Headword: *benebento\n
Adler number: beta,238
Translated headword: Beneventon, Beneventum, Benevento
Vetting Status: high
They call the force of the winds "Beneventum."
Greek Original:
*benebento\n le/gousi pneuma/twn bi/an.
cf. kappa 344 (end): a dream-interpretation. The source seems to derive the name of the city (beta 237) from Latin ventus "wind."
Keywords: daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; geography; imagery
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 29 December 2003@01:58:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified keywords) on 29 December 2003@06:25:13.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 28 May 2012@04:51:15.

Headword: *lu/sis o)nei/rou *nikhfo/rou patria/rxou i)ambikoi/
Adler number: beta,351
Translated headword: dream-interpretation of Nikephoros the patriarch in iambics
Vetting Status: high
Seeing cows leads to bad business. Dead cows reveal times of famine.
Greek Original:
*lu/sis o)nei/rou *nikhfo/rou patria/rxou i)ambikoi/. *bo/as qewrei=n ei)s kakh\n pra=cin fe/rei. *nekroi\ bo/es dhlou=si tou\s limou= xro/nous.
Adler notes (p. xvi) that the Suda in several places attributes dream-interpretations to the patriarch Nicephorus (mentioned at iota 84), although in fact they are not found in the published works of Nicephorus but in the Onirocritica attributed to Astrampsychus (alpha 4251). See theta 11 for further citations of the Onirocritica.
Keywords: daily life; dreams; food; meter and music; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 18 April 2002@12:01:29.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added notes, link, keywords) on 19 April 2002@14:01:37.
Catharine Roth (changed note, deleted link) on 22 April 2002@13:44:26.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 22 April 2002@21:04:17.
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 23 February 2003@11:15:34.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 30 September 2005@07:54:52.
Abram Ring (Added X-ref) on 10 February 2008@16:43:51.
David Whitehead on 29 May 2012@06:28:51.


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