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Headword: *)akerdh\s xa/ris
Adler number: alpha,832
Translated headword: unprofitable reward
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] one given not appropriately [i.e. disproportionately].
[One] whose profit [is] evil.[1]
"May I not somehow, for seeing a cursed man face to face, meet an unprofitable reward."[2]
Greek Original:
*)akerdh\s xa/ris: h( mh\ deo/ntws didome/nh. h(=s fau=lon to\ ke/rdos. mh/d' a)/laston a)kerdh= xa/rin a)/nt' i)dw\n meta/sxoimi/ pws.
This phrase occurs only at Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 1484, here quoted. The two glosses come, respectively, from Photius, Lexicon alpha726 Theodoridis (= Phrynichus, Praeparatio sophistica fr. 144), and from the scholia to the line. In the thunderstorm towards the end of the play, the terrified chorus of old men pray to Zeus as god of thunder and lightning not to punish them for merely seeing a man accursed by giving them an 'unprofitable reward', clearly a litotes for divine punishment.
[1] The adjective, in classical Greek 'insignificant', is here to be taken in its later ecclesiastical sense.
[2] The jumbled word order is untranslatable, and I have translated the words in the established order of the Sophocles text, placing the headword phrase after i)dw/n. The interesting reading of a)/nt' 'face to face' for a)/ndr' 'man' is not found in our MSS, but is plausible, for it would echo the formulaic phrase in Homer's Iliad (13.184, 404, etc.) but ignore the digamma that prevents elision there and thus provide a mock heroic touch (cf. a similar usage at Euripides, Alcestis 877).
Keywords: definition; economics; epic; ethics; religion; rhetoric; tragedy
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 5 June 2000@07:57:19.
Vetted by:
Anne Mahoney on 25 June 2000@10:53:54.
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 23 December 2002@11:17:07.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 28 November 2005@08:23:03.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 19 August 2013@07:39:43.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 22 January 2015@23:06:47.


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