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Headword: *bow/nhs
Adler number: beta,384
Translated headword: ox-buyer
Vetting Status: high
This man used to be chosen from the city [sc. of Athens], to buy oxen for it for the sacrifices.[1] To become ox-buyer was [a matter of] celebrity, since they say that generals were very likely to be elected ox-buyers.[2]
Greek Original:
*bow/nhs: ou(=tos para\ th=s po/lews h(|rei=to, i(/na bou=s au)th=| pri/htai pro\s ta\s qusi/as. h)=n de\ lampro\n to\ bow/nhn gene/sqai, e)peidh\ strathgou/s fasi bow/nas ma/lista xeirotonei=sqai.
These Athenian 'ox-buyers' (again at beta 387), probably a board of ten per year, are attested in Demosthenes 21.171 (n. 1 below) and in epigraphical evidence from the same period (C4 BCE).
[1] Similarly in other lexica. The only known holder of this post is Meidias, the enemy of Demosthenes (see Demosthenes 21.171), who served as general (strategos) at least twice. [Meidias' generalships are not listed in R. Develin, Athenian Officials 684-321 BC (Cambridge 1989) no.1921, but see L.A. Tritle, "A Missing Athenian General: Meidias Kephisodorou Anagyrasios," Athenaeum 70.2 (1992) 487-494, who draws attention to evidence for a plurality of Meidias' 'generalships' (strategiai) at Demosthenes 21.148.]
[2] The Greek here is ambiguous, as either strathgou/s or bow/nas may be the subject of the verb xeirotonei=sqai. The alternative reading, then, is: "since they say that ox-buyers were very likely to be elected generals."
Keywords: biography; constitution; definition; history; military affairs; politics; religion; rhetoric; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 12 October 2000@06:23:18.
Vetted by:
Debra Hamel (cosmetics; altered translation; altered note) on 12 October 2000@10:05:05.
Debra Hamel (added note) on 12 October 2000@21:06:53.
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 14 June 2002@08:47:13.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 4 December 2005@06:34:45.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks) on 1 July 2011@09:46:41.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 29 June 2012@23:44:40.
David Whitehead on 21 September 2015@08:10:48.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticules) on 21 February 2016@01:34:59.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note) on 21 February 2016@04:07:53.


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