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Headword: *bakxei/a poimantikh/
Adler number: beta,55
Translated headword: Bacchic herdsmanship
Vetting Status: high
['Bacchic herdmanship']; and [sc. also attested is] *Bakxei=os.[1]
Greek Original:
*bakxei/a poimantikh/: kai\ *bakxei=os.
cf. generally beta 51, beta 52, beta 53, beta 54, beta 56, beta 57, beta 58.
Perhaps the headword phrase is a proverbial saying, similar to English "a wolf in the sheepfold". Dionysus and his followers, with their habit of tearing animals to pieces (cf. Euripides' Bacchae), may not be the people to have loose among your sheep. A trace of this idea may be found in the 10th-century poem On the Capture of Crete by Theodosius the Deacon (proem 193f.), where generals are described as "wild-animal-bacchant (qhroba/kxous, wearing bacchant animal skins? hunting wild animals as bacchants do?) shepherds of the sheep." Their troops are described in a simile of "wolves rejoicing in secret attack." But there are other possible explanations of the phrase. Shepherds played a role in dedications to Dionysus at the festival Aloa (alpha 1372: in penance for killing Icarius, who introduced wine to Athens and made them drunk). Dionysus is addressed in Nonnus, Dionysiaca as "Shepherd who enchants or delights men" (16.336, 38.105), in much the same way as the words 'shepherd' and 'pastor' are used in Christianity; cf. epsilon 1274, "He attempted to shepherd the disciples."
[1] Grammatically masculine, after the feminine in the headword phrase.
Keywords: daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; mythology; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 30 January 2002@13:56:20.
Vetted by:
Robert Dyer (Added note and keyword.) on 31 January 2002@05:07:36.
Robert Dyer (correction) on 31 January 2002@05:23:53.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 20 June 2002@05:38:46.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 10 November 2005@11:22:59.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 May 2012@06:56:06.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 31 January 2016@00:44:31.


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