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Headword: *dikroi=s
Adler number: delta,1109
Translated headword: bifurcated, forked, two-pronged
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning with] double-pointed timbers, (?)mini-pitchforks.[1] Aristophanes [writes]:[2] "they were thrusting away the goddess with their bifurcated bawlings."[3] [He is] speaking of the peace. He ought to have said timbers, but he said bawlings because in their public speeches, with loud vociferation, the orators were persuading [the people] not to make peace.
Greek Original:
*dikroi=s: difue/si cu/lois, dikrani/ois. *)aristofa/nhs: dikroi=s e)w/qoun th\n qeo\n kekra/gmasi. th\n ei)rh/nhn le/gwn. e)/dei de\ ei)pei=n cu/lois, kai\ ei)=pe kekra/gmasin, e)peidh\ oi( r(h/tores dhmhgorou=ntes th=| kraugh=| e)/peiqon mh\ poih=sai ei)rh/nhn.
Aristophanes, Peace 637 (web address 1; quoted in full later in the entry), with comment from the scholia there. The word picked out from it for the present headword is the dative plural, masculine or (as here) neuter, of the adjective dikro/os (also written di/kroos or di/kros, whose meaning is "bifurcated" (Plato, Timaeus 78B; Xenophon, Cynegeticus 9.19 and 10.7 ta\ dikro/a th=s u(/lhs, "forked branches"). The image of forked timbers occurs also in a comic fragment, where a disgraceful situation is presumably described (line 6 of Timocles fr. 9 Kock and K.-A.). See also the scholia to Pindar, Nemean 6, 50b (3.112.7 Drachmann): di/kroun ga\r, w(/ste du/o a)kma\s e)/xein kai\ mia=| bolh=| dissa\ ta\ trau/mata a)perga/zesqai. "(Achilles’ sword is) forked, so that it has two points and may cause double wounds with one strike".
[1] (Here and in the parallel entry in ps.-Zonaras this second gloss is dikrani/ois, the only attested instances of such a diminutive of di/kranon, but this is not registered in LSJ.) For a connection with the action of thrusting away see Lucian, Timon 12 -ois e)cwqei=n (cf. in Latin, Catullus 105, 2 furcillis eicere, Cicero, ad Atticum 16.2.4 furcilla extrudere, Horace, Epistles 1.10.24 furca expellere). A different meaning is attested by Hesychius (dikro/ous: ta\s trio/dous).
[2] Aristophanes, Peace 637. As the scholiast remarks, here the word kekra/gmasi (see next note) comes unexpectedly instead of cu/lois, so that the usage of dikroi=s implies a metaphorical image. The loud, noisy voices of politicians addressing the public (cf. Wasps 36-37; 197-198), elsewhere mentioned with reference to Kleon (Wasps 314 kekragw/s, 596 kekracida/mas, Knights 137 kekra/kths), are here urging the Athenians not to make peace -- personified as a goddess, Eirene, in the play -- with the Spartans in spring 421 BCE. However, there is the possibility of recognizing in the image a minatory reference in the orators’ speeches to the wooden device used to bind a malefactor’s head (so Sommerstein).
[3] The word ke/kragma is hapax legomenon: more occurrences for kekragmo/s (Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis 1357; Plutarch, Quaest.Conv. 3.6.4). The coinage of the word might have been determined by metrical reasons.
Aristophanes, Peace, edited with translation and notes by Alan H. Sommerstein, Warminster [Wiltshire], Aris & Phillips, 1985
Aristophanes, Peace, edited with introduction and commentary by S. Douglas Olson,Oxford-New York, Oxford Clarendon Press,1998
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; history; imagery; meter and music; poetry; politics; religion; rhetoric; science and technology
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 24 January 2005@21:16:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (rearranged notes; added more keywords; cosmetics) on 25 January 2005@05:11:38.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics) on 26 January 2005@01:03:47.
Catharine Roth (modified links) on 12 February 2005@01:12:24.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 11 July 2012@06:37:48.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 14 November 2014@21:44:16.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 January 2015@10:34:21.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 November 2015@03:21:26.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 28 August 2016@01:10:42.


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