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Headword: *dio/pths
Adler number: delta,1194
Translated headword: able to look through [something]
Vetting Status: high
"O Zeus, whose look is able to see through and see over all!"[1] He is saying these words because the rags[2] were very torn; through them everything was [open] to look upon.[3] Meaning pantepo/pta ["all-seeing from above"].[4]
Greek Original:
*dio/pths. w)= *zeu= dio/pta kai\ kako/pta pantaxh=. tau=ta/ fhsin, e)peidh\ polu/trhta h)=n ta\ r(a/kh, di' w(=n h)=n pa/nta e)piskoph=sai. a)nti\ tou= pantepo/pta.
Aristophanes, Acharnians 435 (web address 1), with comment from the scholia there. See further in the notes below.
[1] The explanation of the headword dio/pths can be found both in the scholia vetera and in the scholia Tricliniana. The adjective associated with it here, kako/pta is apparently a vox nihili, not corrected by Adler, whose tendency was to attribute mistakes in quotations mostly to the copies of scholia or lexica the Suda was consulting. However, I would modify the received text, here to kato/pta and every time a quotation does not show a real variant or an addition or suppression of words, but rather a very slight mistake in transcription that could easily be attributed to a common source of the Suda's manuscript tradition.
[2] Dicaeopolis has been allowed to have a public speech. In order to make himself more pitiable and win over the audience, he borrows from Euripides some tragic costumes, picking them from the most miserable ones. The paratragic invocation (for dio/pths see [Euripides], Rhesus 234; for kato/pths Aeschylus, Seven against Thebes 101) might conceal a tragic quotation from an unknown source.
[3] One could easily imagine Dicaeopolis holding up the cloth to the light and looking through it; but verbal wit is evident between the words dio/pths and o)pai\, "holes". For a similar Aristophanic joke, see Plutus [Wealth] 715 (web address 2), where the slave Cario tells his master's wife how he has observed Asclepius examining some patients. To the question "how could you see it (...) when you say you were hiding?", Cario's answer is "through my cloak (dia\ tou= tribwni/ou): there are holes in it, for Zeus' sake, and not a few ones!" (o)pa\s ga\r ei)=xen ou)k o)li/gas, ma\ to\n *di/a). See also Birds 915, where in the "epic" designation of poets as "assiduous slaves of the Muses" (*mousa/wn qera/pontes o)trhrou/s) Peisetairos evidently interprets the word o)trhro\s as polu/trhtos, "full of holes".
[4] pantepo/pths is a later word; panto/pths or pano/pths are more used in tragedy. Cf. Aeschylus, Suppliant Women 130 path\r o( panto/ptas.
Aristophanes' Acharnians, edited with translation and notes by Alan H. Sommerstein, Warminster (Wiltshire) 1980
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: clothing; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; poetry; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 11 January 2005@20:10:50.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added headline note and adjusted other notes; more keywords; cosmetics) on 12 January 2005@03:38:16.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, modified links) on 12 February 2005@01:27:00.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 28 May 2008@10:37:40.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaking) on 12 July 2012@08:24:05.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 11 November 2015@06:39:14.


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