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Headword: *)eleleu=
Adler number: epsilon,786
Translated headword: eleleu, war-cry
Vetting Status: high
'Eleleu' [is] a warriors' exclamation. For indeed those going forward into battle would sound the 'eleleu' along with some rhythmic movement; just as Achaeus of Eretria, too, in the Philoctetes makes Agamemnon announce to the Acheans: "it is time to help: and I will lead. Let someone take the grip of a sword in his hand, and another with all speed make sign with the war trumpet: it is time to hasten, eleleu!"[1] Perhaps also the Callimachean [phrase] "give a customary shout to the god." is such a thing.[2] Aristophanes in Birds [writes]: "eleleu!,[3] run, let down the beak, where it was necessary to remain."[4]
Greek Original:
*)eleleu=: e)pi/fqegma polemiko\n to\ e)leleu=. kai\ ga\r oi( prosio/ntes ei)s po/lemon to\ e)leleu= e)fw/noun meta/ tinos e)mmelou=s kinh/sews: kaqo\ kai\ *)axaio\s *)eretrieu\s e)n tw=| *filokth/th| poiei= to\n *)agame/mnona paragge/llonta toi=s *)axaioi=s: w(/ra bohqei=n e)sti/n: e)gw\ d' h(gh/somai. proslabe/tw tis xei=ra fasga/nou labh=s, sa/lpiggi d' a)/llos w(s ta/xos shmaine/tw: w(/ra taxu/nein, e)leleu=. mh/pote kai\ to\ *kallima/xeion, qew=| t' a)la/lagma nomai=on dou=nai, toiou=to/n e)stin. *)aristofa/nhs *)/ornisin: e)leleu=. xw/rei, ka/qes to\ r(u/gxos, ou(= me/nein e)xrh=n.
From the scholia on Aristophanes, Birds 364 (web address 1), which is quoted in garbled fashion in the last sentence; cf. rho 281.
[1] Achaeus [alpha 4683] fr. 37.
[2] Or, "a shepherd's cry." Callimachus, Fragmenta incertae sedis 719 Pfeiffer.
[3] So the mss of the Suda and of Aristophanes, but for metrical reasons the original probably had an extra syllable: e)leleleu=. The exclamation normally appears with only three syllables. See Dunbar ad loc.
[4] This last phrase translates the Suda's ou(= me/nein e)xrh=n. But what Aristophanes almost certainly wrote was ou) me/llein e)xrh=n ("it is not necessary to hesitate").
Dunbar, N. 1995. Aristophanes: Birds. Oxford
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; military affairs; meter and music; mythology; poetry; stagecraft; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Emily Rossow on 22 September 2006@08:35:29.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (modified translation, added notes, bibliography, keywords) on 22 September 2006@09:15:50.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 22 September 2006@09:26:09.
Catharine Roth (augmented note 2) on 26 November 2007@11:43:32.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; cosmetics) on 13 August 2012@03:56:45.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 2 February 2013@01:45:15.
David Whitehead (coding) on 16 December 2015@08:23:30.


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