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Headword: *ma=llon o( *fru/c
Adler number: mu,116
Translated headword: rather the Phrygian
Vetting Status: high
The proverb [arose] from the following: when the Seven Sages were asked by Croesus which living thing was happiest, some of them replied "wild beasts, for they die in defence of their independence"; others [said] "storks, for they have a natural justice apart from law";[1] and Solon [said] "nobody -- until the day of his death".[2] Aesop the Phrygian,[3] the storyteller, was nearby and said "you [Croesus] surpass others as much as the sea surpasses rivers". When Croesus heard this he said "rather the Phrygian".
Greek Original:
*ma=llon o( *fru/c: h( paroimi/a e)nqe/nde: oi( z# sofoi\ e)rwtw/menoi u(po\ *kroi/sou, ti/s tw=n o)/ntwn eu)daimone/statos, oi( me\n a)pekri/nanto ta\ a)/gria zw=|a: u(pe\r ga\r th=s au)tonomi/as a)poqnh/skei: oi( de\ pelargou/s: di/xa ga\r no/mou th=| fu/sei to\ di/kaion e)/xousi: *so/lwn de/, ou)de/na pro\ th=s teleutai/as h(me/ras. parestw\s de\ *ai)/swpos o( *fru/c, o( logopoio/s, tosou=ton, ei)=pen, u(pere/xeis tw=n a)/llwn, o(/son qa/lassa potamw=n. a)kou/sas de\ *kroi=sos ei)=pe, ma=llon o( *fru/c.
This proverb is also in Photius (mu78 Theodoridis, from Pausanias the Atticist) and the paroemiographers (e.g. Zenobius 5.16).
For "Aesop the Phrgyian", and Croesus, see generally alphaiota 334. For the Seven Sages see OCD(4) s.v.
[1] For this belief cf. pi 931.
[2] Solon testimonium 220a Martina.
[3] No proper name in Photius.
Keywords: aetiology; biography; daily life; ethics; geography; law; philosophy; proverbs; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 19 September 2001@04:48:01.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 29 November 2003@01:51:40.
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords; cosmetics) on 30 November 2003@04:14:12.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 13 April 2009@03:12:18.
David Whitehead on 29 April 2013@06:16:09.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@06:12:50.


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