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Headword: *po/los
Adler number: pi,1922
Translated headword: pole, firmament, post, station
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] heaven.[1]
Also [sc. attested is the genitive] po/lou, [meaning] of heaven or of [the] universe.[2]
Aristophanes [writes]: "[sc. so is this not surely] a station of birds[?]"[3] On the one hand the aforementioned is an allusion to something belonging to the birds, because [it is] a situation of theirs, in which they reside; on the other hand through the imagery he is playing on the word -- situation and station. Next, he used to etymologically derive it from to\ polei=sqai ['to range over'].[4] The ancients [sc. use] pole, not as the younger generations, as some term for an axle's stub-end, but rather when referring to the whole [sc. shaft]. Euripides in Peirithous [writes]: " and [sc. men are] keeping watch on Atlas' pole."[5] [Meaning] that it itself revolves and everything moves because of it.[6] "Just as one might say a situation. And because this turns around and passes through everything, it is for this reason now called a station."[7]
Greek Original:
*po/los: ou)rano/s. kai\ *po/lou, ou)ranou= h)\ ko/smou. *)aristofa/nhs: o)rni/qwn po/los. to\ me/n ti parafra/zei to\ proeirhme/non tw=n o)rni/qwn, o(/ti to/pos au)tw=n, e)n w(=| diatri/bousi: to\ de\ kai\ pro\s to\n sxhmatismo\n tou= o)no/matos pai/zei, to/pos kai\ po/los. e(ch=s de\ e)tumologei= au)to\n a)po\ tou= polei=sqai. po/lon de\ oi( palaioi/, ou)x w(s oi( new/teroi, shmei=o/n ti kai\ pe/ras a)/conos, a)lla\ to\ perie/xon a(/pan. *eu)ripi/dhs *peiri/qw|: kai\ to\n *)atla/nteion frourw=n po/lon. au)tou= te peripoloume/nou, kai\ di' au)tou= pa/ntwn e)rxome/nwn. w(/sper ei)/poi tis to/pos. o(/ti de\ polei=tai tou=to kai\ die/rxetai a(/panta, dia\ tou=to kalei=tai nu=n po/los.
[1] Adler cites Lexicon Ambrosianum 882 as a comparandum; cf. ps.-Herodian 112.7 and Hesychius.
[2] Likewise or similarly in other lexica; references at Photius pi1030 Theodoridis. This genitive singular must be quoted from somewhere.
[3] An excerpt from Peisthetaerus' question in Aristophanes, Birds 178 (web address 1).
[4] The articular infinitive of the text, with article in the genitive singular, is from the verb pole/w, I range over; see LSJ s.v.
[5] Euripides fr.594.5 Nauck.
[6] At Aristophanes, Birds 179 (web address 1), Tereus asks for clarification on the sense of po/los. Beginning from the Aristophanes quotation, through the Euripides extract, and up to this point, the Suda has drawn its exegetical comments from the scholia to Birds 179.
[7] Peisthetaerus replies to Tereus at Aristophanes, Birds 180-2 (web address 1). By adding population and fortifications, the station becomes a state, Peisthetaerus subsequently hints. By context, the first verse does not appear to be a wish, so ei)/poi suggests a potential optative; however, the play's received text lacks the required particle a)/n (Smyth 1814-24).
H.W. Smyth, Greek Grammar, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: chronology; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; mythology; science and technology; trade and manufacture; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Ronald Allen on 12 May 2008@03:29:21.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 12 May 2008@04:56:58.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 12 May 2008@09:34:38.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 8 October 2013@06:28:12.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 29 September 2021@23:43:26.


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