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Headword: *presbeu/esqe
Adler number: pi,2246
Translated headword: conduct your embassies
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] send your ambassadors.[1]
Also [sc. attested is] presbeu/w ["I pay honor to"].
In Sophocles: "o my son, having been [sc. my son, now] become my true son, and do not pay further honor to the name of your mother."[2] Herakles says [this] at the moment of his death.
Greek Original:
*presbeu/esqe: pre/sbeis pe/mpete. kai\ *presbeu/w. para\ *sofoklei=: w)= pai=, genou= moi pai=s e)th/tumos gegw/s, kai\ mh\ to\ mhtro\s o)/noma presbeu/sh|s ple/on. o( *(hraklh=s fhsi yuxorragw=n.
The headword is the second person plural, middle/passive imperative (and indicative and imperfect), of the verb presbeu/w (I am the elder, serve as ambassador, pay honor to, but in the middle voice, I go as ambassador); see generally LSJ s.v. It is quoted from Aristophanes, Acharnians 133 (web address 1; see next note), where Dicaeopolis sends Amphitheus away to make a treaty with the Spartans. The scene takes place in the Athenian agora, more specifically the Prytaneum (pi 2999), a public building where ambassadors, both Athenian and foreign, were entertained and honored (Miller, pp. 4-5). The play's hero then tells gawking onlookers -- or, as Henderson (p. 75) suggests, perhaps the very audience itself -- to go away and conduct their embassies.
[1] From the scholia to this Aristophanic passage.
[2] Sophocles, Trachiniae 1064-5 (web address 2): Heracles, accidentally poisoned by his wife Deianeira, implores his son Hyllus to disown her.
J. Henderson, ed. and trans., Aristophanes: Acharnians, Knights, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998
S.G. Miller, The Prytaneion: Its Function and Architectural Form, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: comedy; constitution; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; mythology; politics; stagecraft; tragedy; women
Translated by: Ronald Allen on 29 October 2010@00:28:00.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 29 October 2010@03:27:05.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 27 October 2011@09:47:09.
David Whitehead on 13 October 2013@08:47:03.


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