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Headword: *purfo/ros
Adler number: pi,3252
Translated headword: fire-bearer, fire-thrower
Vetting Status: high
Pasistrates[1] the Rhodian admiral used one. It was a funnel. From each side of the prow [of a ship] pairs of nooses extended along the inner side of the hull, into which were fitted poles stretching out into the sea to the waves;[2] on the end of these [poles] the funnel, filled with fire, hung by an iron chain, so that, in frontal attacks or broadsides [alike], fire is propelled out into the enemy vessel, while remaining, because of the angle, a long way from one's own.
Greek Original:
*purfo/ros: w(=| e)xrh/sato *pasistra/ths o( tw=n *(rodi/wn nau/arxos. h)=n de\ khmo/s: e)c e(kate/rou de\ tou= me/rous th=s prw/ras a)gku/lai du/o pare/keinto para\ th\n e)nto\s e)pifa/neian tw=n toi/xwn, ei)s a(\s e)nhrmo/zonto kontoi\ protei/nontes toi=s ku/masin ei)s qa/lattan: e)pi\ de\ to\ tou/twn a)/kron o( khmo\s a(lu/sei sidhra=| prosh/rthto plh/rhs puro\s, w(/ste kata\ ta\s e)mbola\s kai\ parabola\s ei)s me\n th\n polemi/an nau=n e)ktara/ttesqai pu=r, a)po\ de\ th=s oi)kei/as polu\n a)festa/nai to/pon, dia\ th\n e)/gklisin.
Polybius 21.7.1-4, on events of 191/0 BCE; summary cross-reference at the end of kappa 1520.
[1] The name is more exactly Pausistratos (and the Suda has more than one way of garbling it: cf. delta 635, epsilon 3377, pi 140).
[2] Editors of Polybius have emended ku/masin, "to the waves", to ke/rasin, "with their extremities" (Schweighaeuser).
F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, iii (Oxford 1979) 97-99
Keywords: biography; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: David Whitehead on 30 October 2001@07:34:05.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth on 6 October 2002@00:54:22.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; cosmetics) on 30 June 2004@07:04:43.
David Whitehead (x-ref; more keywords) on 24 March 2011@05:56:28.
David Whitehead on 1 December 2011@09:53:24.
David Whitehead on 24 October 2013@07:28:51.


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