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Headword: *smhku/qhs
Adler number: sigma,733
Translated headword: Smekythe's, Smecythe's
Vetting Status: high
A proper name. [He] was mocked as being womanish in behaviour. The whole [phrase is] "Smekythe's kyrios"; just as they are accustomed to announce in the introductions of the charges [sc. in court], when the charge is brought against a woman.[1] For this is the sort of thing they are accustomed to call out in the court; alternatively "so-and-so and kyrios", that is husband. At the same time, then, he is mocking Smekythos for being womanish and for having a kyrios, as females [do].[2] This is [said], then, in reference those who are womanish. He was king of [the] Thracians, a catamite.[3] But kyrios, as has been said, means husband. For that is the way they were registered in the courts: "Aspasia and kyrios".[4]
Greek Original:
*smhku/qhs: o)/noma ku/rion. diebe/blhto de\ w(s gunaikw/dhs to\n tro/pon. to\ de\ plh=res *smhku/qhs ku/rios: w(/sper e)n tai=s ei)sagwgai=s tw=n e)gklhma/twn khru/ttein ei)w/qasin, e)peida\n gunaiki\ e)pife/rhtai e)/gklhma. ou(/tw ga\r proskalei=sqai ei)w/qasin e)n tw=| dikasthri/w|: h)\ o( dei=na kai\ o( ku/rios, toute/stin o( a)nh/r. a(/ma ou)=n w(s gunaikw/dh to\n *smh/kuqon kwmw|dei= kai\ e)/xonta ku/rion, w(s ai( qh/leiai. ei)/rhtai ou)=n e)pi\ tw=n gunaikwdw=n. h)=n de\ *qra|kw=n basileu/s, ki/naidos. ku/rion de/, w(s ei)/rhtai, to\n a)/ndra le/gei. ou(/tw ga\r a)pegra/fonto e)n toi=s dikasthri/ois: *)aspasi/a kai\ ku/rios.
Aristophanes, Knights 969 (here misquoted -- it should be "Smikythe and kyrios": web address 1), with comment from the scholia there.
[1] In classical Athens a woman's kyrios was a male relative -- usually husband or father -- who acted for her in all official matters, women being considered, in law, dependents throughout their lives. See generally D.M. MacDowell, The Law in Classical Athens (London 1978) 84-92; in brief S.C. Todd, The Shape of Athenian Law (Oxford 1993) 383.
[2] Hence the name Smekythos is changed to the feminine Smekythe.
[3] Whether or not there was a Thracian king of this name, the Knights passage is far less likely to refer to him than to a contemporary Athenian called Smikythos (sic) -- of which there were several.
[4] The scholiast adds: "that is, Perikles". For Aspasia see alpha 4202.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; geography; law; proverbs; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 4 December 2000@23:24:35.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Modified headword and translation) on 5 December 2000@10:58:51.
David Whitehead (added note; cosmetics) on 30 March 2001@10:16:00.
David Whitehead (another note; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 May 2011@04:43:56.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 August 2011@09:52:03.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule, tweaked link) on 14 March 2022@01:11:24.


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