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Headword: *zwpu/rou ta/lanta
Adler number: zeta,158
Translated headword: Zopyros' scales, Zopyrus' scales
Vetting Status: high
Zopyros the Persian, seeking to please the king, flogged himself and removed his nose and ears; after entering Babylon and gaining trust because of his physical condition he betrayed the city. So as the result of a metaphor [the proverb] spoke of scales and balances, as if to say deeds and actions.
Greek Original:
*zwpu/rou ta/lanta: *zw/puros o( *pe/rshs basilei= xarizo/menos mastigw/sas e(auto\n kai\ th=s r(ino\s kai\ tw=n w)/twn a)felo/menos ei)sh=lqen ei)s *babulw=na kai\ pisteuqei\s dia\ ta\ peri\ to\ sw=ma prou)/dwke th\n po/lin. e)k metafora=s ou)=n ei)=pe ta/lanta kai\ zuga/, oi(onei\ e)/rga kai\ pra/ceis.
cf. Zenobius 4.9 and other paroemiographers. Hesychius s.v. credits the phrase to Cratinus (fr. 176 Kock, now 187 K.-A.).
For the story of Zopyros and Dareios at the siege of Babylon see Herodotus 3.150-160 (web address 1).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; comedy; daily life; geography; historiography; history; imagery; medicine; military affairs; proverbs; science and technology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 6 June 2004@11:06:47.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link, set status) on 6 June 2004@16:24:24.
David Whitehead (typo in tr) on 7 June 2004@03:17:57.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 October 2005@06:23:41.
David Whitehead (expanded notes; another keyword) on 24 June 2011@06:54:48.
David Whitehead on 2 December 2012@04:35:29.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 5 December 2012@23:45:31.
David Whitehead on 23 December 2014@04:30:48.


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