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Headword: *zeu/s
Adler number: zeta,39
Translated headword: Zeus
Vetting Status: high
His statue they describe as seated, being naked above, but clothed below; wielding in his left hand a scepter, in his right an eagle [sc. with wings] spread out. And it is hinted that being seated [represents] the seat of power, and the upper nakedness [shows] that [he is] manifest in the spiritual and heavenly parts of the cosmos. But the rest is covered because the god is unknown in the lowly [parts]. Having the scepter in his left hand signifies power; the extended eagle in the other [hand] shows that he controls the airborne breezes, just as the eagle does the high[-flying] birds.[1]
And [there is] a proverb: "Zeus looked long into the parchments"; in reference to those who are being repaid for what they do, good or bad. [It arose] because they say nothing is coincidental, but Zeus records everything on certain parchments and, at some time, follows it up.[2]
Greek Original:
*zeu/s: tou/tou to\ a)/galma i(storou=si kaqh/menon, gumna\ e)/xon ta\ a)/nw, ta\ de\ ka/tw e)skepasme/na, kratou=n th=| me\n eu)wnu/mw| skh=ptron, th=| decia=| de\ a)eto\n protei=non. kai\ to\ me\n kaqh=sqai to\ e(drai=on th=s duna/mews ai)ni/ttetai, to\ de\ ta\ a)/nw gumna\ e)/xein, o(/ti fanero\s toi=s noeroi=s kai\ toi=s ou)rani/ois tou= ko/smou me/resin. ta\ de\ loipa\ ske/petai, dio/ti toi=s xamaizh/lois o( qeo\s a)/gnwstos. to\ de\ th=| laia=| skh=ptron kate/xein, shmai/nei to\ e)cousiastiko/n: to\ de\ th=| e(te/ra| protei/nein a)eto\n dhloi=, w(s tw=n a)erofo/rwn pneuma/twn kratei=, w(s o( a)eto\s tw=n metarsi/wn o)rne/wn. kai\ paroimi/a: o( *zeu\s katei=de xro/nios ei)s ta\s difqe/ras: e)pi\ tw=n pote\ a)meibome/nwn u(pe\r w(=n pra/ttousi kalw=n h)\ kakw=n. o(/ti ou)k a)prono/hta/ fasi ta\ pa/nta, a)lla\ to\n *di/a ei)s difqe/ras tina\s a)pogra/fesqai kai/ pote e)pecie/nai.
[1] ps.-Codinus, Patria Constantinopoleos 2.8 (Preger, Scriptores originum Constantinpolitarum 154.8-17); cf. the scholia to Homer, Iliad 1.175 (where Zeus is mentioned). The description is evidently that of "the most highly venerated statue in the ancient world" (Pollitt [below] 58): the chryselephantine Zeus of Pheidias, made for Olympia in the 430s BCE, which became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. See generally Pollitt (below) 58-62, with artist's impression at fig.3.
[2] Comica adespota fr. 545 Kock, now 921 K.-A.; Zenobius 4.11 and other paroemiographers; and cf. alpha 4076. See generally Tosi (cited under alpha 378) no.601.
J.J. Pollitt, The Art of Ancient Greece: sources and documents (Cambridge 1990)
Keywords: art history; clothing; comedy; daily life; epic; ethics; imagery; mythology; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 19 November 2000@15:51:09.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation, note, keywords; added bibliography) on 20 November 2000@06:28:49.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 21 March 2011@03:42:48.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2) on 15 August 2012@08:06:40.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 29 November 2012@04:45:43.
David Whitehead (another note and keyword) on 29 December 2014@03:18:13.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1; coding) on 24 March 2016@05:57:29.


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