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Headword: Astathmêton
Adler number: alpha,4218
Translated headword: uncertain
Vetting Status: high
"[They] not suspecting the obscurity and uncertainty of their fortune."[1]
Also [sc. attested is the masculine] a)sta/qmhtos, [meaning someone who is] un-level, unstable.[2]
"And with respect to other [sc. kinds of] excellence this man was, so to speak, uncertain."[3]
"They endured the sea on account of necessity, reckoning that in their current constraint the uncertainty of that element offered them more security than the land."[4]
And to speak poetically, "there will be a day when sacred Ilios will be destroyed." And taking account, in saying this, of the uncertainty of men.[5]
Also[6] [sc. attested is the superlative] a)staqmhto/taton ["most/very uncertain"], concerning which no one would be able to guess or estimate, what at some point might be known or what might happen. Demosthenes in [his speech On] the Dishonest Embassy [uses this word].[7]
Greek Original:
Astathmêton: to adêlon te kai astathmêton tês tuchês ouch huphorômenoi. kai Astathmêtos, anisos, astatos. kai dê kai tên allên aretên astathmêtos, hôs eipein, ho anthrôpos houtos ên. hoi de epetolmêsan têi thalattêi dia tên anankên, to teôs astathmêton stoicheion hêgoumenoi tês gês pistoteron esesthai sphisin en têi biai têi tote. kai to poiêtikon eipein, essetai êmar hotan pot' olôlêi Ilios hirê. kai touto eipein to tôn anthrôpôn astathmêton einai logizomenos. kai Astathmêtotaton, peri hou oudeis an dunaito tekmêrasthai oude stathmêsasthai, ti pote dianoeitai, ê ti praxai. Dêmosthenês en tôi Parapresbeias.
The unglossed headword is presumably extracted from the first quotation given.
[1] Quotation unidentifiable, but Adler (apparatus) suggested Polybius. It may be an aphorism or proverbial saying, also reflected in Leo the Deacon (History p.41.16), to\ ga\r a)sta/qmhton th=s tuxh=s kai\ a)/dhlon… u(pologizo/menos.
[2] For the second gloss here cf. the scholia to Thucydides 4.62.4, where the headword appears (web address 1).
[3] Quotation unidentifiable, but Adler (apparatus) suggested Damascius, and now Life of Isidore fr. 375 Zintzen.
[4] Quotation unidentifiable.
[5] The passage quoted is Homer, Iliad 4.164 (web address 2). The quotation as a whole has been attributed to Polybius (see Adler, apparatus), though far from securely.
[6] This final paragraph derives from Harpokration s.v.
[7] Demosthenes 19.136 (web address 3).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; ethics; historiography; history; proverbs; rhetoric
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 7 March 2002@12:28:30.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented and modified notes; cosmetics) on 8 March 2002@03:37:24.
Robert Dyer (Added parallel to first citation, and keyword.) on 9 March 2002@15:01:24.
Catharine Roth (expanded note 3, cosmetics, keyword) on 14 September 2010@23:10:17.
David Whitehead (added primary note and more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 15 September 2010@03:44:24.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 30 June 2011@11:07:10.
Catharine Roth (tweaked links) on 5 December 2015@00:46:36.


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