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Headword: Ἀργαλέον φρονέοντα παρ' ἄφροσι πόλλ' ἀγορεύειν
Adler number: alpha,3756
Translated headword: painful for someone of sound mind to say many things to the senseless
Vetting Status: high
A saying of Euripides in Bacchae.[1]
Also [sc. attested is] ἀργαλέον ["painful"], [meaning] difficult.[2] It is said from ἄλγος ["pain"], ἀλγαλέον with a change of lambda into rho.[3]
Something difficult was called "work" [ἔργον ] by the ancients. From this derives ἐργαλέον , and by an alteration [it became ἀργαλέον ]; just as ἀπύω ["I call upon"] from ἔπω ["I say"], [meaning] I speak. Then ἀργαλέον [comes to mean] troublesome, difficult.[4]
Also [sc. attested is] ἀργαλέως ["painfully"], the adverb.[5] And ἀργαλεώτερον ["more/rather painful"].[6]
Greek Original:
Ἀργαλέον φρονέοντα παρ' ἄφροσι πόλλ' ἀγορεύειν: Εὐριπίδου λόγος Βάκχαις. καὶ Ἀργαλέον, χαλεπόν. εἴρηται δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἄλγους, ἀλγαλέον καὶ τροπῇ τοῦ λ εἰς τὸ ρ. ἔργον δὲ παρὰ τοῖς παλαιοῖς τὸ δυσχερές. ἐκ τούτου παραγωγὸν ἐργαλέον, καὶ τροπῇ: ὡς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἔπω ἀπύω, τὸ φωνῶ. ἀργαλέον δὲ, δύσκολον, δυσχερές. καὶ Ἀργαλέως ἐπιρρηματικόν. καὶ Ἀργαλεώτερον.
[1] Not so. Rather, the first, hexameter half (line 625) of a gnomic couplet of Theognis; registered as proverbial by Diogenianus (2.90) and other paroemiographers.
[2] From the scholia to Homer, Iliad 4.471, where ἀργαλέον occurs.
[3] Lejeune (below) 151 accepts this etymology, as an instance of dissimilation of liquids.
[4] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Wealth [Plutus] 1, where the phrase ἀργαλέον πρᾶγμα occurs.
[5] Perhaps quoted, again, from Theognis (1.1091).
[6] Probably quoted from Homer, Odyssey 4.698.
M. Lejeune, Phonétique historique du mycénien et du grec ancien, Paris, 1972
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; meter and music; poetry; proverbs; tragedy
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 16 November 2001@13:43:46.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added note) on 16 November 2001@19:03:20.
David Whitehead (modified and augmented notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 17 November 2001@07:32:15.
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 17 November 2001@18:53:04.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added betacode; added italics) on 14 October 2005@16:50:53.
David Whitehead (augmented n.1 and keywords) on 9 March 2008@11:19:30.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 13 March 2008@01:03:58.
Catharine Roth (updated bibliography) on 5 June 2008@10:58:08.
David Whitehead (more notes; cosmetics) on 10 April 2012@06:39:20.


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