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Headword: *)arxi/loxos
Adler number: alpha,4112
Translated headword: Archilochus, Archilochos, Arkhilokhos
Vetting Status: high
"The gods never forget the important people even after they die. Archilochus at any rate was a noble poet in most respects, if one overlooks his shameful speech and his foul utterances, just as one might wash away a stain.[1] The Pythian god[2] took pity on him even when he was dead, and even though [he died] in war, where supposedly Enyalios[3] was even-handed. When the one who had killed him, Kalondas by name, but nicknamed Crow [Korax], came [to Delphi] to ask the god about what he needed, the Pythia[4] would not approach him, as he was accursed, but instead pronounced, allegedly, those frequently-quoted verses. He, however, put forward an argument about the fortunes of war and said that what he did came at a turning point between taking action or being acted upon. He asked that the god not be hostile to him if he lived by his own spirit, and he swore that it was more a case of him not dying than of killing anyone. And at this the god took pity on him and bade him go to Tainaron,[5] where Tettix[6] was buried, and to appease the soul of the son of Telesikles[7] and conciliate him with libations. He followed these instructions and gained freedom from the wrath of the god."
And [there is] a proverb: "you are treading on Archilochus", in reference to those who engage in foul speech and abuse.[8]
Greek Original:
*)arxi/loxos: o(/ti tw=n spoudai/wn ou)de\ qano/ntwn oi( qeoi\ lh/qhn ti/qentai. *)arxi/loxon gou=n poihth\n gennai=on ta)/lla, ei)/ tis au)tou= to\ ai)sxroepe\s kai\ to\ kakorrh=mon a)fe/loi, kai\ oi(onei\ khli/da a)porru/yai, o( *pu/qios h)le/ei teqnew=ta kai\ tau=ta e)n tw=| pole/mw|, e)/nqa dh/pou cuno\s *)enua/lios. kai\ o(/te h(=ken o( a)poktei/nas au)to\n, *kalw/ndas me\n o)/noma, *ko/rac de\ e)pw/numon, tou= qeou= deo/menos u(pe\r w(=n e)dei=to, ou) prosh/kato au)to\n h( *puqi/a w(s e)nagh=, a)lla\ tau=ta dh/pou ta\ qrulou/mena a)nei=pen. o( de\ a)/ra proeba/lleto ta\s tou= pole/mou tu/xas kai\ e)/legen, w(s h(=ken e)s a)mfi/bolon h)\ dra=sai h)\ paqei=n, o(/sa e)/prace, kai\ h)ci/ou mh\ a)pexqa/nesqai tw=| qew=| ei) tw=| e(autou= dai/moni zh=|, kai\ e)phra=to, o(/ti mh\ te/qnhke ma=llon h)\ a)pe/kteine. kai\ tau=ta o( qeo\s oi)ktei/rei kai\ au)to\n keleu/ei e)lqei=n ei)s *tai/naron, e)/nqa *te/ttic te/qaptai, kai\ meili/casqai th\n tou= *telesiklei/ou paido\s yuxh\n kai\ prau/+nai xoai=s. oi(=s e)pei/sqh, kai\ th=s mh/nidos th=s e)k tou= qeou= e)ca/nths e)ge/neto. kai\ paroimi/a: *)arxi/loxon patei=s, e)pi\ tw=n kakhgo/rwn kai\ loido/rwn.
For Archilochus of Paros, Greek elegiac and iambic poet of the C7 BCE, see generally M.L. West in OCD(4) s.v. (pp.140-1). The bulk of the present entry is Aelian fr. 83 Domingo-Forasté (80 Hercher); there is a brief discussion of it in M.R. Lefkowitz, The Lives of the Greek Poets (London 1981) 29.
[1] For this verb cf. alpha 3513.
[2] Apollo.
[3] A god of war: epsilon 1498.
[4] Apollo's priestess and mouthpiece.
[5] A promontory in the southern Peloponnese; modern Cape Matapan.
[6] "Cricket"; a hero.
[7] i.e. Archilochus himself.
[8] Comica Adespota fr. 748 Kock (but not in K.-A.); cf. Diogenianus 2.95.
J. Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle: Its Responses and Operations, with a Catalogue of Responses (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1978) 287, Q58.
Keywords: biography; comedy; daily life; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; history; military affairs; mythology; poetry; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 2 April 2002@23:03:49.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes and bibliography; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 12 April 2002@05:26:00.
Catharine Roth (added another spelling of the name) on 13 April 2002@21:57:03.
David Whitehead (added note; cosmetics) on 26 August 2002@03:23:40.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics; cosmetics) on 14 October 2005@17:48:32.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 28 May 2007@12:15:43.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 23 April 2012@10:28:54.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 31 July 2014@04:12:00.
David Whitehead on 29 December 2014@05:12:22.
David Whitehead (coding; cosmetics) on 1 September 2015@04:03:34.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 24 November 2015@00:54:02.
Catharine Roth (updated reference) on 26 February 2016@02:02:46.


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