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Headword: *xrhsmo/s
Adler number: chi,504
Translated headword: oracle
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] prophecy.[1]
"Scipio, the general of the Romans, when the Romans were confident after the destruction of Carthage that for the rest of time they would live in peace and quiet, came among them and said, 'But now these presents are the starts of wars'.[2] And it was an oracle, not a story. 'For we shall be in danger, having neither people to terrify nor people by whom we are terrified'."[3]
And elsewhere: an oracle is issued to the Athenians, saying that it is necessary to bring choai to the unjustly deceased of the Aitolians, year on year, and hold a festival of the choai; and from this the one in Attica was arranged.[4]
See 'oracle' in the [entry] 'A spear as a herald’s wand'.[5]
Greek Original:
*xrhsmo/s: profhtei/a. o( de\ *skipi/wn, o( strathgo\s tw=n *(rwmai/wn, meta\ th\n th=s *karxhdo/nos kaqai/resin qarsou/ntwn *(rwmai/wn w(s th=| ei)rh/nh| kai\ h(suxi/a| to\ loipo\n dia/cousi tou= xro/nou, parelqw\n ei)s me/sous e)/fh: nu=n me/ntoi pole/mwn a)rxai\ ta\ paro/nta: kai\ h)=n xrhsmo/s, ou) lo/gos: kinduneu/somen ga\r mh\ e)/xontes mh/te ou(\s fobh/somen, mh/te ou(\s fobhqw=men. kai\ au)=qis: toi=s *)aqhnai/ois e)kpi/ptei xrhsmo/s, le/gwn dei=n xoa\s toi=s e)kdi/kws tw=n *ai)twlw=n teqnew=sin e)pa/gein a)na\ pa=n e)/tos kai\ e(orth\n xoa\s a)/gein: kai\ e)k tou/tou eu)qhnei=to ta\ th=s *)attikh=s. zh/tei xrhsmo\n e)n tw=| do/ru khru/keion.
[1] Same or similar glosses in other lexica.
[2] Scipio's words form most of a hexameter verse, here rendered as an iambic pentameter in deliberately archaic English.
[3] The Romans destroyed Carthage (kappa 444, kappa 445) in 146 BCE. The commanding general was P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (185/4-129), who therefore might reasonably have been supposed to be the 'Scipio' of this story -- given in slightly different words (and more fully) at sigma 616. However, if Plutarch, Moralia 88A (from the De capienda ex inimicis utilitate: 'How to profit by one's enemies') is to be believed, it was actually 'Nasica', i.e. P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum, a known opponent of the war against Carthage (not his son, P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio, later notorious for his part in the murder of Ti. Gracchus); see also Diodorus Siculus 34/35.33.3-6. The Plut. version uses the same word for 'to be terrified of', fobhqw=men (which otherwise in TLG occurs almost exclusively in Christian writers). The word here translated 'to terrify', fobh/somen, occurs in the TLG only in these two Suda entries.
[4] Aelian fr. 76g Domingo-Forasté. For an almost identical, but crucially incomplete, account of this oracle and the foundation of Choai or Choës at Athens, see chi 364 (with other cross-references there).
[5] delta 1395 (do/ru khru/keion), which has no connection with the present entry other than the occurrence of the word ‘oracle.’
Keywords: biography; chronology; definition; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; meter and music; poetry; religion
Translated by: D. Graham J. Shipley on 7 April 2008@08:37:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another note; supplied keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 7 April 2008@08:53:35.
David Whitehead (augmented and modified n.3) on 21 May 2008@08:04:37.
David Whitehead on 21 May 2008@08:06:06.
David Whitehead (more for n.3) on 21 May 2008@08:49:02.
Catharine Roth (added reference in note 4) on 1 April 2012@01:37:11.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 13 November 2013@07:50:25.


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