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Headword: Χάονες
Adler number: chi,82
Translated headword: Chaones; Chaonians
Vetting Status: high
An Epirote people. Aristophanes [writes]: "his ass-hole is exactly over the Chaonians." [1] Since Geres was also being accused of effeminacy.[2] And elsewhere Aristophanes [writes]: "it's not possible to elude the Paphlagonian. For he sees everything: he has one leg in Pylos and the other in the assembly."[3] "Among the Chaonians" comes from "to be opened wide" (κεχηνέναι ).[4] The Chaonians [are] a tribe of Thrace.
Greek Original:
Χάονες: ἔθνος Ἠπειρωτικόν. Ἀριστοφάνης: ὁ πρωκτός ἐστιν αὐτόχρημ' ἐν Χάοσιν. ἐπειδὴ καὶ εἰς μαλακίαν διεβάλλετο ὁ Γέρης. καὶ αὖθις Ἀριστοφάνης: τὸν Παφλαγόνα λαθεῖν οὐχ οἷόν τε. ἐφορᾷ γὰρ αὐτὸς πάντ': ἔχει γὰρ τὸ σκέλος τὸ μὲν ἐν Πύλῳ, τὸ δ' ἕτερον ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ. ἐν Χάοσι δὲ παρὰ τὸ κεχηνέναι. Θρᾴκης δὲ ἔθνος οἱ Χάονες.
See generally N.G.L. Hammond in OCD(4) s.v. (pp.304-5): 'name of a tribal state in north Epirus which extended from the Dexari, probably near Berat, to the river Kalamas (ancient Thyamis) in the 6th cent. BC but was eaten into later by the Illyrii and the Thesproti'.
[1] Aristophanes, Knights 78 (web address 1 below).
[2] From a scholion to Aristophanes, Acharnians 604, where "Geretotheodorus" is said to be "among the Chaonians" (web address 2 below); cf. gamma 197.
[3] Aristophanes, Knights 74-76 (web address 1 below), with a scholion. The 'Paphlagonian' is Kleon (kappa 1731). See also alpha 4537.
[4] The pun potential of the "Chaonians" is due to the similarity between the name of the tribe and the root χα- as in χάσκω "I gape" (chi 81), whence κεχην́εναι , the perfect active infinitive.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; comedy; constitution; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; geography; imagery; military affairs; politics
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 12 March 2008@19:21:56.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 13 March 2008@06:07:11.
David Whitehead (added primary note; tweaking) on 8 November 2013@03:38:57.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@06:03:37.


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