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Headword: *deka/zesqai
Adler number: delta,174
Translated headword: to be bribed in tens
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] to take bribes.[1]
Also [sc. attested in the active voice] 'to bribe in tens' [deka/zein]: to corrupt with money or gifts.
Aelian [writes]: "he corrupted many of the nomads, having bribed them in tens into treachery".[2]
Also[3] [sc. attested is the participle] '[he] bribing in tens' [deka/zwn], clear in its meaning. This is how the term came about.[4] Lykos is a hero who has the shape of the beast [sc. of a wolf]. A stone monument to him stands near the jurycourts in Athens; at this [monument], bribers used to gather, forming themselves into groups of ten. This gave rise to the proverb: Lykos's Company of Ten. So from the Company of Ten came [the terms] bribing in tens and to be bribed in tens.
Greek Original:
*deka/zesqai: dwrodokei=sqai. kai\ *deka/zein, diafqei/rein xrh/masin, h)\ dw/rois. *ai)liano/s: pollou\s die/fqeire noma/dwn deka/sas ei)s prodosi/an. kai\ *deka/zwn, to\ shmaino/menon dh=lon. e)poih/qh de\ to\ o)/noma e)nteu=qen. *lu/kos me/n e)stin h(/rws morfh\n e)/xwn tou= qhri/ou. pro\s de\ toi=s e)n *)aqh/nais a)nesth/lwtai dikasthri/ois: pro\s o(\n oi( dwrodokou=ntes kata\ i# gino/menoi a)nestre/fonto. e)/nqa kai\ h( paroimi/a: lu/kou deka/s. e)c ou)=n th=s deka/dos to\ deka/zein kai\ deka/zesqai.
[1] See already delta 173, and cf. in brief delta 187 epsilon 205.
[2] Aelian fr. 142 Domingo-Forasté (139 Hercher).
[3] The source now becomes Harpokration s.v., commenting on Isocrates 8.50 (web address 1).
[4] Harpokration ascribes this explanation to the learned hellenistic scholar Eratosthenes. (Harvey [76-118 at 88-89] briefly discusses it.) See also eta 271, lambda 820.
F.D. Harvey, "Dona ferentes: some aspects of bribery in Greek politics", in CRUX: studies presented to G.E.M. de Ste.Croix on his 75th birthday (Exeter 1985)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; architecture; art history; biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; geography; history; law; mythology; religion; rhetoric; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 18 October 2000@03:56:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 5 September 2002@13:20:54.
David Whitehead (added x-ref) on 13 May 2003@09:37:46.
William Hutton (modified translation, added link and keywords, cosmetics, set status) on 17 July 2003@04:26:33.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references) on 2 August 2005@21:21:28.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 July 2011@08:43:09.
Catharine Roth (updated reference, upgraded link) on 9 June 2013@01:46:15.
David Whitehead on 8 October 2015@08:31:06.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 24 June 2020@01:01:32.


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