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Headword: Ἐν πέντε κριτῶν γόνασι
Adler number: epsilon,1425
Translated headword: in (the) laps of five judges
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[sc. This proverbial phrase arose] inasmuch as, long ago, 5 judges used to judge the comedies, as Epicharmus says.[1] In Homer it takes the form 'it lies in the laps of the gods'.[2] [The phrase arose] because the judges used to hold in their laps what they now write in ledgers.
Greek Original:
Ἐν πέντε κριτῶν γόνασι: παρ' ὅσον τὸ παλαιὸν ε# κριταὶ ἔκρινον τοὺς κωμικούς, ὡς φησὶν Ἐπίχαρμος. σύγκειται δὲ παρ' Ὁμήρῳ, θεῶν ἐν γούνασι κεῖται. ἐπειδὴ οἱ κριταὶ ἐν τοῖς γόνασιν εἶχον, ἃ νῦν εἰς γραμματεῖα ἐγγράφεται.
Notes:
Zenobius 3.64; cf. omicron 260.
[1] Epicharmus fr. 229 Kaibel = 237 Kassel-Austin (which includes 'it lies', as in the Homeric line about to be quoted). On Epicharmus see generally epsilon 2766. He was presumably speaking here about his native Sicily, but for 5 judges in Athens too see A.W. Pickard-Cambridge et al., The Dramatic Festivals of Athens (second edition, revised 1988) 49, 51, 97-98.
[2] Homer, Iliad 17.514.
Keywords: aetiology; chronology; comedy; daily life; epic; proverbs; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 21 April 2003@09:41:29.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 26 June 2003@00:28:27.
David Whitehead (augmented note) on 26 June 2003@06:11:35.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 17 January 2007@10:00:20.
David Whitehead on 29 August 2012@03:46:03.
David Whitehead on 2 January 2015@11:22:41.
David Whitehead on 13 January 2016@03:45:01.

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