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Headword: Εἰς Κυνόσαργες
Adler number: epsiloniota,290
Translated headword: into Cynosarges, into Kynosarges
Vetting Status: high
[This phrase] is said in reference to violence and cursing. There is a place in Attica, in which they used to put illegitimate children. It is so named from a dog [which was] argos, which means white or swift.[1] For [it is said that] when [some people] were sacrificing to Heracles a white or swift dog, an eagle snatching the thigh-pieces of the sacrificed animal set them down there,[2] and asking the gods they received the oracular message, to found a shrine to Heracles in the place. Since then the bastards also live there, because Heracles also, [despite] being a bastard, was honored equally to the gods.
Greek Original:
Εἰς Κυνόσαργες: εἴρηται ἐπὶ ὕβρει καὶ ἀρᾷ. ἔστι δὲ τόπος ἐν τῇ Ἀττικῇ, ἐν ᾧ τοὺς νόθους τῶν παίδων ἔταττον. ὠνόμασται δὲ οὕτως ἀπὸ κυνὸς ἀργοῦ, τουτέστι λευκοῦ ἢ ταχέος. καὶ γὰρ Ἡρακλεῖ θύοντας κύνα λευκὸν ἢ ταχύν, ἀετὸν ἁρπάσαντα τοῦ θυομένου τὰ μηρία αὐτοῦ καταθεῖναι, καὶ ἐπερωτήσαντας τοὺς θεοὺς λαβεῖν χρησμόν, ἱερὸν Ἡρακλέους ἱδρῦσαι τῷ τόπῳ. ἐξ οὗ καὶ τοὺς νόθους ἐκεῖ συντελεῖν, ὅτι καὶ Ἡρακλῆς νόθος ὢν ἴσα θεοῖς ἐτιμήθη.
Similarly in a scholion on Plato, Axiochus 364A (but see below), and more broadly similar elsewhere. See also epsilon 3160, kappa 2721.
[1] This difference is less than it appears at first sight. See LSJ s.v., giving the primary definition as shining, glistening, and adding 'in Homer mostly in the phrase πόδας ἀργοί , of hounds, swift-footed, because all swift motion causes a kind of glancing or flickering light'.
[2] That a dog would be the sacrificial victim is inconceivable. All other versions of the myth say that the dog -- rather than an eagle, as here -- snatched it. Clearly the dog is an integral part of the story and the toponym, but the eagle is not, and without it the relevant sentence becomes unproblematic -- because the dog is not the direct object of 'sacrificing' (θυόντων for the transmitted θύοντας , as per the Suda editio princeps) but the subject -- in this indirect speech -- of 'snatching etc'.
Keywords: aetiology; children; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; law; mythology; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 6 July 2005@00:31:49.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented headword and keywords; tweaked tr) on 7 July 2005@04:03:06.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 6 October 2005@09:08:37.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 27 November 2012@09:36:16.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 30 November 2012@00:22:29.
David Whitehead (more notes) on 22 April 2016@06:22:33.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation following a suggestion from Brady Kiesling) on 28 December 2016@01:05:53.


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