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Headword: Εἰς λατομίας
Adler number: epsiloniota,291
Translated headword: into (the) quarries
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Philoxenos the dithyrambic poet[1] could not stand the poetry of the tyrant Dionysius because it was so bad. On one occasion Dionysius sent him to the quarries, but later decided to have him brought back up. However, upon enquiring the reason [sc. for the tyrant's change of heart] Philoxenus replied, 'How much better it is to stay there than to suffer his poetry'; and he added this: 'truly, home [is] dear, home [is] best'; just as it is for the tortoise.[2]
Greek Original:
Εἰς λατομίας: Φιλόξενος ὁ διθυραμβοποιὸς οὐκ ἀνεχόμενος τῶν Διονυσίου τοῦ τυράννου ποιημάτων ὡς φαύλων, ποτὲ πέμψαντος αὐτὸν εἰς λατομίας τοῦ Διονυσίου, τὸ δὲ ὕστερον αὐτὸς ἑκὼν ἐξανέστη, τοῦ δὲ ἐπερωτωμένου τὴν αἰτίαν, τοῦτο εἰπεῖν, ὡς κρεῖττον εἶναι ἐκεῖ διατρίβειν ἢ τῶν αὐτοῦ ποιημάτων ἀνέχεσθαι, τοῦτο ἐπειπόντα: ἦ οἶκος φίλος, οἶκος ἄριστος: ἅπερ ἐστὶ τῆς χελώνης.
Notes:
Most of this entry (as far as 'to suffer his poetry") is also in the Lexicon Sabbataicum.
[1] Philoxenus of Cythera (c.435-380). While he was resident at the court of Dionysius I, he slighted the bad verses of the tyrant and for this reason was sent to the quarries; see web address 1 below. The story is told by Diodorus Siculus 15.6.2-5 (Perseus link at web address 2 below). Philoxenus seems to have spent some time in the stone quarries, for Athenaeus (Deipnosophists 1.6F-7A [1.11 Kaibel]) records the story that he was sent there for seducing Dionysius' mistress Galatea. See also alpha 2862, delta 1178, and phi 395.
[2] The fable of 'Zeus and the tortoise' attributed to Aesop (no. 125 Chambry). This fable is translated by O. and R. Temple in The Complete Fables. Aesop, Penguin Books, 1998. Consult also Tosi [see under alpha 378] no.247.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; ethics; history; mythology; poetry; proverbs; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Tony Natoli on 2 June 2000@05:07:18.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetics; upped status) on 29 June 2000@20:21:10.
David Whitehead (added keyword; restorative and other cosmetics) on 20 December 2002@04:38:05.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2) on 14 August 2012@10:11:37.
David Whitehead (another note; tweaking; raised status) on 27 November 2012@09:45:25.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 30 November 2012@00:27:15.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 26 August 2013@21:34:17.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 22 April 2016@06:23:50.
Catharine Roth (modified links) on 4 May 2018@20:25:49.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 31 March 2019@00:09:25.

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