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Headword: Ἡμεροδρόμος
Adler number: eta,305
Translated headword: courier, long-distance runner
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] the sun. Those who serve the orders of the king most quickly are also called this.[1]
"The hemerodromoi are young men, a little older than ephebes, near to their first beards, who minister to needs like these -- carrying bows and arrows, javelins and (?)fire-projecting stones[2] -- nothing more. For these things are useful to them for travel by road."[3]
Greek Original:
Ἡμεροδρόμος: ὁ ἥλιος. λέγονται δὲ καὶ οἱ ταῖς βασιλικαῖς διατάξεσι ταχύτατα διακονούμενοι. οἱ ἡμεροδρόμοι νέοι δ' εἰσίν, ἐφήβων ὀλίγον πρεσβύτεροι, πρωτογενείων ἐγγύς, ταῖς τοιαύταις ὑπηρετούμενοι χρείαις: τόξων καὶ βελῶν, ἀκοντίων καὶ πυροβόλων λίθων ἐπιφερόμενοι πλέον οὐδέν: ταῦτα γὰρ αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὴν ὁδοιπορίαν γίνεται χρήσιμα.
Notes:
See also phi 347.
[1] Same or similar material in other lexica (and several scholia).
[2] The reading 'fire-projecting stones' seems to be textually sound; Adler notes no manuscript variants. The adjective alone is a standard one for incendiary missiles (machine-fired) in Plutarch and elsewhere -- see LSJ s.v. -- but 'stones' with this adjective are problematic (not least when carried, purportedly, by runners). Chap.37 of the treatise Physiologus is entitled 'Concerning fire-projecting stones', and says that these stones come in male and female forms which spontaneously combust when they come close to each other. That mystery aside, it remains doubtful whether the present passage mentioned them; another adjective is surely needed.
[3] Symeon Metaphrastes, Nilus: PG 79.664a.
Keywords: biography; Christianity; definition; history; imagery; military affairs; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 27 August 2006@20:42:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-ref) on 28 August 2006@10:56:13.
David Whitehead on 16 December 2012@08:27:03.
David Whitehead (modified tr; added a note) on 23 April 2016@06:41:13.
Catharine Roth (another keyword) on 22 August 2018@22:33:17.

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