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Headword: γλῶττα τῷ κήρυκι τούτων τέμνεται
Adler number: eta,62
Translated headword: the tongue of these is cut for the herald
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
That is the tongue of the [victims] being sacrificed is given to Hermes.[1] But Callistratus says that the tongues of the victims are set aside for the [sc. human] heralds.[2]
Greek Original:
Ἡ γλῶττα τῷ κήρυκι τούτων τέμνεται: τουτέστιν ἡ γλῶττα τῶν θυομένων τῷ Ἑρμῇ δίδοται. Καλλίστρατος δέ φησι τῶν θυομένων τὰς γλώσσας τοῖς κήρυξιν ἀπονέμεσθαι.
Notes:
Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 1110 (web address 1 below), glossed by two phrases from a long scholion on it.
The headword phrase seems to be proverbial; indeed all the entry could have been taken from a proverb collection. (In Appendix Proverbiorum 3.1 the whole gloss occurs identically, while the original scholion is much larger). It is related to the cult of Hermes, where the tongue of the sacrificial victims was dedicated to the god. Eustathius, for instance, in Commentaries on Homer's Odyssey 1.131, reports as a proverbial expression τάμνετε γλώσσας , literally, 'cut the tongues!', meaning make a sacrifice! But in the context of this comedy it is used in an ambiguous way, for comic effect, because it can mean something completely different: 'we cut the tongue of the messenger [Hermes] of these tidings'; that is what really Cario means, talking to Hermes. The scholion mentioned above reports and analyses both senses, but the Suda’s compiler only reports one.
[1] Despite this gloss, reflected above in the translation of the headword phrase, the pronoun τούτων is perhaps better related to the messenger: 'the tongue is cut for the herald of these things'.
[2] Callistratus was an Alexandrian grammarian who flourished in the early C2 BCE. A pupil of Aristophanes of Byzantium, he chiefly devoted himself to the elucidation of the Greek poets; a few fragments of his commentaries have been preserved in the various collections of scholia (and in Athenaeus).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; food; medicine; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Stefano Sanfilippo on 30 July 2005@03:08:45.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified headword, translation, notes, keywords) on 31 July 2005@05:11:52.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 4 December 2012@06:13:23.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 16 December 2012@12:18:31.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 13 March 2015@09:44:13.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 23 March 2015@22:50:53.
David Whitehead (more coding) on 22 April 2016@07:41:42.

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