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Headword: Γλαῦκα εἰς Ἀθήνας
Adler number: gamma,279
Translated headword: an owl into Athens
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[sc. A proverbial phrase] in reference to those importing useless merchandise. [A phrase coined] because this creature is a prominent local feature in Athens.[1]
Also [sc. attested is] "owl's egg."[2]
Greek Original:
Γλαῦκα εἰς Ἀθήνας: ἐπὶ τῶν ἀχρήστους ἐμπορίας ἀγόντων: ἐπειδὴ τὸ ζῷον τοῦτο σφόδρα ἐπιχωριάζει ταῖς Ἀθήναις. καὶ Γλαύκειον ᾠόν.
Notes:
[1] Zenobius 3.6. For the phrase see e.g. Aristophanes, Birds 301 (web address 1). It is customary (e.g. LSJ s.v. γλαύξ ; Dunbar ad loc.) to adduce the English saying "coals to Newcastle"; but non-UK readers should note that since the collapse of the English coal industry in the 1980s and 90s the modern phrase is now just as much of an historical curiosity as the ancient one.
For Athens' owls see also gamma 282
[2] Unattested outside lexicography.
Reference:
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; daily life; economics; proverbs; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 9 August 2001@06:17:29.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 2 September 2002@10:10:03.
David Whitehead (added note) on 2 September 2002@10:11:56.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics; added link) on 29 September 2003@10:48:21.
Catharine Roth (betacode typo, upgraded link) on 21 June 2011@22:28:01.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 7 June 2012@09:25:00.

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