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Headword: Γλαὺξ ἵπταται
Adler number: gamma,282
Translated headword: an owl is flying
Vetting Status: high
[sc. This proverbial phrase arose because] the flight of the owl was considered a symbol of victory.[1]
And [there is] another proverb: "owls from Laureion", in reference to those who have a lot of money; since there were gold mines at Laureion in Attica; and [the Athenians] used to engrave owls on their gold coins.[2]
And [there is] another proverb: "Glaukos' craft", in reference to things that are easily accomplished; from a certain Glaukos of Samos, who first discovered how to weld iron.[3]
The owl is called a khalkis.[4]
Greek Original:
Γλαὺξ ἵπταται: ἡ πτῆσις τῆς γλαυκὸς εἰς νίκης σύμβολον ἐλογίζετο. καὶ ἑτέρα παροιμία: Γλαῦκες Λαυριωτικαί, ἐπὶ τῶν πολλὰ χρήματα ἐχόντων: παρόσον ἐν Λαυρείῳ τῆς Ἀττικῆς γίνονται χρύσεια μέταλλα. ἐνεχάραττον δὲ γλαῦκας ἐν τοῖς χρυσοῖς νομίσμασι. καὶ ἑτέρα παροιμία: Γλαύκου τέχνη, ἐπὶ τῶν ῥᾳδίως κατεργαζομένων: ἀπὸ Γλαύκου τινὸς Σαμίου, ὃς πρῶτος σιδήρου κόλλησιν ἐξεῦρεν. λέγεται δὲ ἡ γλαὺξ χαλκίς.
[1] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 1093, where there is mention of an owl. For the headword phrase as proverbial cf. Zenobius 2.89 and other paroemiographers.
[2] The main product of the Laureion mines was actually silver (with silver, rather than gold, coinage resulting). See generally lambda 154.
[3] First in Plato, Phaedo 108D; cf. Zenobius 2.91 and other paroemiographers; omicron 982, sigma 376. See also Hesychius s.v., where this Glaukos is a Chian.
[4] cf. Homer, Iliad 14.291 (web address 1 below), where χαλκίς is the gods' name for a bird that the humans call κύμινδις . The addition of this sentence to an entry which has had occasion to mention metals reflects an assumption that the word χαλκίς is cognate with bronze, χαλκός ; in fact, such a connection appears to arise merely out of a parody of Iliad 14.291 in Cratinus fr. 315 Kock = 352 K.-A.; see LSJ s.v.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; art history; biography; comedy; daily life; economics; epic; geography; military affairs; mythology; proverbs; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 12 March 2001@23:57:57.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 13 March 2001@03:25:48.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 7 June 2012@09:42:00.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 9 September 2012@18:45:50.
David Whitehead (more x-refs) on 26 January 2014@08:14:09.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 3 January 2015@08:44:13.
David Whitehead (my typo) on 28 September 2015@04:22:12.


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