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Headword: Λευκὴ ἡμέρα
Adler number: lambda,323
Translated headword: white day, brilliant day
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the good [kind]. From the proverb speaking "of the things for a quiver". For Phylarchus says[1] that the Scythians, when they were about to lie down to sleep, brought the quiver, and if they happened to have passed that day unharmed, they placed a white pebble on the quiver, but if [things had gone] troublesomely, [they placed] a black one. Accordingly, in the case of men who were dying, they brought out their quivers and counted the pebbles; and if many white ones were found,[2] they declared the departed fortunate. Whence the proverb.[3]
Greek Original:
Λευκὴ ἡμέρα: ἡ ἀγαθή. ἀπὸ τῆς παροιμίας τῆς λεγούσης τῶν εἰς φαρέτραν. Φύλαρχος γάρ φησι τοὺς Σκύθας μέλλοντας καθεύδειν ἄγειν τὴν φαρέτραν, καὶ εἰ μὲν ἀλύπως τύχοιεν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην διαγαγόντες, καθιέναι εἰς τὴν φαρέτραν ψῆφον λευκήν, εἰ δὲ ὀχληρῶς, μέλαιναν. ἐπὶ τοίνυν τῶν ἀποθνησκόντων ἐκφέρειν τὰς φαρέτρας καὶ ἀριθμεῖν τὰς ψήφους: καὶ εἰ εὑρεθείησαν πολλαὶ λευκαί, εὐδαιμονίζειν τὸν ἀπογενόμενον. ὅθεν ἡ παροιμία.
[1] FGrH 81 F83.
[2] Note the use of the optative mood here: all the present infinitives stand for imperfect in direct speech, hence the general statements are in past time.
[3] cf. Zenobius 6.13; and see again at tau 868 (also epsilon 2040, lambda 322).
Keywords: daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; geography; historiography; imagery; military affairs; proverbs
Translated by: Timothy Pepper on 7 February 2001@05:49:05.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (re-arranged notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 7 February 2001@09:33:59.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 3 August 2006@08:13:20.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references and keyword) on 31 March 2009@22:14:51.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 15 April 2013@07:41:00.


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