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Headword: Λῃσταί
Adler number: lambda,474
Translated headword: raiders, robbers, brigands, pirates
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
The Pisidian [writes]: "in the garden of the much-sung battle, become raiders". Meaning [ones] imitating the raider.[1]
And a raider is one [operating] on land, a pirate one [operating] on the sea.[2]
Also leistikon [is] a band of raiders, but leistrikon [is] what raiders have, or possess.[3]
"The raiding band of Kostoboi overran Greece".[4]
"Being the weakest of all the (?)average men, he got together a raiding band of 600 men in Apulia".[5]
Greek Original:
Λῃσταί: Πισίδης: ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ τῆς ἀοιδίμου μάχης γίνεσθε λῃσταί. ἀντὶ τοῦ μιμούμενοι τὸν λῃστήν. καὶ Λῃστὴς μὲν ὁ ἐν ἠπείρῳ, πειρατὴς δὲ ὁ ἐν θαλάσσῃ. καὶ Λῃστικὸν σύστημα, λῃστρικὸν δὲ χρῆμα, ἢ κτῆμα. Κοστόβων τὸ λῃστικὸν τὴν Ἑλλάδα ἐπέδραμεν. ὁ δὲ πάντων τῶν μέσων ἀνδρῶν ἀσθενέστατος ὢν λῃστικὸν ἐν τῇ Ἀπουλίᾳ χ# ἀνδρῶν συνέστησε.
Notes:
See also lambda 473, lambda 475.
[1] George of Pisidia [poet of the C7 CE], Heraclias iii fr.32.
[2] An interesting distinction (already at lambda 429, and cf. pi 1454), but not one routinely observed by ancient writers.
[3] From the scholia to Thucydides 1.4.
[4] An approximation of Pausanias 10.34.5 (on an episode in his own lifetime, perhaps in the 170s CE). See Favuzzi [cited under alpha 1990] 58 for the identification. (The Suda's 'Kostoboi' are 'Kostobokoi' in Pausanias. J.G. Frazer ad loc. has a lengthy note on them, citing Pliny the Elder, Claudius Ptolemy, Cassius Dio, Ammianus Marcellinus and other literary authorities, together with relevant inscriptions. Their home territory seems to have been, in present-day terms, northern Hungary.)
[5] Not a continuation of the preceding sentence, but a sudden lurch to the episode of Felix Bulla (late C2 CE) in S.Italy. See in full Cassius Dio 76.10.
Reference:
Paul McKechnie, Outsiders in the Greek Cities in the Fourth Century B.C. (London 1989) 101-141 (including, at 104-6, arguments for "raider" etc. as the best translation of this word-group).
Keywords: biography; daily life; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; poetry
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 19 March 2000@21:17:07.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Minor corrections; added keyword.) on 25 March 2000@23:35:42.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and bibliography) on 21 September 2000@03:25:29.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; restorative and other cosmetics) on 12 June 2005@07:21:29.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr and keywords; x-refs) on 25 March 2009@07:59:56.
David Whitehead (expanded and modified n.4) on 7 June 2010@09:17:03.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 18 April 2013@06:31:51.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 19 April 2013@00:12:22.
David Whitehead (expanded n.4, at the prompting of Dr Nick Nicholas) on 27 December 2015@10:27:26.
David Whitehead (note tweak) on 16 May 2016@11:30:33.

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