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Headword: Λακκόπλουτον
Adler number: lambda,58
Translated headword: Pit-rich, Pit-wealthy
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Thus they used to call Callias the Athenian[1] for this reason: Xerxes, defeated in the sea-battle at Salamis,[2] fled from Athens, but one of the Persians was stationed on Callias’ [property] and deposited his baggage there because of the precipitous rout, and the servants of the Persian threw a great deal of gold into a pit in the hopes of returning later to recover it. This they say did not happen, for Callias first got hold of the money.
Greek Original:
Λακκόπλουτον: Καλλίαν τὸν Ἀθηναῖον οὕτως ἔλεγον ἐξ αἰτίας τοιαύτης: Ξέρξην ἡττηθέντα ἐν τῇ περὶ Σαλαμῖνι ναυμαχίᾳ φυγεῖν ἐξ Ἀθηνῶν, ἐσταθμευκότος δέ τινος τῶν Περσῶν ἐν τοῖς Καλλίου καὶ τὴν ἀποσκευὴν ἐκεῖ καταλελοιπότος, τῶν δὲ βαρβάρων ὀξεῖαν τὴν φυγὴν ποιησαμένων ἐμβαλεῖν τοὺς οἰκέτας τοῦ Πέρσου πολὺν χρυσὸν εἰς λάκκον, ἐλπίζοντος ὕστερον ἀνασώσειν ἐπανελθόντας. οὐ μὴν γενέσθαι λέγεται: πρότερον γὰρ κυριεῦσαι τῶν χρημάτων Καλλίαν.
Notes:
Same entry in Photius, Lexicon lambda44 Theodoridis; see further below, n. 1. The headword is in the accusative case, as determined by the grammar of the opening sentence.
The base λακκ- , meaning a pond, a reservoir, appears in IE in such terms as Latin lacus, English lake, and Scots/Irish loch. See associated bibliography below. For the uncompounded noun see lambda 60, lambda 61 (and for another lakk- compound lambda 59).
[1] See already kappa 214: prominent Athenian diplomat and wealthy landowner of the early and middle C5 BCE. Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Ancient World [= Neue Pauly 1.962] regards the story as an invention based on Plutarch, Aristides 5.6 where the biographer tells a version of the story and attributes the name to the 'comic poets'. Brill/Pauly takes the term as the equivalent of 'mining baron'.
[2] For Xerxes see generally xi 54. This sea-battle took place between the Greek city-states and Persia in 480 BCE in the straits between the Athenian harbor at Piraeus and Salamis, a small island in the Saronic Gulf.
References:
Pierre Chantraine (ed.), Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: Histoire des mots, 1968
Edward Ross Wharton, Etymological Lexicon of Classcal Greek 1974
Keywords: aetiology; biography; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 5 June 2006@22:00:58.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 6 June 2006@03:30:11.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 27 March 2013@07:39:31.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 December 2014@00:30:46.
David Whitehead on 16 May 2016@06:25:53.

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