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Headword: Λάμπων ὄμνυσι τὸν χῆν', ὅταν ἐξαπατᾷ τινά
Adler number: lambda,93
Translated headword: Lampon swears by the goose whenever he is deceiving somebody
Vetting Status: high
The early Socratics were in the habit of swearing in this way, but Rhadamanthys was the first to prohibit oaths by the gods, [ordaining] instead swearing by goose and dog and ram and suchlike. Lampon was a sacrificer, oraclemonger and seer, with whom they also connect the Athenian colony to Sybaris. He used to swear by the goose, a supposedly prophetic bird. It is therefore said of those deceiving someone with an oath.
Sybaris [was] an Athenian colony.
Greek Original:
Λάμπων ὄμνυσι τὸν χῆν', ὅταν ἐξαπατᾷ τινά: πρῶτοι Σωκρατικοὶ ἐπετήδευσαν οὕτως ὀμνύναι. Ῥαδάμανθυς δὲ πρῶτος οὐκ εἴα ὅρκους ποιεῖσθαι κατὰ θεῶν, ἀλλ' ὀμνύναι χῆνα καὶ κύνα καὶ κριὸν καὶ τὰ ὅμοια. ὁ δὲ Λάμπων θύτης ἦν, χρησμολόγος καὶ μάντις: ᾧ καὶ τὴν εἰς Σύβαριν ἀποικίαν Ἀθηναίων περιάπτουσιν. ὤμνυε δὲ κατὰ τοῦ χηνός, ὡς μαντικοῦ ὀρνέου. εἴρηται οὖν ἐπὶ τῶν μετὰ ὅρκου ἐξαπατώντων τινά. ὅτι Σύβαρις ἀποικία Ἀθηναίων.
The headword phrase quotes Aristophanes, Birds 521 (web address 1), and the gloss (all but the final sentence) comes from the scholia there; cf. rho 13 and chi 284.
For the Athenian-sponsored settlement (444/3 BCE) of Thourioi, on the site of Sybaris in S Italy, see theta 418 (and more on Lampon at kappa 2595).
For further material on these and other aspects of the line see Dunbar (below) 357-8.
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; ethics; geography; history; mythology; philosophy; religion; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 8 September 2001@06:46:55.
Vetted by:
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added link; added italics; set status) on 24 October 2003@16:55:20.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 27 June 2004@06:28:32.
David Whitehead on 1 April 2013@07:00:21.


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