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Headword: Ὄρνις
Adler number: omicron,615
Translated headword: bird
Vetting Status: high
[A term for] an omen, a prophecy. Aristophanes in Wealth [writes]: "receive the man and the bird of the god." That is, the portent; for they used to call 'bird' generally any portent either inhibiting or encouraging: a bird, an utterance, a sneeze, and the like.[1] And elsewhere: "no one knows my treasure, unless some bird [knows]." This [is] proverbial. No one knows what I said, except if some bird [knows]. In reference to unknown things. And elsewhere: "no one sees me, except the bird flying by."[2] And elsewhere: "whatever interprets a prophecy, you consider it a bird: for a voice is a bird for you, you call a sneeze a bird, a portent, a voice, a servant (whatever concerns prophecy), a donkey -- [you call a] bird."[3]
And the plural [is] τοὺς ὄρνις .[4]
Greek Original:
Ὄρνις: ἡ κλῃδών, τὸ μάντευμα. Ἀριστοφάνης Πλούτῳ: δέχου τὸν ἄνδρα καὶ τὸν ὄρνιν τοῦ θεοῦ. τουτέστι τὸ σύμβολον: κοινῶς γὰρ πᾶν σύμβολον ἐφεκτικὸν ἢ προτρεπτικὸν ὄρνιν ἐκάλουν. ὄρνις, ἐπιφώνησις, πταρμός, καὶ τὰ ὅμοια. καὶ αὖθις: οὐδεὶς ἄρ' οἶδε τὸν θησαυρὸν τὸν ἐμόν, πλὴν εἴ τις ὄρνις. παροιμιακὸν τοῦτο, οὐδεὶς οἶδε τί ὡμίλησα, πλὴν εἴ τις ὄρνις. ἐπὶ τῶν ἀγνώστων. καὶ αὖθις: οὐδείς με θεωρεῖ, πλὴν ὁ παριστάμενος ὄρνις. καὶ αὖθις: ὄρνιν νομίζετε πάνθ' ὅσα μαντείας διακρίνει: φήμη γὰρ ὑμῖν ὄρνις ἐστι, πταρμόν τ' ὄρνιθα καλεῖτε, ξύμβολον φωνήν, θεράποντα, καὶ ὅσα περὶ μαντείας, ὄνον ὄρνιν. καὶ τὸ πληθυντικὸν τοὺς ὄρνις.
[1] Aristophanes, Wealth [Plutus] 63 (web address 1), with scholion.
[2] Aristophanes, Birds 601 (web address 2), with scholion. Adler regarded this material as ending at 'unknown things' but in fact it continues to here; cf. omicron 822.
[3] Aristophanes, Birds 719-721 (web address 3); cf. omicroniota 167.
[4] Accusative plural of an i-stem noun, with long iota.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 18 July 2010@10:54:00.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 19 July 2010@03:23:36.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 18 July 2013@08:01:13.


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