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Headword: Σικελικὸς τὴν θάλασσαν
Adler number: omicron,686
Translated headword: the Sicilian (and) the sea
Vetting Status: high
The story goes that a Sicilian merchant-shipper was shipwrecked with his cargo of figs; he then sat on a rock, saw that the sea was calm, and said: "I know what you want - you want figs".
Greek Original:
Ὁ Σικελικὸς τὴν θάλασσαν: Σικελικός, φασίν, ἔμπορος σῦκα ἄγων ἐναυάγησεν: εἶτα ἐπὶ πέτρας καθήμενος, ὁρῶν τὴν θάλασσαν γαληνιῶσαν ἔφη: οἶδ' ὃ θέλεις: σῦκα θέλεις.
This version of the story (cross-referenced at sigma 393) is hard to understand as it stands. One would be tempted to prefer Apostolius 13.6, where the participle describing the sea is 'was savage', ἀγριουμένην . However, the Suda's γαληνιῶσαν actually occurs in one of the Fables (no.223) of Aesop, 'A Shepherd and the Sea', where the full sense is revealed. Sitting by a calm sea, the shepherd decides to become a merchant-shipper, and so sells his flocks and buys dates (sic). He is shipwrecked in a storm and barely survives. Later the sea is calm again, and when another man comments on this, the ex-shepherd replies: 'it wants your dates'.
See also under omicron 120.
Keywords: daily life; economics; food; geography; proverbs
Translated by: David Whitehead on 1 November 2001@06:35:05.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 2 February 2004@14:54:26.
David Whitehead (augmented note) on 3 February 2004@02:59:44.
David Whitehead (expanded note; another keyword) on 23 May 2010@08:25:00.
David Whitehead on 23 June 2013@08:38:03.
David Whitehead on 29 July 2013@08:23:36.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 9 May 2015@23:48:50.


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