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Headword: Οὐδὲ πυρφόρος
Adler number: omicron,813
Translated headword: not even a fire-bearer
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Whenever we want to indicate that the dead [sc. after a battle] are numerous, we say that not even a fire-bearer was left behind. In effect, not even the man who will carry the fire into the city. [It is] the same as if we were saying not even a tent-watchman, or someone similar.
Greek Original:
Οὐδὲ πυρφόρος: ὅταν πολλοὺς ἀποφῆναι βουλώμεθα τοὺς τελευτήσαντας, λέγομεν, ὅτι οὐδὲ πυρφόρος ὑπελείφθη. οἷον οὐδὲ ὁ τὸ πῦρ οἴσων εἰς τὴν πόλιν. καθάπερ εἰ ἐλέγομεν, οὐδὲ σκηνοφύλαξ, ἤ τις τῶν παραπλησίων.
Notes:
Same entry in Photius, Lexicon omicron621 Theodoridis (with references to similar ones elsewhere, including in several of the paroemiographers); and see also omicron 814, pi 3251.
This (eventually) proverbial phrase is first attested in Herodotus 8.6.2: the Persians' intention at Artemisium (480 BCE) was that 'not even a fire-bearer should escape and survive'. See generally LSJ s.v. πυρφόρος , II (web address 1).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: daily life; historiography; history; imagery; military affairs; proverbs; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 30 September 2002@03:36:58.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link) on 30 September 2002@21:29:32.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 30 June 2004@07:08:22.
David Whitehead (another note) on 31 July 2013@06:36:21.
David Whitehead on 20 May 2016@05:45:49.

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