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Headword: Οὐδὲ πυρφόρος ἐλείφθη
Adler number: omicron,814
Translated headword: not even a fire-bearer was left
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
The proverb is applied to great dangers; since there was an onus on the seer, carrying boughs of laurel and wreaths and a torch, to take the lead in every aspect of military preparation; and convention dictated that the enemy spare him alone. So the proverb arose in circumstances of very heavy casualties.
Greek Original:
Οὐδὲ πυρφόρος ἐλείφθη: ἐπὶ τῶν μεγάλων κινδύνων εἴρηται ἡ παροιμία: ἐπειδὴ πάσης πολεμικῆς παρασκευῆς ἔδει τὸν μάντιν ἡγεῖσθαι, δάφνης ἔχοντα κλάδους καὶ στέμματα καὶ λαμπάδα: καὶ τούτου νόμος ἦν μόνου φείδεσθαι τοὺς πολεμίους. ἐπὶ τοίνυν τῶν πανωλεθρίᾳ διεφθαρμένων καιρὸν ἔσχεν ἡ παροιμία.
Note:
Zenobius 5.34. See already omicron 813.
Reference:
W.K. Pritchett, The Greek State at War, III (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1979) chap.3, 'The military mantike'
Keywords: botany; daily life; ethics; historiography; history; military affairs; proverbs; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 30 September 2002@03:51:21.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 30 September 2002@21:26:27.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics) on 8 December 2003@14:37:08.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 11 April 2011@09:31:21.
David Whitehead on 31 July 2013@06:37:10.

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