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Headword: Πρόωρος
Adler number: pi,2550
Translated headword: untimely
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] before the [sc. appropriate] time.[1]
Greek Original:
Πρόωρος: πρὸ τῆς ὥρας.
The headword is a two-ending adjective in the masculine/feminine nominative singular; see generally LSJ s.v.
The entry is perhaps generated by one of the many instances of the neuter accusative singular πρόωρον , first attested (C1 BCE - C1 CE) in Philo Judaeus, De specialibus legibus 3.91.1: ἔτι καὶ πένθος πρόωρον ἀνεδέξαντο , yet they too experienced untimely grief. In lexicography note also Hesychius pi4109, s.v. πρόωρον with gloss πρὸ καιροῦ : prematurely. Epigrams are another possible source: see e.g. Greek Anthology 7.643.3-4 (web address 1), an epitaph for a slave girl attributed to Crinagoras; τί πρόωρον ἐφίεις μοῖραν τῇ πάντως σεῖό ἐσσομενῃ; , 'why do you thrust an untimely fate at her who in any case will at some time be yours?'; Gow and Page, pp. 208-9.
The first instance of the exact form (masculine/feminine nominative singular) of the headword is considerably later (C4 CE), in Oribasius, Collectiones medicae 39.9.1: οὐδὲν γὰρ οὕτως ἐγκοπτικὸν εἰς ἐπίδοσιν ψυχῆς καὶ σώματος ὡς ἡ πρόωρος καὶ δαψιλὴς χρῆσις τῶν ἀφροδισίων , 'for nothing is so detrimental to the nurture of soul and body as the untimely and excessive enjoyment of sexual pleasures'.
[1] Coincidentally, this glossing phrase occurs in Xenophon, Oeconomicus 20.16 (web address 2): καὶ ἄλλος γε ἀνὴρ διαφέρει τῷ πρὸ τῆς ὥρας ἀπιέναι , 'and another man does make a difference in disengaging before the appropriate time'.
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip, vol. I, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; law; medicine; mythology; poetry; religion; women
Translated by: Ronald Allen on 20 August 2013@03:56:07.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 20 August 2013@04:23:29.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 20 August 2013@10:49:33.
David Whitehead on 16 October 2013@07:57:43.
David Whitehead (codings) on 24 May 2016@07:27:40.


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