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Headword: Προπύλαια ταῦτα
Adler number: pi,2579
Translated headword: these Propylaia, these Propylaea
Vetting Status: high
Demosthenes in [the] Philippics [sc. uses the phrase].[1] It can be read demonstratively, given that the Propylaia[2] are visible from the Pnyx. But better to take it referentially; for they were accustomed to speak thus of very well-known things. At any rate in the [speech] Against Aeschines Demosthenes himself says: "he asked this Satyros here, the comic actor".[3] Heliodorus [in his treatise] On the Acropolis at Athens says: "for everything was done and finished in five years, and 2012 talents was spent, and they made five gates through which to enter into the acropolis".[4]
Greek Original:
Προπύλαια ταῦτα: Δημοσθένης Φιλιππικοῖς. δύναται μὲν δεικτικῶς λέγεσθαι, ἅτε ὁρωμένων τῶν προπυλαίων ἀπὸ τῆς Πνυκός. βέλτιον δὲ ἀναφορικῶς ἀκούειν: ἐπὶ γὰρ τῶν πάνυ γνωρίμων οὕτω λέγειν εἰώθασιν. ἐν γοῦν τῷ κατ' Αἰσχίνου αὐτὸς Δημοσθένης φησίν: ἤρετο Σάτυρον τουτονὶ τὸν κωμικὸν ὑποκριτήν. Ἡλιόδωρος δὲ περὶ τῆς Ἀθήνησιν ἀκροπόλεώς φησιν: ἐν ἔτεσι μὲν γὰρ πέντε παντελῶς ἐξεποιήθη, τάλαντα δὲ ἀνηλώθη #22βιβ#, πέντε δὲ πύλας ἐποίησαν, δι' ὧν εἰς τὴν ἀκρόπολιν εἰσίασι.
From Harpokration s.v., via Photius pi1293 Theodoridis.
[1] Demosthenes 13.28, web address 1 [a "Philippic" speech in the broad ancient connotation of that term, not the narrower modern one]. The phrase seems to have been used proverbially to chide those who tried to comment on things too obvious to need commentary.
[2] The "Periclean" Gateways to the Athenian Acropolis, built in the 430s BCE; see generally OCD4 Propylaea.
[3] Demosthenes 19.193 (web address 2). See delta 645 on this passage as containing a similar remark of indirect wit by Satyros.
[4] Heliodorus FGrH 373 F1. (The figure of 2012 talents is far too high for the Propylaia alone, but it has been deemed reasonable for the combined costs of the Propylaia, the Parthenon, and Athena's cryselephantine statue.)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: architecture; biography; comedy; daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; historiography; proverbs; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 28 September 2000@08:20:36.
Vetted by:
Robert Dyer (added x-ref, keywords; expanded note) on 19 April 2003@11:50:20.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 20 April 2003@08:44:19.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, links) on 29 December 2003@22:41:47.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 17 May 2011@04:32:56.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 15 July 2011@08:56:08.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 16 October 2013@09:40:48.
David Whitehead on 10 August 2014@07:13:52.


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