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Headword: Πτερίνη
Adler number: pi,3007
Translated headword: feathery
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] 'feathery fan'.[1]
"When it comes to ambushers remaining hidden and avoiding trouble, places that are open and flat happen to be more suitable than the wooded ones, since they enable all the ambushers to look out from a great distance, and there are sufficient sources of cover in most places. For the average stream-bed with a modest bank, and sometimes reeds and ferns and the family of brambles, are able to hide not only infantry but even horsemen, as long as one is a bit cautious about keeping the emblems on the shields face-down toward the ground and keeping the helmets underneath the shields."[2]
Greek Original:
Πτερίνη. καὶ πτερίναν ῥιπίδα. πρὸς τὸ λαθεῖν καὶ μηδὲν παθεῖν τοὺς ἐνεδρεύσαντας εὐφυέστεροι τυγχάνουσιν ὄντες οἱ ψιλοὶ καὶ ἐπίπεδοι τόποι τῶν ὑλωδῶν διὰ τὸ δύνασθαι ἐκ πολλοῦ προορᾶν πάντας τοὺς ἐνεδρεύοντας, εἶναι δ' ἐπιπροσθήσεις ἱκανὰς ἐν τοῖς πλείστοις τόποις. τὸ γὰρ τυχὸν ῥεῖθρον μετὰ βραχείας ὀφρύος, ποτὲ δὲ κάλαμοι καὶ πτέρεις καὶ τὸ γένος ἀκανθῶν, οὐ μόνον πεζοὺς ἀλλὰ καὶ ἱππεῖς δύναται κρύπτειν, ἐὰν βραχέα τις προνοηθῇ τοῦ τὰ μὲν ἐπίσημα τῶν ὅπλων ὕπτια τιθέναι πρὸς τὴν γῆν, τὰς δὲ περικεφαλαίας ὑποτιθέναι τοῖς ὅπλοις.
Notes:
The unglossed headword is nominative singular feminine of the adjective πτέρινος . This form is otherwise attested only in Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle's Physics 9.263 (= Eudemus fr. 50 Wehrli -- on Aristotle, Physics 192b). There is a possibility that the word might serve as a noun referring to a fern or fern-like plant. See ps.-Galen, De remediis parabilibus 14.441; cf. Dioscorides 4.184, as well as n. 2 below.
For another form of the adjective see pi 3008.
[1] This phrase involving the headword adjective, in the accusative, occurs in Greek Anthology 6.306.3 (Ariston), where the item mentioned is among the things dedicated to Hermes by a manumitted cook-slave; cf. Gow and Page, vol. I (42-43); vol. II (110-111); and further excerpts from this epigram at alpha 1146, alpha 4064, beta 34, theta 539, mu 11, tau 73, tau 74, tau 799, chi 620, and omega 294.
[2] Polybius 3.71.3-4, with some minor divergences. Here the headword does not occur, but the similar-looking word for 'ferns' does (πτέρεις ). This suggests that the compiler thought that the headword had, or might have, something to do with ferns.
References:
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, (Cambridge 1965)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, (Cambridge 1965)
Keywords: botany; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; geography; historiography; medicine; military affairs; philosophy; poetry; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 1 October 2013@23:09:13.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 2 October 2013@03:06:29.
David Whitehead on 22 October 2013@07:16:23.
David Whitehead (typo) on 25 May 2016@03:59:50.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.1, added bibliography, added cross-references) on 6 March 2019@17:56:50.
Ronald Allen (added cross-reference) on 25 March 2019@21:18:21.

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