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Headword: Πυνθάνεσθαι
Adler number: pi,3173
Translated headword: to inquire
Vetting Status: high
[This verb, πυνθάνεσθαι ] means to hear, to learn, to be taught, to investigate, to ask, or something else, similar to asking but not asking exactly; for there is obviously a difference, especially for the dialecticians, between inquiry [πύσμα ] and questioning [ἐρώτημα ].
'Inquiring' [is used] in the orators and in Homer in reference to hearing and learning. "I learned about Ithaca,"[1] and elsewhere, "for this will be shameful for posterity to learn."[2] Also, "in Cyprus he heard the great report,"[3] and "learning where each man perished."[4] Also, "Kronion made his fate unknown."[5] In all these [passages] πυνθάνεσθαι refers to hearing. And Aeschines in the [speech] On the mismanaged embassy [writes] "hearing that he had attacked this man."[6] And Dinarchus in the [speech] Against Philocles [writes]: "good luck, because in a greater crisis you learned of his shameful greed."[7] And Demosthenes in the [speech] On the mismanaged embassy [writes]: "this man made a false report; you believed [it]; the Phocians learned [it]."[8]
Greek Original:
Πυνθάνεσθαι: ἀκούειν, μανθάνειν, διδάσκεσθαι, ἱστορεῖν, ἐρωτᾶν ἢ ἕτερόν τι σημαίνει, παραπλήσιον μὲν τοῦ ἐρωτᾶν, οὐ μὴν αὐτὸ τὸ ἐρωτᾶν: ἔστι γάρ τις, ὡς δῆλον, διαφορὰ μάλιστα παρὰ τοῖς διαλεκτικοῖς μεταξὺ πύσματος καὶ ἐρωτήματος. τὸ πυνθάνεσθαι παρὰ τοῖς ῥήτορσι καὶ παρ' Ὁμήρῳ ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀκούειν καὶ μανθάνειν. πυνθανόμην Ἰθάκης γε. καὶ πάλιν: αἰσχρὸν γὰρ τόδε γ' ἐστὶ καὶ ἐσσομένοισι πυθέσθαι. καί, πεύθετο γὰρ Κύπρονδε μέγα κλέος. καί, πευθό- μενος, ᾗχι ἕκαστος ἀπώλετο. καί, κείνου δ' αὖ καὶ ὄλεθρον ἀπευθέα θῆκε Κρονίων. ἐν γὰρ τούτοις ἅπασιν ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀκούειν κεῖται τὸ πυνθάνεσθαι. καὶ Αἰσχίνης δὲ ἐν τῷ Περὶ τῆς παραπρεσβείας: τούτῳ συμβαλεῖν πυνθανόμενος. καὶ Δείναρχος ἐν τῷ κατὰ Φιλοκλέους: εὐτυχεῖτε, ὅτι οὐκ ἐν μείζονι καιρῷ ἐπύθεσθε τὴν αὐτοῦ αἰσχροκέρδειαν. καὶ Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ Περὶ τῆς παραπρεσβείας: οὗτος ἀπήγγειλε τὰ ψευδῆ: ὑμεῖς ἐπιστεύσατε: οἱ Φωκεῖς ἐπύθοντο.
Parts of this entry are paralleled in Photius (pi1539 Theodoridis), the Lexica Segueriana, and Anecdota Graeca I ed. Bekker. See also pi 3174, pi 3175.
[1] Homer, Odyssey 13.256 (web address 1).
[2] Homer, Iliad 2.119 (web address 2).
[3] Homer, Iliad 11.21 (web address 3).
[4] Homer, Odyssey 3.87 (web address 4).
[5] Homer, Odyssey 3.88 (web address 4).
[6] This phrase is not extant in Aeschines 2, or anywhere else in Aeschines; it occurs only here, and is unidentifiable.
[7] Dinarchus 3.6.
[8] Demosthenes 19.76 (web address 5).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5
Keywords: biography; definition; epic; ethics; history; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 18 September 2004@00:54:52.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (supplied basis of notes; cosmetics) on 19 September 2004@09:48:42.
Catharine Roth (added note numbers and links) on 19 September 2004@19:40:10.
David Whitehead (augmented n.6; more keywords; tweaks) on 17 February 2011@08:52:12.
Catharine Roth (added primary note, fixed links) on 19 September 2011@21:46:19.
David Whitehead on 20 September 2011@03:19:54.
David Whitehead on 23 October 2013@10:09:09.


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