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Headword: Ῥῦμα
Adler number: rho,291
Translated headword: defence, protection; draw, that which is drawn
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] guarding.[1]
"A miserable defence of a tower do they become." Meaning a worthless guarding of the city.[2]
"After shooting many arrows at once, the barbarians were sailing round by the Romans into a bow's draw[-range]."[3]
Eunapius [writes]: "some rock having been dragged away into a bow's draw[-range]."[4] That is, [its] pull-back.
And elsewhere: "the mighty among them were fastening towing-lines, drawing them from their ships to the others, and the bridge was being held fast by the towing-lines."[5]
And elsewhere: "to these rafts they also bound more towing-lines, by which they intended that the towing boats would not allow [sc. the rafts] to be carried down the river, but by force holding them fast against the current, to have the whole contingent conveyed across the river."[6] And elsewhere Polybius [writes]: "behind these [sc. ships] they positioned the horse-carriers, having put towing-lines from them to the ships in the third squadron."[7] "They were towing the horse-carriers."[8]
Greek Original:
Ῥῦμα: φυλακή. χαλεπὸν πύργου ῥῦμα πέλονται. ἀντὶ τοῦ εὐτελὴς πόλεως φυλακή. ἐς τόξου ῥῦμα περιέπλεον τοῖς Ῥωμαίοις οἱ βάρβαροι, πολλὰ ἅμα βέλη ἀφιέντες. Εὐνάπιος: πέτρα δέ τις ἀπεσπασμένη ἐς τόξου ῥῦμα. τουτέστιν ἕλκυσμα. καὶ αὖθις: κραταιῶς ἐκ τούτων ἀνῆπτον τὰ ῥύματα, λαμβάνοντες ἐκ τῶν κατ' ἄλληλα πλοίων, καὶ κατείχετο τὸ ζεῦγμα τοῖς ῥύμασι. καὶ αὖθις: ῥύματα δὲ καὶ πλείω ταῖς σχεδίαις ἐνῆψαν, οἷς ἔμελλον οἱ λέμβοι ῥυμουλκοῦντες οὐκ ἐάσειν φέρεσθαι κατὰ τοῦ ποταμοῦ, βίᾳ δὲ πρὸς τὸν ῥοῦν κατέχοντες παρακομιεῖσθαι τὸ ὅλον ἔργον κατὰ τοῦ ποταμοῦ. καὶ αὖθις Πολύβιος: ἐπὶ τούτοις ἐπέστησαν τὰς ἱππηγούς, ῥύματα δόντες ἐξ αὐτῶν ταῖς τοῦ τρίτου στόλου ναυσίν. ἐρυμούλκουν τὰς ἱππηγοὺς ναῦς.
The headword, a neuter noun, has two senses, differentiated in LSJ s.v. ῥῦμα as (A) and (B). Both are illustrated here.
[1] Hesychius provides this same gloss, s.v. ῥῦμα .
[2] Quoted approximately from Sophocles, Ajax 159 (with scholion): the hero's sailors, comprising the chorus, define the fighting capabilities of small men without support from great ones (web address 1).
[3] Arrian, Parthica fr.58 (Roos, Flavivs Arrianvs, p. 241). Adler notes that Roos preferred τοὺς Ῥωμαίους ; the barbarians were sailing around the Romans (ibid., p. 241 note; Roos, Studia Arrianea, p. 47 note). Blockley includes this passage among his fragments, but allows that it is possibly not Eunapian (pp. 126-7, p. 150). The battle tactic of keeping ἐς τόξου ῥῦμα , again in the next passage quoted, entails staying within one's own bow-and-arrow range of a foe, within the protection of the bow-shot, yet safe from any return fire.
[4] Eunapius fr.93 FHG (4.54); Blockley, pp. 126-7.
[5] Arrian, Parthica fr. 58 (Roos, p. 241).
[6] Quoted approximately from Polybius 3.46.5 (web address 2), which describes Hannibal's (OCD(4) s.v. and alpha 2452) design of a dirt-covered raft-bridge for ferrying elephants across the Rhône River (218 BCE); cf. Walbank, p. 380.
[7] An approximate quotation of Polybius 1.26.14 (web address 3), detailing Roman strategy against the Carthaginians in the huge naval battle off Cape Ecnomus, near present-day Licata, Sicily (256 BCE); Walbank, pp. 85-87.
[8] Quoted approximately from Polybius 1.27.9 (web address 4).
A.G. Roos, ed., Flavivs Arrianvs: Scripta Minora et Fragmenta, vol. II, Teubner: Leipzig, 1967
A.G. Roos, Studia Arrianea, Teubner: Leipzig, 1912
R.C. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus, vol. II, Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1983
F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, vol. I, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; science and technology; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Ronald Allen on 21 March 2008@03:11:26.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaked headword and tr; modified primary note; another keyword; cosmetics) on 21 March 2008@04:29:59.
David Whitehead on 30 October 2013@06:52:44.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@11:15:40.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmeticule) on 22 November 2014@22:01:34.
David Whitehead (coding) on 25 May 2016@07:40:32.


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