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Headword: *si/fnioi
Adler number: sigma,511
Translated headword: Siphnians
Vetting Status: high
These men were the richest, not only of the islanders but also of the most affluent mainlainders. So while they were paying the tithe to Delphi in an orderly fashion and obeying the oracle which had stipulated this, the products of their wealth, after the discovery of the silver mines, gave them a contribution. But when they discontinued the payment of the first-fruits, the sea rose up and flooded and obliterated the basis of their wealth, and they were reduced to the poverty of [sc. other!] islanders and terrible destitution.[1]
From the Phrouroi of Ion.[2] Also Aristophanes says: 'it longs for, yet detests, yet wishes to have'. That is, the city of Athens longs for Alkibiades as a man of action but hates him as a would-be despot. For [Aristophanes] adds, 'I hate a citizen who will show himself slow to benefit his country but quick to do it great injury; and [I hate one who is] resourceful for himself but has no ideas for the city'. This too [is] about Alkibiades, who is slow in benefiting his native land but quick in harming it.[3]
Greek Original:
*si/fnioi: ou(=toi plousiw/tatoi e)ge/nonto, ou) mo/non tw=n nhsiwtw=n, a)lla\ kai\ tw=n h)peirwtw=n eu)= ma/la suxnw=n. e(/ws me\n ou)=n th\n deka/thn e)s *delfou\s a)pe/stellon eu)ta/ktws kai\ e)pei/qonto tw=| xrhsmw=| tw=| tou=to prosta/canti, ta\ tou= plou/tou au)toi=s e)pi/dosin ei)=xe, fane/ntwn a)rgurei/wn meta/llwn. e)pei\ de\ th\n fora\n th\n th=s a)parxh=s e)ce/lipon, qa/lassa e)pirreu/sasa kai\ e)piklu/sasa h)fa/nisen au)toi=s th\n tou= plou/tou xorhgi/an, perih=lqo/n te ei)s peni/an nhsiwtikh\n kai\ a)pori/an deinh/n. e)k tw=n *)/iwnos *frourw=n. fhsi\ de\ kai\ *)aristofa/nhs: poqei= me/n, e)xqai/rei de/, bou/letai d' e)/xein. toute/stin h( po/lis tw=n *)aqhnai/wn poqei= me\n w(s drasth/rion to\n *)alkibia/dhn, misei= de\ w(s turanniko/n. e)pife/rei ga/r, misw= poli/thn, o(/s tis w)felei=n pa/tran bradu\s fanei=tai, mega/la de\ bla/ptein taxu/s: kai\ po/rimon au(tw=|, th=| po/lei d' a)mh/xanon. kai\ tou=to peri\ *)alkibia/dou, brade/ws me\n w)felou=ntos th\n patri/da, taxe/ws de\ bla/ptontos.
For Siphnos (OCD4 s.v.) see already sigma 510. The second paragraph here has no obvious connection with the first.
[1] Aelian fr. 342 Domingo-Forasté (345 Hercher); cf. in brief Pausanias 10.11.2. The modern explanation for the loss of the Siphnians' mining prosperity is less dramatic: the seams simply became exhausted.
[2] Ion of Chios, TGrF 19 F41 ('it is silent, yet detests, but wishes nevertheless') - parodied in the line of Aristophanes that follows here.
[3] Aristophanes, Frogs 1425-27 (web address 1), with comment from the scholia there; cf. sigma 371. For Alkibiades see generally alpha 1280.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; biography; comedy; economics; ethics; geography; history; religion; science and technology; tragedy
Translated by: David Whitehead on 25 April 2003@04:19:34.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, link, status) on 17 December 2004@11:57:22.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 19 December 2004@04:36:52.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 4 December 2005@06:58:11.
Catharine Roth (updated reference, upgraded link, added keyword) on 31 May 2011@01:00:10.
David Whitehead on 18 August 2011@06:14:18.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@11:26:46.


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