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Headword: Τενέδιος ἄνθρωπος
Adler number: tau,310
Translated headword: Tenedian fellow
Vetting Status: high
[The story goes that] Kyknos the son of Poseidon made a second marriage after the birth of his children Hemithea and Tennes[sic]; and Tennes was accused by his stepmother[1] of trying to seduce her. She persuaded Kyknos to throw the young man into a chest; and after Hemithea had opted to share her brother's hazard he hurled them both into the sea. The chest was carried to a place which was formerly called Leukophrys but subsequently, after him, Tenedos. [Tennes was the man] who became king of the island and laid down in its laws that the public slave should stand with a raised axe behind those who were making false accusations, where he could immediately execute those convicted. And from the frightening aspect of this man came the phrase 'Tenedian fellow'. So the proverb is applied to those who have a frightening appearance.
Greek Original:
Τενέδιος ἄνθρωπος: Κύκνον τὸν Ποσειδῶνος γενόμενον πατέρα Ἡμιθέας καὶ Τέννου ἐπιγῆμαι τούτοις: καὶ κατηγορηθῆναι τὸν Τέννην ὑπὸ τῆς μητρυιᾶς, ὡς πειρῶντα αὐτήν. πεισθέντα δὲ Κύκνον εἰς λάρνακα βαλεῖν τὸν νεανίαν. ἑλομένης δὲ τῆς Ἡμιθέας συγκινδυνεύειν τῷ ἀδελφῷ, ἑκατέρους κατεπόντωσεν. ἡ δὲ λάρναξ ἠνέχθη ἐπὶ τὴν πρότερον καλουμένην Λεύκοφρυν, ὕστερον δὲ Τένεδον ἀπ' ἐκείνου. ὃς καὶ βασιλεύσας τῆς νήσου ἐνομοθέτησε τοῖς τὰ ψευδῆ κατηγοροῦσιν ὄπισθεν παρεστάναι τὸν δήμιον πέλεκυν ἐπῃρμένον, ὡς ἐλεγχθέντας παραχρῆμα ἀναιρεῖσθαι. ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ φοβεροῦ θεάματος ἐκείνου λέγεσθαι Τενέδιος ἄνθρωπος. εἴρηται οὖν ἡ παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν φοβερῶν τὰς ὄψεις.
Menander fr. 176 K.-Th., 154 K.-A.
See already tau 309, and further under tau 311. The present entry is also in Photius (tau151 Theodoridis, with other references there), taken to come from Pausanias the Atticist (tau19).
[1] Philonome (as Apollodorus records).
Keywords: aetiology; children; comedy; daily life; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; law; mythology; proverbs; women
Translated by: David Whitehead on 16 December 2002@09:56:01.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link, set status) on 1 October 2004@22:44:16.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 3 October 2004@09:00:13.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 12 August 2011@08:08:15.
David Whitehead on 9 January 2014@03:57:28.
David Whitehead on 24 December 2014@04:06:49.
Catharine Roth (deleted link) on 29 January 2016@11:45:55.


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