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Headword: Tên cheira prospheronta ton theon kalein
Adler number: tau,528
Translated headword: to call on the god while applying one's hand
Vetting Status: high
As an ox-driver was bringing his wagon out of a village, it fell into a deep ravine. Although he should have done something to help, he stood idly praying to Heracles, of all the gods the one whom he worshipped and honored. But the god appeared and said: "Take hold of the wheels and goad the oxen. Pray to the god, only when you are doing something yourself. Do not pray in vain." From this it became a proverb.
Greek Original:
Tên cheira prospheronta ton theon kalein: boêlatês ek kômês hamaxan agôn, kai tautês empesousês eis pharanga koilôdê, deon boêthein, argos histato tôi Hêraklei proseuchomenos: ekeinon gar ek pantôn tôn theôn aspazomenos etima. ho de theos epistas eipe: tôn trochôn haptou kai tous boas nutte kai tote ton theon euchou, hotan kautos ti poiêis: mê mentoi ge matên euchou. ek toutou eis paroimian eisêchthê.
Also in Photius. A paraphrase of Babrius, Fable 20.
For the (metrical) proverb itself see Diogenianus 8.11, Apostolius 15.79 (Comica adespota fr. 603 Kock, but not in K.-A.). Compare "Trust in God and keep your powder dry," and "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"
Keywords: aetiology; comedy; daily life; ethics; mythology; poetry; proverbs; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 10 October 2001@17:42:54.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics) on 11 October 2001@02:57:46.
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords) on 14 May 2008@07:44:01.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 14 August 2011@06:17:20.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 December 2014@08:50:43.
David Whitehead (coding) on 28 May 2016@06:06:40.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 6 July 2016@23:19:29.


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