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Headword: Ὑμεῖς, Μεγαρεῖς, οὔτε τρίτοι οὔτε τέταρτοι
Adler number: upsilon,108
Translated headword: you o Megarians are neither third nor fourth
Vetting Status: high
It is a proverbial part of an oracle, thus; "a Thessalian horse, a Spartan woman, and men who drink the water of fine Arethoussa;[1] but there are better still than them -- those who dwell between Tiryns[2] and Arcadia rich in flocks: the linen-cuirassed Argives, spurs of war. But you, Aigians,[3] are neither third nor fourth nor twelfth, neither in in repute nor in number."[4] Mnaseas[5] recounts that when the Aigians of Achaea conquered the Aetolians in a sea-battle and captured a fifty-oared ship of theirs, they dedicated a tenth of the spoils at Pytho,[6] and they enquired who were the best of Greeks; and the Pythia answered them in the words stated above.[7] Ion too recounts that the oracle was given to the Aigians.[8] Some, however, think that it was given to the Megarians and they say "you, o Megarians, [are] neither third nor fourth". Thus too Callimachus in his little Epigrams: "and of the poor nymph, as of Megarians, neither word nor number".[9]
Greek Original:
Ὑμεῖς, ὦ Μεγαρεῖς, οὔτε τρίτοι οὔτε τέταρτοι: χρησμοῦ κομμάτιόν ἐστι παροιμιαζόμενον οὕτως: ἵππον Θεσσαλικὴν Λακεδαιμονίαν τε γυναῖκα, ἄνδρας δ', οἳ πίνουσιν ὕδωρ καλῆς Ἀρεθούσης. ἀλλ' ἔτι καὶ τῶν εἰσὶν ἀμείνονες, οἵ τε μεσηγὺ Τίρυνθος ναίουσι καὶ Ἀρκαδίης πολυμήλου, Ἀργεῖοι λινοθώρηκες, κέντρα πτολέμοιο. ὑμεῖς δ', Αἰγιέες, οὔτε τρίτοι οὔτε τέταρτοι οὔτε δυωδέκατοι, οὔτ' ἐν λόγῳ οὔτ' ἐν ἀριθμῷ. ἱστορεῖ δὲ Μνασέας, ὅτι Αἰγιεῖς οἱ ἐν Ἀχαίᾳ καταναυμαχήσαντες Αἰτωλοὺς καὶ λαβόντες πεντηκόντορον αὐτῶν, δεκάτην Πυθοῖ ἀνατιθέντες, ἠρώτων τίνες εἶεν κρείττους τῶν Ἑλλήνων: ἡ δὲ Πυθία ἔχρησεν αὐτοῖς τὰ προκείμενα. καὶ Ἴων δὲ Αἰγιεῦσι δοθῆναι τὸν χρησμὸν ἱστορεῖ. τινὲς δὲ οἴονται Μεγαρεῦσιν εἰρῆσθαι αὐτὸν καὶ προφέρονται, ὑμεῖς δ', ὦ Μεγαρεῖς, οὔτε τρίτοι οὔτε τέταρτοι. ὡς καὶ Καλλίμαχος ἐπὶ τοῖς Ἐπιγραμματίοις: τῆς δὲ ταλαίνης νύμφης, ὡς Μεγαρέων, οὐ λόγος οὐδ' ἀριθμός.
Entry also in Photius (upsilon47 Theodoridis), taken to come from Pausanias the Atticist (upsilon5); cf. also the scholia to Theocritus, Idylls 14.48; and proverbial in Zenobius 1.48 and elsewhere. For the oracle see already alphaiota 45.
[1] See alpha 3821; cf. Strabo, who quotes the oracle and places Arethoussa, a fountain, in Chalcis (Euboea).
[2] tau 653; Google maps location at web address 1.
[3] alphaiota 55; Google maps location at web address 2.
[4] cf. Greek Anthology 14.73.
[5] Of Patrai; a student of Eratosthenes, according to epsilon 2898. Quoted in zeta 17, pi 2212, pi 3136, sigma 12. For his fragments see Cappelletto (below).
[6] i.e. the oracle at Delphi; pi 3137 etc.
[7] Mnaseas FHG fr.50 (3.157ff).
[8] Ion [iota 487] fr.17 FHG (2.51) = PMG 743 Page -- but the name may be an error here (so Bernhardy).
[9] Callimachus, Epigrammata 25.5-6 Pfeiffer.
Cappelletto, P. (ed.), I frammenti di Mnasea: Introduzione testo e commento, Milan 2003
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: clothing; daily life; definition; ethics; food; geography; historiography; history; imagery; military affairs; poetry; proverbs; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: Ioannis Doukas on 20 July 2009@10:31:34.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 21 July 2009@03:32:59.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 9 August 2011@09:02:04.
David Whitehead on 20 November 2013@05:25:13.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 29 May 2016@10:51:16.


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