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Headword: Ὕδραν τέμνειν
Adler number: upsilon,57
Translated headword: you are cutting off a hydra
Vetting Status: high
[sc. A proverbial phrase] in reference to things that are hopeless; for the story goes that when Herakles was fighting a hydra in Lerna which had a hundred heads, and as the heads were cut off more grew, he ordered Iolaos to burn the cut ones.
Greek Original:
Ὕδραν τέμνειν: ἐπὶ τῶν ἀμηχάνων λέγεται: ἱστορεῖται γὰρ ὕδρᾳ τῇ ἐν Λέρνῃ ἑκατοντακεφάλῳ τυγχανούσῃ μαχόμενον Ἡρακλέα, ὡς τῶν τεμνομένων αὐτῆς κεφαλῶν ἀνεφύοντο πλείους, κελεῦσαι Ἰολάῳ ἐπικαίειν τὰς τεμνομένας.
Plato, Republic 4.426E, via Photius upsilon20 Theodoridis (with other references there). Again at upsilon 58 (which draws on the scholia there); and cf. generally upsilon 56 = upsilon 67. For Iolaos see iota 411.
Keywords: daily life; geography; medicine; mythology; philosophy; proverbs; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 8 December 2002@05:52:14.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth on 8 December 2002@12:07:15.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 13 June 2004@10:51:29.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2011@08:51:37.
David Whitehead on 18 November 2013@06:42:02.


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