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Headword: Ὕδραν τέμνειν
Adler number: upsilon,57
Translated headword: you are cutting off a hydra
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[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.
Note:
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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