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πρόβα^τον , τό, freq. in pl. πρόβατα (but also in sg., Cratin.43, Pl. Euthd.302a, etc.); heterocl. dat. πρόβασι Hdn.Gr.1.414, Hsch.:— used (among the Ionians and Dorians) of all four-footed
A.cattle, Hdt. 2.41, etc.; “πάντων τῶν π. βόες μάλιστα ἀτονέουσιHp.Art.8; “τὰ ἄλλα π. καὶ ἵππους μάλισταHdt.4.61, cf. Pi.Fr.316, IG12(1).677.31 (Rhodes, iv/iii B.C.); of Europa's bull, Simon.28: in Hom. generally of cattle, flocks and herds, Il.14.124, 23.550, h.Merc.571, cf. IG12(7).62.35 (Amorgos, iv B.C.); “τὰ π. καὶ καρταίποδαLeg.Gort.4.35; opp. ἄνθρωποι, Hes.Op.558, Hdt.1.203; τὰ λεπτὰ τῶν π. small cattle, i.e. sheep and goats, ib.133, 8.137; “τὸ μὲν μέζον π. . . , τὸ δὲ μεῖονIG5 (2).3.14 (Tegea, iv B.C.); so later, “π. ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρνῶν καὶ τῶν ἐρίφων λήψεσθεLXX Ex.12.5: but in Att. Prose and Com. (never in Trag.) almost invariably of sheep, Ar.Av.714, Th.2.14, IG22.1672.289, etc.; “ὥσπερ π. βῆ βῆ λέγων βαδίζειCratin.43; so in later Boeot., IG7.3171.39,44 (Orchom. Boeot.): generally, animals for slaughter, whether for sacrifices, Hdt.6.56; or for food, Id.1.207; cf. Antipho 5.29.
2. prov. of stupid, lazy people, “ἀριθμός, πρόβατ᾽ ἄλλωςAr.Nu.1203, cf. V.32: Com. Comp., προβάτου προβάτερον more sheepish than a sheep, dub. cj. in Sophr.122; χρυσοῦν π., = Lat. pecus aurea, as nickname, D.C.59.8: in other provs., “τοὺς γευομένους κύνας τῶν π. κατακόπτειν φασὶ δεῖνD.25.40; “λέων ἐν προβάτοιςPlu.Cleom.33, cf. Plb.5.35.13.
II. name of a sea-fish, Opp.H.1.146, 3.139, Ael.NA9.38. (Orig. of small cattle, sheep and goats, which in primitive mixed herds walk in front (προβαίνει) of the larger animals.)
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