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νόμισμ᾽, institutum. This primary and general sense of the word was almost confined to poetry ( Aesch. Th. 269Ἑλληνικὸν νόμισμα θυστάδος βοῆς”), the special sense, ‘current coin,’ being the ordinary one. For the other sense, the usual word was “νόμιμον” (or “νόμος”). Hence in Aristoph. Nub. 247, when Socrates says, “θεοὶ ἡμῖν νόμισμ᾽ οὐκ ἔστι”, Strepsiades rejoins, “τῷ γὰρ ὄμνυτ᾽; σιδαρέοισιν, ὥσπερ ἐν Βυζαντίῳ” (i.e. if gods are not current with you, do you swear by iron coin?): where the schol. remarks that “νόμισμα” meant “ποτὲ μὲν τὸ νόμιμον ἔθος, ποτὲ δὲ τὸ κόμμα τοῦ τετυπωμένου χαλκοῦ.

ἔβλαστε: cp. O. C. 611βλαστάνει δ᾽ ἀπιστία.

πορθεῖ, ‘sacks’ (not merely, in a general sense, ‘ruins’): money invites attack, and often purchases betrayal: cp. Hor. Carm. 3. 16. 13diffidit urbium Portas uir Macedo et subruit aemulos Reges muneribus.

τόδ᾽ (after “τοῦτο”: cp. 39) ἄνδρας, individual citizens, as distinguished from “πόλεις. ἐξανίστ. δόμων”, drives them from their cities by corrupt intrigue,—for which the “στάσεις” of democrat and oligarch in Greek cities gave many openings. The phrase is strikingly illustrated by the verses in which Timocreon of Rhodes, when an exile, assailed Themistocles ( Plut. Them. 21), as “τοὺς μὲν κατάγων ἀδίκως, τοὺς δ᾽ ἐκδιώκων, τοὺς δὲ καίνων, ἀργυρίων ὑπόπλεως”.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 269
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 247
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 39
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 611
    • Plutarch, Themistocles, 21
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