For a Friday: Four Proverbs about Wine

From the Suda:

“You destroyed the wine when you added water!” This is a proverb used to refer to things that were going well but were ruined by some small mistake. It is also used of those who use deception to get what they want and are insincere in their dealings. This proverb comes from the Cylcopes of the poet Aristias according to Khaimeleon in his book about Satyr-plays.”

᾿Απώλεσας τὸν οἶνον ἐπιχέας ὕδωρ: ἐπὶ τῶν τὰ καλῶς πρότερον γενόμενα ὕστερον μικροῦ τινος ἕνεκεν κακοῦ ἀνατρεπόντων. ἢ ἐπὶ τῶν ἃ χαρίζονται δολούντων καὶ μὴ ἀκέραια παρεχομένων. αὕτη δὲ ἡ παροιμία γέγονεν ἐκ τοῦ ᾿Αριστίου Κύκλωπος, ὥς φησι Χαμαιλέων ἐν τῷ περὶ Σατύρων.


“Since you thought it right to drink the wine, you need to drink the dregs too.”

᾿Επειδὴ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους πιεῖν, συνεκποτ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα.


“Wineless” : It is a common idiom.  There is also a proverb: “if he asks for wine, give him a punch.” This is used in reference of people who ask for good things but get something bad.  The origin of this is when the Kyklops asks for wine but gets blinded instead.”

᾿Ανοινάριος· ὡς ἡ κοινὴ συνήθεια. καὶ παροιμία· ῍Αν οἶνον αἰτῇ, κονδύλους αὐτῷ δίδου· ἐπὶ τῶν ἀγαθὰ αἰτούντων, κακὰ δὲ λαμβανόντων. ἡ ἱστορία ἀπὸ τοῦ Κύκλωπος οἶνον αἰτήσαντος καὶ τυφλωθέντος.



“To flay a wineskin”: A proverb used in reference to people who set out to do something to excess. It means “to flay my skin to make a wine skin.”

᾿Ασκὸν δέρειν: ἐπὶ τῶν καθ’ ὑπερβολὴν ἐπαγγελλομένων πράττειν τι. τὸ δέρμα μου εἰς ἀσκὸν ἐκδερματίζειν.



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