γλαῦκ’ εἰς Ἀθήνας

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The owl, which roosted in the rafters of the old Parthenon (the one burnt by Xerxes I), was the symbol of the city of Athens, and was sacred to its patron goddess, Athena. It was featured on Athens' silver coins, and as Athens both mined its own silver and minted its own coins, bringing owls (either the real birds, or the coins) to Athens would be pointless.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (5th BC Attic): IPA: /ɡlá͜ʊk e͜es atʰɛ͜ɛ́na͜as/

Idiom[edit]

γλαῦκ’ εἰς Ἀθήνας (glauk' eis Athēnās)

  1. (idiomatic) Undertaking a pointless venture, one that is redundant, unnecessary, superfluous, or highly uneconomical; compare the English "coals to Newcastle".

Usage notes[edit]

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