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πρέσβῠς, Pi.P.4.282, A.Ag.530, εως or εος (v. infr. 11), ὁ, voc. πρέσβῠ E.Or.476, Ar.Th.146:—
old man (poet. for prose πρεσβύτης), in this sense only used in nom., acc., and voc., ὁ π. Πόλυβος S.OT941; Φοῖνιξ ὁ π. Id.Ph.562; δριμὺς π. Ar.Av.255 (lyr.); πατέρά πρές βυν S.Ph.665; πρέσβυ Id.OT1013, 1121; ὦ πρέσβυ E. l. c., Ar. l. c.; ὁ π. the elder, A. Ag.184 (lyr.), 205 (lyr.), 530; cf. πρέσβα, πρέσβειρα, πρεσβηί̈ς, πρέσβις: pl. πρέσβεις, elders, three times in Trag., always voc. (v. infr. 111), A. Pers. 840, S.OT 1111, E.HF247; for πρεσβῆ, πρεσβῆες, πρισγεῖες, v. πρεσβεύς: Comp. and Sup. are the only forms found in Hom., Comp. πρεσβύτερος, α, ον (late πρεσβυτερωτέρα PLond.2.177.15 (i A. D.)), elder, Il.11.787, 15.204, Hdt.2.2, etc.; πλεῖν ἢ 'νιαυτῷ by more than a year, Ar.Ra.18; πρεσβυτέρα ἀριθμοῦ older than the fit number, Pi. Fr.127; βουλαὶ πρεσβύτεραι thy counsels wise beyond thy years, Id.P.2.65; γνώμη π. τῆς ἡλικίας D.H.5.30; οἱ σοφοὶ καὶ π. Arist.EE1215a23; of animals, Id.HA546a7; ἵππος π. ἤδη ὤν rather old, PCair.Zen. 225.8 (iii B. C.); also δένδρα π. Thphr.CP1.13.8; ἐπὶ τὸ π. ἰέναι become older, Pl.Lg.631e; ἵνα μὴ π. ὢν ῥέμβωμαι in my old age, PCair. Zen. 447.9 (iii B. C.): Sup. πρεσβύτατος, η, ον, eldest, Il.4.59, 11.740, Hes.Th.234, etc.; π. γενεῇ Il.6.24; as a term of respect, ἐγὼ παλαιότατός εἰμι σὺ δὲ π. Plu.Nic.15; of animals, Arist.HA546a4, al.: for the poet. forms πρέσβιστος, πρεσβίστατος, v. πρέσβιστος, and cf. πρεῖγυς.

2. Comp. and Sup., of things, more or most important, taking precedence, esp. πρεσβύτερόν τι (or οὐδὲν) ἔχειν deem higher, more important, τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ πρεσβύτερα ἐποιεῦντο ἢ τὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν Hdt. 5.63; οὐδὲν πρεσβύτερον νομίζω τᾶς σωφροσύνας E.Fr.959 (lyr.); ἐμοὶ οὐδέν ἐστι πρεσβύτερον τοῦ .. Pl.Smp.218d; πρεσβύτατον κρἰναί τι Th. 4.61; merely of magnitude, πρεσβύτερον κακοῦ κακόν one evil greater thananother, S.OT1365 (lyr.); χρεῶν πάντων πρεσβύτατα Pl.Lg.717b. Adv., -τέρωσγυμναστικὴν μουσικῆς τετιμηκέναι Id.R.548c, cf. Jul. Or.4.132c.

II. = πρεσβευτής, ambassador, in nom. sg. only cj. in A. Supp.727 (v. πρέσβη) and in Prov. ap. Sch.Il.4.394 (v. πρέσβις (A)); gen. πρέσβεως Ar.Ach.93 (at end of line); πρέσβεος Choerob. in Theod. 1.233: dual πρέσβει (written πρεσβε) IG12(1).977.45,57 (Carpathos, iv B. C.): pl. πρέσβεις, Dor. uncontr. πρέσβεες ib.14.952.11 (Acragas, iii B. C.) (at first more freq. than πρεσβευταί (q. v.)), Ar.Ach.61, IG12.52.1, 22.1.20, al., D.19.183; acc. πρέσβεις IG12.46.24, Foed. ap. Th.4.118, X.HG4.8.13; gen. πρέσβεων, dat. πρέσβεσι, Ar.Ach.76,62, IG22.1.7.

III. at Sparta a political title, president, τῶν ἐφόρων ib.5(1).51.6, 552.11; νομοφυλάκων ib.555b19; βιδέων ib.556.6; συναρχίας ib.504.16; τῆς φυλῆς ib.564.3; [σφαιρέων] ib.675.5; gen. sg. πρέσβεως ib. 504.16, al.

2. Comp. πρεσβύτερος, elder, alderman, τῆς κώμης BGU 195.30 (ii A. D., pl.), cf. POxy.2121.4 (iii A. D.), etc.; ἐκρίθημεν ἐπί τε Νουμηνίου καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν π. PCair.Zen.520.4 (iii B. C.), cf. UPZ124.22, 36 (ii B. C.); τοῖς ἱερεῦσι καὶ (both) τοῖς π. καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις πᾶσι OGI194.3 (Egypt, i B. C.); οἱ π. τῶν ὀλυροκόπων ib.729 (Alexandria, iii B. C.); π. τῶν γεωργῶν PTeb.13.5 (ii B. C.); π. γέρδιοι IGRom.1.1122 (Theadelphia, ii A. D.); τέκτονες π. ib.1155 (Ptolemaïs Hermiu, i A. D.): elder of the Jewish Sanhedrin, Ev.Matt.16.21, etc.; later, elder of the Christian Church, presbyter, Act.Ap.11.30, 20.17, 1 Ep.Ti.5.19, POxy.1162.1 (iv A. D.), etc.; of the Apostles, 2 Ep.Jo.1.1, 3 Ep.Jo.1.1.

IV. wren, Arist.HA609a17, 615a19, Hsch.; cf. σπέργυς. (-βυ-, Cret. -γυ- (in πρεῖγυς), cogn. with Skt. -gu in vanar-gú- 'one who lives or moves in the forest', Lith. mogùs 'man' (lit. 'one who moves on the ground'); πρεσ- cogn. with Lat.prae, pris-tinus; the oldest sense of π. is 'going in front, taking precedence'.)