Paul, I have no problem with this thread in the B-Greek Forum -- and, for that matter, I don't really have much of a moderator role here so much as I readily offer suggestions as they occur to me. My response concerned rather the very problem of describing the phrases as "literal" or speaking of a "basic meaning" for these phrases. And that, as Stephen suggested, may perhaps be a matter for discussion -- if we want to discuss it at all -- in a different subforum or topic.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)