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Headword: *kwnofo/roi
Adler number: kappa,2279
Translated headword: pinecone-bearing
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning they who/which are] thyrsus-bearing.[1] For "cone" is the cluster-like fruit of the pine, which women used to bring with them carrying [it] in the rituals for Dionysus, because the cone is similar in shape to the human heart, and the Greeks [ = pagans] say that Dionysus is the overseer of people's hearts.[2] They did this then for some mystery ritual of their own.
"And the thyrsus pole, green and bearing a pine-cone."[3]
Greek Original:
*kwnofo/roi: qursofo/roi. kw=nos de\ le/getai o( botruoeidh\s tou= strobi/lou karpo/s, o(\n e)/feron ai( gunai=kes basta/zousai e)n tai=s tou= *dionu/sou teletai=s, e)peidh\ o(/moion tw=| sxh/mati to\n kw=non th=| tou= a)nqrw/pou kardi/a|, e)pista/thn de/ fasin *(/ellhnes th=s tw=n a)nqrw/pwn kardi/as to\n *dio/nuson. oi)kei/w| ou)=n tini musthri/w| tou=to e)poi/oun. kai\ qu/rsou xloero\n kwnofo/ron ka/maka.
The headword, evidently quoted from somewhere (perhaps from the quotation below, but attested elsewhere only in Theophrastus, e.g. Enquiry into Plants 2.2.2, 3.9.4, and On the Causes of Plants 1.9.2), is nominative plural of this adjective.
[1] The thyrsus was a wand with a pine-cone at the top, carried in Dionysian rites as explained; see theta 613.
[2] The conical shape of the heart is remarked on by the late medical author Meletius, On the Nature of Humans p. 97 Cramer. The remarks made here do not appear to have been preserved elsewhere.
[3] Greek Anthology 6.165.4 (Phalaecus), also at theta 613. On this epigram, a dedication to Dionysus, see Page (46-49) and its further extracts at alpha 1721, alpha 4681, beta 140, beta 548, theta 379, iota 72, kappa 2115, lambda 360, rho 223, and sigma 1193. On the epigram's attribution, see alpha 1721 note. As Page notes (48), artwork depicting a thyrsus often shows the staff topped with a pinecone-like object. A representative example is the pelike by the red-figure vase painter Hermonax (fl. 470-430 BCE) in the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome; cf. Isler-Kerényi (70-71). For a defense of the thesis that the thyrsus became associated with a pinecone only in the 19th century, see Olszewski (153-173).
D.L. Page, ed., Further Greek Epigrams, (Cambridge 1981)
C. Isler-Kerényi, Dionysos in Classical Athens: An Understanding Through Images, (Leiden, 2015)
E. Olszewski, "Dionysus's Enigmatic Thyrsus", Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 163 (2019) 153-173
Keywords: aetiology; art history; botany; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; medicine; poetry; religion; women
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 21 February 2009@06:38:17.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, keywords, status) on 22 February 2009@01:26:27.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaks) on 22 February 2009@04:01:33.
David Whitehead on 15 March 2013@07:36:04.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 16 January 2020@00:49:28.
Ronald Allen (augmented primary note) on 6 June 2023@11:34:56.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.3, added bibliography, added cross-references, added keyword) on 8 June 2023@00:14:37.


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