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Headword: *lugizo/menos
Adler number: lambda,771
Translated headword: bending oneself, twisting oneself
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] turning oneself, covering oneself.[1] [sc. The term comes] from withies.[2] A withy is a fibrous plant.[3] "He bound [them] with pliant withies." Homer [sc. says this].[4] And Plato in Gorgias [says]: "[competent at] turning about in all twists, going through all means of escape, escaping by bending himself, so as not to furnish justice".[5] But some [sc. say that] lugi/zein [means] means to question with the punishment of torture. Also the whips with which athletes are struck are called withies.[6]
Greek Original:
*lugizo/menos: strefo/menos, kalupto/menos. a)po\ tw=n lu/gwn. lu/gos de/ e)sti futo\n i(mantw=des. dei/dh mo/sxoisi lu/goisin. *(/omhros. kai\ *pla/twn e)n *gorgi/a|: pa/sas strofa\s stre/fesqai, pa/sas de\ dieco/dous dielqw/n, a)postrafh=nai lugizo/menos, w(/ste mh\ pare/xein di/khn. tine\s de\ kai\ to\ meta\ timwri/as basani/zein lugi/zein. kai\ ai( ma/stiges, ai(=s oi( a)qlhtai\ tu/ptontai, lu/goi kalou=ntai.
This entry, without the quotations from Homer and Plato, also appears in Photius (lambda430 Theodoridis); and cf. scholia to Plato, Republic 405C, where the headword participle (from the verb lugi/zw) occurs; see further below, n.5.
[1] As LSJ s.v. explains (web address 1), the image is to twist oneself in order to dodge a blow.
[2] Chantraine (2009) s.v. confirms the etymology. lu/gos: "Dérivés:...lugi/zw, lugi/zomai 'plier, se plier' dit de danseurs, 'tourner, esquiver' (Hp., att. Théoc.), parfois au figuré". (p.623)
[3] Again at lambda 780. LSJ s.v. (web address 2) identifies the plant, withy, as Vitex Agnus-castus (cf. note 6). The gloss is also found in Synagoge lambda158.
[4] Homer, Iliad 11.105 (web address 3), recounting Achilles' previous encounter with two of Priam's sons, Isus and Antiphus. Note that this passage does not contain the headword, but rather the word given in the etymology. The passage is also quoted in lambda 780. The quotation also appears in the scholia to Theocritus, Idylls 1.95-98 (glossing the future infinitive form (lugicei=n) of the present entry's headword); see further below, n.6.
[5] i.e. be convicted. The passage is actually Plato, Republic 405C (web address 4), where Socrates uses wrestling imagery to describe a litigious man. This passage includes not only the headword but also the infinitive form of the first glossing word (stre/fesqai). The infinitives in the passage are epexegetical, depending on i(kano/s which is left out of the quotation here.
[6] The scholia to Theocritus, Idylls 1.95-98 (on lugicei=n) also connect the verb with torture: lugicei=n... *)ameri/as de/ fhsin a)gnow=n: 'lu/gos r(a/bdos.' i)/sws ou)=n mastigw/sein "to be about to bend ... Amerias says this is from chaste-trees. 'a withy is a young sapling.' Thus perhaps [it means] to be about to whip" (Amerias was a 3rd century B.C. grammarian). On "chaste-tree" (Vitex agnus-castus) see web address 5.
Chantraine, P. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue greque: Histoire des mots, ed. 2, Paris 2009
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5
Keywords: athletics; botany; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; ethics; imagery; law; philosophy; poetry
Translated by: Kyle Helms on 9 July 2009@14:58:13.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 10 July 2009@00:19:23.
David Whitehead (augmented primary note; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 10 July 2009@03:14:59.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 22 April 2013@09:42:29.
Catharine Roth (supplemented note) on 13 September 2013@13:21:19.
Catharine Roth (my typo) on 5 October 2013@00:36:12.
David Whitehead (note cosmetic; another keyword) on 25 September 2014@11:43:50.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 18 December 2014@22:25:39.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 21 June 2020@01:43:00.


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