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Headword: Akessa
Adler number: alpha,840
Translated headword: akessa, (?)access
Vetting Status: high
A Roman tactic consisting of cutting down trees to prepare a defense.
"The Romans constructed what in the Romans' language is called the akessa. For, cutting down trees and laying the trunks one upon another in a pile, they walled off, as far as was possible, the approach to the city on that side."[1]
Greek Original:
Akessa: Rhômaïkon ti mêchanêma ek dendrotomiou pros erumnotêta metaskeuazomenon. hoi de Rhômaioi xunethesan tên legomenên akessan têi Rhômaiôn phônêi. dendrotomêsantes gar allepallêla stelechê têi xunthêkêi katastoresantes apeteichisan hôs enên tên enthende poreian tês poleôs.
The headword is attested only here and in the parallel (but shorter) entry in ps.-Zonaras. It perhaps derives, through some historical incident, from the Sicilian city Akessa mentioned by Photius, Lexicon s.v. o)/xos a)kessai=os (which accordingly would, or could, be "the city" mentioned here).
The word might be related to Latin accessa 'access', as in accessa maris 'access to the sea', used by Servius to explain inaccessa 'inaccessible' in his commentary on Vergil's Aeneid (ad Aen. 1.246, 6.154, 8.195).
E.A. Sophocles in his lexicon s.v. identifies akessa with agesta (see alpha 203 and epsilon 52); an akessa is mentioned at epsilon 3106.
[1] Quotation (from late historiography) unidentifiable.
Keywords: botany; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; military affairs; science and technology
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 4 March 2000@13:21:35.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (supplied headwords; augmented note; added keyword) on 27 May 2002@10:26:36.
Robert Dyer (expressed disagreement with interesting vetting suggestion of derivation from Latin and added references to Latin accessa in this sense; replaced 'approach' in headword with posited English relative 'access') on 30 May 2002@04:38:02.
Catharine Roth (added a note with another alternative) on 5 June 2002@17:35:50.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 5 June 2002@17:42:44.
Catharine Roth (modified note) on 14 August 2002@15:10:33.
David Whitehead (added what is now note 1; consequent cosmetics) on 10 June 2003@09:18:02.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 12 January 2008@01:10:53.
David Whitehead (additions to notes; more keywords; tweaks) on 24 January 2012@04:01:44.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 May 2015@18:26:46.


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