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Headword: *)ara/xnh
Adler number: alpha,3750
Translated headword: spider's web
Vetting Status: high
In the feminine, [it is] the web. But a)ra/xnhs as a masculine [is] the creature; [so called] from its having narrow tracks [a)raia\ i)/xnh].
"Three girls of an age, skilled just as a spider at weaving a narrow thread, dedicated [...]."[1]
The spider is mentioned in Hesiod[2] and in Pindar[3] and in Callias.[4] They also say a)raxnika/ ["spidery things"], from the nominative a)ra/xnhs. Callias in Cyclopes [writes]: "weaving their way just like a spidery [person]."[4] But Sophocles [uses] the feminine in Inachus: "all the weavers' things were a spider's web in weight".[5] Callimachus [writes]: "a spider's-web work".[6] Cratinus in Pytinê [writes]: "you are holding your stomach in the middle of spiders' webs."[7] Pherecrates in Tyranny [writes]: "so spiders' webs just as for empty fig trees."[8] Nicophron in Origins of Aphrodite [writes]: "so something spidery seems to have come into being."[9]
Greek Original:
*)ara/xnh: qhlukw=s to\ u(/fasma. a)ra/xnhs de\ a)rsenikw=s, to\ zwu/+fion: para\ to\ a)raia\ i)/xnh e)/xein. trissai\ qe/san a(/likes, i)=son a)ra/xna| teu=cai leptale/on mi=ton e)pista/menai. ei)/rhtai de\ a)ra/xnhs kai\ par' *(hsio/dw| kai\ para\ *pinda/rw| kai\ para\ *kalli/a|. le/gousi de\ kai\ a)raxnika\, a)po\ th=s a)ra/xnhs o)rqh=s. *kalli/as *ku/klwyin: w(/sper a)raxniko\s th\n o(do\n proforou/mena. qhlukw=s de\ *sofoklh=s *)ina/xw|: pa/nta d' e)ri/qwn a)raxna=n bri/qei. *kalli/maxos: e)/rgon a)ra/xna. *krati=nos de\ *puti/nh|: a)raxni/wn mesth\n e)/xeis th\n gaste/ra. *ferekra/ths *turanni/di: a)=r' a)ra/xnia w(/sper tai=s sukuai=si tai=s kenai=s. *niko/frwn *)afrodi/ths gonai=s: a)=r' a)ra/xnio/n ti fai/netai e)mpefuke/nai.
cf. alpha 3749.
[1] Greek Anthology 6.174.1-2 (generally attributed to Antipater of Sidon), three women dedicate spinning and weaving instruments to Pallas (Athena); cf. Gow and Page (vol. I, 12-13); (vol. II, 37-38); and further excerpts from this epigram at alpha 3988, eta 190, kappa 1400, mu 1135, omicron 340, and tau 38. Gow and Page note (ibid., 37) that the epigram's ascription to Antipater of Sidon is not entirely secure and that on stylistic grounds it is plausible to attribute it to the earlier epigrammatist, Antipater of Thessalonica. Instead of the Suda's Byzantine form (mi=ton, thread), Gow and Page read the Doric sta/mon and note that the Anthologia Planudea transmits sth/mon (vol. I, 12).
[2] Hesiod, Works and Days 777 (not Adler's "475": cobwebs).
[3] Pindar fr. 296.
[4] Callias fr. 2 Kock, now 5 K.-A.
[5] Sophocles fr. 264 (= fr. 286 Radt); cf. Lloyd-Jones, who translates in the Loeb edn. of the fragments, p. 133, "And everything is loaded with cobwebs").
[6] Callimachus, Hecale fr. 253.
[7] Cratinus fr. 190 Kock, now 202 K.-A.
[8] Pherecrates fr. 142 Kock, now 151 K.-A.; again at sigma 1334.
[9] 'Nicophron' (= Nicophon: see nu 406) fr. 3 Kock (and K.-A.).
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, (Cambridge, 1965)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, (Cambridge, 1965)
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; poetry; religion; trade and manufacture; tragedy; women; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 6 March 2002@11:33:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 23 August 2002@07:58:16.
David Whitehead (modified translation and note) on 22 October 2002@05:06:23.
Robert Dyer (Additions to note 5) on 19 January 2003@10:18:01.
David Whitehead (more keywords; betacode and other cosmetics) on 10 April 2012@06:13:53.
David Whitehead on 23 December 2014@03:15:25.
David Whitehead on 23 December 2014@04:33:32.
David Whitehead on 24 December 2014@08:56:05.
David Whitehead on 26 December 2014@04:23:52.
David Whitehead on 30 August 2015@07:56:19.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 18 October 2015@01:18:29.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 6 April 2016@18:16:57.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.1, added bibliography, added cross-references, added keyword) on 13 November 2020@13:01:21.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 13 November 2020@18:16:36.
Ronald Allen (augmented n.1) on 16 November 2020@12:31:03.
Ronald Allen (my typo references) on 19 November 2020@16:15:42.


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