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Headword: Χοᾶ
Adler number: chi,362
Translated headword: chous; pitcher
Vetting Status: high
[χοᾶ means the same as] χοῦς ,[1] an Attic measure, containing eight kotulai.[2] Aristophanes [writes]: "come to dinner quickly, bringing your basket [and your pitcher]."[3] For those inviting [people] to dinner used to provide the wreaths and unguents and desserts and other such things, but those who were invited used to bring boiled vegetables and a basket and a pitcher. Concerning the basket Homer says: "his mother put in the basket meat and food to keep up his strength ... such as kings reared by Zeus eat."[4] Those invited [to dinner] used to bring pitchers, so that they would not share another drinking-vessel because of the blame that befell Orestes.[5] And [there is] a proverb: '[it] will hold six choas.'[6] In reference to those who talk nonsense. That is, his brain [will hold six choas]. At the same time it remained as a metaphor for a jar or wineskin: if one is cleaned out, it holds more than those that are blocked up and thrown away. And elsewhere: "[Glyce swore] the last of us to arrive would lose three choas of wine and a choenix of chickpeas." Those drinking in moderation used to gobble down roasted chickpeas.[7]
Greek Original:
Χοᾶ: χοῦς, μέτρον Ἀττικόν, χωροῦν κοτύλας ὀκτώ. Ἀριστοφάνης: ἐπὶ δεῖπνον ταχὺ βάδιζε, τὴν κίστην λαβών. οἱ γὰρ καλοῦντες ἐπὶ δεῖπνον στεφάνους καὶ μύρα καὶ τραγήματα καὶ ἄλλα τινὰ τοιαῦτα παρετίθεσαν, οἱ δὲ καλούμενοι ἔφερον ἑψήματα καὶ κίστιν καὶ χοᾶ. Ὅμηρος περὶ τῆς κίστεώς φησι: μήτηρ δ' ἐν κίστει ἐτίθει μενοεικέα δαῖτα ὄψα τε, οἷα ἔδουσι διοτρεφέες βασιλῆες. χοᾶ δὲ ἐπεφέροντο οἱ καλούμενοι, ἵνα μὴ κοινωνήσωσιν ἄλλου ποτηρίου διὰ τὴν ἐπὶ τῷ Ὀρέστῃ γενομένην αἰτίαν. καὶ παροιμία: ἓξ χοᾶς χωρήσεται. ἐπὶ τῶν παραληρούντων. τουτέστιν ὁ ἐγκέφαλος αὐτοῦ. ἅμα δὲ ὡς ἐπὶ κεράμου ἢ ἀσκοῦ ἔμεινε μεταφορᾶς: ὃς ἐὰν σμηχθῇ, πλέον χωρεῖ τῶν ἐμπεφρακότων ἀποβεβλημένων. καὶ αὖθις: τὴν ὑστάτην ἥκουσαν οἴνου τρεῖς χοᾶς ἡμῶν ἀποτίσειν κἐρεβίνθων χοίνικα. ὑποπίνοντες ἔκαπτον φρυκτοὺς ἐρεβίνθους.
[1] The headword here is choa, equated (as the primary gloss) with chous. The latter is the usual Attic form, a contraction of the nominative singular of the noun χοός . χοᾶ is a non-Attic form of the accusative singular; the Attic accusative singular would be χοῦν . The word refers both to the liquid in its measure and the pitcher measuring it out; see LSJ s.v. χοῦς (A).
[2] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 961 or Knights 95. [But NB: a chous held twelve, not eight, kotulai.]
[3] Aristophanes, Acharnians 1085-6 (web address 1 below). What follows in the entry is taken from the scholia to line 1086.
[4] An amalgamation of Homer, Odyssey 6.76 (web address 2) and 3.480 (web address 3).
[5] For Orestes see generally omicron 537, omicron 538. The point here is that matricide had polluted him.
[6] Aristophanes, Clouds 1238 (web address 4 below), with scholion. (Despite being called a proverb, it was not taken up by the paroemiograpers.)
[7] Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae 43-44 (web address 5), with scholion.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5
Keywords: aetiology; botany; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; ethics; food; imagery; mythology; proverbs; religion; science and technology; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 1 April 2008@01:05:56.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 April 2008@04:07:57.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; other cosmetics) on 12 November 2013@06:25:52.


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