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Headword: Κηρύκειον
Adler number: kappa,1546
Translated headword: herald's wand
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a piece of wood, with two snakes on either side twisted around and lying face to face against each other. Heralds used to carry this with them, and the people the heralds went away from were not allowed to do them any wrong. And the straight piece of wood was a symbol of straight talk (orthos logos), while the form of the snakes on either side was a symbol of the opposing camps. For straight talk gets through between the two.
Greek Original:
Κηρύκειον: ξύλον, ἔχον ἑκατέρωθεν δύο ὄφεις περιπεπλεγμένους καὶ ἀντιπροσώπους ἀλλήλοις κειμένους: ὅπερ εἰώθασι φέρειν οἱ κήρυκες μετ' αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἐξῆν αὐτοὺς ἀδικεῖν, παρ' οὓς ἀπέρχονται. σύμβολον δὲ ἦν τὸ μὲν ὀρθὸν ξύλον τοῦ ὀρθοῦ λόγου, τὸ δὲ παρ' ἑκάτερα εἶδος τῶν ὄφεων τὰ ἀντιτασσόμενα στρατόπεδα. ὁ γὰρ ὀρθὸς λόγος δι' ἀμφοτέρων χωρεῖ.
For this headword see already kappa 1544, kappa 1545. The present entry proffers a discursive gloss not paralleled in other lexica, but see the scholia to Thucydides 1.53.1 (where the headword occurs).
On the κηρύκειον = caduceus, associated with Hermes and modern medicine (by confusion with the single snake of the Rod of Asclepius), see web address 1.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; definition; ethics; historiography; imagery; military affairs; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 18 November 2008@01:51:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 November 2008@03:36:45.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 22 February 2013@05:45:09.


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