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Headword: *ka/nqaros
Adler number: kappa,310
Translated headword: dung-beetle
Vetting Status: high
[The term comes] from the pack-ass [ka/nqwn], that is the donkey;[1] and from the seminal fluid [o)ro/s], that is the seed. For they say that the dung-beetle is conceived in this way. Whenever it finds a compacted piece of donkey-dung, it stops and rolls it with its feet and deposits its seed during the rolling; and out of this the dung-beetle comes into being. Hence also it bears its name from [sc. both] the pack-ass and the seminal fluid, that is the seed, being a sort of ka/nqwros. Or from the semen [qoro/s], which means the seed. Or semen-producing [qorw/n] [comes] from the pack-ass; meaning about the dung of the donkey. Or [that which] rushes forwards [o)rou/wn] out of the pack-ass. Properly a pack-ass [is] a donkey. A dung-beetle [is] a creature, and [sc. Kantharos is] a name of a harbour in Athens, and [lower-case kantharos is also] a kind of drinking-vessel.
A female dung-beetle does not occur; instead, all of them are born masculine.[2]
Greek Original:
*ka/nqaros: para\ to\n ka/nqwna, toute/sti to\n o)/non: kai\ para\ to\n o)ro/n, toute/sti to\ spe/rma. fasi\ ga\r o(/ti o( ka/nqaros ou(/tw ti/ktetai. e)pa\n eu(/rh| o)/nou ko/pron stroggu/lhn, me/nei kuli/wn toi=s posi\ kai\ e)n tw=| kuli/ein a)pospermai/nei: kai\ e)k tou/tou o( ka/nqaros to\ zw=|on gi/netai. o(/qen kai\ th\n o)nomasi/an e)/xei para\ to\n ka/nqwna kai\ to\n o)ro/n, toute/sti to\ spe/rma, ka/nqwro/s tis w)/n. h)\ para\ to\n qoro/n, o(\ dhloi= to\ spe/rma. h)\ o( qorw\n para\ to\n ka/nqwna: a)nti\ tou= peri\ th\n ko/pron tou= o)/nou. h)\ o( e)k tou= ka/nqwnos o)rou/wn. ka/nqwn de\ kuri/ws o( o)/nos. ka/nqaros de\ to\ zw=|on, kai\ o)/noma lime/nos e)n *)aqh/nais, kai\ ei)=dos pothri/ou. o(/ti ka/nqaros qh=lus ou) gi/netai, a)lla\ pa/ntes a)/rsenes gennw=ntai.
The main body of this entry comes from the scholia to Aristophanes, Peace 82 (where 'pack-ass' occurs) and 145 (where the Kantharos harbour is mentioned); cf. nu 28, omicron 620.
For dung-beetles see also kappa 311.
[1] cf. kappa 314.
[2] From omicron 366.
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; gender and sexuality; geography; medicine; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 28 March 2008@10:15:38.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 29 March 2008@09:20:57.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; tweaking) on 27 January 2013@04:13:45.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 1 April 2019@21:44:35.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 13 April 2019@23:12:02.


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