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Headword: Λήκυθον
Adler number: lambda,438
Translated headword: lekythos, oil-flask
Vetting Status: high
Attic writers call an alabastron for perfume a lekythos [sc. feminine]; but Herodotus used the masculine gender for the alabastron.[1]
[These are] the oil-holding vessels. Aristophanes in Wealth [writes]: "the lekythoi are full of myrrh."[2] And elsewhere: "there is no oil in the lekythos." Meaning we do not pity, we are not persuaded. [So says] Aristophanes in Birds.[3]
Zeno of Citium[4] made a hollow lid for his lekythos and carried about a coin [in it], a handy payment for necessities, so that [Krates] would have [it].[5]
Greek Original:
Λήκυθον τὴν τοῦ μύρου Ἀττικοὶ καλοῦσιν ἀλάβαστρον: ἀρσενικῶς δὲ τὸν ἀλάβαστρον εἶπεν Ἡρόδοτος. τὰ ἐλαιοδόχα ἀγγεῖα. Ἀριστοφάνης Πλούτῳ: αἱ δὲ λήκυθοι μύρου γέμουσι. καὶ αὖθις: ἔλαιον οὐκ ἔνεστιν ἐν τῷ ληκύθῳ. ἀντὶ τοῦ οὐκ ἐλεοῦμεν, οὐ πειθόμεθα. Ἀριστοφάνης Ὄρνισι. Ζήνων ὁ Κιτιεὺς ποιήσας κοῖλον ἐπίθεμα τῇ ληκύθῳ περιέφερε νόμισμα, λύσιν ἕτοιμον τῶν ἀναγκαίων, ἵν' ἔχοι κράτος.
See also alpha 1050, alpha 1051, lambda 439, mu 1449, mu 1450, mu 1452.
[1] Likewise in Photius lambda255 Theodoridis; Herodotus 3.20.1.
[2] Aristophanes, Plutus 810 (web address 1).
[3] Aristophanes, Birds 1592 (web address 2).
[4] The founder of Stoicism; see generally zeta 79.
[5] (Mis)quoted from Diogenes Laertius 7.12: ποιήσας δέ ποτε κοῖλον ἐπίθημα τῇ ληκύθῳ περιέφερε νόμισμα, λύσιν ἑτοίμην τῶν ἀναγκαίων ἵν' ἔχοι Κράτης ὁ διδάσκαλος. φασὶ δ' αὐτὸν ὑπὲρ χίλια τάλαντα ἔχοντα ἐλθεῖν εἰς τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ ταῦτα δανείζειν ναυτικῶς .
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; philosophy; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Cynthia Shiroma on 1 February 2004@10:21:14.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ (modified translation, added notes) on 1 February 2004@14:58:59.
Ross Scaife ✝ (Added Greek to note 4 from D.L.) on 1 February 2004@17:30:02.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, link, keywords, status) on 1 February 2004@19:52:09.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 2 February 2004@02:58:13.
David Whitehead (modified translation at one point; more x-refs) on 2 February 2004@03:58:59.
Catharine Roth (minor cosmetics) on 2 February 2004@14:45:36.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 18 April 2013@04:14:17.


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