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Headword: *mi/tos
Adler number: mu,1135
Translated headword: thread
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] a very thin string.
And [sc. there is] a proverb: "life hangs by a fine thread."[1]
It also signifies a name of a city.[2]
It should always be found with a short i.[3]
"Thus may you rescue me from all-insomniac anguish, cricket, threading a lovelorn utterance."[4]
And elsewhere: "whirling servant of the spidery thread, spindle, not without a long distaff."[5]
And elsewhere: "and Bacchylis [dedicated] a well-made shuttle, the songstress among the workers, [with which] she used to separate the well-knocked threads."[6]
Greek Original:
*mi/tos: to\ lepto/taton sxoini/on. kai\ paroimi/a: *)apo\ leptou= mi/tou to\ zh=n h)rth=sqai. shmai/nei de\ kai\ o)/noma po/lews. eu(/rhtai a)ei\ dia\ braxe/os tou= i. w(/s me po/nwn r(u/saio panagru/pnoio meri/mnhs, a)kri\ mitwsame/nh fqo/ggon e)rwtopla/non. kai\ au)=qis: a)raxnai/oio mi/tou poludi/nea la/trin, a)/trakton, dolixa=s ou)k a)/ter a)laka/tas. kai\ au)=qis: kerki/da t' eu)poi/hton, a)hdo/na ta\n e)n e)ri/qois, *bakxuli\s eu)kre/ktous eu)= die/krine mi/tous.
Notes:
[1] cf. alpha 3388.
[2] cf. mu 1134.
[3] There was some dissent from this opinion in the grammarians; cf. Etymologicum Magnum 714.45; Theognostus 413. In the three quotations that follow here the iota is short.
[4] Greek Anthology 7.195.5-6 (Meleager [Author, Myth]). 'Threading' translates mitwsame/nh, a participle from a verb derived from the headword. A more contextual translation would be "plucking" (like the strings of a lyre), but that would obscure the connection with the headword.
[5] Greek Anthology 6.39.3-4 (Archias), a dedication of spinning and weaving instruments to Athena by three sisters, again at alpha 4378 and in part at alpha 3749. See Gow and Page ("Garland of Philip", vol. I, 404-405); ("Garland of Philip", vol. II, 437); and further extracts from this epigram at mu 473, pi 2005, tau 38, and chi 208.
[6] Greek Anthology 6.174.5-6 (generally attributed to Antipater of Sidon), confusingly abridged, three women dedicate spinning and weaving instruments to Athena, already in part at kappa 1400; cf. Gow and Page ("Hellenistic Epigrams", vol. I, 12-13); ("Hellenistic Epigrams", vol. II, 37-38); and further extracts from this epigram at alpha 3750, alpha 3988, eta 190, omicron 340, and tau 38. Gow and Page raise some doubts about the epigram's secure attribution to Antipater of Sidon (ibid., 37); cf. alpha 3750 note. While Gow and Page follow the Anthologia Planudea in reading a(=| (with which), they note ("Hellenistic Epigrams", vol. I, 13) that the Suda follows the Anthologia Palatina in transmitting eu)= (i.e., to separate well or thoroughly).
References:
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams, vol. I, (Cambridge, 1968)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams, vol. II, (Cambridge, 1968)
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: clothing; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; geography; imagery; meter and music; poetry; proverbs; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture; women; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 2 August 2009@17:57:47.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 3 August 2009@04:15:53.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 24 May 2013@05:05:14.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.5, added bibliography, added cross-references, added keyword) on 30 October 2020@00:45:56.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note 4) on 30 October 2020@01:10:25.
Ronald Allen (augmented n.5; expanded n.6, added to bibliography, added cross-references) on 23 November 2020@13:15:52.

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