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Headword: Μηλολόνθη
Adler number: mu,933
Translated headword: cockchafer
Vetting Status: high
A small creature, which boys use for a game; it perches on flowers. The boys attach a string to the foot, and a splinter of wood which [the insects] are not strong enough to lift, and release [them] into the air -- having the power to hunt them down again. Aristophanes [writes]: "but reel your thinking out into the air, like a cockchafer on a string".[1]
It also means a kind of flower.[2]
Greek Original:
Μηλολόνθη: ζωύ̈φιον, ᾧ χρῶνται εἰς παιδιὰν οἱ παῖδες: ὃ τοῖς ἄνθεσιν ἐπικαθέζεται. οἱ δὲ παῖδες λίνον τοῦ ποδὸς ἐξαρτῶντες, καὶ ξυλίφιον ὃ οὐκ ἐξισχύουσιν ἀνακουφίσαι, εἰς τὸν ἀέρα ἀφιᾶσιν, ἔχοντες ἐξουσίαν πάλιν αὐτὰς κυνηγετῆσαι. Ἀριστοφάνης: ἀλλ' ἀποχάλα τὴν φροντίδ' εἰς τὸν ἀέρα, λινόδετον ὥσπερ μηλολόνθαν. σημαίνει δὲ καὶ εἶδος ἄνθους.
[1] Aristophanes, Clouds 762-3 (web address 1), with scholion; cf. epsiloniota 109.
[2] Not registered in LSJ s.v. μηλολόνθη , but see under μηλάνθη (mu 918), where two senses are noted: cockchafer and apple-blossom.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; children; comedy; daily life; definition; imagery; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 10 July 2009@05:45:39.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link and cross-reference, set status) on 11 July 2009@18:56:44.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr, for clarity) on 12 July 2009@05:07:49.
David Whitehead on 21 May 2013@07:31:32.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note and link) on 13 September 2013@23:45:16.


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