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Headword: *oi)/sph
Adler number: omicroniota,176
Translated headword: sheep-grease
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] wool of dirty sheep. Herodotus [sc. uses the word].[1]
Also [sc. attested is] oi)spw/th, the dung on the wool.[2]
Greek Original:
*oi)/sph: r(uparw=n proba/twn e)/ria. *(hro/dotos. kai\ *oi)spw/th, o( r(u/pos tw=n e)ri/wn.
cf. omicroniota 185, omicroniota 186. LSJ distinguishes between oi)su/ph, 'the grease extracted from sheep's wool', and oi)/sph (with its variant oi)spwth/), 'the dung that collects about the hinder parts of sheep or goats'. The similarity between the two words makes confusion between them -- in ancient and modern writers alike -- even more of a hazard than it would have been anyway. (Besides the present headword, which ought to have been oi)su/ph, see e.g. the variae lectiones in the Herodotus passage cited in n.1 below.)
[1] Herodotus 4.187.2: four-year-old Libyan nomad children have the veins on top of their head cauterized with it. (The present gloss is from the glosses there.)
[2] For this term see e.g. Aristophanes, Lysistrata 575 (where Henderson's note fails to make the necessary distinction).
Keywords: children; comedy; daily life; definition; geography; historiography; medicine; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 16 June 2005@17:14:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified headword; supplied notes; added a keyword; cosmetics) on 17 June 2005@03:01:55.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmeticule) on 17 June 2005@11:00:13.
David Whitehead on 8 August 2013@05:09:07.


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