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Headword: Sphaira
Adler number: sigma,1719
Translated headword: ball, sphere
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] things that are circular and round.[1]
Also [sc. attested is] sfairopaiktei=n ['to play ball'],[2] the [verb that means] to play with balls.
"And darts and an ever-thrown ball."[3] [Meaning] one that is always being thrown.
Also [sc. attested is the adverb] "ball-wise," [meaning] in the manner of balls.[4]
"Aristonikos of Karystos, the ball-mate of King Alexander, played ball-gymnastics."[5]
Greek Original:
Sphaira: ta peripherê kai strongula. kai Sphairopaiktein, to dia sphairas paizein. kai schizas kai sphairan aeibolon. tên aei ballomenên. kai Sphairêdon, dia sphairas. tên de sphairistikên epaixen Aristonikos ho Karustios, ho Alexandrou tou basileôs susphairistês.
[1] The glosses here are neuter plurals, nominative or accusative, which may indicate that the lexicographer has mistaken the headword for being the same, when in fact it is a nominative singular feminine noun. Possibly the reading of the headword should be a neuter plural noun or adjective like sfairi/a ('little balls') or sfairika/ ('ball-like'), or was perhaps misread for such. Compare Hesychius sigma2835, where forms of the same adjective are used to gloss the related adverb sfairhdo/n (which is glossed differently in the present entry below -- see n. 4).
[2] This verb (here in the present active infinitive) is unattested elsewhere prior to the Suda, but the same form does appear later in the poetry of Manuel Philes 2.1.898.
[3] Greek Anthology 6.282.5 (Theodorus), quoted also pi 1361, pi 1385, pi 1596.
[4] Possibly from commentary to Homer, Iliad 13.204, where the lemma occurs; cf. scholia ad loc. and Hesychius sigma2835.
[5] Basically the same statement is made about this gentleman in omicron 670 and chi 398, except in those entries he is called a sfairisth/s ('ball-player') rather than a susfairisth/s ('ball-mate'); cf. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 1.18A [1.34 Kaibel]. To judge by the content of the other Suda entries, the statement may originate from commentary to the display of ball-gymnastics in Homer, Odyssey Books 6 and 8.
Keywords: athletics; biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; geography; history; imagery; mathematics; poetry; science and technology
Translated by: William Hutton on 21 July 2014@09:19:37.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (typo, status) on 21 July 2014@10:13:01.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 21 July 2014@11:16:49.
William Hutton (tweaked translation) on 22 July 2014@07:23:21.
David Whitehead (expanded a ref) on 15 January 2015@08:34:26.


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