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Headword: *sfai=ra
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:
*sfai=ra: ta\ periferh= kai\ stroggu/la. kai\ *sfairopaiktei=n, to\ dia\ sfai/ras pai/zein. kai\ sxi/zas kai\ sfai=ran a)ei/bolon. th\n a)ei\ ballome/nhn. kai\ *sfairhdo/n, dia\ sfai/ras. th\n de\ sfairistikh\n e)/paicen *)aristo/nikos o( *karu/stios, o( *)aleca/ndrou tou= basile/ws susfairisth/s.
[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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