Suda On Line menu Search

Search results for sigma,337 in Adler number:
Greek display:    

Headword: *shrikh/
Adler number: sigma,337
Translated headword: Serica, Serike, Chinese
Vetting Status: high
[Note] that it is raw silk, out of which they used to make clothing; the Greeks long ago used to call it Medic [i.e. Persian], but now they name it Seric. In the age of Justinian the Romans sent ambassadors to the Ethiopians, so that the Ethiopians could be paid to bring silk out of India, then would convey it to the Romans, for which they would get a lot of money, whereas the sole gain for the Romans in doing this would be that they would no longer be compelled to hand over their own money to their enemies.[1]
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] 'Seric thread',[2] and 'Seric robes'.[3]
Greek Original:
*shrikh/: o(/ti h( me/taca/ e)stin, e)c h(=s ei)w/qesan th\n e)sqh=ta e)rga/zesqai, h(\n pa/lai me\n *(/ellhnes *mhdikh\n e)ka/loun, ta\ de\ nu=n shrikh\n o)noma/zousin. e)pi\ de\ *)ioustinianou= pro\s *ai)qi/opas presbeu/ontai *(rwmai=oi, o(/pws *ai)qi/opes w)nou/menoi th\n me/tacan e)c *)indw=n, a)podo/menoi de\ au)th\n e)s *(rwmai/ous, au)toi\ me\n ku/rioi ge/nwntai mega/lwn xrhma/twn, *(rwmai/ois de\ tou=to poih/swsi kerdai/nein mo/non, o(/ti dh\ ou)ke/ti a)nagkasqh/sontai ta\ sfe/tera au)tw=n xrh/mata e)s tou\s polemi/ous metenegkei=n. kai\ *shriko\n nh=ma, kai\ *shrika\ i(ma/tia.
See already sigma 336.
[1] Procopius, History of the Wars of Justinian 1.20.9 (here somewhat rearranged). Later on, Procopius tells more about Roman efforts to obtain silk (History of the Wars of Justinian 4.17): "About the same time [ca.550 CE] there came from India certain monks; and when they had satisfied Justinian Augustus that the Romans no longer should buy silk from the Persians, they promised the emperor in an interview that they would provide the materials for making silk so that never should the Romans seek business of this kind from their enemy the Persians, or from any other people whatsoever. They said that they were formerly in Serinda, which they call the region frequented by the people of the Indies, and there they learned perfectly the art of making silk. Moreover, to the emperor who plied them with many questions as to whether he might have the secret, the monks replied that certain worms were manufacturers of silk, nature itself forcing them to keep always at work; the worms could certainly not be brought here alive, but they could be grown easily and without difficulty; the eggs of single hatchings are innumerable; as soon as they are laid men cover them with dung and keep them warm for as long as it is necessary so that they produce insects. When they had announced these tidings, led on by liberal promises of the emperor to prove the fact, they returned to India. When they had brought the eggs to Byzantium, the method having been learned, as I have said, they changed them by metamorphosis into worms which feed on the leaves of mulberry. Thus began the art of making silk from that time on in the Roman Empire."
[2] e.g. in 39.9 of the Periplous of the Red Sea attributed to Arrian.
[3] cf. sigma 336.
Keywords: chronology; clothing; daily life; economics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; science and technology; trade and manufacture; zoology
Translated by: Ross Scaife ✝ on 29 October 2002@08:00:09.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 24 February 2003@09:29:09.
Catharine Roth (modified translation slightly) on 24 May 2004@13:14:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 13 May 2008@11:29:43.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 August 2011@09:41:29.
David Whitehead on 24 December 2013@04:00:57.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 13 February 2022@12:50:21.


Test Database Real Database

(Try these tips for more productive searches.)

No. of records found: 1    Page 1

End of search