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Headword: Τύκος
Adler number: tau,1148
Translated headword: (wedge-shaped) pick or hammer; pick or other stone-working tool
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A certain tool, with which they cut all around stones and shape them. From this also [comes] the [verb] 'I was hewing and shaping [sc. stone]', standing for I was shaping [sc. by sculpting or polishing], I was cutting. Aristophanes in Birds [writes]:[1] "the krekes[2] were shaping these [stones] with their beaks."
Greek Original:
Τύκος: ἐργαλεῖόν τι, ᾧ τοὺς λίθους περικόπτουσι καὶ ξέουσιν. ἔνθεν καὶ τὸ ἐτύκιζον, ἀντὶ τοῦ ἔξεον, ἔκοπτον. Ἀριστοφάνης Ὄρνισι: τούτους δ' ἐτύκιζον αἱ κρέκες τοῖς ῥύγχεσι.
Notes:
This tool was also spelled τύχος (Hesychius tau1763, cf. LSJ, web address 1; the name was also used for a stone-breaking wedge), and is probably from the same root as τεύχω, τέτυκται , etc. (tau 375, tau 435, tau 1149, cf. τύχη , tau 1232-34). If that is true, it is compelling evidence that this root was used in Greek before Homer's day for the accuracy required in a craftsman for hitting and shaping stone, leather and metal. It would be closely related to Homer's name Tychios for a craftsman making a shield of leather (Iliad 7.220, tau 1238).
For the character and shape of this tool see omicron 647 (ὄρυξ ) and the notes on Pollux 10.147 cited in bibliography.
[1] Aristophanes, Birds 1138 (web address 2), in the description of building the birds' city. The stones worked by the birds in question (water-rails? See next note) had been brought from Africa by the cranes.
[2] Evidently a large and powerful species of bird but unidentifiable. See the discussion in Dunbar ad loc. (p.598).
References:
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995).
Pollux, Julius, Onomasticon, ed. J.H. Lederlinus & T. Hemsterhuis, with notes by G. Jungermann, J. Kühn et al. (Amsterdam, 1706) vol 2, p.1331 notes 80, defending at length the emendation by Salmasius of τείχει to τύκοι at 10.31.147.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: art history; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 16 May 2003@09:46:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords; cosmetics) on 18 May 2003@06:11:34.
Robert Dyer (added x-ref and refs to Pollux) on 28 May 2003@06:27:54.
David Whitehead (my previous vetting should read: modified note 2 and corresponding translation) on 10 June 2003@03:45:05.
David Whitehead on 16 January 2014@06:01:04.

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