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Headword: *diya/s
Adler number: delta,1306
Translated headword: dipsas, thirst-serpent
Vetting Status: high
A kind of snake. It is smaller than a viper, but kills more quickly. Those who are bitten by it are seized by a thirst so intense as to make them burst.[1] It is white and has on its tail 2 lines. Some call it a 'puffer', others a 'heatwave'. They tend to be found in Libya and Arabia. They also call it a 'blacktail', and a 'sand snake'[2] and a 'stinger'.
Greek Original:
*diya/s: ei)=dos o)/fews. e)/sti de\ e)/xews o)ligwte/ra, a)poktei=nai de\ o)cute/ra. oi( de\ dhxqe/ntes e)c au)th=s e)ca/ptontai ei)s di/yos w(/ste r(h/gnusqai. leukh\ de/ e)sti kai\ e)/xei e)n th=| ou)ra=| gramma\s b#. prhsth=ra de\ au)th/n tines kalou=sin, kau/swna de\ a)/lloi. gi/nontai de\ e)n *libu/h| kai\ *)arabi/a| ma=llon. kalou=si de\ au)th\n kai\ mela/nouron kai\ a)mmoa/tin kai\ kentri/da.
Adapted from Aelian De natura animalium 6.51. No doubt the adaptation is indirect. Adler compares the scholia to Gregory of Nazianzus (Cat. Bodl. 39). (GN mentions the creature twice in his poems.)
[1] Aelian explains more fully that the thirst causes the victims to drink until they burst.
[2] Instead of the Suda's a)mmoa/ti[s] (alpha 1616), Aelian has a)mmoba/ths ("sand-walker").
Keywords: Christianity; definition; food; geography; imagery; medicine; poetry; religion; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 11 June 2005@09:21:36.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (set status) on 11 June 2005@18:37:10.
David Whitehead (x-ref; cosmetics) on 12 June 2005@05:00:13.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; more keywords; cosmetics) on 15 July 2012@08:05:23.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 29 November 2014@22:03:05.
David Whitehead (note tweak) on 12 November 2015@05:32:22.


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