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Headword: *dwdekamh/xanon
Adler number: delta,1442
Translated headword: twelve-device, twelve-trick
Vetting Status: high
[sc. A term used] in reference to those who use manifold and varied customs. For Kyrene was a remarkable courtesan, called "twelve-trick" because she employed that many positions in intercourse. [The word also] comes from the Hypsipyle of Euripides: "above the twelve-crafted star".[1]
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] "twelve-trick whore", she who uses 12 positions, Kyrene by name.
Greek Original:
*dwdekamh/xanon: e)pi\ tw=n pantodapoi=s kai\ poiki/lois xrwme/nwn h)/qesi. *kurh/nh ga/r tis e)pi/shmos ge/gonen e(tai/ra, dwdekamh/xanos e)pikaloume/nh dia\ to\ tosau=ta sxh/mata e)n th=| sunousi/a| poiei=n. e)/sti de\ para\ to\ e)c *(uyipu/lhs *eu)ripi/dou: a)na\ to\ dwdekamh/xanon a)/stron. kai\ *dwdekamh/xanos po/rnh, ib# sxh/masi xrwme/nh, *kurh/nh tou)/noma.
More briefly in Photius (Lexicon delta868) and, earlier, Hesychius. From the scholia to Aristophanes, Frogs 1328, on which see further below.
cf. generally pi 253.
[1] Euripides fr. 755. In his note on Aristophanes, Frogs 1327-8 (which refers to "the twelve-trickery of Kyrene"), Dover 357 inclines to a variant version of this Euripidean phrase which has a)/ntron "cave" rather than a)/stron "star". Compare the note in Bond 137.
Aristophanes, Frogs, edited with introduction and commentary by K.J. Dover (Oxford 1993)
Euripides, Hypsipyle, edited with a commentary by G.W. Bond (Oxford 1963)
Keywords: comedy; definition; gender and sexuality; geography; imagery; tragedy; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 3 December 2000@19:46:09.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented note; added bibliography; cosmetics) on 4 December 2000@03:39:05.
David Whitehead (added keywords; restorative cosmetics) on 23 February 2003@11:37:55.
Patrick T. Rourke (augmented note, added reference) on 5 September 2003@21:17:50.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 March 2011@07:29:28.
David Whitehead (x-ref) on 14 June 2011@06:52:49.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaking) on 17 July 2012@04:58:58.
David Whitehead (coding) on 15 November 2015@05:28:41.


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