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Headword: *diafanh= xitw/nia
Adler number: delta,811
Translated headword: sheer shifts, transparent shifts
Vetting Status: high
Not the brilliant white [ones], but the thin, through which the bodies of the women are visible.[1]
And Isaiah the prophet [writes]: "and the transparent Laconian [sc. shifts]".[2]
Greek Original:
*diafanh= xitw/nia: ou) ta\ lampra/, a)lla\ ta\ i)sxna/, di' w(=n diafai/netai ta\ sw/mata tw=n gunaikw=n. kai\ *(hsai/+as o( profh/ths: kai\ ta\ diafanh= *lakwnika/.
For the adjective in this phrase cf. delta 810. (The gloss here aims to exclude the possible sense of "distinctly seen, conspicuous"; see LSJ s.v. The noun, a diminutive of chi 320, refers to lingerie properly worn under an outer-garment.
[1] From a scholion on Aristophanes, Lysistrata 48, where the headword phrase is used by the eponymous protagonist; cf. epsilon 1738.
[2] Isaiah 3.22 LXX, purporting to mention one element of the decadent female luxury that offends the Lord. However, while this phrase appears to be textually secure per se (and generates no comment in LSJ s.v. *Lakwniko/s, 4), it is problematical on every level. The LXX version of Isaiah 3.17-26 as a whole is no more than a paraphrase of the original Hebrew/Aramaic; the original of 3.22, in particular, is a list of strange and obscure terms; and in deciding that an original word which seems to mean either 'satchels' (R.R. Ottley) or 'wraps' (H.G.M. Williamson) should be rendered 'transparent Laconian [sc. shifts], this LXX translator introduced an adjective, apparently from nowhere, which is baffling from a substantive point of view. Any fame, or notoriety, of 'Laconian' (i.e. Spartan) women's lingerie would be no less, and arguably more, problematic in the hellenistic age than in the archaic one of Isaiah himself. Unless, somehow, this translator associated diafanh= with Sparta because he was familiar with Aristophanes' play, one is bound to suspect either textual corruption or sheer misunderstanding.
Keywords: clothing; comedy; definition; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; religion; trade and manufacture; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 30 May 2003@19:24:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added x-ref; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 1 June 2003@05:08:12.
David Whitehead (modified tr and n.2) on 9 March 2011@07:24:29.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; more keywords; expanded n.2) on 3 July 2012@04:25:37.
Catharine Roth (expanded primary note) on 3 July 2012@11:30:38.
David Whitehead (further work on the notes, esp. n.2; tweaks and cosmetics) on 8 July 2012@05:35:57.
David Whitehead (coding) on 30 October 2015@11:03:51.


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