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Headword: *lofei=on
Adler number: lambda,697
Translated headword: crest-case
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the box of [= for] a mirror, or the box of [= for] the crest of a helmet. It [is] rounded. Aristophanes in Clouds [writes]: "I would take down the moon at night; then I would shut it up in a round case."[1] If it is the diminutive form, it indicates the smaller of the three crests,[2] but if the ei is a diphthong, it receives a properispomenon accent[3] and indicates a box for the crest.[4]
Greek Original:
*lofei=on: h( tou= kato/ptrou qh/kh, h)\ h( qh/kh tou= lo/fou th=s perikefalai/as. periferh\s de\ au(/th. *)aristofa/nhs *nefe/lais: kaqe/loimi nu/ktwr th\n selh/nhn: ei)=ta dh\ au)th\n kaqei/rcaim' ei)s lofei=on stroggu/lon. e)a\n me\n h)=| u(pokoristiko/n, dhloi= to\n e)la/ttona tw=n triw=n lo/fwn, e)a\n de\ dia\ th=s ei difqo/ggou, properispa=tai kai\ dhloi= th\n qh/khn tou= lo/fou.
[1] Aristophanes, Clouds 750-1, with scholion. Strepsiades is trying to explain to Socrates that he could get out of debt by locking the full moon in a round carrying-case for a hoplite's crest; thus there would never be a new moon, on which date in the Athenian lunar calendar debts fell due. See text at web address 1, Athenian calendar at web address 2.
[2] The diminutive is spelled lo/fion (cf. lambda 698). The lexicographer perhaps has in mind a helmet with three ridges, each of which could hold a crest (Homer, Iliad 11.41-43), though there is no sign that he knew the epic directly.
[3] A properispomenon word has a circumflex accent over the penult, the next-to-last syllable.
[4] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 1109, where the phrase to\ lofei=on e)ce/negke tw=n triw=n lo/fwn occurs.
Oliver Phillips, "The Witches’ Thessaly", in Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World, edited by Paul Allan Mirecki, Marvin Meyer, Leiden 2002, 378-386
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: chronology; clothing; comedy; definition; economics; epic; law; military affairs; religion; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 15 July 2009@18:06:41.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links and keywords, set status) on 16 July 2009@22:04:32.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 July 2009@03:26:25.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 22 April 2013@05:22:37.
Catharine Roth (modified link) on 15 June 2020@16:44:44.


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