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Headword: *pe/peiron
Adler number: pi,997
Translated headword: ripe
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] in full bloom. And it is said in reference to the season of ripeness.[1]
An old woman says in Aristophanes: "for there is no skill in young women, but in the ripe ones. Nor would she [the young woman] be more willing to show affection for her lover than I."[2]
Greek Original:
*pe/peiron: a)kmai=on. ei)/rhtai de\ e)pi\ o)pw/ras w(ri/mou. grau=s fhsi para\ *)aristofa/nei: ou) ga\r e)n ne/ais to\ sofo\n e)/nestin, a)ll' e)n tai=s pepei/rois. ou)de/ toi ste/rgein a)\n e)qe/loi ma=llon h)\ e)gw\ to\n fi/lon.
The first paragraph of this entry (i.e. without the section on Aristophanes) appears also in the Synagoge, Lexica Segueriana 336.17 and Photius, Lexicon pi598 Theodoridis; cf. also Hesychius pi1451-52. The adjective pe/peiros, like its English translation, can be literally applied to fruit (see e.g. alpha 3657 and delta 1549) and other produce but also figuratively to (e.g.) women. In this instance its masculine/feminine accusative singular or neuter nominative/accusative singular must be quoted from somewhere; there are numerous possibilities.
[1] o)pw/ra: the season between the rising of Sirius and Arcturus, late July to early September; see LSJ s.v.
[2] Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae 895-897. As Ussher (below) 199 notes ad loc., toi=s pepei/rois should refer to the maturity of youth, but the hag uses it of herself. See also Henderson (below), 103-104, on the banter between the young woman and the hag. Henrichs (below) 10-12 discusses the use of the adjective in describing a woman in the Cologne Archilochus (P.Col. inv. 7511) and, 21, its various meanings: "when applied to women, pe/peiros could have any of the following connotations: sexually experienced (as in Aristophanes), middle-aged (as in Honestus), or of marriageable age (as in Plutarch)."
Aristophanes. Ecclesiazusae. Ed. R.G. Ussher. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973
Henderson, Jeffrey. The Maculate Muse. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991
Henrichs, A. "Riper than a Pear: Parian Invective in Theokritos" ZPE 39 (1980): 7-27
Keywords: agriculture; botany; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; imagery; poetry; women
Translated by: Fred Jenkins on 10 October 2012@21:36:45.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (tweak, cosmetics, status) on 11 October 2012@02:16:50.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; more keywords; cosmetics) on 11 October 2012@03:32:43.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 19 September 2013@08:42:14.


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