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Headword: *cuh/lhn
Adler number: xi,91
Translated headword: knife, cheese-grater, xyele
Vetting Status: high
What we call a cua/lh.[1] Xenophon in Anabasis of Cyrus [writes]: "they had linen corslets as far as the abdomen, but, in place of the flaps, thick twisted cords. They also had [both greaves and] helmets, and a dagger about the belt the size of a Laconian cuh/lh".[2] What Attic [writers call] a cheese-grater, knh=stis, Laconians call a cuh/lh only. "And he grated the goat-cheese with a bronze knh=stis."[3] So while Attic [writers] use a verb, like "both to grate up and to eat",[4] Laconians [have] the noun cuh/lh. And as Xenophon says in the 4th [book] of Anabasis: that Dracontius fled from Sparta while still a boy, after killing a boy with a Laconian cuh/lh.[5] Hence the Dorians also say cu/ein for knei=n,[6] and so does Sophron: "if someone should scrape back the scraper", and again "the chorus-leader is scraped".[7]
Greek Original:
*cuh/lhn: h(\n cua/lhn le/gomen. *cenofw=n *ku/rou *)anaba/sei: ei)=xon de\ qw/rakas linou=s me/xri tou= h)/trou, a)nti\ de\ tw=n pteru/gwn w(s para\ ta\ pukna\ e)stramme/na. ei)=xon de\ kai\ kra/nh, kai\ peri\ th\n zw/nhn maxai/rion, o(/son cuh/lh *lakwnikh/. h(\n *)attikoi\ knh=stin, *la/kwnes de\ cuh/lhn le/gousi mo/non. e)pi\ d' ai)/geion knh= turo\n knh/stei xalkei/h|. oi( me\n ou)=n *)attikoi\ to\ r(h=ma ou(/tws le/gousi, ka)piknei=n ka)pesqi/ein, oi( de\ *la/kwnes tou)/noma cuh/lhn. w(s kai\ *cenofw=n fhsin e)n th=| d# th=s *)anaba/sews, o(/ti *drako/ntios e)/fugen e)k *spa/rths pai=s e)/ti w)/n, a)poktei/nas cuh/lh| *lakwnikh=| pai=da. dia\ tou=to de\ kai\ to\ knei=n oi( *dwriei=s cu/ein le/gousin: w(s kai\ *sw/frwn: a)/n tis to\n cu/onta a)nticu/h|. kai\ pa/lin: cu/etai o( xorago/s.
Same or similar material elsewhere; references at Photius xi40 Theodoridis.
[1] That is, the Doric form, xuAle rather than xuEle.
[2] Xenophon, Anabasis 4.7.15-16. Besides the omission indicated, the word "cords", spa/rta, has been corrupted here to the nonsensical w(s para\. See web address 1.
[3] Homer, Iliad 11.639-640 (web address 2). (See M.L. West, "Grated cheese fit for heroes", JHS 118 (1998) 190-1.) For the basic point, implicit rather than explicit here, that a knestis can be a knife as well as a cheese-grater, see kappa 1871.
[4] Comica adespota fr. 722 Kock, now 519 K.-A.
[5] Xenophon, Anabasis 4.8.25.
[6] That is, the verb meaning grate or scrape.
[7] Sophron frs. 149-150 Kaibel (147 K.-A.); cf. tau 767.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; children; clothing; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; food; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; trade and manufacture
Translated by: James L. P. Butrica ✝ on 18 February 2000@12:29:30.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation and notes; added headword, further notes, keywords; cosmetics) on 19 January 2001@04:22:53.
Catharine Roth (restorative and other cosmetics) on 8 August 2007@22:56:48.
Catharine Roth (links, betacode, status) on 24 March 2008@00:23:47.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 24 March 2008@04:37:04.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 19 June 2013@04:51:27.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 16 July 2013@01:03:24.
David Whitehead (corrected a ref) on 28 December 2014@09:04:40.
David Whitehead (coding) on 19 May 2016@07:47:04.


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