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Headword: Ἀνερριχῶντο
Adler number: alpha,2313
Translated headword: they were clambering up, they were scrambling up
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] they were going up grasping with hands and feet.
Strictly speaking they used to say ἀναρριχᾶσθαι for climbing to a height gripping with hands and feet. Hellanicus [writes]: "he scrambled up to the treetops just like a monkey."[1] That is, he climbed up high, up trees and walls. It is derived from arrichoi ["wicker baskets"]. It is a type of basket, which they usually draw up by means of cords. Or from arachnai ["spiders' webs"], and is in effect ἀραχνᾶσθαι ["to weave a spider's web"]: for spiders spin along their aerial routes. Aristophanes [writes]: "[that] he might scramble up these to heaven"[2] - speaking about the dung-beetle.
Greek Original:
Ἀνερριχῶντο: χερσὶ καὶ ποσὶ περιδρασσόμενοι ἀνήρχοντο. κυρίως τὸ τοῖς ποσὶ καὶ χερσὶ βιαζόμενον εἰς ὕψος ἀναβαίνειν ἀναρριχᾶσθαι ἔλεγον. Ἑλλάνικος: ἀναρριχᾶται δὲ ὥσπερ πίθηκος ἐπ' ἄκρα τὰ δένδρα. τουτέστι πρὸς ὕψος ἀνέβαινε, πρὸς δένδρα καὶ τοίχους. εἴρηται δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρρίχων. εἶδος δέ ἐστι κοφίνων, οὓς εἰώθασι διὰ σχοινίων ἀνιμᾶν. ἢ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀραχνῶν, καί ἐστιν οἷον ἀραχνᾶσθαι: αἱ γὰρ ἀράχναι νήθουσι κατὰ τὰς ἐναερίους ὁδούς. Ἀριστοφάνης: πρὸς ταῦτ' ἀνερριχᾶτ' ἂν πρὸς τὸν οὐρανόν. περὶ τοῦ κανθάρου λέγων.
The headword is reckoned to be an unattributable and context-less fragment of Attic Comedy (Comica adespota fr. 936 Kock, but not in K.-A.).
cf. alpha 2049, alpha 3942.
[1] Hellanicus FGrH 1 F197.
[2] Aristophanes, Peace 70 (web address 1). This line actually refers to Trygaios' attempt to use ladders to ascend to heaven; the dung-beetle on which he flies (via the mechane) is introduced in 72ff.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; stagecraft; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 3 November 2000@21:46:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added keyword; cosmetics) on 5 November 2000@09:14:47.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; restorative cosmetics) on 6 August 2002@06:20:08.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Augmented note 2; added keyword) on 1 October 2005@14:52:57.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; betacode and other cosmetics) on 5 March 2012@05:55:32.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note and link) on 1 October 2013@23:59:45.
David Whitehead on 29 December 2014@04:49:46.
David Whitehead on 15 July 2015@03:19:56.


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