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Headword: Χέλυς
Adler number: chi,195
Translated headword: chelus
Vetting Status: high
A kithara.[1] Also [sc. attested is] the tortoise,[2] the shell-backed [creature].[3]
Greek Original:
Χέλυς: κιθάρα. καὶ ἡ Χελώνη, ἡ ὀστρακόνωτος.
[1] For the well-known myth according to which Hermes made the first kithara out of a tortoise's shell and gave it to Apollo as compensation for stolen cattle, see the Homeric Hymn to Hermes 24 ff. (web address 1). For the noun χέλυς in other poetry see: Sappho fr. 118 L.-P.; Euripides, Alcestis 447 (web address 2), with the corresponding scholia); Callimachus, Hymn to Apollo 16, and passim in the Greek Anthology. Compare the lexicographical entries of the word in Hesychius, ps.-Zonaras, and the Etymologicum Magnum; also Hesychius s.vv. χέλιον, χέλυν ἔν τ’ ἀλύροις, χελύνη . For the kithara cf. alpha 4073, beta 110, theta 475, kappa 1590, kappa 1591, kappa 1650, nu 473, nu 478, phi 603, psi 17; see also Hesychius s.vv. αὐλός, βάρβιτος, κίθαρις, κινύρα, λύρα, νάβλα, φόρμιξ, χελεύς and ψάλτιγξ (all glossed as synonymous of kithara).
[2] cf. chi 190.
[3] Besides chi 190, the rare adjective ὀστρακοκόνωτος is also used in reference to snails (Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 10.455E = 10.83 Kaibel).
Lobel E. – Page D.L. (edd.), Poetarum Lesbiorum fragmenta, Oxford 1955
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: aetiology; definition; meter and music; mythology; religion; trade and manufacture; zoology
Translated by: Ioannis Doukas on 26 March 2007@18:10:14.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 27 March 2007@03:48:24.
William Hutton (cosmetics) on 15 June 2009@08:51:50.
David Whitehead on 10 November 2013@07:22:52.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 January 2015@00:22:46.


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