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Headword: Διακόνιον
Adler number: delta,589
Translated headword: diakonion, flat-cake
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Some [say that it is] the bottom part of a flat-cake, but Menecles in the Chest of Rare Words has said the following about it:[1] "whenever Athenians perform the so-called eiresione to Apollo,[2] playing a lyre and a cymbal and [carrying?] a branch and some other (?) round cakes they call these diakonion."[3] [The word] is said in reference to something/someone strong.[4] Likewise, Amerias[5] also [says that] diakonia are the cakes formed at the eiresione for Apollo. But some say [that diakonion is] a certain type of sauce, while others [say] a barley-cake.
Greek Original:
Διακόνιον: οἱ μὲν τὴν τοῦ πλακοῦντος κρηπῖδα, Μενεκλῆς δὲ ἐν τῷ Γλωσσοκόμῳ ταῦτα εἴρηκε περὶ αὐτοῦ: Ἀθηναῖοι τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι τὴν καλουμένην εἰρεσιώνην ὅταν ποιῶσι, πλήττοντες λύραν τε καὶ κοτύλην καὶ κλῆμα καὶ ἄλλ' ἄττα κυκλοτερῆ πέμματα ταῦτα καλοῦσι διακόνιον. λέγεται δ' ἐπί τινος ἐγκρατοῦς. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Ἀμερίας διακόνια τὰ κατὰ τὴν εἰρεσιώνην τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι πλασσόμενα πέμματα. τινὲς δὲ λέγουσι ζωμὸν ποιόν, τινὲς δὲ μᾶζαν.
Notes:
Same entry in Photius, Lexicon delta344. The headword occurs in Pherecrates fr. 156 Kock (now 167 Kassel-Austin), preserved by Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 14.645A (14.53 Kaibel).
[1] FGrH 270: Menecles of Barca, an historian of the C2 BCE (cf. epsilon 3029, kappa 1354); this is F8 there.
[2] "An olive branch carried by singing boys at the Pyanopsia and (?) Thargelia at Athens, and at an unknown festival of Apollo on Samos. At the Pyanopsia, a public eiresione was deposited at a temple of Apollo, others at house doors (where they remained, probably, till the next year). The branch was hung with figs, fruits, and other symbols of agricultural abundance, and according to the song brought 'figs and fat loaves' and other good things with it; householders were expected to give the boys a present in return" (R.Parker in OCD(4) s.v., p.494). See further under epsiloniota 184.
[3] Something is amiss here. In the 16th century Henricus Stephanus (Henri Etienne) added the participle "carrying." But why "other" round cakes, when no others are named? Perhaps follow the paroemiographer Arsenius and Menecles' editor Jacoby in reading "forming" (plattontes) for "playing" (plettontes): "forming a lyre and a cymbal...and some other round cakes." But then "and a branch" is a problem. Nevertheless, given the appearance of another form of the participle plattontes in Amerias' definition of the word (see below), reading plattontes for plettontes here is attractive.
[4] Adler registers Bernhardy's view that this sentence has wrongly come in from delta 590 or somewhere else. Theodoridis on Photius (above) brackets it, and notes that the 'in reference to' idiom suggests something proverbial.
[5] A Macedonian lexicographer of the third century BCE (cited in the Suda here only). See generally L. Cohn, "Amerias," RE 1 (1894) col. 1827; and for this fragment, O. Hoffmann, Die Makedonen, ihre Sprache und ihr Volkstum (Goettingen 1906) 7.
Keywords: agriculture; botany; comedy; definition; food; historiography; meter and music; religion
Translated by: Craig Gibson on 1 July 2003@17:16:02.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented headword, notes, keywords; cosmetics) on 2 July 2003@03:47:10.
David Whitehead (typo; more keywords) on 28 June 2012@07:22:42.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 29 June 2012@03:29:52.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@07:53:34.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 26 December 2014@04:32:16.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 2 January 2015@00:54:36.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 21 October 2015@03:23:02.

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