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Headword: Γλοιός
Adler number: gamma,306
Translated headword: sticky, sticky residue
Vetting Status: high
It means the same as μάσθλης ["slippery"].[1] The metaphor is from the oil which sticks in the baths,[2] which makes those who contact it slip. So this man is praying to become of such a character that he may be able as if to slip away from the moneylenders and escape. And even now those who are crooked in their disposition and do not keep any steady understanding and who report one thing but think and do another, we call γλοιοί because of their slippery and untrustworthy disposition. Otherwise [interpreted]: it is used in reference to the one who is defiled and dirty and stingy; for the dirty man because of his habits is similar to sticky sediment. Transferred to [the man's] character it means rascally and slippery and changeable.
Greek Original:
Γλοιός: τὸ αὐτὸ δηλοῖ τῷ μάσθλης. εἴληπται δὲ ἡ μεταφορὰ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἐν τοῖς βαλανείοις ἐλαίου πεπηγότος, ὅπερ τοὺς ἐπιλαμβανομένους διολισθάνειν πέφυκε. τοιοῦτος οὖν καὶ οὗτος εὔχεται γενέσθαι τοὺς τρόπους, ἵν' ὥσπερ διολισθάνειν καὶ φεύγειν δύνηται τοὺς δανειστάς. καὶ μέχρι δεῦρο δὲ τοὺς τῇ γνώμῃ σκάζοντας καὶ μηδὲν σταθερὸν φρονοῦντας καὶ ἄλλα μὲν ἐπαγγελλομένους, ἄλλα δὲ φρονοῦντας καὶ πράσσοντας, διὰ τὸ τῆς γνώμης ὀλισθηρὸν καὶ ἄπιστον γλοιοὺς καλοῦμεν. ἄλλως. ἐπὶ τοῦ μιαροῦ καὶ ῥυπαροῦ καὶ μικρολόγου παραλαμβάνεται: καὶ γὰρ ὁ ῥυπαρὸς διὰ τὴν ἄσκησιν σύνεγγύς πως ἐστι τῷ γλοιῷ. ἐπὶ δὲ τὸ ἦθος μετενεχθὲν τὸν μοχθηρὸν δηλοῖ ἢ ὀλισθηρὸν καὶ εὐμετάβολον.
From the scholia to Aristophanes, Clouds 449, where the headword occurs as an adjective (web address 1).
cf. generally gamma 307.
[1] Also used in the Aristophanic line; and cf. mu 248, mu 249, rho 300.
[2] Oil which the bathers rub on their skins to remove dirt, which settles on the floor of the baths. See LSJ s.v. (web address 2).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: athletics; comedy; daily life; definition; economics; ethics; imagery
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 29 May 2002@21:07:30.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note; cosmetics) on 30 May 2002@03:01:16.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 October 2005@06:06:11.
David Whitehead (more keywords; betacode and other cosmetics) on 8 June 2012@06:23:03.
David Whitehead on 8 June 2012@06:23:37.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 9 June 2012@01:20:42.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 26 January 2014@08:23:05.
Catharine Roth (reordered notes) on 3 April 2016@22:46:10.


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