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Headword: Ἰσθμός
Adler number: iota,640
Translated headword: isthmus
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] a sea between two land-masses; for a strait [is] land between two seas.[1]
Aristophanes [writes]: "you have a kind of isthmus, fellow, thicker than that of Corinth, and you are dragging your prick up and down it".[2] [Said] because the Corinthians used to haul their ships across the Isthmus, so as to avoid going round it. This they used to call isthmus-crossing.[3]
Greek Original:
Ἰσθμός: θάλασσα μεταξὺ δύο γαιῶν: πορθμὸς γὰρ γῆ μεταξὺ δύο θαλασσῶν. Ἀριστοφάνης: ἰσθμόν τιν' ἔχεις, ἄνθρωπ', ἄνω τε καὶ κάτω τὸ πέος διέλκεις, πυκνότερον Κορινθίων. ἐπεὶ τὰς ναῦς διὰ τοῦ Ἰσθμοῦ εἷλκον οἱ Κορίνθιοι, ὥστε μὴ περιέρχεσθαι. τοῦτο δὲ διϊσθμονίσαι ἐκάλουν.
Notes:
[1] Confidently asserted (also in the Synagoge), but the exact reverse of the truth; pi 2075 gets it right (and Theodoridis on Photius, Lexicon iota210 reverses -- by obelizing -- the two nouns).
[2] Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 647-8, with comment from the scholia there to follow. On "isthmus" as a comic term for the perineum in men (but the cunt itself in women) see J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse (New Haven 1975) 137-8.
[3] cf. delta 1048.
Reference:
E.L. De Stefani, "Per le fonti dell' Etimologico Gudiano," Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. 16, 1907, p. 67
Keywords: comedy; definition; gender and sexuality; geography; imagery; medicine; science and technology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 11 May 2003@11:27:10.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth on 12 May 2003@00:46:45.
David Whitehead (x-ref in n.1) on 19 July 2004@08:39:08.
David Whitehead on 15 January 2013@07:13:22.
Catharine Roth (added bibliography) on 13 June 2014@01:42:34.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 13 June 2014@01:47:35.
David Whitehead on 27 April 2016@07:06:05.

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