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Headword: Κομῆται
Adler number: kappa,1996
Translated headword: comets
Vetting Status: high
Stars, such as "bearded" and "torch", [are] fires which arise when thick air has been borne up to the ether-like region. A flame, a kindling of accumulated fire that turns around rapidly and presents the appearance of length.[1]
There are four sorts of unnatural stars: comet, of which the lower part is the faintest and the upper part has been stretched out, as with a head of hair; beam, of which the whole is faint, as with a pole;[2] bearded, whose lower part is spread out, and whose upper part is narrower; trench, when it seems to have depth, like the visible star.[3]
And [there is] a proverb:[4] "'[there's] no long-haired man who isn't ...'. You yourself fit the tail-end into the sound of the trimeter; for I myself shall not speak about that dreadful matter and word."[5] "No long-haired fop but 's been caprificated."[6]
Greek Original:
Κομῆται: ἀστέρες, οἷον πωγωνίας καὶ λαμπαδίας πυρὰ ὑφεστῶτα παχέος ἀέρος εἰς τὸν αἰθερώδη τόπον ἀνενεχθέντος. σέλας, πυρὸς ἀθρόου ἔξαψις, περιφερομένου ταχέως καὶ φαντασίαν μήκους ἐμφαίνοντος. ὅτι τῶν παρὰ φύσιν τέσσαρές εἰσι ποιότητες ἀστέρων: κομήτης, οὗ τὸ κάτω λεπτότατόν ἐστι, τὸ δὲ ἄνω ἥπλωται, ὡς ἐπὶ κόμης: δοκίας, οὗ τὸ ὅλον λεπτόν, ὡς ἐπὶ δόρατος: πωγωνίας, οὗ τὸ κάτω μὲν ἥπλωται, τὸ δὲ ἄνω στενότερον: βόθυνος, ἡνίκα δοκεῖ βάθος ἔχειν, ὡς ὁ φαινόμενος ἀστήρ. καὶ παροιμία: οὐδεὶς κομήτης ὅστις οὔ. τὸ δὲ ἀκροτελεύτιον αὐτὸς σὺ πρὸς τὴν ἠχὼ τοῦ τριμέτρου συνάρμοσον: οὐ γὰρ ἔγωγε φθέγξομαι τὸ δεινὸν ἐκεῖνο πρᾶγμα καὶ ὄνομα. οὐδεὶς κομήτης, ὅστις οὐ ψηνίζεται.
[1] From Diogenes Laertius 7.152-3 (= Chrysippus fr.692 SVF) For "bearded" cf. Aristotle, Meteorologica 344a23.
[2] cf. delta 1326 (and Pliny, Natural History 2.96, for δόκος ).
[3] cf. Aristotle, Meteorologica 342a36.
[4] At this point the subject changes, and κομήτης refers not a comet, but to a man with long hair; cf. psi 72.
[5] Synesius, Encomium on Baldness 22 Terzaghi. The distasteful word he will not utter could be περαίνεται ("being buggered"), and appears as such at omicron 821 (Comica adespota fr. 14 Kock), but numerous other verbs fitted the line, and another one will now be suggested.
[6] Comica adespota fr. 12 Kock, as translated in J.M. Edmonds, The Fragments of Attic Comedy (Leiden 1957) vol.I; neither this quotation nor its variants (fr. 13 Kock, βινητιᾷ ; fr. 14 Kock, περαίνεται -- see previous footnote) are included in Kassel/Austin, however. See also Synesius, Letters 104.244a, where Hercher (p.702) translates nullus capillum quin cinaedus sit fovet; J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse (New Haven 1971) 118 #35, 216-17 #477. Properly caprification (ψηνίζεται ) refers to the practice of introducing gall-insects (psenes) on branches of wild fig trees to domestic ones in the belief that infestation of the fruit by these insects causes it to ripen more fully and not to fall off while still green. See Theophrastus, On the Causes of Plants 2.9.5-15, where he uses the verb ἐρινάζω , and discusses at length theories about why this process is successful. He differentiates it clearly from the similar process that allows male date palms to fertilize female ones, a difference that is unclear from the definitions in LSJ s.vv. ψηνίζω , ἐρινάζω and ὀλυνθάζω .
Keywords: botany; comedy; daily life; definition; ethics; gender and sexuality; imagery; philosophy; proverbs; science and technology
Translated by: Mary Pendergraft on 6 August 2002@16:27:42.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented and rearranged notes; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 7 August 2002@08:54:43.
Catharine Roth (betacode and other cosmetics) on 7 January 2009@00:44:56.
David Whitehead (expanded n.6; more keywords; tweaking) on 10 March 2013@07:18:50.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 29 March 2016@00:41:38.
David Whitehead (coding) on 1 May 2016@10:46:01.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 30 March 2017@01:41:22.


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