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Headword: Λαβύρινθος
Adler number: lambda,11
Translated headword: labyrinth
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning a] spiral-shaped place; it is also said of nonsense.[1]
[sc. The term arises] from its not having [labein] a door [thura].
Or from using many circles of words.[2]
It also means the votive-offering of the Grotto Nymphs. "You tell me, labyrinth in the sea, who found you as quarry from the grey sea and dedicated you?"[3]
Greek Original:
Λαβύρινθος: κοχλιοειδὴς τόπος: λέγεται δὲ ἐπὶ τῶν φλυάρων. παρὰ τὸ μὴ λαβεῖν θύραν. ἢ παρὰ τὸ πολλοὺς λόγων κύκλους κεχρῆσθαι. σημαίνει δὲ καὶ τὸ τῶν Ἀντριάδων Νυμφῶν ἀνάθημα. εἰν ἁλὶ λαβύρινθε, τύ μοι λέγε, τίς σ' ἀνέθηκεν ἀγρέμιον πολιᾶς ἐξ ἁλὸς εὑράμενος;
[1] Same or similar material in other lexica; see the references at Photius lambda10 Theodoridis.
[2] Also, already, in Hesychius lambda33.
[3] Greek Anthology 6.224.1-2 (Theodoridas); on a shell found at the seashore, dedicated to Nymphs; cf. Gow and Page, vol. I (192) and vol. II (541); cf. further extracts from this epigram at alpha 346, alpha 2766, and pi 952. Gow and Page note (ibid.) that the "labyrinth in the sea" addressed in the quotation is most likely metaphorical of some oceanic mollusk with a convoluted shell.
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, (Cambridge 1965)
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, eds., The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, (Cambridge 1965)
Keywords: architecture; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; imagery; mythology; poetry; religion; rhetoric; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 17 July 2000@08:49:55.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (Altered wording, added keywords.) on 17 July 2000@22:52:44.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note and keywords) on 25 May 2001@06:34:38.
David Whitehead (more notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 June 2011@07:23:18.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 27 March 2013@04:44:19.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 27 March 2013@16:55:15.
David Whitehead on 28 July 2015@06:02:48.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.3, added bibliography, added cross-references, added keyword) on 4 December 2018@17:53:49.


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