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Headword: Λαγαρόν
Adler number: lambda,13
Translated headword: slack, flat
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning something] rather hollow.
"But they contrived [defenses] that by slackness or simplicity sufficed against the archers."[1]
And in the Epigrams: "and the skin hangs slack on my neck."[2] And elsewhere: "because for you over [the] kindling a flat round-cake hangs."[3]
Greek Original:
Λαγαρόν: ὑπόκενον. ἐμηχανῶντο δέ, ὅσα λαγαρότητι ἢ ἁπαλότητι πρὸς τὰς τοξείας ἀντήρκει. καὶ ἐν Ἐπιγράμμασι: καὶ λαγαρὸν δειρῇ δέρμα περικρέμαται. καὶ αὖθις: σοὶ γὰρ ὑπὲρ σχιδάκων λαγαρὸν ποπάνευμα πρόκειται.
Notes:
The headword (already in Hesychius lambda35 but with a different gloss: τὸ μὴ ναστόν , "what is not firm") is the neuter nominative/accusative singular of this adjective, possibly though not necessarily extracted from the quotations given from the Greek Anthology. The elusive sense of this adjective resists any firm representation by an English equivalent.
cf. sigma 1733.
[1] Quotation (from late historiography) unidentifiable.
[2] From an erotic epigram by Paul the Silentiary (originally a sort of head usher in the imperial palace, who enforced quiet, but by the sixth century CE an official of senatorial rank): Greek Anthology 5.264.6 (not Adler's '263'). For Paul, to whom about eighty epigrams are ascribed, see generally OCD(4) s.v. Paulus (p.1096). (The Anthology is abundantly represented in the Suda: see Cameron 278-282).
[3] Philip of Thessalonica was an epigrammatist of the first century CE and himself an editor of an anthology, lost to us but embodied in the Anthology, where some eighty of his epigrams appear. Consult OCD(4) s.v. Philippus(2) (p.1163); Gow 15; Cameron 15. The verse in question, 6.231.3 in the Anthology's dedicatory epigrams, consecrates a sacrificial cake to Isis; but it accords ill with the sense the Suda ascribes to the adjective. W.R. Paton, the Loeb translator, renders it 'crumbling', but 'flat' seems more likely from comparison with the application of the adjective to a tortoise's shell in Philostratus Maior, Imagines 1.10.2.
References:
Alan D.E. Cameron, The Greek Anthology from Meleager to Planudes. Oxford: 1993
A.S.F. Gow, The Greek Anthology: Sources and Ascriptions. London: 1958
Keywords: biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; gender and sexuality; historiography; history; imagery; medicine; military affairs; poetry; religion
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 29 March 2004@06:36:12.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 30 March 2004@03:05:25.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks) on 27 March 2011@07:22:55.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 June 2011@08:07:50.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 27 March 2013@05:10:12.
David Whitehead (x-ref) on 3 February 2014@05:34:42.
David Whitehead on 4 August 2014@11:34:07.
David Whitehead (coding) on 16 May 2016@03:11:45.

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