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Headword: Λήμη
Adler number: lambda,447
Translated headword: blear, rheum, sleep-crust
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a white liquid gathering in eyes and causing short-sightedness.[1]
From the [verb] λεύω ["I see"] and the [negative] μή ["not"].[2]
Aristophanes [writes]: "but o, opinions dating from Kronos truly are blearing your minds", namely ancient foolishness is confusing your minds; a saying about the dim-sighted. And sleep-crust is a congealed tear, which damages the eyes by resting on them. So [the passage] means having blinded minds, just as those who have the bleariness of people suffering from eye disease are prevented from seeing things.[3]
Also [sc. attested is the verb] λημῶ ["I am dim-sighted"]. Also [sc. attested is the phrase] "they being bleary in the eyes".[4]
Greek Original:
Λήμη: λευκὸν ὑγρὸν ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς συναγόμενον καὶ ἀμβλυώττειν παρασκευάζον. παρὰ τὸ λεύω, τὸ βλέπω, καὶ τὸ μή. Ἀριστοφάνης: ἀλλ' ὦ Κρονικαῖς γνώμαις ὄντως λημῶντες τὰς φρένας, ἤγουν ἀρχαίαις μωρίαις ἐσκοτισμένοι τὰς φρένας: παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἀμβλυωπούντων. λήμη δ' ἐστὶ πεπηγὸς δάκρυον, ὅπερ ἐπικαθεζόμενον βλάπτει τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς. σημαίνει οὖν τὸ τετυφλωμένε τὰς φρένας, ὥσπερ οἱ τὰς λήμας ἔχοντες τῶν ὀφθαλμιώντων ἐμποδίζονται τὰς ὄψεις. καὶ Λημῶ, τὸ ἀμβλυώττω. καὶ Λημῶντες τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς.
cf. kappa 2467.
[1] Likewise or similarly in other lexica (and various scholia): see the references at Photius lambda268 Theodoridis.
[2] Folk etymology appearing also in the Etymologicum Gudianum.
[3] The passage is taken from the scholia to Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 581, where the word occurs. Rather than ὀφθαλμιώντων "suffering from eye disease", the original has ὀφθαλμῶν ἰόντων "[bleariness] of the eyes, while walking". See web address 1.
[4] An obvious phrase, but one which does not seem to have been used elsewhere: the closest is Hippocrates, Prorrheticon 2.18 ὀφθαλμοὶ δὲ λημῶντες , "bleary eyes overlap [in symptoms] very well, if tears, crust and swelling being all together".
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; imagery; medicine
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 2 April 2009@22:44:34.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added keywords) on 3 April 2009@01:19:57.
David Whitehead (x-ref; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 3 April 2009@04:07:31.
Catharine Roth (added link) on 3 April 2009@11:42:18.
David Whitehead on 18 April 2013@04:55:01.


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