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Headword: Λακωνικαὶ κλεῖδες
Adler number: lambda,64
Translated headword: Lakonian keys, Laconian keys
Vetting Status: high
The same Aristophanes[1] [mentions them]; they are famous. "For the husbands now carry secret keys, most ill-natured ones, certain Lakonian ones, with [three] teeth. So previously it was possible, for women who had had a three-obol seal-ring made, to open the door. But now this man [Euripides] has taught them to have [seals] made of worm-eaten wood hanging from their belts".[2] For he says that ancient [keys] are single-bolted. Menander in Misoumenos [writes]: "a Lakonian key, it seems to me, should be deployed".[3] He is saying that [with such a key a door] is locked from outside, by the positioning of a bar or something of the kind, so that those inside cannot open it.
Greek Original:
Λακωνικαὶ κλεῖδες: ὁ αὐτὸς Ἀριστοφάνης: περιβόητοι δέ εἰσιν αὗται. οἱ γὰρ ἄνδρες ἤδη κλειδία φοροῦσι κρυπτά, κακοηθέστατα, Λακωνίκα ἄττα, ἔχοντα γομφίους. πρὸ τοῦ μὲν οὖν ἦν ἀλλ' ὑποῖξαι τὴν θύραν ποιησαμέναισι δακτύλιον τριωβόλου: νῦν δ' οὗτος αὐτοὺς ἐδίδαξε θριπηδέστατ' ἔχειν σφραγῖδα ἐξαψαμένους. τὰ γὰρ ἀρχαῖα μονοβάλανά φησιν εἶναι. Μένανδρος Μισουμέναις: Λακωνικὴ κλείς ἐστιν, ὡς ἔοικέ μοι, περιοιστέα, φησίν, ὅτι ἔξωθεν περικλείεται, μοχλοῦ περιτιθεμένου ἤ τινος τοιούτου: ὥστε τοῖς ἔνδον μὴ εἶναι ἀνοῖξαι.
[1] sc. As in the preceding two entries, lambda 62 and lambda 63.
[2] Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 421-7 (web address 1), with scholion. See already kappa 159.
[3] Menander, Misoumenos fr. 8 Sandbach.
I.M. Barton, "Tranio's Laconian key", Greece & Rome 19 (1972) 25-31
D. Whitehead, "The Lakonian key", Classical Quarterly 40 (1990) 267-8
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; daily life; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; science and technology; trade and manufacture; tragedy; women
Translated by: David Whitehead on 15 July 2001@08:39:49.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link) on 16 July 2001@15:01:24.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 2 July 2004@07:04:03.
David Whitehead on 27 March 2013@10:24:28.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 28 March 2013@17:46:16.
David Whitehead on 31 December 2014@05:44:27.


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