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Headword: Λοφεῖον
Adler number: lambda,697
Translated headword: crest-case
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the box of [= for] a mirror, or the box of [= for] the crest of a helmet. It [is] rounded. Aristophanes in Clouds [writes]: "I would take down the moon at night; then I would shut it up in a round case."[1] If it is the diminutive form, it indicates the smaller of the three crests,[2] but if the ει is a diphthong, it receives a properispomenon accent[3] and indicates a box for the crest.[4]
Greek Original:
Λοφεῖον: ἡ τοῦ κατόπτρου θήκη, ἢ ἡ θήκη τοῦ λόφου τῆς περικεφαλαίας. περιφερὴς δὲ αὕτη. Ἀριστοφάνης Νεφέλαις: καθέλοιμι νύκτωρ τὴν σελήνην: εἶτα δὴ αὐτὴν καθείρξαιμ' εἰς λοφεῖον στρογγύλον. ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ὑποκοριστικόν, δηλοῖ τὸν ἐλάττονα τῶν τριῶν λόφων, ἐὰν δὲ διὰ τῆς ει διφθόγγου, προπερισπᾶται καὶ δηλοῖ τὴν θήκην τοῦ λόφου.
[1] Aristophanes, Clouds 750-1, with scholion. Strepsiades is trying to explain to Socrates that he could get out of debt by locking the full moon in a round carrying-case for a hoplite's crest; thus there would never be a new moon, on which date in the Athenian lunar calendar debts fell due. See text at web address 1, Athenian calendar at web address 2.
[2] The diminutive is spelled λόφιον (cf. lambda 698). The lexicographer perhaps has in mind a helmet with three ridges, each of which could hold a crest (Homer, Iliad 11.41-43), though there is no sign that he knew the epic directly.
[3] A properispomenon word has a circumflex accent over the penult, the next-to-last syllable.
[4] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 1109, where the phrase τὸ λοφεῖον ἐξένεγκε τῶν τριῶν λόφων occurs.
Oliver Phillips, "The Witches’ Thessaly", in Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World, edited by Paul Allan Mirecki, Marvin Meyer, Leiden 2002, 378-386
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: chronology; clothing; comedy; definition; economics; epic; law; military affairs; religion; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 15 July 2009@18:06:41.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links and keywords, set status) on 16 July 2009@22:04:32.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 July 2009@03:26:25.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 22 April 2013@05:22:37.


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