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Headword: Μέλαν
Adler number: mu,451
Translated headword: black
Vetting Status: high
That which is logically differentiated from white colour; and especially, that with which we write [i.e. ink].[1] And black is a colour compounding to sight, while white [is] a colour separative to sight.[2]
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] 'Black-goatskinned Dionysus' [sc. whose temple] they founded for the following reason. The daughters of Eleuther saw a spectre of Dionysus with a black goatskin, and mocked it; he was enraged, and drove them mad. After that Eleuther received an oracle that, to stop their madness, he had to honour Dionysus of the Black Goatskin.[3]
Greek Original:
Μέλαν: τὸ ἀντιδιαιρούμενον τῷ λευκῷ χρώματι: καὶ ἰδίως, ᾧ γράφομεν. μέλαν δέ ἐστι χρῶμα συγκριτικὸν ὄψεως, λευκὸν δὲ χρῶμα διακριτικὸν ὄψεως. καὶ Μελαναιγίδα Διόνυσον ἱδρύσαντο ἐκ τοιαύτης αἰτίας. αἱ τοῦ Ἐλευθῆρος θυγατέρες θεασάμεναι φάσμα τοῦ Διονύσου ἔχον μελάνην αἰγίδα ἐμέμψαντο: ὁ δὲ ὀργισθεὶς ἐξέμηνεν αὐτάς. μετὰ ταῦτα ὁ Ἐλευθὴρ ἔλαβε χρησμὸν ἐπὶ παύσει τῆς μανίας τιμῆσαι Μελαναιγίδα Διόνυσον.
[1] Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topics 114.15-17 Wallies, here commenting on Topics 107b38.
[2] (That is, white is an addition of all the colours of the spectrum, while black is an absence of colours.) Same work 126.27-28, commenting on Topics 153a.
[3] Cited from Pausanias the Atticist s.v. μελαναιγίδα Διόνυσον . The temple of Dionysus of the Black Goatskin is mentioned in his namesake Pausanias the traveller (2.35.1). See also under alpha 2940 (and mu 450).
Keywords: aetiology; definition; philosophy; religion; science and technology; women; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 10 May 2009@08:24:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-ref; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 May 2009@11:09:41.
David Whitehead on 14 May 2013@07:37:56.
David Whitehead (coding) on 17 May 2016@10:25:36.


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