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Headword: Μελίνη
Adler number: mu,507
Translated headword: meline, millet
Vetting Status: high
Demosthenes in [the] Philippic[s] [sc. uses the word].[1] It is a pulse, and grammatically masculine; for[2] Sophocles and Herodotus and Xenophon made it feminine.[3] But the same Xenophon, in Anabasis, spoke of [sc. masculine] melinos and melinoi.[4] Some consider meline a kind of kenchrios, which some call elymos; but Theophrastus in [book] 7 of On Plants lists these as different - "kenchros or meline or elymos."[5]
Greek Original:
Μελίνη: Δημοσθένης ἐν Φιλιππικῷ. ὄσπριόν ἐστιν: ὅπερ καὶ ἀρσενικῶς λέγεται: Σοφοκλῆς μὲν γὰρ καὶ Ἡρόδοτος καὶ Ξενοφῶν θηλυκῶς εἶπον μελίνην. Ξενοφῶν δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς ἐν Ἀναβάσει καὶ μέλινον καὶ μελίνους εἶπεν. ἔνιοι δὲ εἶδός τι κεγχρίου νομίζουσι τὴν μελίνην, ὅπερ τινὰς καλεῖν ἔλυμον. Θεόφραστος δὲ ἐν ζ# Περὶ φυτῶν ὡς διαφέροντα ταῦτα ἀναγράφει κέγχρον ἢ μελίνην ἢ ἔλυμον.
An abridgement of Harpokration s.v. For the word, a variety of millet, see already mu 506; and on the botanical classification of millets, R. Sallares, The Ecology of the Ancient Greek World (London 1991) index s.v., esp. 492-3.
[1] Demosthenes 8.45 (cf. 14.16). [NB this reflects the broad ancient classification, not the narrower modern one, of which Demosthenic speeches are "Philippics".]
[2] A faulty connection: we needed "but".
[3] Sophocles fr.69 Radt; Herodotus 3.117.4; Xenophon, Anabasis 1.2.22, 1.5.10.
[4] The passage in question, as Harpok. shows, is 6.4.6 -- but modern editions print μελίνας there.
[5] Theophrastus, Enquiry into Plants 8.1.1.
Keywords: botany; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; historiography; rhetoric; tragedy
Translated by: David Whitehead on 25 September 2001@08:40:13.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, status) on 4 December 2003@23:06:26.
David Whitehead (modified notes) on 5 December 2003@03:36:39.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 12 July 2011@06:35:31.
David Whitehead on 15 May 2013@05:21:56.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 25 November 2014@23:50:49.
David Whitehead on 17 May 2016@10:50:22.


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