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Headword: Νίσυρος
Adler number: nu,429
Translated headword: Nisyros, Nisyrus
Vetting Status: high
One of the Cyclades islands;[1] the one also [called] Porphyris from the porphyry-deposits in it. [The name] is composed of the [verb] νῶ , [meaning] I swim, and the [verb] σύρω ["I drag"]. For the story goes that a very large fragment of the island of Kos was dragged by the Giant Polybotes, after Poseidon, in anger at Zeus, had struck [him] with a trident;[2] Poseidon hurled it at him but missed, so cutting off a significant part of Kos with the point of his trident he placed the fragment over the Giant and made [it/him] into an island. The tale seems to have been made up because of the proximity of Nisyros to Kos and its smallness by comparison. Nisyros produces good wine.
Greek Original:
Νίσυρος: νῆσος μία τῶν Κυκλάδων ἡ καὶ Πορφυρὶς ἀπὸ τῶν ἐν αὐτῇ πορφυρίων. σύγκειται παρὰ τὸ νῶ, τὸ νήχομαι, καὶ τὸ σύρω. ἐπεσύρη γάρ, φασί, Πολυβώτῃ τῷ Γίγαντι μέγιστον τμῆμα τῆς Κῶ νήσου, χόλῳ Διὸς πλήξαντος Ποσειδῶνος τριαίνῃ, ἣν Ποσειδῶν ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἀφεὶς τοῦ μὲν ἥμαρτε, τῆς δὲ Κῶ πολύ τι ἀποτεμὼν τῇ βολῇ τῆς τριαίνης ἐπικατέστρεψε τῷ Γίγαντι τὸ τμηθὲν καὶ εἰς νῆσον ἀπετέλεσε. δοκεῖ δὲ πεπλάσθαι ὁ μῦθος παρὰ τὴν ἐγγύτητα τῆς Νισύρου πρὸς τὴν Κῶ καὶ τὴν ὡς πρὸς ἐκείνην σμικρότητα. φέρει δὲ ἀγαθὸν οἶνον ἡ Νίσυρος.
On Nisyros see generally E.E. Rice in OCD(4) s.v., and Barrington Atlas map 61 grid E4. The present entry (as Adler notes) is based on the entry in Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. but incorporates extra material, some of which is paralleled in Strabo (10.5.16: web address 1). Similar information also appears in Eustathius, Commentary on Dionysius Periegetes.
The entry is lacking, Adler reports, in mss AFV (M has it in the margin).
[1] More exactly, the Dodecanese or (southern) Sporades.
[2] Or (but less probably) "in anger at Zeus who had struck [him] with Poseidon's trident." Neither Strabo nor Eustathius (above) include Zeus in the story.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; geography; mythology; science and technology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 1 September 2008@07:39:42.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (expanded notes, added link, set status) on 1 September 2008@12:30:41.
David Whitehead (accepted/incorporated CR's alternative tr; changed n.2 accordingly; typo) on 2 September 2008@03:14:20.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 28 July 2011@07:14:08.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 24 August 2012@15:49:43.
David Whitehead on 7 August 2014@04:44:01.


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