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Headword: Νιτάριον
Adler number: nu,430
Translated headword: Nitarion
Vetting Status: high
and Bitarion: pet-names [addressed] to women:[1] Nitarion [is] like "nestling" [νεόττιον ], that is little girl. But Symmachus[2] says, "Nitarus was greatly chided for effeminacy and [sc. so was] Batus." And they used to call small and feminine [women] dwarflettes; and there is a play of Theopompus [called] Dwarflette [Batyle].[3] Others say [they] are types of plants. So he wishes to say that she is like flowers. Aristophanes [writes]: "by Zeus, if he felt I was sad, he'd call me 'duckling' and 'dovey'."[4]
Greek Original:
Νιτάριον καὶ Βιτάριον: ὑποκοριστικὰ πρὸς γυναῖκας: νιτάριον, οἷον νεόττιον, τουτέστι κοράσιον. Σύμμαχος δέ φησι, Νίταρος πολὺς ἐπὶ μαλακίᾳ ὀνειδιζόμενος καὶ Βάτος. καὶ τὰς μικρὰς καὶ θηλείας βατύλας ἔλεγον: καὶ Θεοπόμπου δρᾶμά ἐστι Βατύλη. οἱ δέ φασιν εἴδη φυτῶν. θέλει οὖν εἰπεῖν, ὅτι ὡς ἄνθη εἶχεν. Ἀριστοφάνης: νὴ Δί', εἰ λυπουμένην γ' αἰσθάνοιτό με, νιτάριον καὶ βιτάριον ὑπεκορίζετο.
[1] Often the names of prostitutes in New Comedy are neuter diminutives like the headwords; the Latin plays of Plautus and Terence deriving from New Comedy translate these names into neuters in -ium.
[2] An Aristophanic commentator of the early Christian era.
[3] For Theopompus see generally theta 171. (No fragments of this particular comedy survive, but see Kassel-Austin, PCG 7.712.)
[4] Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 1010-1011 (web address 1). Much of this entry is taken from the scholia to these lines. However, texts of Aristophanes usually read νηττάριον , emended from the meaningless νιτάριον of the mss (and again here) by Bentley, and φάττιον , Bentley's emendation for βάτιον of the mss (not βιτάριον as here). The Suda's ms G (= Parisinus 2623) shows Βάττιον , as does M (= Marcianus 448) over an erasure.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; botany; children; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; imagery; medicine; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 10 April 2008@06:29:21.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 April 2008@06:48:56.
David Whitehead on 10 June 2013@04:07:48.
David Whitehead (expanded n.3) on 1 January 2015@10:25:11.


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