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Headword: Ὀργυιά
Adler number: omicron,521
Translated headword: fathom
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
In reference to to the measure.[1] Also [sc. attested is the adjective] four-fathom.
"This [sc. sea-scolopendra], four-fathom twice-over, having been laid upon the sands."[2]
Greek Original:
Ὀργυιά: ἐπὶ τοῦ μέτρου. καὶ Τετρόργυιος. τοῦτο κατ' εὐψαμάθου κείμενον ἠϊόνος δισσάκι τετρόργυιον.
Notes:
The headword, with oxytone accent, is a later Greek variant of the proparoxytone (cf. Smyth, 157) form attested in, for instance, Homer, Iliad 23.327 (web address 1); see LSJ s.v. ὄργυια (the length of outstretched arms or approximately six feet). See also omicron 522, omicron 523.
[1] The headword is similarly glossed in ps.-Herodian, Partitiones 102.5, and Hesychius omicron1122 s.v. ὀργυιά .
[2] Greek Anthology 6.223.2-3 (attributed to Antipater of Sidon); see Gow and Page, vol. I, p. 28 and pi 1426. At eight fathoms in length, the sea-scolopendra or sea-millipede found by the fisherman Hermonax of the epigram probably represents a fantastic exaggeration (cf. Aristotle, History of Animals 505b14-5, where the real size of sea millipedes is reported). However unlikely, the report might also have arisen from a mistaken identification of tattered animal remains; see Gow and Page, vol. II, pp. 74-5, for possible sea creatures of sufficient size to inspire such an error.
References:
H.W. Smyth, Greek Grammar, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956.
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. I, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965.
A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, vol. II, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; poetry; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: Ronald Allen on 25 February 2010@00:33:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more x-refs; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 25 February 2010@03:32:27.
David Whitehead on 7 July 2013@07:22:14.

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