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Headword: Οἴσπη
Adler number: omicroniota,176
Translated headword: sheep-grease
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] wool of dirty sheep. Herodotus [sc. uses the word].[1]
Also [sc. attested is] οἰσπώτη , the dung on the wool.[2]
Greek Original:
Οἴσπη: ῥυπαρῶν προβάτων ἔρια. Ἡρόδοτος. καὶ Οἰσπώτη, ὁ ῥύπος τῶν ἐρίων.
cf. omicroniota 185, omicroniota 186. LSJ distinguishes between οἰσύπη , 'the grease extracted from sheep's wool', and οἴσπη (with its variant οἰσπωτή ), 'the dung that collects about the hinder parts of sheep or goats'. The similarity between the two words makes confusion between them -- in ancient and modern writers alike -- even more of a hazard than it would have been anyway. (Besides the present headword, which ought to have been οἰσύπη , see e.g. the variae lectiones in the Herodotus passage cited in n.1 below.)
[1] Herodotus 4.187.2: four-year-old Libyan nomad children have the veins on top of their head cauterized with it. (The present gloss is from the glosses there.)
[2] For this term see e.g. Aristophanes, Lysistrata 575 (where Henderson's note fails to make the necessary distinction).
Keywords: children; comedy; daily life; definition; geography; historiography; medicine; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 16 June 2005@17:14:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified headword; supplied notes; added a keyword; cosmetics) on 17 June 2005@03:01:55.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmeticule) on 17 June 2005@11:00:13.
David Whitehead on 8 August 2013@05:09:07.


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