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Headword: Πύθω
Adler number: pi,3138
Translated headword: I putrefy
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] I rot. Also [attested is] the [participle] 'putrefying', [meaning] rotting. Hence also the 'Pythia',[1] because the body of the serpent rotted in that place. Lycus of Neapolis also says that πῦον ['pus'] gets its name from this source, since it is rotten blood.[2]
Greek Original:
Πύθω: σήπω. καὶ τὸ πυθόμενος, σηπόμενος. ἔνθεν καὶ ἡ Πυθία, διὰ τὸ ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ τόπῳ σαπῆναι τὸ τοῦ δράκοντος σῶμα. Λύκος δὲ ὁ Νεαπολίτης καὶ τὸ πῦον ἐντεῦθεν ὀνομασθῆναί φησιν: ἔστι γὰρ σεσηπὸς αἷμα.
Notes:
= Synagoge pi786, Lexica Segueriana 355.8, Photius pi1521 Theodoridis; cf. Hesychius pi4308 and elsewhere. The headword, present indicative (or subjunctive) active first person singular of the verb, is unattested elsewhere and is probably a generic lexical reference. Adler adduces a scholion to Homer, Iliad 9.405, where "Pytho" occurs as a place name (see n. 1 below). See in general pi 3253.
[1] The title of the priestess of Apollo at Delphi (see pi 3218, pi 3137), this folk etymology, based on the similarity between the sound of the headword verb and an alternative name for Delphi, Πυθώ ('that place' mentioned in the comment; cf. pi 3137, pi 3140, delta 210), is frequently cited in antiquity but is probably incorrect on account of the different length of the upsilon in the first syllable (as was recognized in antiquity; see Strabo 9.419). See Chantraine, DELG s.v. Πυθώ .
[2] Outside the Suda and the other lexica metioned above, Lycus of Neapolis is mentioned only in two passages from Erotianus' Hippocratic lexicon (47.17, 85.9) as an authority on medical matters. For more on pus, see pi 3178, pi 3179.
Keywords: aetiology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; medicine; mythology; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 18 September 2013@14:51:54.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (augmented note) on 18 September 2013@14:56:42.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, status) on 19 September 2013@01:15:33.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; tweaking) on 19 September 2013@03:10:47.
William Hutton (typo) on 19 September 2013@04:36:14.
David Whitehead on 23 October 2013@09:24:18.

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