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Headword: Ῥαφανίς
Adler number: rho,55
Translated headword: radish
Vetting Status: high
Attic writers call a raphanis what we ourselves call a rephanos; moreover [they call] a raphanos what we ourselves [call a] krambe ["cabbage"]. It is called a radish because of the fact that it appears easily;[1] for the story [is that] once sown they grow quickly.[2] Also [sc. attested is the phrase] "to have been radished and to have one's hair singed off with ash", in Aristophanes. In reference to those behaving shamefully. For that is how they used to abuse men caught in seduction: they took radishes and stuffed them up their asses, and plucking them they sprinkled hot ashes on them, devising suitable torments.[3] And elsewhere: "a diner could not take from his elders a head of radish or dill or celery or snack on it, nor eat a thrush, nor hold his feet crossed".[4] The head of the radish is the top and stem to the leaves. They did not cut a radish lengthwise as now, but in a circle. κιχλίζειν can mean to eat a thrush[5] or to laugh disruptively.
Greek Original:
Ῥαφανίς: ῥαφανῖδα φασὶν Ἀττικοί, ἣν ἡμεῖς ῥέφανόν φαμεν: πάλιν δὲ ῥάφανον, ἣν ἡμεῖς κράμβην. εἴρηται δὲ ῥαφανὶς παρὰ τὸ ῥᾳδίως φαίνεσθαι: λόγος γάρ, ὡς σπειρόμεναι θᾶττον ἀνίασι. καὶ Ῥαφανιδωθῆναι καὶ τέφρᾳ τιλθῆναι, παρὰ Ἀριστοφάνει. ἐπὶ τῶν ἀσελγῶν. οὕτω γὰρ τοὺς ἁλόντας μοιχοὺς ᾐκίζοντο: ῥαφανῖδας λαμβάνοντες καθίεσαν εἰς τοὺς πρωκτοὺς τούτων καὶ παρατίλλοντες αὐτοὺς θερμὴν τέφραν ἐπέπαττον, βασάνους ἱκανὰς ἐργαζόμενοι. καὶ αὖθις: οὐδ' ἂν ἑλέσθαι δειπνοῦντ' ἐξῆν κεφάλαιον τῆς ῥαφανῖδος, οὐδ' ἄνηθον τῶν πρεσβυτέρων οὐδὲ σέλινον ἁρπάζειν, οὐδ' ὀψοφαγεῖν, οὐδὲ κιχλίζειν, οὐδ' ἴσχειν τὼ πόδ' ἐναλλάξ. κεφάλαιον δὲ ῥαφανῖδος τὴν κεφαλήν φησι τὸ πρὸς τὰ φύλλα καυλῶδες. οὐκ ἔτεμνον δὲ κατὰ μῆκος ὡς νῦν, ἀλλὰ κατὰ κύκλον τὴν ῥαφανῖδα. κιχλίζειν δὲ τὸ κίχλας ἐσθίειν, οἱ δὲ τὸ ἀτάκτως γελᾶν.
[1] That is, the Greek adverb "easily", ῥᾳδίως , is connected with the word radish -- which is highly unlikely. The same etymology is given by Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 2.56D-E (2.48 Kaibel).
[2] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 544.
[3] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Clouds 1083 (where a concrete version of this phrase occors). Compare mu 1360, pi 467, rho 55, and omega 62; and see generally K. Kapparis, "Humiliating the adulterer: the law and the practice in classical Athens", RIDA 43 (1996) 63-77.
[4] Quoted almost verbatim from Aristophanes, Clouds 981-3; cf. kappa 1444, kappa 1694.
[5] Incorrect. Rather, to chirp like a thrush, giggle, titter. See LSJ s.v.
Keywords: botany; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; gender and sexuality; law
Translated by: Ross Scaife ✝ on 11 May 1999@13:01:27.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and bibliography) on 20 September 2000@08:26:09.
Debra Hamel (added notes) on 30 September 2000@20:32:01.
David Whitehead (adjustments to translation; augmented notes and keywords) on 12 December 2004@09:36:32.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 1 December 2008@00:05:18.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 24 August 2011@04:36:01.
David Whitehead (typo) on 27 October 2013@08:48:12.


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