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Headword: Ὑάλη
Adler number: upsilon,6
Translated headword: glass
Vetting Status: high
[ὑάλη is the feminine of] ὕαλος .[1]
A glass is [something] "from which they kindle fire." And Aristophanes says: "when the lawsuit was to be recorded, [what would you say] if I were to stand at a distance thus, in the direction of the sun, and melt out the letters of my lawsuit." [A glass] is a round-shaped device of amber glass, contrived for the following purpose: when they have soaked it in oil and heated it in the sun they introduce a wick and kindle [fire]. So the old man is saying, in conversation with Socrates: if I were to start a fire with the amber and introduce fire to the tablet of the letter, I could make the letters of the lawsuit disappear.[2]
Greek Original:
Ὑάλη: ὕαλος. Ὕαλός ἐστιν ἀφ' ἧς πῦρ ἅπτουσι. καί φησιν Ἀριστοφάνης: ὁπόταν γράφοιτο ἡ δίκη, ἀπωτέρω στὰς ὡδὶ πρὸς τὸν ἥλιον τὰ γράμματ' ἐκτήξαιμι τῆς ἐμῆς δίκης. ἔστι δὲ κατασκεύασμα ὑάλου τροχοειδὲς ἠλέκτρου, εἰς τοῦτο τεχνασθέν: ὅπερ ἐλαίῳ χρίσαντες καὶ ἡλίῳ θερμήναντες προσάγουσι θρυαλλίδα καὶ ἅπτουσι. τοῦτο οὖν ὁ γέρων πρὸς Σωκράτην διαλεγόμενός φησιν, εἰ ὑφάψαιμι διὰ τῆς ἠλέκτρου καὶ προσαγάγοιμι τῇ δέλτῳ τὸ πῦρ τῇ τοῦ γράμματος, ἀφανίσαιμι τὰ γράμματα τῆς δίκης.
[1] Likewise or similarly in other lexica; references at Photius upsilon3 Theodoridis.
[2] Aristophanes, Clouds 768 and 770-2 (web address 1), with material from the scholia to 768. 'This is our earliest mention of a glass lens' (Dover ad loc.)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; law; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: David Whitehead on 19 March 2006@06:54:16.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (punctuation, link, status) on 19 March 2006@12:30:26.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; augmented n.2) on 20 March 2006@02:58:50.
Catharine Roth (expanded note, upgraded link, raised status) on 19 January 2011@23:55:28.
David Whitehead on 14 November 2013@07:10:15.


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