Lesbian: ἀθρήματα (Hsch. A 1621)

Author: Sowa, Wojciech
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2016, vol. 21, iss. 2, pp. 303-309
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
License: Not specified license
The Lexicon of Hesychius is still of great importance as far as the exegesis of Classical texts is concerned, but the question of the degree to which it can be considered a reliable source of dialectological data, and especially whether the glosses attest the real state of the vernacular spoken in the different regions of Greece, remains difficult to answer. Nevertheless, the glosses are still one of the most important sources (after epigraphical sources) for our knowledge of dialectal lexical systems and occasionally provide unique attestations of dialect forms in Greek. The following article examines only one such example, namely the regional designation for the "wedding gifts", as attributed to the inhabitants of Lesbos, cf. Hsch. A 1621 ἀθρήματα· δῶρα πεμπόμενα παρὰ τῶν συγγενῶν ταῖς γαμουμέναις παρθένοις παρὰ Λεσβίοις. The article aims to cast some light on this hapax form and concerns itself with the question of a problematic relation to the Homeric form ἀθύρματα. The meaning of the form ἀθρήματα is specialized, it can apply to the sphere of everyday life, and there are also synonyms from other sources which indicate a meaning in the area of "wedding gifts". All of these facts could testify to the dialectal provenance of the Hesychean gloss.
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