Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The lexicon as an inventory of rare or exceptional words

A few curiosities:

ὑπομίαρος used 'of a word' (i.e. πασσυρεί) by Pollux 9.143 to mean 'unclassical', according to LSJ. Hostility, ancient and modern, towards items of vocabulary from later periods are manifest in that μιαρός is elsewhere glossed 'stained, polluted; wicked'. The prefix would, presumably, add the notion 'somewhat'. Pollux 9.143 is apparently the only place in which either of these words occurs, but both have to be mentioned for the Lexicon to be a complete inventory of words (even those spurned and used in spurning).

Next, a Roman-period epitaph cited from "Srpska Kraljevska Akademija, Spomenik 71.312 (Poarevatz)" [published in 1931] provides the only known attestation of ὑπολησμοσύνη 'forgetfulness'. This is perhaps not a text that is regularly encountered, although it is more accessible in Peek's GVI as 249 [= I.Mésie 2.210].

ζῶν ἔτι Ἀπολλώνις τὸ μνῆμ ᾿ ἐπόησα ἑαυτῷ
κληρονόμων <ε>ἱδὼς τὴν ὑπολησμοσύνην

Apart from its interest as evidence for filial responsibilities (as well as the negligence of legacy-hunters), the inclusion of this hapax in LSJ (in Part X, published in 1940) demonstrates that material was collected throughout the process of publishing the ten parts of this ninth edition (i.e. beyond 1925, as is implied in the Preface).

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