Thursday 14 April 2016

'An (un)easy commerce of the old and the new,...': The Dipylon Oinochoe and other epigraphica in LSJ

T. S. Eliot did not have epigraphic citations in LSJ in mind.

CEG 1.432 probably consists of two inscriptions (as LSAG), but many attempt variously to restore sense to the second line. This, one of the oldest Greek inscriptions (and in Attic, at that), if not the oldest, is cited thrice in LSJ: s.vv. <ὀρχ->ηστής IG1.^2 ... 919 (no date), ἀτᾰλός as IG 1.492a (no date), and δεκάω, as Ath.Mitt.18.225 with '(Attica, viii B.C. (?))', but also the fascinating 'dub. l. et sens.'.

Although παίζει (unless παίζηι) is mentioned s.v. ἀτᾰλός, the (first) hexameter is not cited in the entry for the verb, even though it has a claim to being one of its earliest appearances: the verb is '(never in Il.).

LSJ s.v. παίζω I 5 reads 'play amorously, πρὸς ἀλλήλους X.Smp.9.2; μετά τινος LXX Ge.26.8; of mares, Arist.HA572a30' (underling mine). The Dipylon Oinochoe, I presume, would belong here, if not s.v. I 2 'esp. dance': ℎὸς νῦν ὀρχεστο͂ν πάντον ἀταλότατα παίζει, ...

This brings us to Anacreon 72/417 PMG.
πῶλε Θρηικίη, τί δή με
  λοξὸν ὄμμασι βλέπουσα (1)
νηλέως φεύγεις, δοκεῖς δέ
  μ’ οὐδὲν εἰδέναι σοφόν;  (2)
ἴσθι τοι, καλῶς μὲν ἄν τοι
  τὸν χαλινὸν ἐμβάλοιμι,  (3)
ἡνίας δ’ ἔχων στρέφοιμί
  σ’ ἀμφὶ τέρματα δρόμου· (4)
νῦν δὲ λειμῶνάς τε βόσκεαι  (5)
  κοῦφά τε σκιρτῶσα παίζεις, (5)
δεξιὸν γὰρ ἱπποπείρην
  οὐκ ἔχεις ἐπεμβάτην.

Some other points of epigraphy and LSJ. The Preface, p. viii n. 2, reports, 'The appearance of a third edition of the Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum, completed in 1924, has necessitated the alteration of a large number of references. The pitfalls which beset the path of the lexicographer may be exemplified by the fact that on the first revision the word ἀπόπλωσις was illustrated by SIG^2 929.127, and this was altered by the concordance-table to SIG^3 685.127: fortunately it was discovered in time that the word had disappeared in the later text!'

S.v. ὄπισθεν the following is cited among instances in Homer: 'ὄπιθεν κομόωσαι ἔθειραι IG 12(9).1179.9 (Euboea);'. The absence of an indication of its date could mislead. The language is certainly that of early hexameter poetry (n.b. ὄπιθεν κομόωσαι and in line 1 λοετροῖσι), but it is far later than Homer (2nd c. AD: n.b. εἱδρυμένης, ἀλλὰ ἀτειμάσει in line 17 and καὶ Ὑγεία in line 41).

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