What does Archaiomelesidonophrunicherata mean?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Literature

My thanks to Konstantinos Konstantinides for doing the back research.

The word is real, and it’s not mangled much: it should be –melisi– It’s another coinage by Aristophanes, from Wasps 220: ἀρχαιομελισιδωνοφρυνιχήρατα. Aristophanes, Wasps, line 183

ὡς ἀπὸ μέσων νυκτῶν γε παρακαλοῦσ’ ἀεί,
λύχνους ἔχοντες καὶ μινυρίζοντες μέλη
ἀρχαιομελισιδωνοφρυνιχήρατα,
οἷς ἐκκαλοῦνται τοῦτον.

They arrive here, carrying lanterns in their hands and singing the charming old verses of Phrynichus’ Sidonian Women; it’s their way of calling him.

The breakdown is:

  • archaio– ‘old’
  • meli– ‘honey’
  • Sidōno– ‘Sidonian’
  • Phrynicho– ‘Phrynichus’
  • eratos ‘lovely’

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