Perry 352 Vocabulary


Acorns, shown in the Milo Winter picture, are not in the Greek fables, but are in some of the Latin fables. Some of the words for acorn are as follows: ἄκῠλος , (, Theoc.5.94), the acorn, βάλᾰνος [βᾰ], , acorn, date; δρῠ́καρπον , τό, acorn; φηγός , Dor. φᾱγός Theoc.9.20, , acorn (cf Latin Fagus 'beech')


At least three words are used in Greek: 1) μῦς μυός, ὁ 2) μυγαλῆ ἡ, or μυογαλέη, μυγαλέη and 3) the more uncommon σμίνθος , (An epithet of Apollo in the Iliad. the mouse-slayer Σμινθεύς , έως, , epith. of Apollo, Il.1.39) In these stories, we find the phrase μῦς ἀρουραῖος, which LSJ says is the field-mouse, or the hamster. The Romans differentiated poorly between mice and rats, calling rats Mus Maximus (big mouse) and referring to mice as Mus Minimus (little mouse). Greeks must have had the same issue - hence the phrases mega mouse and mini mouse! There is no word for 'rat' in Woodhouse's English-Greek Ditionary of the Attic Language; nor can I find a definition in LSJ.


There are a whole slew of words related to μῦς. (Note: do not confuse the word μῦς with μυῖα Αttic μύα ἡ a fly; There is also a word μύσος τό uncleaness, defilement (u is always short), adj. μυσαρός -ά -ον, verb. μυσόω 'to defile'. I could not find an etymology on these words, but one wonders if it is not from μῦς. Although either mouse or fly sounds like something around defiled things. The other μυ- root is in the verb μύω which means 'to close'). Some of the μυ- 'mouse' words are as follows:

Lemma Definition
μῦς μυός, ὁ a mouse
μυογαλέη a field-mouse
μυσπολέω to run around like a mouse
μυοθήρας -ου, ὁ a mouse catcher
μυοθηρέω to hunt mice
μυσκέλενδρον τό mouse dirt, or droppings
μύσπαλα mousetrap
μυωτός (A), ή, όν, made of mouse-skin, or embroidered with figures of mice
μυώδης , ες, mouse-like
μυωξία , , mouse-hole, also a term of reproach, Id., Suid.; cf. μυωνιά.
μυομαχία, ἡ a mouse battle

Theocritos tells a proverb of one who is tempted to eat and finds himself caught: μῦς πίσσας γεύεται (πίσσα = pitch). There is no lack of food in these fables. The following words of food and storage have been collected from the fables: κριθὰς, σῖτον, σπρια (spelt σπόριος), φοίνικας, μέλι ὁπώρας, ἰσχάδα, ἀλφίτων (meal from κριθὴν), ἄλευρα, ,κανισκίου , ποῦ δ' ὀσπρίων ἦν σωρὸςπίθος σύκων, στάμνοι τε μέλιτος σώρακοί τε φοινίκων, and last but not least τυρὸν (any guesses what that is?) Sounds like some good eating. (Is light beer called λῑτὴ κριθὴ or λῑτός οἶνος or would that be 'cheap beer'? (Μιλλὴρ Λιτρός or Μυλεργάτης Λιτρός or perhaps those Doric Spartans drink Μυλτάς Λιτός. A little help here please!)