help with translation

This is a forum for off topic discussions, including testing if you are unsure how to post.

Moderator: pothos moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
delos13
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:59 pm

help with translation

Post by delos13 »

Please, can anybody tell me how τὰ Λάφρια translates from Greek into English. I found one translation that means "light" but it doesn't make much sense in the context.

Thanks in advance.
Alexias
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:16 am

Re: help with translation

Post by Alexias »

I don't know about the translation, but this is the Wikipedia link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laphria_(festival). It sounds like a purification ritual, a bit like the Celtic spring festival of Beltane when animals were driven between or through fires to purify them before they were taken out to the summer pastures.
User avatar
delos13
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:59 pm

Re: help with translation

Post by delos13 »

Thanks, Alexia, I know about the festival. :) Returning from my trip to Greece, I decided to create a FB page "Modern Geography of Ancient Greece" and my first post yesterday was about Kalydon (of the Boar Hunt fame) and the temples of Artemis Laphria and Apollo Laphrion. At the site I was given a booklet. One of the explanations for the origin of epithet Laphria says it means "light" (as in "to lighten") but it doesn't make sense in the context. So, I wondered if there is another meaning of the word, something more dark, like to punish or annihilate. I discovered there is a fly genus that called Laphria and they are fly equivalent of killer bees..... Besides, Artemis and Apollo worshiped in Kalydon were the goods of loot and war spoils.....
sean_m
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:00 pm

Re: help with translation

Post by sean_m »

Liddell and Scott did not know, other than a festival, various tribes, etc. The masculine nominative singular, or dictionary form, is λαφριος.

There are many words in Classical Greek without a clear Indo-European or Semitic root but I don't know where you check how knowledge of etymology has advanced in the century or so since L&S.
My blog (Warning: may contain up to 95% non-Alexandrian content, rated shamelessly philobarbarian by 1 out of 1 Plutarchs)
hiphys
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:59 am

Re: help with translation

Post by hiphys »

Hi delos13, really there is a word in ancient Greek very similar to 'Laphria', i.e.:'laphyra' that means 'spoils, booty'(nominative plural of 'laphyron'). In my Greek dictionary there is also an attempt to propose an ethymological explanation of that word (that is a nickname of Artemis, but also of Athena and Hermes), as a derivation from that meaning. I don't know anymore.
Alexias
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:16 am

Re: help with translation

Post by Alexias »

There is an interesting article about the Laphria festival here http://books.openedition.org/pulg/1137?lang=en. It suggests that there was no large enough altar excavated at Calydon for the burning of live animals, and that the transfer of the Artemis Laphria image to the re-founded Patrae following the battle of Actium, resulted in an essentially Roman festival for the veterans who worshipped Diana.

The source for the description of the Laphria festival is Pausanias, who says that the Artemis Laphria got its name either from
It is said that the goddess’ epithet was Laphria after a man of Phocis, because the ancient image of Artemis was set up at Calydon by Laphrius, the son of Castalius, the son of Delphus. (10) Others say that the wrath of Artemis against Oeneus weighed as time went on more lightly on the Calydonians, and they believe that this was why the goddess received her epithet. The image represents her in the guise of a huntress; it is made of ivory and gold, and the artists were Menaechmus and Soidas of Naupactus, who, it is inferred, lived not much later than Canachus of Sicyon and Callon of Aegina.
The epithet Laphria was also applied to a Cretan goddess Britomartis, who was associated with Artemis. Her name means sweet or blessing maiden, so in this context, Laphria may have meant something like 'the Fair', or 'the Pure', or even 'the Beneficent'.
User avatar
Paralus
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2846
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: help with translation

Post by Paralus »

Have we a context at all??
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

Academia.edu
User avatar
delos13
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:59 pm

Re: help with translation

Post by delos13 »

Thanks a lot to everybody for their suggestions and additional explanations.

As I said, I don't know Greek, but many languages sometimes skip a letter when another form of the word is created so hiphys' suggestion about laphyra being the origin of the laphria makes sense. This way the description corresponds to nature of Artemis and Apollo as goods of loot and war spoils as they were worshiped in Aetolia.

Alexias, thanks for additional information about the festival and quote from Pausanias. It is obvious that the booklet I was given at the site used the same info from Pausanias because it repeats, with slight omissions, the same facts.

Paralus, when I was talking about context, I meant Kalydonian Boar Hunt. I am not aware of the version of the myth when Artemis' wrath toward king Oeneus lightened with time. In her wrath Artemis sent the Boar that was killed during the Hunt. Unless lightening of the wrath was represented by the fact that Artemis allowed the Boar to be killed.... Or maybe Pausanias was aware of another version of the myth (that didn't make it to our time) where the lightening of Artemis' wrath was manifested in some way? However, maybe I am wrong and such version still exists and I am simply not familiar with it. If you can point me in the right direction, it would be great.
Post Reply