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ΛΗΚΥΘΙΟΝ and ΑΥΤΟΛΗΚΥΘΟΣ

  • Martin Robertson (a1)

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I read with pleasure Graham Anderson's learned and amusing note, but am unconvinced. One might question his methodology, in that he does not really go into the question of what shape or shapes the words mean at what times; and illustrates ‘an aryballos’ without indicating its date or place of origin (it turns out to be redrawn from an engraving after an archaic Etruscan tomb-painting). However, these are not, I think, points of substance. λήκυθος and ληκύθιον seem to have been loosely used over a long time and wide area for any form of portable oil-flask; and there is evidence for round aryballoi in fifth- and fourth-century Athens. Also the expressions may have long been in common use, though for us they only surface in Aristophanes and Demosthenes. I cannot, though, myself see any force in Henderson's view that the standard shapes of lekythia do not resemble male genitals; not in detail, certainly, but the white lekythos, the lekythos par excellence in Aristophanes' Athens, is surely phallic enough. If one dreamed of one, Freud would be in no doubt what it meant.

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ΛΗΚΥΘΙΟΝ and ΑΥΤΟΛΗΚΥΘΟΣ

  • Martin Robertson (a1)

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