L’aspide sanguinaria. Esegesi di un passo dei Theriaká di Nicandro (vv. 157-189).


  • Maria Dorella Giangrasso


The bloodthirsty asp. An exegesis of a passage in Nicander’s Theriaká.

In a passage of Nicander’s Theriaká on the snake called aspis the adjective
ἀμυδρότατον is attested (Th. 158). The aim of this paper is to
define the meaning of this adjective. Ancient and modern scholars have
variously interpreted it: some of them referred ἀμυδρότατον to the laziness
and sluggishness of the animal, others to its perniciousness. However,
both these meanings are quite atypical: ἀμυδρός usually means
‘weak, faint, obscure’. Here I suggest that the value of the adjective
ἀμυδρότατον in Th. 158 should be related to its original meaning.