[ΤΑ ΠΡΟΣ ΗΡΟΔΟΤΟΝ]
Fr. 88.1 Etymologicum Magnum (Gaisford), s.v. Λεοντοκόμος.
Τὸ δὲ λέων παρὰ τὸ λάω, τὸ θεωρῶ· ὀξυδερκέστατον γὰρ τὸ θηρίον, ὥς φησι Μανέθων ἐν τῷ πρὸς Ἡρόδοτον, ὅτι οὐδέποτε καθεύδει ὁ λέων, τοῦτο δὲ ἀπίθανον . . .
[Footnote continued on opposite page.
- 1Cf. also Fr. from Choeroboscus, Orthogr., in Cramer, Anecd. Graeca Ox., ii. 235, 32(=Etym. genuinum): . . . ἀπὸ τούτου τοῦ λάω γέγονε λέων· ὀξυδερκέστατον γὰρ τὸ θηρίον· φασὶ γὰρ ὅτι οὐδέποτε καθεύδει ὁ λέων. τοῦτο δὲ ἀπίθανον . . . See Aelian, De Nat. Anim., v. 39: Αἰγυπτίους ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ κομπάζειν φασὶ λέγοντας ὅτι κρείττων ὕπνου λέων ἐστὶν ἀγρυπνῶν ἀεί.
[Criticisms of Herodotus]
Fr. 883 (from the Etymologicum Magnum).
The word λέων (“lion”) comes from λάω, “I see”: the animal has indeed the keenest of sight, as Manetho says in his Criticism of Herodotus that the lion never sleeps.4 But this is hard to believe.
- 3Manetho’s note may refer to such passages in Herodotus as ii. 65 ff. and iii. 108. Choeroboscus, in his work On Orthography (iv./v. a.d.), gives the derivation of λέων according to Ôrus or Hôrus in almost the same words as those quoted above from the Etymologicum Magnum; but he omits the clause “as Manetho says in his Criticism of Herodotus” (Cramer, Anecdota Graeca e codd. manuscriptis bibliothecarum Oxoniensium, ii. p. 235, 11. 32 ff. = Etymologicum Genuinum). Cf. Aelian, On the Nature of Animals, v. 39: “the Egyptians, they say, boast about this, adding that the lion is superior to sleep, being always awake.” Aelian quotes from Apion (see p. 19 n. 3), who may well have taken his statement from Manetho.
- 4By a curious coincidence, in Egyptian also the words for “lion” () and “to see” () are very similar, and the word for “lion” is sometimes written as though it came from the verb “to see”. Manetho possibly had this fact in mind when he stated that the lion never sleeps (Battiscombe Gunn).