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Greek/"Spir. Prooem., Eratosth.Prooem." ?


Hello Maria,

If you would be so kind as to go here,

(LSJ: phi-alpha-nu)

you will see the given "interpretation" is:

"Spir. Prooem., Eratosth.Prooem."

I take the first of those as a reference to the "spiritus asper" The (lit: "rough breath") but perhaps to the rough breathing mark. Alternatively, it might mean the "uncompromising spirit" oproem by Erastones"--but ("prooem?"--with two "o"s?) I doubt that. I've searched, but I can't find the meaning anywhere.

Offered as the definition of the Greek, "phan," (phi-alpha-nu) that being offered as the poetic form of "phemi" (phi-eta-mu-iota), can you tell me your interpretation of the string of abbreviations on that page?

Thanking you for your good work,



First of all I  have to tell you that  the string of  abbreviations "Spir.Prooem., Eratosth.Prooem.", instead of the meaning of the present indicative φημί (phemi" (phi-eta-mu-iota, 1st.person singular=I say, I affirm, I assert), is a typo produced by the computer which has erroneously put "Spir. Prooem., Eratosth.Prooem." at the beginning of the entry, after extracting it from the lines 19-20 where you can  read: “part. φάμενος (also Archim.Spir.Prooem.Eratosth.Prooem.)

CLICK on LSJ and go to the lines 19-20 where there is "part. φάμενος (also Archim. Spir. Prooem. Eratosth.Prooem.)"

Note that φάμενος, transliterated as "fámenos" is the present participle of φημί, i.e. phemí".

In short, the abbreviations "Spir. Prooem., Eratosth.Prooem. stand respectively for the folllowing Archimedes’works titles:

-On Spirals Proeemium,i.e. “Preface/Proem to the work on spirals”(Greek: Περὶ ἑλίκων transliterated as “Perì elíkōn)


-Ad Eratosthenem Proeemium, i.e. “Preface/Proem to a letter to Eratosthenes".

Note that the full title of this work reads:”De mechanicis propositionibus ad Eratosthenem methodus”( Greek: Περὶ μηχανικῶν θεωρημάτων πρὸς Ἐρατοσθένη ἔφοδος, transliterated as “Perì tōn mēchanikōn theōrēmatōn pros Eratosthenēn ephodos”) meaning “A method related to mechanical theorems“, which is one of the major surviving works of Archimedes of Syracuse(c. 287 BC – 212 BC).  
The "Method" takes the form of a letter from Archimedes to Eratosthenes, the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria.

As for your interpretation, please note that  “Spir.” as a reference to the "spiritus asper"  ("rough breathing") has nothing to do with the entry φημί (phemí" (phi-eta-mu-iota) where there is no rough breathing.

Also, the abbreviation “prooem” stands for “prooemium” from Latin “prooemium” meaning” introduction/preface”, from Greek προοίμιον transliterated as "prooímion", just meaning “introduction/preface/proem”.

To sum up, the string of abbreviations on the  page that you mention stands for :” On Spirals Proeemium” and “Ad Eratosthenem Proeemium”.

Such a string is just a typo, as I’ve said.

Hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,



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I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning ANCIENT GREEK. So, do not ask me please questions regarding MODERN GREEK as it is different from Ancient Greek either in spelling/meaning or in pronunciation.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Ph.D in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy) and my thesis was about ancient Greek drama (Aeschylus).

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