καταρράκτην (from “ῥάσσω” to strike hard, or dash, cp. 1503), lit. “"dashing or rushing down"”; Strabo 10. 640 “τηρήσας καταρράκτην ὄμβρον”: here, of a cleft descending abruptly into the ground. Strabo applies the word to the cataracts of the Nile (called “κατάδουποι” by Her.): in this sense it is usu. spelt with one “ρ”, as if from “καταράσσω”: so Lucan 10. 317 “praecipites cataractae.” Cp. Plut. Mor. 781 E “οἴκημα θύραν ἔχον ἐπιρρακτήν”, a room with a trap-door in it: so too Arat. 26 “θύρᾳ καταρρακτῇ”. The v.l. “καταφράκτην” (Suidas) is worthless.
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