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MYINDA (μυΐνδα) was a game in which one was blindfold, or was obliged to keep his eyes shut (μύειν). As may be seen from the description in Pollux, there were other varieties of the game besides our “blind-man's buff” included under this name. Pollux (9.113) says, “Either one who is blinded (καταμύων) cries φυλάττου and compels any one whom he catches to be blinded in his place, or searches for the others, who hid themselves while he had his eyes covered (μύσαντος κρνφθέντας), till he finds them; or lastly, still blindfold, when any one touches him, or if any one gives a sign (προσδείξῃ), guesses who it is until he gives a right name.” There seems no need for any alteration in the last clause such as Grasberger's μύσας τοὺς κρυφθέντας (where the force of the concise genitive absolute appears to be misunderstood), or προσθρέξῃ for προσδείξῃ, which means, probably, giving some clue to identity by laughing or speaking. Clearly the second variety is our “hide and seek” (much the same as ἀποδιδρασκίνδα); the first and third are two forms of blind-man's buff, differing in the point that the third requires the “blind-man” to guess the name of any one who touches him or speaks. (Becq de Fouquières seems to change the nominatives τις into the objective case.) The guessing by the blindfold occurs also in the game which Pollux calls κολλαβισμός (i. e. buffeting = κολαφισμός), to which, rather than to μυΐνδα, we must refer Luke 22.64. It is a more difficult question to decide the origin of the name χαλκῆ μνῖα for another kind of blindman's buff (Poll. 9.123; Eustath. ad Il. 21.394). We are told that the players blindfolded one of their number (ταινίᾳ τῳ ὀφθαλμὼ προσφίγξαντες), who cried χαλκῆν μυῖαν θηράσω, to which the others answered θηράσεις ἀλλ᾽ οὐ λήψει, and struck him with whips of papyrus till he caught one of them. It is clear that the warning cry before the pursuit is like the φυλάττου in μνΐνδα, and also that the pursued are the “bronze flies.” From Eustathius we gather that the χαλκῆ μυῖα was a sort of bronzecoloured cockchafer, which boys let go in the dark after they had tied a small lighted wax taper to it (compare the μηλολόνθη attached to a thread, Poll. 9.124; and Schol. ad Aristoph. Wasps 1322). It is said that the same, not very creditable, amusement is known to Cretan boys of the present day, and Grasberger (p. 75) adopts this explanation of the difficult passage in Aristoph. Ach. 920-924, τίφη being an insect treated in this manner. It is possible that we may also find in this practice the explanation of the name χαλκῆ μυῖα in the above game, as derived from the general idea of chasing something in the dark. (Becq de Fouquières, Jeux des Anciens, p. 84; Grasberger, Erziehung, pp. 42 ff.)


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