), derived from
“to gape” (Vaniĉek, 237). Thus it is used for cracks
in the feet (Poll. 4.198), for a cloven hoof (Eur. Bacch.
619), and thence for a hoof in general, even a solid one (Id.
42). But usually χηλὴ
signifies something hooked or forked: thus the claws of a crab (Plut. 2.98
D), the talons of a bird (Soph. Ant. 1003
), the claws of a wild beast
(Eur. Hec. 90
6.4). We find it also applied to a kind of two-pronged
hooked probing needle, used to pull out a polypus (Hipp. 471, 54). As
regards military engines, χηλὴ
sometimes used for the notch of the arrow or other missile discharged from
the catapult; also for the two “fingers” of the
), which in that engine grasped the
back-drawn string. See Heron, Belop.
141: ἡ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ εὐθυτόνου
γίνεται ἐπείπερ εἰς τὴν τοῦ οἰστοῦ ἐμπιπτει χηλήν
“notch” ). ταύτην δὲ ἡ κατάγουσα
χεὶρ διπλῆ γίνεται, κεχηλωμένη
) τρὸς τὸ μεταξὺ τὼν χηλῶν
δέξασθαι τὸ τοῦ βέλους τάχος.
Chele, notch of Catapult. (Rüstow and Köchly, p.
shows a horizontal section of the “hand” of the engine and its
two “fingers” (χηλαί
turning on an axis, x, x.
The space between b
must be at least as wide as the thickness of the missile. What
really gripped the cord were vertical prongs running down from a, a
(see a vertical section of a
in fig. 2). For the whole explanation of military engines, from
which this is taken, see Rüstow and Köchly,
Geschichte des Griechischen. Kriegswesens,
pp. 378-405. The reading χηλὴν
in Vitr. 10.17
wrong: it should be χελώνιον
Rüstow and Köchly, Griechische
Leipzig, 1853, 1.232).
is applied to a breakwater
which curves out and presents the form of a claw (see Arnold on the χηλὴ
at Potidaea in Thuc.
), and to the spur of a mountain (Suidas, s. v. χηλὴ ὄρους
In astronomy that part of the heavens next Virgo embraced by the arms of the
Scorpion was called Chelae
by early writers and
by the poets (Verg. G. 1.33
; Ov. Met. 2.195
), even after Geminus (80 B.C.)
had separated that portion as a new sign, and called it Ζυγός