previous next


EMBAS (ἐμβάς). This is sometimes used as a generic term for a closed boot, so called because one's foot “got into” (ἐμβαίνειν) it, and it was not merely fastened to the foot like a sandal. Thus, when Herodotus (1.195) says that the Persian ὑποδήματα were similar to Boeotian ἐμβάδες, the latter term is as general as the former. Again, in Lucian (Rhet. Praec. § 15, ἐμβὰς Σικυωνία) the word ἐμβὰς is quite general; the Latins used Sicyonia without any substantive to describe this kind of boot (Lucr. 4.1125). But at Athens ἐμβὰς had a special signification; it was a cheap sort of boot first manufactured in Thrace, and in kind (ἰδέαν) like low κόθορνοι (Poll. 7.85). (The latter, as we have seen [COTHURNUS], were closed--in boots with rectangular soles, often wooden.) These ἐμβάδες were worn by men (Suidas, s. v. ἐμβάς; Aristoph. Eccl. 47, 314, 633, 848, &c.) and by the poorer classes (cf. Aristoph. Wasps 1157): thus, in Isaeus (de Dicaeog. her. § 11) a man who has impoverished another reproaches him with wearing ἐμβάδες καὶ τριβώνια. The contradictory distinctions already alluded to [COTHURNUS] which have been drawn between ἐμβάδες and ἐμβάται, as applied to the stage boot, are for the most part reconciled by Reimar on D. C. 63.8, who shows that ἐμβάται is universally applied to the tragic boot, while ἐμβάδες is properly applied to the boot of comedy; but as it is also sometimes used for boots in general, it can be applied to the tragic buskin, as it is by Lucian (Gall. § 26; cf. Pseudol. § 19).


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: