previous next
Σ ς, σίγμα or σῖγμα (both accents are found in codd.), τό, twentyfirst letter of the Etruscan abecedaria, IG14.2420, and prob. of the oldest Gr. alphabets (corresponding to the twenty-first Hebrew letter
A.shin <*>, Phoenician Ω , Syria 6.103), but eighteenth of the Ion. alphabet: as numeral ς´ = 200, but σ᾽ = 200,000: a semi-vowel, Arist.Po.1456b28, cf. Pl.Tht.203b.
A. the oldest forms expressing this sound were Μ (which is however the old eighteenth letter, q.v.), also Σ and ς ; compared to a twisted curl, E.Fr.382.7, Theodect.6; to a Scythian bow, Agatho 4; after this, but yet early, it took the shape of a semicircle <*>, whence Aeschrio (Fr.1) calls the new moon τὸ καλὸν οὐρανοῦ νέον σῖγμα: hence the orchestra is called τὸ τοῦ θεάτρου σῖγμα, Phot., AB 286: and Lat. writers used sigma of a semicircular couch, Mart.10.48.6, etc.; cf. σιγμοειδής. The rare form <*> is used in the numbering of building-stones in Berl.Sitzb.1888.1234, 1242 (Pergam.). From final ς must be disting uished the character ς = 6, v. ϝ ϝ (sixth letter).
B. the name σίγμα ( σῖγμα ) was usu. indeclinable, “τοῦ σῖγμαPl. l.c., Cra.402e, 427a, Ath.10.455c, Lyd.Mens.1.21 (v.l. σίγματος)“; τῷ σῖγμαGal.UP2.14, al.; “τῶν σῖγμαPl.Com.30; “τὰ σίγμα τὰ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀσπίδωνX.HG4.4.10, cf. Hellad. ap. Phot.Bibl.p.532 B.; later declined, “τοῦ σίγματοςEust.1389.15; “σίγμασινId.905.7.
2. we also hear of another name σάν [α^], τό, τὰ οὐνόματά σφι (sc. τοῖσι Πέρσῃσι)“ τελευτῶσι πάντα ἐς τὠυτὸ γράμμα, τὸ Δωριέες μὲν σὰν καλέουσι, Ἴωνες δὲ σίγμαHdt.1.139, cf. Pi.Dith.Oxy.1604 Fr. 1 ii 3, Ath.11.467a; as name of the fourth and tenth letters in Θρασύμαχος, and of the sixth in Διονύσου), Epigr. ap. Ath.10.454f, Achae.33.4; cf. the compd. σαμ-φόρας: σάν and σίγμα were evidently pronounced alike; it is conjectured that σάν is originally the name of the old eighteenth letter.
hide Dictionary Entry Lookup
Use this tool to search for dictionary entries in all lexica.
Search for in
How to enter text in Greek:
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: