Ask at the forum if you have an Ancient or Modern Greek query!


Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος -> Man is a dream of a shadow
Pindar, Pythian 8.95f.

Transliteration of: λοπαδο­τεμαχο­σελαχο­γαλεο­κρανιο­λειψανο­δριμ­υπο­τριμματο­σιλφιο­καραβο­μελιτο­κατακεχυ­μενο­κιχλ­επι­κοσσυφο­φαττο­περιστερ­αλεκτρυον­οπτο­κεφαλλιο­κιγκλο­πελειο­λαγῳο­σιραιο­βαφη­τραγανο­πτερύγων.

name of a dish compounded of all kinds of dainties, fish, flesh, fowl, and sauces.

The dish was a fricassée, with at least 16 sweet and sour ingredients, including the following:

  • Fish slices
  • Fish of the Elasmobranchii subclass (a shark or ray)
  • Rotted dogfish or small shark's head
  • Generally sharp-tasting dish of several ingredients grated and pounded together
  • Silphion "laserwort," apparently a kind of giant fennel
  • A kind of crab, shrimp, or crayfish
  • Honey poured down
  • Wrasse (or thrush)
  • Was topped with a kind of sea fish or Blackbird
  • Wood pigeon
  • Domestic pigeon
  • Chicken
  • Roasted head of dabchick
  • Hare, which could be a kind of bird or a kind of sea hare
  • New wine boiled down
  • Wing and/or fin


The term is used in the ultimate chorus of the play, when Blepyrus (and the audience) are summoned to the first feast laid on by the new system.

[1167] And you others, let your light steps too keep time.
[1168] Very soon we'll be eating
[1170] Lopado­­temacho­­selacho­­galeo­­kranio­­leipsano­­drim­­hypo­­trimmato­­silphio­­parao­­melito­­katakechy­­meno­­kichl­­epi­­kossypho­­phatto­­perister­­alektryon­­opte­­kephallio­­kigklo­­peleio­­lagoio­­siraio­­baphe­­tragano­­pterygon.

[1175] Come, quickly, seize hold of a plate, snatch up a cup, and let's run to secure a place at table. The rest will have their jaws at work by this time.

In English translations

In English prose translation by Leo Strauss (1966), this Greek word is rendered as "oysters-saltfish-skate-sharks'-heads-left-over-vinegar-dressing-laserpitium-leek-with-honey-sauce-thrush-blackbird-pigeon-dove-roast-cock's-brains-wagtail-cushat-hare-stewed-in-new-wine-gristle-of-veal-pullet's-wings"

English verse translation by Benjamin Bickley Rogers (1902) follows the original meter and the original way of composition:


Older English verse translation by Rev. Rowland Smith (1833) destroys the original composed word and breaks it in several verses:

"All sorts of good cheer;
Limpets, oysters, salt fish,
And a skate too a dish,
Lampreys, with the remains
Of sharp sauce and birds' brains,
With honey so luscious,
Plump blackbirds and thrushes,
Cocks' combs and ring doves,
Which each epicure loves,
Also wood-pigeons blue,
With juicy snipes too,
And to close all, O rare!
The wings of jugged hare!

German (Pape)

[Seite 29] das längste, neunundsiebenzigsylbige griechische Wort, von Ar. Eccl. 1169 ff. gebildet, ein Frikassee aus allen möglichen Leckerbissen, oder auf Essen bezüglichen Sachen, welches folgende Bestandtheile enthält: Austern – gesalzene Meerfische – Muränen – Lampreten – Bregen – Überbleibsel – scharfe Brühe – Silphium – Honig – Krammetsvögel – Drosseln – Enten – Tauben – gebratene Hahnenkämme – Kinklen – wilde Tauben – Hafen – eingekochten Most – Tunke – Knorpeln – Flügel.