Thursday, July 08, 2021


Socrates: Selas (gleam) and phos (light) are the same thing.

Hermogenes: Yes.

Soc.: And the light is always new and old around the moon, if the Anaxagoreans are right, because they say that the sun, continuing its course around the moon, sheds new light on it while the light of the previous month persists.

Herm.: Sure.

Soc.: The moon is often called Selanaia.

Herm.: Sure.

Soc.: Since it always has 'sela neon te kai enon' (old and new gleam), the most excellent name for it would be Selaenoneoaeia, which has been shortened to Selanaia.

Herm.: That's definitely a hymn-appropriate name, Socrates.

Plato, Cratylus 409b-c, my (slightly paraphrastic) translation.