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  • ἀθηρηλοιγόν - The Greek word is αθηρηλοιγον (athereloigon)—an oracular periphrasis, literally meaning 'consumer of chaff', and attested only here. Later commentators unanimously identified the athereloigon as a ptuon, with the normal sense of 'shovel'.

    The `Winnowing Oar` (athereloigon) is an object that appears in Books XI and XXIII of Homer's Odyssey. In the epic, Odysseus is instructed by Tiresias to take an oar from his ship and to walk inland until he finds a `land that knows nothing of the sea`, where the oar would be mistaken for a winnowing fan. At this point, he is to offer a sacrifice to Poseidon, and then at last his journeys would be over.

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    January 25, 2011

  • Thanks for the etymological explanations on winnowing.

    For pictures about these ancient tools see:

    September 20, 2012