Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
153
LYCK—LYCURGUS


Kretschmer, Einleitung in die Geschichte der griechischen Sprache (1896); S. Bugge, Lykische Studien (from 1897); A. Torp, Lykische Beiträge (from 1898); V. Thomsen, Études lyciennes (1899); E. Kalinka and R. Heberdey, Tituli Asiae Minoris, i. (1901); see also articles Xanthus, Myra, Patara.  (A. H. S.) 


LYCK, or Lyk, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of East Prussia, 112 m. by rail S.E. of Königsberg, and close to the frontier of Poland, on a lake and river of the same name. Pop. (1900) 11,386. It is the chief town of the region known as Masuria. On an island in the lake is a castle formerly belonging to the Teutonic order, and dating from 1273, now used as a prison. There are iron-foundries, distilleries, breweries, tanneries, paper mills and flour mills, and a trade in grain and cattle.


LYCOPHRON, Greek poet and grammarian, was born at Chalcis in Euboea. He flourished at Alexandria in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285–247 B.C.). According to Suïdas, he was the son of Socles, but was adopted by Lycus of Rhegium. He was entrusted by Ptolemy with the task of arranging the comedies in the Alexandrian library, and as the result of his labours composed a treatise On Comedy. His own compositions, however, chiefly consisted of tragedies (Suïdas gives the titles of twenty, of which very few fragments have been preserved), which secured him a place in the Pleiad of Alexandrian tragedians. One of his poems, Alexandra or Cassandra, containing 1474 iambic lines, has been preserved entire. It is in the form of a prophecy uttered by Cassandra, and relates the later fortunes of Troy and of the Greek and Trojan heroes. References to events of mythical and later times are introduced, and the poem ends with a reference to Alexander the Great, who was to unite Asia and Europe in his world-wide empire. The style is so enigmatical as to have procured for Lycophron, even among the ancients, the title of “obscure” (σκοτεινός). The poem is evidently intended to display the writer’s knowledge of obscure names and uncommon myths; it is full of unusual words of doubtful meaning gathered from the older poets, and many long-winded compounds coined by the author. It has none of the qualities of poetry, and was probably written as a show-piece for the Alexandrian school. It was very popular in the Byzantine period, and was read and commented on very frequently; the collection of scholia by Isaac and John Tzetzes is very valuable, and the MSS. of the Cassandra are numerous.[1] A few well-turned lines which have been preserved from Lycophron’s tragedies show a much better style; they are said to have been much admired by Menedemus of Eretria, although the poet had ridiculed him in a satyric drama. Lycophron is also said to have been a skilful writer of anagrams.

Editio princeps (1513); J. Potter (1697, 1702); L. Sebastiani (1803); L. Bachmann (1830); G. Kinkel (1880); E. Scheer (1881–1908), vol. ii. containing the scholia. The most complete edition is by C. von Holzinger (with translation, introduction and notes, 1895). There are translations by F. Dehèque (1853) and Viscount Royston (1806; a work of great merit). See also Wilamowitz-Möllendorff, De Lycophronis Alexandra (1884); J. Konze, De Dictione Lycophronis (1870). The commentaries of the brothers Tzetzes have been edited by C. O. Müller (1811).


LYCOPODIUM, the principal genus of the Lycopodiaceae, a natural order of the Fern-allies (see Pteridophyta). They are flowerless herbs, with an erect, prostrate or creeping widely-branched stem, with small simple leaves which thickly cover the stem and branches. The “fertile” leaves are arranged in cones, and bear spore-cases (sporangia) in their axils, containing spores of one kind only. The prothallium developed from the spore is a subterranean mass of tissue of considerable size, and bears the male and female organs (antheridia and archegonia). There are about a hundred species widely distributed in temperate and tropical climates; five occur in Britain on heaths and moors, chiefly in mountainous districts, and are known as club-mosses The commonest species, L. clavatum, is also known as stag-horn moss.

EB1911 Lycopodium -Fig. 1 - Lycopodium clavatum.jpg
From Strasburger’s Lehrbuch der Botanik, by permission of Gustav Fischer.
Fig. 1.—Lycopodium clavatum.
A, Old prothallus.
B, Prothallus bearing a young
sporophyte.
G, Polian of a mature plant,
showing the creeping habit,
the adventitious roots and
the specialized erect branches
bearing the strobile or cones.
H, Sporophyte bearing the single
sporangium on its upper
surface.
J, Spore.

Gerard, in 1597, described two kinds of lycopodium (Herball, p. 1373) under the names Muscus denticulatus and Muscus clavatus (L. clavatum) as “Club Mosse or Woolfes Clawe Mosse,” the names being in Low Dutch, “Wolfs Clauwen,” from the resemblance of the club-like or claw-shaped shoots to the toes of a wolf, “whereupon we first named it Lycopodion.” Gerard also speaks of its emetic and many other supposed virtues. L. Selago and L. catharticum (a native of the Andes) have been said to be, at least when fresh, cathartic; but, with the exception of the spores of L. clavatum (“lycopodium powder”), lycopodium as a drug has fallen into disuse. The powder is used for rolling pills in, as a dusting powder for infants’ sores, &c. A tinctura lycopodii, containing one part of the powder to ten of alcohol (90%), has been given, in doses of 15 to 60 minims, in cases of irritation and spasm of the bladder. The powder is highly inflammable, and is used in pyrotechny and for artificial lightning on the stage. If the hand be covered with the powder it cannot be wetted on being plunged into water. Another use of lycopodium is for dyeing; woollen cloth boiled with species of lycopodium, as L. clavatum, becomes blue when dipped in a bath of Brazil wood.


LYCOSURA (mod. Palaeokastro or Siderokastro), a city of Arcadia, reputed to be the most ancient city in Greece, and to have been founded by Lycaon the son of Pelasgus. Its fame in later times was chiefly associated with the temple of Despoena, containing the colossal group made by Damophon of Messene, of Despoena and Demeter seated, with Artemis and the Titan Anytus standing beside them. The temple and considerable remains of the group of sculpture were found in 1889. The date of both has been a matter of dispute, Damophon being placed at dates varying from the 4th century B.C. to the age of Hadrian. But it has now been shown that he lived in the 2nd century B.C. Remains of a portico, altars and other structures have also been found.

See Πρακτικὰ τῆς Ἀρχ. Ἑταιρίας (1896); G. Dickens, Annual of British School at Athens, xii. and xiii.

LYCURGUS (Gr. Λυκοῦργος), in Greek history, the reputed founder of the Spartan constitution. Plutarch opens his

  1. Two passages of the Cassandra, 1446–1450 and 1226–1282, in which the career of the Roman people and their universal empire are spoken of, could not possibly have been written by an Alexandrian poet of 250 B.C. Hence it has been maintained by Niebuhr and others that the poem was written, by a later poet mentioned by Tzetzes, but the opinion of Welcker that these paragraphs are a later interpolation is generally considered more probable.