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In Greek mythology, Koalemos is the god of stupidity,[1] mentioned once by Aristophanes,[2] and being found also in Lives by Plutarch.[3] Coalemus is the Latin spelling of the name. Sometimes it is referred to as a dæmon, more of a spirit and minor deity.

Otherwise, the word κοάλεμος was used in the sense of "stupid person" or also "idiots".[4][5]

An ancient false etymology derives κοάλεμος from κοέω (koeō) "perceive" and ἡλεός (ēleos) "distraught, crazed".[6] Its etymology is not established, however.[7]


  1. ^ "COALEMUS : Greek god or spirit of foolishness & stupidity". Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  2. ^ Aristophanes, Knights, 221: καὶ ποικίλως πως καὶ σοφῶς ᾐνιγμένος: ἀλλ᾽ ὁπόταν μάρψῃ βυρσαίετος ἀγκυλοχήλης γαμφηλῇσι δράκοντα κοάλεμον αἱματοπώτην.
  3. ^ Plutarch, Life of Cimon 4. 3 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian 1st to 2nd century AD):...καὶ τῷ πάππῳ Κίμωνι προσεοικὼς τὴν φύσιν, ὃν δι᾽ εὐήθειάν φασι Κοάλεμον προσαγορευθῆναι.
  4. ^ Plutarch, Life of Cimon, 4. 3.
  5. ^ Aeschines Socraticus, fragment 16
  6. ^ Scholia on Aristophanes, Knights, 198
  7. ^ Chantraine, Pierre. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque. Histoire des mots. Tome II. Paris, Éditions Klincksiek, 1970. - p. 550, sous κοάλεμος (French)


  • A Greek-English Lexicon compiled by H. G. Liddel and R. Scott. tenth edition with a revised supplement. – Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996. - p. 966, under κοάλεμος
  • Dæmon