Talk:Lympha

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Lymphae nymphae[edit]

I'm not finding lymphae in the sources cited — Cicero de Haruspicum Responso 57; Cicero pro Milone 73; G. Dumezil La religion romaine archaique Paris 1974 2nd; It. tr. p. 335 — only nymphae (and no nymphae even in De har. resp.):

In Rome the lymphae received a cult and had a temple. They were particularly invoked by people whose jobs were somehow linked with water as fisheremen and the workers of aqueducts. They were addressed mainly for protection from fires as during the celebration of the Vulcanalia. As their temple housed the documents of the Roman census though it met the fate of being burnt down by Clodius.

The edition of Pro Milone used for The Latin Library says aedes Nympharum, though it would be perfectly delightful to find that this was one of those supposed "emendations" where Lymphae was meant. I can't seem to dig out the Dumézil anywhere online, and would like to see a few sentences of quotation in how he refers specifically to Lymphae; the article can't be allowed to sprawl into everything to do with the nymphs, but only when the lymphae are specifically identified with them. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:02, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes you are right, D. does not care for the distinction and writes nymphae. However interestingly he connects them with the Italic Lymphae, Lumpae, Diumpais of Agnone saying the Romans received them via an Italic mediation from Greece. Cf. also what Mary Crane writes on the Casmenae=Parcae.
I checked the text of the Har. Resp. 57: earum templum inflammavit dearum quarum ope etiam aliis incendiis subvenitur implies the nymphae-lymphae.
On a more general line however I have some doubts that the Italic concept was distinct and is distinguishable from the Greek one. Your own presentation, as the citation from Vitruvius and the material on the connexion of these deities with reproductive function and instinct, shows they were/are common, perhaps to every nation. Easy to find parallels in Slavonic mythology, but in India, China and Japan too, especially on the mystic or esoteric representation of this issue (cf. in Rome Vires, Virites Quirini, Salacia and Venilia Neptuni, or Venus: just all of Varro LL V 68-74). Properce looks quite knowledgable in your quotation, as an Etruscan I suppose he certainly was. Aldrasto11 (talk) 09:17, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
The Italic concept was most certainly Hellenized, and springs as a metaphor for "source" of inspiration and revelation seems as universal as you indicate. The purpose of the article is just to look at the process by which limpa/lumpa or lymphae, given that the word itself becomes oddly Hellenized, become not-quite submerged in nymphae. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:52, 11 December 2010 (UTC)