word #13: “chalazophulakes” (n.)


  1. hail-guards

From Seneca:

[…] people who watched out for hail coming. When they had given a signal that hail was imminent, what do you suppose? That people ran for their cloaks or their waterproofs? No, they all performed their own sacrifices, one person with a lamb, another with a chicken. Instantly those clouds turned away, once they had tasted a bit of blood. That makes you laugh? Listen to what will make you laugh even more. If anyone had neither a lamb nor a chicken, as an inexpensive alternative he turned on himself, and, so that you do not think clouds are greedy or cruel, he pricked his finger with a really sharp stylus and performed a sacrifice with the blood. The hail turned away from his tiny farm no less than from those where it had been appeased with larger victims.

Gives some cultural/historical┬ácontext to the “Chicken Little” tale.