Opson


Opson

Opson (Greek: ὄψον) is an important category in Ancient Greek foodways.

First and foremost opson refers to a major division of ancient Greek food: the 'relish' that complements the sitos (σίτος) the staple part of the meal, i.e. wheat or barley.

Opson is therefore equivalent to Banchan in Korean cuisine and Okazu in Japanese cuisine.

Because it was considered the more pleasurable part of any meal, opson was the subject of some anxiety among ancient Greek moralists, who coined the term opsophagia to describe the vice of those who took too much opson with their sitos.

Although any kind of complement to the staple, even salt, could be categorized as opson, the term was also commonly used to refer to the most esteemed kind of relish: fish. Hence a diminutive of opson, opsarion (ὀψάριον), provides the modern Greek word for fish: psari (ψάρι), and the term opsophagos, literally 'opson-eater', is almost always used by classical authors to refer to men who are fanatical about seafood, e.g. Philoxenus of Cythera.

Finally, opson can be used to mean a 'prepared dish' (plural opsa). Plato, probably mistakenly, derived the word from the verb ἕψω - 'to boil'.

The central focus of Greek personal morality on self-control made opsophagia a matter of concern for moralists and satirists in the classical period. The complicated semantics of the word opson and its derivatives made the word a matter of concern for Atticists during the Second Sophistic.

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • opson- — combining form or opsono Etymology: opsonin : opsonin opsonic opsonotherapy opsonophilic …   Useful english dictionary

  • Alimentación en la Antigua Grecia — Kílix, un tipo de copa muy frecuente en la Grecia Antigua, siglo V a. C., Museo Británico …   Wikipedia Español

  • Opsophagos — was an ancient Greek term used to describe one who exhibited a seemingly uncontrollable desire for opson or relishes . The vice of the opsophagos was opsophagia for which the closest English equivalent is gourmandise. However, because… …   Wikipedia

  • ОПСОФАГ — (греч., от opson кушанье, и phago ем). Лакомка, а также любитель овощей. Словарь иностранных слов, вошедших в состав русского языка. Чудинов А.Н., 1910. ОПСОФАГ греч., от opson, кушанье, и phago, ем. Лакомка, а также любитель овощей. Объяснение… …   Словарь иностранных слов русского языка

  • ОПСОМАНИЯ — (греч., opson кушанье, и mania бешенство). Болезненная страсть к лакомствам в вообще к еде. Словарь иностранных слов, вошедших в состав русского языка. Чудинов А.Н., 1910. ОПСОМАНИЯ греч., от opson, кушанье, и mania, бешенство. Помешательство на… …   Словарь иностранных слов русского языка

  • opsonine — [ ɔpsɔnin ] n. f. • 1904; du gr. opson « aliment » ♦ Biochim., physiol. Protéine soluble et thermostable du sang, qui se fixe sur les bactéries et en facilite la phagocytose. Adj. OPSONIQUE . Indice opsonique du sérum sanguin. ● opsonine nom… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • opsonique — opsonine [ ɔpsɔnin ] n. f. • 1904; du gr. opson « aliment » ♦ Biochim., physiol. Protéine soluble et thermostable du sang, qui se fixe sur les bactéries et en facilite la phagocytose. Adj. OPSONIQUE . Indice opsonique du sérum sanguin. opsonique… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Opsonin — Op|so|nin [griech. ópson = Fleisch, Speise; ↑ in (3)], das; s, e: veralteter Name für ↑ Fibronectine, deren Anbindung an eingedrungene Bakterien oder Zellen man als Opsonierung bezeichnete. * * * Op|so|nin, das; s, e <meist Pl.> [zu griech …   Universal-Lexikon

  • opsonin — [äp′sə nin] n. [obs. opson(ium), relish (< L < Gr opsōnion, food, provisions < opsōnein, to buy food < opson, meat or any food eaten with bread < o , together with + * psōn, food, bread, akin to psōmos, mouthful) + IN1] a substance …   English World dictionary

  • oligopsony — noun Etymology: olig + Greek opsōnia purchase of victuals, from opsōnein to purchase victuals, from opson food + ōneisthai to buy more at venal Date: 1942 a market situation in which each of a few buyers exerts a disproportionate influence on the …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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