From: Rod Decker (
Date: Tue Jan 07 1997 - 10:29:47 EST

Re. my query yesterday re. SKUTOBRACION, there was only one response (from
Carl). Following the lead there, I contacted Jeff Rusten at Cornell.
Excerpts from several msgs. that we exchanged follow (with his permission).

>Wessengruber probably got his information from some classical handbook or
>other, since it's often said in handbooks that Skytobrachion "leather arm"
>means that he wrote tirelessly: they are probably thinking of another
>nickname for an Alexandrian, Didymos "Copper Guts" (Chalcenteros), who WAS
>a grammarian and wrote MANY books: The thing is 1) Dionysius Scytobrachion
>was NOT a grammarian, and 2) did NOT write so many books. None of the
>ancient sources for his name (I listed them on p. 91 of my book) gives a
>reason for the nickname.
>Jeffrey Rusten
> Dept. of Classics

>Yes, that's fine to post--but you might make it clear that the detailed
>arguments about his identity (he IS sometimes confused with grammarians)
>are in my book.

The book to which Jeff refers is (I believe): Jeffrey S. Rusten, _Dionysius
Scytobrachion_ (Papyrologica coloniensia X, 1982). He also wrote the
article on D.S. in the most recent _Oxford Classical Dictionary_ (s.v.).

To relate this to the recent discussion re. the value of etymology, it
might be noted that it has probably been reliance on etymology
(Skytobrachion = "leather arm") that has misled many writers, suggesting to
them a conclusion on that basis that cannot be substantiated from (and
appears to be contradicted by) the available evidence.


 Rodney J. Decker, Asst. Prof./NT Baptist Bible Seminary Clarks Summit, PA

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