** στοιχεῖον**, τό:

** I**) in a form of sun-dial,

**the shadow of the gnomon, the length of which in feet indicated the time of day**, ὅταν ᾖ δεκάπουν τὸ σ. when the

**shadow** is ten feet long, [

Refs 5th c.BC+], see [

Refs 4th c.BC+]

** II**)

**element**,

** II.1**) a

**simple sound** of speech, as the

**first component** of the syllable, [

Refs 5th c.BC+]; τὸ ῥῶ τὸ σ[

Refs 4th c.BC+] —στοιχεῖα therefore, strictly, were different from

**letters** (γράμματα), [

Refs 2nd c.BC+], but are frequently not clearly distinguished from them, as by [

Refs 5th c.BC+]; σ. ε ¯

**letter** ε (in a filing-system), [

Refs 2nd c.AD+]; ἀκουόμενα σ.

**letters** which are pronounced, [

Refs 2nd c.AD+]; γράμματα and ς. are expressly identified by [

Refs 2nd c.BC+]; the ς. and its name are confused by [

Refs 2nd c.BC+] — κατὰ στοιχεῖον

**in the order of the letters, alphabetically,** [

Refs 1st c.AD+]

** II.2**) in Physics, στοιχεῖα were the

**components into which matter is ultimately divisible, elements**, reduced to four by Empedocles, who called them ῥιζὤματα, the word στοιχεῖα being first used (

*accusative* to [

Refs 5th c.BC+], τὰ πρῶτα οἱονπερεὶ σ, ἐξ ὧν ἡμεῖς τε συγκείμεθα καὶ τἄλλα [

Refs]; τὰ τῶν πάντων σ. [

Refs 4th c.BC+]; ἄτομα σ. [

Refs 4th c.BC+]; equivalent to ἀρχαί, Thales cited in [

Refs 6th c.BC+] also distinguishes ς. from ἀρχή as less comprehensive, [

Refs]; τὰ σ. ὕλη τῆς οὐσίας [

Refs]; τρία τὰ σ. [

Refs]; distinguished from ἀρχή on other grounds by [

Refs]; ς. used in three senses by Chrysipp, [

Refs]; in Medicine, [

Refs 2nd c.AD+]; ἀνηλεὲς σ, of the sea, [

Refs 2nd c.AD+]; τὸ σ, of the sea, [

Refs 1st c.AD+]; ἄμφω τὰ σ, i.e. land and sea,[

Refs 2nd c.AD+]

** II.3**) the

**elements of proof**, e.g. in general reasoning the πρῶτοι συλλογισμοί, [

Refs 4th c.BC+]; in Geometry, the propositions whose proof is involved in the proof of other propositions,[

Refs]; title of geometrical works by Hippocrates of Chios, Leon, Theudios, and Euclid, [

Refs 5th c.AD+]: hence applied to whatever is one, small, and capable of many uses, [

Refs 4th c.BC+]; to whatever is most universal, e.g. the unit and the point,[

Refs]; the line and the circle, [

Refs]; τὸ νόμισμα σ. καὶ πέρας τῆς ἀλλαγῆς coin is the

**unit. **of exchange, [

Refs]; in Grammar, σ. τῆς λέξεως

**parts** of speech, [

Refs 1st c.BC+]; but also, the

**letters** composing a word, [

Refs 2nd c.AD+];

**letters** of the alphabet, [

Refs 4th c.BC+]; σ. τοῦ λόγου the

**elements** of speech,

*i.e. * **words**, or the

**kinds of words, parts** of speech, [

Refs 4th c.BC+]

** II.4**) generally,

**elementary** or

**fundamental principle**, ἀρξάμενοι ἀπὸ τῶν σ. [

Refs 5th c.BC+]; τὸ πολλάκις εἰρημένον μέγιστον σ. [

Refs 4th c.BC+]

** II.5**) ἄστρων στοιχεῖα the

**stars**, [

NT+4th c.AD+]; especially

**planets**, στοιχείῳ Διός [

Refs 1st c.AD+]; so perhaps in [

NT]; especially a

**sign of the Zodiac**, [

Refs 3rd c.AD+]; of the Great Bear, [

Refs]

** II.6**) σ. ={ἀριθμός}, as

*etymology* of Στοιχαδεύς, Scholia 2nd c.BC: Dionysius Thrax Grammaticus p.192 H.