Online Encyclopedia

SYLPH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 283 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SYLPH, an imaginary spirit of the air; according to Paracelsus, the first modern writer who uses the word, an air-elemental, coming between material and immaterial beings. In current usage, the term is applied to a feminine spirit or fairy, and is often used in a figurative sense of a graceful, slender girl or young woman. The form of the word points to a Greek origin, and Aristotle's aLX4ni, a kind of beetle (Hist. anim-. 8. 17. 8), has usually been taken as the source. Similarly, the earthelementals or earth-spirits were in Paracelsus's nomenclature, " gnomes " (Gr. yv& n , intelligence, yzyvwazcety, to know) as being the spirits that gave the secrets of the earth to mortals. Littre, however, takes the word to be Old Celtic, and meaning " genius," and states that it occurs in such forms as sylfi, sylfi, &c., in inscriptions, or latinized as sulevae or suleviae.
End of Article: SYLPH
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SYLLOGISM (Gr. ovAAoytvµos, from en', and Xb-yor, ...
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