A parallel for the meaning of lat. emere (nearly = buy) is given by gr. λαμβάνω, which moves from ‘take’ to buy. The origin of this semantic value, neglected by scholars, seems to go up again to the business vocabulary of the barter. The article examines the historical and linguistic origin of this semantic value, offering, for the first time, a discussion of a large number of literary passages from tragedy, comedy, and prose.
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