It will be best to explain here, at the start, that I do not propose new etymologies for the words εὒξεινος and πόντος. I regard, then, εὒξεινος πόντος as meaning ‘the hospitable way’. My purpose is to show how such a name came to be given to the Black Sea by the Greeks. First, the word πόντος. The familiar explanation connects it with a series of words, of which I give the most important: Gk. πάτος ‘trodden path’; Skt. pάnthā ‘way’, (...) fem. pathyā ‘id.’; Zend paθ ‘id.’; Arm. hun ‘ford, road’; Lat. pons ‘bridge’. Further, as a verb the root appears in Gk. πατεν ‘tread down’ and is given in Walde-Pokorny as *pent- ‘tread, go’: W.-P. points out that the derived nouns mean ‘way’, and particularly a way that goes over or through water, as can be seen from the Armenian and Latin. (shrink)
The use of and roughly ‘to be as naught’, and of the comparable phrases employing nominally, is well known, especially in tragedy, and has been frequently commented upon. None the less I think there is still some misapprehension about the nature of the use, seen in its most acute form where and μη- occur in conjunction. We may think of Soph. Aj. 1231 on which much ink has been spilt.
The construction of ν with the future has been hotly denied as impossible, so far as Attic Greek and indeed post-Homeric Greek generally are concerned. The opponents of the construction have had among their number such scholars as Dawes and Cobet; and of late, it seems, editors of texts generally. The view of Cobet is given on p. 469 of his Miscellanea Critica, with reference to Demosth. 9. 70 πάλαι τις δέως ν σως ρωτήσων κάθηται. Cobet, who has been followed (...) by later editors, altered ρωτήσων to ρωτήσας, commenting ‘ubi semel Constiterit δέως ν ρωτήσω, δέως ν πεύσομα aut simile quid pro ρωτήσαιμι vel πυθοίμην recte dici, turn demum librorum lectioni acquiescemus. quod equidem nunquam futurum esse satis scio.’ This view, which must of course be understood as excepting Homer from its scope, is nothing more than a blank denial of the possibility of the construction. We see more of an argument in Kühner-Gerth , where it is remarked that the construction, frequent in Homer, was later given up because ν with the optative was sufficient to express a future possibility; and that possibly emenders have done right to alter passages in Attic which contain it. This is not expressed with any great certainty. Nevertheless it has become to such an extent the prevailing view among editors that in modern texts it is extremely rare to find the construction allowed to remain. (shrink)
There are in iambic trimeters a number of examples of hiatus where is followed by forms of , mainly in Comedy but also in Tragedy. These are notable because they fall outside the usual range of hiatus in drama, which covers passages with interrogative and , invocatory exclamations such as , and interjections. The use seems to deserve closer attention.
The root *pent-1 has achieved wide distribution in the IE. languages. In the course of its long history considerable modification of meaning has affected it, both as a primary verb and as it appears in derivative nouns, and here I refer particularly to Go. finpan ‘find’ and to Gk. πάτη ‘deceit’. With little ingenuity—against mere ingenuity, of course, the etymologist is bound to be on his guard—it is possible to trace the train of thought that connects the various forms. But (...) though the explanations here offered may well seem obvious, they have not, so far as I am aware, been previously published. The familiar dictionaries of Boisacq, Walde-Hofmann, and Walde-Pokorny do provide attempts at explanation, but these have little power of convincing. (shrink)
It is one of the attractions of Greek syntax that it provides an abundance of usages which require careful discrimination, if we are to appreciate their value; and which at the same time present problems of interpretation which have not been completely solved. This is particularly the case with the use of the negatives, and it is one of these constructions with which we are concerned here.
The following notes are the result of an examination of all the early Epic passages containing λλ which I made for the purposes of the lexicon of Homer and the older Epic now under preparation by the Archiv für griechische Lexikographie at Hamburg. The texts surveyed were Homer, including the Hymns, Hesiod, and the Epic fragments. I also examined Apollonius Rhodius for the purpose of comparison.
In line 1171 of Aeschylus' Agamemnon the MSS. read μ The remainder of the sentence, after μ, is much disputed, but I am not concerned with finding the true reading of it. The whole sentence runs, in the MSS., as follows: κος δ' οδν πρκεσαντ μ πλιν μν σπερ ον χει παθεν: which appears in Thomson's Oresteia as:… πρκεσεν τ μ ok χειν πλιν μν σπερ ον χει. It is the note on this passage in Thomson to which I wish (...) to draw attention. It is from Headlam, and says, in justification of reading μ οκ, that in such phrases the scribes, finding μο, constantly omitted ο as περιττν. It adds that ο should always be restored, at any rate where there is any trace of it. (shrink)
Aristotle, in chapter 22 of the Poetics , has some remarks on poetic diction. He lays it down that, while poetry should be clear in meaning, it should avoid meanness of expression, σεμν δ κα ξαλλττουσα τò διωτικòν τος ξενικος κεχρημνη—it becomes dignified and elevated above the commonplace when it employs unusual words; ξενικòν δ λγω γλτταν κα μεταφορν κα πκτασιν κα πν τò παρ τò κριον—and examples of unusual words are rare words, metaphors, lengthened forms, and everything that differs (...) from normal speech. He then gives specimens of poetry, to show how the poetic effect can be spoilt by the substitution of τ κρια for τ ξενικ, and of these the two that follow are taken from the Odyssey. The first is Od. 9. 515. (shrink)
Etymology, especially that of an ancient language like Greek, is not as a rule a field in which one expects to get conclusive demonstration; and between rival explanations one is often provided with a choice which cannot be made with much confidence. But despite this I think that I should reply to the article by W. S. Allen on ‘The Name of the Black Sea in Greek’ , pp. 86–8), which has raised again the question dealt with in my article (...) ‘The Name of the Euxine Pontus’ , pp. 123–8). This is not so much because I do not feel satisfied with Allen's explanation , as because this particular etymology has considerable historical, in addition to linguistic, interest. (shrink)
The question of the source of the pronominal forms , and of the later fully declined forms, presents an unusual situation. It seems clear from earlier work that we should not look for the answer outside Greek, nor probably even outside colloquial Attic Greek of the fifth century. These are strong advantages, but despite them one cannot have much confidence in the solutions so far provided, and there is room for a fresh approach. In addition to this, the usage of (...) the forms does not seem to have been explained satisfactorily, and I shall attempt to clarify it. (shrink)