ἐλελίζω, ἐλελίζομαι

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bcrowell
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ἐλελίζω, ἐλελίζομαι

Post by bcrowell »

I'm trying to puzzle out the Homeric meaning or meanings of ἐλελίζω.

Iliad 1.530: ... μέγαν δ ̓ ἐλέλιξεν Ὄλυμπον

Iliad 2.316: τὴν δ’ ἐλελιξάμενος πτέρυγος λάβεν ἀμφιαχυῖαν.

Iliad 6.107-109: Ἀργεῖοι δ ̓ ὑπεχώρησαν, λῆξαν δὲ φόνοιο,
φὰν δέ τιν ̓ ἀθανάτων ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος
Τρωσὶν ἀλεξήσοντα κατελθέμεν, ὡς ἐλέλιχθεν.

Iliad 11.38-40: τῆς δ’ ἐξ ἀργύρεος τελαμὼν ἦν· αὐτὰρ ἐπ’ αὐτοῦ
κυάνεος ἐλέλικτο δράκων, κεφαλαὶ δέ οἱ ἦσαν
τρεῖς ἀμφιστρεφέες ἑνὸς αὐχένος ἐκπεφυυῖαι. 40

Iliad 17.278-280: μάλα γάρ σφεας ὦκ’ ἐλέλιξεν
Αἴας, ὃς περὶ μὲν εἶδος, περὶ δ’ ἔργα τέτυκτο
τῶν ἄλλων Δαναῶν μετ’ ἀμύμονα Πηλεΐωνα.

Cunliffe (see Α530, Β316, Ζ109, Λ39, and Ρ278): "ἐλελίζω. 3 sing. aor. ἐλέλιξε Α530, Θ199. 3 sing. aor.
pass. ἐλελίχθη Χ448. 3 sing. plupf. ἐλέλικτο Ν558.
To shake, cause to tremble Α530, Θ199.--In pass., to
shake, quiver, tremble: ἔγχος ἐλέλικτο Ν558. Cf.
Χ448.--For ἐλέλιξε Ρ278: ε314; ἐλελιξάμενος Β316;
ἐλελίχθη μ416, ξ306; ἐλελίχθησαν Ε497, Ζ106, Λ214,
Ρ343; ἐλέλιχθεν Ζ109; ἐλελιχθέντες Λ588; ἐλέλικτο
Λ39, see ἑλίσσω."

CGL has this verb as two separate head-words with different etymologies, the second one being "utter a war whoop," but they only have this as a usage in Xenophon, i.e., they seem to agree with Cunliffe as far as the Homeric usage. (They also give some related senses that I don't think are relevant here, used by Sappho and Callimachus.)

Wiktionary seems to have copied LSJ, which has:
(1) active: whirl around, turn around; passive: move in coils (Iliad 2.316);
(2) rally an army, cause it to turn (Iliad 17.278);
(3) cause to vibrate (Iliad 1.530).
WP: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E1%BC%9 ... E%B6%CF%89
LSJ: https://logeion.uchicago.edu/%E1%BC%90% ... E%B6%CF%89

Buckley's translation of 6.109 has "rally," but it seems ambiguous, because the subject of the verb could be either the Trojans (as Buckley reads it) or the Greeks (per Cunliffe).

Beekes agrees with CGL that there are two etymologically separate words that have been merged, and he seems to disagree with Cunliffe re 11.39.

The lack of agreement seems surprising for a word that is used quite a few times in Homer and also appears in several other authors.

Is there anything more that can be said about this?
Ben Crowell, Fullerton, California
an innovative, free, and open-source presentation of Homer: https://bcrowell.github.io/ransom/

mwh
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Re: ἐλελίζω, ἐλελίζομαι

Post by mwh »

It’s onomatopoeic. Cf. αλαλαζω and cognates; also ολολυζω etc.

cb
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Re: ἐλελίζω, ἐλελίζομαι

Post by cb »

Hi, I think the sources you cite give a pretty good picture already. Chantraine in his etymological dictionary (page 334) and grammar (vol. 1 page 132) rounds this out.

Basically, there was a contamination of parts between the two verbs ἐλελίζω and ἐλίσσω in the aorist and pluperfect, and the confusion spread into the present part. It's therefore impossible to tell definitively whether the meaning of the verb in e.g. 13.558 traces back to the core meaning of one or the other of the two verbs (although Chantraine says in a footnote in his grammar in vol. 1 p. 132 that it most likely means il a fait tournoyer here, as the digamma would support the heavy position in the second foot):

σειόμενον ἐλέλικτο· τιτύσκετο δὲ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν

The confusion of parts goes way back: Chaintraine says in his etymological dictionary that: Il est probable que les deux thèmes ont été mis en contact de bonne heure et que la graphie ἐλελίχθην, etc., au sens de 'retourner', a pénétré dans les formules homériques bien avant la fixation du poème...

Cheers, Chad

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