ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

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bcrowell
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ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by bcrowell »

Homer occasionally uses these two verbs, meaning "to rise, surface" and "to be on." Some manuscripts spell the first one as ἐνήνοθε. Cunliffe says:
ἀνήνοθε [3 sing., in the first passage of a plupf. (with secondary person-ending), in the second of a pf., fr. ἀνεθ- + ἀνθ-, ἄνθος. (Cf. ἐνήνοθε)]. (ἐπ-.) To come to the surface, come forth: αἷμ’ ἀ. Λ266.-- To rise up, spread upwards: κνίση ἀ. ρ270.
Project Perseus seems to show some confusion or uncertainty, tagging the same form with different part-of-speech tags on different occasions.

Beekes says these are from Doric ἐνθεῖν, to come, go. I guess it's only a coincidence that the dictionary form looks similar to the ablative -θεν. He pooh-poohs Cunliffe's connection to ἄνθος. There is a Doric subjunctive ἔνθω for the verb ἦλθον/ἔρχομαι, but Beekes has the following technical note which, although I don't understand the details, seems to be saying this isn't so:
Since ἐνθεῖν is widespread in Doric, it is. not from ἐλθεῖν (with a limited
dialectal development λτ > ντ).
Is there actually anything mysterious or confusing here, or is this basically just a pretty regular perfect form, for a verb that only survived in one fossilized inflection?
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by Hylander »

There are various explanations for this obscure and strange verb, none of them particularly convincing. It crops up in a variety of contexts that don't seem to have much relation to one another. It was part of the epic language, but it's not clear that "Homer" himself had a clear idea of its meaning.
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by bcrowell »

Hylander wrote: Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:45 pm There are various explanations for this obscure and strange verb, none of them particularly convincing. It crops up in a variety of contexts that don't seem to have much relation to one another. It was part of the epic language, but it's not clear that "Homer" himself had a clear idea of its meaning.
Thanks for your reply, Bill. What do you see as unconvincing about Beekes' explanation? What do you see as strange about the verb? What makes you think that the Homeric poet(s) "didn't have a clear idea of its meaning?"
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by jeidsath »

Looking through the few existing uses of the word and its compounds, the poets seem to have a concrete idea about it, imo. To me it suggests a base meaning of "thicken" with maybe a derived meaning of "adhere".

Notice the strengthened poetic image that this gives versus other suggestions, especially "thickly oiled gods", and the place-defining odor and sounds of the feast. "Cover" or "lay" is comparatively anemic. I don't think "cover" is the root word, but mostly comes in (in my view) by way of the prepositions used.

This would also explain the perfect.

Il.
2.219: ψεδνὴ δ’ ἐπενήνοθε λάχνη and his stubbly fuzz thick upon
10.134: οὔλη δ’ ἐπενήνοθε λάχνη and the fleecy wool thick upon
11.266: ὄφρά οἱ αἷμ’ ἔτι θερμὸν ἀνήνοθεν ἐξ ὠτειλῆς [short-α privative? not yet congealed; otherwise thickly adhering to him, thickly gushing?]

Od.
8.365
ἔνθα δέ μιν Χάριτες λοῦσαν καὶ χρῖσαν ἐλαίῳ,
ἀμβρότῳ, οἷα θεοὺς ἐπενήνοθεν αἰὲν ἐόντας, which is thick upon the immortal gods
ἀμφὶ δὲ εἵματα ἕσσαν ἐπήρατα, θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι.

17.270
γινώσκω δ’, ὅτι πολλοὶ ἐν αὐτῷ δαῖτα τίθενται
ἄνδρες, ἐπεὶ κνίση μὲν ἐνήνοθεν, ἐν δέ τε φόρμιγξ since the odor of fat is thick, and the phorminx plays throughout
ἠπύει, ἣν ἄρα δαιτὶ θεοὶ ποίησαν ἑταίρην.”

HH In Cererem.279
ξανθαὶ δὲ κόμαι κατενήνοθεν ὤμους golden hair thick against the shoulders

HH In Venerem.62
ἔνθα δέ μιν Χάριτες λοῦσαν καὶ χρῖσαν ἐλαίῳ
ἀμβρότῳ, οἷα θεοὺς ἐπενήνοθεν αἰὲν ἐόντας, [as above]
ἀμβροσίῳ ἑδανῷ, τό ῥά οἱ τεθυωμένον ἦεν.

Hesiod Scutum.269
πολλὴ δὲ κόνις κατενήνοθεν ὤμους much dirt thick against the shoulders
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by bcrowell »

That's interesting, Joel, thanks for taking the time to write in such detail.

I guess the question is whether the underlying notion is "be on" / "be on a surface" as claimed by Beekes and Cunliffe, or something else, like "thick," as you suggest. Or are you thinking that "be on" is the basic notion, but it's intensified? If the intensified meaning wasn't what was intended, would there be some simpler or more common word to express the same thing?
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

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The form is strange. It looks like a perfect with both reduplication and augment (pluperfect would end in -ει), but what's the underlying root? Just a single form for this verb. How does ἀνήνοθεν relate to the conjugation. (Alpha privative is usually added to adjectives.) Chantraine declines to explain these forms. Grammaire homérique I 423: Quelques formes semblent particulièrement difficiles à analyser; on renonce à rendre compte du groupe suivant: ἀνήνοθεν etc.

Beekes' explanation from ἐνθειν : where did -ο- come from? A Doric form in Homer? And how does he explain the various uses of this verb?

Blood, hair/beard, wool, ambrosial oil, dust, odor -- Joel's explanation as "thicken" or "lie thick" is plausible.

I don't think there's an etymology. I think there are some words in "Homer's" inherited language that "he" did not fully understand, like perhaps οἶνοψ or ἑδανῷ in the passages Joel cited from the Od. and Homeric hymn (traditionally glossed as "sweet"), which have never been explained in a wholly satisfying way.
Last edited by Hylander on Tue Oct 25, 2022 6:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by Hylander »

But at Il. 2.219, Thersites' λάχνη is not thick, but just the opposite, ψεδνή, "sparse" or "thin." Maybe the idea of "spreading/spread" could encompass all these instances, but that's just a guess.
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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by jeidsath »

Yeah, 2.219 is the odd(est) one out. My best fudge was "stubbly fuzz", with the but that line is primarily what made me suggest "adhere". I think that some of the problem with the word is that 2.219 is what everyone thinks of first, because of location and because it is the famous Thersites scene.

Of course, ψεδνή itself is pretty much defined by this scene, and the Hellenistic usage and our lexicon entries seem to be based on it. It means "scanty" here, because that's what we assume it means here. The earliest lexical source seems to be:
ψεδνός· παρὰ τὸ ψῶ, οὗ μέλλων ψήσω, ῥηματικὸν ὄνομα ψεδνός, ὁ μαδαρός· παρὰ τὸ ἀπεψῆσθαι. οὕτω Φιλόξενος.
Interesting, however, that ψεδνή in the earliest usage all describes hair, not pates. Someone who has time could look up the two other early (I think) LSJ sources for it and quote them here? "χαῖται AP9.430 (Crin.); κόμαι Aret.SD2.13"
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by mwh »

Philoxenos’ claim to fame is that he derived everything from monosyllabic verbs. So his etymologies are philologically worthless.

There’s no telling just what these words meant for Homer and his audiences. It’s probably wrong to think they meant something definite and recoverable. Homer knew how to use them, more or less, that’s all.

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Re: ἀνήνοθε, ἐπενήνοθε

Post by jeidsath »

That was my point about ψεδνή. Our "scanty" isn't based on much. Though the D-scholia might be his source for "μαδαρός". 2.219 does not tell us much on its own.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

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