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Ἐπιρνύτιος · Ζεὺς ἐν Κρήτῃ

digital Ἐπιρνύτιος · Ζεὺς ἐν Κρήτῃ
Articolo
rivista AEVUM ANTIQUUM
fascicolo AEVUM ANTIQUUM - 2014 - 14
titolo Ἐπιρνύτιος · Ζεὺς ἐν Κρήτῃ
autore
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 23-11-2016
issn 1121-8932 (stampa) | 1827-7861 (digitale)
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The obscure epithet Ἐπιρνύτιος· Ζεὺς ἐν Κρήτῃ (Hesychius), to be analysed as Ἐπι-ρνύτιος (as proposed by Martín S. Ruipérez) conceals [epırnutios], i.e. an old compound with ἐπι°, the second member of which is an onomastic derivative of °ρνυ- (*°Hr-nu-), which may be traced back to *°h3r-nu- (ὄρνυ-) or to *°h1r-nu- (ἔρετο· ὡρμήθη). The meaning of Ἐπιρνύτιος can only be elucidated in the light of the collocations including Zeus and the two verbs which may underlay °ρνυ-, namely ἐπ-ορνυ- ‘to rise up’ and ἔφ-oρμάο/ε- ‘to start’ (a denominative of ὁρμή, cf. ἔρετο· ἐφωρμήθη). The collocations which evoke characteristic peculiarities or activities of Zeus in the Greek Epic make possible to understand Ἐπιρνύτιος as (1) ‘the one who stirs up/starts rivalry’ (: ὃς ἔριν/πόλεμον ἐπόρνυσι/ἐπῶρσε :: ὃς ἔριν/πόλεμον (ἐφ)ορμᾷ/(ἐφ)ώρμησε), and/or (2) ‘the one who stirs wind(s) up’ (: ὃς ἄνεμον ἐπόρνυσι/ἐπῶρσε) and/or (3) ‘the one who rouses the eagle on’ (scil. Prometheus (: ὃς αἰετὸν ἐπόρνυσι/ἐπῶρσε, cf. Hsd. Th. 524 ἐπ᾿ αἰετὸν ὦρσε). All of them are characteristics of Zeus, only (3) is specific. On the other hand, an interpretation of Ἐπιρνύτιος as ‘the one who (like an eagle) rushes upon’, i.e. as the hypostasis of an intransitive [ὃς ἐφορμᾶται], actually attested in Homer, or *[ὃς ἐπόρνυται/ πῶρτο] finds support in the current association of Zeus and the eagle, his bird and symbol, with which he shares common epithets and peculiarities: once Zeus is identified with the eagle, he can share with it the activity of rushing upon humans or other victims. Accordingly the most plausible interpretation of the Cretan Zeus Ἐπιρνύτιος turns out to be a twofold one, namely ‘the one who rouses the eagle on’ (scil. Prometheus) ans ‘the one who rushes upon’ (scil. Ganymedes).

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