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).
According to Pausanias (VI 22, 8-11), Artemis was worshipped in Elis with, among others, the epithets Ἀλφιαία (Letrinoi) and Ἐλαφιαία: the former would be based on the river name Ἀλφε(ι)ός/Ἀλφιός, the latter on ἔλαφος ‘deer’. Some formal variants of both epithets are transmitted by other sources, namely Ἐλαφία, Ἀλφειονία, Ἀλφειοῦσα (Strab.), Ἀλφειῶσα (Athen.), Ἀλφειώα (Schol. in Pind.). Nevertheless, the ‘etymological’ explanation given by Pausanias basically holds true. This allows for the reconstruction of two groups of epithets, which often leave open more than one possibility as to their morphological analysis: on the one hand, the close relationship of Artemis with the deers accounts for Ἐλαφία, Ἐλαφιαία, on the other hand that with Alpheus, who, according to a secondary tradition reported by Pausanias, tried to rape the goddess instead of Arethusa, accounts for Ἀλφιαία, Ἀλφειονία, Ἀλφειοῦσα (and Ἀλφειῶσα, as well as for Ἀλφειώα, which, however, is most probably to be kept apart from the two previous forms).
In the island of Anafi, belonging to the Cyclades, are attested two epithets of Apollo, Αἰγλήτης and Ἀσγελάτας. In this paper, I argue that these two terms are indipendent from each other in both meaning and etymology. It is likely that they represent two different cults of Apollo which developed in the island during the archaic period. Over time the cults lose their distinctive features and the formal similarity of the words leads to the overlapping of the two epithets.
Apollodorus’ interpretation of Hermes’ epithets ἀκάκητα, σῶκος and ἐριούνιος, from his theological treatise Περὶ θεῶν, can be reconstructed comparing the most important (and chronological near) witnesses of the work, the Homeric lexicon by Apollonius the Sophist (I sec. AD?), Cornutus’ allegorical manual (I sec. AD) and the Homeric allegories by Eraclitus (I-II AD). Apollonius’ lexicon is fundamental, inasmuch its author is not interested in altering Apollodorus’ interpretations. According to this reconstruction, Apollodorus intented ἐριούνιος as the «helpful» (from ὀνίνημι), σῶκος as the «strong» (from the Attic verb σωκέω, «to have the strength») – in this case Cornutus is useful to integrate Apollonius’ text – ἀκάκητα as the «giver of no evil» (perfectly complementary of the Homeric epithet δώτωρ ἐάων, «giver of goods»). These epithets reflect the highly positive nature of the god, seen by Apollodorus as the «reason» (λόγος). F. 5 Bernabé from the poem Phoronis, quoted in Et.M. s.v. ἐριούνιος, probably is mediated through Apollodorus’ Περὶ θεῶν (Appendix).
The paper deals with the interpretation of Hera’s epithet Θελξίνη (Magna Graecia, 4th cent. B.C.), which is probably connected with θέλγω ‘enchant’, ‘bewitch’, ‘beguile’. Most of the phraseological collocations of this verb are reflected by τερψίμβροτος-compounds with first component θελξι°: these are frequently attributed, as mythological names or divine epithets, to supernatural figures provided with a beguiling function (Muses, Sirens, Erotes, Aphrodite, Apollon, Dionysos). In ancient literary sources, Hera is described as a wrathful deity and a deceiver who often makes her enemies mad. Thus, Θελξίνη and the lexicographically attested form Θελξινία could join this system – at least synchronically reinterpreted as Kurzformen of a θελξι°-compound.
This paper argues that ἐλασιβρόντας, a Pindaric epithet of Zeus, has to be interpreted as ‘guiding the thunder’. The examination of Greek phraseological material points out that a horse-riding metaphor may underlie the compound. Furthermore, Pindar knows the tradition according to which Pegasos dwells on Olympos. Eventually, on the basis of the comparative analysis, ἐλασιβρόντας turns out to be an Ersatzkontinuante for the collocation [SET IN MOTION] – [NOISE/THUNDER], expressed in Greek and Vedic by means of IE *h3er- ‘to set in motion’, cf. ὀρσίκτυπος (Pind.), sva¯nó arta (RV).
This paper suggests a comparative perspective on the interpretation of Athena Ἀξιόποινος (Paus. III 15, 6) as ‘who gives/has appropriate reparation’. In particular, the common features shared by the Anatolian goddess Maliya (= Gk. Athena) and A. Ἀξιόποινος will be discussed.
The Homeric aorist infinitives in -έειν do not arise from a linguistic choice of an Ionian singer, but from his poetic performance; their origin is the ‘distension’ in two syllables of the Ionic ending -εῖν, possibly caused by the circumflex accent. In this perspective the aorist infinitives in -έειν are a specific case of the Homeric diektasis.
This paper analyses a Greek funerary epigram from Laodicea (SGO 14/06/12) which shows the introduction of evident Christian elements within a classical background. The short inscription is characterized by a traditional epic and epigrammatic language and other expressions derived from Christianity, such as the name of Christ, the reference to the ecclesiastical role of a character, and above all to the resurrection, leading, thus, to a new temporary function of the tomb, which protects the body of the deceased only until his return to life.
The aim of this paper is to provide some new elements to understand why in Vergil’s Fabula Aristaei (Georg. IV 315-558) we are told the never before coupled myths of Aristaeus and Orpheus, which have the task to explain the aition of bougonia. One key element could be the ancient mythical (i.e. Greek) and linguistic (i.e. Aeagean-Canaanite) homology by which we are shown that the *bee and the *nymph were paired, actually being the same creature (νύμφη-μέλισσα = the honey-making bee) that only later split into two different features. Given that, Aristaeus and Orpheus would be connected by the very object of their loss (the bees and the nymph Eurydike), but they also undergo a mutual symbolic exchange: Aristaeus comes very closer to be and act like an Orphic initiate, whereas Orpheus changes himself into a bee. Many references to Demeter’s and Dionysus’s mysteries are also involved.