Book 2 (Β)
Commentary on line 2
There is a slight inconsistency between this line and 1.611, which it has been proposed to avoid by taking ἔχε to mean did not keep hold all night long; i.e. Zeus awoke after going to sleep. But ἔχε implies only the presence of sleep (cf. 23.815), and this pregnant sense cannot be read into it in the absence of fuller expression. After all sleep and pass the night are interchangeable expressions in 1.611, cf. the use of ἰαύειν (note on 9.325). It is better either to assume that 1.609-11 are of the nature of a movable tag (see the note there), or to admit such a small inconsistency as would hardly be noticed at a point which forms a natural break in the narrative. 10.1-4 follows 9.713 in precisely the same manner, but the contradiction there is insignificant (see note), and in any case proves nothing, in view of the doubts as to the position of K in the original poem. For h(/dumos MSS. give νήδυμος, a word which has never been satisfactorily explained, and no doubt arose, as Buttmann saw, from the adhesion of the ν which, in seven cases out of the twelve where it occurs, ends the preceding word; a phenomenon which may be paralleled in English, e.g. a nickname for an ekename, nuncle from mine uncle (tante from ta ante), a newt for an ewt (other instances in Skeat's Dictionary under N, and Wordsworth J. P. v. 95. So in mod. Greek ὁ νάνδρας from τὸν ἄνδρα). ἥδυμος itself was in use as a poetical word in much later times; the scholia quote Simonides and Antimachos as employing it, and Hesiod , Epicharmos, and Alkman are attested by others. It is also in the Hymns, Merc. 241, 449; xix. 16. MS. evidence for it will be found (for what it is worth) also in Od. 4.793, Od. 12.311. It is used by Ap. Rhod. (ii. 407), and Ἅδυμος occurs as a proper name in an inscr. from Phthiotis (Collitz 1470). Ar. read νήδυμος, it may be presumed, because of the hiatus in 16.454, Od. 12.366, Od. 13.79; of course he could not know that fήδυμος began with f. There is no independent evidence for the form νήδυμος, except Hymn. Ven. 172. For the form ἥδυμος by ἡδύς cf. κάλλιμος by καλός, φαίδιμος by φαιδρός (van L. Ench.p. 162 n.), and numerous cases of adjectives formed from other adjectives by secondary suffixes without apparent differences of meaning, φαιδιμόεις, θηλύτερος, etc. etc.