Commentary on the Odyssey (1886)

Commentary on the Odyssey (1886)
By W. Walter Merry
Oxford Clarendon Press 1886-1901

Perseus Documents Collection Table of Contents

Book 1 (α)

Book 2 (β)

Book 3 (γ)

Book 4 (δ)

Book 5 (ε)

Book 6 (ζ)

Book 7 (η)

Book 8 (θ)

Book 9 (ι)

Book 10 (κ)

Book 11 (λ)

Book 12 (μ)

Book 13 (ν)

Book 14 (ξ)

Book 15 (ο)

Book 16 (π)

Book 17 (ρ)

Book 18 (ς)

Book 19 (τ)

Book 20 (υ)

Book 21 (φ)

Book 22 (χ)

Book 23 (ψ)

Book 24 (ω)

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Book 16

Book 16 (π)

The scene changes again, but without a sensible break in the narrative. The transition is made by means of the movements of Telemachus, whom we follow from the landing place, where he parted from his companions, to the hut of Eumaeus. A further link is formed by the mention of dawn (l. 2), which takes us back to the coming of dawn mentioned in 15. 495.

Commentary on line 2

a)/riston a(/m' h)oi=. There may be an intentional play of language here; the original doubtless was ἀfέριστον ἅμ' ἀfόϊ. The stem ἀfερ-, older auser (see in ἦρι, ἠέριος at dawn, αὔριον to-morrow, Lat. aurra) is a parallel form to ἀfοσ-, older ausos, dawn. We may conjecture that ἀfέριστον came from ἀfερ- through a verb ἀfερίζω to take a morning (meal). The suffix -το- is regularly used of time or season; so in δείπνηστος, δόρπηστος, βουλῡτός the time of unyoking, ἄροτος plough-time, ἄμητος reaping, τρυγητός vintage. Note that δείπν-ηστος may be a compound; the second part containing the root ἐδ- to eat (lengthened under the general rule as to compounds whose second part begins with a vowel, H. G. 125, 8). So δόρπ-ηστος: but not ἀfέριστον, which is properly ὥρα τοῦ ἀfερίζειν. For ἀfερίζω to breakfast, cp. δειελιάω to sup (17. 599). Similarly θερίζω to do summer-work, i.e. to reap, ὀπωρίζω to gather in fruit: also ἐαρίζω to blossom, ὀρθρίζω to rise early (Luke xxi. 38). See Curt. Stud. 11. 175.