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Well, this word πῦρ is probably foreign; for it is difficult to connect it with the Greek language, and besides, the Phrygians have the same word, only slightly altered. The same is the case with ὕδωρ (water), κύων (dog), and many other words.

Yes, that is true.

So we must not propose forced explanations of these words, though something might be said about them. I therefore set aside πῦρ and ὕδωρ in this way. [410b] But is air called ἀήρ because it raises (αἴρει) things from the earth, or because it is always flowing (ἀεὶ ῥεῖ), or because wind arises from its flow? The poets call the winds ἀήτας, “blasts.” Perhaps the poet means to say “air-flow” (ἀητόρρουν), as he might say “wind-flow” (πνευματόρρουν). The word αἴθηρ (ether) I understand in this way: because it always runs and flows about the air (ἀεὶ θεῖ περὶ τὸν ἀέρα ῥέον), it may properly be called ἀειθεήρα. The word γῆ (earth) shows the meaning better [410c] in the form γαῖα; for γαῖα is a correct word for “mother,” as Homer says, for he uses γεγάασιν to mean γεγενῆσθαι (be born). Well, now what came next?

The seasons, Socrates, and the two words for year.

The word ὧραι (seasons) should be pronounced in the old Attic fashion, ὅραι, if you wish to know the probable meaning; ΗΟΡΑΙ exist to divide winters and summers and winds and the fruits of the earth; and since they divide (ὁρίζουσι), they would rightly be called ὅραι. [410d] The two words for year, ἐνιαυτός and ἔτος, are really one. For that which brings to light within itself the plants and animals, each in its turn, and examines them, is called by some ἐνιαυτός, because of its activity within itself (ἐν ἑαυτῷ), and by others ἔτος, because it examines (ἐτάζει), just as we saw before that the name of Zeus was divided and some said Δία and others Ζῆνα. The whole phrase is “that which examines within itself” (τὸ ἐν ἁυτῷ ἐτάζον), and this one phrase is divided in speech so that the two words ἐνιαυτός and ἔτος [410e] are formed from one phrase.

Truly, Socrates, you are going ahead at a great rate.

Yes, I fancy I am already far along on the road of wisdom.

I am sure you are.

You will be surer presently.

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