κατάγοντο. The use of this word suggests that the ancients regarded the sea not as a level, but as sloping down to the shore, as of course it appears to the eye. Virgil seems to have had the same thought in his mind in the line ( Aen.5. 212) ‘prona petit maria et pelago decurrit aperto.’ἐίσης. This epithet is used of “ναῦς, δαίς”, and “φρένες”, and of a shield in the phrase “ἀσπὶς πάντοσ᾽ ἐίση” Il.3. 347.The sense of ‘equal’ seems to satisfy all the usages; ‘the fairly-portioned feast,’ ‘the fairly-balanced mind,’ which last expression when applied to a ship would mean, ‘trimmed,’ ‘balanced,’ as Coleridge ( Marin. ) ‘steady with upright keel.’ The Schol. prefers to render it here by “ἰσόπλευρος”, which comes nearer to “ἀσπὶς πάντοσ᾽ ἐίση”, and which would apply to the regularity of the ship's ‘lines’ or curves. The original form of the adjective is “ϝισϝος”, Skt. viSu, ‘equally.’ The prosthetic “ε” is thus a representative of the lost initial digamma. Ahrens prefers to connect “ἐίση” in all its usages with the stem “εικ”, and assign to it the meaning of ‘suitable’ or ‘good.’ The form “ἐίση”, on this theory, will be referred to the feminine, from a possible masculine “ἐίξ”, analogous to “ἀμφιέλισσα”, which is referred to a form “ἀμφιέλιξ”. The feminine form, however, should properly be “ἔισσα^” and not “ἐίση”.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.