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AITHOUSA

AITHOUSA (αἴθουσα), the open portico, or verandah, of the Homeric house, so called ἀπὸ τοῦ ἡλίψ αἴθεσθαι, the bright sun-lit verandah being opposed to the semi-twilight of the interior. The Homeric house contained two such verandahs--one, the αἴθουσα αὐλῆς, on each side of the courtyard gate (cf. Il. 9.472, Od. 21.389, 390); the other, which may be called the αἴθουσα δώματος, on the opposite side of the courtyard, stretching along the front of the house. The latter is often considered as forming part of the πρόδομος, ὑπ᾽ αἰθούσῃ and ἐν προδόμῳ being used as identical expressions (cf. Od. 4.279, 302; Il. 24.644, 673). The αἴθουσα αὐλῆς seems to have served as a convenient place to put things in, to be out of the way; goats are tied up there before they are killed (Od. 20.176, 189), and the corpses of the suitors and laid ὑπ᾽ αἰθούσῃ εὐέρκεος αὐλῆς (Od. 22.449). The αἴθουσα δώματος was used especially as a sleeping room for strangers, sometimes too as a place of meeting, as in Il. 20.10, where the gods gather in the palace of Zeus, and take their seats ξεστῇς αἰθούσῃσιν. (See DOMUS; A. Winckler, Die Wohnhäuser der Hellenen, Berlin, 1868; Schliemann's Tiryns, p. 208.)

[J.H.O]

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