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[403] Ἀστυάνακτα: Protector of the City. The people gave to the son the name which was appropriate to the father. This child never reigned, and “ἀστυάναξ” cannot have meant ‘crown prince.’ So the son of Odysseus is called Telemachus (“Δ 354, τηλοῦ, μάχομαι”);—not because the boy fought far away from home, but because the father was fighting at Troy while the son was a child. cf. “Μεγαπένθης” (“πένθος”) Od. 4.11, son of Menelaus; “Εὐρυσάκης” (“σάκος”), Soph. Aj. 340, son of Ajax; “Νεοπτόλεμος”, son of Achilles, “λ 506; Ἀλκυόνην καλέεσκον . . . οὕνεκ᾽ ἄῤ αὐτῆς μήτηρ ἀλκυόνος πολυπενθέος οἶτον ἔχουσα κλαῖε Ι” 562 ff.; (and Zipporah bare Moses a son,) ‘and he called his name Gershon [a stranger here]: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land,’ Exodus ii. 22.—The original meaning of “ἄναξ” seems to have been ‘protecting lord,’ with no more emphasis upon the privilege of the power than upon the duty of defence. cf. 478. This meaning alone gives point to the close of this verse; “ἐρύετο” repeats the thought of “ἄναξ”.

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    • Homer, Odyssey, 4.11
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