previous next

τί δ᾽ ἔστι; marking surprise (O. T. 319 n.). δηλοῖς is not intransitive, the thing shown being expressed by the partic. in the nomin., just as below, 242 (cp. on 471), Thuc. 1.21 πόλεμος οὗτος ...δηλώσει...μείζων γεγενημένος”. There is a really intransitive use of “δηλόω” in [Andoc. ] or. 4 § 12δηλώσει δὲ τῶν συμμάχων ἔχθρα πρῶτον”, etc., unless “δηλώσεται” should be read there; but the speech is a work of the later rhetoric (see Attic Orators, 1. 137). Not one of the few instances adduced from classical Greek requires “δηλόω” to be intransitive: Her. 2.117 (subject “τόδε”): 5. 78 (“ ἰσηγορίη”): Plat. Gorg. 483D (“ φύσις”). In Her. 9.68δηλοῖ τέ μοι ὅτι πάντα... ἤρτητο..., εἰ καὶ τότε...ἔφευγον”, the real subject is the clause with “εἰ” (the fact of their flight shows me).

καλχαίνουσ᾽ ἔπος τι (for the enclitic “τις” placed before its noun, see on O. C. 280 f.), ‘that thou art troubled by some tidings.’ The verb is intrans., “ἔπος” being the ‘internal,’ or cognate, accus. ( Ph. 1326νοσεῖς τόδ᾽ ἄλγος”): for its sense cp. O. C. 302τίς δ᾽ ἔσθ᾽ κείνῳ τοῦτο τοὔπος ἀγγελῶν;” From “κάλχη”, the purple limpet (perh. connected with “κόχλος, κόγχη”), comes “καλχαίνω”, to make, or to be, purple: then fig., to be darkly troubled in mind: Eur. Her. 40ἀμφὶ τοῖσδε καλχαίνων τέκνοις”. Hence perh. “Κάλχας”, the seer who darkly broods on the future. The descent of this metaphor is curious. “φυρ”, the root of “πορ-φύρ-ω”, signified ‘to be agitated,’—like heaving water, for instance (Skt. bhur, Lat. ferv-ere, Curt. § 415). In Il. 14.16 ff. a man's troubled hesitation is likened to the trouble of the sea just before a storm, while as yet the waves are not driven either way: “ὡς δ᾽ ὅτε πορφύρῃ πέλαγος μέγα κύματι κωφῷ” (not yet breaking in foam)...“ὣς γέρων ὥρμαινε δαϊζόμενος κατὰ θυμόν”. The Homeric image is thus subtler than that of a storm in the soul (“Volvere curarum tristes in pectore fluctus,Lucr. 6. 34). (2) Then “πορφύρω” is said of the mind itself: Il. 21.551ἔστη, πολλὰ δέ οἱ κραδίη πόρφυρε μένοντι”, ‘was troubled.’ (3) From “πορφύρω”, as=‘to be turbid,’ came “πορφύρα” as=simply ‘the dark’ (purple-fish and dye): and then in later Greek the verb took on the specific sense, ‘to be purple.’ (4) “κάλχη πορφύρα”: and hence “καλχαίνω

is figuratively used like the Homeric “πορφύρω”. In “πορφύρω” the idea of trouble precedes that of colour: in “καλχαίνω”, vice versa.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (14 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 12
    • Euripides, Heracles, 40
    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.117
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.78
    • Herodotus, Histories, 9.68
    • Plato, Gorgias, 483d
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 280
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 302
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 319
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1326
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.21
    • Homer, Iliad, 14.16
    • Homer, Iliad, 21.551
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 6.34
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: