δῶκε δέ μ᾽ ἐκδείρας. See crit. note. ‘And he gave me a bag of the skin of an ox that he had flayed;’ ἀσκὸν βοός goes closely together=‘a skin-bag of an ox,’ and ἐκδείρας has no immediate connection with δῶκε in point of time, but merely tells how he had got such a bag. Nitzsch quotes a similar sentence from Lucian, Amor. 34 “σκέπης δεηθέντες ἄνθρωποι νάκη, θηρία δείραντες, ἠμφιέσαντο”.ἐννεώροιο is commonly taken to mean ‘nine years old,’ from “ἐννέα” and “ὥρη” or perhaps “ὧρος”, which is quoted as equivalent to “ἐνιαυτός”. This epithet is generally supposed only to imply fullgrowth, “ἐννέα” being taken for a conventional amount representing maturity, perhaps as being a triple of the number three. But Aristotle, An. 6. 27, says, “ἀκμάζει δὲ μάλιστα” (“ὁ βοῦς”) “πενταετὴς ὤν. διὸ καὶ Ὅμηρόν φασι” “πεποιηκέναι τινὲς ὀρθῶς ποιήσαντα ‘Ἄρσενα πενταέτηρον”’ ( Od.14. 419; 19. 420), “καὶ τὸ ‘βοὸς ἐννεώροιο:’ δύνασθαι γὰρ ταὐτόν”. If “ἐννέωρος” and “πενταετής” have, in any sense, the same meaning, it can only be got at by supposing “ὥρη” to be equivalent to a ‘half-year,’ so that “ἐννέωρος” would then be ‘4 1/2 years old.’ But Bothe ( Il.2. 403) interprets the words “δύνασθαι γὰρ ταὐτόν” as meaning ‘et quinto aetatis anno et nono vigere boves.’ The description of the Aloidae, in Od.11. 311, seems conclusive; “ἐννέωροι γὰρ τοί γε καὶ ἐννεαπήχεες ἦσαν” “εὖρος, ἀτὰρ μῆκός γε . . ἐννεόργυιοι”, for it is impossible to disregard the intentional parallelism between the three epithets. The word “ἐννέωρος” is also used, Od.19. 179, as descriptive of Minos, “ἐννέωρος βυσίλευε, Διὸς μεγάλου ὀαριστής”, but Schol. V. is uncertain as to the sense in which it is used—“οἱ μὲν ὅτι διὰ ἐννέα ἐτῶν συνιὼν Διὶ παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐμάνθανεν ἅτινα εἴη δίκαια, οἱ δὲ ὅτι ἐνναετὴς ὢν βασιλεύειν ἤρξατο”, the best interpretation referring the words to the communion with Zeus enjoyed ‘every ninth year’ by Minos; compare Plato, Minos319; Legg. 624. In Od.10. 390 we have “σίαλοι ἐννέωροι”, where Eustath. suggests that the meaning may be “οἱ ἐννέα ὡρῶν ἤγουν ἐτῶν δύο καὶ ἑνὸς μηνός”. This is very far-fetched, and it is doubtful whether Homer recognised, as we do, four seasons in each year; still, it is a fair attempt to evade the difficulty of supposing swine to be fit for food at nine years old. Lastly, we find ( Il.18. 351) “ἀλείφατος ἐννεώροιο”, where one Schol. translates by “ἐνναετοῦς”, and another suggests that the unguent had special faculties for keeping. On a general examination of all the passages, we must adopt one of these lines of interpretation; either (1) we must suppose the original meaning of the word to have been ‘nine-years old,’ and the derived meaning therefrom ‘of full maturity;’ or (2) we must take “ὥρη” as ‘season,’ some division of the year, but not the whole year; or (3) we must divide the word into “ἐν-νέ-ωρος”, taking “-ωρος” as a mere termination, as in “πέλωρος”, and throwing all the emphasis upon the syllable “νε” Il., i. e. “νεϝ”, as in “νέ ϝ ος”, nov-us. A modification of this etymology is suggested by Weber, who proposes to compound “ἐννέωρος” of “ἐν” and “νεώρη” (i. e. “νέα ὥρη”, compare “ὀπώρη”), as “ἔνδιος” of “ἐν” and “δῖος”. Both lines of interpretation converge more or less in the meaning of ‘full strength;’ one representing the strength of maturity, the other of youth. The former of the two interpretations is preferable.
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