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[150] ἐξ ἔρον ἕντο. The psychology of this expression demands some remark and explanation. Besides the common application of it to food and drink, with which cp. Il.11. 642ἀφέτην δίψαν”, we find the following less common usages of it, Il.13. 636πάντων μὲν κόρος ἔστι, καὶ ὕπνου καὶ φιλότητος

μολπῆς τε γλυκερῆς καὶ ἀμύμονος ὀρχηθμοῖο”,
τῶν πέρ τις καὶ μᾶλλον ἐέλδεται ἐξ ἔρον εἷναι
πολέμου”, and Il.24. 226αὐτίκα γάρ με κατακτείνειεν Ἀχιλλεὺς”,
ἀγκὰς ἑλόντ᾽ ἐμὸν υἱὸν, ἐπὴν γόου ἐξ ἔρον εἵην”. Reserving the particular explanation of these, we may notice generally that, to Homer, the soul, or rather the person, the man, is passive as to desire (just as he is to thought; “θυμός” is most like an active principle): and so the “ἔρος” in the phrase before us is conceived of not as an emotion arising in the man, but rather as a property of the object presented. On this view, the beginning of actual fruition of the object would represent itself as the admission of the “ἔρος” into the person (cp. “ἵλαον ἔνθεο θυμόν Il.9. 639): whence we may understand that what is denoted by the dismissal of the “ἔρος” is cessation from fruition—not cessation simply, but cessation at the natural limit; the ‘satisfaction of the natural want’ as we should say. Dismissal of the “ἔρος” is at once succeeded by the presence of “κόρος”, cp. Il.13. 636, quoted above; Od.4. 103αἰψηρὸς δὲ κόρος κρυεροῖο γόοιο”.
There is pleasure in the whole process of fruition, up to the natural limit (whence we even have, Od.4. 102γόῳ φρένα τέρπομαι”): but the pleasure is greatest at the moment which is signalised by the attainment of the limit; and hence the form of expression, as above, “ἐέλδεται ἐξ ἔρον εἷναι”. That an “ἔρος” is connected with “γόος”, as Il.24. 228, only shows how early man's own feelings discovered to him that there is a luxury in grief. The use of “ἐξίεσθαι”, in the phrase before us, has its exact contrary in one of the uses of the (nonHomeric) “προσίεσθαι”. That the middle voice is not indispensable in our phrase, appears from two of the passages quoted above, “ἐξ ἔρον εἷναι” and “ἀφέτην δίψαν”. Virgil's “Postquam exemta fames et amor compressus edendi,Aen.1. 216 ; 8. 184, is criticised by Nitzsch as a poor rendering.

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