τηλύγετος. Buttmann supposes this word to be a metathesis for “τελεύγετος”, sc. “ὁ τελευταῖος γενόμενος”, and finds in this the secondary meaning, ‘dearly-loved,’ ‘tenderly-treated.’ This does not suit “μοῦνον τηλύγετον” Il.9. 482; Od.16. 19; nor “ἄμφω τηλυγέτω” Il.5. 153; even if there were strong grounds in favour of the interpretation.The word “τήλιστος”, (Orph. Arg. 179, 1186) and the adverb “τῆλυ”, Apoll. Dysc. de Pronom. 329 B, with the Hesychian gloss on “τηλύθροον”, sc. “μεγαλόφωνον”, all point to an adjective “τηλύς”. This word shows itself in “τηλεκλυτός, τηλεσκόπος” and, especially, in “τηλέπυλος”, an epithet applied to the Laestrygonian city, Od.10. 82; 23.318. The common interpretation, “τῆλε διεστηκυίας ἔχουσα τὰς πύλας”, requires the addition to “τῆλε” of the whole verbal notion ‘mutually distant.’ Now Eustath. on Od. 10.82 writes “τινὲς δὲ τηλέπυλόν φασι τὴν μακρόπυλον, οὐ τῷ διαστήματι ἀλλὰ τῷ πλάτει τῶν πυλῶν ἢ τῷ μήκει”. Thus we may parallel “τηλέπυλος” with “ὑψίπυλος” or “εὐρύπυλος”, and (by help of the passage quoted above from Hesych.) may render it ‘great-gated.’ With “τηλύς” we may further compare “Ταΰγετος”, ‘the great mountain,’ referring to the glosses in Hesych. “ταΰς: μέγας” and “ταΰσας: μεγαλύνας”, and “ταϋγέταις πύλαις: ταῖς μεγάλαις”. The termination “-γετος” may be compared with the Latin indi-getes and with such Gk. forms as “ἀτρύγ-ετος ἑρπ-ετός”. It has generally been referred to root “γεν-”, but this would give “γατος”. However, provisionally accepting the meaning ‘grown-big’ for “τηλύγετος”, we may see how it suits the passages in which it is found,— Il.5. 152Diomede kills in battle “Φαίνοπος υἷε”, “ἄμφω τηλυγέτω: ὁ δὲ τείρετο γήραϊ λυγρῷ”,
“υἱὸν δ᾽ οὐ τέκετ᾽ ἄλλον ἐπὶ κτεάτεσσι λιπέσθαι”. Here the word implies that though these two sons were grown-up or nearly so, there were no younger brothers still children. So in Il.9. 481“καί με φίλησ᾽ ὡς εἴ τε πατὴρ ὃν παῖδα φιλήσῃ”
“μοῦνον τηλύγετον, πολλοῖσιν ἐπὶ κτεάτεσσι”, a father's increasing fondness for an only son is described; he is the heir of large possessions, and the father's love for him grows as the chance of having other sons diminishes; the eldest being already in early manhood. And when such a son comes home after long absence, one vivid element in the father's joy is the contrast of his youthful manhood with his recollections of him as a child. See Od.16. 17 foll.
In Il.9. 143Agamemnon speaks of Orestes as the son “ὅς μοι τηλύγετος τρέφεται”. Now Orestes, according to Eurip. ( Eurip. I. A.465Eurip. I. A., 466Eurip. I. A., 622-7Eurip. I. A., 1118Eurip. I. A., 9), was not more than three or four years old at the departure of the host for Troy. In the tenth year of the war, according to this reckoning, Orestes would be thirteen or fourteen, and therefore, ‘growing up to be a great boy.’ In like manner, Iphigenia recognising in her brother, now grownup, the child she formerly knew, says, “ἔχω ς᾿, Ὀρέστα, τηλύγετον χθονὸς ἀπὸ πατρίδος” Eur. I. T.829. In Il.3. 175Helen reproaches herself with having deserted her home, “παῖδά τε τηλυγέτην”, implying that Hermione was growing into womanhood at the time of Helen's flight. In the present passage vv. 11-14 “ὅς οἱ τηλύγετος . . Ἑρμιόνην”, the implication is that Helen's flight occurred long after the birth of Hermione; long enough to let the conclusion be drawn “Ἑλένῃ δὲ θεοὶ γόνον οὐκέτ᾽ ἔφαινον”. That interval was the measure of the age of Hermione. Now the Schol. on Od. 4.4, and Eustath. 1479 say that Hermione was actually given in marriage to Orestes while Menelaus was at Troy, quoting the authority of Sophocles, who “ἐν Ἑρμιόνῃ ἱστορεῖ ἐν Τροίᾳ ἔτι ὄντος Μενελάου ἐκδοθῆναι τὴν Ἑρμιόνην ὑπὸ Τυνδάρεω τῷ Ὀρέστῃ: εἶτα ὕστερον ἀφαιρεθεῖσαν αὐτοῦ ἐκδοθῆναι τῷ Νεοπτολέμῳ κατὰ τὴν ἐν Τροίᾳ ὑπόσχεσιν”. But see Eur. Hel.689, where Helen describes the condition of Hermione as “ἄγαμος, ἄτεκνος, ὦ πόσι, καταστένει γάμον ἄγαμον αἰσχύνᾳ”. Hermione must thus have been growing-up, or at least past childhood at the time of Helen's flight, which satisfies the meaning assigned to “τηλύγετος”, even without making allowance for the exaggeration of regret in Helen's mention of here. The application of “τηλύγετος” here to Megapenthes is no less appropriate. Born after Helen's flight, but before the Trojan expedition, he would now be nineteen or twenty. Among the interpretations which Eustath. collects here of “τηλύγετος” he gives as the last “ὁ αὐξηθεὶς μετὰ γέννησιν”. The only remaining passage to notice is Il.13. 470“ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ Ἰδομενῆα φόβος λάβε, τηλύγετον ὥς”, where Buttm. renders ‘like a spoiled child;’ but the meaning of a ‘great boy’ suits equally well here, ‘no stripling's fear seized Idomeneus.’ τηλύγετος thus corresponds very closely with the Lat. adolescens, both in its denotation, and its literal etymological sense. The limits of age implied by it may be from thirteen to twenty or twenty-three. From J. Savelsberg, Rhein. Mus. 1853, p. 441. Μεγαπένθης, a name commemorative of the ‘great sorrow’ caused by Helen's faithlessness, cp. the name Benoni, Gen. 35. 18, and Tristram.