χερείων. This comparative is supplied by the grammarians with a positive of the form “χέρης”, of which “χέρηι” Il.1. 80 is the dative. The forms “χέρηες” Od.15. 324, and “χέρηα” Od.14. 176, are variants for “χέρειες, χέρεια”. The relation of “χέρηες” to “χερείων” is the same as that of “πλέες” to “πλείων”. The older commentators regarded these words not as adjectives of the positive degree, but as syncopated forms of the cases of the comparative “χερείων”. So Schol. H. on Od. 14.176 gives “χέρεια” instead of “χέρηα”, and describes it as the reading of Aristarchus, and Schol. A. on Il.1. 80 ascribes the same view to Herodian; as also Eustath. 55. 25. Sometimes these forms have a distinctly comparatival force, as in Il.4. 400; Od.14. 176; but it disappears in Od.18. 229; 20.310. In Il.12. 270 we find “χερειότερος”, and in Il.20. 434 the shorter form “χείρων”, lengthened again in Il.15. 513 into “χειρότερος”. Benfey compares the “χερυ” or “χρεσυ” of the stem with the Skt. hrasu or hrasva, ‘short.’ See Monro, H. G. page 322.
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