ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ χειρός. It is probable that “ἀριστερός” is related to “ἄριστος” by the same euphemism as that which employs the word “εὐώνυμος” for ‘left.’ The comparatival termination expresses the distinct contrast of left and right. Ἀριστερά is not found in Homer as a substantive without the preposition “ἐπί”. Sometimes it occurs without any dependent genitive, as in Od.3. 171; Il.2. 526; 7.238; 12. 201, 219, 240; being parallel to the phrase “ἐπὶ δεξιά” Il.7. 238; 12.239. It is also frequently followed by a genitive, as “μάχης” Il.5. 355; 11. 498, “νηῶν” Il.12. 118, “τοῖιν” Il.23. 336, “στρατοῦ” Il.13. 326.In addition to these passages Ameis quotes Xen. Anab.1. 8. 4“τὰ δεξιὰ τοῦ κέρατος”. But the use with χειρός is found only here in Homer, with the exception of an imitation of the phrase in h. Hom. Merc. 153. In Pindar Pyth.6. 19 we have “σύ τοι σχεθών νιν ἐπὶ δεξιὰ [ἐπιδέξια] χειρὸς ὀρθὰν”“ἄγεις ἐφημοσύναν”, and in Aratus Phaen.278“κατὰ δεξιὰ χειρός” is used with the same meaning. It is not unlikely that here “χειρός” has a picturesque reference to the hand of the steersman, as presenting a sort of centre point from which the various directions seem to diverge.
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