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[265] πᾶσιν γὰρ ἐπίστιόν ἐστιν ἑκάστῳ, ‘for all the men have, each one to himself, a slip.’ The introduction of this clause by γάρ means that the existence of this accommodation for the ships is the reason why they are drawn up along the roadway.

ἐπίστιον is a word of most doubtful meaning; it can hardly be compounded of “ἐπί” and “ἑστία”, for although in the New Ionic dialect the form “ἐπίστιος” is found so compounded ( Hdt.1. 44), in Homer the form “ἐφέστιος” is actually used, Hom. Od.7. 248, etc. Eustath. supports this improbable explanation, but he seems to interpret the word rightly, as “νεώριον”, to which Schol. T. V. E. adds “ἐποίκιον, σκηνή”. Some commentators again seem to have imagined a connection between “ἐπίστιον” and the words “ἱστίον” and “ἱστός”, one reading, quoted by Schol. on Il.2. 135, being actually “ἐπ᾽ ἰστίον”, though here again a partially right interpretation follows, “ὡσεὶ κατάλυμα παρὰ τῇ νηί”. Perhaps the simplest solution is to refer “ἐπί-στιον” to “ἐπι-στῆναι, ἐπίστασις”, in the sense of ‘halting-place;’ and we may compare it with the form “περίστια” and “περιστίαρχος”, Aristoph. Eccl.128.We may picture then a long line of covered sheds (following the Scholiast's suggestion of “σκηνή”), or, more likely, a line of open slips upon which the ships were hauled. The roadway may be supposed to slope gently down on either side to the water of the two harbours, and these slopes were marked off into separate divisions, one for each ship.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae, 128
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.44
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.135
    • Homer, Odyssey, 7.248
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