δύσετο. See crit. note. Buttm. Lexil. s. v. “δείλη”, urges the authority of δείλετο because, he says, had Aristarchus not received it from earlier times, he would have been inventing (contrary to his character) from conjecture a verb of which elsewhere no traces exist; and, moreover, he would have succeeded in establishing this invention as a rival to the authentic reading (since Eustath. has it in his text, and some of the Scholia refer to it alone). Had the form existed previous to criticism, it must have been the original reading; for while δύσετο, as being more common, might spring from “δείλετο”, the converse could not happen. Grammatically, Buttm. defends “δείλετο” on the analogy of “θέρμετο, ὅπλεσθαι”, etc. Finally, following Eustath., he draws attention to the agreement produced by this reading between the division of the day as here given, and Il.21. 111“ἔσσεται ἢ ἠὼς ἢ δείλη ἢ μέσον ἦμαρ”. As a further argument for “δείλετο” it is urged that “δύσετο” involves a difficulty which “δείλετο” relieves. If “δύσετο” be read, it seems to make sunset synchronise with the waking of Odysseus; while in the account of the same day, given in Od.6, many things are transacted after his waking,—e.g. his interview with Nausicaa, his bathing, his eating, and then the progress, at a foot's pace, towards the town; after which, as he halts outside the town, comes sunset, described in the same words (6. 321), “δύσετό τ᾽ ἠέλιος, καὶ τοὶ κλυτὸν ἄλσος ἵκοντο”. ‘Nay,’ says Buttm., ‘even this second point of time still falls so early in the day that Athena finds it necessary to make Odysseus, who is going from thence into the town, invisible.’It is then argued that the substitution of “δείλετο” gives an earlier time of day, and removes the difficulty. But the fact is, that in Homer “δείλη” is as much tied (etymology apart) to ‘sunset,’ as “δύσετο” is. For we find with “δύσετο” an adjunct, “σκιόωντό τε πᾶσαι ἀγυιαί”, which refers not to the lengthening shadows of evening, but to the actual shades of night; on the other hand, the usage of “δύσετο”, in Od.6. 321 quoted above, shows the necessity of giving it a good deal of latitude on this side sunset; and, again, in Od.8. 417 the time which it denotes is succeeded by transactions which would seem to require daylight. But if we turn to “δείλη”, we find it used with the very same range and the very same restrictions. It is not tied to sunset by Il.21. 111(quoted above), nor by Od.17. 599“δειελιήσας”, nor by ib. 606 “δείελον ἦμαρ”, but it is tied by Il.21. 232“εἰς ὅ κεν ἔλθῃ” “δείελος, ὀψὲ δύων, σκιάσῃ τ᾽ ἐρίβωλον ἄρουραν”, where (to borrow what Buttm. has proved under “ἠέριος”) “δείελος” must express time, and that time is identified here with sunset. In post-Homeric usage, as Buttm. has shown, “δείλη” meant several different times, and had a range of signification which can only be understood on the hypothesis of a prospective reference to sunset. “δείλη” is not the period before sunset, but is itself inclusive of sunset, the succeeding period to which is “ἕσπερος” Od.18. 306.Thus it would seem that nothing was really gained by the substitution of “δείλετο” for “δύσετο”, inasmuch as both words refer alike to sunset. But there is another consideration which perhaps allows “δείλετο” a further latitude; and that is its tense: “δύσετο” is an aorist, “δείλετο” an imperfect. For this grammatical reason then, and for this alone, the difficulty is a little eased by reading “δείλετο”. But too much stress must not be laid on this, as we have seen that even “δύσετο” is used with latitude. A solution is offered in conclusion, which, as it will apply to “δύσετο”, will apply a fortiori to “δείλετο”. We have seen from Il.21. 111 that the day was divided into three periods, each of which, though consisting of several hours, was named from its characteristic moment; and, loosely, the name of any of these periods might apply to any moment within it. Il.8. 66, “ὄφρα μὲν ἠὼς ἦν καὶ ἀέξετο ἱερὸν ἦμαρ”, illustrates this with regard to the first period, showing that all the time before the midday period was included in “ἠώς”. Similarly our text designates all the time after the midday period as “δύσις” or “δείλη”. The designation of a period by its concluding moment is illustrated by our transference of the word noon to midday from nona=3 o'clock or ninth hour; the link being that the whole period between 12 and 3 o'clock was so designated. This extension of the meaning of “δείλη” is quite consistent with the subsequent division of the period into “δείλη πρωία” and “δείλη ὀψία”. Hdt.7. 167; 8. 6; Thuc.3. 74; 8. 26. But, perhaps, instead of seeking exactness of interpretation, it is wiser to remember a tendency in Epic poetry to use formulas with a certain carelessness, as soon as they become formulas: as, e.g. “τοῖσι δὲ καὶ μετέειπε” used where only two persons are present.
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