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[309] ἀίδηλος is generally taken as meaning in Homer ‘annihilating,’ ‘making unseen,’ “ἀφανίζων”, distinct from the later signification, ‘unseen,’ ‘invisible’ (“ἀ-ἰδεῖν”). It is used as an epithet of fire Il.2. 455; of “ἔργα Il.5. 872(with v. l. “καρτερὰ ἔργα”); of Athena, as a term of abuse applied to her by Ares, Il.5. 880; of Ares himself, here and Il.5. 897; of Melanthius, Od.22. 165; and of “ὅμιλος μνηστήρων Od.16. 29; on most of which passages the Scholl. interpret by “ἀδηλοποιός”. Savelsberg (Zeitschr. für Gymn. 1865) regards “ἀίδηλος” as a compound of “ἀι” or “ἀτι” (Skt. ati), an intensive prefix, and “δαίειν, δέ-δηα”, so that the meaning would be ‘fiercely burning.’ The form “ἀι” for “ἀτι” is found, according to Savelsberg, in “ἀί-ζηλος, αἰζηός”. Düntzer, on the present passage, connects the latter part of the compound with “δηλέομαι”. Others attempt to combine in the word two meanings derivable from “α-ἰδεῖν”, making the Homeric signification to be ‘that on which one cannot look,’ because it is too horrible; and ‘that on which one cannot look,’ because it is ‘invisible,’ the common meaning in later authors.

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