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.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.