ἵπτασθαι + πούς
Sat, 07/03/2021 - 08:08
English translation (word)
hiptasthai + pous
English translation (etymon)
to fly + foot
Prolegomena philosophiae 23.28-29
A. Busse, Davidis Prolegomena et in Porphyrii Isagogen Commentarium, Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca 18.2, Berlin: Reimer
...καὶ πάλιν ἵππος λέγεται παρὰ τὸ ἵπτασθαι τοῖς ποσίν...
…and the “horse” [hippos] is called as such from "flying" (hiptesthai) with the “feet” (posi)
...και ο ίππος ονομάζεται έτσι επειδή πετάει (ίπταται) με τα πόδια του...
Gr. ἵππος is from *h1ek̑u̯o-, reflected in Lat. equus and Sanskrite áśva- "horse". The Greek word has been remodeled and is not a direct reflex of the Indo-European etymon (see Beekes, EDG)
Persistence in Modern Greek
In ΜG ίππος is used in “Δούρειος ίππος”, as well as to designate the 'unit of measurement for car engines'. Τo signify the 'horse' MG has άλογο. However, compounds and derivatives with ίππ- are many: ιππικός, ιππόδρομος etc (Triandafyllidis, D. of MG)
Just like in Syrianus’ and Damascius’ texts, word ἵππος is treated as a compound one also by David, who gives a slightly different etymology, consisting of verb hiptasthai and noun pous, constructing a descriptive etymology to render a physical attribute of this specific animal. The etymology suggested by David comprises hiptasthai which is phonetically closer to hippos (compared to hiesthai) However, the fact that a similar etymology occurs in Syrianus and Damascius may imply that this specific example could have been integrated in the linguistic discussions of both Neoplatonic Schools of Athens and Alexandria (the School of David)