Sat, 07/31/2021 - 14:38
English translation (word)
English translation (etymon)
Lexicon homericum, p. 41
I. Bekker, Apollonii Sophistae lexicon Homericum, Berlin, 1833
ἀρητήρ ὁ ἱερεύς, ἀπὸ τοῦ ὑπὲρ τῶν θυόντων τὰς εὐχὰς ποιεῖσθαι. ὅθεν νῦν ἀρώματα ἐπιθυμιάματα
Arētēr means "priest", from the fact that he makes the prayers (eukhas) on behalf of those who sacrifice. And from then comes arōmata, which means "fumigations" (epithumiamata)
Epimerismi homerici ordine alphabetico traditi, omega 26 (ὠκύς: παρὰ τὸ ἀκή· τὸ γὰρ ὀξὺ καὶ ταχύ· καὶ ὡς θάκω θᾶκος καὶ θῶκος καὶ ἀράματα ἀρώματα (παρὰ τὰς ἀρὰς †τὸ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀρωμάτων†)).
There may be a hint at this etymology in Porphyry's De abstinentia 2.5: ἐπεισαγόντων δὲ ἕτερον ἀρασαμένους ἀρώματα τὰ θυμιώμενα νῦν προσαγορεῦσαι
Persistence in Modern Greek
The word is still used in Modern Greek to designate 1. any pleasant smell and 2. the liquid perfume (Triandafyllidis Dict. of Modern Greek).
The word ἄρωμα is etymologized on account of the religious use of aromats, which were used for sacrifice (functional etymology). This is an elliptic etymology: the etymon given by Apollonius is ἀρά "prayer", which here is not explicit: only a translation εὐχή "prayer" is given (see ἀρητήρ / ἀρά). From the contracted denominative verb ἀράομαι, ἀρῶμαι, it was very easy to derive ἄρωμα which is almost homophonous with the first singular of the present stem. If ἄρωμα was suggested by ἀρῶμαι, this is one of the many etymologies starting from an inflected form and incorporating an ending: here the ending -μαι accounts for the suffix -μα. The Epimerismi homerici (see Parallels) give a different derivation pattern and start from a non attested *ἄραμα "prayer" from which ἄρωμα would be derived through an alternation α ~ ω illustrated by other examples (the examples listed are incorrect from the modern point of view, but this alternation does exist in Greek, e.g. -φάσις / φωνή, βάσις / βωμός)