English translation (word)
English translation (etymon)
Κατὰ τί εἰρήνη; Κατὰ τὸ ἠρεμεῖν τὸν νοῦν
Why is eirēnē "peace" <so called>? From the fact that the mind (ton noûn) is quiet (ēremeîn)
This etymology is possible only in an iotacising state of language, as it implies the homophony of the initial sequences ειρ and ηρ, both pronounced [ir]. The word is parsed as a compound, the second element of which is νόος "mind", which accounts for the [n] of εἰρήνη. This is a descriptive etymology: εἰρήνη refers to peace in the political meaning (the antonym of war) but also to peace as a mental state, which was very important in Christian doctrine, and this etymology starts from the psychological meaning of the word
Etym. Gudianum, epsilon p. 427 (Εἰρήνη· παρὰ τὸ εἴρειν καὶ λέγειν ἐν αὐτῇ, εἴπερ Ἄρης, ὁ πόλεμος, κατὰ στέρησιν τῆς ῥήσεως λέγεται. ‖ ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, ὅ ἐστι διαλέγομαι, καὶ τὸν <εἰ>ρήσω μέλλοντα. ἢ διὰ τὸ ἠρεμεῖν τὸν νοῦν); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 303 (Εἰρήνη: Παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, τὸ λέγω· ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἴρειν ἡμᾶς ἐπ’ αὐτήν· ἢ διὰ τὸ ἠρεμεῖν τὸν νοῦν); Ps.-Zonaras, Lexicon, epsilon p. 891 (τί εἰρήνη; κατὰ τὸ ἠρεμεῖν τὸν νοῦν).
This etymology may be alluded to in Proclus, Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, vol. 2 p. 316: ἡ ἀριθμητικὴ τῆς Εἰρήνης, τῷ ἴσῳ ὑπερεχούσης καὶ ὑπερεχομένης, ᾗ καὶ ἐν τοῖς συναλλάγμασι χρώμεθα ἐν εἰρήνῃ, δι’ ἣν καὶ τὰ στοιχεῖα ἠρεμεῖ (τὰ στοιχεῖα ἠρεμεῖ means "the elements stay quiet" ; the word has a physical and a mathematical sense (see the eponymic Euclid's treatise), but τὰ στοιχεῖα can also mean "the letters" of a word, and there may be a pun here)