ἀ- + ἵστημι

Validation

Yes

Word-form

ἀστήρ

Transliteration (Word)

astēr

English translation (word)

star

Transliteration (Etymon)

a- + histēmi

English translation (etymon)

not + to stand

Author

Manetho

Century

3 AD

Source

idem

Ref.

Apotelesmatica 4.144

Ed.

H. Köchly, Poetae bucolici et didactici, Paris: Didot, 1862

Quotation

ἢν δὲ Σεληναίης ἑλικοδρόμος ἄστατος ἀστὴρ / Ἑρμείαν σύμφωνον ἔχῃ κατὰ κόσμου ἀταρπόν…

Translation (En)

If Selenaia's star (astēr) of the rolling course, never standing (astatos), is in conjunction with Mercury on the path of the world…

Comment

The etymology is implicit in Manetho but explicit in later sources (see Parallels). It parses ἀστήρ as a compound with the privative alpha and the verb ἵστημι "to stand still", defining the star through its movement. Later sources add that this definition applies properly to planets, not to stars, and came to be used for stars also by extension

Parallels

Orion, Etymologicum (excepta e cod. regio 2610), p. 176 (Ἀστήρ· διὰ τὸ ἄστατον ἔχειν τὸν δρόμον); Orion, Etymologicum (excerpta e cod. Darmstadino 2773), alpha, p. 612 (ἀστὴρ ὁ μὴ στάσιν ἔχων· κυρίως ἐπὶ τῶν πλανήτων· καταχρηστικῶς ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπλανῶν); Etym. Genuinum, alpha 1319 (Ἀστήρ· κυρίως ἐπὶ τῶν πλανητῶν λέγεται, ὁ μὴ στάσιν ἔχων, ἀστατήρ καὶ ἀστήρ· καταχρηστικῶς καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπλανῶν); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 159 (Ἄστρον: Παρὰ τὸ αἴθω, τὸ καίω, αἴσω, γίνεται αἶστρον· καὶ ἀποβολῇ τοῦ ι, ἄστρον καὶ ἀστήρ. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ στῶ, στήσω, στήρ); Etym. Gudianum, alpha, p. 218 (Ἀστήρ· παρὰ τὸ ἄστατον ἔχειν τὸν δρόμον. ‖ ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἵστημι στήσω, <στήρ καὶ ἀστήρ, ὁ μὴ ἱστάμενος>); Etym. Gudianum Additamenta, alpha, p. 219 (Ἀστήρ· παρὰ τὸ αἴθω, τὸ λάμπω, αἰστήρ καὶ ἀποβολῇ τοῦ ι ἀστήρ· ἢ ὁ μὴ στάσιν ἔχων); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 158 (Ἀστήρ: Ἵστημι, στήσω, στὴρ, καὶ ἀστὴρ, ὁ μὴ ἱστάμενος· παρὰ τὸ ἄστατον ἔχειν δρόμον· κυρίως ἐπὶ τῶν πλανητῶν λέγεται, ὁ μὴ στάσιν ἔχων, ἀστατος, καὶ ἀστήρ· καταχρηστικῶς δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπλανῶν); Etym. Symeonis vol. 1, p. 268 (ἀστήρ· κυρίως ἐπὶ τῶν πλανητῶν λέγεται διὰ τὸ μὴ ἵστασθαι, ἀστατήρ καὶ ἀστήρ, καταχρηστικῶς δὲ καὶ <ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπλανῶν>); Ps.-Zonaras, Lexicon, alpha, p. 314 (εἴρηται ἀστὴρ παρὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν στάσιν, ἀστατὴρ καὶ ἀστήρ. καταχρηστικῶς δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπλανῶν)

Modern etymology

Old name of the "star", inherited from PIE *h2ster-, cognate with Lat. stella, Goth. stairno (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

Modern Greek has "αστέρι" and "αστέρας". The first denotes 1. any celestial body except the moon, 2. stars influencing one's life, 3. a famous person. The second has almost the same usage.

Entry By

Le Feuvre