ἄνω + ὤψ

Validation

Yes

Last modification

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 14:50

Word-form

ἄνθρωπος

Transliteration (Word)

anthrôpos

English translation (word)

man

Transliteration (Etymon)

anō + ôps

English translation (etymon)

upwards + countenance

Author

Ammonius of Hermeias

Century

5/6 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

On Aristotle’s "On Interpretation" 38.17

Ed.

Comentaria in Aristotelem Graeca Vol. IV.5, Ammonius, on Aristotle's "On Interpretation", ed. A. Busse, 1897.

Quotation

ἄνθρωπος μὲν κατὰ τὸ…ἄνω ἔχειν τοὺς ὦπας

Translation (En)

anthrôpos "man" according to… or ‘holding his countenance (ôps) aloft (anō)’ (Transl. D. Blank)

Other translation(s)

Modern Greek: και ονομάζεται άνθρωπος σύμφωνα με το ότι κρατάει την όψη του προς τα επάνω

Comment

Ammonius of Hermeias includes the famous etymology given in the Cratylus (see the respective etymology), but he also gives two etymologies which do not occur in other texts. Obviously all three etymologies give him satisfactory explanations for various aspects of the nature of human beings. The etymologies are descriptive and this one refers to the upright position of man, which results in having the head (hear metonymically the eyes) higher than the body, as opposed to animals

Parallels

The only occurence of this specific etymology is in Etymologicum Gudianum 147.24:  <Ἄνθρωπος>· παρὰ τὸ ἀναθρώσκειν καὶ ἀναλογίζεσθαι, ἃ ὄπωπεν.

See Etymologicum Gudianum 148 (<Ἄνθρωπος>· παρὰ τὸ ἄνω <ἀ>θρεῖν τὰς ὦπας, ἤγουν ἄνω ὁρᾶν τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς· ὦπες γὰρ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ λέγονται.  <Ἄνθρωπος>· παρὰ τὸ ἄνω <ἀ>θρεῖν τὴν ὦπα, ἤγουν ἄνω θεωρεῖν τὸ βλέμμα· πάντων γὰρ τῶν κτηνῶν κάτω βλεπόντων, μόνος ὁ ἄνθρωπος βλέπει ἄνω. <οἷον ἀνώ>θρωπος)

Modern etymology

Mycenaean a-to-ro-qo shows that the word has as its second element ops "sight, aspect" and not ops "voice". The identification of the first element of the compound remains debated. Beekes (EDG) thinks it is Pre-Greek.

Persistence in Modern Greek

Άνθρωπος is still used in MG meaning ‘man’, primarily denoting the superior rank of mammals, having as attributes the standing position, reason and articulated language and distinguishing human being from other animals (Triantafyllidis, Dict. of MG).

Entry By

Chriti