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Headword: *ai)/olos
Adler number: alphaiota,252
Translated headword: Aeolus, Aiolos
Vetting Status: high
A proper name.
Greek Original:
*ai)/olos: o)/noma ku/rion.
This entry is supplemented in the Etymologica (Etymologicum Genuinum alpha222; Etymologicum Magnum 37.4f., Etymologicum Symeonis 1.156) with the name of Aeolus Hippotades, that is, Homer’s ruler of the winds (Odyssey 10.1-79, esp. 10.2: web address 1; cf. Virgil, Aeneid Book 1). Euripides devoted a lost tragedy to him. He is distinguished from the eponymous ancestor of the Aeolian people in the scholia to Odyssey 10.2; cf. OCD(4) s.v. [pp.23-24]), where he is also distinguished from the son of Melanippe (the chief figure in two other lost plays by Euripides, both with her name). Diodorus Siculus 4.67 tried to reconcile the three in a genealogical scheme, and for that reason they were treated in one article in Pauly-Wissowa (1.1036-41). See also Aiolios, alphaiota 248.
All ancient grammarians agree that the name is not accented in the same way as the adjective (alphaiota 253), but most suggest that it probably comes from the same root. We must, however, exercise caution. The name already appears in Mycenaean as a3-wo-ro on a Linear B tablet from Cnossos for one of two horses or bulls, almost certainly both named from or identified by their colour. One is “Black” from the adjective kelaino/s. Ours is almost certainly “Piebald” or “Roan.” This shows that ai)o/los in the sense of ‘multicoloured’ does not come from the same root as it does in its sense of turning, twisting, which should have initial digamma in Mycenaean in its only plausible etymology (see alphaiota 253); cf. Furumark (Eranos 52 (1954) 28) and H. Geiss (Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos 1.330-31). In any case the name in Linear B does not mean “Swift, Agile,” and could belong to either a horse or a bull (see the controversy over Sir Arthur Evans’ identification of the ideogram as a horse’s hood in Luria and Morpurgo; bibliography below).
S. Luria in Minos 6 (1958) 162-63.
A. Morpurgo, Mycenaeae Graecitatis Lexikon (Rome, 1963) 51f.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; mythology; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 27 February 2003@05:39:22.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 27 February 2003@08:20:00.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 15 May 2012@08:36:10.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 26 May 2012@22:45:50.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 21 March 2015@15:04:43.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 22 March 2015@04:41:02.


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