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Headword: *kexh/nh
Adler number: kappa,1465
Translated headword: I was open-mouthed
Vetting Status: high
The contraction in kexh/nh [is] Attic. For they contract epsilon and alpha into eta, and it is a coalescence from kexh/nea.[1] Those who are paying intense attention to something have their mouths open. It may be by way of a metaphor from birds who are still young chicks, who have their mouths open in expectation of food; so it is equivalent to "To hear a bit of Aeschylus' works was nourishment to me".
Greek Original:
*kexh/nh: h( sunai/resis tou= kexh/nh *)attikh/. to\ ga\r e kai\ a ei)s h sunairou=si, kai\ e)sti\ sunaloifh\ a)po\ tou= kexh/nea. oi( de\ sfo/dra prose/xonte/s tini kexh/nasi. du/natai de\ ei)=nai kata\ metafora\n tw=n o)rni/qwn tw=n e)/ti neottw=n, th\n trofh\n prosdexome/nwn kai\ kexhno/twn. oi(=on ou)=n trofh/ moi h)=n to\ a)kou=sai/ ti tw=n *ai)sxu/lou.
From the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 10, where the hero Dikaiopolis, recounting some recent experiences of pleasure and pain, recalls how at a recent theatrical festival he was "open-mouthed" (i.e. agog) in anticipation of watching a revival of a play of Aeschylus (alphaiota 357), only to be stunned when the herald announced one by Theognis (theta 137). The verb is the pluperfect of xa/skw (cf. kappa 1461, kappa 1462, kappa 1463, kappa 1464, kappa 1466, kappa 1467) and should therefore have an augment; editors accordingly print 'kexh/nh in Aristophanes' text, assuming that the augment underwent prodelision after the final long vowel of the preceding word dh\, and several ancient grammarians cite the verb in the full form e)kexh/nh.
[1] The fullest version of the Aristophanic scholium (in codd. E*g) notes that kexh/nea is an Ionic form. It is not actually attested, but other 1st person singular pluperfects of similar formation are, e.g. h)/|dea "I knew" (Homer, Iliad 14.71; Herodotos 2.150)
Keywords: biography; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; imagery; stagecraft; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Alan Sommerstein on 8 July 2003@09:51:21.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added x-refs; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 8 July 2003@10:06:26.
Alan Sommerstein (Supplied missing breathing) on 8 July 2003@10:12:42.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 October 2005@06:29:44.
David Whitehead on 20 February 2013@05:59:43.


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