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Headword: Nein
Adler number: nu,290
Translated headword: to swim
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] to dive/swim,[1] and to spin a thread.[2]
Arrian [writes]: "all those who were the lightest, and armed the lightest, and were the most adept at swimming, he ordered to start swimming on his signal."[3]
And elsewhere: "just as birds have been born to fly, and fish to swim, and deer to run, so they have no need of instruction."[4]
And Hesiod used nei=n, meaning to spin, in the [phrase] "and there a high-soaring spider spins threads". Some wrote "spins [nei=] threads" with an eta [nh=], as if it is truncated out of nh/qei ["he spins"]. But in this regard, analogy knows [the conjugated] nw=, nei=s, nei= [to be] original; hence nh/qw [is] a derived form; [as with] knw=, knh/qw ["scratch"], sw=, sh/qw ["sift"].[5]
Greek Original:
Nein: kolumban, kai to nêthein krokên. Arrianos: hosoi kouphotatoi kai kouphotata hôplismenoi kai tou nein daêmonestatoi, toutous eknêxasthai keleuei apo sunthêmatos. kai authis: hôsper gar hoi ornithes hiptasthai kai nein ichthues hai te elaphoi thein, epei pephukasin, ouden tou didachthênai prosdeontai. tou de nein, êtoi nêthein, chrêsis par' Hêsiodôi en tôi, têi gar toi nei nêmat' aersipotêtos arachnês. tines de to nei nêmata dia tou ê egrapsan, hôs apokopen ek tou nêthei. plên kai houtôs hê analogia to nô, neis, nei oide prôtotupon: ex hou paragôgon to nêthô: to knô, knêthô, sô, sêthô.
Notes:
[1] LSJ s.v. ne/w A; and see also nu 272, nu 292.
[2] LSJ s.v. ne/w B.
[3] Arrian, Indica 24.5.
[4] Julian, To Heraclius the Cynic 2 (Or.7, 206A).
[5] Hesiod, Works and Days 777 (web address 1). The speculation is not otherwise recorded. *nh/qw is indeed formed from ne/w as suggested. Philoxenos of Alexandria (first century BCE, see phi 394) promulgated a theory that the Greek vocabulary was derived from a core of monosyllabic verbs; see Dickey, 3.1.10 (p. 85), and cf. epsilon 1031.
Reference:
Eleanor Dickey, Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period. American Philological Association Classical Resource Series. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; history; military affairs; poetry; trade and manufacture; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 23 September 2009@06:52:23.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 23 September 2009@08:31:22.
Catharine Roth (expanded note, tweaked link) on 25 September 2009@01:19:53.
David Whitehead on 7 June 2013@07:08:52.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 9 June 2013@00:36:19.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 18 December 2013@01:18:45.

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