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Headword: Κεχήνη
Adler number: kappa,1465
Translated headword: I was open-mouthed
Vetting Status: high
The contraction in κεχήνη [is] Attic. For they contract epsilon and alpha into eta, and it is a coalescence from κεχήνεα .[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:
Κεχήνη: ἡ συναίρεσις τοῦ κεχήνη Ἀττική. τὸ γὰρ ε καὶ α εἰς η συναιροῦσι, καὶ ἐστὶ συναλοιφὴ ἀπὸ τοῦ κεχήνεα. οἱ δὲ σφόδρα προσέχοντές τινι κεχήνασι. δύναται δὲ εἶναι κατὰ μεταφορὰν τῶν ὀρνίθων τῶν ἔτι νεοττῶν, τὴν τροφὴν προσδεχομένων καὶ κεχηνότων. οἷον οὖν τροφή μοι ἦν τὸ ἀκοῦσαί τι τῶν Αἰσχύλου.
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 χάσκω (cf. kappa 1461, kappa 1462, kappa 1463, kappa 1464, kappa 1466, kappa 1467) and should therefore have an augment; editors accordingly print 'κεχήνη in Aristophanes' text, assuming that the augment underwent prodelision after the final long vowel of the preceding word δὴ , and several ancient grammarians cite the verb in the full form ἐκεχήνη .
[1] The fullest version of the Aristophanic scholium (in codd. EΓ ) notes that κεχήνεα is an Ionic form. It is not actually attested, but other 1st person singular pluperfects of similar formation are, e.g. ᾔδεα "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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