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Headword: Νόστος
Adler number: nu,500
Translated headword: homecoming
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] the return journey to one's home.[1]
From the sweetness of one's homeland.
Or the production of flavor.[2]
Also: "but the poets who sang of the Returns follow Homer as far as they are able".[3]
It appears that not only one created and wrote the "return of the Achaeans," but also some others.
Greek Original:
Νόστος: ἡ οἴκαδε ἐπάνοδος. παρὰ τὸ τῆς πατρίδος ἡδύ. ἢ ἡ ἀνάδοσις τῆς γεύσεως. καὶ οἱ ποιηταὶ δὲ οἱ τοὺς Νόστους ὑμνήσαντες ἕπονται τῷ Ὁμήρῳ ἐς ὅσον εἰσὶ δυνατοί. φαίνεται ὅτι οὐ μόνος εἷς εὑρισκόμενος ἔγραψε νόστον Ἀχαιῶν, ἀλλὰ καί τινες ἕτεροι.
Notes:
[1] From the root *nes-/nos-, as in νέομαι (see nu 133); LSJ entry at web address 1. See also alpha 2571 and nu 501.
[2] In later Greek, νοστος meant "taste" or "flavor;" see Lampe s.v. According to Chantraine, the original sense of the Indo-european root *nes-/nos- was "save," "bring back safely." In the middle, it could mean "get well" or "come back safely." Germanic derivatives have senses "save, heal, nourish." The Indian pair of gods the Asvins are called Nasyata (the 2 saviors). So evidently Greek νόστος and νόστιμος preserve both senses, that of homecoming and that of healing, nourishment, extended to generally good edible qualities.
[3] Quotation unidentifiable. (Adler suggests Aelian.) Epic poems related the returns from Troy of other heroes besides Odysseus; these poems (not extant) are collectively called Nostoi.
References:
Pierre Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, 744-5
Marigo Alexopoulou, The Theme of Returning Home in Ancient Greek Literature (2009)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; mythology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 12 December 2000@11:17:35.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented note; cosmetics) on 31 August 2002@11:07:03.
David Whitehead (added bibliography; cosmetics) on 5 May 2010@06:55:43.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 5 May 2010@19:43:55.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 17 June 2013@06:01:14.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 18 June 2013@11:14:55.
David Whitehead (typo) on 19 June 2013@03:01:39.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 18 September 2013@16:40:59.

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