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Ancient GreekEdit


From Proto-Indo-European *h₂eydʰ- (burn; fire). Cognate with Latin aestus, aestās, and aedis, and Sanskrit इन्द्धे (inddhé, to light, set on fire).




αἴθω (aíthō) (Epic, Attic, Ionic, Doric)

  1. (transitive) To ignite, kindle, light
    • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 4.145.4:
      οἱ δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ... πέμψαντες τὸ δεύτερον εἰρώτων τί θέλοντες [Μινύαι] ἥκοιέν τε ἐς τὴν χώρην καὶ πῦρ αἴθοιεν.
      hoi dè Lakedaimónioi ... pémpsantes tò deúteron eirṓtōn tí thélontes [Minúai] hḗkoién te es tḕn khṓrēn kaì pûr aíthoien.
      The Lacedaemonians sent a second time and asked what with what intention [the Minyae] came into their land [= Laconia] and lit a fire.
  2. (rarely intransitive, more commonly in the middle) To burn, blaze
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 6.182:
      δεινὸν ἀποπνείουσα πυρὸς μένος αἰθομένοιο
      deinòn apopneíousa puròs ménos aithoménoio
      breathing out the terrible strength of burning fire [describing the Chimaera]
    • 407 BCE, Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis 1470–1471:
      αἰθέσθω δὲ πῦρ / προχύταις καθαρσίοισι
      aithésthō dè pûr / prokhútais katharsíoisi
      let the fire burn for the purifying meal
    • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Anabasis 6.3.19:
      οἱ δὲ ἱππεῖς ... ἔκαιον, καὶ οἱ πελτασταὶ ... ἔκαιον πάντα ὅσα καύσιμα ἑώρων, καὶ ἡ στρατιὰ δέ, εἴ τινι παραλειπομένῳ ἐντυγχάνοιεν: ὥστε πᾶσα ἡ χώρα αἴθεσθαι ἐδόκει καὶ τὸ στράτευμα πολὺ εἶναι.
      hoi dè hippeîs ... ékaion, kaì hoi peltastaì ... ékaion pánta hósa kaúsima heṓrōn, kaì hē stratià dé, eí tini paraleipoménōi entunkhánoien: hṓste pâsa hē khṓra aíthesthai edókei kaì tò stráteuma polù eînai.
      The horsemen began to set fire, and the light troops burned anything that was flammable, and the army did the same, if they happened upon anything left behind, so that it seemed like the whole country was burning and the army was huge.

Usage notesEdit

The Iliad and Odyssey only use forms of the participle αἰθόμενος (aithómenos, burning).


Related termsEdit