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The Derivation of ῥυθμός

Author(s): Robert Renehan

Source: Classical Philology, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Jan., 1963), pp. 36-38
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/266900
Accessed: 30-04-2018 08:25 UTC

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the wrong reading in Q and five new All the manuscripts omit mcpopalt in
? 5, xoO. before eXoca in ? 7, 8dcpopo& or th
manuscripts. Oddly enough E has X)yoVxv.
like in ? 23. They do not fill the gap
FKLM between 7rpl Tok and To6moul in ? 26 and
FKLM and Aldus all omit eight words H omits re po6. They all have . .. .ocvv in
in ? 28, xoO ro5 aXoi3 7oc 6),T .tu pasog ? 25 (where Turnebus has rovv), . . . ouvTcov
&p6rtpov (the text now has 1, lo 1t,).
in ? 61, and xcd ... 8 in ? 62. In ? 66
These words occur in Q, D, E, G, H, J, N, (where Wimmer has n yu'oq oux) they all
though E has ei for t. In ? 6 FKLM and follow Q in reading 8 .. ,uo ( e
Aldus have &L6o 7r 7pLvc10V, where Q and o. ... t A), though E has n 8'.... Finally
the other six manuscripts have V' cov so in ? 69 they do not improve xoc Z OCX0ar6-
7rZpCT%V, and they also omit zc1 before pou; - ap0CLOCr V7Z and they all have ...
xocX6ro in ? 30, whereas Qi and the other Ot& 'Oi3 where Schneider suggested <PO3X&-
manuscripts add it. It should be noted that
in these three examples DJBH and N are The manuscripts still give >OOLOV-Ioc
all in agreement. Finally in ? 64, where a in ? 4 (better ZKovowO5Sv), ?neT (for nue'Xc)
passage is missing in DJN, as was mention- in ? 6, 7oZcl; xLtvoc (F EMv BLvocL, Wimmer)
ed above, FKLM, along with E, G, and in ? 15, kyxanr7 5x- (e'v roZ ExouXrvC
Aldus, are alike in reading rxu,xz. Though 'A-fq, Wimlmer; '?v rolq 6 ZV xourrDttXn
no lacuna can be filled, FKLM confirm the Eichholz) in ? 17, &v TocCC (eV -roz
reading mL&8pw in ? 43, which appears in <KMOCLO,VOL;>, Schneider) in ? 20, X-Uyy
Aldus, though ' . . pco is found in Q2 and all (for Atyua-nx'v) in ? 29, r6 Mou; in
the new manuscripts except E, where there ? 47, -a t txpX in ? 53, nOX tevoq (y&p O '.6;,
is a space. In the same section 34... (for Wimmer) in ? 57, vxpo6v v xcx,ot (which
octuPXi-rpotq) appears in Q and all the newshould be bracketed) in ? 58, ainetq in
manuscripts except E and F, where there ? 60, and o'.xeTov (for olvov) in ? 67. And
is a space; so no progress has been made in ? 68 they all have nine words (OeppO-ripa
here. yxp T; XovLOtq, yXLaZXpo-pX 8' 7oju ,; yi;),
In ? 7, where A, C, Aldus, and seven which occur in Q2 and Aldus but were
manuscripts have nxn... and L has omitted by Schneider and Wimmer.
sx.,., B2 and E have 7eous... and H The conclusions may be summarized as
7Xet'ou. It is disappointing that the gap follows: FKLM form one group, and there
is not
in ? 8 between aye8ov and :k6yov has a very close relationship between F and
been filled. Eichholz with his usual Aldus. E is related to C, and G to A. DJN
ingenuity has suggested <o' sv> Xo6y(p a group, and DJBH are closely
("thoge which count as"); another pos- related.
sibility is azz86v <o't L?.es-aotrF6v xxok-> Xoyov, J. F. C. RICHARDS
which the writer would like to substitute COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
for the reading in the 1956 edition.

1. Earle R. Caley and John F. C. Richards, Theo- 5. Codices Graeci MSS Regiae Bibliothecae Borbonicae
phrastus, "On Stones" (Columbus, 1956). dscripti... a Selvatoe Cyrillo, Neapoli, 1826.
2. J. F. C. Richards, "Heinsius and a Manuscript of 6. Wilson points out that four paper manuscripts have
Theophrastus," CP, LIV (1959), 118-19. watermarks listed by C. M. Briquet (Les filigranes2 [Leipzig,
3. N. G. Wilson, "Some Manuscripts of Theophrastus," 1923]). These suggest approximate dates. For F see Briquet
CP, LVI (1961), 109. No. 3456 (1499-1501), for L see No. 747 (1487), for MI see
4. W. D. Ross and F. H. Fobes, Theophrastus: "M.Ieta- No. 6601 (1480-87), for N see No. 82 (1479).
physics" (Oxford, 1929).


The earliest preserved example of pU0q puao6 pvOp ovz Xe. In a discussion of
occurs (in the Ionic form Pfurao) at the this fragment J'aegerl has pointed out that
end of Frag. 67A of Archilochus: . . . oto; the history of the word warns us against

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NOTES AND DiscussioNs 37

interpretin-g it here as "flux," despite the Greek the root becomes &pu-, 'u-. Its basic
fact that the modern concept of "rhythm" meaning seems to have been "to hold," a
suggests a flowing and the word itself is meaning which was frequently particular-
traditionally derived from pv, "to ized in two directions, so that the root
flow."2 Against the notion of flux in came to connote either "to hold on to
QuOt6q, he refers to Aeschylus PV 241, something," i.e., "to protect," or "to hold
where Prometheus, in bonds, says CM' off a danger," "to check," to ward off."
eppu'uO,uo?a, and to the Persae 748, where The Greek shows both these meanings, e.g.,
we read how Xerxes, in bridging the Od. 14. 107, 11. 24. 583-84, ibid. 2. 859, Hes.
Hellespont, 74pov ,LvrppQu'0,4e. Jaeger Scut. 105. I suggest that PMoO6o comes from
concludes that pvO,uo is "that which this root pvu-, pvu- meaning "to hold"; its
imposes bonds on movement and confines original meaning will then be "the manner
the flux of things; just as it is in Archi- in which a thing is held together," "form,"
lochus. Democritus too speaks in the true "disposition." With this derivation MjO6-L
old sense of the rhythm of the atoms, by corresponds exactly to axS[Lm, the synonym
which he means not their movement but which Aristotle gives for it,6 for axn,ta itself
their pattern-or as Aristotle perfectly comes from a root which means "to hold."
translates it, their schema. That is the Compare also KL and axiert, and in
interpretation which the ancient com- Latin habitus, habitudo (from habere) and
mentators correctly give for Aeschylus' tenor (from tenere).
words. Obviously when the Greeks speak In the Hymn to Demeter 230 ot8m
of the rhythm of a building or a statue, it re7>uaL 7otuXt)CLVOq &O OX6V 1pa1vov, &pu-
is not a metaphor transferred from musical a4?6v means "safeguard" and clearly
language; and the original conception comes from the root &pu-, pu-. Thus as
which lies beneath the Greek discovery of formations from &pu-, pu- we may set up
rhythm in music and dancing is not flow the proportion 9putcc: pV,tloc = &puatio6:
but pause, the steady limitation of pvUa4O (pvuOp6q). We would perhaps expect
movement." v in pvA,os, as in p,iua and 'iatq. The
Further passages where the concept of root, however, may undergo various
"flux" seems inappropriate to p,uO6t6 are treatments: (a) weru-> eru- (?pu-, full
Theog. 963-64, Anacr. Frag. 65. 1-3, grade); (b) weru-> wrut-> rui. (u 3, zero
Democr. Frag. 266 D-K, Hdt. 5. 58. 1-2, grade); (c) wreu-> wru-> ru- (p5, zero
Hippocr. On Joints 62, LXX Ex. 28. 15, grade).7 pvuosi6 could derive from this last
Diosc. 5. 113, Dion. Per. 620-21.3 The treatment. Recall that puo,t1oc shows both
derivation of 'pu6to' from 'eZv therefore v5- and v .8 Another explanation for the
will not do.4 Rather, the original meaning-5- in pM0,uo? is analogy; the word may
of pvO,^o' requires a root which contains have been in origin pvi,O619 and in time, as
some such notion as "holding" or "limit- it began to be associated with pdv,10 have
ing." Such a root is seen in the following been shortened to correspond to such real
IE cognates :5 Skt. varRt6, "one who holds derivatives of 'eZv as p'Orok and pUat4.
off, keeps distant (a danger)," varfltham, For such a change of quantity, compare
"defense," "protection," Lat. servare,
8pu4i&, which has -u- in Homer, but -*- in
Gk. Puo0tm, &puo[t?OC, pupa, gpuoa. These
late epic, by analogy with 8pk.11
cognates come from the IE root *sweru.
which admitted two variants, *seru-
(e.g., servare) and *weru- (e.g., varuttd). In HARVARD UNIVERSITY


1. Paideia (Eng. ed.') (Oxford, 1945), I, 125-26. expression linguistique," Journ. psych. nom. et pah.,
2. 1g. Boisacq, Dict. Ft. gr.4 (Heidelberg, 1950), p. 845. XLIV (1951), 401-10. From a study of various occurrences
3. For other exx. see LSJ 8.v. and the valuable article of 6uOI6A he concludes (p. 406): "Les citations suffisent
of E. Benveniste, "La notion de 'rhythme' dans son amplement a etablir: 1) que {6uO,6c ne signifle jamais

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38 NOTES AND DIscussIoNs

'rhythme' depuis l'origine jusqu' & la p6riode attique; 5. For these and further examples in other languages,
2) qu'il n'est jamais appliqu6 au mouvement r6gulier des compare A. Ernout and A. Meillet, Ditd. Ot. lat.4 (Paris,
flots; 3) que le sens constant est 'forme distinctive; figure 1959), s.v. "seruus," pp. 620-21.
proportionn6e; disposition' dans les conditions d'emploi 6. Met. 1. 4. 985b16.
d'ailleurs les plus vari6es." 7. LSJ (s.v. Wpwc B), contrary to the majority of
4. In recent times new etymologies have been proposed: linguists, e.g., Meillet,Ernout, Boisacq, and Hofmann, give
(1) "The late Wilhelm Schulze, the great linguist to whom I as the root of 6o,uot, gpullo, etc. seru-, sriu-, and compare
long ago presented my material and the conclusions to which the Latin servare. This form of the root is perhaps less
it had led me, was perfectly willing to look for a better probable, as aepu- should become &pu-, not tpu-; both 6-u-
etymology for 6uOi?6 than the traditional derivation from
and 65-, however, could easily come from it.
6co, because this one obviously does not fit the facts. He 8. Short in Od. 14. 107 and 15. 35, and long in II. 15. 257
thought of pO6p as possibly going back to the same root." and Hes. Th. 662.
(W. Jaeger, op. cit., I, 447, n. 53.) This explanation does not 9. We cannot tell the quantity of the -u- from the early
fit the original meaning of 6uO?6G. (2) E. Benveniste (op. occurrences of 6uO1?6s in poetry. It is not until Aeschylus
cit., pp. 407-8) keeps the traditional derivation from ev, (Ch. 797) that we have a certain instance of -5- in this word.
but explains the word as meaning literally "maniere 10. This, however, demands a word of caution. Linguists
particuliere de fluer." According to this scholar, the in the past century have indeed often derived 6uO[?6s from
meanings "form," "disposition" originated in Ionian elv; how widespread (if present at all) among the Greeks
philosophical theories of flux and especially in Leucippus themselves this notion was, I do not know. Compare, for
and Democritus' theory of atoms; the form of an object is example, the Et. nag., p. 706, 13ff., which connects the
the result of the way in which its atoms "flow." This is word with 5co and an invented ipuas,6G. See also the Et.
ingenious, but chronologically impossible. 6uai?6s appears Gud., p. 494, 19ff. and Orion Thebanus, p. 140, 27ff. These
already in Archilochus, who antedates the Ionian philo- passages, notwithstanding the similarities, should not be
sophers. (3) Professor J. Whatmough has kindly com- taken as ancient testimonies supporting my derivation
municated to me that he considers 6uOi?6 cognate with (which was conceived independently of them): the coinci-
dptO[t6o (where a- is "prothetic"), OE rim (= "number") dences are mere, chance, as all who are familiar with the
and rhif (= "number"). The original meaning of 6uO?6s fantasies of ancient etymological practices will realize.
would then be "number," "limit." Such a meaning, 11. I am grateful to Professor Calvert Watkins of
however, does not seem suitable to the basic concept of Harvard University for his expert linguistic counsel.
6uOi?6 as explained above.


The sentence tp6S 8? tOu'tOLq &XXoae are&yeLV

any enemies of theirs; those who at-
tempt such exportation will be barred from

xp ovTaL -n OcX&ttn iS generally considered the use of the sea. The Greek idiom is
corrupt; many assume a lacuna.1 I suggest 6.)o,oac... ol; n here has the meaning "or
that the manuscript tradition is almost else. "2 The "Old Oligarch" wrote OITINE2
sound; we need only correct Ot'tLVe4 to ol with neither word division nor accent,
tLVe4. The thought is that the Athenians whence the error.
will not permit exportation of shipbuilding ROBERT RENEHAN
materials to any other place where there HARVARD UNIVERSITY


1. For a discussion of the various attempts at emen- simul interdicto man! ni desistant." This interpretation
dation (none of which has found acceptance), cf. Kalinka, strains the Greek, and gives an inferior sense; the question
Die Pseudoxenophontische "Athenaion Politeia" (Leipzig here is one of the Athenians' forbidding the exportation of
and Berlin, 1913), pp. 218-20. The Oxford editor Marchant vital materials (hy allies or neutrals) to their cvr7raXot not
defends the transmitted text, which he understands as of the &cvrEnaocot themselves shipping alium in portum.
follows: "ei qui nobis aemulantes alium in portum has 2. Cf. And. 1. 33; P1. Phdr. 237C; Hdt. 5. 74; Plut.
merces transvehere conantur, ab Atheniensibus vetabuntur, Sol. 21.

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