αχλυς ος πριν επηεν -> The mist that was upon (the eyes) before (Homer via Poe)

Jeffcraft1

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αχλυς ος πριν επηεν

Found this in E.A. Poe's short story "a man in the crowd" what does it mean? I tried using an online translator and all i got was " agenda before" the other two words couldent be translated if i couls get a translation of this it would be good thank you

Not long ago, about the closing in of an evening in autumn, I sat at the large bow window of the D—— Coffee-House in London. For some months I had been ill in health, but was now convalescent, and, with returning strength, found myself in one of those happy moods which are so precisely the converse of ennui—moods of the keenest appetency, when the film from the mental vision departs—αχλυς ος πριν επηεν—and the intellect, electrified, surpasses as greatly its every-day condition, as does the vivid yet candid reason of Leibnitz, the mad and flimsy rhetoric of Gorgias. Merely to breathe was enjoyment; and I derived positive pleasure even from many of the legitimate sources of pain. I felt a calm but inquisitive interest in every thing.
Page:Tales, Edgar Allan Poe, 1846.djvu/233 - Wikisource, the free online library
« Last Edit: 30 Jan, 2018, 15:37:53 by spiros »


billberg23

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"The mist that was upon (the eyes) before."  This is Poe's reference to Homer, Iliad 5.127, where Athena encourages Diomedes to join the battle by telling him

ἀχλὺν δ' αὖ τοι ἀπ' ὀφθαλμῶν ἕλον ἣ πρὶν ἐπῆεν,
ὄφρ' εὖ γιγνώσκῃς ἠμὲν θεὸν ἠδὲ καὶ ἄνδρα.

I've taken from your eyes the mist that was upon them before,
So that you may discern both god and man.

Unfortunately, Poe gets the gender of ἀχλύς wrong, misremembering it as masculine (ὃς) instead of feminine (ἣ).  We have to understand that everyone in Poe's social class, regardless of linguistic ability, was forced to study Greek in school, and to memorize Homer among other classics.  Poe at least took something from it, and was proud enough of his Greek to flaunt it in his work.



 

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