75. Παλαίμονος, θυμίαμα μάνναν.
To Palaimon, God of Sea Rescue
Divine medium: manna
Σύντροφε βακχεχόροιο Διωνύσου πολυγηθοῦς,
Fostered with the Bacchian chorus of Dionysos amidst Ge’s bounty,
ὃς ναίεις πόντοιο βυθοὺς ἁλικύμονας, ἁγνούς,
Dwelling in Pontos’ deep pregnant pure seas,
κικλήσκω σε, Παλαῖμον, ἐπ’ εὐιέροις τελεταῖσιν
I call Palaimon upon these holy rites,
ἐλθεῖν εὐμενέοντα, νέωι γήθοντα προσώπωι,
Come, kindly power, to nautical earth’s divine façade,
καὶ σώζειν μύστας κατά τε χθόνα καὶ κατὰ πόντον·
And keep safe the mystae on earth and every sea.
ποντοπλάνοις γὰρ ἀεὶ ναυσὶν χειμῶνος ἐναργὴς
When Pontos’ eternal plane gives form to nautical winter storms,
φαινομένου σωτὴρ μοῦνος θνητοῖς ἀναφαίνηι,
Appear, unique savior, to mortals arise and appear,
ῥυόμενος μῆνιν χαλεπὴν κατὰ πόντιον οἶδμα.
Rescue from the grievous pure wrath of the sea’s swollen waves.
Palaimon (Παλαίμονος) is the God who comes to the aid of shipwrecked sailors. As the mortal Melicertes, he and his mother, Ino Leukothea, became immortal when they leapt from a cliff into the sea to escape the insane wrath of Ino’s beloved Athamas (Ἀθάμας). Both Palaimon and Leukothea come to the aid of sailors in distress.
Dionysos/Bacchos is the immortal God of wine and its effects. Dionysos was fostered by Palaimon’s parents.
Ge is the immortal Goddess of generative earth.
Pontos is an immortal God of the sea.
Mystae are initiates in the Mystery religions.
The most likely explanation for the name Palaimon is “under-the-same-roof (Π) + salty seas (αλαῖ) + one (μον).”
The meaning of “Palaimon” isn’t immediately clear from similarly-based words. The base pal- (Παλ-) generally means either “old, in the past, go back,” or refers to the palm of the hand and things that are done with the hand such as wrestling, throwing, scattering items.
The literal meaing of Παλ is “under-the-same-roof (Π) + arising (α) + loose (λ)” may describe the palm as the common joining point of the five loose fingers, and in the case of going back and forth, could describe the action of something loose but contained. As far as meaning “old,” this could reflect the unifying aspect of a common heritage.
Palaios (πᾰλαιός) means old, aged, ancient, in the past; also, venerable, held in esteem.
Paleo (πᾰλέω) means to be disabled, to be wrecked (of a ship).
Pali- (πᾰλί-) is a prefix that means again, go back to, double-back, recur, return.
Palmos (παλμός) means quivering motion, pulsation, vibration, back-and-forth.
Palamee (πᾰλᾰμη) and palastee (πᾰλαστή) mean palm of the hand.
Palee (πάλη) means wrestling (as in hand-to-hand combat).
Paltos (παλτός) means brandished, hurled (presumably by hand).
Paluo (πᾰλύνω) means strew, sprinkle, besmear (presumably by hand).