αειν υψιπετειν

shawnee

Senior Member
English - Australian
I have always thought that this meant something like 'aim high' mainly because it features on a WWII stamp commemorating the air force but I really don't have a clue.
 
  • Acestor

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The stamp must have had the official motto of the Hellenic Air Force, which is “ΑΙΕΝ ΥΨΙΚΡΑΤΕΙΝ” (Αἰὲν Ὑψικρατεῖν), i.e. Always dominate the heights. «Αιέν υψιπετείν» is an unofficial formation, perhaps the motto some people remember wrongly, influenced by the adjective “υψιπετής” (the meaning of which is the cause of much confusion). The verb “υψιπετώ” (fly high) is not in use.
     

    shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Thanks Acestor; Αἰὲν Ὑψικρατεῖν sounds appropriate for the air force. However, even though I can't find my stamp album at the moment, Ι have an old Vlastos catalogue (1990 p.56), which has the stamp I'm talking about. It is issued around 1947-8 and I can verify that it bears the motto «αειν υψιπετείν» I assume it means or is intended to mean "fly high".
     

    ioanell

    Member
    Greek
    Acestor, please illustrate the difference between ἀεὶ (the ancient Greek word I know for 'always') and ιὲν.
    In case you are exclusively waiting for Acestor’s answer, I must apologise for my hastiness. Nevertheless, the following might be of some interest to other “Wordreferencers”.

    αἰέν, ποιητ. αντί ἀεί.

    αἰεί, Ιων. και ποιητ. αντί ἀεί.

    See Homer, Iliad, Ζ208 “…αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν καὶ ὑπείροχον ἔμμεναι ἄλλων " (…[my father sent me to Troy advising] …to always be excellent and superior to the others) (of course, there is a variety of translational versions)
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Αιέν υψιπετείν was indeed printed on a stamp in relation to airforce, and is used by air-scouts. https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YEQGMTCWaWA/Wd4hfp58JdI/AAAAAAABsDY/WxOKCvFqVvgGnVM59hX2n0e3DHmrJM0nwCLcBGAs/s1600/1947+%CE%88%CE%BA%CE%B4%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%B7+%CE%9D%CE%AF%CE%BA%CE%B7%CF%82+%28%CE%91%CE%99%CE%95%CE%9D+%CE%A5%CE%A8%CE%99%CE%A0%CE%95%CE%A4%CE%95%CE%99%CE%9D%29.jpg However, the meaning of ΥΨΙΠΕΤΕΙΝ is not specific for flying high but is also understood as "having high ambitions" or "interests" etc. The word υψιπετής is used, referring to people with lofty endeavours, maybe with the negative sense of "over-ambitious".
     

    shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Thanks to all. Thanks Sotos for the electronic image, which is exactly the stamp in question. Also for the metaphoric meaning which I kind of suspected. I did not however, consider the possibility of a negative connotation.
    .... και καλή χρονιά σε όλους.
     
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