I was thinking today about the apparent similarities in spelling at the start of the two words:
And the fact they have seemingly opposed semantics. The first appearing at the start of a book, and the second appearing at the end.
Etymonline has this to say about the words:
1620s, "inscription on a building, statue, etc.," from Greek epigraphe "an inscription," from epigraphein "to mark the surface, just pierce; write on, inscribe; to register; inscribe one's name, endorse," from epi "on" (see epi-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Sense of "motto; short, pithy sentence at the head of a book or chapter" first recorded in English 1844. Related: Epigraphic; epigraphical.
early 15c., from Middle French epilogue (13c.), from Latin epilogus, from Greek epilogos "a conclusion, conclusion of a speech, inference," from epi "upon, in addition" (see epi-) + logos "a speaking" (see -logy). Earliest English sense was theatrical.
The first description details epi as meaning "on", while the second states that epi means "upon, in addition".
Whereas in the first description we are told that graph is related to "writ[ing]", and in the second that logos is related to "speaking".
No clue then regarding anything about why one is always at the front of a book and the other always at the end. Except for the fact that we are told epi means "in addition", in the epilogue description. Yet why is this not mentioned in the first description?
My question is:
- How did these two words come to be completely opposed spatially, when used in the context of text that appears in a book?
1.b. Is there anything in their etymological roots that explains, why one is taken to be that which appears at the start of a book, and the other, that which appears at the end?