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I need help understanding a passage from Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique (chapter XVIII, p. 222).

Chantraine talks about the Ζῆν and Ζῆνα forms of the name Zeus. According to Chantraine, the aedes felt that its accusative was Ζῆνα and not Ζῆν, which was monosyllabic and only poorly characterized the accusative.(*)

What bothers me is this extract(**) (my translation):

The form Ζῆν is used only under certain conditions: either before vowels [...] or at the end of a verse, but when the next verse begins with a vowel; in this case some of the best manuscripts [...] write Ζῆ and add at the beginning of the next verse " ν' " (i.e. nu + coronis).

I don't understand where this idea of adding at the beginning of verse ν' [nu + coronis] comes from: is it a word with apocope? But which one? As it stands, the Homeric text knows no verse beginning with ν'. As far as I know, there is no word in Homeric Greek that can correspond to ν'. On the other hand, it seems strange to me to cut a word so as to divide it into two parts (Ζῆ | ν), each part belonging to a different verse (Ζῆ + ν).

How then can we understand Chantraine's remark?


(*) "Les aèdes qui ont combiné les formules homériques devaient déjà avoir le sentiment que l'accusatif était Ζῆνα. Ζῆν présentait le double inconvénient d'être un monosyllabe et de caractériser médiocrement l'accusatif"

(**) "Cette forme archaïque est proprement homérique mais déjà dans l'Iliade et l'Odyssée elle n'est employée que dans certaines conditions : soit devant voyelle (E756 [...]), soit en fin de vers (Θ206 [...]), mais lorsque le vers suivant commence par une voyelle (dans ce cas une partie des meilleurs manuscrits [...] écrivent Ζῆ, et au début du vers suivant ν').

Chantraine, Grammaire Homérique (chapter XVIII, p. 222)

  • 1
    Hagen, Hansludwig. "Die Diskussion Um Die Schreibweise Von Ζῆν(') Im Homerischen Epos." Glotta 72, no. 1/4 (1994): 98-104. Accessed March 15, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/40266989. - see esp. page 100 – Alex B. Mar 15 at 22:30
  • 1
    Körte, Alfred. "Die Episynaloiphe." Glotta 3, no. 2 (1911): 153-56. Accessed March 15, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/40264676. - see esp. page 154 – Alex B. Mar 15 at 22:34
  • Isn't it an apostrophe rather than a coronis? – TKR Mar 23 at 6:10

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