There is a 2018 thesis by Alexandra Kozak, "Le Dictionnaire des hapax dans la poésie grecque archaïque, d'Homère à Eschyle," freely downloadable from https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-02082531v2/document . It's a dictionary of hapax legomena, including 362 entries from Homer. One of the words is marked with an asterix:

*ἐγγεινομαι (ἐγγείνωνται) engendrer, générer, Hom. Il.19.26 enter image description here « [les mouches] engendrent des vers, et ils souilleront alors le cadavre » En contexte, il désigne les vers et les mouches apparus suite au pourrissement du cadavre laissé sans sépulture par Achille. Ces détails macabres rendent la scène à la fois poétique et choquant

My understanding is that usually when a word is marked with an asterisk like this, it means that it isn't correct speech as recognized by a native speaker. My French isn't great, so I'm not really clear on what she intends here. Is the idea that some manuscripts have ἐγγεινομαι, but that's a scribal error, and Homer really would have said ἐγγείνωνται? Or that it's a grammatical error intentionally committed by Homer for metrical purposes, and should actually be ἐγγείνωνται? Or is she saying that the word that actually occurs is ἐγγείνωνται, and she infers a lexical form of ἐγγεινομαι, but the latter is somehow impossible?

The dictionary at logeion.uchicago.edu shows no LSJ entry, but does show a couple of other authors' entries.

As a side issue, I'm not clear on why there is no accent, only a breathing mark.

1 Answer 1


Here's my translation of the French, though it's not strictly relevant to the answer:

*ἐγγεινομαι (ἐγγείνωνται) to engender, generate, Hom. Il.19.26

- Verb formed by prefixing of the aorist stem γεν-, from γίγνομαι 'to be born', which undergoes metrical lengthening written γειν-. The prefix ἐν- gives the verb an active meaning, the semantics therefore insist on the action of putting and becoming, of engendering.

-v.26 εὐλὰς ἐγγείνωνται, ἀεικίσσωσι δὲ νεκρόν,

"[the flies] engender worms, and they then soil the cadaver" In context, it denotes the worms and flies that appeared following the decay of the corpse left without burial by Achilles. These macabre details render the scene both poetic and shocking.

The asterisk indicates that *ἐγγεινομαι is a reconstructed form based on the form ἐγγείνωνται shown in the quoted line, which is the only actually attested form of the verb (which is why it's a hapax). The author reconstructs the form because the active present indicative 1st person singular is the usual dictionary form of a verb.

I'm not sure why there's no accent either, though—it should be a perfectly regular recessive accent: ἐγγείνομαι.

  • 2
    "Citation form unattested" was my first guess too, but looking through that document, most of the hapaxes listed don't occur in the citation form (as you might expect) and yet this seems to be the only lemma that's asterisked. I wonder if it's just an error.
    – TKR
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 23:23
  • @TKR I'd guess so. It's a doctoral thesis, so it won't have had many editors looking it over for strict consistency in style.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 23:29

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