"Alēctō" is the name of one of the Furies, made surprisingly famous in the Harry Potter books. It seems to come straightforwardly from Greek ă- "not" + lēg- "stop" + -tos "[adjective]", so "unstoppable" or "unstopping".

However, Vergil refers to this Fury as "Allēctō", with an extra L. For example, see Aeneid X.41:

Allēctō mediās Italum bacchāta per urbes
Allecto, running wild throughout all the cities of Italy

Is there any linguistic or historical reason for this extra "L"? It certainly makes the name easier to fit into a hexameter, but Vergil could just as well have lengthened the vowel, like we see in I.2 (where he has Ītaliam for Italiam). And I'd expect Vergil of all people to know his Greek backward and forward, given his love of Homer.

EDIT: As sumelic points out, if my etymology is correct, the a in Alēctō would be short by nature.

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    You might also link to the question"Hexametric Greek names", which is about variation in Greek between different forms of names for the sake of poetry. One of the examples mentioned in b a's answer is Achilles' name, which apparently could have one or two lambdas. – Asteroides Dec 18 '18 at 3:29
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    For what it's worth, Ovid and Pliny also write Allecto. I have no evidence for this, but could the extra "l" be related to the adjective (and given name) allectus "chosen, recruited"? – Vincenzo Oliva Dec 18 '18 at 6:45
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    Alecto with a single L is attested too, but metric evidence shows that the first syllable is still heavy/long. Variations between āl- and ăll- are metrically irrelevant. What is the length of the Greek alpha? – Joonas Ilmavirta Dec 18 '18 at 15:43
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Good question! As far as I can tell it's the "privative alpha", but I don't know how long that alpha was…I'll ask another question about that, since it's relevant on its own. – Draconis Dec 18 '18 at 17:29
  • @VincenzoOliva The mention in Pliny is especially interesting, given that he was writing prose, so it wouldn't be for metrical reasons. I wonder which sources he was working from? – Draconis Dec 18 '18 at 17:39

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