Questions tagged [homer]

Relating to the works of, or the use of language by, Homer.

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In what way is Odysseus διογενής?

In the Odyssey, Odysseus is sometimes addressed as διογενής "Zeus-born". For example, 11.60: διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν' Ὀδυσσεῦ O Zeus-born son of Laërtes, Odysseus of many tricks… ...
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Did Greek ever have long initial consonants?

In this other answer, TKR suggests that the Homeric dative οἱ might have once been something like *ϝϝοι, with initial long [wː]. This makes sense to me, etymologically, since it may have come from a ...
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Why does οἱ make position?

Iliad XXII.307: τό οἱ ὑπὸ λαπάρην τέτατο μέγα τε στιβαρόν τε Since it's at the beginning of a hexameter, τό needs to scan heavy. And since omicron is always short by nature, it must be heavy by ...
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How does one pronounce a circumflex accent on a short (correpted) vowel?

From Iliad 18.333: νῦν δ' ἐπεὶ οὖν, Πάτροκλε, σεῦ ὕστερος εἶμ' ὑπὸ γαῖαν As best I can tell from the scansion, the σεῦ here is shortened by correption, letting it be the final syllable of a dactyl. ...
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Can δῖος legitimately be translated as "boundless?"

Homer uses the set phrases ἅλα δῖαν and ἠῶ δῖαν to describe the sea and the dawn. Some 19th century commentators and translators (Buckley) think δῖαν should be read here as "boundless." The ...
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Iliad 1.6 "when they first stood apart in strife" -- can this be read as when the muse should start singing?

The first seven lines of the Iliad are: Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε, πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν ...
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Scansion of lines in Homer involving εἰνὶ θρόνῳ

Scanning Homeric verse is something I'm not very experienced at yet, and I have a question about these two lines involving the phrase εἰνὶ θρόνῳ: σείσατο δ’ εἰνὶ θρόνῳ, ἐλέλιξε δὲ μακρὸν Ὄλυμπον, (...
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Is ἐν changing to ἐμ or ἐγ only a thing in Attic?

I've seen in various places (example) the statement that prepositions like ἐν, συν, and ἐκ change forms before certain consonants, so we would have ἐμ before βμπφψ, and ἐγ before γκξχ. But looking ...
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What is the vocabulary in the Homeric dialect for the parts of the body?

What is the vocabulary in the Homeric dialect for the parts of the body? Collecting these is a somewhat time-consuming process, because often the Greek concepts don't map one-to-one onto the English ...
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Saying whose body part it is in Greek

I've been trying to piece together the grammar for how we talk about parts of the body in ancient Greek. (Homer is the dialect I care about.) I've found this discussed in passing in various places (...
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Frequency of conventions regarding whether to pronounce ω more open than ο, more closed, or the same

<boring background> I've been doing some recordings of language drill in Homeric Greek (1, 2, 3), in which my pronunciation has been chosen based on a certain set of criteria: (1) They're meant ...
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Initial digamma / long diphthong in plupf. ᾔδη?

In Homer, the form ᾔδη "he knew" (3sg. pluperfect of οἶδα) scans as if it began with digamma. This is most evident in Iliad 1.70, where the first syllable scans heavy: ὃς ᾔδη τά τ᾽ ἐόντα τά ...
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Are these reasonable guesses for unattested verb forms? ἤρισσαν, θεωπρόπεεν

I'm making recordings of grammar drill exercises for the Homeric dialect (example). For verbs, there is a hassle because most verbs are not actually attested in very many forms. Typically I can look ...
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Homeric verbs that never take the augment

I've been making some recordings of grammar drills for Homeric Greek (1, 2), and have been wrestling with the question of how to deal with cases where the user is supposed to produce some Greek, but ...
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Subjunctive αἰδέσεται rather than αἰδέσηται?

Homer several times uses the subjunctive αἰδέσεται. I would have expected this to be αἰδέσηται, and wiktionary agrees with me. I guess the lack of an augmented initial vowel is a hint that this is a ...
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Why is ἀτρύγετος = ἀ + τρυγάω + τος "formally not easy?"

Homer uses ἀτρύγετος as an epithet of the sea and sky. The etymology has traditionally been taken to be α participle formed from ἀ + τρυγάω, unharvested or barren, but Beekes says this is "...
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Why κιχείη rather than κιχάνοι?

Book 1 of the Iliad has the optative form κιχείη. Wikipedia says that ordinarily we expect to see the -η- infix in singular optative forms when the verb is athematic or a contract verb. Neither seems ...
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Why τράφεν rather than ἐτράφησαν?

For the verb τρέφω, to nurture, Pharr lists the principal parts for the Homeric dialect as τρέφω, θρέψω, ἔθρεψα/ἔτραφον, τέτροφα, τέθραμμαι, ἐτράφην. (Wiktionary also lists ἐθρέφθην as a possible ...
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Omicron sometimes becoming omega in conjugation of ἀπόλλυμι

Homer has, for example: Τυδέα δ’ οὐ μέμνημαι, ἐπεί μ’ ἔτι τυτθὸν ἐόντα κάλλιφ’, ὅτ’ ἐν Θήβῃσιν ἀπώλετο λαὸς Ἀχαιῶν. (Iliad 6.222) But Tydeus I remember not, for he left me whilst I was yet young, ...
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Homeric expression for "easy?"

All of the following seem to be expressions in ancient Greek meaning "easy," as in "tic tac toe is an easy game:" εὐπετής εὔπορος ῥᾳδιος εὐμαρής εὔκοπος However, none of these ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Aeolic and Ionic personal pronouns: paradigms for recitation?

I'm having trouble getting all the Homeric pronouns under my belt for purposes of reading comprehension. Just for grins, I wrote a little script that goes through the Project Perseus treebank for ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to render a translation similar to this phrase in the Odyssey

It says in the Book 6, line 160, of the Odyssey: "οὔτ᾽ ἄνδρ᾽ οὔτε γυναῖκα: σέβας μ᾽ ἔχει εἰσορόωντα." But if I wanted to change roughly to: I have never laid eyes on anyone but you. How ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Name of Homeric (?) figure of speech: semantic transposition

I'm afraid my question is somewhat vague, and I'll try to improve it as I find the time to research it more. I've been having a nagging memory of my Ancient Greek and Latin classes (and in that memory ...
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nu + apostrophe at the beginning of Homeric verses?

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 aoidoi ...
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προσώπατα versus πρόσωπα, προσώπασι versus προσώποις in Homer

I'm working on learning Homeric vocabulary, and for this purpose I've written a script using CLTK to search for forms of a particular word through the Iliad and Odyssey. The idea is that I don't want ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Counting to ten in Homeric Greek

How do you count to ten in Homeric Greek? The following is what I put together by knowing how to count to ten in modern Greek, and then looking for ancient forms that looked similar. Is this right for ...
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Old illustrated books showing daily life in ancient Greece or Rome

When I was learning French, I found it very helpful to work on my vocabulary using a picture book called First Thousand Words in French. For example, it would have something like a full-page picture ...
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8 votes
1 answer
242 views

What do we know about Homer's pronunciation?

Nowadays, most classicists seem to teach a reconstructed Ancient Greek pronunciation, imitating how an Athenian would have spoken in the fifth century BCE. On top of that, there's solid evidence for ...
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6 votes
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How to read αἱμύλιος or when to aspirate

I've tought myself to read the Greek alphabet, and it is still confusing to read and identify "h" sound in the ancient Greek. For example, Athena talks about Calypso that she has "αἱμύλιοι λόγοι" in ...
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Pronouncing Homer as in modern Greek

25 years ago I was reasonably good in modern Greek, could read Popeye comic books and have a basic conversation with a taxi driver. I was thinking it would be a fun and challenging project to try to ...
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9 votes
2 answers
697 views

Where did the name Ulixes come from?

He's Odysseus in Homer, but how did he become Ulixes/Ulysses when he arrived (so to speak) in Rome, where there were many people who knew him from the Iliad and the Odyssey? And was there a separate ...
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2 votes
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Translation of Odyssey Book I lines 52–54

I wasn't entirely happy with any of the translations I found online, so I was forced to attempt my own: "...crafty Atlas, who knows the full depths of the sea, and holds, himself, the towering ...
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How should Odyssey A 56 be scanned?: αἰεὶ δὲ μαλακοῖσι καὶ αἱμυλίοισι λόγοισιν

Odyssey A 56 goes thus: αἰεὶ δὲ μαλακοῖσι καὶ αἱμυλίοισι λόγοισιν I find it difficult to scan this verse. The word μᾰλᾰκός has two short syllables, which must be preceded by a long one; and yet δὲ ...
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