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Reading the Homeric poems (and other Greek hexameter poetry)

Having responded to many of huilen's queries about verb-forms in Odyssey 1, I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief explanation of why there are so many apparently irregular verbs in Homeric verse, and how to go about dealing with them as you read the poems.

Most of us are aware that the Homeric poems represent the end-product of a long tradition of hexameter poetry that was oral and composed in performance without ...
Read more : Reading the Homeric poems (and other Greek hexameter poetry) | Views : 1038 | Replies : 2


Odyssey, Book 1

I have read Book 1 this week. At last I have opted for Merry (thanks, Paul :)), which I must say I have found very useful, specially the short Homeric grammar that is appended at the end of the book. I am glad because I have solved most of my morphological questions, better understood the many uses of the participles, and felt that, finally, the imperfect vs ...
Read more : Odyssey, Book 1 | Views : 1228 | Replies : 15


Rough breathing

I have this doubt for a long time: how should I pronunce the rough breathing when it is before a word that is elided?
νῦν δ' ἁθρόα πάντ' ἀπέτεισε
Read more : Rough breathing | Views : 659 | Replies : 2


Odyssey 7.204-206

εἰ δ᾽ ἄρα τις καὶ μοῦνος ἰὼν ξύμβληται ὁδίτης,
οὔ τι κατακρύπτουσιν, ἐπεί σφισιν ἐγγύθεν εἰμέν,
ὥς περ Κύκλωπές τε καὶ ἄγρια φῦλα Γιγάντων.

Is ξύμβληται = ξυμβάλληται? It would be sense the subjunctive in this construction, but I can't explain the change in the stem. Is this a syncope? I thought that this kind of transformation applied only for other systems, I don't recall having seen any case like that in the present system, ...
Read more : Odyssey 7.204-206 | Views : 1084 | Replies : 9


Od. 7 123-126

ἔνθα δέ οἱ πολύκαρπος ἀλωὴ ἐρρίζωται,
τῆς ἕτερον μὲν θειλόπεδον λευρῷ ἐνὶ χώρῳ
τέρσεται ἠελίῳ, ἑτέρας δ᾽ ἄρα τε τρυγόωσιν,
ἄλλας δὲ τραπέουσι


If τρυγόωσιν/τραπέουσι are finite, where is their subject?

Could they be participles in the dative case? Ηere is my interpretation:

"There is a fruitful garden planted, one part of which, a sunny spot on level ground, becomes dry by the sun, while others are for gatherers and others for treaders."


But I ...
Read more : Od. 7 123-126 | Views : 602 | Replies : 2


Od. 7 61-77

τὸν μὲν ἄκουρον ἐόντα βάλ᾽ ἀργυρότοξος Ἀπόλλων
νυμφίον ἐν μεγάρῳ, μίαν οἴην παῖδα λιπόντα
Ἀρήτην: τὴν δ᾽ Ἀλκίνοος ποιήσατ᾽ ἄκοιτιν,


Which is the meaning of βάλλω here? Is "to be striked by Apollo" some kind of euphemism for death?

ὣς κείνη περὶ κῆρι τετίμηταί τε καὶ ἔστιν
ἔκ τε φίλων παίδων ἔκ τ᾽ αὐτοῦ Ἀλκινόοιο
καὶ λαῶν, οἵ μίν ῥα θεὸν ὣς εἰσορόωντες
δειδέχαται μύθοισιν, ὅτε στείχῃσ᾽ ἀνὰ ἄστυ.


How would you explain ἔστιν ...
Read more : Od. 7 61-77 | Views : 663 | Replies : 3


Od. 7. 21-60

Od. 7. 21 wrote:ἀνείρετο

(Don't worry, it is not about the imperfect of this verb that I will ask about :)). Here is my doubt: in tmesis or in composed verbs, ἀνα adds the notion of either "up" or "again". Right? I am not sure, then, how ἀνα modifies the sense of εἴρομαι. "Ask again"? But "ask again" wouldn't have sense here, because Odysseus is addressing Athena in ...
Read more : Od. 7. 21-60 | Views : 607 | Replies : 3


Od. 7.12-13

Sorry for the insistence, I am in a imperfect-revision phase :)

ἣ τρέφε Ναυσικάαν λευκώλενον ἐν μεγάροισιν.
ἥ οἱ πῦρ ἀνέκαιε καὶ εἴσω δόρπον ἐκόσμει.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 3Acard%3D1

I am in doubt with these imperfects. The first is clearly an iterative one, because the sense of τρέφω is iterative itself, right? But I am not sure about the other two: should ...
Read more : Od. 7.12-13 | Views : 624 | Replies : 3


Aspect of εἰμί

In Latin there is an aspectual distinction between era and fui of the verb sum. But in Greek there is no aorist of εἰμι, and instead there is only the imperfect: ἤν. How should I read it then "ἤν κακός", for example? "He was evil", or "he used to be evil"? Or is there some kind of ambiguity in the aspect that has to be resolved by the context?
Read more : Aspect of εἰμί | Views : 933 | Replies : 10


How to translate the inchoative imperfect

I have noted that all the translations of Homer that I have checked always translate the inchoative imperfect as if it were an aorist. Here is an example from Od. 7.1-5:

ὧς ὁ μὲν ἔνθ᾽ ἠρᾶτο πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς,
κούρην δὲ προτὶ ἄστυ φέρεν μένος ἡμιόνοιιν.
ἡ δ᾽ ὅτε δὴ οὗ πατρὸς ἀγακλυτὰ δώμαθ᾽ ἵκανε,
στῆσεν ἄρ᾽ ἐν προθύροισι, κασίγνητοι δέ μιν ἀμφὶς
5ἵσταντ᾽ ἀθανάτοις ἐναλίγκιοι, οἵ ῥ᾽ ὑπ᾽ ἀπήνης
ἡμιόνους ἔλυον ἐσθῆτά τε ἔσφερον ...
Read more : How to translate the inchoative imperfect | Views : 1757 | Replies : 15


 

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