Some questions about epic verse

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swiftnicholas
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Some questions about epic verse

Post by swiftnicholas » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:26 pm

First, does the phrase "spondaic ending" refer to a 'natural' spondee in the final foot, rather than a long-short? or is it the same thing as a "spondaic verse", ie. with a spondee in the fifth foot (and so spondee-spondee)?

Second, re diaresis: is there good reason to pay attention to diaresis if it's not the bucolic diaresis? And is the bucolic diaresis interesting primarily because of the number of formulae that fit after it? or does it a have an interesting relationship to the caesura?

And I also have some questions about the verse caesura:

If there is a caesura in the 3rd foot, but also one in the 4th foot position, do we always assume it to be in the third? Here are some examples, all from the Hymn to Demeter:

Dem.60 Ῥείης ἠϋκόμου | θυγάτηÏ￾, | ἀλλ' ὦκα σὺν αá½￾τῇ
Dem.75 Ῥείης ἠϋκόμου | θυγάτηÏ￾ | ΔήμητεÏ￾ ἄνασσα


In these two examples, I would guess that both are in the 3rd foot; although I'd be more tempted to look at the 4th foot in line 60.


Dem.48 στÏ￾ωφᾶτ' αἰθομένας | δαΐδας | μετὰ χεÏ￾σὶν ἔχουσα,

In this line, δαΐδας is a little more closely connected with αἰθομένας, but still it seems best to take it in the 3rd foot, right?


Dem.136 δοῖεν κουÏ￾ιδίους | ἄνδÏ￾ας | καὶ τέκνα τεκέσθαι

Here ἄνδÏ￾ας seems most closely connected with what comes before the 3rd foot caesura, but I know that the caesura doesn't always (or even usually) match a break in sense.

I guess my question is whether we always take it in the 3rd foot, and if not *always*, then how vivid must the break in sense be? More than all of these examples?


Next, when there is choice between the masc. and fem. caesura in the 3rd foot. I would assume that when the monosyllable is enclitic, that the caesura would always come after it. And I would say the same for δέ too. For καί it would always be before it, right?


Dem.46 οὔτ' οἰωνῶν τις | τῇ | á¼￾τήτυμος ἄγγελος ἦλθεν.

Here I would be inclined to see the caesura before τῇ, as the direct object of ἦλθεν; but is it instead accounting for the hiatus of τῇ | á¼￾τήτυμος?

And finally, when both exist, often the space between the masc. and fem. caesura of the 3rd foot, and also between the 3rd foot and 4th foot positions, seems almost to have a syntactic independence, like in line 46 (and sometimes even with enclitc pronouns) or line 60 above. Is that simply apparent? That is, is it ridiculous to talk about a position between two possible caesurae, when you have to pick one?

Thanks!

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Post by chad » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:07 pm

hi nick :) let's see, question 1: spondaic ending refers to the 5th foot spondee ending, as you suggest 2nd.

diaresis: no, really every word ends at either a caesura or diaresis by definition; of these the only ones of practical interest are the ones which can show you the 'joins' in homeric verses, i.e. the common starting or ending points of homeric formulae. 2 such points are the caesura and the bucolic diaresis, where you have many formula sets beginning and ending, and you have correption patterns different to all other points in the line.

relationship between caesura and buc diaresis? well, i've noticed from experience that most verses which have a 4th foot caesura also have a bucolic diaresis, just a side point. i'm not sure what kind of relationship there could be between a 3rd foot caesura and the buc diaresis.

for the rest of the questions, if you have 2 possible caesurae in a line, it's not necessarily the case that one is "true" and one is false. the caesura is an explanation by later people of patterns they saw in grk poetry. in that sense identifying the divisions at all is an "artificial" exercise, however in another sense it isn't because, as i said above, it shows you the joins, the starting and ending points, which most often occur due to the way homeric verses were often built out of formulae of particular metrical lengths and positions in the line.

finally you're also right when you say a caesura or diaresis doesn't occur before an enclitic or after καί: e.g. i don't mark a buc diaresis before μιν in Iliad A 441:

http://www.freewebs.com/mhninaeide/Ilia ... an2005.pdf

the same rule applies in other types of poetry (see e.g. ss 5 and 6 of Sidgwick's Greek Verse Comp for tragic dialogue). :)

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Re: Some questions about epic verse

Post by annis » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:24 pm

swiftnicholas wrote:I guess my question is whether we always take it in the 3rd foot, and if not *always*, then how vivid must the break in sense be? More than all of these examples?


I would only read a 4th foot caesura where the entire 3rd foot is crossed by a single word.

Dem.46 οὔτ' οἰωνῶν τις | τῇ | á¼￾τήτυμος ἄγγελος ἦλθεν.

Here I would be inclined to see the caesura before τῇ, as the direct object of ἦλθεν; but is it instead accounting for the hiatus of τῇ | á¼￾τήτυμος?


I'm inclined take it right after τις. Note that τῇ isn't in hiatus, but correpted.
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Post by annis » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:36 pm

Actually, there's an entire area of study about how the hexameter is put together, where breaks are most likely, where they aren't, etc. Chad has read more about than I have, but I've been looking at it, especially localization[1], a lot recently. I hope to have a summary (with references) ready for Aoidoi, post-redesign.


[1] localization: studies about the habits of words of particular metrical shapes, where they go, where they don't. Some word shapes that you'd think would fit several places in a line may spend up to 80% (or more) of their time in one or two preferred slots.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by swiftnicholas » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:02 pm

Thanks for all the help :)

chad wrote:diaresis: no, really every word ends at either a caesura or diaresis by definition; of these the only ones of practical interest are the ones which can show you the 'joins' in homeric verses, i.e. the common starting or ending points of homeric formulae. 2 such points are the caesura and the bucolic diaresis, where you have many formula sets beginning and ending, and you have correption patterns different to all other points in the line.


I'll have to start paying more attention to where correption occurs. I notice in your intro to the Il.B scansion you mention that it occurs more often in lines of speech than in narrative lines. Is there some indication (either because of this or something else) that the language in epic speech is notably different than that of narrative?

You also mention that it occurs far more often before the fem.caesura and the buc.diaresis. Does this suggest anything about actual pauses in the verse, or is it just because joining phrases and formulae would probably result in hiatus more often than within the carefully crafted (traditional) phrases?


And about hiatus: Does correption eliminate hiatus? or does it result in what Pharr calls "weak hiatus"? I'm not sure that I'm reading it correctly. And why are successive vowels between words treated differently than within a word (or are they)?


annis wrote:Actually, there's an entire area of study about how the hexameter is put together, where breaks are most likely, where they aren't, etc. Chad has read more about than I have, but I've been looking at it, especially localization[1], a lot recently. I hope to have a summary (with references) ready for Aoidoi, post-redesign.


I've been trying to work through some of the literature on this. I read through some of Parry's papers a while ago, and now I have Hainsworths' book from the library on the flexibility of the Homeric formula, although I'm browsing it more than studying it. This was what sparked my interested in the buc.diar., the position after which seems to be very important for the study of localization.

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Post by chad » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:35 pm

hi nick, 1stly there might be other differences between the language of homeric speech and poetry, but i can't remember if i've read anything on this, i'm not sure sorry. the point about correption occurring more often in speech than in poetry suggested to Kelly 1990 that epic poetry was a development from a proto-epic genre where the speeches were in verse and the narrative was in prose, which as a genre has parallels in other ancient IE family members apparently.

next, the word divisions, i think the second option, i.e joining vowel-initial and vowel-final formulae at these points (as i suggested in my notes to Iliad B).

third, no correption doesn't eliminate hiatus, you don't insert a consonant between the sylls or glide them, it just shortens the scansion (i.e. the reciting) of the correpted syll. and yes, word final vowels in homer are treated differently to vowels in hiatus within words. the only example of internal correption i can think of in iliad A is Ï…á¿￾ός in line 489:

http://www.freewebs.com/mhninaeide/Ilia ... an2005.pdf

i think i remember others in later books, but i can't place them at the moment.

there are some e.g.s where hiatus is "eliminated" at the end of a word, however, this occurs through synizesis rather than correption. see e.g. line 277 in Iliad A (there is a glide across the caesura):

http://www.freewebs.com/mhninaeide/Ilia ... an2005.pdf

internal correption occurs more frequently in tragedy, as i've mentioned in another article, on page 3:

http://www.aoidoi.org/articles/meter/WritingIambics.pdf

of course, tragedy regularly avoids word-final hiatus (through elision φήμ' á¼￾γώ, prodelision μόλω 'γώ, synizesis μὴ οá½￾ (scans as 1 syll), crasis of article or καί (á¼￾νήÏ￾ = á½￾ άνήÏ￾, κἀπό = καὶ ἀπό), or just word placement), so you don't see word-final correption happening in tragedy (there may be a few rare exceptions to this from memory though).

finally, you mention that you're reading hainsworth; a good summary of how hainsworth departs from parry (and how e.g. nagler departs from parry in another way), and of homeric formulae generally is Russo's entry "The Formula", pages 238 and following in "A New Companion to Homer", ed. Morris and Powell, Brill 1997.

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Post by annis » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:29 am

swiftnicholas wrote:Is there some indication (either because of this or something else) that the language in epic speech is notably different than that of narrative?


You know, I think Homer has spawned several entire publishing industries. It turns out there are, no surprise, entire studies just on the differences between narrative and speech in Homer. Volume 2 of the Kirk, et al. The Iliad: A Commentary has a chapter on it. Among the more notable:

  • enjambment more likely
  • words of judgement more likely by far, (such as compounds in εá½￾- and -φοÏ￾σύνη)
  • abstract nouns far more likely in speech
  • correption (which some think has to do with certain morphology more likely in speech than narrative)

I'd add that the augmentless pasts are less likely in speech.

To go back to the question of caesura, I want to make perfectly clear that the caesura of the hexameter line is a structural feature of the meter. A break in phrasing or sense may occur there, and it motivates certain word location prohibitions, but the caesura should never be thought of as resulting from sense.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:06 am

annis wrote:You know, I think Homer has spawned several entire publishing industries.


Indeed, but not as vigourously as Shakespeare. Funny how these greatest authors of all time have this effect.

abstract nouns far more likely in speech


I think this might just be the nature of speech. It's more natural to say "tell me the truth or die" than "Truth wearing shining helmet plunged the sharp spear into Sydriones son of Alinos' breat".

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Post by swiftnicholas » Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:10 pm

Thanks for all the help! I did some more reading this weekend, and I think I'm starting to get a much better idea about what exactly a caesura is.


chad wrote:the point about correption occurring more often in speech than in poetry suggested to Kelly 1990 that epic poetry was a development from a proto-epic genre where the speeches were in verse and the narrative was in prose, which as a genre has parallels in other ancient IE family members apparently.


That's really interesting; I'm going to look into it sometime. But does anybody know if this practice actually occurs? or just mentioned somewhere? or just theorized? I'm under the impression that Sanskrit doesn't do this, although perhaps it also shows traces of the idea.

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Post by chad » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:09 pm

hi, well Kelly 1990 gives some e.g.s at pages 65-66. irish epic tradition apparently uses this (kelly cites dillon), and kelly also cites a link between the rigveda verse and later vedic prose forms.

is this correct, i've got no idea. in these books, i'm not really interested in the speculations (like this one) made by the authors on the basis of their data of metrical patterns and localisation; the data itself is just a few pages and is the really useful part.

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