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Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

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Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

Postby zachsd » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:03 am

I'm having difficulty making sense of this verb.

Perseus tells me that it is the first person singular, aorist subjunctive active form of κιχάνω but I don't understand how this is the case. Does κιχάνω have some irregular aorist stem? And I don't recall ever seeing "-είω" as an aorist subjunctive conjugation. This is my first time reading Homer so I'm probably just clueless.
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Re: Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

Postby Hylander » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 pm

It's explained as an athematic ("μι verb") aorist stem κιχη- or κιχει-, with a number of such forms in the Iliad (apparently just one in the Odyssey). It exists alongside a thematic (2d aor.) stem κιχ- (3rd sing. κιχεν; subj. κίχῃσι). The root is κιχ-, from which the present tense is formed with the suffix -αν(ω).

κιχείω is analogous to subj. θείω (Il. 16.83), from an athematic aorist stem θη- or θει-.

You can see the various forms of this verb in the Homeric poems in the Liddell Scott Jones dictionary:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dkixa%2Fnw

But it's probably best at this stage simply to think of this as "irregular" (though it does conform to a pattern). As you read the Iliad, you'll find many such "irregular" verb forms, which can nevertheless be explained in some way or other if you dig deep into the pre-history of the Greek language.

As you probably know, the Homeric language was a literary language that swept in morphological forms from several dialects and from earlier stages of Greek, and sometimes made up forms to fit the meter. It often had two parallel forms for the same word, or two parallel stems for the same verb, which was convenient for metrical purposes.

Two suggestions:

1. The Perseus word study tool, though it was helpful here, is very unreliable.

2. If you're reading Homer, you'd do well to get a copy of Cunliffe's Homeric Lexicon, which is available new in paperback, and also used.

https://www.amazon.com/Lexicon-Homeric-Dialect-Expanded/dp/0806143088/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501423986&sr=8-1&keywords=cunliffe+homer

Although nearly 100 years old and compiled by an amateur, it's is very reliable. It's available digitally on Perseus, but a hard copy is easier to search for forms you don't recognize.
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Re: Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

Postby zachsd » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:52 pm

Thanks for that thorough response, Hylander. I just ordered the book you recommended at my library. Looks good...
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Re: Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:19 pm

For some situations, a paper copy is more useful than a digital version, but it has its disadvantages. Mine fell apart several years ago due to heavy use, and nowadays I use the online version http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/cunliffe/# ... ontext=lsj.
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Re: Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

Postby okrad » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:50 am

Cool post. I was reading Aristotle's Poetics and he mentions how words can be elongated for the purpose of metre. He uses Ἀχιλῆος. Perhaps, as another posted said, it is something of that sort?
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Re: Iliad 1.26: "κιχείω"

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:59 pm

Sort of, yes. With Achilles, you have different forms of the name to fit different metrical slots, with one or two λ's - in case of genitive, you have Ἀχιλῆος and Ἀχιλλῆος. Same goes for Odysseus, you have Ὀδυσσεύς and Ὀδυσεύς in nominative and similarly forms with either one or σ's in oblique cases. In accusative, I think you have at least three forms - Ὀδυσσέα, Ὀδυσσῆα and Οδυσσῆ.
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