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dactyllic hexametre

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dactyllic hexametre

Postby Eureka » Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:39 am

After finishing the Iliad, I had a sudden urge to render my signature in dactyllic hexametre. So here 'tis:

[face=SPIonic]gnw/sij a1gei xarmonh\n kai\ r9w&mhn toi=j ti\s 9a0nqrw&poij.[/face]

While I realise one line of dactyllic hexametre, by itself, is probably pointless; I partially wanted to check that I understand the rules. :)


EDIT: Spelling of [face=SPIonic]xarmonh/n[/face].
Last edited by Eureka on Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby chad » Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:24 pm

hi eureka, the first syllable of the last word is heavy (3 consonants), so you can't count it as a short.

if you're counting it as a long, then you're counting the first syllable of "strength" (omega) as short, which you can't do unless it's at the end of a word; also the 2nd last word would be long (incorrectly)...

if you got rid of the 2nd last word the meter would work. and you've got the masculine caesura right :)

cheers, chad. :)
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Re: dactyllic hexametre

Postby Bert » Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:05 am

Eureka wrote:After finishing the Iliad, ....


You read the whole thing? All the books? Wow.
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Postby Eureka » Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:07 am

Ahh... Thanks again, Chad. I'll have to rearange the whole line. (I don't want the 5th foot to be a spondee.) :|


:?: I didn't know 3 consonants could turn a one mora syllable into a two mora syllable. How do we decide which vowel the consonants belong to?

Presumably psi and xi count as two consonants each, but what about zeta (classical pronunciation)?

Can a syllable be three mora long? (Long vowel + 3 consonants.)
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Re: dactyllic hexametre

Postby Eureka » Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:08 am

Bert wrote:
Eureka wrote:After finishing the Iliad, ....


You read the whole thing? All the books? Wow.
In English. :oops:

I've only just begun Greek. :P
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Postby chad » Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:31 am

hi eureka, now that you've got it as [face=SPIonic]xarmonh\n[/face], the word is long-short-long: the rho + mu makes the first syllable long (you can check this in sophocles, ajax, line 559, where the iambic trimeter shows that the syllables are definitely long-short-long).

this makes it a cretic, which can't be used in dactylic hexameter (it doesn't fit).

it doesn't matter which syllable the consonants belong to--even if they're in the next word--2 or more consonants after a vowel will make the syllable long (even if the vowel is short, like epsilon or omicron), except in a few cases where you've got a liquid following one of a certain set of consonants: basically if in doubt, do a word search of the word in perseus, and see how homer has scanned the word in other places.

there aren't any 3 morae syllables, and zeta counts as 2 consonants (sigma and delta, which actually sounds like our z and delta, because sigma before beta, gamma, delta and mu sounds like z) :)

by the way, re your qn about which vowel consonants belong to, the rules for this are called the "syllabification" rules, and are summarised in most grammars. basically, if you can say all the consonants together (even things like kappa + nu) they go together in the next syllable, unlike latin which often splits up double consonants between 2 syllables.

hope this helps :)
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Postby Eureka » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:13 am

I think I've got it, now:

[face=SPIonic]gnw&risij a1cei tw~| tuxw~ni to\ xa&rma te r9w&mhn. [/face]

[face=SPIonic]tuxw~ni[/face] is suposed to be the dative singular of [face=SPIonic]tuxw~n, to\[/face] "any chance comer", but the correct word might be [face=SPIonic]tuxo/ni[/face].

According to JWW, the omega in [face=SPIonic]h0gemw&n, o9[/face] becomes an omricon when the word is declined, however for [face=SPIonic]a0gw&n, o9[/face] the omega remains.

I figure [face=SPIonic]tuxw~n[/face] would be like [face=SPIonic]a0gw&n[/face], because in both words the omega is preceeded by a vellar. But I don't really know. :?
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Postby Skylax » Fri Apr 09, 2004 12:29 pm

Eureka wrote:[face=SPIonic]tuxw~ni[/face] is suposed to be the dative singular of [face=SPIonic]tuxw~n, to\[/face] "any chance comer", but the correct word might be [face=SPIonic]tuxo/ni[/face].


I believe it is [face=SPIonic]tuxo/nti[/face], from [face=SPIonic]o( tuxw/n, tuxo/ntoj[/face]. It is in fact a nominalized aorist participle of [face=SPIonic]tugxa/nw[/face], meaning "the first one meets, any chance person".
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Postby Eureka » Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:19 am

Thanks, Skylax. I used the Woodhouse Dictionary which doesn't show genitive endings.

Still, [face=SPIonic]tuxo/tni [/face]fits the line: :)

[face=SPIonic]gnw&risij a1cei tw~| tuxo/tni to\ xa&rma te r9w&mhn. [/face]
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Postby chad » Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:46 am

hi eureka! you're doing really well, but i'd play with it a bit more. it's still not scanning right because the upsilon in the participle is short (chi isn't a double syllable, because the aspirate doesn't count as a consonant).

and this is another little point: homer doesn't use the article, so it's not an issue in his poetry, but in later attic poetry like e.g. tragedy (where they do use the article in poetry), the article + the word following count as 1 word, not 2. so you can't put a caesura between an article and the word it attaches to, as it looks like you've done here.

if i was putting this together, i'd put the word "to man" at the start, because it's a molossus, it fits well there. then to round out the first part of the line, to the masculine caesura, put in "wisdom" (you need to paraphrase it here to make it fit).

[face=SPIonic]a)nqrw&pw| to\ sofo\n[/face]

(to make the last syllable of this long, you have to start the next word with a consonant...)

then the word you originally had for "gives" fits nicely at the end, so you don't need to change it. then you just have to fill out the rest of the line with some accusatives, e.g.

[face=SPIonic]a)nqrw&pw| to\ sofo\n du/nami/n te kai\ xa&rma di/dwsin[/face]

hope this helps a little :)
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Postby Eureka » Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:31 am

I would have thought [face=SPIonic]w|[/face] would be one long syllable followed by a short one (in classical pronunciation). Are subscript iotas always ignored in determining the metre?
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Postby Eureka » Sun Apr 11, 2004 1:53 am

[face=SPIonic]eurhka[/face] :) (I think.)

[face=SPIonic]a0nqrw&pw| fi/lion sofo\n o1lbon di/dwsi te r9w&mhn.[/face]
EDIT: Just realised the line doesn't fit the metre.

:?: I'm not shure it's legal to place the verb between the two accusatives, but I guess the rules would be relaxed in poetry.

I'm not shure I got the masculine caesura right, because the break is between an adjective and its noun (and therefore, I don't know if it's legitimate). Also, for the last syllable on [face=SPIonic]fi/lion[/face] to be made long, it relies on the first letter of [face=SPIonic]sofo\n[/face], on the other side of the break. :?:
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Postby chad » Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:37 pm

hi eureka, it's not scanning right: the last syllable of happiness is long here (because of the delta starting the next word), and since the next word begins with a short-long, those 3 syllables form a cretic, which doesn't fit dactylic hex.

the omega + iota subscript is a diphthong like omicron + iota. later on it was just pronounced as an omega, so in modern script it's written underneath the character instead of next to it (although in some recent Oxford Classical Texts i have, it's written like a normal iota again). in classical times, e.g. 4th C BC, it would have been pronounced as a glide like omicron + iota, but (i think), with omicron + iota, the glide begins immediately, but with omega + iota, the glide starts slightly later and kind of wraps off the syllable. it's one syllable though, not 2, so the example i gave above scans right. cheers :)
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Postby Eureka » Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:22 am

Finally:

[face=SPIonic]h9 r9w&mh di/dotai to\ fi/lon to\ sofo/n tini au0tw|~.[/face]

Am I using passive voice correctly?
Also, is it right to use [face=SPIonic]tini\[/face] (or [face=SPIonic]ti\j[/face]) like it's an adjective?
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Postby chad » Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:46 am

hi eureka, since you're now using wisdom here as an agent (because the verb's in the passive), you have to put it in the dative, or possibly the genitive for emphasis. strength is given "by wisdom" to (some)... check out from s 1492 on:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... 001%3a1491

also i think the clause is getting a bit unnatural... books on greek prose and verse composition, like sidgwick and rouse, advise to use the simplest, most natural words and constructions in almost all cases. homer and other great writers use simple, common words: their skill was speaking in a natural way which also followed the rules and metres of poetry, bringing out the natural music already in the length and pitch of greek words.

the 4 words u started with express the idea most simply, and it takes only a little bit of paraphrasing to put them into dactylic hex.

if you want to put it in a different way, instead of pushing the same idea into a less natural construction, maybe try changing the idea into something more concrete, so instead of "wisdom gives strength to man" (abstract), try "learning makes us braver" or "by listening to the wise we become brave" (concrete). greek is far more concrete than english, so when you're composing in greek, i think the 1st thing to do is think about what's actually happening in the clause: here, people are acquiring wisdom and becoming braver... the key concrete verb is becoming braver i think, that's what the sentence is getting at... in greek the concrete is usually better, sidgwick says. once you've got your concrete "action" the rest of the clause fills itself out. so with the abstract verb "gives", the abstract words "strength" and "wisdom" fit, but with the more concrete verbs, you need more concrete words to round out the sentence...

this is what the composition books i've read say... i hope this helps. :)
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Postby Eureka » Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:05 am

chad wrote:also i think the clause is getting a bit unnatural... books on greek prose and verse composition, like sidgwick and rouse, advise to use the simplest, most natural words and constructions in almost all cases. homer and other great writers use simple, common words: their skill was speaking in a natural way which also followed the rules and metres of poetry, bringing out the natural music already in the length and pitch of greek words.
That's good to hear. There's nothing worse than poetry that descends into jibberish. (I seem to remember a lot of that from high school.)

I don't know why it didn't occur to me to merge the object and verb before, but I think I've got it now:

[face=SPIonic]r9w&nnuton a0nqrw&pou te sofo\n kai\ gnw&risij au0tw~|.[/face]

(I presume the verb "to strengthen" has an indirect object?)


BTW, I'm not trying to imply anything about courage, only strength (in a mental sence). Does [face=SPIonic]r9w&mh [/face]imply courage or physical strength? (The Woodhouse dictionary doesn't qualify it as a particular form of "strength".)
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Postby chad » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:52 am

hi eureka, you'll have to check with one of the greek experts here, but i think the upsilon in the first word is long, which means it isn't scanning right. lsj notes that the upsilon in [face=SPIonic]r9w&nnumi[/face] is long; i don't know whether it stays long in the dual.

the word for "man" should be accusative, it's a direct object, check out how plutarch uses it here:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... :section=1

then with "te", it's enclitic, so i think it's joining "man" rather than [face=SPIonic]sofo\n[/face] to [face=SPIonic]gnw&risij[/face]. you could just change [face=SPIonic]te[/face] to [face=SPIonic]to\[/face], because you do need an article to turn the adjective [face=SPIonic]sofo\n[/face] into a noun, i think euripides uses [face=SPIonic]to\ sofo\n[/face] somewhere...

then the last word isn't relevant anymore, because the first word takes a direct object, but you could change it to another dative meaning "in", like... strengthen man "in virtue" or something like that.

since you're already learning so quickly, maybe also try putting it into iambic trimeter, you'll see it's even easier, your original words go in even more naturally i think because a standard line is only 12 syllables, which is close to the syllable count of your current signature... :) :)
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Postby Eureka » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:34 am

chad wrote:hi eureka, you'll have to check with one of the greek experts here, but i think the upsilon in the first word is long, which means it isn't scanning right. lsj notes that the upsilon in [face=SPIonic]r9w&nnumi[/face] is long; i don't know whether it stays long in the dual.
All the paradigms given in JWW have the long vowel before the "[face=SPIonic]mi[/face]" shortened in the dual, for all "[face=SPIonic]mi[/face]" verbs. Unfortunately, they never seem to say much about the dual in these textbooks.

chad wrote:the word for "man" should be accusative, it's a direct object, check out how plutarch uses it here:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... :section=1

then with "te", it's enclitic, so i think it's joining "man" rather than [face=SPIonic]sofo\n[/face] to [face=SPIonic]gnw&risij[/face]. you could just change [face=SPIonic]te[/face] to [face=SPIonic]to\[/face], because you do need an article to turn the adjective [face=SPIonic]sofo\n[/face] into a noun, i think euripides uses [face=SPIonic]to\ sofo\n[/face] somewhere...

then the last word isn't relevant anymore, because the first word takes a direct object, but you could change it to another dative meaning "in", like... strengthen man "in virtue" or something like that.
I was trying to say: "A man's wisdom and knowledge strengthen him." Wouldn't the definite article for [face=SPIonic]sofo\n[/face] then have to be placed before [face=SPIonic]a0nqrw&pou[/face] (breaking the metre)? I also thought the article wasn't necessary in poetry?
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Postby chad » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:53 pm

hi eureka, if the upsilon is short then all u have to do is change the final word to accusative and change the te to an article. nouns don't need the article in poetry. but when you use the article to make a substantive out of a non-noun, like here with the adjective, u do need the article or it won't be a substantive, it'll mean something like "a man's knowledge and wise strengthen him". the article for sofo\n wouldn't go before "man", that doesn't need an article. :) btw if it was in iambic tri it might go [face=SPIonic]r9w&mhn di/dwsi gnw&sij a)nqrw&pw| a)ei/[/face], a different rhythm.
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Postby Eureka » Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:25 am

So the verb "to strengthen" takes the direct object? OK
The thing about the article is that JJW's book always seems to place the article before the genitive noun (right before it's own article). If the postion of the article is more up to the writer, it'll make fitting metres easier.

So,
[face=SPIonic]r9w&nnuton a0nqrw&pou to\ sofo\n kai\ gnw&risij au0to/n.[/face]

chad wrote:[face=SPIonic]r9w&mhn di/dwsi gnw&sij a)nqrw&pw| a)ei/[/face], a different rhythm.
Interesting rhythm: - - . - - - . - - - . -
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Postby chad » Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:27 am

The thing about the article is that JJW's book always seems to place the article before the genitive noun (right before it's own article).

it looks like you're talking about bracketing here... in greek u can say either [face=SPIonic]to\ sofo\n tou= a)nqrw&pou[/face] or [face=SPIonic]to\ tou= a)nqrw&pou sofo/n[/face], i.e. "the wisdom of man" or "the (of man) wisdom". :)
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