Textkit Logo

Some questions about epic verse

Are you reading Homeric Greek or studying Homeric Greek with Pharr's Homeric Greek - A Book For Beginners? Here's where you can meet other Homeric Greek learners. Use this board for all things Homeric Greek.

Some questions about epic verse

Postby swiftnicholas » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:26 pm

swiftnicholas
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: New York

Postby 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). :)
chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am

Re: Some questions about epic verse

Postby annis » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:24 pm

William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby 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;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby 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.
swiftnicholas
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: New York

Postby chad » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:35 pm

chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am

Postby annis » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:29 am

William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby 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".
User avatar
GlottalGreekGeek
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:37 am
Location: Mountain View

Postby 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.
swiftnicholas
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: New York

Postby 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.
chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am


Return to Homeric Greek and Pharr's Homeric Greek - A Book For Beginners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 17 guests