Take a look at where the accent/breathing marks are placed: á¼ŒÎ¹Î´Î¹. If it were a diphthong, it would appear over the second vowel, like this: Î‘á¼´. Because it doesn't, you know that the vowels are pronounced separately. This is one reason it really helps to pay attention to the accents and breathing marks in Homer. You'll notice he does this with Îµá½ a lot, too, it's frequently á¼Ï… (two syllables) instead. In this case, it doesn't make a difference to the meaning, but it does to the scansion. There are several words where a rough rather than a smooth breathing mark, or an accent on a different syllable, has tripped me up, because I confused it another word which looks similar, but means something different.
Last edited by spiphany
on Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)