Odyssey α 40

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aaatos
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Odyssey α 40

Post by aaatos » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:00 pm

In Od. α 40 we read:
ἐκ γὰρ Ὀρέσταο τίσις ἔσσεται Ἀτρεΐδαο
My problem is: where does the caesura lie? If I have scanned the line correctly, the metre is as follows:
ἐκ γὰρ Ὀ | ρέσταο | τίσις | ἔσσεται | Ἀτρεΐ | δαο
with synizesis in the second foot. But perhaps I am wrong. When scanned in this way, the traditional caesura occurring before the last or next-to-last syllable of the third foot can't occur here since it would have to split up τίσις, and likewise a fourth-foot would have to occur in the middle of the single verb-form ἔσσεται. So what's happening here?

Any comments would be appreciated.

mwh
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Re: Odyssey α 40

Post by mwh » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:24 pm

Sorry you didn’t get a prompter reply. Your post has only just shown up (or did your handle bump you up to the top? :) ).
The caesura falls after Ορεσταο. The final –ο is artificially lengthened before the caesura (or perhaps the τ- of τίσις is doubled, with the same result). This enables Ορεσταο (the alpha is long) to fit into the dactylic hexameter. Both syllables of τισις are short.

aaatos
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Re: Odyssey α 40

Post by aaatos » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:12 pm

No, it took a while before my post got approved. But I'm happy that it did! In the meantime, someone somewhere else also suggested that the -ο might be long, and that both vowels in τίσις in any case have to be short. I did not know this could happen. I mean, if apparently a short vowel (or single consonant) can be lengthened at will (seemingly) so that it fits the metre, then it kind of seems everything is up for grabs. Well, I guess I should go back and study the rules some more.

But this certainly explains it, thank you!

mwh
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Re: Odyssey α 40

Post by mwh » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:18 pm

It's mostly in words that wouldn't otherwise fit that this sort of thing happens. But there is more prosodic fudging in Homer than meets the eye.

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