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Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:20 pm
by seanjonesbw
I thought I'd separate this from the Odyssey Reading Group thread to avoid another digression into outer space.

In Book 6 lines 31-36 there's what I'm going to call a 'cluster of pain' when you're trying to scan through at a decent speed. There are a few issues that I'd appreciate some advice on. I'll include my scansion as well in case any of them are wrong.

Line 31 - ἀλλ ̓ ἴομεν πλυνέουσαι ἅμ ̓ ἠοῖ φαινομένηφι· (Dactyl-Dactyl-Dactyl-Spondee-Dactyl-Spondee)
Line 36 - ἀλλ ̓ ἄγ ̓ ἐπότρυνον πατέρα κλυτὸν ἠῶθι πρὸ (D-D-S-D-S-S)
I assume the missing internal correption on ἠοῖ and ἠῶθι is a digamma thing?

Line 34 - ἤδη γάρ σε μνῶνται ἀριστῆες κατὰ δῆμον (S-S-D-S-D-S)
There's no internal correption on ἀριστῆες but I'm assuming that's just because internal correption is exceptional rather than the rule here? Does this count as hiatus or is that term only used at a word junction?

Line 33 - ἐντύνεαι, ἐπεὶ οὔ τοι ἔτι δὴν παρθένος ἔσσεαι (D-D-D-S-D-S)
This was a real pig. I was looking out for the epic correption on ἐντύνεαι and by the time I got to the synizesis on ἔσσεαι I was all over the place. The short-long on ἔτι was also a surprise.

My question from this line is - if you're scanning at a high level, what are the things you're looking out for in 'real time' to stop this line falling to pieces? I can see how once you get to the dactyl on παρθένος, the synizesis on -εαι isn't a problem because you have to fit ἔσσεαι to a spondee. Do we just accept that 'scanning at first sight' isn't the original intention of a performance poem and, in the same way as sight reading a tricky passage in a piano piece, you're probably going to mess it up the first time?

Here's the full passage for reference:
ἀλλ ̓ ἴομεν πλυνέουσαι ἅμ ̓ ἠοῖ φαινομένηφι· (31)
καί τοι ἐγὼ συνέριθος ἅμ ̓ ἕψομαι, ὄφρα τάχιστα
ἐντύνεαι, ἐπεὶ οὔ τοι ἔτι δὴν παρθένος ἔσσεαι·
ἤδη γάρ σε μνῶνται ἀριστῆες κατὰ δῆμον
πάντων Φαιήκων, ὅθι τοι γένος ἐστὶ καὶ αὐτῇ.
ἀλλ ̓ ἄγ ̓ ἐπότρυνον πατέρα κλυτὸν ἠῶθι πρὸ (36)

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
by Paul Derouda
I don't think there is ever internal correption in Homer, or if there is, it's very rare. Correption occurs at word boundary.

ἐπότρυνον - the υ is long.

ἐντύνεαι - the υ is long.

δὴν = δϝὴν

Line 33 - ἐντύνεαι, ἐπεὶ οὔ τοι ἔτι δὴν παρθένος ἔσσεαι
-> this is a difficult line indeed! 2 instances of synizesis, 2 instances of epic correption, one hidden digamma!

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:59 pm
by seanjonesbw
Paul Derouda wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
I don't think there is ever internal correption in Homer, or if there is, it's very rare. Correption occurs at word boundary.
Thanks! Very helpful.

Deborah Steiner says it occurs occasionally (p.38) - I think maybe I've just been too sensitive looking out for it because I've never seen a stat on how often it occurs.
Paul Derouda wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
ἐπότρυνον - the υ is long.
I completely hashed up the scansion on that one - obviously with the ἐπότρυνον πατέρα the second ο has to be long.
Paul Derouda wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:27 pm
ἐντύνεαι - the υ is long.

δὴν = δϝὴν

Line 33 - ἐντύνεαι, ἐπεὶ οὔ τοι ἔτι δὴν παρθένος ἔσσεαι
-> this is a difficult line indeed! 2 instances of synizesis, 2 instances of epic correption, one hidden digamma!
So you're scanning this S-D(synizesis+e.c)-D(e.c)-S-D-S(synizesis), is that right?

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:04 pm
by Paul Derouda
seanjonesbw wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:59 pm
So you're scanning this S-D(synizesis+e.c)-D(e.c)-S-D-S(synizesis), is that right?
Yes.

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:23 pm
by seanjonesbw
Thanks for your patience - I am (slowly) improving when it comes to scanning.

What do you think about my final question - was this a line that you would trip up on or did you kind of have a feel for it as you were reading it? I'm curious because I feel very far away from that point!

Also, have you internalised the vowel quantities for ἐπότρυνον and ἐντύνεαι? Is that just through sheer exposure or do you have some kind of system?

I'm aware that's a lot of questions.

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:50 pm
by Paul Derouda
I wouldn't be able read that line aloud metrically without pausing for a second and reading it twice. So yes, I do need to feel for it, but not for long. Scanning epic isn't that difficult if you keep trying. Usually it's pretty regular, you just internalize the rules (correption for instance at word boundary is the rule, not the exception).

Reading poetry is actually great for internalizing vowel length. It happens automatically! When in doubt I consult the dictionary, of course. But I usually know vowel lengths without ever having consciously learnt them, because I've probably read more hexameter poetry than any other Greek. But I only recently learnt by accident that the iota in πίπτω is long - since it doesn't affect scansion, I never asked myself the question.

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:55 pm
by Paul Derouda
Perhaps I should add that my native Finnish has a similar short/long vowel distinction as Greek, so I guess that might make things easier for me.

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:46 pm
by Paul Derouda
with the ἐπότρυνον πατέρα the second ο has to be long
.
Actually no - the vowel is still short, it’s the syllable that’s heavy. There’s a difference!

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:24 pm
by seanjonesbw
Paul Derouda wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:46 pm
with the ἐπότρυνον πατέρα the second ο has to be long
.
Actually no - the vowel is still short, it’s the syllable that’s heavy. There’s a difference!
Sorry, that was lazy - yes the syllable is long by position rather than the ο itself (unless you're also making a distinction between long and heavy?).

Re: Metrical issues Od. 6.31-36

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:12 pm
by Paul Derouda
seanjonesbw wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:24 pm
(unless you're also making a distinction between long and heavy?).
No, I used the word "heavy" because "long" is ambiguous as to whether syllable length or vowel length is meant.