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Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:32 pm
by seanjonesbw
This is a thread for asking questions about the Greek that, for whatever reason, you don't feel belong in the main Reading Group thread.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:50 pm
by seanjonesbw
To kick things off -

6.152
εἶδός τε μέγεθός τε φυήν τ ̓ ἄγχιστα ἐΐσκω·

Why is the first τε long and the second one short?

Edit: I think I've answered my own question from Monro 371 - final vowel lengthening before "μ in μέγας, μέγαρον, μοίρα, μαλακός, μέλος, μελίη, μάστιξ, μόθος: but not e.g. μάκομαι, μένος, μέλας, μάκαρ, μῦθος." I can't tell if the e.g. is trying to demonstrate a rule or is just a kind of 'beats me, deal with it'.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:41 pm
by mwh
OK I’ll play.

Ἀρτέμιδί σε ἐγώ γε, Διὸς κούρῃ μεγάλοιο,
εἶδός τε μέγεθός τε φυήν τ ̓ ἄγχιστα ἐΐσκω·
(6.151-2)

How does Odysseus know what Artemis looks like?


(As to τε μέγεθός, surely it’s better to say that the mu is doubled. An episilon can’t be long.)

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:54 am
by seanjonesbw
mwh wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:41 pm
(As to τε μέγεθός, surely it’s better to say that the mu is doubled. An episilon can’t be long.)
Sorry I'm pretty lax when I talk about syllables - in this case the "final vowel lengthening" was referring specifically to Monro's "this power of lengthening a preceding vowel", which I suppose is just wrong?

Is the logic 'We know ε is always short, so there must be a double consonant at μ to make the syllable long by position' or is there something else to suggest that ρ λ μ ν σ δ have a tendency to 'double up' at the beginning of words?
mwh wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:41 pm
How does Odysseus know what Artemis looks like?
He and Calypso must have talked about something over their corn flakes.

I suspect your tongue is slightly in your cheek with this question, but a fuller answer is perhaps that Odysseus has no idea what she looks like and is relying on the Barnum effect with his incredibly vague εἶδός τε μέγεθός τε φυήν τ' hoping that Nausicaa will fill in the gaps with her own mental image of Artemis and be flattered more by that than any specific description he could give. Daniel Turkeltaub promised an Odyssean follow-up to his "Perceiving Iliadic Gods" that doesn't seem to have materialised (or maybe it's in disguise) - perhaps the answer lies therein.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:59 pm
by jeidsath
seanjonesbw wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:54 am
mwh wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:41 pm
(As to τε μέγεθός, surely it’s better to say that the mu is doubled. An episilon can’t be long.)
Sorry I'm pretty lax when I talk about syllables - in this case the "final vowel lengthening" was referring specifically to Monro's "this power of lengthening a preceding vowel", which I suppose is just wrong?
Read the entire Monro section and the next, and you’ll see that he explains about the initial consonant doubling. Also, I recommend a scanned version on archive.org. That digitized version linked is truly unreadable, with lots of ocr garbage.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:06 pm
by Aetos
This is from Bayfield's Grammatical Introduction to the Iliad, which is drawn mostly from Monro:
https://archive.org/details/bayfieldcommentary001

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:30 pm
by seneca2008
mwh wrote: ↑Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:41 pm
How does Odysseus know what Artemis looks like?
Scamandrius, who learned how to hunt from Artemis, described her in his dying words to Menelaus who passed it on to Odysseus.

"υἱὸν δὲ Στροφίοιο Σκαμάνδριον, αἵμονα θήρης,
Ἀτρεΐδης Μενέλαος ἕλ᾿ ἔγχεϊ ὀξυόεντι,
ἐσθλὸν θηρητῆρα· δίδαξε γὰρ Ἄρτεμις αὐτὴ
βάλλειν ἄγρια πάντα, τά τε τρέφει οὔρεσιν ὕλη."

Il. 5.49-52

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:42 pm
by seanjonesbw
jeidsath wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:59 pm
Read the entire Monro section and the next, and you’ll see that he explains about the initial consonant doubling. Also, I recommend a scanned version on archive.org. That digitized version linked is truly unreadable, with lots of ocr garbage.
Ack! Undone once again by my hatred of reading that dreadful book. Thanks Joel - and thanks to Aetos too.

It's probably the worst OCR I've ever seen that claims to have been edited, and yet the menu system manages to be more irritating than the mistakes in the text. Amazing.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:30 pm
by jeidsath
Monro, dreadful? You may find that he is more enjoyable in hardcover or with a decent pdf. (The edited claim for the link is a lie.)

The question about how Odysseus would recognize Artemis might occur to a Jew, Muslim, or Protestant, but never to a Hindu, Catholic, or pagan Greek.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:11 pm
by seanjonesbw
jeidsath wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:30 pm
Monro, dreadful? You may find that he is more enjoyable in hardcover or with a decent pdf. (The edited claim for the link is a lie.)
I've got a copy of the BCP edition, I just find he veers between long-winded and brutally terse in quite an annoying way.

I've read down to "It is true that the proportion of the words now in question which can be proved to have originally had an initial double consonant is not very great", but there's not much about doubling of μ, it seems to be mostly about ρ. Maybe there's some more up to date thinking on this - I'd be particularly interested to know if this should be pronounced as a true double consonant.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:45 pm
by jeidsath
Look at the first two sentences of 372

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
by Hylander
How does Odysseus know what Artemis looks like?
How do you know what a unicorn looks like?

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:19 pm
by seanjonesbw
I don't see how that bit applies to τε μέγεθός though. Does the μοῖρα/smer example apply by analogy to other μ words or is it just a single example? The section beginning "Thus we may either suppose" doesn't seem to come to any conclusions about pronunciation, only throw out suggestions. I really do find Monro frustrating.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:47 pm
by Aetos
I don't see how that bit applies to τε μέγεθός though
Monro draws some of his knowledge from La Roche (Homerische Untersuchungen), who lists εἰδός τε μέγεθός τε as an example of lengthening a final short vowel before μ. It is only present in this phrase which is used 4 times in Homer and once in Hesiod (λ337,σ249,ο374;B58;Hesiod Scut.5). La Roche also states this lengthening is limited to a finite number of words and that even with those words the lengthening is based on metrical convenience, because the presence of another consonant cannot be proved before μέγας (or words derived from it) and that there are many instances where a final short vowel before these words remains short. The one consistent aspect of this lengthening is that it only occurs when the syllable in question is receiving the ictus.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:54 pm
by seanjonesbw
Aetos wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:47 pm
Monro draws some of his knowledge from La Roche (Homerische Untersuchungen), who lists εἰδός τε μέγεθός τε as an example of lengthening a final short vowel before μ. It is only present in this phrase which is used 4 times in Homer and once in Hesiod (λ337,σ249,ο374;B58;Hesiod Scut.5). La Roche also states this lengthening is limited to a finite number of words and that even with those words the lengthening is based on metrical convenience, because consonant doubling cannot be proved before μέγας (or words derived from it) and that there are many instances where a final short vowel before these words remains short. The one consistent aspect of this lengthening is that it only occurs when the syllable in question receiving the ictus.
Thank you! What an exemplary piece of prose - can we please go and paste this over the top of Monro in the archive.org copy?

Am I right in swapping vowel for consonant above (bold)?

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:04 pm
by Aetos
Absolutely! Also, instead of "consonant doubling", let's make it "presence of another consonant before μέγας"
P.S. And thanks for the compliment! I get my inspiration from you and Seneca. It is a delight to follow the passionate, eloquent and informed dialogue that you two bring to every issue. Keep it up!!

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:23 pm
by jeidsath
But vowel lengthening is certainly wrong, for the reason mwh gives above. It’s only happening with certain following consonants.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:52 pm
by Aetos
Perhaps a better way to put it would be "creating a positionally long syllable before μέγας". The way to do that is to assume that somehow the μ had been doubled at some point in its history, or perhaps a σ preceded it either naturally or by analogy.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:36 pm
by mwh
My goodness. So Sean thinks Odysseus really had no idea what Artemis looks like, and Seneca presumes he was told how Scamandrius described her to Menelaus in the Iliad. Seneca at least must be joking even if Sean is not. (I wouldn’t say it’s quite like the unicorn, whose name bespeaks its distinctive feature, but I think Hylander’s answer was the best.)
A better question (I’d better not say a less stupid one) would be How does Homer know what she looks like?

I’d never despise Monro. He knew the Homeric language as well as anyone. He just failed to distinguish properly between vowels and syllables in describing prosodic phenomena, as everyone did back then (hence “lengthening by position” and suchlike nonsense).

Consonantal doubling: e.g. ενι μεγαροισιν was written ενιμμεγαροιϲιν in early days; cf. the orthographically regularized ἔλλαβε for ἔλαβε, etc. etc. Loss of erstwhile digamma etc. accounts for a good deal of it (just as it does for hiatus), but what Monro calls analogical extension accounts for more. And there is much more prosodic fudging in Homer than meets the eye. No doubt pronunciation practice changed through the Homeric text’s long history, as to a lesser extent did the spelling, but I don’t think doubling of the consonant can be doubted for Homer’s time. And (to repeat) short vowels can never be long.

But I hope we haven’t derailed the main thread.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:31 am
by seanjonesbw
mwh wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:36 pm
So Sean thinks Odysseus really had no idea what Artemis looks like,
Michael, you are constant mischief.

I would rephrase this as "Sean thinks Odysseus had no idea what Artemis really looks like". Your question might not have been serious, but I do find this very interesting. Hylander and Joel indirectly point to folk representations of gods as a source of knowledge. Odysseus presumably does have an image in his head of Artemis (whether it would tally with Nausicaa's, who knows), but would that image (or list of characteristics) be helpful if he actually saw her? It doesn't seem to help Anchises in Hymn 5 "ἥ τις μακάρων τάδε δώμαθ᾽ ἱκάνεις, Ἄρτεμις ἢ Λητὼ ἠὲ χρυσέη Ἀφροδίτη ἢ Θέμις ἠυγενὴς ἠὲ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη, ἤ πού..."

The gods seem to be completely in control of mortals' ability to recognise them, whether they are in disguise or not. Only demigods recognise them while they are speaking to them - Helen recognises Aphrodite (Il. 3.395-420) by her physical appearance only because it is useful to Aphrodite to recognise her (so she can reproach her directly). Achilles and Athena the same. If a god is in complete control of whether you recognise them or not, can they truly be said to 'look like' anything? Is the πρόσωπον of Christ to be recognised by the eyes (beard, hair, robes) or the heart?

Thank you for expanding on τε μέγεθός - I'll read it as the implied τε μμέγεθός. As for Monro, I don't doubt his credentials, just his style, but Pharaoh's heart has been softened by collective esteem so I won't say another bad word about him.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:20 am
by Aetos
Perhaps Homer was aware of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and saw this:
https://www.thoughtco.com/artemis-of-ephesus-116920
Or, if he was actually blind, someone described it to him. Supposedly the temple existed as early as 800 BC. Too late for Odysseus, but not for Homer.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:08 pm
by Hylander
I'm not at all certain that Nausicaa would be flattered by a likening to the statue illustrated in Aetos' link. But maybe I'm taking his post too seriously.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:37 pm
by Aetos
I'm not at all certain that Nausicaa would be flattered by a likening to the statue illustrated in Aetos' link. But maybe I'm taking his post too seriously.
It was mostly tongue in cheek-although I didn't want to rule out the possibility of Odysseus (or a non-blind Homer) perhaps having seen statues or images of the goddess.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:15 pm
by seanjonesbw
ἔδεισαν versus ἔδδεισαν

I was reading Book 13 in Allen's OCT edition and came across line 184

῾Ὼς ἔφαθ᾽, οἱ δ᾽ ἔδεισαν, ἑτοιμάσσαντο δὲ ταύρους.

which needs something doing with ἔδεισαν to fit the metre. The LSJ at δείδω A has "aor. ἔδεισα, in Hom. ἔδδεισα (i.e. ἔδϝεισα, cf. ὑποδδείσας, = ὑποδϝείσας)" - Merry and Ludwich both have it as ἔδδεισαν. Why does Allen's methodology have him leave it as ἔδεισαν?

Edit: I've just realised that this is actually relevant to this week's passage - 6.165 ὡς σέ, γύναι, ἄγαμαί τε τέθηπά τε, δείδιά τ ̓ αἰνῶς - so there's no lingering digamma in δείδιά, is that right? I don't really understand how δείδιά is formed.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:47 pm
by Aetos
Hi Sean,
It's the 2nd perf. of δείδω. The root of δέδια is δϝi- , strong forms δϝει-, δϝοι-. See Smyth 703, 703D.:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D703 and
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... %3D703%20D

P.S. That piece from the Onion was hilarious! (I knew he was going to keep the chocolates!)

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:43 pm
by Hylander
The digamma is inconsistently observed throughout the Homeric poems.

It's thought that the digamma had ceased to be pronounced by the time written texts of the Homeric poems were composed, however that process may have occurred. But the aoidos or aoidoi who composed the poems worked in a traditional medium that drew on a repertory of traditional formulas -- fixed groups of words that had a specific metrical shape -- which could be strung together to produce more or less well-formed hexameters.

Many of the older formulas in the repertory of the aoidoi contained digammas that resulted in lengthening of preceding short syllables or, at the beginning of a word, occurred between a vowel at the end of the preceding word and another vowel. After the digamma disappeared, formulas like this gave rise to prosodic anomalies: a short/light syllable that was lengthened even though it was followed by just one consonant or a hiatus.

The aoidoi were not composing by stringing together individual words, but rather by stringing together whole formulas. When they used old formulas that had originally included digammas, they didn't reshape them to eliminate metrical irregularities -- they just plugged them in regardless of the metrical and prosodic "rules." That's why traces of lost digammas show up in the texts as metrical irregularities.

But at the same time, newer formulas were constantly being created in a dynamic process. Formulas created after the loss of the digamma reflected the contemporary digamma-less language of the aoidoi. As a result, as noted above, the digamma is "observed" inconsistently in the texts of the Homeric poems.

Some manuscripts (especially the papyri, as opposed to the medieval ms. tradition) would reflect the loss of the digamma in ἔδFεισαν, and the lengthening of ἔ-, by a doubling of δ, as ἔδδεισαν, and probably this was the way the word would have been pronounced orally. Some editors normalize this spelling throughout the texts, even where the medieval manuscript tradition doesn't reflect this spelling. Both West (2017) and van Thiel (1997) follow this practice, but Allen apparently doesn't and instead normalizes the spelling with just one δ. But in the end, it's not really important.

The printed texts of the Homeric poems that are available today (as well as modern editions of other ancient Greek texts) contain many minor spelling choices by modern editors that aren't really of any great moment. The manuscripts are generally all over the place. If all of the minor spelling variations and obvious errors that show up in the manuscripts were to be reflected in the critical apparatus of modern editions of the Homeric poems at the bottom of the page, the apparatuses would be so cluttered with trivial and irrelevant variants as to be utterly useless. That's what editors are for: making intelligent choices about what to print in the text and what to include in the critical apparatus.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:44 am
by seanjonesbw
Thanks Hylander for your very interesting response! Part of the reason that I was asking about Allen's methodology was that I saw the Harley 6325 manuscript has ἔδδεισαν so I was wondering if Allen was somehow making a point or 'restoring' some tradition in contrast with other editors - I'm a complete novice at this kind of thing and you make a convincing case for it not being something particularly important.
Aetos wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:47 pm
Hi Sean,
It's the 2nd perf. of δείδω. The root of δέδια is δϝi- , strong forms δϝει-, δϝοι-. See Smyth 703, 703D.:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D703 and
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... %3D703%20D

P.S. That piece from the Onion was hilarious! (I knew he was going to keep the chocolates!)
Ha! It's great, isn't it? I might invest in some pencils for the group.

δείδω is a very confusing verb. I'm not sure I completely understand Smyth. From what I have read there and elsewhere, this is what I understand (which may be completely wrong):

δείδια =δεί (Homeric reduplication instead of δέ) + δϝi + α = δείδϝια (and therefore no problem with the metre at 6.165)

ἔδεισαν = augment + δϝει- + aorist ending = ἔδϝεισαν

δείδω (only attested pres. 1st sing.) = "a present in form, is really a perfect for δέ-δϝο(ι)-α". I have no idea what this means! I had thought the second δ was being lost in the aorist but this suggests the root is at δω and δεί is equivalent to the δεί in δείδια (i.e. reduplication), not the δει in ἔδεισαν.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:35 am
by Aetos
δείδω (only attested pres. 1st sing.) = "a present in form, is really a perfect for δέ-δϝο(ι)-α".
I see you've found 445 D.! I think what's happening here is the (ι) is being dropped (being followed by a vowel, Smyth 43), which leaves δε-δϝοα, which contracts to δε-δϝω. I'm not certain about this bit, but I believe δε becomes δει due to the loss of the ϝ (compensatory lengthening), or perhaps due to metrical lengthening in Homer (Smyth 28D), thus giving us δείδω.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:25 pm
by Hylander
δείδια =δεί (Homeric reduplication instead of δέ) + δϝi + α = δείδϝια (and therefore no problem with the metre at 6.165)
I would guess (without having hunted this down) that δεί- instead of normal reduplication δέ- is simply a lengthening of the vowel to preserve the metrical shape of the word in a formula that originated before loss of the digamma, just like the doubling of δ in ἔδδεισα.

The "spurious diphthong" ει is not really a diphthong, but rather an orthographic convention representing the long vowel corresponding in articulation to the short vowel ε.

(In many words, however, ει represents orthographically what was originally an actual diphthong ε + ι, which, if I'm not mistaken, at some point lost its character as a diphthong and merged with the long ε pronunciation of the spurious diphthong.)

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:52 am
by seanjonesbw
Thanks both!