Latin orthography for ῳ

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Gonzalo
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Latin orthography for ῳ

Post by Gonzalo » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:33 am

Hi,

I have a question related to Latin orthography of Greek words. I read from Martial's epigram LVI (book V) lines 9 to 11:

Fac discat citharoedus aut choraules;
si duri puer ingeni videtur,
praeconem facias vel architectum.

I've consulted my Greek lexicon and I get ? κιθα?ῳδός for Latin citharoedus . Another famous word in Latin is τ?αγῳδία (tragoedia, -æ in Latin, which I pronounce "tragóidia"). I don't want to have another pronunciation "crisis" (in the etymological sense of the word), so if iota subscript was unpronounced in Greek (but written anyway), why is it written in such a way in Latin? I remember from what I know that iota subscript was introduced by Byzantine scholars to correct corrupted texts and also lunate sigma (which is an aberration, in my humble opinion, but lunate sigma is another thing).

So, my question deals only with ῳ in Latin. Why is written so if it was not pronounced in Greek? Or am I not right and it was pronounced?

Regards and thanks in advance,
Gonzalo

cb
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Post by cb » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:28 pm

hi, i have scanned for you extracts of some books i have on these questions:

(a) iota in long diphthongs: the iota was pronounced during the classical period, influencing some (but not all) Latin loanwords. see the following scans of Allen 1987 (Vox graeca) and Threatte 1980 (The Grammar of Greek Inscriptions) which discuss this (remove spaces):

www . freewebs . com / mhninaeide / Allen1987andThreatte1980 . pdf

see in particular pg 86 of Allen on Latin loanwords.

(b) lunate sigma: this was the common written form in the classical period. see the following scan of the papyrus alphabets (literary and cursive) from Thompson (An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography):

www . freewebs . com / mhninaeide / Thompson . pdf

cheers :)

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Gonzalo
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Post by Gonzalo » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:32 pm

Many thanks for the time taken. I'll read them and then I'll post some thoughts on that. As for lunate sigma, being used to "normal" sigma it seems really odd and I cannot understand why Oxford publishes some texts with such a sigma.

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