Scanning Iliad 1.51

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enoshyc
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Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by enoshyc »

I'm having trouble scanning this line, particularly the second syllable of βέλος which seems like an open syllable and has a short vowel, but its position seems to require it to be long. What am I missing? Thank you in advance.

αὐτὰρ ἔπειτ᾽ αὐτοῖσι βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς ἐφιεὶς
L S S L L L S S L S S L S S L L

katalogon
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by katalogon »

I believe that this is a case of "irrational lengthening" of the second syllable of βέλος due to the fact that originally there was an "s" at the beginning of ἐχεπευκὲς.

βέλος ἐχεπευκές (Il. 1.51) < *seghe-

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Paul Derouda
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by Paul Derouda »

I suppose it’s similar to a case we had earlier where continuant consonants at word boundary are lengthened (apparently word initial as well as at the end of a word).
viewtopic.php?p=219368#p219368

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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by bcrowell »

Anthon has a brief mention of this line:
https://archive.org/details/firstsixboo ... 3/mode/1up
"βέλος, final syllable lengthened by the arsis"
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by enoshyc »

Thank you all for your explanations and references!

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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by jeidsath »

Paul Derouda wrote: Sat Mar 19, 2022 8:52 am I suppose it’s similar to a case we had earlier where continuant consonants at word boundary are lengthened (apparently word initial as well as at the end of a word).
viewtopic.php?p=219368#p219368
Well, that thread was a case of a specific word always acting as if it had a two consonant initial pattern, no matter where it was found.

This, however, is an example of short final vowels getting counted as long with words that do not usually show any such thing, apparently at random, every few dozen lines.

Some examples, opening to Γ

Γ2 ... ὄρνιθες ὡς
Γ16 Τρῳσὶ μὲν... (but I think just Τρωϊσι μεν)
Γ40 Αἵθ' ὄφελες ἄγονός τ' ...
Γ60 ...πέλεκυς ὡς...
Γ61 Ὥς τ' εἶσι διὰ δουρός...

4 out of 5 of these occur on the first beat of the dactyl (the "arsis" as was suggested -- let's not argue about the term here though). And the one that doesn't (Γ16) is dubious. That being the case, my guess would be that the rhapsodist emphasized the arsis, using it keep time across a six-beat line. So a short vowel in this position would be overcome in performance by the stress/rhythm (*not* by lengthening or special pronunciation).
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by Hylander »

The word ἐχεπευκές appears exactly twice in the Iliad, 1.56 and 4.129 (and not at all in the Odyssey), in both instances in the phrase βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς, filling the same metrical slot, namely, after a feminine caesura in the third foot and before a verb shaped υ _ _ ending the verse.

This suggests to me that βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς, with its built-in metrical irregularity, is a formulaic expression, perhaps very old, that was part of the traditional language of the aoidos, not an isolated metrical error or license on his part, and katalogon's explanation seems very plausible.

1.51 αὐτὰρ ἔπειτ᾽ αὐτοῖσι βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς ἐφιεὶς
4.129 ἥ τοι πρόσθε στᾶσα βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς ἄμυνεν.
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by theoldlove »

yes I too think katalogon's explanation is correct. the Basler Ilias-Kommentar takes the same position:
βέλος: ˘ ¯ wohl wegen des ursprünglichen (prosodisch als Vollkonsonant wirksamen, da aus idg. s- entstandenen) h-Anlauts von ἐχεπευκές (RUIJGH 1995, 78f.; WEST 1997a, 228; vgl. M 13.2, G 14).

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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by jeidsath »

Since Homer repeats his epithets so frequently, it's hard to say much about the epic ur-language from one repetition. We should also stick βέλος ἐχεπευκές next to βέλος περιπευκές, which is obviously a variation on this formulation. But which of the two is the original (likely the harder one) and what is the etymology of that εχε?

The εχε shows up in some names, mostly obvious in meaning:

Ἐχέμμων
Ἐχέπωλος
Ἔχεκλος
Ἐχέφρων
Ἐχένηος
Ἔχετος

ἐχέθυμος
ἐχέφρων

The only one there that is not obviously εχειν would be Ἐχέμμων. I'd guess horse-related, but Πάμμων has the same suffix.

But all of these εχε- get treated with metrical regularity in Homer, so it's hard to go for an etymological explanation from that. Maybe there are examples of weirdness though? So in the end all we have is βέλος ἐχεπευκές being repeated once. Unfortunately, what would have told us something would have been to see ἐχεπευκές used in another phrase.
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by Hylander »

Repeated in the same metrical (and syntactic) slot with the identical metrical "irregularity". It looks like a typical Homeric formula consisting of a noun + ornamental epithet -- an epithet that doesn't add anything to the meaning of the phrase but conveniently allows the singer to fill out the line. In other words, the noun + epithet combination looks like a typical piece of the traditional language of Homeric epos, and thus might plausibly have been inherited from a much earlier srage of Greek, before the loss of initial *s- or when initial aspiration still "made position" (closed the preceding syllable) after the loss of *#s-, as katalogon and the Bale commentary suggest.
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by jeidsath »

Arsis-lengthening is *so* common though that it's hard to build a theory out of one repetition. Also, it's so common that it's easy to come up with counterexamples to the idea that repetitions in "same metrical slot" meaning anything. For example, Homer has "κακὸν ὣς δειδίσσεσθαι/δειδισσέσθω" at the end of a line twice with arsis-lengthening.

δαιμόνι’ οὔ σε ἔοικε κακὸν ὣς δειδίσσεσθαι,
χερσὶ δὲ μή τί με πάγχυ κακὸν ὣς δειδισσέσθω·

But the -ὸν ὣς conjunction is extremely common, usually with no such fudging. What can it be but normal Homeric repetition?

Homer has "οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον" at the beginning of the line twice, both times in an arsis-lengthening position:

οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον ἅμα λαῷ θωρηχθῆναι
οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον, ἀλλὰ φθινύθεσκε φίλον κῆρ

But, in general, he uses ἐς πόλεμον without arsis-lengthening. The arsis is enough.

Now notice ἐχέ-θυμος and ἐχέ-φρων, which I mentioned earlier. Both are more or less unique to Homer (and one is used as a bit character's proper name even). It could be as likely as anything else (and it's my suspicion) that ἐχεπευκής was a coinage by the poet himself, meaning "having πευκης", just like περιπευκής means "very πευκής". It's not perfect, but good enough for performance, and he only uses it twice. But it's impossible to draw conclusions from something appearing just twice like this.
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by Hylander »

It's not just the occurrence of βέλος ἐχεπευκές twice -- in the same metrical slot -- that makes me (as well as katalogon, not to speak of the Basel commentary) think that the second syllable of βέλος is an old formula that preserves pre-Homeric phonology as a metrical irregularity: it's the fact that this noun + purely ornamental epithet conforms to a pattern so pervasive in the Homeric poems.

In fact, it was the noun + ornamental epithet (one that contributed nothing to the meaning), like ευκνημιδες Αχαιοι, that clinched Parry's demonstration of the oral, composition-in-performance theory of the origin of the Homeric poems. Parry showed how formulas like this enabled aoidoi to compose orally in a complicated metrical pattern.

In this respect, κακὸν ὣς δειδίσσεσθαι/-ω is perhaps a less clear example of an inherited formula, but it's worth noting that Chantraine, Grammaire Homérique, ch. 9, p. 126 (1st ed.) mentions that there are more than 35 examples of postpositive ὣς "making position", suggesting that whatever the etymology of ὣς *swōs?, *yōs?), here too the metrical anomaly may be fossilized in old formulaic expressions that reflect a pre-Homeric form of ὣς. See also Monroe, Homeric Grammar, sec. 375(1). Based on the large number of examples Monroe explicitly rejects the idea that lengthening of an otherwise open syllable before postpositive ὣς is due to ordinary "arsis lengthening".
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by theoldlove »

Nothing in certain in Homerland, but since there are plenty of other instances where an etymological initial sigma > h explains metrically irregular formulas in Homer it seems to me reasonable that βέλος ἐχεπευκές is another example.

The Rijadh 1995 piece (cited by the Basel Iliad commentary) adduces for the εχ root also κάρη ἔχει (4x in Homer) and ὑπείρεχε (3χ in Homer). Rijadh also suggests that βέλος περιπευκές is an attempt to reshape the formula so that it is metrically sound.

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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by katalogon »

jeidsath wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:18 am Line 57: ἐφῑεὶϲ should have a lower macron to indicate an extended short, not an upper macron. This is already fixed in the latest version. (Yes, I know what Autenrieth says, and will explain more fully if anyone asks.)

A51 αὐτὰρ ἔπειτ’ αὐτοῖϲι βέλο̱ϲ ἐχεπευκὲϲ ἐφῑεὶϲ
Looking further at line 51 I was bothered that the ι in ἐφιεὶς had to be long, since I remember reading in Mastronarde in the chapter on -μι verbs that the ι in ἵημι was always short in Homer, although usually long in Attic.

Then, happily, I found that Joel had already been through this stuff in detail and flagged the anomalous length.

The lower macron, which should have been used underneath the ι instead of over it (it appears underneath in βἐλος), is used to indicate an extended short. Is this some kind of standard notation used in scansion? I wonder if I should ask what Autenrieth says?

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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by jeidsath »

At some point I need to get back to creating the final version of that pdf. In 2016, I was just learning Greek, and still trying to figure out how to actual read the poems aloud metrically, and was very dissatisfied with how I heard other people doing it -- I heard audio online that had a nasty habit of stretching short vowels rather than pronouncing double-consonants with proper division, and trying to "fit" a meter that the reader knows is there intellectually, but doesn't really feel. Nowadays I don't really need a marked text anymore, and can read metrically fairly well without it. Maybe I'll post some new audio of where I'm at now.

I've gotten a lot more skeptical of the idea of recovering pre-Homeric pronunciation patterns from fossilized word patterns. There are a number of issues when you try to work out any performance theory around it. If the poet was in the habit of repeating word-groups that didn't really fit his meter heard from other poets who presumably didn't pronounce these groups metrically either, then noise would overwhelm signal pretty quickly, probably in a single generation, much less several. Parry and Lord's bards didn't have these fossilized non-metrical patterns, did they?

I think that the only real solution is that the poet had a "performance-pronunciation" of some words, as well as a normal pronunciation, and was able to use both. He used something like digamma whenever it helped make meter, and dropped it when it didn't work. Similarly for other sounds. He could add something like a digamma to a new coinage as easily as to anything else, so there is a fair amount of noise here, compared to signal. Only words used frequently and (fairly) consistently show real evidence.

There is a strong temptation in academics to discover patterns that aren't there and bring secret knowledge to the light. Something like ὥς is an obvious example to me. The word occurs ~1000 times in Homer, and shows up ~35 times misplaced (or whatever number Hylander says above). In a world where poets accept some metrical divergence, where they can sometimes use affected pronunciation, where arsis affects the meter, where this particular word may well be associated with a purely syntactical pause due to sense, how much signal does a 3.5% divergence really give us? That there are theories built on it is a sign of the level of tea leaf reading going on, more than anything else.
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Re: Scanning Iliad 1.51

Post by Hylander »

There is a strong temptation in academics to discover patterns that aren't there and bring secret knowledge to the light. Something like ὥς is an obvious example to me. The word occurs ~1000 times in Homer, and shows up ~35 times misplaced (or whatever number Hylander says above). . . . [H]ow much signal does a 3.5% divergence really give us? That there are theories built on it is a sign of the level of tea leaf reading going on, more than anything else.
This phenomenon occurs only where ὣς (accented) is postpositive and follows an otherwise short syllable. It apparently occurs in most instances of this particular situation. I haven't checked all of them, but I feel confident relying on Munro and Chantraine. The relevant universe is much smaller than "~1000 times."
I've gotten a lot more skeptical of the idea of recovering pre-Homeric pronunciation patterns from fossilized word patterns. ...

There is a strong temptation in academics to discover patterns that aren't there and bring secret knowledge to the light.
How can you make a broad-brush statement like this, dismissing with no supporting evidence a vast body of scholarship accumulated over the past two centuries that is generally internally consistent -- and, in particular, consistent with the oral theory of formulaic composition? Have you immersed yourself in this work to a sufficient degree to reject it? Do you have enough familiarity with Greek historical linguistics to reach a judgment? What are your criteria for accepting or rejecting "academic" explanations? Do you recognize the ability of the digamma to explain metrical irregularities, or do you reject that along with other explanations based on historical linguistics?

The digamma (similar other fossilized historical phenomena that produce metrical irregularities) is observed in the Homeric language in formulas dating from before the loss of digamma; it's neglected in formulas that entered the Homeric language afterwards.
Parry and Lord's bards didn't have these fossilized non-metrical patterns, did they?
What makes you think that South Slavic epic did not preserve archaisms embedded in traditional formulas? Have you studied Bosnian-Croation-Serbian? Have you studied the South Slavic epics that have been committed to writing? Do you have any understanding of South Slavic metrics, with lines based on syllable counts? And even if this assertion could be valid, what relevance does it have for Homeric epos, which uses a different metrical system based on patterns of heavy and light syllables?

Do you really have any idea how the Homeric language was pronounced by whoever "originally" composed the poems, wherever and however they may have been composed? Do you think that Attic pronunciation of the 5th-4th centuries BCE was the "original" pronunciation a couple of centuries earlier somewhere in the Aegean area? Do you think that the text of the Homeric poems as transmitted in the manuscript tradition, with its numerous Atticisms, is identical to the "original" text?
I think that the only real solution is that the poet had a "performance-pronunciation" of some words, as well as a normal pronunciation, and was able to use both.
Your evidence for this theory? Do you have a clear idea of how and in what context the Homeric poems were "originally" performed that would support this theory?

Those are some questions to think about. I'm not going to respond further in this thread, but I did not want to leave some of the questionable assertions in the previous post unquestioned.
Bill Walderman

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