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in the street. The lion is a special favorite, and appears in comparisons
thirty times in the Iliad.

c. Homer, like Milton, could not think of an army in motion without
thinking of its resemblance to something else. Just before the Cata-
logue of the Ships, the movements of the Achaean armies are described
by six detailed comparisons, Β 455-483 : the brightness of their armor is
compared with the gleam of fire upon the mountains ; their noisy tumult,
with the clamor of cranes or swans on the Asian plain ; in multitude,
they are as the innumerable leaves and flowers of spring-time ; they are
impetuous and bold as the eager flies around the farm buildings ; they are
marshalled by their leaders as flocks of goats by their herds ; their leader
(Agamemnon) is like to Zeus, to Ares, to Poseidon, — he is preeminent
among the heroes as a bull in a herd of cattle.

d. The Iliad has 182 detailed comparisons, 17 briefer (as ναισίν Ιοικό-
Tcs ηγοράασθε \ ντ^πΐάχοις oh ου tl μέλει τΓολεμηιχι epya Β 337 f.), and 28



§ 16. HOMERIC STYLE. xxi

of the briefest sort. The Odyssey has 39 detailed comparisons, 6 briefer,
and 13 very brief. The first book of the Iliad has only two compari-
sons, and those of the briefest, b δ' ψε ννκτΐ €οικώς A 47, ηυτ ομίχλη
Α 359.

Θ. Comparisons are introduced by ώς re, ως el, ώς ore, ως ττερ κτλ.

Praepositive ως is not used in comparisons. In the briefest compari-
sons, postpositive ως is often used, generally lengthening the preceding
syllable (§59/).

f. The aorist indicative (the so-called 'gnomic aorist') is often used
in comparisons.

§ 15. a. Asyndeton. In the Homeric period more frequently than in
later Greek, sentences were left unconnected by conjunctions, i.e. asyn-
deton (H. 1039) was allowed more freely. Ornamental epithets are
not connected by και, and sometimes in animated discourse the poet
uses no conjunction between clauses or words, as άπριάτην άνάποινον
A 99.

b. Asyndeton of sentences is most frequent where the second sentence
explains the first and is in a kind of apposition with it, repeating the
thought in a different form : άλλα και ως Ιθίλω Βόμεναι πάλιν el τό y
ά/Α€ΐνον • Ι βονλομ εγώ λαόν σόον c/x/xcvat η άττολίσθω. Α 116 f ., ω πόποι,
rj μ€-γα πίνθος Ά;)(αΐιδα -γαΐαν ίκάνει • | η κεν γηθησαι ΤΙρίαμος ΐΐρίάμοιό τε
τταιδες Α 254 f., αλλ' οδ' άνηρ εθελει περί πάντων εμμεναι άλλων, | ττάντων
μεν κρατεειν εθελει πάντεσσί δ' άνάσσειν Α 287 f. In Β 299, τλητε φίλοι
και μείνατ επΙ χρόνον gives the sum of the preceding sentence, and the
asyndeton marks the speaker's warmth of feeling.

c. An adversative relation (but) is occasionally expressed by an asyn-
deton, especially with ye μεν in the second clause, as Β 703, Ε 516.

d. The absence of a conjunction often gives rapidity to the style and
thus is found often where the second sentence begins with αντίκα or
αΓι/'α, as εΐ δ* aye μην πείρησαι . . αΐψά τοι αίμα κελαινον ερωησει περί
8ονρί Α 302 f ., αντίκα κερτομίοισι Αία Κ,ρονίωνα προσηνΒα Α 539, cf. Β 442.

§ 16. a. Chiasmus.'^ For emphasis, the poet sometimes so arranges
the words of two clauses that the extremes, as also the means, are cor-

1 The name is given from the Greek letter X, there being a crossing of
ideas as ^

fiafftXevs ^ ayaSos
Kparepos > αΙχμτΐ]τ•ί)5 Γ 179.

It should be noticed that this chiastic arrangement is often the most simple
and natural, as in the first example above, where σοί at once suggests the
other person interested, ΦοΊβοε.



xxii INTRODUCTION. § 1β b.

relative with or contrasted with each other, as παιδα re σοι άγή^,^ν,
Φοίβω & Ιερην €κα.τόμ.βην Α 443, where τταιδα and ίκατόμβην, σοι and
Φοίβω respectively are contrasted. Cf. ώς Ά;(ΐλ^α ] τιμησΎ]



Online LibraryHomerThe first six books of Homer's Iliad → online text (page 3 of 54)