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a transition at this point to another part of the story, as A 318, 348, 430.
This Bucolic diaeresis with the penthemimeral caesura divides the verse
into 2| -h 1^ -f- 2 feet.

i. The importance of the Bucolic diaeresis is marked by the large
number of tags of verses which are ready to follow it, as δΤος 'Οδυσσεύς,
€ρκος 'Αχαιών, ίτητότα Νέστωρ, οβρίμος "Αρης, φαίΒιμος "Εκτωρ, Φοίβος
'Απόλλων, Παλλάς *A^7;vr;, δια ^εάων, μητύτα Ζευς, iaoOeos φως. See
§ 22 C. Hiatus is allowed here occasionally. See § 27 b.

j. A slight pause occurs about as often, after the first short syllable
of the fifth foot. The poet prefers to close the verse with the rhythm

\y, \y (where the comma represents the end of a word) rather

than v^ ,^, ; hence ovtc τελεσσας A 108, not οντ* ετελεσσας, and

αλγε' ίθηκεν A 2, not αλγεα θηκ€ν.

k. The principal pause of the verse is seldom found at the close of
the third foot. This would divide the verse into two equal parts and

xlvi INTKODUCTION. § 58 1.

cause monotony. A word ends there not infrequently, but is accom-
panied by a more prominent caesura in the third or fourth foot ; as €νθα
ιδον πλείστους Φρύγας άνδρας Γ 185, where the last two words are so
closely connected that no caesura is felt between them.

1. Even a slight pause is rare between the two short syllables of the
fourth foot. In και (ττείθετο μνθύ A 33, the objectionable pause might
be avoided by omitting the augment, but the conjunction is connected
with the verb so closely that no caesura is felt.

m. No sentence ends with the second foot.

n. The pause in the third foot gives to the rest of the verse an
anapaestic movement, from which it is often recalled by the Bucolic

o. The varied position of the main caesura, and the minor pauses in
different parts of the verse, give perfect freedom from monotony without
detracting from the grace and dignity of the measure.

§ 59. QuANTiTY.i (II. go fp. ; G. 98 ff., 1622.) a. Metrical con-
venience or necessity often determined the poet's choice among synony-
mous words (§ 22 a-c). The poet in general preferred the light dactyls
to the heavy dactyls or spondees, and retained in the Epic dialect a large
number of dactylic forms which were afterwards contracted. An amphi-
macer (_ \j _, αμ,φί, μχικρόν) was avoided often by means of apocope,
synizesis, or elision.

Most exceptions to the rules of quantity are only apparent. The poet,
for example, did not lengthen a short syllable by placing the ictus upon
it. If an apparently short final syllable stands where a long syllable is
expected, it is probable either

(1) that the final syllable was originally long, and later lost part of its
quantity; or

i The beginner will find it convenient to remember concerning o, *, u, the
vowels whose quantity is not clear at the first glance, that

(1) they are short in the final syllable of any word when the antepenult
has the acute or if the penult has the circumflex accent ;

(2) they are regularly short in inflectional endings, as μάχχισι, τ^ρωα^ Tpfvovcri,
τίθνηκα, — in the final syllables of neuter nouns, as ίώ/«ι, ^/uop, /xeAi, δάκρυ, —
in suffixes, except where ν has been lost before σ, as φνσ1ί5, δολίηε, Φοίνισσα, —
in particles, especially in prepositions, as ανά, vepl, vv6, άρα, €τι, — and gener-
ally in the second aorist stem of verbs ;

(3) they are long in the final syllable when the penult is long by nature
and has the acute accent ;

(4) they are long when they are the result of contraction, as έτίμά from
έτίμα(, ίρόν, from itpoy, and as the final vowel of the stem of nouns of the first

§59e. HOMERIC VERSE. xlvii

(2) that the following word has lost an initial consonant which would
have made the preceding syllable long by position (see j below) ; or

(3) that the pause (musical rest) of a caesura or diaeresis, fills out the
time occupied by the foot, allowing the same freedom as at the end of
the verse (§ 57./).

b. A considerable number of anomalies, however, remain unexplained.
Prominent among the unexplained anomalies of quantity is the ϊ of
certain abstract nouns, which form such a definite class that it may be
assumed that there was some explanation, perhaps physiological, for
them all.

c. Many apparently irregular variations of natural quantity, as well as
apparent freedom in allowing hiatus, and variations of quantity made by
position (see / below), are to be explained by the loss of a consonant,
e.g. -AtSos Γ 322 but J^AtSt A 3, from a-pih (§ 32), /χε/Α^σαν Β 863 but
μεμαότες Β 818 (μ€μαροτ€

Online LibraryHomerThe first six books of Homer's Iliad → online text (page 6 of 54)