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331. The enclitic τε has two main uses which it is essential to distinguish, besides one or two special uses of less importance.

a. As a conjunction τε connects clauses and single words. It is especially used when a new fact or new object is to take its place pari passu with what has been already said.

κύνεσσιν οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι
to dogs and birds as well

αἳ πᾶσι κακὸν Τρώεσσι γένοντο οἷ τʼ αὐτῷ
which were a bane to all the Trojans and to himself (equally)

This meaning is given still more distinctly by the correlative τε . . . τε; thus we have the pairs ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, δῆμός τε πόλις τε, κλαγγῇ τʼ ἐνοπῇ τε, etc., and the pairs of clauses expressing simultaneous action.

ἄψ τʼ ἀνεχώρησεν, ὦχρός τέ μιν εἷλε παρειάς

Hence τε . . . τε sometimes marks that two things are mutually dependent

ὀλίγον τε φίλον τε
'not less dear because smallʼ

λυσόμενός τε θύγατρα φέρων τʼ ἀπερείσιʼ ἄποινα
’bringing vast ransom for the deliverance of his daughter'

Il. 5.359 κόμισαί τέ με δός τέ μοι ἵππους

The combinations τε . . . καί and τε . . . ἠδέ (or ἰδέ) are also common in Homer, and not sensibly different in meaning from τε . . . τε.

ᾤμωξέν τʼ ἄρʼ ἔπειτα καὶ ὣ πεπλήγετο μηρώ

χλαῖνάν τʼ ἠδὲ χιτῶνα

As to the place of τε the general rule is that it follows the first word in the clause. Hence when standing first in the pair τε . . . τε it does not always follow the word which it couples.

Il. 6. 317 ἐγγύθι τε Πριάμοιο καὶ Ἕκτορος
               near both Priam and Hector

Il. 5. 878 σοί τʼ ἐπιπείθονται καὶ δεδμήμεσθα ἕκαστος

Cp. Il. 2.136 and 198, 4.505, 7.294–5.

The use of τε as a participle of transition (to begin a fresh sentence after a pause) is not Homeric, though common in later Greek. This may indicate that the use as a connecting particle was originally confined to the correlative τε . . . τε (Delbrück, Synt. Forsch. iv. p. 145).

332. b. In its other use—which is distinctively Homeric— τε serves to mark an assertion as general or indefinite. Hence it is found in gnomic passages.

Il. 1.218 ὅς κε θεοῖς ἐπιπείθηται, μάλα τʼ ἔκλυον αὐτοῦ

Il. 9.509 τὸν δὲ μέγʼ ὤνησαν καί τʼ ἔκλυον εὐξαμένοιο

Od. 6.185 μάλιστα δέ τʼ ἔκλυον αὐτοί

Il. 16.688 ἀλλʼ αἰεί τε Διὸς κρείσσων νόος ἠέ περ ἀνδρῶν

Il. 19.221 αἶψά τε φυλόπιδος πέλεται κόρος (cp. Od. 1.392)

Hes. Th. 87 αἶψά τε καὶ μέγα νεῖκος ἐπισταμένως κατέπαυσε

So in many short maxims, such as ῥεχθὲν δέ τε νήπιος ἔγνω—στρεπτοὶ δέ τε καὶ θεοὶ αὐτοί. In similes it is very common, and is often repeated in the successive clauses.

Il. 4.482        ὁ δʼ ἐν κονίῃσι χαμαὶ πέσεν, αἴγειρος ὥς,
             ἥ ῥά τʼ ἐν εἱαμενῇ ἕλεος μεγάλοιο πεφύκῃ
             λείη, ἀτάρ τέ οἱ ὄζοι ἐπʼ ἀκροτάτῃ πεφύασι·
             τὴν μέν θʼ ἁρματοπηγὸς ἀνὴρ αἴθωνι σιδήρῳ
             ἐξέταμʼ, ὄφρα κτλ.

Il. 16.156                              οἱ δὲ λύκοι ὣς
               ὠμοφάγοι, τοῖσίν τε περὶ φρεσὶν ἄσπετος ἀλκή,
               οἵ τ ἔλαφον κεραὸν μέγαν οὔρεσι δῃώσαντες
               δάπτουσιν· πᾶσιν δὲ παρήϊον αἵματι φοινόν·
               καί τ ἀγεληδὸν ἴασιν ἀπὸ κρήνης μελανύδρου
               λάψοντες γλώσσῃσιν ἀραιῇσιν μέλαν ὕδωρ
               ἄκρον, ἐρευγόμενοι φόνον αἵματος· ἐν δέ τε θυμὸς
               στήθεσιν ἄτρομός ἐστι, περιστένεται δέ τε γαστήρ.

So where the meaning is frequentative

Od. 4. 102 ἄλλοτε μέν τε γόῳ φρένα τέρπομαι

Cp. Il. 5.55, 12.64

Il. 19. 86 καί τέ με νεικείεσκον

See also Il. 20.28, Od. 5.331, etc.

Il. 1.521 νεικεῖ καί τέ μέ φησι κτλ.
              and says (habitually) that I, etc.

Cp. 9.410, 17.174, Od. 1.215, 4.387, 10.330, 17.25. Hence it is used of names.

Il. 1.403 ἄνδρες δέ τε πάντες (καλέουσι)

See also Il. 2.814, 5.306, etc.

Of characteristic attributes

Il. 2. 453 οὐδʼ ὅ γε Πηνειῷ συμμίσγεται . . .
               ἀλλά τέ μιν καθύπερθεν ἐπιρρέει ἠΰτʼ ἔλαιον

Il. 5.340 ἰχώρ, οἷός πέρ τε ῥέει μακάρεσσι θεοῖσι

And generally of any fixed condition of things.

Il. 4.247 ἔνθα τε νῆες εἰρύατʼ εὔπρυμνοι

Il 5.477 οἵ πέρ τʼ ἐπίκουροι ἔνειμεν

Il. 15.187 τρεῖς γάρ τʼ ἐκ Κρόνου εἰμὲν ἀδελφεοί
                (a fact of permanent significance)

Il. 22.116 ἥ τʼ ἔπλετο νείκεος ἀρχή

It may be laid down as a general rule that τε in the combinations μέν τε, δέ τε, καί τε, γάρ τε, ἀλλά τε, and the like, is not a conjunction, and does not affect the meaning of the conjunction which it follows.

In a conditional sentence of gnomic character the τε is often used in both members.

Il. 1, 81 εἴ περ γάρ τε χόλον γε καὶ αὐτῆμαρ κατεπέψῃ,
             ἀλλά τε καὶ μετόπισθεν ἔχει κότον.

The use with the article and the different forms of the relative has been already discussed in the chapter on the pronouns (see §§ 263, 266). It was there pointed out that τε is used when the clause serves to describe a cίass.

ἄγρια πάντα, τά τε τρέφει οὔρεσιν ὕλη

ῥεῖα δʼ ἀρίγνωτος γόνος ᾧ τε Κρονίων κτλ.

or to express a permanent characteristic.

γῆρας καὶ θάνατος, τά τʼ ἐπʼ ἀνθρώποισι πέλονται

χόλος, ὅς τʼ ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ χαλεπῆναι

Λωτοφάγων, οἵ τʼ ἄνθινον εἶδαρ ἔδουσιν

So ὥς τε, ὅτε τε, ἵνα τε, ἔνθα τε, ὅσος τε, οἷός τε, ὡς εἴ τε, etc. Of these ὥς τε (or ὥστε) and οἷός τε, with the adverbial ἅτε and ἐφʼ ᾧ τε, are the only forms in which this use of τε has remained in Attic Greek. ἐπεί τε, which is regular in Herodotus, is rare in Homer: see Il. 11.87 and 562, 12.393.

Further, the indefinite τις is not infrequently strengthened in its meaning (any one) by τε (cp. Latin quisque).

Il. 3.12 τόσσον τίς τʼ ἐπιλεύσσει ὅσον τʼ ἐπὶ λᾶαν ἵησιν.

Il. 14.90 σίγα, μή τίς τʼ ἄλλος . . . ἀκούσῃ

So Od. 19.486.

So καὶ γάρ τίς τε, καὶ μέν τίς τε, and in relative clauses, ὅς τίς τε, ὅτε τίς τε, ὥς τίς τε, etc., also ἤν τίς τε (Od. 5.120).

Notice also the use with the disjunctive ἤ after a comparative, in Od. 16.216 ἀδινώτερον ἤ τʼ οἰωνοί. This is akin to the use in similes. So in Il. 4.273 μελάντερον ἠΰτε πίσσα blacker than pitch. The true reading is probably ἠέ τε, as was sugggested by Bekker- (H. B. i. p. 312): see however Buttmann, Lexil, s. ν. ἠΰτε. On ἤ τε . . . ἤ τε either . . . or see § 340.

The two uses of τε may sometimes be distinguished by its place in the sentence. Thus τε is a conjunction in Il. 2.522 οἵ τʼ ἄρα and who (cp. εἴ τʼ ἄρα, οὔτʼ ἄρα), and in Il. 23.277 ἀθάνατοί τε γάρ εἰσι κτλ.; also in the combinations οὔτε τις, μήτε τις. With the indefinite τε we should have the order ἄρα τε, γάρ τε, τίς τε. Both uses may even occur in the same clause.

Il. 5.89 τὸν δʼ οὔτʼ ἄρ τε γέφυραι ἐεργμέναι ἰσχανόωσιν.1

The places in which τε appears to be used in statements of single or definite facts can generally be corrected without difficulty. In several places δέ τʼ (οὐδέ τʼ, μηδέ τʼ) has crept into the text instead οf δʼ ἔτ.

Il. 1.406 τὸν καὶ ὑπέδεισαν μάκαρες θεοὶ οὐδέ τʼ ἔδησαν
               (Read οὐδʼ ἔτʼ, they nο longer bound, gave up binding)

Il. 2.179 ἀλλʼ ἴθι νῦν κατὰ λαὸν Ἀχαιῶν μηδέ τʼ ἐρώει
               (Read μηδʼ ἔτι with four of La Rοche's MSS.)

Il. 11.437 οὐδέ τʼ ἔασε
                (Read οὐδʼ ἔτʼ with the Lipsiensis, and so in Il. 21.596).

Il. 23. 474 αἱ δέ τʼ ἄνευθεν
                 (Read αἱ δʼ ἔτ with the Townleianus)

Similarly we should read οὐδʼ ἔτ in Il. 15.709, 17.42, 21.248, 22.300, 23.622 and 735, 24.52; Od. 12.198. In such a matter manuscript authority is evidently of no weight, and it will be found that the MSS. often have δέ τ where the editors have already corrected δʼ ἔτ (e.g. in Il. 1.573, 2.344, 12.106; Od. 2.115, 11.380, 21.186, 24.401). In Il. 11.767 the editions have νῶϊ δέ τʼ ἔνδον, but all MSS. νῶϊ δὲ ἔνδον; so perhaps we may correct Il. 21.456 νῶϊ δέ τʼ ἄψορροι κίομεν. Perhaps ἔτι should be restored in Il. 16.836 σὲ δέ τʼ ἐνθάδε γῦπες ἔδονται, Od. 15.428 πέρασαν δέ τε δεῦρʼ ἀγαγόντες.

Two isolated epic uses remain to be noticed

1. After an interrogative in the combination τ' ἄρα, τ' ἄρ.

Il. 1.8 τίς τʼ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι

18.188 πῶς τ ἄρʼ ἴω μετὰ μῶλον (so πῇ τʼἄρ Il. 13.307)

Od. 1.346 μῆτερ ἐμή, τί τʼ ἄρα φθονέεις κτλ.

The ancient grammarians regarded ταρ as a single enclitic particle (so Herodian, Schοl. Il. 1.65). As the force of the τε seems to have merged in the compound, this is probably right; just as γʼ ἄρ having become a single particle is written γάρ. But if so, we must also recognise the form ταρα.

2. With ἦ in strong affirmation.

ἦ τʼ ἐφάμην
I did indeed think

This may originally belong to the same head as the indefinite use: ἦ τε = surely anyhow. But a distinct force of the τε is no longer perceptible.

The Latin que which is originally identical with τε, shows the same separation into two main uses. In the use as a conjunction the agreement between τε and que is close. It is less so in the other use, chiefly because τε in Homer is still a distinct word, whereas que in Latin is confined to certain combinations, viz. at-que, nam-que (cp. καί τε, ἀλλά τε, γάρ τε, etc.), ita-que, the indefinite quisque (with the corresponding forms ubique, quandoque, uterque, etc.), and the relative quicunque. The two uses are also united in the Sanskrit ca, which as a connecting particle agrees closely with τε, and is also found after the indefinite kas, especially in the combination yáḥ kάç ca (ὅς τίς τε). See Delbrück, Synt. Fοrsch. iv. p. 144, A. S. § 284.

  • 1. The account now given of the uses of τε was suggested (in substance) by Dr. Wentzel, whose dissertation (Ueber den Gebrauch der Partikel τέ bei Hοmer, Glogau, 1847) appears to have been overlooked by subsequent writers.