Elision, Crasis, Synizesis

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376. Α final vowel cut of before a wοrd beginning with a vowel is said to suffer Elision (ἔκθλιψις).

μυρίʼ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγεʼ ἔθηκε

Whether an elided vowel was entirely silent, or merely slurred over in such a vway that it did not form a distinct syllable, is a question which can hardy be determined.

The vowels that are generally liable to elision are α, α, ο, 1- But-

  1. The ο of ὁ, τό, πρό is not elided.

    Final -ο is not elided in the genitive endings -οιο, -ἄο, and very rarely in the Pronouns ἐμεῖο, etc. This however may be merely because the later forms of these endings, viz. -ου, -ω, -πυυ, took the place of -οι(ο), -ἄʼ(ο), -εW(ο) when a vοwel fοllοwed. In the case of ἄο this supposition is borne out by the fact that -εω is often found before a vowel, as Πηληίάδεω Ἀχιλῆος(. ΓΠηληίάδαʼ): and by the rarity of the contraction of εο to ευ (ἡ 378a), There is less to be said for elision of -ο in the ending -οιο. Γhat ending in Homer is archaic (ἡ 149), therefore the presumption is against emendations which increase the frequency of its occurrence. And the cases of -ουω remaining long before hiatus are not exceptionally common (Hartel, Il. θ. ii. 6).

  2. The of τί, περί is not elided in Homer; regarding ὅτι see ἡ 269. But περί is elided in Hesiod : as περοίχεται, περίαχε.
  3. The -ι of the dative singular is rarely elided ; but see ἦ 105, Il. Exceptions are to be seen in ll. 4. 259 ἡδʼ ἐν δαίθʼ ὅτε κτλ.: 5. 5 ἀστέρʼ ὀπωρινῷ κτλ.; ll. 3. 3495 10. 277, 12. 88, 16. 385, 17. 45. 324, 23. 593, 24. 26, Od. 5. 52, 398., 10. 105, 13- 35, 15- 354., 19. 480. The ι of the Dat. Plur. is often elided in the First and Second Declensions, and in the forms in -σσι of the Γhirdd Declension. On the other hand, elision is very rare in the forms in -εσι, -ἄσι, -ῦσι, etc.

The diphthong -ραι ob the Person-Endings -νμαι, σαί, ταί, -νται, -σθαι is frequently elided : as βούλομʼ ἐγώ, κείσοντʼ ἐν προθύροισι, πρὶν λύσασθʼ ἑτάρους. But not the -αἱ of the 1 Aοr. hnf. Act. or ob the mf. in -νσαι: hence in Π. 21. 323 read τυμβοχόης, not the mf. τυμβοχοῆσʼ.

The diphthong -οἱ of the enclitic Pronouns 0ι and σοι (τοι) is elided in a few places.

Il. 6. 165 ὅς μʼ ἔθελεν φιλότητι μιγήμεναι οὐκ ἐθελούσῃ

Il. 13. 481 καί μʼ οἴῳ ἀμύνετε (so Od. 4. 367)

Il. 17. 100 τῷ μʼ οὔ τις νεμεσήσεται

also Il. 1. 170, 9. 673, 13. 544, 23. 310, 579; Od. Il. 60, 347, 23. 21 (Cοbet, Misc. Crit. p. 345). Other instances may be recovered by conjecture: thus in Il. 3. 173

ὡς ὄφελεν θάνατός μοι ἁδεῖν should probably be ὥς μʼ ὄφελεν θάνατος ἀδέειν (ἡ 355)

and in Il. 24. 757 νῦν δέ μοι ἑρσήεις Van Leeuvwen reads νῦν δέ μʼ ἐερσήεις.

In the case of the enclitic οἱ (’οἱ) elision involved the disappearance of the Pronoun from the later text. In ll. 6. 289 (= Od. 15. 105) ἔνθʼ ἔσαν οἱ πέπλοι the original was probably ἔνθα V(οι) ἔσαν (cp. Od. 15. 555 ἔνθα οἱ σαν ὅες). In Il. 5- 310 (= 11. 356) ἀμφὶ δὲ ὄσσε κελαινὴ νυξ ἐκάλυψε read ἀμφὶ δέ P. In Od. 9. 360 ὡς φάτ, ἀτάρ οἱ οὔτις, where some MSS. have ὡς ἔφατ, αὐτάρ οἱ οὔτις, read αὐτάρ ϝ.1

377. Crasis. When a final vowel, instead of being elided, coalesces with the initial vοwel ob the next word, the process is termed crasis.

The use of crasis in Homer is limited. Irt is seen in οὄνεκα and τοὔνεκα, also in τἄλλα for τὰ ἄλλα (B. Il. 465, etc.), καὸτός for καὶ αὐτός (in Il. 6. 260, 13. 734, Od. 3. 255, 5. 282—the three last being passages where κʼ αὐτός for κε αὐτός is inadmissible), and χὴμεῖς for καὶ ἡμεῖς (1. 2. 238). In these cases either Crass or Elision is required by the metre. Most texts also have φριστος, οἡμμός (l. 8. 360), ωτός for ὁ αὐτός (D. 5. 396), κἀγὥ, τώμμμῷ, τὴpμή : also προὐ- for προ-ε- (in προὔφαινε, προὐχούσας, 8xc.). But since the full forms ὁ ἀἄριστος, 8SIc. are equally allowed by the metre we cannot but suspect that the spelling vwith Crasis may be due to later usage. The forms κἀκεῖνος, κἀκεῖσε, dc. (for καὶ κεῖνος, etc.) are certainly wrong, as ἐκεῖνος is not the Homeric form.

378. Synizesis is the term used when the twο coalescing vowels are written in full, but "sink together" (συνιζάνω) into one syllable in pronunciation.

Thα Particle δὴ unites ςwith the initial vowel of a following vowel, especially with οὔ, αὐτός and οὕτως ( 350) ; also with Ἀντιμάχοιο (Il. 11. 138, ἀφνειότατος (Il. 20. 220), ἄγρην (Od. 12.330).

Synizesis is also found with ᾖ, in the combinatiοn ἦ οὐχ (ID. 5. 439, 8xc.), ἦ εἰς ὅ κεν (l. 5. 4466), ἦ εἰπέμεναι (Od. 4. 582 ; with ἐπεὶ οὐ (Od. 4. 352, 8c.) ; with μὴ ἄλλοι (Od. 44. 16 5); and in

Il. 17. 89 ἀσβέστῳ· οὐδʼ υἱὸν λάθεν Ἀτρέος

where we may perhaps read

ἀσβέστῳ· οὐδʼ υἷα λάθʼ ἴρεος.

Il. 18. 458 υἱεῖ ἐμῷ ὠκυμόρῳ (one or two M SS. give υἷ’ ἐμῷ).

Od. Il. 226 εἰλαπίνη ἠὲ γάμος κτλ.

In Il. 1.277 Πηλείδη ἔθελ, and Od. 17. 375 ἄὦ ἀρίγνωτε the case is different: a short vowels absorbed in a preceding long one.

Other examples of Synizesis are to be found in the mono- syllabic pronunciation of εα, εο, εω, both in Verbs ( 57) and Nouns ( 105, 3. ITt will be seen that in the cases noςw in question (apart from some doubtful forms) an E-sound (η, αἱ, ε) merges in a following α or ο.

The term Synizesis may also be applied to the monosyllabic pronunciation of the voςwels in Αἰγυπτίη (Od. 4. 229), 8c. σχετλίη (l. 3. 414), 1στίαια (Ii. 2. 537). Ibt has been thought that in these cases the ι vwas pronounced like our γ : but this is not a necessary inference from the scansion. n bttalian verse, for instance, such swords as πιίο, wmίa count as monosyllables, but are not pronounced πηγο, πηγα. For πόλιος (- - in Il. 2. 8 1., 21. 567) it is better to read πόλεος (ἡ 107) ; and for πόλιας (Od. 8. 550, 574) πόλις. Γhe corresponding Synizesis of is generally recognised in the sword Ἐνυαλίῳ (commonly scanned γn in the phrase Ἐνυαλίῳ ἀνδρειφόντῃ): but see ἡ 370 ad fin.

  • 1. . J. van Leeuvwen, Mnemos. xiii. 188 ff. Of the numerous other emendations of this kind vwhich he proposes few are positively required. The style of Homer constantly al1ovws an unemphatic Pronoun to be supplied from the context. Moreover, he frequently proposes to insert encitics in a part of the sentence in vwhich they seldom occur (5 365). ITt would be ddificult (eg.) to find a parallel for ἐπεί μʼ ἀφέλεσθέ 2ε δόντες or χειρὶ δὲ νεκταρέου Fεανοῦ 2ʼ ἐτίναξε λαβοῦσα.