Tmesis

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176. Tmesis. The term tmesis is sometimes applied generally to denote that a Preposition is ’separated' from the Verb which it qualifies, thus including all 'adverbial' uses, but is more properly restricted to a particular group of these uses, viz. those in which the meaning is the same as the Preposition and Verb have in Composition.

οἱ κατὰ βοῦς Γπερίονος Ἡελίοιο ἥσθιον who ate up (κατήσθιον) the oxen of the sun.
οὕς ποι ἀπʼ Αἰνείαν ἑλόμην which I took from (ἀφειλόμην) Aeneas. ὁπὸ δʼ ἔσχετο μισθόν and promised (ὑπέσχετο) hire. μετὰ νῶτα βαλών turning his back.
χέρας ἀπὸ ξίφει τμήξας cuttiπg off his hands by a swοrd.

This is the sense in vwhich the vwοrd τῳνfῆσιs vwas employed by the Greek grammarians, vwho looked at the pecuiarities of Homer as deviations from the later established usag0, and accordingly regarded the independent place of the Preposition as the result of a ' severanceb of the Compound Verb, VWα may retain the term, provided that we understand it to mean no more than the fact that the tvwo elements vwhhich formedἄ a single vwοrdd in later Greek were sri separable in the language of Homer.

The distinction between Γmesis (in the strict sense) and other b adbverbial2 uses cannot be drawn ςwith any certainty. Γhe clearest cases are those in vwhich the compound Verb is necessary for the construction of other words in the sentence; d.g. in ἀπʼ Αἰνείαν ἑλόμην or ὑπὸ δʼ ἔσχετο μισθόν. On the other hand, the use is simply adverbial in-

περὶ φρένας ἵμερος αἱρεῖ desire sei2ες his heart all rοund (because the Compound περιαιρέω means tο strip off, to take away from around a thing)
ὡς τοὺς ἡγεμόνες διεκόσμεον Il. Il. μετὰ δὲ κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων and in the midst the king Agamemnon
ὡς Γρῶες πρὸ μὲν ἄλλοι ἀρηρότες, αὐτὰρ ἐπ’ ἄλλοι the Trojans, arrayed some in front, others behind